Musings on Beauty


We’re a little sad to see summer pass, but looking forward to all the lovely fall weddings we will be working on this year. Lots and lots in September and October – some jewel toned, some orange and browns, some local-sourced, some exotic-inspired. But, let’s kick off the new season with a lovely photo from a fall wedding last year by Blue Water Photography.

Wedding Bouquet by Petalena, 2010. Photo by Blue Water Photography.

Thanks to our lovely bride Sylvia for sending it our way. It was really a dreamy bouquet with painted fern, garden roses, dahlias, and loads of textures. A soft and neutral color palette that hinted towards fall with the brown cymbidium orchids and purple-burgundy smokebush.

Petalena

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Exciting news! We’re working on redoing our website so everything will be all together in one gorgeous place! Looking through photos yesterday in preparation for this, I wanted to share this lovely photo by Kelly Dillon Photography of the May wedding we worked on together. I just love the light, the color and play of textures here (isn’t pale pink, coral, and peach is the dreamiest combination ever…):

Early summer bouquet by Petalena. Photo by Kelly Dillon Photography, 2011.

xo- Petalena

After our wedding last weekend, I went up to visit my parents in Maine. I love visiting them in the spring, my mother’s wonderful garden is always about three weeks behind Boston so she has tulips and daffodils still growing long after my own have passed. She made this arrangement for me which until yesterday was residing on my bedside table. I just think it is so lovely.

Bedside tulips from my mom's garden. Petalena, 2010.

Beautiful without being overdone. Simple and sort of tumble-y with the trailing Bleeding Heart flowers and foliage joined with the tulips.

The red and white tulips in this arrangement might be my newest floral obsession – Carnival de Nice. I just adore them – they start off with very tight little small buds in the garden, growing to this wonderful full form (below) with layers upon layers of petite little petals.

Carnival de Nice Tulip. Petalena, 2010.

Once they open, they look look this.  Don’t they look like someone took a red paintbrush to them?

Petalena

Here are a few lovely images from a wedding we just finished at the Lyman Estate – a Historic New England site – in Waltham, Massachusetts. With lots of beautiful period rooms, the mood for the wedding was to be a  festive dinner party complete with lots of jars informally filled with pretty seasonal blooms and tied with ribbons:

Tulips & Dahlias by Evening Sunlight

Tulips & Dahlias by Evening Sunlight

Pomegrantes & Astilble

Pomegrantes with Dill & Astilble

The color palette for the table arrangements was primarily deep plums, burgundies, greens, and soft neutrals.

Hydrangea with tulips and pomegrantes

Hydrangea with tulips and pomegranates

Each table was a bit different from the next, for an informal and slightly eclectic feel.

Festive arrangement of peach dahlias and mint

Festive arrangement of peach dahlias and mint

Tulips in sunlight

Tulips in sunlight

Lovely, lovely fall flowers. Cheers to the fabulous bride and groom – it was wonderful to be part of your day!

Design & Photos by Petalena

We did a wedding back in July for a wonderful couple – one American, one Canadian. They met in Montreal, had a moment, he left and went back to Boston, she stayed. He couldn’t get this girl off his mind once he was home, so he tracked her down only with the information that she was a middle school science teacher in a suburb outside of Montreal. He found her. They met again, they fell in love, and now they are married!

Celeste's Celestial Bouquet

Celeste's Celestial Bouquet

Our friend Connie Miller of studioatticus took the photos for their wedding and we just fell in love with this image she captured. The bride wore a stylish shorter gown with beautiful lace and fabulous Christian Louboutin heels for an extra bit of style! Connie captures her here, bouquet lowered, so lovely against the beautiful lacy contrast of the gown.

Her bouquet by Petalena featured lush deep pink peonies, magenta  mokara orchids, blush pink cymbidium orchids, and accents of green mint and silver dusty miller foliage.

Photo by studioatticus

Bouquet by Petalena

Oh sigh….we’re smitten.

We just finished the most lovely wedding in Connecticut (yes, we do travel beyond Massachusetts!) for the most darling and creative couple. The bride  made all the tablecloths for her wedding and her Maid of Honor’s gown too! Her husband is an artist and travels all about the country painting customized murals on people’s vintage VW buses. Seriously, how could we not love them?

Bouquet detail - Gorgeousness in Peaches, Pinks, and Yellows

Bouquet detail - Gorgeousness in Peaches, Pinks, and Yellows

For the color palette we looked for a balance of color and flowers that evoked that transition from late summer to early fall. So oranges and yellows, yes. But paired with deep pinks, peaches, and lots of unique foliage to keep the palette bright and a bit summery.

Our bride’s bouquet was similar to her Maid of Honor’s but with some touches of lovely vintage-y gardenias. We hadn’t used gardenias in this way before – in a more garden-style, less ‘vintage modern’ but it totally worked:

A Bouquet for Jessica

A Bouquet for Jessica

And just one more detail of the bouquets before we move onto the reception:

Up Close and Gorgeous

Up Close and Gorgeous

The reception was held at the Hill-Stead Museum in Connecticut. The ceremony took place there as well in a beautiful sunken garden, thank goodness the rain stopped! The entire museum site is beautiful with an old historic house museum, gardens to peruse, and the “Makeshift Theatre” where our couple’s reception took place. It’s an old Arts & Crafts style structure, originally designed as a theater with lots of beautiful woodwork.

Salmon-Hued Table Centerpiece at the Hill-Stead Museum

Salmon-Hued Table Centerpiece at the Hill-Stead Museum

Table designs were done in two styles – one an rustic-style ivory metal garden urn; the other, antique bottle collections filled a few perfect blooms. Over the summer months Apryl and I collected about 30 or so antique bottles on our travels and day trips around New England. The bride and groom wanted the design to fit with the old character of the space and it worked beautifully.

Collection of Antique Bottles filled with Dahlias

Collection of Antique Bottles filled with Dahlias

Urn with Dahlias, Cosmos, & Sunflowers

Urn with Dahlias, Cosmos, & Sunflowers

And just a few more because I couldn’t make my mind up!

Wildness Table Arrangement (there's always one)

Wildness Table Arrangement (there's always one)

Apryl & I always joke that for every wedding there is always one table arrangement that just ends up bigger than the others.  I think for this wedding, it was this arrangement above. It was just a little more wild and exuberant than the others.

We call these arrangements our “Jane Mansfields” – a reference from Apryl’s mother’s days as a floral designer. Many years ago Apryl’s mother designed an arrangement made entirely of deep pink feathers shaped into peonies for the movie diva Jane Mansfield.  Geraldine, Apryl’s mom, always talks about how Jane Mansfield wanted a HUGE arrangement of these feather peonies – totally fabulous, but totally over the top. So now, we have our “Jane Mansfields” too!

Salmon Dahlias with Sunflowers

Salmon Dahlias with Sunflowers

Dinner Plate Dahlia

Dinner Plate Dahlia Detail

Another beautiful day, we love what we do!


All photos & design by Petalena

Apryl & I are bit obsessed right now with teeny tiny phalenopsis orchids – they are divinely small but spectacular in bouquets. And on their own, they are such a precious treat:

Mini Phalenopsis Orchid in Urn

Mini Phalenopsis Orchid in Urn

We’re doing something similar to this for one of our fall brides but we’ll be painting the urns an antique bronze for deeper palette and adding small bits of manzanita to hold flower stem up.

Lady's Slipper Orchids and Mini Phals in the Studio Window

Lady's Slipper Orchids and Mini Phals in the Studio Window

And here, another one of my ‘studio still lifes’ of dramatic lady’s slipper orchids and the miniature phalenopsis orchids in one of our studio windows. Lovely, lovely.

Petalena

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