Monday, March 23, 2015

Spring Wedding at Moulin

The spring-like weather has made us reminisce about our favorite spring weddings.  Here is one from last May.  Patti and John enjoyed their wedding and reception at Moulin surrounded by family and friends.  Not only is Patti a former wedding vendor that we have worked closely with, but she is also a friend of the Sisters team.  We were so honored to be a part of their day.  Here are some images by SJ Macky Photography.

Shades of purple were used in all of the flowers for Patti and John.  Loose and textured seasonal blooms including stock flower and tulips were mixed with silver dusty miller greenery.

First look!

The ceremony was held in the Chouteau Room at Moulin.  Fabric draping and tall flowers pieces framed Patti and John during their vows.

After the ceremony, the guests moved upstarts to the Centennial Ballroom for the reception.  The tables were decorated in all lavenders and purples.  Two different centerpieces were used to give varying heights and designs to the tables.

All our best to the bride and groom!!  It was a pleasure!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Inspiration Pictures from Pinterest-- Seasonal Blooming Branches

The power of Pinterest does have many advantages.  One advantage is that some recently popular flower types have become more readily available all year round to meet the growing demand of popular looks demonstrated on the site and others like it.  Examples of this include hydrangea, peonies, and dahlias.  In past years, these flower types had defined growing seasons and were only available certain months of the year.  Now, it is steadily becoming more commonplace for us to see them in all seasons of the year.  However, this trend is not as common for some blooms, especially blooming branches.  Though there are more individual farms that cultivate and grow blooming trees/shrubs, they are a commodity that still heavily relies on mother nature versus climate controlled greenhouses to reach blooming maturity.  Here is one of our more popular Pinterest inspirations that includes blooming branches:

As with most of the images on Pinterest, this centerpiece is stunning.  We love it and wish we could do this every month of the year!  However, (you knew it was coming) these blooming branches are really only available in the spring months.  The exact weeks/months will vary year to year due to weather factors.  For instance, if an early spring freeze occurs in one region, all the flower buds on the blooming branches at several farms may be wiped out.  The remaining branches at other farms will then be in high demand due to lack of supply.  Likewise, a warmer than normal spring can also be a challenge.  Though we all like a warm week in early spring, it can cause premature blooming in whole crops of branches.  If it warms up enough, trees will bud and bloom in a very truncated period of time, causing a shortened blooming branch season.  This would be bad news for someone hoping for blooming branches in mid-May for instance.

So, here are some thoughts about achieving this design without the blooming branches.  As we have mentioned in previous blogs, a good designer can find ways to mimic a look without the exact blooms.  Take a glance at the shot with several of the blooming branch pieces in one room: 

This image gives a very soft, ethereal-looking sense to the space.  A similar vessel and non-blooming branches could be used with the same base of hydrangea at the opening of the vase.  Then, tall, linear flowers could be incorporated into the branches to soften the whole arrangement and mimic the blooming branches.  The overall look and feel would be very similar and would have applications far beyond the spring months.  

As with any inspiration picture, flexibility is key to achieving the same general feeling.  Don't become discouraged if the blooms in your favorite photo are out of season for your wedding.  Just be willing to take suggestions about how to make the next best thing available your new favorite.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Blush Pink & Ivory Wedding & Reception at the Westin

Kerri and Westley are a lovely couple we had the pleasure of working with on their December wedding.  They said their vows and celebrated their marriage at the Westin.  Here are a few of the photos from the amazing Megan Thiele.

Kerri's bouquet was a blush and ivory mix of peonies (yes in December!) and roses with a collar of seeded eucalyptus.

The bridesmaids carried a mix of white hydrangea and blush spray roses with the added texture of the seeded eucalyptus.

The ceremony and reception were held in the same room at the Westin.  The guest table flowers were used to line the aisle first and then "flipped" for the reception.

Blush pink and ivory roses, tulips, and hydrangeas decorated all the tables- some were low and mixed and others were a deconstructed look with a few different vases.

Many happy wishes to the sweet couple!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Inspiration Pictures from Pinterest- Ceremony Garlands

Ceremony decor is becoming increasingly popular- not only in flowers, but in other elements as well.  As couples seem to be exploring lots of other venue options, including outdoor venues, the creativity and detail put into making a ceremony unique and romantic is more important than ever before.  Thus, we receive lots of ceremony pictures from Pinterest and other sites from our clients.  The following photo is one that we have seen quite a bit over the past few wedding seasons.

When we see this photo in an email or on a Pinterest board from our laptop, we think the size and perspective are more easily seen.  However, we realize that the majority of our clients do their searching and pinning from their phones, which is where we think some of the confusion about the size and scope of these flowers comes from.  What may be hard to see from a phone is that this is a very large structure judging from the thickness of the pillars that the fabric is covering.  Just based on that, the flower garlands must be pretty substantial to make such an impact on the very wide concrete pillars.  Another thing to notice is the chandelier.  Let's guess that it's at least four feet in diameter.  The flowers garlands, though most likely pictured slightly in front of the chandelier, appear to be a similar span and height.  For even more perspective, here is a picture that we have never gotten from a client, but is a shot of the same ceremony and structure, fully decorated.

With the help of this photo, we can all see that this is a pretty awesome venue with a pretty awesome flower budget to match.  The scope of this is not easy to pick out from the first photo, especially on a smart phone or other smaller device.  We have had some clients that just want this look and we were able to make suggestions on how to achieve it at their venues and with their structures.  

This picture represents one end of the spectrum when it comes to perspective and scope in the photos you see from Pinterest and other similar sites.  It's easy to pin something or take it to a design meeting without really knowing what it is.  Any professional who enjoys her work will be glad to educate you about your choices to mimic your pictures as best they can.  But why not try and self-educate as much as possible?  Look for other objects in a picture to help you gain some idea of size.  Also, compare apples to apples when it comes to your venue verses an inspiration picture.  If you don't have a structure for your ceremony at all or one that can support this look (rounded pillars vs. canopy or arbor) you may need to adjust your expectations.

Pinterest can be a great tool to get some visual ideas of the look you envision.  Don't forget to look a little closer at your favorite inspiration pictures to help yourself better articulate that vision.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Autumn Wedding and Coronado Ballroom Celebration

Nicole and Andrew were married last fall at St. Raphael and enjoyed a celebration with their friends and family at Coronado Ballroom.  Their style was very organic and textured while still romantic and vintage.  Take a look at these photos from Jordan Brittley.

Nicole's bouquet was a mix of all white and ivory blooms with accents of seeded eucalyptus and berries for some fall texture.

Lucy is the couple's furry baby.  She wore a collar of greenery and roses for the photos!

These fresh boxwood wreaths were hung on the doors at the church.  They were moved to the Coronado for the cocktail hour after the ceremony.

An asymmetrical piece for the placecard table outside the reception gave the guests a glimpse of what was coming in the ballroom.

The textures of the ceremony were repeated on the guest tables with the addition of some deep jewel tones for a pop of color.

Gold accents were used on the tables to compliment the gold in the room.

Best wishes to the bride and groom and their families.  It was a sincere pleasure working with you!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Inspiration Pictures from Pinterest- Submerged Flower Centerpiece

We see a lot of inspiration pictures this time of year, as we are meeting with many newly engaged couples.  Pinterest has exploded in the last few years and has become a widely used tool for wedding planning and flowers are no exception!  We welcome any kind of inspiration picture from pretty much anywhere, but most of the pictures we see come from Pinterest.  Because of Pinterest's popularity, we often see the same pictures repeated through consultations over one or two wedding seasons.  More often than not, clients are surprised to learn how much some of these inspirations cost.  We thought it may be helpful to potential clients to give an idea of what price points some of these pictures entail. (Please note that all the pricing references will vary from market to market and that we are simply giving an idea of what level of expense to expect.)

The following picture has been a popular pick for about two seasons in our wedding market.  It is very classic and seems simple and somewhat understated in design.

First of all, this is a gorgeous design.  We wish we could do this, as pictured, every time a client brought it to us.  What's difficult to really focus on in this picture is how much real estate is being taken up by this centerpiece.  It's a pretty large footprint and, therefore, involves at least five vases that we can see/count.  Just the glassware puts this out of some people's price ranges.  But how would anyone who isn't in the business know that?  As we continue on, there are four or five types of flowers seen, one type in each vase.  These types include tulips, full stems of orchids, and calla lilies.  These are the perfect flower choices for submerging as not all blooms are submersible.  Calla lilies and orchids are higher-end blooms and can be price-y, especially in the quantities we see here.

Let's do some general pricing for just the flowers.  A very conservative estimate would be that each vase contains between $15-100 (retail) of flowers depending on the type and stem count.  So, for our purposes, we are going to assume around $40 of flowers per vase.  This figure multiplied by five is easily $200, just for the flowers.  Some vendors may rent you vessels, others may want you to purchase them.  Either way, vases of that height and shape are not found every day at the discount dollar store and will certainly add to the overall price.  Something else to consider is just how many gallons of water (added labor cost) it will take to fill these vases.  We have LOTS of stories about this!  :)  Another time........

This is all a lot of information, but the take away is this- you don't know what you don't know.  We never fault a client for not knowing how to price any of the inspiration pictures they bring us.  Pricing and figuring the designs for clients is our job.  A good designer can take a client's vision, likes, and dislikes and come up with an idea that encompasses the important elements within a reasonable budget (see our previous blog about budgets).  Because the pictures you fall in love with may have costs and elements that you are unaware of, just be willing to give a little and listen to your professional vendor on ways to make it happen for you!

Look for another installment of "Inspiration Pictures from Pinterest" coming soon!


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Coral Peonies In St. Louis Bride Magazine

We are tickled to be featured in the latest issue of St. Louis Bride Magazine!  As a part of the "Fabulous Flowers" piece, we were asked to design a "dream bouquet."  As artists using a perishable medium, we always appreciate the unique or extraordinary products that nature can produce.  When asked why this particular design represents a dream bouquet, one of our designers said it best,

"To see these amazing coral peonies at market in November is so unusual.  Having peonies be so full and vibrant is really a dream any month of the year- they showcase the very best of what fresh flowers can be."

Looking forward to a dream-filled 2015!!