January 2009

Our colleague and wedding photographer Channing Johnson paid us a visit last week while we were working on the flowers for our ‘soiree dinner’ style wedding.

Here are two from the series of photos he took plus a link to Channing’s great blog:

Apryl & me at the studio. Photo by Channing Johnson.

Apryl & me at the studio. Photo by Channing Johnson.

Ivory ranunculas and parrot tulips. Photo by Channing Johnson.

Ivory ranunculas and parrot tulips. Photo by Channing Johnson.


I just love beautiful photography, it is so completely inspiring! Thanks again to Channing for visiting.
(Seriously people, any couple who has him as their wedding photographer is lucky indeed!)

Even though it is dreary, dreary winterness in Boston these days, going to the market still manages to brighten my spirits. Although we don’t have spring in the city yet the market does!

We did a special and luxurious birthday arrangement this weekend that featured all the blooming hopefulness of spring:

Spring Hopefulness Arrangement

Spring Hopefulness Arrangement

We used blush pink flowering quince branches, ballerina pink tulips, white lilac and white sweet peas. These are pretty much my favorite flowers, I just love the flowers of spring.

Detail of Bouquet and Vase

Detail of Bouquet and Vase

And a last photo, a bit further away:

Another view of spring arrangement

Another view of spring arrangement

A bit about the container the flowers are in, interesting, right?

We did this for a person who loves the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. If you’ve been, you may have noticed how the restrooms have these really cool tiles in them.

One says:

“Win as though you were used to it and lose as if you liked it”

And the other says:

“Secret de Deux
Secret de Dieu
Secret de Trois
Secret de Tous”

Both tiles have a slightly mysterious quality and who knows where Gardner found them or why she placed them where she did, but I love the experience of stumbling upon them in the museum.

So, to actually make the container, we apoxyed these two reproduction tiles to two sides of a modern square glass container; then apoxyed two reproduction tiles of Islamic tile at the Gardner Museum displayed in the Spanish Cloister near the incredible painting by John Singer Sargent, El Jaleo.

I love how this container project turned out, modern in style but with a bit of a story too. I might have to make myself one now!

Flowers and Design by Petalena.

The table design for the wedding we did this weekend featured LOTS of candles. I am now completely and totally convinced that everyone must use candles, it looks amazing! My photos sadly do not do the design justice but we are looking forward to receiving photos from the fabulous and lovely to work with Phil Seaton of Living Photo!

Table Design

Table Design

And a few more, but be warned, all these photos are varying degrees of blurry but I wanted to snap a few because it looked so gorgeous!

Table Design

Table Design

Table Flowers with Candles and Crystals

Table Flowers with Candles and Crystals

More soon once we get the proper photos from Phil!

Flowers and Table Design by Petalena

Location: Hotel Marlowe, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Apryl and I just finished up the flowers and table decor for one of our January brides and wanted to share a few of the photos.

Here are a few of the prep photos from the studio:

One of the smaller table arrangements
"Rorange" roses in the studios, in lots of warm water so they open

"Rorange" roses in the studios, in lots of warm water so they open

Our bride wanted her roses 100% open, so we bought them days in advance and keep them happy in a very warm studio and in lots of warm water. They opened beautifully for Saturday and were perfect!

For the table flowers we did eight big arrangements for each table, two smaller flanking arrangements for each table, plus blossoms floating in water.

Detail of Table Arrangement

Detail of Table Arrangement

I love this photo above, it really shows how the fiddleheads really make this arrangement. The color palette is also unusual but totally works the red-orange as the base, accented by acid greens, pale lavender and espresso brown.

I’ll post more photos from the studio that day soon as our colleague (and very talented photographer) Channing Johnson came by for a visit and took some shots.

We just picked up the Boston Globe today to check out the Sunday Magazine’s Weddings Issue which features a bouquet of ours:

Photo by Joel Benjamin. The Boston Globe

Photo by Joel Benjamin. The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine.

Our bouquet is the peach and silver bouquet at the bottom!

Thanks to Marni Elyse Katz, a freelance style editor, for inviting us to participate!


For a link to the article:

Orchids are probably our favorite variety of flower to work with.
The range of color, texture, and style within this one type of flower is just incredible; there are thousands of design expressions that can be done using these unique blooms.

Summertime Orchids, bold and bright

Photo by Joyelle West Photography

Summertime Orchid Bouquet – Fuchsia and gold harmonize above, making for a perfect bold and bright summer bridal bouquet. Here, yellow-orange “Mokara” orchids are used along with tiny yellow oncidium orchids and magenta-red gloriosa lilies. Such a gorgeous photo of a bouquet we did taken by the lovely and talented Joyelle West.
For more photos of this wedding, you can visit the post from earlier in the year.

Winter Elegance Bouquet

Photo by Channing Johnson

Winter Elegance Bouquet – a dramatic bouquet but in a very different color palette. Primarily made up of gorgeously huge ivory phalenopsis and cattleya orchids – this might be one of our favorite orchid bouquets of all time! We also added a few touches of red with lovely ‘James Storrie’ orchids – they are bit spindly and spidery looking, great for color and texture accents. Thanks to Channing Johnson for capturing it so beautifully.


Photo by Claire Folger

Raspberry Jardin Bouquet– When we show clients this bouquet many are surprised that orchids make up most of the arrangement. While it is unusual with the long trailing amaranthus, the flowers feel soft and delicate here. Buttery yellow cymbidium orchids with deep pink colored centers are surrounded by raspberry foliage for soft ‘fresh from the garden’ look.

Phalenopsis Posie

Photo by Scott Metzger Photography

Summer Chic Posie – Orchids are really our favorites flowers to use as a showcase flower. Here we paired one large white phalenopsis orchid with blue clematis buds and foliage for a simple and stunning posie bouquet.

All floral designs by Petalena.

I love to Google pictures of flowers, I could do it for hours.  The other day while looking up something about orchids online, I came across this one image which Apryl and I are now both completely obsessed with:

Apryl and I both love that “Old Hollywood” style glamor as well as any orchid under the sun  so this fabulous vintage Harlequin book cover is just the best of both worlds!

I have yet to read the book (I hope it won’t be a disappointment compared to how vintage stylie the cover is!). And rather amazingly, there is quite story around this book and its author too:

I think all the snow in Boston and getting over a cold right now is just making me downright blue! I need sun, warmth, flowers and summer!
To lift my spirits and maybe yours too – here  a few simply pretty pictures of flowers – lovely pink ones – a color that always lifts my mood!

First dahlias, because they are both Apryl’s and my favorite summer flower. Here I mixed them with basil for the ultimate summer bouquet:

Dahlias and Basil on my side table

Dahlias and Basil on my side table

(And yes, that is John Adams on my side table, I am still reading it!)

Rose Mallow in Maine

Rose Mallow in Maine

And here, from a garden in Maine. I love Rose Mallow, such an old fashioned flower, kind of like a Hollyhock. Apryl grows these in her garden with great success. So ruffle-y and open. I don’t think they do well in bouquets so they are best appreciated in a friend’s garden (or your own!).

Bud Vase with Dahlia and Mint

Bud Vase with Dahlia and Mint. Photo by Mara Brod Photography.

And lastly, a lovely little bud vase we did for an early October wedding. One little dahlia with magenta “Mokara” orchids, and mint. So simple and pretty.

O.k., sometimes I’m all about writing a lengthy post about a wedding we’re working on or just finished, but today, it’s simple.  I am super psyched, my fab-U-lous design partner Apryl made a new design bench for the studio! She is the bestest! (And I’m still not sure how she made this amazing thing?!):

Our new studio bench

Our new studio bench

It’s perfect, a nice height (so we’re looking at the right eye-level with our arrangements) and huge – over eight feet long! We’ll be able to spread out really well with this new bench and there’s tons of storage underneath too! Plus our ginormous trash can fits underneath so it is out of the way. Sigh, it’s the details that make us happy!

We did some other studio improvements this week – finally hanging our cabinet and shelf over the sink. We were so pleased with the results:

Over the sink - a new shelf and cabinet

Over the sink - a new shelf and cabinet

We moved into the new studio in the fall when we were whirlwind-busy, so we didn’t have time to do some of these things. With January looking a bit quieter it’s been great to just be in the studio, making tweaks to our space, etc.  I think some art on the walls is next!

Apryl and I just met with one our lovely brides and her sweet fiance yesterday to do a mock-up for the table design. Mock-ups are a bit tricky, I feel like they never look as beautiful as final product since you’re not buying as much flower-wise as you do when it comes to the actual day. But at the same time, I totally understand why some brides like doing them, it’s reassuring and great to see the flowers.

We adore this bride – she’s quirky with a great design sensibility and knows exactly what she wants to boot!  The inspiration for the design is a fabulous picture from The Knot’s 2008 spring/summer issue “10 Wedding Wow Factors:”

Table design by In Any Event. Photo by Erik Ekroth Photography

Table design by In Any Event. Photo by Erik Ekroth Photography.

It’s all about the details, the bride and groom are having a small swanky dinner party style wedding at the Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge with long ‘Roman style’ tables filled with candlelight and flowers.  If you’re thinking about a really layered beautiful look for your wedding like this bride is, you’ve got to think about a lot of small details (or work with someone who can do that for you!). This wedding is going to be gorgeous because:

~ Tons of candles – our bride went all out on the candles, hunting for them everywhere, finding a varied scale of hurricane candles, tall tapered candles and tiny votives. It’s going to be gorgeous.

~ Going with the linens you really want – a lot of folks end up going with ivory or white since it is usually included in the baseline catering costs, but to set a more dramatic tone, changing up the linens for something more unusual is the way to go. Our bride will be using gorgeous pin-tucked espresso brown linens to add drama and texture. Of course there’s always more cost but I think it is worth it.

~The perfect flowers –
Well of course we’re a little biased but flowers are KEY. Especially to establishing a color or theme. For this wedding, we’re doing fully open cherry tomato red roses with brown fiddleheads (as seen in the last post), green hydrangea and/or vibernum, Fiji mums, and green berries. The coolest part about the floral design will be the addition of a lavender sweet peas for a little extra touch of  color. It’s an unusual color palette but it’s going to be gorgeous!

The Color Palette

The Color Palette

Flowers from the Mock-Up:

Table Arrangements (mock-up)

Table Arrangements (mock-up)

In the photo above you can get a sense of what we’re working toward, one bigger arrangement at the center of each table flanked by smaller vases. Although not seen in these photos, we’re wrapping the vases with wide espresso brown ribbon to hide the stems in water, making for a cleaner more elegant look. We’ll also be doing floating blossoms in water on each table, some green, some red.

Smaller Vase Arrangement

Smaller Vase Arrangement

So stay tuned, we’ll be doing more photos of this wedding as we’re in the studio in the coming weeks. The bouquets are going to be fun too so we’ll be sure to post more!

Floral design by Petalena.

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