Same Sex Marriage passes in New York

The first thing I said when I heard the news was "Finally!".

I honestly have never been able to see the other point of view on this issue. Without getting either political or religious here, I really have tried to be able to see why some have such strong feelings against same sex marriage.

Why shouldn't two people who are in a committed, loving relationship have the right to marriage, have it legally recognized and share in the same rights as any heterosexual couple?

Well now they can...at least in New York and five other states. I'm so thrilled and look forward to working with even more couples celebrate their love.


Flower Market Finds: Hydrangea

I visited the flower market today to prep for a wedding this weekend and one of my oldest and dearest friends joined me to pick up some blooms for her birthday soiree tonight. She chose pink. She loves pink. She picked up some bubble gum pink hydrangea and Sarah Bernhardt peonies, probably some of the very last of the season, lucky girl.

sarah bernhardt peony

She commented on how fabulous the hydrangeas are and how the variations of color are so amazing. I agreed and told her that the pH content of the soil will determine the color. There are many resources to learn more about adjusting the color of your own hydrangea plants and while I would love to cultivate my own unfortunately my apartment in the city doesn't allow for it, sigh.

Until then I will depend on the growers of the cut hydrangea I often use to capture the beauty of the shades. Along with the usual pink, blue and purple hues that are common to this part of the country there are amazing shades of green and red as well as many combinations of all these colors.

Hydrangeas are versatile used in arrangements and lend themselves to more lush, romantic, and feminine designs. They are great combined with other blooms and perfect on their own. Luckily they have become a readily available bloom for most of the year, imported from Holland in the spring through the fall, grown locally in the summer months and imported from New Zealand during the winter months. South America, specifically Ecuador, grow a few varieties all year including white, pink, purple and blue with head sizes ranging from average to jumbo.

Happy Birthday to my dear friend Sheila and I hope that you continue to enjoy life and take some time to stop and smell the hydrangea.

all images by Anne

Wedding Wednesday: Translating your ideas into reality for your wedding flowers

I've met with many couples over the last 11 years or so. The consultation process is pretty straightforward as far as how the actual process works but the intricacies of learning what a couple is really looking for is another story.

I've mentioned bringing inspiration...ideas to help the designer know you and the style of the wedding. Think about words you can use to describe your vision. This isn't always easy and some are more visual than others but as designers it's our job to envision so when given some key words we are usually pretty good at pinpointing your ideas. This process can be subjective and interpretations can vary a bit but when you find the right designer they should be able to articulate your vision.

Adjectives are key here and you should use as many as you can think of to help convey your ideas.

Styles would include modern, minimal, contemporary (I think there is a difference between modern and contemporary) traditional or eclectic.

Romantic, feminine, lush, loose or wild would be in contrast to masculine, funky, textural, architectural or stylized.

An example would be if you like the idea of this arrangement,

you might use words like feminine, lush, romantic, slightly traditional with a modern touch.

For this design,

use words like funky, textural, more masculine including non-floral elements to describe what you are looking for.

And finally for this type of look,

you would choose words like sleek & modern with clean lines and repetition.

Obviously pictures are a great tool and resource to convey your ideas but you also want to be able to tell the designer why you like the picture. I always encourage couples to tell me the things they don't like as well, this can be equally as helpful into giving insight when designing the right look for you.


The Consultation Process

So you're engaged and have finally set the date! Now what? Choosing vendors is a daunting process and the consultation processes vary, here is an outline of how I approach a consultation with client.

Initial conversation, whether it be through email or phone I discuss the basics of the wedding. Date, venue, approximate size and their initial thoughts for the decor. I also discuss budget. There are different schools of thought regarding this topic but I feel strongly that it's fair to everyone to have an open discussion. You may find that your original expectations are not realistic. This is most likely your first time planning a wedding while the professional you are speaking to has created 100's of designs at many different budget levels. Be honest and true to what you are looking for when discussing the budget.

Once we chat a bit we schedule a meeting to go over my portfolio. Bring inspiration material with you to the meeting, it can be anything from invitations to dress swatches. It's important to give an idea of the overall feel of the wedding and your own personal style which will help in
designing a unique look.

Following the meeting I will create a proposal. It will include a creative description and itemized list of costs for all of the elements of the wedding. Once the client reviews the proposal I will answer any general questions and create a revision if necessary.

Once contract is signed and deposit received, I require 50% at the time the contract is signed, I continue to have an open dialogue with the client (most often through email). We may schedule another meeting or two which could include a trip to the flower market. After one or two follow up meetings we don't usually meet again except perhaps for a final walk through. (Larger or more detailed weddings with more variables may require more meetings.)

I provide sample centerpieces/table set-up at no charge if the client has already signed on. Prior to signing the contract I charge for a sample but will deduct the cost of the sample from the proposal when the client decides to move forward. It is reasonable to expect a sample of the main centerpiece but not necessarily all of the other elements of the decor. If you anticipate wanting to see samples of your personal flowers and/or other arrangements you should expect to pay for some of these additional samples.

This an outline of my approach but of course there are always exceptions to the rules and as I've said before I don't like to think of there being any rules when planning your wedding. Ask all of your vendors about their process and the best way to for you to communicate and facilitate the process so that it feels right to you.

Hamptons Wedding
Photo by fmphotos.com Susan Baker
"Just Married" sign by Blade


She loves me, she loves me not...

Oh I definitely love you.


How-To Tuesday: Easy at-home floral centerpiece idea

My parents recently came to visit and while I was getting the house ready I realized that I didn't have any flowers. Of course this is not a requirement but sometimes I do feel a little pressure to have some fresh cut flowers when people visit.

I had just brought three small fern plants home from the market a week or so ago. They are simple, mini plants in terra cotta pots and so easy to care for, I love having a little green life around the apartment.

Before my parents arrived I ran out to the bodega and grabbed two bunches of cosmos (for only $6 a bunch). They looked fresh and colorful...perfect for a few bud vases. When I got home and put them in the mismatched vases I thought how sweet they looked nestled around the mini fern plants. Everything rested on a recently used (and borrowed) cake stand and looked great in the middle of the table.

My brother joined us for dinner and brought a few clippings of his garden roses, which just happen to be my mother's rose bushes that have made their way around the tri-state area. Originally planted outside her childhood home in the Bronx they were transplanted to our home on Long Island, then moved to New Jersey and Pennsylvania until they made their way to my brother's first home on Staten Island and now continue to bloom at his second home just around on the corner from the first.

Garden roses aren't always the strongest but they are beautiful and of course these have sentimental value so I added these to the group and now thought it was perfect!

It doesn't take a lot of flowers or very expensive ones to create a nice centerpiece for a casual get together. Use whatever vases you have on hand (the roses ended up going in a tall blue glass) and don't be afraid to incorporate small plants you may already have at home.


WAFA Flower Show in Boston

I went to the World Flower Show last week in Boston. I wasn't sure what to expect and I was SO pleasantly surprised to see all the amazing and beautiful designs. This was the first time the show was in the US and I for one hope that it comes back again soon.

The theme this year was the Glorious Earth and there were 30 different class categories. Wind, Magic, Space, Sunset and X-Ray were some of the classes. All of the entries were amazingly beautiful, true works of art and so inspiring. I love seeing each individuals interpretation of the themes and had some fun trying to figure out what I would do in each category...actually maybe I will come up with my own interpretation and share them with you in the coming weeks.

In the meantime here are just a few (and I mean a few...there were too many amazing designs to capture). Please know that my photography does not do justice to these beautiful designs!

Glass Class by Tasha Tobin of the United States

Space Class by Trish Carter of South Africa

Sunset Class by Jean Warren of the United Kingdom

Surprise Class (incorporating an everyday object, here she used sponges) by Mary C. O'Keefe of Ireland

There were representations of the countries involved as well, I'm not sure the name of each designer, perhaps it was a collaborative effort.

United States of America

South Africa






Wedding Wednesday: Summer Wedding Flowers

After a few days of very hot and humid weather here in the city I started thinking of those summer weddings when it's just SO hot and sticky. Not only do you sweat and melt in the hot sun but the flowers you choose can wilt and burn under the sun too!

This is something to consider when choosing the style and design of the bouquets and centerpieces for your wedding as well as the flowers that you will use. This isn't only a concern for outdoor weddings but also for personal flowers including bouquets and boutonnieres that need to hold up in the heat. You definitely don't want wilting flowers in your pictures. [You may want to consider having two bouquets so you have a back-up.]

Tropical flowers are one of the best options for warm weather. Since they naturally come from warm weather climates they can withstand heat and humidity. There are endless varieties of orchids; cymbidiums, phaleonopsis, cattelaya and dendrobium just to name a few. Along with the flowers there are many tropical greens that would be perfect for a wedding. Amazing philadendron leaves, steel grass and monstera leaves are great as accents to the flowers or on their own. Pin cushion protea, lotus pods, air plants and succulents are alternative ideas that would be great for elements of texture.

For something a little more casual would be the abundant wild flowers that are available throughout the summer. While these won't work in every venue or for a more formal wedding they are perfect for an outdoor or more casual feeling. Sunflowers, campanula, zinnias, ferns, queen anne's lace, aster, mums and grasses are all good options.


One table, two designs: Masculine vs. Feminine

In these last two designs for the Tablescape Challenge we kept the same art deco paper for the table runner as we used for the calla set-up but used the bright yellow flowers paired with some simple silver vases we picked up at Ikea.

The first version of this design is much more structured and architectural in design. I used only one type of flower in the two taller vases and then grouped the lotus pods and craspedia in the low vase. I would say this look has a more masculine and minimal feel in comparison to the second version.

In the second version of the same design we eliminated the calla lilies and added amazing two toned ranunculus. I'm not usually one for two toned flowers but these were beyond beautiful. The addition of the low vase filled with feminine and lush ranunculus as well as a few additional bud vases brought the design in a completely different direction.

You can see that with just a few tweaks and changes you can really make a difference in the overall look of the table. When designing your own table, whether it be for your wedding or a dinner party at home, play around with different combination of vases and flowers.

All photos courtesy of the lovely Sara Wasilausky.


Vintage and Rustic Weddings

I had a draft for this post sitting around for awhile now and for one reason or another I hadn't gotten around to finishing it. Yesterday, while following tweets from engage!11 in San Diego I was intrigued to see that Abby Larson from Style Me Pretty tweeted "Brides still love vintage but editors would love other wedding submissions. Bring on the ballrooms".

It was refreshing to know that I wasn't alone in my thinking. I LOVE vintage and rustic looks, don't get me wrong but I also love the look of modern and classic weddings too. Somehow it doesn't seem as real to me that so many couples are going after one look. I'm working with a few couples right now that are going with a vintage and more rustic inspired feel for their wedding but it definitely suits them and the venue that they are using for the reception.

I'm also working with another couple who is much more traditional in their personal style and are getting married in a church and having their reception in a classically designed ballroom in a historical landmark building. They are looking for a combination of contemporary and traditional designs, what I would consider "classic contemporary". Elegant and romantic with some traditional elements but a new take on the classic look.

I think that's the most important thing to keep in mind. The ceremony space and reception venue should play a role in the style of decor that you choose. Be true to yourself and your own personal style but keep these other factors in mind and you will be sure to have the perfect look for your wedding.

Remember, while everyone is busy trying to be different things can begin to look the same. Do what you love and what feels right to you.
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