Thursday, December 1, 2011

What To Expect for Christmas Décor in 2011


Here’s what you’ll be seeing in the stores this year that’s considered “new:”

  • Christmas Sentiment: Less is more. Simplicity. With widespread economic uncertainty, more consumers are reporting that they will comparison shop, use more coupons and be more careful with money in general. That said, the National Retail Federation estimates that 2011 Christmas spending will rise 2.8% over last year’s figures--not a great boost, but better than 2008’s 4.4% drop. Shocked by unemployment and stock market gyrations, American consumers have developed a new-found interest in simplicity. The soon-to-be released felts and decorated tins with folkloric accents indicate a longing for a simpler, earlier time.
  • Christmas Flowers:  Decorators have long been encouraging homeowners to try flowers other than the ubiquitous poinsettia. While no specific Christmas flower trends have emerged per se, lookfor deep red Calla lilies and red or white tulips on professional decorators’ Christmas mantles and tables this season.
  • Christmas Color:  A subdued mix of frosty green and silver will appear in the Christmas windows of the biggest retailers this year. Any store window displaying bright reds and greens will suddenly seem dated. Think of two Christmas balls, one silver and one more of a metallic gray-green. Woody and other natural accents complement these shades beautifully. Again, these hues are less garish, reflecting the cautious attitude that’s struck most families.
  • Christmas Metals:  In keeping with the subdued hues of silver and frosty green, this year’s metal accents stick more closely to tin, pewter and burnished bronze rather than sparkling golds. The trend toward simplicity emerges in metal mesh pieces coated with uneven paints which renders an earthy texture, as well as the folklore-themed felts and tins. Even the glitters (popular again this year) lend more color than shine. The more sophisticated “superfine” is again the glitter of the day, and it’s showing up in plastic gift wrap and home décor in swirl and plaid patterns.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Color Trends for Winter or. If you found me quoted in a magazine regarding wedding color trends / combination, then you know I dedicate my ‘spare’ time researching wedding color trends a year in advance. Since 2001, I’ve been helping brides with th



If you found me quoted in a magazine regarding wedding color trends / combination, then you know I dedicate my ‘spare’ time researching wedding color trends a year in advance. Since 2001, I’ve been helping brides with their wedding color decisions by displaying color trend swatches and ideas on my website.

I was TRULY delighted with my findings this morning! The 2011 year in color will be BRIGHT and amazing! As shown above, tropical, fun and whimsical!

Apple green, mauve, lilac, hot pink, slate grey, celadon, aged gold, coral, red, violet purple, mocha / chocolate / brown, navy, emerald / pine green / dark cyan, clementine orange, and yellow.

What is your favorite color in this palette?

2011 Color Trends Palette Part Two now available to view …

January 27th, 2010 | Category: brown, gray, honeysuckle pink, inspiration boards, lilac / lavender, orange, pink, red, spring colors, summer colors, wedding colors, wedding ideas, yellow

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Planning A Stylish Winter Wedding



In the movies, everyone seems to get married in June. But a winter wedding can be terribly glamorous, cinematic and magical.

With the right elements, your winter wedding will be a wonderland. Attire for Your Winter Wedding Think about you and your sweetie in the elegant look of old Hollywood; the groom in tails, and the bride in a white long silk dress with a white fur or faux fur wrap.

Evoke the season with "ice" –diamond or diamond-like jewelry. 90% of wedding dresses are strapless or sleeveless, but that's not so practical for a bride who wants to take pictures outside, or needs to walk any distance.

Look for wraps, shrugs, and capes, or dramatic coats. I've always loved the look of a bride in a white dress and a large red shawl, huddled against her groom who has a red boutonnière. And don't forget your bridesmaids! An attractive wrap to wear on the day of your wedding and beyond makes a great bridesmaid present.

Where to Have a Winter Wedding

Look for an inn with a fireplace for an intimate winter wedding. For a larger affair, you may be able to use a historic mansion or private club that will still have intimate warmth. Unless you're getting married in a state that will have guaranteed snow during your wedding date, avoid a room that has a large picture window.

You may imagine drifts of beautiful snow, and end up with a grey rainy day. Be sure to ask what seasonal decorations they use – you'll save money as many sites are already heavily decorated. Also, check to make sure your site will be adequately heated during the winter months; old churches can be especially drafty.

Planning the Menu

You can have all of your favorite food but add some winter touches like a squash dish, or warm pumpkin soup. Consider serving eggnog, spiced wine, or hot chocolate (alcoholic or non-) as special treats. Look for an all-white cake, decorated with snowflake patterns, silver embellishments, or sugar sculptures. Ask your caterer about using a decorative snow globe as a cake topper

Winter Wedding Flowers

Decide whether you want to go for a silver and white elegant look, or celebrate the season with reds and greens. For those who like silver, look for dusty miller, silver-dollar eucalyptus, and baby blue eucalyptus, mixed with white flowers such as roses, football mums, crocus, lilies and stephanotis.

If you're looking for a brighter bouquet, consider red roses with holly and pine-tree greenery. In season flowers such as tulips, roses, and ornamental berries generally will be less expensive choices. (Talk to your florist, as your region may have different availability)

The Décor for Your Winter Wedding

Decorate your tables with simple and inexpensive white poinsettias, or fill the room with light by arranging pillar candles on a bed of pine branches At the after-Christmas sales, stock up on strands of small white lights, then string them decoratively around doorways, over tables and on archways.

Bright red cranberries in a bowl surrounding floating candles make an easy and inexpensive centerpiece. Look at this article for other simple holiday centerpieces.. Or, decorate a pre-made gingerbread house for each table, and center it on a bed of greenery with candles around it.


If you and most of your guests celebrate Christmas, an ornament makes a perfect favor. An inexpensive homemade favor is a pretty tin of spiced hot chocolate mix or hot cocoa mix with marshmallows. Also consider a snow globe, with a bride and groom inside, or a holiday cookie cutter with a cookie recipe attached that says your names, wedding date, and "truly cut out for each other".

Special touches

Have the bride and groom travel by horse and carriage to the reception, complete with a fur throw to keep them warm of course!
Decorate the reception with miniature and life-size Christmas trees. Commission an ice sculpture to decorate the reception hall Use a crystal bouquet for that extra wintery feel. As a bonus, you'll get to keep your your bouquet forever.

Greet your guests with warm coffee or hot chocolate as soon as they come in the ceremony or reception site.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Floral Trends For 2012


from: http://m.retail-jeweler .com/5030027.article

When the now Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tied the knot at Westminster Abbey surrounded by trees, including field maples and horn beams, and with Kate Middleton brandishing a bouquet made of the equally seasonal lily of the valley, bridezillas nationwide were taking note.

“Following the royal wedding, soft and subtle [flower] arrangements will prove popular, with many brides focusing on the meaning of the flowers they choose just as much as how they look,” explains Rayner.

With lily of the valley apparently holding hopeful connotations, such as return of happiness and purity of heart, the British bloom is likely to prove popular.

“For spring 2012 the English country garden will be a key inspiration for British brides, with lily of the valley chosen for its delicate, bell-shaped blooms,” says Rayner. With that in mind, it’s hard not to immediately envisage the aptness of Shaun Leane’s white gold, pearl and diamond Maybell Collection - the perfect pairing for delicate flower arrangements.

Intricate will definitely be key to wedding flowers, agrees Polly Atkinson, lifestyle editor of Condé Nast Brides, who predicts a “move away from big domes”.

“Shades of ivory whites and cream will continue to be popular, classic and unbeatable. Flowers in these shades never distract from the bride and her dress, which should be the focus,” she adds. Shaun Leane’s Maybell Collection

While lily of the valley will certainly feature in floral arrangements for 2012, it is best for a wedding in May, when the English variety is in season. According to the experts, home-grown will be the fleurs de jour for spring/summer 2012 “with quirky mismatches and sentimental finds replacing anything too coiffed and formal,” says Juliet Hutton-Squire, co-founder of trend forecast website Adorn Insight.

“Delicate meadow and garden flowers, for example, will become a strong design influence, with elegant styling replacing anything OTT.”

Bridesmaid beauties
Formality is also being given more of a wide berth when it comes to bridesmaid ensembles. While in the past bridesmaids were likely to be matching from their satin shoes to their drop pearl earrings, individuality down the aisle is no longer shunned.

“The bride may decide on a colour and theme but the bridesmaid trend is moving away from anything that hints of matchy matchy,” explains Hutton-Squire. “The fabric might be the same, for example, but the dresses might be cut in different styles to suit the individual personalities.

As a result of this shift, accessories are becoming less coordinated and more personalised.” According to Rayner, colours too are becoming more adventurous, with many brides moving away from classic ivory jewellery to softer tones of blush pink, subtle golds and pretty champagnes. “These shades will also translate into bridesmaid dresses,” she says. Think Breil’s latest offering - the Duplicity collection of bracelets, necklaces, earrings and rings made from stainless steel and featuring mother of pearl inserts.

As well as prevalence for what Rayner describes as ‘Cadbury’s purple’ weddings, other alternative colours are also making it onto the canvas. “A vibrant palette of mouth watering hues from jade green and fuchsia to subtle shades of mint and sorbet pink take us into spring/summer 2012,” says Hutton-Squire.

For those embracing the rich hug of purples, amethyst may be the stone of suggestion, demonstrated beautifully in So Jewellery’s Heart Amethyst earrings and pendant. For those seeking something a bit bolder, the Lola Rose grey agate and peacock quartzite or blue sandstone and dumortierite Isidora bracelets will add that blast of colour.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Frequently Asked Questions About Centerpieces


How do I go about deciding what type of centerpiece would look good at my wedding reception?

When you start to think about wedding centerpiece ideas you'll want to keep two things in mind. First,think of the mood or style you are going for and this will decide a lot about your wedding centerpieces.
Second, it is important to know what kind of tables you'll have.

Will the guests be seated at small round tables or large long communal tables?

Also, notice if there are any strong colors at the hall as in the chairs or counters or floor that you need to match with your table settings. These factors will all impact your decision. If you have decided on a theme for your wedding reception it can be easy to find a perfect matching wedding centerpiece idea. Examples of themes would be a beach theme with lots of shells and sand; a tropical theme with lots of bright colors and exotic flowers like orchids, anthuriums and birds of paradise or simply a color theme such as butter yellow with navy blue. Finally, if you are going with a country wedding theme, you could use a pottery or earthen container.

What vase height is good for centerpieces?

The centerpieces need to be designed in a way that allows eye contact with the person sitting across from each guest. This allows an unobstructed fl ow of conversation. You don't want your centerpieces to annoy the guests to the point where they want to tuck them away somewhere just to get them out of the way. You have two choices in creating centerpieces that can be enjoyed by all.

The first option includes selecting a vase or container that is short (less than 14 inches-35cm) such as a low vase, bowl or dish.

The second option is selecting a clear and tall vase that is high enough to allow a clear view of the people on the other side of the table such as Eiffel Tower vases or other thin, long clear vase so that the part of the vase that is interfering with the view is see through and only 1-2" thick. Elevated centerpieces are an impressive focal point that can be seen from the dance floor and from every angle in the hall. You can rent these from select decor shops or you can buy them.

How do I know what type and size of centerpiece bowl I should use?

Glass containers are most popular since they are elegant and classy. The size and shape of your table should guide your decision in the size and shape of the centerpiece dish you choose. Your container of choice could be a 4-6" (10-15cm) rose bowl if your tables are the long tables all in rows.

However, if you have round dining room tables that sit 8, you'll want your container to be at least 6-8" (15-20cm), 10" (25cm), even 12" (30cm) wide. Another option is to choose a smaller dish or very tall vase and use a sprinkling accent of rose petals, seashells, fall leaves or confetti in your theme to extend the centerpiece out and to obtain a substantial focal point at the center of each table.

If your table is long and rectangle, long low bowls would look great with river rocks at the bottom and floating flowers or candles. Table runners down the center of the tables with multiple blooms in different low clear bowls can also look stunning. Try alternating one small bouquet in a square vase, one floating bloom in a round bowl, then a candle votive and this, all the way down the table. Use flowers all in the same colors to creative unity.

If you want more ideas and want to learn how to make centerpieces the easy, cheap and right way, get my book called: Unleash Your Inner Florist: How to Make Wedding & Special Event Flowers.

This easy to follow guidebook will save you hundreds of dollars on your wedding flowers. You can get the paper copy for only $24.99 or order it as an ebook for $19.99 and be reading it in just a few minutes. Be surrounded by flowers on your wedding day...the guests don`t have to know how much you saved!

Article Source:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Decorating The Gift, Bar & Buffet Tables


by Sophia Rodriguez

If you are wondering how to decorate your gift table, bar and buffet table, this article will help you get started in planning so that all the important areas at your wedding reception are carefully laid out.

Gift Table Accents
For your gift table, usually, it is located close to the entrance. Many people have an extra table close to the guest registry table or as a continuation of it for the presents to be displayed on.

A card holder on this table is a widespread tradition that can take many forms. From birdcages to mailboxes to treasure chests to wells to heart boxes to hot air balloons, many options exist as an area for your guests to deposit their cards to you. Just make sure that you have someone trustworthy to keep a close eye on the card holder since it will usually contain checks and cash in the cards.

Make sure this table is dressed up with a tablecloth and table skirt. Other than that you might also want an embellishment like rose petals or fall leaves but that's all you need on this table.

Bar or Buffet Table
A nice touch that shows how well you have organized your event is to have extra bouquets for areas that are very visible and in a high traffic area. Perfect examples of this are bar bouquets on one or either side of the bar.

Also, Buffet Tables are a prime area to showcase a beautiful fresh bouquet. Topiary bouquets are beautiful for this purpose since they are tall enough to attract attention and showcase your focal flowers in style.

Bouquets in vases are long lasting, showy and add style and color to a reception. Make a large bouquet for the buffet table and small ones for the bar. If you have a buffet table, you might want to scatter silk rose petals or other embellishment on it to blend it in with your theme.

You can do this before the caterer's setup with no problem. Another idea is to create a higher platform at the center of the table perhaps with a sturdy cardboard or wooden box, cover it with material in your feature color and use this platform as a display area for a fresh floral bouquet. It could be a topiary bouquet or a fresh flower bouquet in a vase or in floral foam. Make sure your platform is very stable though since you would not want it to spill onto the guests as they are helping themselves to food.

If you had large bouquets at the church or ceremony, make sure to make the most of these bouquets and display them at your reception. You can then offer them as a gift to someone who helped you out in planning your wedding. If you decide you can handle making your own centerpieces and flowers especially at such an incredible savings to you, you should get my book which will make your life so much easier.

It will get you all organized and will give you the confidence and the instructions you need to achieve all your floral dreams for your big day. Unleash Your Inner Florist: How To Make Wedding And Special Event Flowers

Article Source:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

FAQ's About Decorating a Wedding Cake


If you have questions about decorating a wedding cake with flowers, hopefully this article will shed a little light on the situation and inspire you to design a gorgeous floral cake for your wedding.

For my wedding cake I have bought four cakes of varying sizes and rented stands of varying heights to display them. How can I decorate my cakes?

When choosing a topper, be sure to balance its size and weight with the size of the cake. You could choose one traditional topper for the top cake and simple floral accents on the other three cakes. You could use single flowers such as lilies or roses in water picks. In this instance I would also put a mini accent on the cake with the topper.

Foliage used on the table at bottom would also complement your cakes. You could also add a coordinating bouquet in a vase to display on the table alongside the cakes. I'm trying to decide between having cupcakes or a traditional wedding cake for my wedding.

Which is less expensive and more appropriate for a modern wedding?

Cupcakes are usually cheaper than wedding cake. They are fun and familiar but if you are having a very formal wedding, cupcakes could be too casual, nontraditional and perceived as cheap, although some modern cupcakes are anything but cheap!

Keep in mind that depending on the way you wish to decorate all your individual cupcakes, it could turn out to be more expensive than decorating one grand and formal cake. If you are having a relaxed and casual reception where fun is the main goal, cupcakes could be ideal for your wedding.

If you are having a country wedding for example, you could decorate each cupcake with a fresh violet or other edible flower for that country charm.

Overall, the decision needs to be based on your wedding's style. If you are having an elegant, classic event, the traditional wedding cake is the best choice for you.

My groom is a golf fanatic. I thought of surprising him with a golf theme cake topper at our wedding. Is this a good idea and do you know where I could get such a cake topper?

Yes, cake toppers are becoming more and more personalized these days. It would definitely be a conversation piece to have a comical theme cake topper or one that reflects the bride or the groom's hobby or personality. You can find golf theme, fishing theme, soccer theme as well as many other creative cake toppers online or in select party and wedding decor shops.

To learn more about how to make flowers for your wedding and how to save lots of money doing it, check out my book: Unleash Your Inner Florist: How To Make Wedding And Special Event Flowers. Click here: How To Wedding Flowers

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Make Your Own Wedding Flowers: Top 5 Things To Avoid


By Sophia Rodriguez

When you lay out plans to make your own wedding flowers, there are certain things you should definitely avoid if you wish to have modern looking bouquets that will coordinate well with your wedding colors and your wedding decor.

1) Avoid colors and color combinations that are out of season or out of style. Never choose more than 2 colors as your wedding scheme. If you choose 2 colors, make sure they actually match well together. Choose colors that coordinate with the month or season you are getting married in. If possible, choose color combinations that are in style that year. You will have better luck matching dresses, flowers and accessories if you select colors that are current and modern.

2) Choose a bouquet style that matches with your body type, your weight and your style. Don`t choose an extra large cascading bouquet if you are a 100 pound bride. On the opposite side, don`t choose a small hand held bouquet of 6 roses if you are a 300 pound bride; it will look out of proportion!

3) Don`t choose super smelly flowers that will give you and your entire bridal party a killer headache on your most special day. Sure, you may enjoy the look of a Casablanca or a Stargazer lily but are you aware of your body`s reaction to this flower`s scent. Make sure to test yourself before making any final decisions.

4) Select flowers that won`t stain your dress or your men`s tuxes. Certain dyed flowers are beautiful and coordinate well with certain color schemes when natural flowers just don`t compare. For example, blue roses come in a dark cobalt blue but leak die as soon as any kind of moisture reaches the petals. Watch out for lilies too! The pistils at the center of the flowers give off a dark brown/yellow powder that stains clothes, hands, and anything else they come in contact with.

5) Choose flowers that give you a warm fuzzy feeling and that you totally love. Don`t just pick flowers for the sake of matching with the bridesmaids dresses. It should be the other way around. Research online and in bridal magazines until you find the bouquet and the flowers that really turn you on. This way, you will be sure to enjoy every minute spent with your wedding flowers and you will be extra proud of the flowers you made.

Do you want to make sure your wedding flowers look professional and well coordinated? If you are not sure how to go about it and want a step by step guide that will take you by the hand and unleash your inner florist, click here:

How To Wedding Flowers

Article Source:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Baby's Breath Wedding



Enmaline Bride has posted some truly inspiring images of Baby's Breath being used in countless ways on a wedding day!

The nice thing about Baby's breath is that dry or fresh, it is always inexpensive. If you are going for a soft vintage, whimsical look for your special day, this post may interest you even more! "Instead of placing those cards on an ordinary table, dress them up with a layer of baby’s breath underneath.

Place inside a vintage luggage for added rustic charm. "For a chic and inexpensive aisle decor idea, try grouping baby’s breath bouquets tied to chairs along the aisle-way.

"Decorate your ceremony or reception site with this elegant baby’s breath wreath. Stunning!

"Baby’s breath + a mason jar wrapped in burlap and raffia = Perfection. "Holy wow, table decor finds number seven and eight are incredible. It’s almost hard to believe it’s baby’s breath. Check out Emmaline Bride for more helpful tips, tricks and cost effective wedding ideas!

Check out the pics here:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Rainbow Wedding Trend



I’m bringing you a fun, bright and inspirational wedding trend to start your week with a smile.

Some people think that couples have to pick one or two colors and base their whole wedding off of that, but a new wedding trend is to incorporate every color and have a rainbow-inspired wedding.

From the bridesmaid dresses to the flowers, from the decor to the groomsmen's ties, no longer are weddings bound by the traditional color combos. While this trend may not be for everyone, it automatically sends a message of fun.

A rainbow says, “the party is here.” But forget the images of the Rainbow Bright bedroom you had as a little girl, because this wedding trend can be done in an extremely chic way. Check it out…

Sunday, August 21, 2011

How To Dress Up Your Wedding Guest Tables


By Sophia Rodriguez

If you are wondering how to dress up your guest tables, visions of centerpieces probably come to mind. Yes, centerpieces are an essential part of decorating your head table and should coordinate well with the theme and colors of your special day.

From floral centerpieces to candle accents to elaborate vase arrangements with flowers, grasses, stones, leaves and other natural elements, every bride's centerpieces should be unique to her special event.

There are other ways to dress up your wedding guest tables though and this is what this article will discuss. Tablecloths are an important way to dress up your guest tables before even thinking of putting a centerpiece on it.

If you are getting married in a hall, 99% of the time, the hall will be responsible for doing this and so you need not worry about it. Make sure to ask though and to confirm that they will be white, which they usually are. If you want unusual or color linens, you will need to take care of that on your own by renting them, buying them or making them.

Another less expensive way to reflect your wedding colors and theme onto your guest tables is to use table runners, color overlays or other linen to go on top of the basic white tablecloth. These add much style to a table setting. From a raffia table runner for beach and tropical settings to bamboo table liners for exotic or Chinese weddings to simple colored cloths, this type of table upgrade can really make a difference on your overall look.

Accents on your guest tables is the next consideration. Depending on your theme and colors, different accents sprinkled on your tables around your centerpieces or down and around the middle of your tables would be ideal.

Rose Petals are the most popular embellishment for guest tables. Of course if you have no roses at all in your wedding flowers, this would not be appropriate for you. However, if you feature roses in your bouquets and your centerpieces, this would be perfect for you.

Now, should you go with fresh or artificial petals? If you want no stress and perfect petals the whole night long, fake ones would be best. Even if you have no other artificial flowers at your wedding, fake for petals is quite acceptable and unnoticeable.

Because you want to make sure your petals still look great throughout the whole reception, artificial rose petals are recommended. You can purchase these at any craft, party or wedding shop.

Petals of other flowers such as daisies and hydrangeas are also available and can look great as long as they match your color and your flower type. To use, simply sprinkle your petals all around the centerpiece. You can plan on using about 12-25 petals per table.

Other ideas for table accents are: Beach theme: seashells Fall theme: fall leaves (preserved oak leaves are gorgeous!) Summer theme: silk flower heads such as pieces of hydrangea or daisy heads For all weddings: candles, battery candles, mirrors, crystal beads

If you have questions about your wedding flowers that have not been answered here, visit my blog at How To Wedding Flowers Blog

If you decide you can handle making your own centerpieces and flowers especially at such an incredible savings to you, you need to get my book to make your life so much easier.

It will get you all organized and will give you the confidence and the instructions you need to achieve all your floral dreams for your big day. "Unleash Your Inner Florist" : How To Make Wedding And Special Event Flowers Article Source:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Are Artificial Flowers Tacky? The Pros And Cons Of Silk Flowers

By Sophia Rodriguez

While many people think that artificial flowers are tacky and should not be a part of any special event or wedding celebration, the truth is, there are many variables that can make an artificial flower look tacky or not.

It all depends on the quality of the flowers chosen and the type of arrangement composed with these artificials. Of course, real flowers will never be topped by artificial blooms.

The smells, the vibrancy and the uniqueness of fresh blooms will always surpass fake flowers but artificials have their place in special event celebrations when chosen with discretion.

How do I know which artificial flowers don't look tacky?
Take your time when you go shopping to find the right blooms that match your color scheme and preferences. Look for the most realistic looking silks. Color tone is also very important.

I've been to weddings where the bridal parties' fresh flowers were beautiful dark red roses that blended with creme roses accented by dainty baby's breath and feathery greens.

At this same wedding's reception ,the centerpieces were made with obvious artificials. They looked plastic and tacky. What made it worse was the fire engine red color, the clumpy baby's breath and the faded plastic green leaves. What a nightmare from a florist's point of view!

To choose realistic looking flowers, they must be well made with no fringing or fraying of the petals. The colors should be representative of the real flower. If the stamens on a lily are yellow for example, dont pick lilies with hot pink stamens on a red lily. Eewh! The texture and materials used should look and feel realistic and appealing... No plastic rigid flowers please!
The overall look of the flower should be very close to the real thing for success with fake flowers.

What are the pros and cons of artificial flowers vs. fresh flowers?

As a general rule artificial flowers are usually cheaper than fresh flowers especially if you seek exotic or tropicals. Sometimes though, you are able to find amazing deals on your loose fresh flowers.

With artificial flowers, you can make your bouquets as far in advance as you are comfortable with and this is a great comfort to some brides.

On the other hand, making your own flowers either alone, with your close friends, bridesmaids or with a bunch of family members can be greatly rewarding. Imagine the memories created and the sense of pride at knowing that you and your loved ones collaborated in creating beautiful bouquets that will live on forever in the pictures and in the stories of the fun you all had making them.

Fresh flowers could never be surpassed in beauty and uniqueness.

The number one reason I've heard as a bridal florist when brides choose artificial bouquets is that they can be great keepsake souvenirs long after the wedding.

The number one reason brides choose fresh flowers is for the traditional luxury of fresh blooms on their most special occasion.

Can I mix fresh flowers with silks at my wedding?

Many brides successfully combine silk and fresh flowers. But please follow these rules for an elegant look:

1) Choose the prettiest, most realistic looking flowers if choosing silks and the freshest most beautiful flowers if going fresh.

2) Do not mix fresh flowers with silks within the wedding party bouquets and body flowers. If your bouquets are real, your body flowers should be real and vice versa. Some exceptions include flowers for little ones. Flower girls and ring bearers flowers can be silk. Since kids tend to be a little rough, artificials stand a much better chance of surviving the little one's happy day. The throwaway bouquet is the other exception to the rule. Since this bouquet must withstand very trying conditions, silks are quite acceptable for this traditional floral item.

3) Many brides choose fresh flowers for their wedding bouquets and body flowers but prefer having silks for their centerpieces. If done in a tasteful and classic way, this can work out fine. For optimal elegance, choose your flowers well. They must be the exact same shades, especially if going with red.

4) Do not mix fresh and artificials within the same arrangement. For example, if you are floating a red rose in a rose bowl as a centerpiece, don't use silk flower accents in the same arrangement. Silk flower petals are the exception; they are way more practical and most look quite realistic.

If you want to learn how to make all your real or artificial flowers for your special event and save a bundle, check out my book here: "Unleash Your Inner Florist"

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wedding Cake Topper: How to Combine Flowers With A Cake Topper For The Ultimate Topper


By []Sophia Rodriguez

Are you wondering how you can combine your original idea of decorating your wedding cake with flowers with that cute little topper you found? A combination of flowers with a theme cake topper can be the ultimate way to top a wedding cake when done right. Follow the instructions in this article so that you can have your cake and eat it too...literally!

The easiest way to bring your floral theme to your cake is to add a few choice flowers in water picks here and there on different levels of the cake and surrounding your cake topper.

What you will need

* Chosen cake topper
* Small water picks
* Chosen flowers
* Glossy leaves

Step One
Let's say you have chosen a golf themed topper and your flowers are yellow roses and baby's breath, plan to place the topper on the top section of your cake at the center, then add a yellow rose in front of it resting on a small piece of foliage such as leather or pittosporum. Add another little piece of foliage over top of the water pick to conceal it. Please note that all roses should definitely be inserted into picks since they are heavy drinkers and will need the moisture to look great throughout the night.

Step Two
Add more roses at different angles all around the cake, depending on which sides of the cake will be visible. To camouflage the water pick and to add style to your cake, use glossy leaves such as leather, camellia, ruscus or pittosporum and simply lay them on top of the water pickholder. Most foliage and fillers such as baby's breath will look just fine out of water for an evening. Baby's breath is great to fill in the gaps between flowers however it will look out of place unless you are using it elsewhere in your wedding flowers. Many tropical plants with short glossy leaves would also work wonderfully. The glossier they are, the longer they will look fresh. Other single flowers that look great on a cake are daisies, bits and pieces of hydrangea, lilies and sunflowers.

Petal Pointer:
Water picks are available at your local florist. When purchasing them for the purpose of cake accents, ask for orchid water tubes. They are the best since they are the shortest and easier to camouflage on the cake. If you can't get those, a regular pick, the shortest you can get it will be fine.

if you want to know more than just how to decorate the top of your cake with flowers and wish to know how to make floral centerpieces, bouquets and corsages, check out my book called: Unleash Your Inner Florist: How To Make Your Own Wedding and Special Event Flowers. Save hundreds of dollars by making your own wedding flowers here: []How To Make Wedding Flowers

Article Source: [] Wedding Cake Topper: How to Combine Flowers With A Cake Topper For The Ultimate Topper

Friday, July 15, 2011

FAQ'S About Making Fresh Flowers Last Longer


By Sophia Rodriguez

Should I place my fresh cut flowers in the sunshine to help open them up?

No! Since temperature is the #1 factor in keeping flowers fresher longer, placing them in the sunshine will overheat them and promote early death. Set containers in a cool, dark area overnight before starting to work with them. The darkness helps to eliminate transpiration or water loss to keep the blooms at their freshest.

Where should I put my flowers while they are waiting to be arranged in bouquets?

The area used to recondition your flowers should have lots of air circulation but no drafts, heaters or fans. Ideally, this would be a fl oral cooler with a 38-50 degrees Fahrenheit (3-10 degrees Celsius) temperature and with a very high (80%) of humidity. Of course, in a home setting, this is rarely possible. Therefore, just do your best at finding the coolest area in the house (must be at least 3 degrees) to store your flowers. A cold cellar or basement would be great.

To increase humidity, just before leaving them for the night, use a mist sprayer to spray a fine mist of water into the air above and around the blooms. A simple procedure like putting the bloom in a cool spot overnight helps them recuperate from the journey and last longer. Even placing finished bouquets on the floor where it is naturally cooler can help with the freshness.

What about foliage, how do I keep it fresh until I am ready to use it in my bouquets and corsages?

The best way to preserve foliage until you are ready to use it is to first re-cut the stem underwater about 1" (2.5cm), then spray them with a fine mist of water. Place them in a plastic bag in the fridge or in a cool location. This helps preserve maximum moisture into the leaves.

I heard that I should never put flowers with fruit. Is this true?

Yes. Ripening fruit causes the most amount of ethylene in a home setting and can greatly damage fresh blooms and foliage. Ethylene is a hormone that is like an odorless and invisible gas that speeds up floral maturation and death. Ethylene is produced by two main sources. The first is outside factors such as the burning of fuels, by bacteria forming and by the ripening of fruits.

The second source of ethylene in a home setting is from the flower itself. Even when you cut stems, small amounts of ethylene escape. This is not a huge concern as long as you store your blooms in a fresh and cool atmosphere. Make sure not to bunch them all in one vase: spread them out and let your floral beauties breathe. Also, make sure to keep all your tools, buckets and water solutions clean. Finally, remember to always store your flowers away from any fruit.

Do you want to learn a lot more about handling and preparing fresh flowers? If so, my book may be perfect for you. It is called: Unleash Your Inner Florist: How to Make Wedding And Special Event Flowers. Click here to get more information about how to make pretty bouquets, corsages, centerpieces and lots more: Unleash Your Inner Florist

Sunday, July 10, 2011

How To Cut Costs When Planning Your Wedding Flowers


How to cut costs when planning your wedding flowers is easy when you follow some or all the suggestions in this article.

First of all you will save big if you make your own flowers for your wedding. if you can tolerate the thought of having fake flowers at your wedding, you will save if you make your own artificial flowers.
Of course there are artificial flowers that will cost you an arm and a leg and there are real flowers that are just as cheap as fake flowers.

However, if you love calla lilies, orchids, stephanotis and other exotics, the artificial variety will be cheaper. If you are getting a florist to make your flowers ask for a price for both fake and real flowers.

Making your own wedding flowers will greatly decrease your bottom line price. Even if you don't feel comfortable making all your wedding flowers you can focus on one aspect of your wedding flowers.

Centerpieces is the number one thing you can do to reduce your costs. Centerpieces, even ones made with real flowers can be made at least 4-5 days before the wedding; artificial ones can be made weeks ahead of the big day. You could get together with your bridesmaids a few days before the wedding and have a go at creating your centerpieces and bouquets.

To save the most on the actual bulk flowers, you can order a growers box online which could be a large bundle of roses or hydrangeas fresh from the farm at incredible prices and base your floral wedding theme around an abundance of that flower. Of course, you will need proper instructions and a complete plan of action to ensure your floral success.

Boutonnieres and corsages are another area where you can definitely cut costs when making your wedding flowers. Consider that it can cost you $1 for a rose and.50 for greens. Add floral tape and a corsage pin and you have yourself a recipe for a boutonniere for under $2 whereas if you order one all made up for you at the florist, it will cost you at least 3 times that amount.

Reusing bouquets is another way to cut costs on wedding flowers by making the most of each bouquet.If you have bouquets in flower holders, you can purchase or rent bouquet holders that can be clipped on the front of the head table to decorate the head table elegantly. Bridal bouquets can also double as bouquets to decorate the cake table, the sign in guest registry table or another focal table at your reception.

Not sure if you should use fresh or fake flowers at your wedding? Take the quiz here to make sure you do what`s best for your personality type Fake or Fresh Quiz

If you want complete and inexpensive instructions on how to make your wedding flowers, get my book called Unleash Your Inner Florist. It will guide you every step of the way and make it look like a professional florist made your flowers. Read more about my book here: How To Wedding Flowers

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What Makes a Special Event Look Professional Vs Tacky?


By Sophia Rodriguez

Are you wondering what makes a special event look professional vs. tacky? If so, this article will shed some light on the subject and help you achieve a professional look for your special event.

We will discuss color choice, unity of decor and richness of materials.

Color choice is the number one element that can make or break an overall elegant look. Please refer to a color chart before picking your definite colors or go with a look of the year color combination to make sure you choose modern colors that coordinate well together.

A bad color choice can create tackiness. For example, we once decorated a wedding in a beautiful timber framed ballroom. The decor was sheer elegant draping on the ceiling with twinkling lights. The head table and the cake table had mini light accents as well.

It could have been quite elegant. However, the bride wouldn't budge on the colors...olive green and dull red! It totally ruined the look and left the decorator and florist cringing! Another element of decor that makes it professional looking is unity of decor.

For example if you choose to use ivy in your wedding bouquets, it would be great to use ivy in your decor at the reception as well. Touches of ivy on the front of the head table could be used as well on the cake table. If you use the colors red and white in the wedding flowers, use the same colors in the centerpieces as well.

If your theme is a beach theme, you will want to follow through with your theme all the way from shells in your bouquets to a cake topper in a beach theme and shells sprinkled along a sandy candlelight centerpiece. Don't overdo it though. If you exaggerate one element too much, it will become tacky.

Finally, the best way to create unity and save money is to reuse bouquets, bows and an arch that you will use at the church.

Get trusted family members to move these items. Make sure to tell them, better yet, make them a diagram of what and where you would like things moved. They will appreciate your instructions and allow them to perform their task as per your wishes.

Finally, materials used should be rich looking, vibrant, healthy and modern.

For example: lace and lattice are now rarely used at modern weddings. Same goes for plastic and cloth flowers, flower fans and paper bells. Of course, there could be exceptions, but usually, try to leave these materials out.

For more information on how to choose colors for this year`s special event of yours, check out my blog: How To Wedding Flowers Blog Http://

If you want complete and inexpensive instructions on how to make flowers for your special event, get my book called Unleash Your Inner Florist. It will guide you every step of the way and make it look like a professional florist made your flowers and unified your wedding decor. Read more about my book here: How To Wedding Flowers

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Best Flowers For a Fall Wedding


By Sophia Rodriguez

If you wish to know which flowers are the best flowers for a fall wedding, you are not alone.

While summer weddings are still the most popular, fall is right behind it as the best time to get married. Bride to be`s love the colors of fall, the ideal temperate weather that fall brings and the possibilities that a fall theme offers.

Fall wedding flowers are vibrant, stylish and equally masculine and feminine. The blend of reds, oranges, yellows, copper, rust, burgundy and brown are irresistible.

Here is a list of the most popular fall wedding flowers: roses, daisies calla lilies gerberas sunflowers

The reason that roses are the best flowers for a fall wedding is that roses come in a magnificent range of fall colors ranging from pure golden yellow, bright orange, dark burgundy to two toned chocolate brown roses and confetti roses with their lemon hue tinged with orange tips.

The variety of fall roses is stunning and roses are the number one flower that represents romance, therefore, it is ideal for a fall wedding. Modern bouquet styles such as the handheld rose bouquet with stems showing and the smaller all rose posy are surefire hits at a fall wedding.

Daisies come in many colors, many of them suited for fall. Burgundy, rust, yellow and orange daisies can be used in combination with other flowers in bridal bouquets. They can be used for corsages and boutonnieres, in centerpieces and in church arrangements.

Calla lilies are a popular choice of blooms for weddings. They are classy, elegant and easy to work with when making handheld bouquets. For bouquets, avoid the white ones and go for dramatic burgundy, yellow, orange and brown callas. Callas come in regular large sizes and in miniature sizes.

Depending on the size and preference of the bride, it may be more suitable to purchase small callas in larger numbers such as 12 to 15. For the large type of callas more than 8 or 9 is ridiculously huge for a bridal bouquet. Don`t choose smaller callas for the price though as they are the same price as the larger ones in most parts of the country.

Gerberas are also a preferred choice of blooms for fall weddings (and any other season of weddings actually). These versatile beauties come in yellows, oranges, peach, reds and burgundy and in many other colors in between.

You can use the large gerberas in wedding bouquets, arrangements and centerpieces while the smaller gerberas are perfect for corsages, boutonnieres and cake flowers.

Sunflowers are also a great choice of flowers for a fall wedding. They now come in a variety of hues and shapes such as yellows, oranges and bronze with single or double blooms, however the classic yellow sunflower is still the most popular and long lasting type of sunflower. Sunflowers also work great in handheld bouquets with the stems showing.

To add texture and variety to your fall bouquets, consider adding berries such as hypericum berries, pepper berries, rose hips or viburnum berries.

Fall foliage such as oak leaves and beech leaves also enhance the look of harvest bouquets. From pittosporum greens to preserved maple leaves, yellow variegated ivy and seeded eucalyptus, fall greens add class to elegant fall wedding bouquets.

Last but not least, consider using autumn accessories for your bouquets or centerpieces. Possible accents to enhance your fall blooms include wheat, rye,cattails, fruit such as apples, pumpkins and pomegranates, raffia or gourds. Hollowed out pumpkins make wonderful centerpieces when filled with fall bouquets.

Unleash Your Inner Florist: How to Make Wedding & Special Event Flowers covers all flowers for your wedding. Http://

The more you make yourself, the more you will save and most importantly, you won`t have to skimp on flowers at your wedding. Be surrounded by flowers on your wedding day...the guests don`t have to know how much you saved!

Follow along every step of the way and learn how to make wedding bouquets, centerpieces corsages and more the easy, cheap and right way. You can get the paper copy of Unleash Your Inner Florist on Amazon or order it as an ebook for $19.99 and be reading it in just a few minutes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

FAQ'S About Centerpieces


Article by Sophia Rodriguez
Image from

If you have questions about centerpieces for your wedding and want to know what is appropriate, you are not alone.

As a wedding florist in a busy flower shop for 15 years, I noticed that many brides were unsure about what types of flowers and combinations of flowers and candles or other accent were better for centerpieces and wanted to know what was appropriate.

Here are some of the most popular questions that kept coming up:

We wanted to use candles and vases to keep centerpiece cost down. Can you give me ideas on inexpensive and pretty centerpieces?

Many options are available to you. You could put some decorative stones or river rocks in your colors in a low bowl type vase, add water and then put floating candles in the bowls. You could float a few daisy heads in low, wide bowls, and then use some inexpensive votive holders for candles around the flower bowl. The main vase will be the most expensive part of this; however, you should be able to rent them from almost any rental service. Mirrors under the centerpiece bowls can also be rented and used to reflect candle light from floating candles.

Balloons also make great budget friendly centerpieces. Use 3 to 5 eleven inch balloons tied at different levels and attached to either a water base covered with material in your colors or attach the balloons to a theme or wedding related object. Just make sure the object is heavy enough to hold down the balloons. Balloons need to be done on the morning of the wedding therefore, you will need to assign a responsible person to this task.

Our colors are navy and white. I have no idea what to do for centerpieces. I want something cheap but nice and unique. Do you have any ideas?

You could use shallow round bowls. Use food coloring to turn the water blue and use white floating candles. You could also use cobalt blue vases or bowls with white stones and floating white flowers with a touch of greenery to add contrast and make the centerpieces look more natural. Daisies would be the most inexpensive flower to use, followed by carnations.

Are candles allowed in reception halls?

Check with your venue as to whether they allow candles, many do not allow candles due to insurance costs and liability in case of fire. In our city, they ask us to go to the fi re hall with an example of the centerpiece we will be using to get it approved. Every municipality and hall will have different rules. If you are not allowed candles but still would like to have the romantic ambiance created by the use of candles, you can use LED candles or other type of battery operated candles to cast a soft glow on your centerpiece. Glow sticks can also be used to create a dreamy glow, just make sure to conceal the source of the light to preserve the mystery.

I really like arrangements with fruit in them like slices of lime or lemon. Is it a good idea to combine fruit with flowers?

Adding fruit to your floral arrangements is a simple way to add color and visual interest to your centerpieces. The only problem with this is that fruit secretes toxic ethylene gases. The best way around this is to prepare your flowers separately and to add the fruit at the last minute. If you are using uncut fruit such as a full lime or lemon, the amount of gas expelled will be minimal. However, as soon as you cut the fruit, lots of gases will be expelled. So if your arrangement includes cut fruit, make sure to put the fruit together with the flowers only on the morning of the event to avoid flower damage from the ethylene gas.

If you want more ideas and want to learn how to make centerpieces the easy, cheap and right way, get my book called: Unleash Your Inner Florist: How to Make Wedding & Special Event Flowers. This easy to follow guidebook will save you hundreds of dollars on your wedding flowers. You can get the paper copy for only $24.99 on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or order it as an ebook for $19.99 and be reading it in just a few minutes. Click here for more info:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fresh Or Fake Homemade Wedding Flowers? How To Select And Care For Wedding Flowers At Home


By Sophia Rodriguez

If you want homemade flowers for your wedding but are not too sure how to make or select them, this article will set you off on the right track. Learn how to select and care for wedding flowers at home, then find out how to get the exact instructions that will guide you every step of the way into making your own perfectly fresh bouquets for your wedding.

Maybe you want to make wedding flowers, corsages, bouquets or centerpieces for your sister's wedding or your best friend's wedding. Let me show you how you can present flowers that will look perfect throughout the wedding day, even if you make the bouquets days in advance.

How can I make sure that my flowers will still look perfect by the time my event starts?

On the day of your special event, your first goal, when it comes to your wedding or special event flowers, should be to have your flowers be in prime condition, fully opened and fresh for the whole duration of the event. This requires special care and handling of the flowers every step of the way: from buying or picking them to arranging them, to packaging and transporting them to the event site. If you have selected artificial flowers for your special event, much less care is necessary however the result are not as stunning.

Is there any special care that I need to keep in mind when selecting and caring for artificial flowers?

When buying artificial flowers, the most important thing you can do is to choose the most realistic looking flowers you can find. In storage, make sure not to squash the flowers; stand them up in buckets or vases or lay them flat. Once you have arranged them into bouquets, corsages or arrangements, you need to package them in a way so as not to squash or harm the flowers in any way. Also, you will want to store them away from bright sunshine to avoid losing the bright colors of your silk flowers. When taking them out of their storage area a few days before your special event, you will need to fluff out your bows and reshape any bent or squashed flowers.

What are the steps that I need to take to make sure that my fresh flowers will be just perfectly opened for my special event?

Here is how and when to select flowers in the right stage to have them be at their prime on your special day:

1) Plan to get your flowers about 2-3 days in advance of your planned flower design day. For example if you are gathering with your bridesmaids on the Thursday night to prepare the flowers for your Saturday wedding, you will want to obtain your flowers on Tuesday. This will give you plenty of time to process your flowers and to make sure that you have everything required for the creation of your special event or wedding flowers.

2) Keep in mind that depending on the flowers chosen, some flowers, like lilies and roses, may need up to one week to open fully. For your special day, the flowers such as hydrangeas and daisies will look the same as when you bought them. I would not trust a sidewalk flower vendor to guarantee you freshness on your special day. Buy from a reliable source of fresh flowers.

3) For best results and the freshest flowers on your special day, process your flowers as soon as you get them.

4) Be careful not to put too many flowers in the same container when you are storing them for curing. Overcrowded vases cause damage to flowers once they open fully. Lilies are especially sensitive to bruising and breakage.

Do you want a complete plan of what flowers to buy when, how to process them and how to transform them into beautiful wedding bouquets, centerpieces and corsages? It's all in this one book that you can either buy from Amazon or you can just download it here. The book's name is: Unleash Your Inner Florist: How to Make Wedding And Special Event Flowers. Click here to get more information and to download.

Don't be disappointed with droopy flowers and bouquets that fall apart as you are walking down the aisle. Prevent any floral disaster, get the book and follow the step by step instructions!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Best Fundraising With Flowers: Ideas and Inspiration


by Sophia Rodriguez

Are you wondering which way is the best to do fundraising with flowers?

This article will give you ideas and attempt to inspire you to hold a fundraiser with flowers instead of with the obvious chocolate. People are on diets a lot now and they would much prefer buying flowers than something that could add inches to their waistline... anyways, that's how I feel. How about you?

Whether you are hosting or in the committee for a graduation, a sports event, a dancing recital or a community play, flowers are a great way to raise money for your cause.

But what should you sell and what is possible when most members of a committee are not florists.

Here are some ideas to get you thinking...

1) Long stem roses or carnations:

The simplest idea is to sell individually wrapped long stem roses or carnations in different colors. Use cello to wrap the flowers or buy single flower sleeves from your local florist.

Wrap each rose or carnation with one leaf of leather fern and perhaps, one tikki foliage as well. Add curling ribbon for the final touch. You can color coordinate the ribbon with the color of your team or the theme color of the night.

You will be able to charge double your cost or more no problem for a great profit margin when selling wrapped roses and carnations that are ideal to give to any participant of the sport, play or graduation you are celebrating.

2) Corsages or Simple boutonnieres:

This floral option for fundraising is perfect if you are hosting a graduation or a Christmas dance at a high school. Boutonnieres are perfect to sell for girls to buy for their dates and wrist corsages are ideal for young men to buy for their sweethearts to wear.

The most popular floral item for the young women to wear is the wrist corsage. Since most of the girls will be wearing strapless, spaghetti-strapped or sheer material dresses, a pin on corsage would not work.

Therefore, you can focus your fundraiser on wristlets for ladies and boutonnieres for young men. Since the new trend is to match the boys and the girls flowers, feature choices in pairs to encourage the sale of both flowers for the girls and for the boys.

Create an advertisement that will feature say 3-6 choices for young men and women. Start taking orders 2 weeks in advance with a cutoff date of say 3 days before the prom to give you a chance to get well organized.

Popular flowers are mini (or sweetheart) roses, regular roses, dendrobium orchids, alstromeria lilies and other small flowers such as daisies, carnations and chrysanthemums.

Learn how to make boutonnieres and corsages to make loads of profit for your charity or school. Making these floral items in an assembly line at a flower pitch in get together is highly feasible, can be lots of fun and best of all it will make a lot of money for your cause.

Consider that a boutonniere will cost $1.50-$2.50 each to make and can sell for $6 easy. A wrist corsage will cost between $4-5 but can sell for $12-$15 no problem.

Learn step by step how to make flowers for fundraising, for weddings and all special events. Click here for more info:

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Making Flowers For Your Wedding: 10 Steps To Hosting Productive Assembling Party


By Sophia Rodriguez

If you are wanting to make your own flowers for your wedding, you can be so much more productive if you enlist the help of your most important allies such as your bridal party, mothers, cousins, aunts or other special friends. Even though you will be together on the special day, that day is usually fast paced and filled with excitement.

Quality time spent with family and friends before the event or the wedding while assembling the flowers will be remembered as some of your most precious memories.

Enlisting their help will make them feel special and they will glow with pride along with you when the compliments start flowing at the event.

Items that are perfect candidates for Pitch-in Parties

1) Favors 2) Invitations 2) Centerpieces 3) Bouquets 4) Body Flowers such as boutonnieres and corsages 5) Wrapped Flowers 6) Hand-Tied Bouquets 7) Vase Bouquets How to Organize your Gang

Step 1 Select a date early enough before people get booked up. For example, if you want to make your flowers on June 14, pre-book the pitch-in party as early as March. Remind your group every month by email, perhaps with a newsletter about the progress of the event planning, then two weeks before and one week before. If you are planning on making all the flowers in one day, set up your get together as an all-day event so you can get as much accomplished as possible.

Step 2 Send out official invitations by mail a month in advance. Depending on the crowd, you might want to ask guests to bring a dish to share. If it is a wedding pitch-in party, you might want to ask people to bring a picture of themselves with their wedding bouquet so that the get together gives everyone a chance to reminisce about their wedding and inspire your wedding creations.

Step 3 Decide which items you want to make. If making centerpieces, make one sample in advance in order to give your helpers a clear idea of your vision. If making bridal bouquets and corsages, cake flowers or other floral items, have cut out pictures ready and accessible to show to your helpers. Having a concrete example of what you want will be most helpful in ensuring you get what you want.

Step 4 Start purchasing materials and supplies months in advance to take advantage of good deals and also, to make sure that you are not missing anything on the day of your Pitch-in Party. Keep your supplies list with you and check off items as you find them.

Step 5 Free a set of shelves in the garage or in a spare bedroom to stash your supplies. Tape a copy of your master list to the shelf and check off items as you purchase and store them.

Step 6 If you are hosting a pitch-in party to create fresh floral bouquets, buy your fresh flowers and process as per instructions in Chapter 1, about 4-5 days before your pitch in party.

Step 7 Set up stations for each project. In order to give everyone plenty of room to work in, put stations in various rooms on the main floor or spread out in an open basement or garage. Stock each work area with ample materials and supplies (scissors, glue guns).

Step 8 Organize and distribute tasks on paper before the big day. For example, Aunt Giz, and cousins Camie and Lise will make the centerpieces while Lynne, Sophie and Veronika will make the wedding flowers. Have instructions written out to give your helpers a clear idea of their task at hand. The more precautions you take in planning for your pitch-in party, the better results you will have.

Step 9 Before everyone gets there, set up each station with necessary flowers, containers and supplies. Once your helpers arrive, set them up at their station and make sure they understand their task and are comfortable with it. Also, do double check that they have everything at hand.

Step 10 Take breaks for lunch and snacks and to regroup so that everyone knows how things are doing. Play uplifting, fun music in the background. Thank everyone with a little gift to show your appreciation for their help.

For complete instructions and ingredient lists to make centerpieces, bouquets, corsages and more, click here: How To Make Wedding Flowers

Sunday, May 15, 2011

How to Pick Your Own Flowers For Your Wedding


By Sophia Rodriguez

Do you want to pick your own flowers for your wedding? If so, you either want to pick your flowers to save money or to display your talents as a green thumb gardener.

The good news is that you can grow your own flowers or pick them from the garden of a relative or friend who grows beautiful flowers and use these blooms to embellish your wedding day.

Many precautions should be taken if you choose this option and this article will guide you through this adventure. I will not go into the whole growing aspect of the blooms for your wedding.

Depending on where you live and how long your growing season will determine which flowers you will be able to grow. Many books and online sites go into the growing care and maintenance of flowers suitable for weddings such as roses.

As for the picking when the time comes, you will want to plan to pick your flowers the day before the wedding or at most 2 days before the special event. The time of day is a major factor as to when you will want to pick the flowers.

The morning hours, between 9-10 am is ideal, just after the dew has dried but before the sun is too strong. You don't want to pick them after a rain since they will be too wet and won't be at their best. You don't want to pick them close to noon or in the hot afternoon sun. They will be dehydrated and not last their longest.

Make sure the blooms and foliage that you pick are at their best; that they are free of insect holes and look healthy, vibrant and beautiful. Researching your type of flower for lasting quality and specific care would be recommended.

It's a great idea to carry a container of lukewarm water to the garden so that you can place the stems in the water immediately as you cut them.

It would be wise to test the type of flower you plan to use well in advance of the special day to avoid any surprises such as the stems or buds dropping within a few hours of cutting. If you are planning on cutting many flowers, bring more buckets or vases of water to place them in so that your fine picks will not get damaged by overcrowding.

Flowers should be picked in the advanced bud or almost mature stage. If you pick them when they are at their peak, they will be past their prime by the time you showcase them at your event.

To benefit future growth of the plant from which you are cutting from, cut your stem just above the nodes (where the leaf joins the main stem). This will allow the plant to keep producing well. Handle blooms quickly and try to only hold them by their stem so as not to damage them.

If you want to do more than pick fresh flowers...If you want to learn how to make flowers for all kinds of special occasions, check out this book: " Unleash Your Inner Florist" teaches how to make wedding flowers, special event flowers and everyday flowers. Learn from a florist and your bouquets will look super professional. Click Here: Unleash Your Inner Florist

Thursday, May 5, 2011

How to Make Artificial Flower Arrangements


by Sophia Rodriguez

How to make artificial flower arrangements is not much different than how to make fresh floral arrangements although the tools you will need to use are slightly different.

Of course,the fake material you will be working with is in one sense harder to work since it is harder and more difficult to make look good in an arrangement but in another sense it is much more forgiving and long lasting.

For example, you can easily bend stems to make the flower point in a specific direction with artificial flowers and an artificial arrangement will last many years with only a dusting now and then to help it maintain its beauty.

The tools you will require to make artificial arrangements can all be collected and kept in a simple basket or storage container.

First, you will need wire cutters. This is the most important tool you will use over and over again while making silk flower bouquets. They will help you cut down your flower stems to the proper size. If your flower stems are really thick and the wire is hard to cut, you will need side cutters. Dig around in the garage and odds are you will find these 2 essential tools to making floral arrangements.

Other tools you will need to make floral arrangements with artificial flowers are floral tape and wooden picks. You see, if your flowers are small and the stem is too flimsy, you can reinforce it by taping it to a wooden pick. Also, if you cut your stem too short, you can easily fix the problem by taping it to a long floral pick.

Dry or sahara foam is also essential in making artificial arrangements. This is the medium that you will be picking the stems and the wooden picks in. Floral foam allows for exact placement of flowers and helps easily create a balanced arrangement.

For wedding bouquets, there are many types of bouquet holders that you can use to create your bouquets. Make sure to select a holder that is designed for artificial flowers. My favorite is the styrofoam bouquet holder. This white foam inside a bouquet holder is ideal to make artificial wedding bouquets since it does not fall apart like the dry foam might. If you pull in and out your flowers in order to make corrections as to flower placement, styrofoam is much more forgiving than dry foam.

Glue is the final and essential component of working with artificial flowers. A glue gun with glue sticks will do the trick. For every stem you insert into the foam, you can secure the stem with a drop of glue at the connecting point on the foam. This is especially important when making wedding bouquets in which certain flowers will hang upside down.

If you want to learn how to make all types of bouquets with fresh and artificial flowers, read my book: Unleash Your Inner Florist. Follow along every step of the way and learn how to make mixed bouquets,wedding bouquets, centerpieces corsages and more the easy, cheap and right way. You can get the paper copy for only $24.99 or order it as an e-book for $19.99 and be reading it in just a few minutes.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Flowers in Kate's Royal Bouquet



Kate Middleton's royal wedding bouquet included traditional flowers with meaning; the flowers were hyacinth, lily-of-the-valley, sweet William and myrtle.

When Kate Middleton married Prince William at Westminster Abbey in London, England on April 29, 2011, she carried a small and understated wedding bouquet of traditional flowers.

In addition to traditional wedding flowers of hyacinth and lily-of-the-valley, Kate Middleton's wedding bouquet included myrtle and sweet William; myrtle has been part of royal wedding bouquets since Queen Victoria's daughter carried it in her wedding bouquet in 1858. In addition, the bride apparently chose to add sweet William to her bouquet in homage to her new husband.

Hyacinth in the Royal Wedding Bouquet Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis) is a member of the Hyacinthaceae plant family. Although hyacinth is native to the south-east Mediterranean region, it was introduced to England and by the eighteenth century, it was among the most popular flowers in the region.

Hyacinths are fragrant flowers and hyacinth cultivars are available in a wide range of colors; they have a long cluster of flowers along the stalk. Hyacinths are bulbous flowering plants and are frost hardy.

Lily-of-the-Valley in Kate Middleton's Wedding Bouquet Lily-of-the-Valley (Convallaria majalis) is a member of the Convallariaceae plant family and is a rhizomatous, perennial spring flower. It has small, white flowers that are shaped like bells and green, lance-shaped leaves. Lily-of-the-Valley is native to the United Kingdom and northern Europe; it is also a fragrant flower and is a very popular flower for bridal bouquets.

Myrtle (Myrtus communis) is a member of the Myrtaceae plant family. Myrtle is a scented shrub or tree with ivory flowers; the flowers have five petals and gold stamens. Myrtle also has evergreen leaves and blue-black berries. It is native to the Mediterranean region. Queen Victoria made myrtle popular with British royal brides when she planted a sprig of myrtle at Osborne House in the Isle of Wight, from a nosegay given to her by Prince Albert's grandmother; Queen Victoria's daughter, Princess Victoria, was the first royal bride to carry a sprig from the plant at her wedding in 1858, a tradition that royal brides have continued to honor.

Sweet William in Kate Middleton's Royal Wedding Bouquet Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) is a member of the Caryophyllaceae plant family; it is a herbaceous biennial or perennial plant. The five-petaled flowers of sweet William are clustered at the top of the stem and are fragrant; although cultivars of sweet William are available in many colors, the wild plant has red flowers with a white base.

Sweet William is native to southern Europe but is also a popular British garden flower.

Traditional Meaning of the Flowers in the Royal Wedding Bouquet According to the official Royal Wedding 2011 website, Kate Middleton chose the flowers for her bridal bouquet in part based on the meaning of each flower in the Victorian language of flowers. The Victorian language of flowers allowed lovers to communicate messages to each other through flowers instead of words; meanings vary, depending on which Victorian language of flowers dictionary you use, but the following flower meanings are given by the official Royal Wedding 2011 website:

Sweet William – gallantry
Lily-of-the-Valley – return of happiness Hyacinth – constancy of love
Myrtle – love.

The Royal Wedding Bouquet of Kate Middleton Kate Middleton's wedding bouquet also contained ivy, another common plant in bridal bouquets; many will remember the wedding day of Kate Middleton and Prince William for years to come and although wedding dress fashions may come and go, the flowers used in royal wedding bouquets are steeped in tradition, history and meaning.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Green Royal Flower Update


Yet another green piece of the royal wedding has come to light, as ABC News is reporting that William and Kate have chosen London-based florist Shane Connolly to oversee arrangements at Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace.

Connolly, known for his “sustainable approach to floristry”, plans on using locally sourced plants for the big event – including azaleas, rhododendron, euphorbias, beech, wisteria and lilac.

There will even be six 20ft-high English Field Maple and two Hornbeam trees in the Abbey – all growing, according to the BBC, in giant planters made by craftsmen at Highgrove, the Prince of Wales’s residence in Gloucestershire.

The arrangements will remain on display for the public until May 6th. Afterwards, the trees will be planted in Highgrove Gardens – with other flowers and cuttings either being donated or replanted.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Funeral Flowers: What Kind Of Arrangement Should I Get Delivered?


By Sophia Rodriguez

If someone you know died recently and a funeral is taking place shortly, you are probably wondering what kind of floral arrangement you should send to the funeral home.

Funeral flowers send your expressions of compassion, respect and love through the beauty of flowers. Since funerals are often awkward and you don't always know what to say, a gift of sympathy flowers help express your sorrow and give people at the funeral something to admire and talk about.

People often wonder which funeral flowers they should send to the funeral. The type of arrangement you need to send will largely depend on your relationship to the deceased. If the person is in your direct family, your choice should be different than if the deceased is a friend or a business associate.

Also, if the funeral is an open casket versus a cremation urn, this will change the type of appropriate funeral flowers you could be sending. Another option is to not send any flowers to the funeral home but instead to send a fruit and treat basket to the home. This is a perfectly acceptable gift for the family of the deceased also.

If you do decide to send flowers, here are some ideas. A direct family member will need to select a casket spray for any type of funeral where a casket will be present. A casket spray is a large floral arrangement that will drape the top of the casket to decorate and highlight it. When the casket is open, this casket spray will usually need to be smaller than if the casket is closed. Make sure to mention this to your florist when picking which casket spray will be most appropriate.

Casket sprays are usually done up with the deceased's favorite flowers or colors. Additionally, it can be a nice touch to make a themed casket spray. Let's say the deceased enjoyed playing cards immensely, there could be focal points of cards in the casket spray.

Gardening, golf, nature and music are other popular themes for floral sprays for the top of the casket. Some people also theme the casket spray according to the deceased's religion or career.

Floral wreaths, crosses and other shapes are a traditional and formal gift to send to the funeral home. These formal tributes are usually presented from the family such as sisters, children of the deceased, aunts, brothers or from business associates.

Wreaths, hearts, crosses and other tribute shapes are presented on an easel close to the casket and so they really stand out. They usually feature a ribbon draped along the front of it with an inscription reflecting the relationship to the buyer of the floral gift. For example: Dearest Sister, Dear father, etc... These are very time consuming for the florist to make and therefore are not cheap even though they are stunningly beautiful.

A nice alternative to floral shapes that is usually less expensive are floral sprays. These are free form arrangements that are also designed to hang close to the casket and also feature a ribbon with a message on it. These are also formal and reserved for close family members.

If you are not a direct family member, here are some appropriate options.

Floral baskets: These floral baskets can be given by anyone and are appropriate for funerals with a casket or for funerals with a cremation urn.
Garden baskets featuring a variety of tropical plants, blooming and green is a great choice to send to the funeral home or to the bereaved's workplace or home. They last a really long time and so they are an ideal choice for those who enjoy live plants. Many times a ceramic angel or religious statue will be included in the plant basket as an extra thoughtful gesture.

As for the colors of your sympathy flowers, they should be somber and respectful. You could stick to all white with greens or you could go with 3 colors such as purple, yellow and white. Some people though prefer a sympathy bouquet that does not look "funeralish". This is usually as a tribute to the deceased's vibrant life and personality.

While sympathy flowers are usually sent to the funeral service or to the bereaved's home shortly after the service, it is also ok to send flowers a week or two after the funeral to remind the loved one that you are still thinking of them.

If you need funeral flowers delivered to Timmins, Ontario, call The Love Bug Flowers at 705-365-7653 or visit the website here to view their sympathy selection: The Love Bug Flowers Http://

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

You might be a bridezilla to a florist if...


By Sophia Rodriguez

This article comes as a result of my experience as a bridal consultant and florist in a busy flower shop. No one enjoys dealing with a bridezilla.

Do you really want to be the kind of bride to be that vendors dread? Perhaps you are not sure if you are a bridezilla...if not, this article will help you determine if you qualify as a full blown bridezilla.
Furthermore, this article will demonstrate why stressing out your florist is really not beneficial for you or for your wallet.

First of all, what is a bridezilla? A bridezilla is a difficult, unpleasant, perfectionist bride. A bridezilla is just so focused on organizing a perfect wedding that she becomes completely unreasonable and unrealistic if things are not going 100% her way. No fun to deal with as a florist and wedding planner!

Let me give you some examples I've experienced in the past few years and see if you identify with any of these bridezillas.

You might be a bridezilla to a florist are verify specific about certain things such as exact colors. Do you hear yourself saying things like: "That white is just not white enough for me!" or "Those pink flowers are not the exact same color as my bridesmaids dresses!" Flowers are natural, live beauties that are not always exactly consistent in shade from one month to another and from one season to another. if you want exactitude, choose artificial flowers, then you will be guaranteed an ideal color for your taste.

You might be a bridezilla to a florist if... you bring your pack of wolves to the floral selection. Bringing your mother, step mother, aunt and sister to a bridal consultation is just evil. Seriously, with most situations like this, the final result is always the same. Nothing gets accomplished from people arguing amongst themselves and the bride never gets what she really wants with all the conflicting opinions. The bride starts to doubt herself and her preferences go out the window. The ideal situation is for you to go to your consultation with only your fiancé. This is your wedding and even if someone else is paying for your flowers, you should be allowed to order what you want. If the payer is unable to accept this, you need to pay for your own flowers! If your fiance really does not want to participate in the selection of the flowers or decor for your wedding, he is putting a lot of pressure on you. Make sure you are up to the challenge. If so, just bring along your maid of honor or a bridesmaid. You and one chosen guest are all that you should bring to a wedding consultation.

You might be a bridezilla to a florist can't take the professional advice of the florist. If your florist warns you that a certain color will not look good with another one in your choice...if your florist tells you that the flower you insist upon having in your bouquet needs to be flown in from Italy since it is not in season for your wedding need to be open to your florist's suggestions. Any local qualified florist will be able to give you valuable advice if you will let them. Trust the professional you hired...or choose a different wedding professional that you will be able to trust.

All in all, if you behave as a bridezilla with your local florist, no one will want to serve you. Wouldn't you rather they look forward to pleasant meetings with you? As a bridezilla, your prices will go up and you won't get any special deal. Why should a florist go out of their way for you if all you do is torment your wedding professional?

If you are pleasant, open minded yet organized and decisive, you will be the dream bride every wedding professional will be fighting to have as a customer.

If you are NOT a Bridezilla and would like a Free wedding flowers consultation with a florist in Timmins, Ontario, call The Love Bug Flowers: 705-365-7653. You can also visit The Love Bug website at