Flowers for Cynthia

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

It happened!

Cynthia and Bob were married on June 1.

About 10 days before, we went to a flower shop and made the final decisions, placed orders, etc. We decided to do a "flower rehearsal", so we stopped by Trader Joe's on the way back to Cynthia's. To our surprise, the flower quality at TJs was far superior than at the florist (maybe higher turnover?). Unfortunately, TJs does not take flower orders, so it would have been dicey to rely completely on them. For a bride living on the edge, though, this would not have been a big deal.

Once we got back to Cynthia's, we assembled what we thought were the most difficult arrangements. This was invaluable, as we quickly troubleshooted several things that came up without being in a panic.

With that knowledge under our belt, the day before the wedding we assembled all the arrangements, and then went to get manicures/pedicures.

These are the results (click on the photos for an enlargement):

The first arrangement guests saw as they came in was the gladiolas on the gift table. There is also a twin arrangement that was put in one of the bathrooms:

The key to these arrangements was to go easy on wrapping the leaves around the stems. Don't force it, let the leaves fold naturally.

My table:

Cynthia went to a banquet a few months back, and she liked the arrangements there, miniature tulips in triangular vases. Margaret was in charge of assembling these, so she was seated at the tulip table, and we were sitting there too, so there you have it! If it had been up to me, I would have rather sat at the table with my favorite arrangement, the Gerbera "cake":

This was so much fun to make! I cut florist foam to fit a square platter, and then started to stick gerberas all over, filling the gaps with fluffly greenery. We underestimated the number of gerberas we needed, and ran short. Thank goodness for Trader Joe's, once again!

Another fun table:

Early on this year, when we were flipping through books, Cynthia fell in love with anthuriums. She wanted to incorporate them into one of the arrangements. This is such a sculptural flower that very little was needed to make it look good. We used the Pier One stone bases, secured the glass vase with florist tape so that it wouldn't topple over, surrounded the base with ivy from my own garden, and plopped the anthurium stems in the vase. It could not have been simpler.

This table gets the award for the funniest arrangement:

The day before, the groom went to the pet shop and bought some goldfish. You can see them swimming around. The insert was filled with Peruvian lilies or Alstroemerias. This was, by the way, the children's table!

Speaking of alstroemerias:

Once again, using the stone base and ivy, we created this super-easy arrangement of alstroemerias and freesias, along with some long, whippy greenery. The freesias smell of white pepper but can get drowned easily in an arrangement. The alstroemerias, although have no fragance, have the looks and are a pretty sturdy flower. This is another arrangement that took virtually no time to put together.

The troublemaker's table:

The known troublemakers were sat at the table with the football mums (under the analogy that football fans can sometimes be total hooligans). At the florist we picked the green leaves used for wrapping the stems, called "Milky Way". Once again, easy does it when folding and wrapping leaves around stems. Use plenty of florist wire, double-sided tape, whatever, but be gentle and easy when coaxing the leaves. We put small river rock in the bottom of the vase, to support the flowers and also to hide the wire work! Once again, a very simple but elegant centerpiece!

Another elegant touch:

The tricky part was to work with the callas, allowing them to bend wherever they wanted. A miniature fishbowl with a candle inside the bigger fishbowl, plus some river rock, made this one of the most praised centerpieces (we should have taken a poll!)

Another centerpiece that drew many comments was this one:

Cynthia loved the fiery orange roses at the florist. We had seen a great white rose/lime arrangement in one of the books, but these orange roses were so vibrant that we said 'screw the white'. We cut florist foam to fit the inside of the vase, made holes with a pencil, cut all of the roses to the same height, and wallpapered the sides of the vase with lime slices. Simple but spectacular.

Cynthia found this huge champagne flute on special at Pier One, so we HAD to use it. Handy-dandy river rock and a handful of mini callas was all that was needed:

So that was it! Cynthia was originally quoted $2500 for the table centerpieces. With a little imagination and resourcefulness we spent a fraction of that money. Plus we had so much fun! Hopefully other people can benefit from our experience.

Here's to the new couple!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

International help

I told my sister about this project and she sent me a few websites for inspiration. These are all cool to check out:

On the first one, there's some tall arrangements that although may not be exactly what we are looking for, have elements that we could extrapolate. For example, I love the idea of using kumquats as "rocks" inside the hurricane:

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Bob and Cynthia went shopping

"Bob and I picked up some stuff from Pier 1 yesterday. We both agreed that we want very low centerpieces. Nothing worse than trying to talk with someone across from you and you can't seem them through the flowers. The 'centerpieces' are fairly Asian inspired. We think that will go well with the chairs (which have a bit of Asian influence as well.

I also thought we could do something interesting with the sq. dividers. Maybe rose petals scattered and three votives? Same with the "centerpieces". Mixture of candles, flowers and rocks?

Love the stem hurricanes. Probably too tall for the table, but can be a bathroom or bar table item"

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Calla bouquets

This is a striking combination. I have never seen such dark callas. I've seen them in orange, pink, lavender, but never so dark. Love the contrast. The calla lily is one of my favorite flowers. My mom has always grown them in her front garden, and i have a soft spot for them.

There's some talk about Chocolate Cosmos, which indeed smell like chocolate! I had some in the Napa house. They are wonderful, but they don't make a very good cut flower. But to use in a bouquet for a relatively small amount of time would probably work OK.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Even more choices

Well, maybe if we were in the Southwest... But the concept is valid.

Very perfumed arrangement (and couldn't be easier).

Tiny arrangements that could be tucked here and there, if need be.

White centerpieces

These are some white centerpieces that caught our eyes:

These white anthuriums look especially good in a dark vase.

The white rose against the kale leaf plays on several contrasts: color is one, the silkiness of the petal and the roughness of the leaf, the flower versus vegetable...

Because Cynthia loves candles, this could be a great, elegant, stylized choice.

Centerpiece possibilities

This is a collection of photos we liked. For the dinner tables, here are some suggestions:

This fishbowl is, once again, the world's easiest centerpiece.

I know how you feel about grapes. However, if you must appease someone, this may be a non-offensive choice.

Easy and simple arrangement. Gerberas come in a huge array of colors.

The tricky part would be to find a wire support like the one in the photo. Do we know any welders?