The Bridal Votes Are In + 2013′s Wedding Flower of the Year is… The Peony!

courtesy of weheartit.com and weddingchicks.com

courtesy of weheartit.com and weddingchicks.com

I have a confession, ladies and gents.  That’s right. Here amongst friends, I need to admit something I’m not 100% proud of, and because everyone knows a public blog forum is the most discreet place to make an admission, I’m sure that’s where this will remain, right?  Ooookkkkaaaay, here goes.  I love peonies!  Okay, well, that’s not the confession, but it’s important for establishing the premise of what will be noted as such :)  But see, so pretty…

courtesy of Next Exit Photography

courtesy of Next Exit Photography

Alas, I digress.  It was in my youth that my original obsession with the peony started.  As I would ride my bike around the neighborhood, I was always drawn to the overgrown, bushy plant that began to bloom every spring in Mrs. Brown’s front yard.  Because of the size of the plant, it would often grow outward and onto the sidewalk.  It was in the moments of early summer, that my confession comes into play.

The plant – as you may have well guessed – was that of the beautiful blooming peony.  Now, because the plant would sometimes end up a little on the sidewalk, I couldn’t help but run into it every now and again.  So, if my bike “accidentally” (on purpose) veered toward the bush and knocked off a peony head or two, it would’ve been wrong of me NOT to take them home and enjoy them the way pretty flowers like the peony deserve to enjoyed, right?  Yes?  No?  Maybe?  Is this thing on?

*Hangs head in shame*  I knew it!  To you all, and most especially to you, Mrs. Brown, I am eternally sorry for my youthful thievery, but please know it was done out of love and they were appreciated to the fullest extent! <insert giant, sweet smile>

And now that I have that off my chest and more than likely worried some of you reading this – especially if Mrs. Brown ever comes across this blog, haha! – I’d like to move onto the real meat ‘n’ potatoes of the post, which is – of course! – the peony itself!

couresy of weddingchicks.com

courtesy of weddingchicks.com

According to the Bridal Guide and brides the world over, the peony is the go-to flower for bouquets looking to create the most gusto!  And it’s no wonder why!  Comprised with deeply lobed leaves with large, bulbous and often fragrant flower blooms, the peony is available in just about every color under the sun!  It’s petals – decorated in everything from reds and yellows to shades of whites and pinks – this beautimous blossom can be incorporated into every wedding color and theme there is :)

Great as a stand alone flower, paired in a bouquet of nothing but its own blooms OR accompanied by others equally as exquisite, the pretty peony is surely one standout flower that will have heads turning and breaths catching.  Check out below and see what I mean for yourself :)

courtesy of (left to right, top to bottom) bouquetweddingflower.com, visionsweddingboutique.com, bellethemagazine.com, etsy.com, exploredreamdiscoverblog.com (insert), countrybouquetsfloral.com, kissthegroom.com, bellethemagazine.com, bellethemagazine.com and elizabethannedesigns.com

courtesy of (left to right, top to bottom) bouquetweddingflower.com, visionsweddingboutique.com, bellethemagazine.com, etsy.com, exploredreamdiscoverblog.com (insert), countrybouquetsfloral.com, kissthegroom.com, bellethemagazine.com, bellethemagazine.com and elizabethannedesigns.com

Wedding Day Fruit & Veggie Bouquets: Taking Edible Arrangements to a Whole New Level

photo courtesy of eventsbyshelly.blogspot.com

photo courtesy of eventsbyshelly.blogspot.com

During the month of February, I can’t help but get a little case of cabin fever.  Sick of the never-ending winter weather and over eager for spring to FINALLY arrive, it seems like every year, the shortest month of the year inevitably becomes the llloooooonnnnggggeeessssttt one on record.

And I feel horrible to even be mildly annoyed with it.  It is – after all – the month that harbors the holiday for lovers AND both my parent’s birthday… I know.  I’m an awful daughter, haha!  But alas, it’s true.  I’m sick of the gray, bleak, blustering days and smudged snow edging every road!

I’m ready for a warm up and a change of scenery.

With that said, I came across this wedding trend the other day, and I couldn’t help but get even more pumped for the season just around the corner and all the promise it holds!  That’s right, ladies and gents, nothing quite says “Spring has Sprung!” quite like blooming fields of flowers and mouthwatering fruits and veggies.

Florals – of course – fit hand in hand with wedding bouquets.  And now, so do fruits and vegetables!  Don’t roll your eyes at me… I’m serious!

I know.  I know.  It sounds crazy, right?  But when you see how it can be put in the works, I know you’ll have no choice but to agree!  Not only are the colors of V8’s finest plush and vibrant, but the texture can be equally as incredible.  And did I mention the cost??  Talk about a significant slim down on the cost of the more traditional blooms!  Especially if they’re seasonal, you can save more than a pretty penny of your budget by incorporating these tasteful treats into your arrangements!

On the Fruitier Side of Fun:  Take for instance, the apple.  Available in a variety of sizes and colors, the apple can create an ideal pop of color and is fun for a spring, summer and even fall weddings.  Then, there’s the strawberry.  Richly hued in deep red, petite in size and topped with its own greenery, this deliciously seeded fruit even has all the elements to be a fantastic floral :)

There’s also grapes, cherry tomatoes, blueberries, lemons and limes!  All proportionately sized and brightly colored, they can add just that extra pop of delectable whimsy!

photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right) blovedweddings.com, sethandkait.blogspot.com, baysidebride.com, myinspiredwedding.com, weddingsatwork.com, brendasweddingblog.com, onewed.com, etsy.com and mywedding.com

photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right) blovedweddings.com, sethandkait.blogspot.com, baysidebride.com, myinspiredwedding.com, weddingsatwork.com, brendasweddingblog.com, onewed.com, etsy.com and mywedding.com

And what about the Vivacious Veggies:  Hmm, where to even start?  Firstly, not only are so many vegetables brilliantly colored, but their texture is a force all on their own!  Sure, broccoli and cauliflower were never any child’s favorite growing up, but pair them with calla lilies and roses, and you have a killer combo of epic proportions.

Some veggie tales even come equipped with flowers!  Hello!? Ever seen an artichoke in full bloom?  Ahhhmazing!  Heck, I could probably dedicate a whole post to the awesomeness that is the artichoke bouquet.  I won’t.  But I’m just saying :)  Pair with carrots.  Turn up the turnips and even pepper with peppers, and these textured vegetable bouquets have me sprouting all kinds of love. *Pun intended.

photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right) onewed.com, blueprintaffairs.blogspot.com, abbeyhepner.com, dmagazine.com, brides.com, crosspollinationfloral.blogspot.com, weddingwindow.com, elizabethannedesigns.com and beccadilley.com

photos courtesy of (top to bottom, left to right) onewed.com, blueprintaffairs.blogspot.com, abbeyhepner.com, dmagazine.com, brides.com, crosspollinationfloral.blogspot.com, weddingwindow.com, elizabethannedesigns.com and beccadilley.com

And it’s not even a trend that is secluded simply to the bouquet; any of these ideas can be intertwined into so many other aspects of the big day celebration: centerpieces, main table décor and even boutonnieres! Check it :)

photos courtesy of eastonevents.com, pinkposhphotography.blogspot.com (insert), onewed.com, mywedding.com (insert) and bridalcookie.com

photos courtesy of eastonevents.com, pinkposhphotography.blogspot.com (insert), onewed.com, mywedding.com (insert) and bridalcookie.com

Top Trend: Whimsical Wildflowers & Enchanting Wedding Bouquets

courtesy of greenweddingshoes.com

With fairytale classics being remade into blockbuster gold like Mirror, Mirror and Snow White & the Huntsman, it’s no wonder why enchanted wedding decor is at an all time high for brides.  Both artsy and fanciful, woodsy inspired details just seem to capture the kind of ambiance brides want for their ourtdoor, forest or barnyard weddings.

And one area I’m truly pleased to see reflecting such a whimsical look is none other than the bridal bouquet.  Ethereal in inspiration and decadent in design, these one of a kind bouquets create just the right amount of “once upon a time” magic that will easily have couples living “happily ever after.”  (Yeah, I totally went there.)

Start the pallet with large blooms, such as cabbage roses, robust ranunculus, heart stopping peonies or diva-esque dahlias.  Then, mix in wildflowers or other natural, earthly, nonfloral elements to your already blossoming bouquet.  Finish it off with a dash of sparkle or touch of flowing feathers and see how fantasy can turn into real life enchantment.

But don’t take my word for it.  Simply check out below and be amazed for yourselves :)

photos courtesy of (tope to bottom, left to right) thefrenchbouquettulsa.com, marthastewartweddings.com, floweropera.wordpress.com, acephotographs.com (inset), marthastewartweddings.com, greenweddingshoes.com, greenweddingshoes.com, ruffledblog.com, kristynhogan.com, floweropera.wordpress.com, Google Images and ashleysbrideguide.com

In Loving Memory Ooh La La: Keep the Ones You Love Close on Your Wedding Day

courtesy of phindystudios.com

After attending a friend’s wedding (wad up, Tay!), I was inspired by her incredible strength and her unique ability to personalize every part of her day with meaningful details and touches that oozed with her impeccable taste.  But it wasn’t until months later when her professional wedding photos (and an additional pinterest.com image sent from our very own Lauren Trisler!) came across my desk that I was reminded of a the beautifully inspired way she chose to keep the memory of the ones she lost close to her heart during her wedding ceremony.

They go by a number of names, but they are best known as Bouquet Charms or Bouquet Lockets and are placed along the stem of bridal bouquets for keeping safe and stunning looks.  The thought behind the bouquet charm is to give brides a perfect place to keep the ones who have passed on with them as they say ‘I do.’  You can literally hold the ones you’ve lost near and dear during all the big moments of your ceremony, all the while creating an instant keepsake that looks spectacular and feels even more special.

Even if your one of the most fortunate brides ever and have never lost a loved one, you can still get amazing use out of this sentiment by adding your nuptial initials or favorite quotes to a charm and wrapping them around your bouquet!  After all, what bride couldn’t use a little extra meaningful ‘oomph’ at her wedding? 

Not to mention, these gorgeous gems make for great DIY details… giving every bride the opportunity to be as fanciful or simple as she wants!  Check out below and see what I mean :)

photos courtesy of (from top to bottom, left to right) ohdearphotography.com, etsy.com, Wedding Inspirations via pinterest.com, vancitybride.com, divajewelsco.com, aileentran.com, boards.weddingbee.com, jubilantwares.com and stylecollective.com

Hot Flowers for Fall Weddings: Diva Dahlias

I love fresh flowers.  I know with their “here today, gone tomorrow” persona, it’s easy for some women to pretend poo poo them because of the expense.  But I just can’t help myself!  Even if their dead the next day, they are still a little slice of heaven while they last… no matter how short that while may be :)

And one of the hottest flowers to step out on the bridal market this fall are the colorfully cute, large blooming Dahlias.  With their wide assortment of color schemes and statement-worthy blossoms, it’s no secret why these chic-topped stems are all the rage these days.

But if you still need convincing, check out the color arrangements below and see what I mean :)

White Dahlia Bouquets

photos courtesy of (left to right, top to bottom) marryyoume.com, unitedwithlove.com, jessicalynn402.blogspot.com (inset), bouquet-bouquet.com and diycoordinator.wordpress.com

Pink Dahlia Bouquets 

photos courtesy of (left to right, top to bottom) bouquetbridal.blogspot.com, stjudescreations.blogspot.com, stjudescreations.blogspot.com (inset), floretcadet.com and sprout-flowers.com

Purple Dahlia Bouquets 

photos courtesy of (left to right, top to bottom) stjudescreations.blogspot.com, birchblooms.blogspot.com, karmanlee.com (inset), stjudescreations.blogspot.com and boards.weddingbee.com

Yellow Dahlia Bouquets 

photos courtesy of (left to right, top to bottom) bouquetweddingflower.com, exquisiteblooms.blogspot.com, exquisiteblooms.blogspot.com (inset), fleurchicago.com and bouquetweddingflower.com

Orange Dahlia Bouquets

photos courtesy of (left to right, top to bottom) google.com, thefullbouquetblog.com, theknot.com (inset), sprout-flowers.com and afloral.com

Red Dahlia Bouquets

photos courtesy of (left to right, top to bottom) boards.weddingbee.com, bouquetweddingflower.com, weddingbee.com, savemoneyonawedding.com and weddingbee.com

Vera Wang Offers Modern Takes on Traditional Bridal Bouquets

The woman who pretty much owns the bridal market on wedding dresses, Vera Wang, is dishing out some seriously good advice in a her weekly email newsletters, and I would highly recommend for all brides-to-be to check it out!  Being a lover of all things bridal, I’m a HUGE fan.  Obvs. 

And this week’s treat was no disappointment!  Often times, brides find themselves wanting something new and original to add to their wedding lineup; so, they look for alternatives that would best suit them.  In today’s email, Ms. Wang offered some suggestions for the traditional bridal bouquet.  Among the ideas?

Wrist Corsages.  For a touch of grace.

photos courtesy of tulledreams.blogspot.com (top left), blog.weddingish.com (right) and sheenaholland.com

Pinned Corsages.  For high-necked or off the shoulder gowns.

photos courtesy of stylehive.com (left), wmagazine.com (top right) and seattleflowers.com

Bible, Psalm or Prayer Books marked with a Favorite Flower.  For additional sentiment.

photos courtesy of etsy.com (top left), answerstolife.tv (right) and godswordhasanswers.com

I love all the ideas for their unique nature and alternative appeal.  Plus, having a corsage frees up your hands to hold onto other things… like your man’s hands :)

Cupcake Bouquets: Bringing ‘Edible Arrangements’ to a Whole New Level of Yum

When a girlfriend at work (wad up, C-rock!) sent me a link featuring a finger-licking-good cupcake bouquet, I thought I had died and gone to heaven!  I mean, c’mon!  An amazingly colored rosebud bouquet… made of cutie pie cupcakes???  Um, yes please!

While we offered several options for alternative brides looking for their fix of unconventional arranging in Flowerless, DIY Wedding Bouquets, we did not include this double duty cutie, and after seeing some of the prospects below… I can’t imagine why!  Just look at these mouth-watering treats!  Some even rival the looks of the inspired flowers themselves!  Bravo, bouquets, bravo :)

courtesy of (from top to bottom, left to right) littleruffledfeathers.blogspot.com, delishcupcakes.net, pinterest.com, brideandjoy.ie, morningglorybakes.blogspot.com via thecupcakeblog.com, delishcupcakes.net, littleruffledfeathers.blogspot.com, delishcupcakes.net, katherinesconfections.com, claudiaowen.wordpress.com and Eat My Shots

Go *Green* with Flowerless, DIY Wedding Bouquets!

photo courtesy of bellzandwhistlez.com

The wedding planner in all of us will inevitably come across things we like; things we love; thing we REALLY love; things we could do without; things EVERYONE could do without; things that rock; things that roll (right back where they came from); and my personal fave… things that become an OBSESSION.

Ladies, please welcome my newest obsession: Flowerless Bouquets!  From the minute I came across this trend on Princess Lasertron – ran by Megan Hunt: bridal planner extraordinaire and certifiable creative genius – I couldn’t help but fall head over heels for their quirky combination of vintage frock, trend appeal and DIY divinity!  For cereal, they’re ooh la la personified, and because most nonfloral bouquets can cut back on the fertilizers and pollutants pumped into Mother Earth to replenish flowers over and over again, they’re arguably the most eco-chic substitute there is!  (cont’d below)

photo courtesy of offbeatbride.com

I’m telling you, it’s a win / win for everyone!  While Princess Lasertron’s nonfloral bouquets focus on the distinctive use of felt fabrics and vintage buttons, the options for flowerless bouquets are almost endless… just imagine it, won’t you… (insert dreamy pan out sequence here)…

I can see it now… seashells and sand dollars for dynamic destination weddings… butterflies and berries for summer’s finest nuptials… pine cones and colored leaves for amazing autumnal “I do’s”… bedazzled ornaments and tinsel for weddings intent on being the holly’est and jolly’est… all kinds of bright colored candies for celebrations near and dear to Halloween or Valentine’s day…  rolled up, satin neck ties for weddings worthy of the red carpet…  (my brain could burst from excitement!)… you could even use parasols and peacock feathers and brooches (Oh my!)

I mean, the list goes on and on people!!  Not only is the creativity level for blossomless bouquets through the roof, but the do-it-yourself and keepsake potential for such creations is limitless!  Just take a look below to see what I mean and (hopefully) find some inspiration!  (Photos courtesy of princesslasertron.com, bellzandwhistlez.com, fantasyfloraldesigns.com and Google Images)

Extra, Extra!  And for those of you who find yourselves on the more traditional side of the bridal fence and can’t imagine walking down the aisle with anything but the most brilliant bouquet of flowers money can buy… I would urge you to check out some of these creations HandmadePaperFlowers.com came up with!  All of these are crafted of paper, but look as real, as real can be!  Love :)

photo courtesy of handmadepaperflowers.com

7 Incredible Flowers for Bridal Bouquets

Photo Courtesy of francoiseweeks.com

After meeting with our wedding florist for the first time, I have to be honest… it became very clear to me that I knew NOTHING about flowers.  Apparently, a rose isn’t just a rose.  In fact, my dear friends, a rose can be a Bourbon, a Centifolia, a Noisette, a Damask, a Moss, an Alba, a Portland, a Gallica or a Hybrid… and not just any hybrid… a rose could be a Hybrid Perpetual, a Hybrid Musk, a  <insert crossed eyes here> Hybrid Rugosa… I mean the list goes on and on, and we’re just talking roses for sobbin’ out loud!

If I have any advice when it comes to picking flowers – whether it be for your bouquet, centerpieces or just ‘cause – I would have to say simply, “Have fun with it!”  Go nuts printing out pictures of things you like and designs you’ve seen!  Florists love a bride who knows what she wants and help inspire them.  After all, it is your day, but it is their art.

Below are seven flowers I came across that you just might want to consider, especially after seeing them in action!  (Information courtesy of Wikipedia.org.  Photos courtesy of Google Images, and collages courtesy of yours truly!)

Alright, Allium!

Known for its buxom blossoms, this delightful bloom comes in a number of colors and shapes.  And while it is from the onion genus – make no mistake – there’s nothing stinky about it!  With as many as 750 species, this super sized flower is often rounder in shape and larger in size.  While its siblings include some of the cooking world’s favorites – onions, garlic, chives, etc. – its ornamental flowering species are quite beautiful, and quite less malodorous.  Haha!

Birds of Paradise are Very Nice!

Exotic by nature, appealing by design… there’s no denying the standout potential of a bouquet or centerpiece filled with this striking flower.  While there are several species known to man, the most famous ones are often times referred to by their geographic region.  Below are samples of how the Maui and Mexican Birds of Paradise create an unmistakable look!

Give me Some Chrysanthemums!

Currently including about 30 species, these beautiful blooms once housed many others until they split into several genera decades ago.  Dating all the way back to the 15th Century, chrysanthemums were originally cultivated in China and come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes.  And even though “mums” are often times thought of as autumn blossoms, I would urge you to explore the brighter varieties for a spring and summer bouquets as well!

Say “I Do” with Delphinium!

Part of the buttercup family, this delicate flower has mass appeal!  Many times cultivated for flower arrangements, delphiniums are awesome for adding color and depth to bouquets.  Because of their buds bloom in a vertical pattern, they can create very unique and colorful looks!  However, be weary, these blooms are extremely poisonous… so, don’t eat them!  Stick to the buffet instead – haha!

Ooh la la!  It’s Pretty Protea!

I’d be lying if I said these didn’t scare me at first…  Also known as “sugarbushes,” protea flowers were named after the Greek god Proteus who was capable of changing his form at will… and rightfully so!  These incredibly exotic looking plants come in about a schmillion shapes, sizes, colors and blooms!  While their stand alone look might be too funky for some, they can be amazing additions when added into arrangements!

Think Outside the Box with Phlox!

Dead sere, I love this dainty flower!  Available in shades of white, purple, blue, pink and yellow, you’d be hard pressed not to find one to coordinate with your wedding colors!  And, with their pansy-like appeal and clustering blossoms, they also can give great texture and fullness to arrangement they’re filling!

It’s like a Dream: Ranunculus Reverie!

A cousin to delphinium, ranunculus are also part of the buttercup family… and how can anyone NOT love anything involving “buttercups”?  Almost resembling a softer, more delicate rose, these bountiful blossoms come in just about every color imaginable.  Great for adding into an arrangement or flying solo, there’s no doubt that brides will go re-donk-ulous for ranunculus!

What Were They Thinking Thursdays: Today’s Feature – Ladies, Please!

Yes, as tradition would have it, most wedding receptions will always include the infamous bridal bouquet toss.  It is at this point that all the single ladies (all the single ladies! – haha, how can you not LUVRE Beyoncé?) are asked to gather on the dance floor across from a turned around bride to see who will catch the bouquet, and henceforth be the next in line to marry.  All done in good fun, this wedding reception must contains just as much fingers-crossed superstition as it does wedding day tradition.

But apparently these two “ladies” – I’m using the term here loosely – didn’t get the “it’s-all-in-good-fun” memo.  I mean honestly, girls, pull yourselves together and off each other… please!  Desperation is not now, nor will it ever be, attractive on anyone.  Haha!  Check it out!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKVyYX73UUc]