Friday, January 25, 2008

Wedding Color Combinations

When I posted about a recent wedding that had a gorgeous, yet uncoventional, color theme it got tremendous response and still is one of my most visited posts. The red and blue wedding colors were so vibrant and amazing - yet who would have guessed that combo would be so dramatic? To be honest, I did.

You and your fiancee may come up with some wild and crazy color pallettes and my advice to you is to try them all out! Ask your wedding coordinator or wedding florist to show you samples of how your favorite colors will look together. You just never know how terrific (or horrific) they can be until you try. It's our job to bring your dreams (and unique color combinations) to life, so challenge us, we love it.

In the current issue of Bride & Bloom Magazine, the striking Red & Blue Wedding we created here at The Hidden Garden is featured and we could not be more pleased. As a designer, it's still such a thrill to see my work get such attention. I hope you'll check it out.

And if you have questions about your wedding color combinations, please email me and I'll be happy to share some suggestions.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Superbowl and Flowers???

The Superbowl is only a week and a half away. Guess what, the Hidden Garden is a part of it? Go figure - football and flowers???

Our company was hired to provide all of the floral decor for the Superbowl NFL Tailgate Party. If you've never heard of it, Tailgate, is the "it" party on Superbowl Sunday. You can't buy a ticket - you have to be invited. We are responsible for the floral decor in 5 of the tents that will be at the NFL Tailgate extravaganza.

What type of flowers would you design for a football party? I'm sure you are wondering. Since the party is in Arizona the decor should remain consistent with florals that would be growing in that region of the world. We will be incorporating fresh florals such as succulents, kangaroo paw, acacia knifeblade, flax leaves, etc. We are also staying very environmentally friendly by using plants in a lot of the decor space. Some of the plants include cactus gardens, paddle succulents, agave plants, etc.

The design for the job has been so interesting and a wonderful challenge. Since the outdoor plants that are grown in Arizona are very sparce and not "that florally" (i.e. - roses, hydrangea, tulips - like we usually design with at The Hidden Garden) we have really had to change the way we design for this event. It's just a different type of floral!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Days of Our Lives Green Wedding Video

Recently, I helped Days of Our Lives plan a eco-friendly Green wedding for Sami and Lucas! After I completed the show's wedding, I helped a real Star of Days plan her wedding. Martha Madison (aka Belle) married AJ Gilbert (restaurant owner and chef) last summer and I helped her come up with some amazing ideas for her green wedding, which she so kindly shared with the viewers of Your LA TV. Check out the video.

If the video doesn't work, click this link to view the video on the site

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My Latest "Inside Weddings" Article - Great Wedding Party Flowers

In the latest issue of Inside Weddings my article is all about great flowers for your wedding party from bridesmaids and groomsmen to flower girls and ring bearers.

Here are just a few of my ideas:
• Give each bridesmaid only one type of flower in your color palette – for example one can carry all hydrangea; one all roses; one all tulips; one all cymbidiums, etc.
• Wrap the base of the boutonnieres in ribbon that coordinates with the bridesmaids’ bouquets (a color other than black.)
• Have an all-flower girl wedding party!
• If your ring bearer is old enough, have him pull a wagon down the aisle with the flower girl sitting in it (if she’s young enough.) Decorate the wagon with tons of flowers, ribbons and greenery.

Inside Weddings Winter 2008 issue is on newstands now.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Meetings, Meetings, Meetings

The first of the year is always the busiest time of year for "wedding appointments". All the newly engaged couples out there are ready to start the wedding process. That means lots of meetings! As a florist, we usually end up meeting with multiple brides each day to go over the details of their special day. I thought I would share a few "meeting" tips to help you get through the florist interviewing process.
1. View the florists work via the web or at one of their events before you even meet with them. This will ensure that they are capable of providing the style that you might be looking for when it comes to design
2. When you call to make your appointment keep in mind that most florists can't take weekend appointments because they are usually busy designing another brides wedding on the weekend. Think of it this way - "would you want your florist to be busy with other wedding appointments when they should be focused on your flowers on the day of your wedding?"
3. Confirm that the florist is available on the day of your wedding. If they do take more than one wedding a weekend, just make sure that you will have your own dedicated staff on the day of your wedding. For example, at The Hidden Garden we take 2-3 weddings a weekend but we also have different design teams that attend each wedding so you are guaranteed your own crew on your day. This is critical. You also want to make sure that the person you have been dealing with at the floral studio is also the "manager" that is on site the day of your wedding. It will just leave you feeling more relaxed if you are in the hands of someone you know.
3. Bring all the photos of wedding flowers you like and even images you don't like to the meeting. This will give the florist a good sense of the design and style you want for wedding decor.
4. Plan on spending at least 1 hour at your first meeting with the florist. They should get all the details of your upcoming day at this initial meeting (ie - guest count, color choices, table design, bouquet options etc)
5. Ask the floral expert how long before you will receive a complete written proposal from them. It should be approximately 1 week.
6. Find out what the best form of communicating with them would be through the planning process. You will have lots of questions during your planning months. You might want to change some items, show her new photos or just get advice on color combos. It's always nice to know that the florist is readily available to you for these quick questions.
7. Ask if (and they should) and when they do a sample meeting. This is the most important part of the whole process in my opinion. This meeting usually takes place a month and a half before the big day. At this meeting you should see the linen options, chair choices, a complete sample of the actual centerpiece, votive candle options, menu/napkin treatment etc. This is where it all comes together. By the time you leave this meeting you should be thinking "I have a great visual of what my reception room is going to look like". This will allow you to be very confident on the day of the wedding. There should be no surprises then when it comes to the flowers!
8. Confirm how many people will be on location the day of your wedding, what time will they arrive, will they be done prior to guests arrival (really important), what time will they come back to strike.
9. Last but not least, if mother nature decides that there needs to be some flower substitutions, make sure they are of equal caliber as the flowers that you have requested.

The planning process should be fun and exciting. Hopefully these tips help make the flower process a little less stressful.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Congratulations, you're engaged! What next?

Congratulations, You’re Engaged! Start Your Wedding Planning Now, Here’s How:

What could be better during the holidays than to receive a sparkling engagement ring from the man of your dreams? I guess you’ve been good all year…way to go, Santa! Okay, so you’re engaged, now what? Where do you begin with the planning? Not to fear, as long as you are honest about what you want, the planning will be easy and really fun. After you’ve called your girlfriends, emailed a photo of the ring to everyone you know and held your hand out the window while driving, here are some things to think about:

Where to begin:

Talk with your fiancée about his likes/dislikes and what is most important to each of you. Write down all your ideas no matter how grand and decide what you can and cannot live without as you go through the process. Budgets will change as you go so remember to be open to compromise and work with professionals who know how to stretch your budget for maximum impact. Read on for important things to think about and discuss now.

Choosing a Date

Day or night? Winter or Summer? Friday or Saturday? Religions may certainly play a role in this decision, but if you are able, consider all the options as this may save you money and heartache. If you find the ideal location and it’s booked for each Saturday in 2008, you will have to change your day or find a new place. Take it from me, locations are very hard to come by so be flexible with your dates if you can. As for seasons, I am a florist so I would say spring is the best time to get hitched. Your floral choices are amazing in springtime.

The Dress

Ah, the dress. This is the warm and fuzzy part of the planning process. Perhaps you’ve been dreaming of a certain style your whole life and know exactly what you want. Maybe not. This can get expensive so consider all your options. I suggest speaking with married women and getting their advice. Fortunately, you can actually rent a Vera Wang wedding dress these days (if you are in LA check out One Night Affair, they have great deals on couture dresses). Not a bad idea considering your wedding dress will only see the light of one day. If you are looking for a keepsake I also love the look of Claire Pettibone bridal. The key is to be you and be comfortable. Wear color ; choose a dress that’s low key and play up your flowers and accessories; go mini; have an extra long train; sleeveless; backless; strapless or whatever. Just let it reflect your own personal style. You will look uncomfortable in anything else.

Choosing a location

This will likely be based on whether you have your wedding ceremony in a church or temple or if you have the ceremony and reception in one place. Again, discuss what each of you envisions, then make a list of questions for the coordinator at each location you visit. Be sure to ask about any plans for renovation, hidden fees or extras they can throw in to sweeten the deal. If it’s a hotel, be sure to block rooms for out of town guests and try to negotiate a discounted rate.

Local or Destination Wedding

There are great reasons for both but it may come down to number of invited guests and time of year (many locations have peak seasons, rates are higher.) Do your homework on both, weigh the options and compare budgets and then decide. Destination weddings take extra effort, but they provide loved ones with a memorable experience. Always remember to send out save the dates for destination weddings so guests can plan out their trips.

Elopement or big wedding?

This one is very individual. What have you always wanted? Do you envision the two of you on a secluded beach gazing into each other’s eyes or do you see you both atop chairs being thrust high above a crowded dance floor? Talk to each other, talk to your family and make a decision that feels right for you.

Planning Timelines:

Destination Wedding: 12 – 6 Months (depending on how far the destination is)

Elopement: 2 -3 Months

Church Wedding : 12 Months plus (just to ensure that you get the church location you want – as well as the time of ceremony. There are often more than 1 weddings a day at most churches.

Ceremony + Reception/one location: 12 Months plus

How do I decide on Décor?

Visit your floral expert first or email me here (! Flowers are the most important element in wedding décor, but I am a little biased. Your florist can help you decide a color palette and coordinate all your linens to compliment (or even contrast) your flowers. The one thing I always hear from brides is that they were unaware how much the flowers set the tone for the décor of a wedding. Trust me, we can turn your special day into a world class event, thanks to Mother Nature. My suggestion is to start w/ both of your favorite colors and go from there. Sometimes the most unlikely combinations can make a wonderfully unique impact! Check out this blog for an example

It’s great to read magazines and blogs and ask your married friends for advice, but when it comes down to it, be yourself and let your choices tell your love story.