November 2008


Apryl and I just completed designs for a fabulous bride for her late November wedding. She has a unique sense of style and really got us started on our previous post about vintage wedding bouquets!

For this post, we thought it would be fun to show the mood board and the resulting designs.

Art Nouveau November Wedding

Mood Board for the Art Nouveau November Wedding. Upper Right Bouquet by Monique Wilber http://www.aspecialdaydesigns.com

 

About the Color Palette & Style:
The main colors are a bronze-y gold, deep greens, ivories, and burgundy. Our design approach, inspired by Art Nouveau, is elegant and stylized, but grounded in patterns found in the natural world.*

Bride’s Bouquet:
Our bride asked for a more unique, slightly cascade/vintage style bouquet. We used antique wedding photos for inspiration:

Vintage Wedding Photograph c.1930s

And here is Petalena’s “Vintage Modern” creation:

Vintage Modern Style Bouquet by Petalena

Vintage Modern Style Bouquet by Petalena

Some of the flowers we used are classic, lovely wedding flowers like gardenias and calla lilies. Just timeless. To layer in touches of bronze in the bride’s bouquet we also added gorgeous hand-wired cymbidium orchids and brown amaranthus.

Detail of Gardenias and Orchids

Detail of Gardenias and Orchids

We love using gardenias – they are a bit sensitive but their beauty and scent make it worth it. Usually they will last only a few hours outside of a lovely cooler before beginning to wilt and brown slightly.  Still, if it is a favorite flower of a bride, I just think they are totally worth doing.

The bridesmaids’ bouquets (seven in total!) incorporated burgundy along with golds and ivories. We did each one differently but within the same palette range. It was a lot of fun to work this way, more free-form, less formal and each bouquet turned out beautifully individual.

Amaryllis and Fiddleheads

Amaryllis Bouquet with Fiddleheads

Amaryllis Bouquet with Fiddleheads

Here we used fully opened, lush burgundy Amaryllis with a few of the bronze cymbidiums, and dark brown fiddleheads. Fiddleheads are quite popular right now, they add such a sculptural touch to designs. Also note the trailing ribbons with the bridesmaid’s name embroidered on one of the ribbons. A great personal touch.

Bouquet Detail (because I love details)

Bouquet Detail (because I LOVE details)

Hydrangea and Callas:

Bouquet with hydrangeas and calla lilies

Bouquet with hydrangeas and calla lilies

This bouquet featured one huge ruffle-y burgundy-meets-green hydrangea, complemented by calla lilies, ferns, and interesting textural foliage. It’s fun and dramatic.

Another variation with some of these same flowers is below in the Maid-of-Honor’s bouquet:

Maid-of-Honor's Bouquet

Maid-of-Honor's Bouquet

Cymbidium Orchids with Astilbe:
I am a little obsessed these days with the combination of cymbidium orchids with astilbe. Probably because both flowers come in several colors, the possibilities for color combinations seems so varied. The delicate feathery nature of the astilble contrasts in a lovely way with the unique structure of the cymbidium orchid.

Cymbidium and Astilble Bouquet

Cymbidium and Astilble Bouquet

You can see our other post “Pretty in Pink” for another example of this flower combination with a very different, more delicate color palette.

Reception Arrangements:
The wedding reception was close to 200 people so our bride wanted to try and keep the design more minimal for the reception arrangements so the ceremony flowers could be extra luxurious. She had a vision of lots of glowing hurricane lanterns with tall candles on each table. To complete the look we created hand-wired magnolia leaf wreaths for each table:

Centerpieces with Magnolia Wreaths

Centerpieces with Magnolia Wreaths

Magnolia leaves are simply beautiful – waxy dark green on one side and velvety brown on the other. It’s great to alternate them, side up, side down since they have such a natural contrast.

Another view of table arrangements

Another view of table arrangements

I think this turned out beautifully. It really shows that you don’t always have to do something elaborate or complicated for it to be elegant. Sometimes simple says more.

Photos and Design by Petalena

**For more about Art Nouveau see the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.’s website and an exhibition they created a few years ago here. Or the ever present Wikipedia too has some interesting information too.

We just received photos from one of our lovely fall brides who worked with one of our favorite photographers, Channing Johnson for an elegant evening wedding at the Algonquin Club in Back Bay.

About the color palette:
Gorgeous bright autumnal orange, warm ivories, deep chocolate browns, and burgundies all to evoke a feel of autumnal elegance for evening wedding in the city.

Bouquets en masse at the Lenox Hotel

Bouquets en masse at the Lenox Hotel - Photo by Channing Johnson

Flowers and Materials:
With the dahlia season struggling to hang on (October had a few shockingly cold nights), we were lucky to get the last of the local orange and burgundy dahlias plus chocolate cosmos, snowberry, and ilex berries to add a twiggy, slightly wild look to the bouquets. To add more lushness to the bride’s and Maid of Honor’s bouquet we added ivory amaryllis, a late fall/winter fave of ours.

Bouquets in hand, ready to go

Bouquets in hand, ready to go - Photo by Channing Johnson

Maid of Honor walking down the aisle

Maid of Honor walking down the aisle - Photo by Channing Johnson

Orange Dahlia and Ilex Pew End

Orange Dahlia and Ilex Pew End - Photo by Channing Johnson

They did it! High five!

They did it! High five! - Photo by Channing Johnson

At the Algonquin Club:
The designs at the Algonquin carried out the same color palette and materials as seen in the bridal party’s bouquets.  The overall mood of the Algonquin is rather dramatic and dark so a fall color palette worked beautifully in the space.

For the cocktail hour, we splayed out long branches of crabapple and ilex along long beautiful walnut tables in the library with small antique bud vases filled with cranberries and orange ‘Mokara’ orchids:

Bud vase of orange 'Mokara' orchids

Bud vase of orange 'Mokara' orchids with branches of crabapple - Photo by Channing Johnson

Outside the library, the bridal bouquets were used to dress up the guest book table – a fun way to re-purpose bouquets after the ceremony when BMs and MOHs are tired of holding them!:

Vingnette with bouquets and guest book

Vignette with bouquets and guest book - Photo by Channing Johnson

Table arrangements in the dinning room carried two themes: low bronze pedestal vases held cut flowers of orange ‘Mokara’ orchids, dahlias, smokebush, and ilex brances while other tables had carved pumpkins lit from inside.

Elegant and Autumnal Table Arrangement

Elegant and Autumnal Table Arrangement - Photo by Channing Johnson

Table design with carved pumpkin and bud vases - Photo by Petalena

Table design with carved pumpkin and bud vases - Photo by Petalena

Detail of floral table arrangements

Detail of floral table arrangements - Photo by Channing Johnson

Thank you again to Channing Johnson for sharing his wonderful work with us!

All floral design by Petalena.

I created a quick design for my dining room table with some perfect seasonal flowers – amaryllis, hydrangea, and orchids. The light in the afternoons is so simply delicious, I had to snap a few photos. Wouldn’t this be the most gorgeous yet subtle color palette for a late fall or winter wedding?

Harmony in Gold, Ivory, and Green

Harmony in Gold, Ivory, and Green

Even though this was something very quickly put together, the play of textures, though unplanned, is really what makes this work. The tablecloth picks up the colors of the silk ribbon and flowers. And the light is so striking, the way it gives a glow and dramatic cast to the flowers.

Lady's Slipper Orchids in Demitasse

Lady's Slipper Orchid in an Antique Demitasse Cup

Photos and Design by Petalena

The first things my eyes opened to this morning.
Sigh, I do love flowers…

Papheopedilum Orchids in the Morning Sun

Papheopedilum Orchids in the Morning Sun

Photo by Petalena

Another bouquet style we explored for “An Evening of Elegance” bridal soiree at the Taj, Boston was the unusual but beautiful color combination of pale yellow and silver. I am so in love with these two colors together. Both of these particular shades of yellow and silver are light in terms of their value (the amount of lightness/darkness in the color for you color theory folks out there!), when paired together each hue heightens the beauty of the other.

“Simple and Striking” Bouquet

Simple and Striking Bouquet

Simple and Striking Bouquet

The design for this bouquet really just has a few elements – just pale yellow ranunculus, yellow cymbidium orchids, and dusty miller leaves. Each element is essential, the ranunculas give the romantic ruffled feel; the cymbidiums form the architecture and structure; and the dusty miller makes the yellow pop in a way it might otherwise not.

Bouquet and handle

Bouquet and handle

Above is a closer detail of how we wrapped the handle. Simply, with crinkle silk in a pewter color, paired with chartreuse pins and thin grey velvet ribbon.
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I’d love to do a wedding with this color palette carried throughout – lots of silver lanterns, candles – glowy and gorgeous. What’s also interesting about this palette is that is almost season-less.

It could be perfect for a winter or spring wedding especially, but even for summer it would be lovely and surprising.

Photos and Floral Design by Petalena

Pink is one of the most romantic colors to be found. That pale blush color has such an innocence and newness to it that makes it utterly infatuating even if you’re not a ‘pink person.’

“Pretty in Pink”

Pretty in Pink Bouquet

Pretty in Pink Bouquet

For this bouquet, rather than just doing all pink flowers, we paired blush ranunculus, cymbidum orchids, and astilbe with brown/maroon ‘monkey tails’ and pear tree leaves that really heighten the pale beauty of the pink in a way we wouldn’t see without these additions. The ribbons of hand-dyed silk also lend a tonal elegance to the bouquet, nothing is ‘matchy-matchy’ but it is harmonious.

Detail of Bouquet with Ribbons

Detail of Bouquet with Ribbons

At the “Evening of Elegance” bridal show, models wore wedding gowns and walked amongst the guests. I gave this model the “Pretty in Pink” bouquet and she ended up holding it all night! It really did look great with the romantic design of the dress:

Pretty in Pink Bride

Pretty in Pink Bride

And one final detail, of the bouquet:

Detail of Pretty in Pink Bouquet

Detail of Pretty in Pink Bouquet

All Photos and Floral Design by Petalena

For our bridal show last week, “An Evening of Elegance” at the Taj Boston, we also designed a bouquet that was a little more dramatic and theatrical with cool whimsical elements.

“Daring and Dramatic”

Daring & Dramatic Bouquet with Tulips and Feathers

Daring & Dramatic Bouquet with Tulips and Feathers

For this bouquet we used red “Rococo” parrot tulips, one of our favorites, with plum ranunculus, and begonia leaves (our new obsession!). Between the multi-colored ‘flames’ on the parrot tulip in yellow, purple, and green and the wild shape of the begonia leaves, the bouquet is so unusual and unexpected. The plum of the ranunculus anchors the design and the wispy feathers deepen the palette and add texture.

Detail of Begonia Leaf, Tulips, and Feathers

Detail of Begonia Leaf, Tulips, and Feathers

Feathers are certainly having a renaissance right now and we couldn’t be happier. They’re such a fun and whimsical addition to bouquets and with their range of colors and textures, it’s hard to chose sometimes!

Dramatic & Daring Bouquet

Dramatic & Daring Bouquet

I like this photo in particular because it shows how the bouquet isn’t entirely symmetrical. A little bit of imbalance and surprise is good in design, if everything was perfectly mirrored from one angle to another, it wouldn’t be nearly as fun to look at!
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And one last image of one of the model “brides” at An Evening of Elegance modeling the “Daring and Dramatic” bouquet:

Model Bride at an "Evening of Elegance" with Petalena Bouquet


All Photos and Floral Design by Petalena

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