Great news at Petalena as 2010 draws to close and we say a grand helllooo to 2011! One of our lovely weddings from last May is featured in the Spring/Summer 2011 The Knot Boston magazine. To say we’re thrilled is putting mildly!

The Knot Boston - Spring/Summer 2011 Issue

Petalena feature in The Knot Spring/Summer 2011 Issue

This was a lovely wedding, oh sigh, Apryl and I first fell in love with the Commander’s Mansion in Watertown, the most dream-tastic place ever for those of us that love historic places, grand spaces, and imaginings of the lives that were lived there.

The photo by Krista Guenin of the bride’s bouquet reminds me of how lovely, soft, and romantic it was. Layers of petal-ness with cameo blush peonies, white ranunculus, and petite little sweet peas. It was so elegant and harmonious with the Vera Wang gown our bride wore. The reception featured soft tonal peaches and apricots with bursts of coral that made everything just hum.

To see more pictures of the flowers, peruse our post from the spring.

Professional photography by Krista Guenin



Such loveliness. Over the 4th of July weekend we did florals for a wonderful bride and groom – two very unique, creative, and cool individuals- who married at the MIT Chapel and celebrated afterwards at the always delicious Oleana in Cambridge.

Bride's Bouquet. Photo by Lisa Rigby Photography, 2010.

Bride’s bouquet, above, was a delight to create with full summer color of peach, deep pinks, lavenders, and garden greens. We were gorgeously lucky to still catch a few spring blossoms for Elizabeth’s bouquet like sweet peas, but also the mid-summer flowers like pom-pom dahlias, luscious garden roses. Jason’s boutonniere matched as well with bright pink “Bachelor Buttons” flowers and sprigs of “Lady’s Mantle” and fresh lavender.

Groom's Boutonniere. Photo by Lisa Rigby Photography, 2010.

The MIT Chapel is an incredible space, and if you haven’t seen it, you must. A beautiful, non-denominational chapel designed by the Finnish American architect and industrial designer Eero Saarinen.

Interior of the MIT Chapel. Photo courtesy of WikiCommons.

Onward to the ceremony at Oleana, where the incredible eye and talent of Lisa Rigby captured these amazing shots, that we will forever, forever love!

Bridesmaid Bouquet. Photo by Lisa Rigby Photography, 2010.

Bride's Bouquet at Oleana. Photo by Lisa Rigby Photography, 2010.

If you would like to see more of Lisa’s gorgeous work and her great post on this incrediblely unique and personal wedding, check it here. Many thanks again to Lisa for sharing her incredible work with us!


Today is such a lovely and gloriously sunny windy day, I can hardly believe it is part of the same weekend as yesterday with the crazy downpours and gray weather! Saturday’s wedding was at the Museum of Science Pavilion. Has anyone ever seen this space? It’s right at the mouth of the Charles, very low to it, with the most wonderful views. Gorgeous, even on a chilly May day.

The Tent at the Museum of Science. Petalena, 2010.

Here’s a little behind -the-scenes shot (above) while we were getting everything prepped.  Apryl and I both loved the lanterns in the tent (which the museum keeps up for the entire season).

Now onto the flowers:

Apryl working on the place card table design. Petalena, 2010.

Our bride and her wonderful mother wanted a color palette of tonal pinks with some touches of white and spring green. This really is the perfect season for this palette since there are unique green and white parrot tulips available as well as pink tulips in almost any hue a girl could ask for, and peonies of course too!

Table Arrangement at the Museum of Science. Petalena, 2010.

We added some trailing branches of white spirea and green hellebore to the table arrangements which gave the style a looser more garden-y look.  It was also great to incorporate these blooms since they can be sourced locally at this time of year and more unique because of their seasonality.

Lush Cake Flowers. Petalena, 2010.

Decorating the cake is always my department which is fun in a quiet, meditative way but challenging too. It seems like I am always, always, always on site at around 4pm absolutely starving whilst decorating some lovely buttercream confection! But I do love the hush that comes over me as I work on the cake, all the background commotion fades and I just focus. For this cake, I used lots of garden roses, a few peonies, and some lovely phalenopsis orchids to create this floral ‘waterfall’ affect.

Table Arrangement at the Museum of Science. Petalena, 2010.

Waiting for the Bride's Bouquet. Petalena, 2010.

For the bride and groom’s sweetheart table, we did a scattering of petals, garden roses and orchids. Simple, lush, and pretty. We like to do this whenever we have extra flowers since it can dress up the table a bit until the bride arrives and places her bouquet in the vase.

Table Detail. Petalena, 2010.

I love the interplay of colors and textures in this photo. The green and white do so much to freshen and brighten, and the pinks are so lovely.

And lastly, here’s the view from the pavilion – a little gray, but I think it might have cleared up a bit by the time cocktail hour began!

View to the Charles, Museum of Science. Petalena, 2010.

A special thanks to Leigh-Ann French at the Museum of Science and the entire staff there.

Cake by Cake For Occasions

Photos and design by Petalena.

I feel a tad bit rusty as I write this post about our first big wedding of the 2010 season, but as I type the words I’m sure I’ll get the hang of this again!

We were very lucky floral designers indeed this past week with a wonderful and creative bride and a plethora of gorgeous spring blooms to chose from for her May 1st wedding at the Commander’s Mansion in Watertown. With a color palette of apricot, ivory, and coral, really, does it get any more beautiful than this?:

Detail of Large Arrangement of Peonies, Lilac, Roses, and Dogwood. Petalena, 2010.

We think not, but I’m sure we’ll proceed to discuss amungst ourselves as wedding season continues and we get to work with more great clients and wonderful flowers!

Our bride’s bouquet was an elegant ruffley affair with white and blush peonies, white sweet peas and ranunculas. It look edible. Seriously.

Bridal Bouquet in White. Petalena, 2010.

And lovely bridesmaid bouquets in apricot and white. Oh sigh:

Bridesmaid Bouquets in Apricot and Ivory. Petalena, 2010.

We did some lovely floral pew ends at the church and the large scale arrangement detailed above also went up on the altar but the church photos I took are a little lackluster (poor lighting, etc), so let’s not kill the buzz. It’s reception time people!

Floral centerpiece with lilac, garden roses, tulips, and peonies. Petalena, 2010.

Ridiculous, no? In a good way, but could these flowers be more beautiful? For half of the seventeen tables we did bronze footed urns were filled with crabapple and lilac branches, peonies, garden roses and spray garden roses, and tulips. Just yummy.

The other half of the table were lovely candles and votives surround by peonies and garden roses. We can’t wait to see how the professional photos turned out from the evening once the candles were lit!

Candle Centerpieces with Peonies and Garden Roses. Petalena, 2010.

Table Arrangement. Petalena, 2010.

Candle Centerpieces with Flowers. Petalena, 2010.

Floral Table Design. Petalena, 2010.

Flowers for the Chairs of the Bride & Groom. Petalena, 2010.

Flowers for the Chairs of the Bride & Groom. Petalena, 2010.

We were so happy with everything and to top it off we received an email from our bride today just before she left for her honeymoon which said:

“I had to write before we left for our honeymoon to say thank you for the most beautiful flowers that we have ever seen. From the bouquets to the church arrangements to the tables and the sweetest cocktail hour vases … I can’t even get over it. We had the chance to walk into the tent before anyone had seen it — all lit up and beautiful — and it absolutely took my breath away. It was all more lovely than I ever could have imagined. And people were FREAKING OUT about how beautiful everything looked — so many of my friends and family came up to say something wonderful about the flowers. Thank you for creating Petalena and for sharing your amazing gifts with the world in this way!”

Awwwww! We love our clients! Here’s to a lovely wedding season, it’s off to a great start!

A special thanks too to Tammy Fernandez-McKenna at the Commander’s Mansion & Jennifer Cox of Esq. Events

Photos and Design by Petalena

We just finished up a big wedding this past weekend at the Taj in Boston’s Back Bay. Most of us Bostonians probably think of this space still as the Ritz Carlton and it hasn’t actually changed very much since the Taj bought it a few years ago.

The ballroom at the Taj is quite lux, with lots of deep reds, golds, and warm ivories. It’s beautiful but it’s a lot of room. Given the detailed and decorative quality of the room we kept the flowers a little more hushed and neutral with ivories and golds primarily.



Bride's Bouquet Against the Studio Door

The bride’s bouquet was rather hushed and tonal – just loved it. A few dramatic cattaelya orchids, phalenopsis orchids, ‘quicksand’ roses (our fave rose!), fiddleheads, lovely big white amaryllis, and some lovely soft peach-meets-brown cymbidium orchids.



Bridesmaid Bouquets

The bridesmaids’ bouquets had a touch more of color with deep gold Mokara orchids and soft orange ilex berries. The bouquets look beautiful against the aubergine color of the dresses.

Now, onto the Taj!



Place Card Table at the Taj

Just love this arrangement Apryl did, it’s so exhuberant but subtle at the same time. It says autumn to me but without being too over the top.



Chuppah with Orchids and Curly Willow

I still can’t believe how perfectly beautiful the flowers fit with the room – we did more of the orange Mokara orchids and then red and deep pink Ankara orchids with lots of curly willow. We draped the staging with ivory fabric and did a long runner edged with white rose petals up each side.

The bride and groom rented the poles and fabric from the Israeli bookstore in Brookline and then added the groom’s mother’s own sari as additional decoration. It was such a lovely and personal touch.



Cocktail Hour Arrangement

We did petite little bud vases of ‘Majolika’ roses or orchids for the cocktail hour. Each vase was wrapped with a bit of angel vine for an additional organic texture.



A slightly blurry (but still lovely) photo of the ballroom being set for dinner

I was getting just a bit frustrated at my lack of photographic skills, the room was so lovely and glowing but I could not get a decent photo. Wondering if I should take a photo class…oh well. Thank god there are professional photographers out there!



Style One for Table Arrangements

We did two different table designs for the ballroom – ten arrangements with a bronze footed compote style container filled with amaryllis, orchids, unique foliages, and ilex berries.

The second style, seen below, we took three different kinds of neutral vases and did simple more modern arrangements in each. These arrangements were kind of deconstructed versions of the larger table arrangements.



Style Two for the Dinning Table Designs

We just loved how everything looked together – elegant, slightly organic, not fou-fou.

Photos & Design by Petalena



O.k., FINALLY I have narrowed down the selection of images from last weekend’s wedding to include to a few quite lovely ones. But it was so hard to decide! Apryl and I had the best time designing the arrangements for this wedding.


Oncidium Orchid Spray with Tree Stump & Moss

Our inspiration was ‘a walk in the woods.’ We imagined lots of soft beautiful mosses, the way the ground is sort of springy under your feet with all the pine needles and organic materials gently breaking down over time…ferns at the bases of trees, wild Lady’s Slipper orchids on a forest floor.


Lady's Slipper Orchids with Maidenhair Ferns

We had so much fun sourcing the materials for this wedding, foraging for moss near Petalena Studio and up in Maine and New Hampshire when we were there visiting friends and family (thank you to Christine especially!).


Terrarium with Orange Cattaelya Orchids

We did three different style for the tables (1) low bronze trays filled with mosses, tree stumps, and orchids; (2) large glass hurricanes filled to create a terrarium of orchids, mosses, lichen, and ferns (3) low cork containers filled with mosses, ferns, and orchids. Kind of picking up theme here? Yes, we used A LOT of mosses, orchids, and fern! But what was so fabulous, was that despite having only three primary materials, each arrangement was so unique from the next.


Low Cork Vessel filled with Phalenopsis Orchids, Maidenhair Ferns, & Mosses

I love this photo because although it is a little hard to see, there’s Apryl in the background, wearing a deep magenta top that is practically the same color as the orchid here. We always joke that we subconsciously dress to match each of weddings – but we actually do!

I had gobs of fun creating the entry table arrangement, which despite my fancy camera, I could not get a decent shot – so fingers crossed the professional photographer might have take a few lovelies. Stay tuned on that one…


Entry Table Arrangement

I’ll show a few more here so you can see all the fabulous detail, plants tucked here and there, it really looked like I didn’t even create this – it looked like it literally was plopped right out of the forest.


Entry Table Arrangement (detail)


Backside of Entry Table Arrangement


Lady's Slipper Orchid (detail)

It was so fun making this design. As staff, other vendors, and clients walked by, people would stop and say, “Did you make this? Good for you!” Or these two big guys who were delivering this massively heavy photo booth who actually stopped, looked at the entry table and said “Dude, that is freakin’ cool!” You know something is pretty unique when even a random guy feels compelled to say something!


Blood Orange Cattaelya Orchids (detail)

Oh sign, Shannon & Troy, thank you so much for having us be part of your day, it was fantastic!

Photos & Design by Petalena

We’re still resting our minds, hands, and feet after this weekend’s wedding with a fantastical woodland theme. The bride had a vision for flowers and design that would evoke stepping into the forest – lots of mosses, ferns, and orchids. We have soooo many photos from this wedding that I’m still going through them and struggling to pick our faves. Since I need a few more days, here is one lovely shot of the small posy bouquets we did for the six bridesmaids:


Bridesmaids' Posy Bouquets of Fantastical Orchids

It was so completely lovely. More soon….

Photo & Design by Petalena