White Flowers: Best Left Alone?

If you have been following my blogs, you know that I have addressed my personal issues with the use of teal, black, and artificially dyed blue flowers.  I have not however, talked about the do’s and don’t’s of using the every popular, white flower.

Now you might be wondering why in the world would I be picking on the most popular wedding color of our time?  How could a basic color like white be a potential problem in the flower world?  It is after all, a natural color found in Mother Nature, and is undoubtedly used in countless weddings all over the world.  So what gives?

Believe it or not, white is one of the most dominant colors, or non-colors, that is often used the wrong way.  What do I mean?  I try and drive home the idea of considering how your flowers, dresses, and decor, is going to look like through the lens of a camera.  Have you noticed that when looking at bridal bouquet with deep rich colors, it suddenly takes on a whole different look when you add stark white to it?  You find yourself looking at it, and wondering what doesn’t belong.  If you look at pics with pure white added to say dark purples, blues, reds, burgundy’s, etc, all you see is white here, white there, white over there….in other words….blobs of white stand out like a bright light!!  Too many florists make the mistake of not balancing the white with a darker shade of creams or a very pale yellow, or if appropriate, a peach or pink tone.  Now I’m certainly not saying that florists in general do not understand the tricky balance that pure white can require.  Brides are often stuck on a color palate that the features all the dominate ranges, but they can sometimes fail to understand how to brighten or soften a bouquet.  Often out of necessity, and sometimes frustration, florists throw in white in the hopes of bringing darker colors out……but unfortunately it often does the exact opposite.  Instead of white acting as a brightener, it just becomes one more overly dominate color that actually makes dark colors, even darker.

So what do we do with white?  We of course LOVE white in weddings.  It’s classy, it’s clean, it’s elegant, and romantic.  My advice, and remember this is only MY opinion is…that we consider the over all color combination of the bouquets, and arrangements, first.    In other words, are you using a color palate of deep rich fall tones, or are you considering deep purples and blues?  Maybe a beautiful rich red perhaps?  I would advise you to drop by your nearest fabric place…I’ve recommended doing this before….and taking your initial ideas of color, and lay them side by side.  Start with all of your darker tones…now add a bolt of white.  Where does your eye immediately go?  I guarantee you are going to say WHITE! Now what about bright yellows, oranges, pinks, green, lavender, soft peaches, and light blues?  Here’s where a little white can be very complimentary, but I still advocate the use of a little cream for a good balance.  However, I have seen lavender and white bouquets that were lovely, and the same with yellow and white, and orange and green and white!  Again it comes down to balance…the softer and brighter tones all carry a brightness on their own, that when paired with a bit of white, make their colors stand out even more!

To not sound too redundant, I’ll end with my favorite use of white.  I absolutely adore a white, cream, and green bouquet.  That’s it….just those 3 colors.  The green can just be…well the green, or it can be in a flower or filler. White and cream can go from the height of sophistication and glitz, to the most subdued garden, and natural, setting.  The combination is really stunning no matter which way you take it.

Now I’m not saying to forego the use of white in your bouquets….I’m just saying be careful on HOW and WHERE you use the white.  Think about how those bouquets are going to look in the pictures that you will show off for many years to come.  With a good eye for balance, and color, white will be a very welcomed addition to your wedding decor!!

*At Silver Leaf Events, I offer design consulting for a nominal fee.  Contact me on my website http://www.raedavis.com or raedavis1099@gmail to request more information.  

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Bridal Fairs: Do They Help, or Are You Just Overwhelmed?

Over the years, I have been asked why I do not participate in more bridal fairs?  Well I did at one time.  When we owned Duffys Florist in Murphys, Ca., we participated in the occasional bridal fair, and we quickly discovered that our participation rarely resulted in future wedding business.  Unfortunately it seemed as if we served more as someone’s inspiration in which to copy, than to actually hire us to do the work.  Think that is frustrating?  Uh……….you bet it is.

When I created Silver Leaf Events, I had the idea to create high-end silk arrangements to offer as rentals or purchase for brides on a budget, and for those that wished to keep their bouquets forever.  We participated in a few shows last year, and low and behold…the same thing happened.  Photographs were taken under the guise that they wanted to have something in their hand to look at when they called us to discuss their wedding work.  Yeah…right.   What occurred…..was….again, taking our designs and doing the work themselves, or with a lessor product.  Ok…I get it.  And yes, I could have said no photographs…and probably should have….but I’m a trusting soul!!!  So on we go.

All of the above aside, in my experience, I see brides entering these fairs with a glazed look in their eye.  Often they are noisy, crowded, and very overwhelming!  Too many vendors can be a negative as brides taste, look, feel, talk to, and pick up business cards from dozens and dozens of vendors, and often by time she gets home, she has forgotten what she liked and didn’t like!!!  When I married a second time back in 1999, my then fiance and I decided to attend a bridal fair in Sacramento to get some ideas on what we wanted to do for a honeymoon.  We walked in and were immediately struck with the sheer madness of it all……and like every bride I have witnessed at these things…..we walked out with a bag full of cards and brochures, and never looked at them again.  UGH……

Ok, before I get negative comments from bridal show producers, and vendors, that rely on bridal fairs for a good portion of their wedding business, I will say that for SOME businesses, bridal fairs are a great way to represent their talents, and of course……potential venues!!  I hesitate to speak for other vendor’s experiences with bridal fairs, and I won’t….but I would love to hear from them, and have them comment, and add to this discussion!!!  I know that there are many businesses out there that love to participate, and find the fairs to be well worth their time and money!  I would love to hear about your experiences!!

So what do I suggest to brides before they go to their first bridal fair?  I suggest that if you are a first time bride, and are planning to attend your first bridal fair, go in with the intention to just get a feel of what is potentially available to you.  You may or may not wish to even pick up business cards, and brochures, at your first show.  Trust me….starting in the months of January, and February, there are numerous bridal shows in many areas throughout every state, and they usually crop back up in the fall months, so don’t panic.  Go to an early in the year fair, and take note of what you liked, and didn’t like, about it.  If you have a lot of time….you can just take the opportunity to get a few ideas on the latest trends in weddings, and go home and digest it all.  If someone’s work is an absolute stand out, and you really, really, love it…then make an appointment  to see this vendor at another time, where you can sit down, and really discuss details.  Remember, one of the reasons I offer a complimentary 2 hour initial consultation at Silver Leaf Events, is so you can get a chance to know me, and I, you!  Bridal fairs do not offer much of an opportunity for a one on one, and nor should they.   Don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed with all the sites, and sounds, at one fair.  Take your time, browse, maybe do a once over…or twice…and go home and take a breather.  If the next bridal fair is in close proximity to the one you first attended, then chances are the vendors that you saw before, will be back!!!  Also if you do find someone who you really, really, want to follow-up with…be sure to take a written note of that, or I promise you will go home…look through your stack of cards…and be completely confused!   Take your time, enjoy, and follow up! 🙂

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Wedding Trends 2012: Creativity Is The New Black

I’m always intrigued to learn of the latest and greatest wedding trends in any given year.  2012 is starting out to be a rather eclectic mix of old, new, and everything in between.  Like life in general, when times are tough, people often take pause, and reflect on “the good old days,” which in reality, are not really all that great. However, perception is a wonderful vice, and often design choice is a reflection of just that, and wedding trends are no exception.

Take a look at Pinterest, (www.pinterest.com), and you will get an idea on where design is headed.  The vintage romantic, and rustic look, is all the rage.  Unlike the 1980’s where more was….well more…this year, “less is more,” or at least, “re-purposed” is even better! Couples are searching for more natural and affordable venues where mother nature provides an ideal ceremony and reception backdrop. The trend this year is to make the most of what is already there…then jazz it up with inexpensive items that can be made to look like a million bucks!  It can be done!

Taking a look at today’s stock market report, it is clear that this economy is not going to fully rebound in the near future.  It is going to take some careful planning, and a lot of thought, into making a tight budget stretch as far as possible.  If you are a DIY bride, think about starting to design your wedding very, very, early.  If possible, hire a consultant to guide you down the right path with design ideas.  A little money spent consulting with a professional, can save you big $$$ down the road.  Keep in mind that the trend is MORE WITH LESS!!!!!!  A professional consultant can show you how to come to terms with working within the confines of a tighter budget, and still pull off the wedding of your dreams.  Remember, the biggest hurdle is knowing where to start, and where to shop for the items that you need.  But the key here is going to be patience, and plenty of time to get everything in order!

And of course brides, as I always say….the tighter the budget, the smaller the guest list.  It is just an absolute fact that the more people you invite, the more money you are going to spend….period.  Decide on how many guests you really, really, want to share your special day with, and THEN choose the venue!  Look outside the city for a more natural wedding setting….this is happening more and more!  Look at ways to use what mother nature is already providing………lots of ideas are out there on that…………..look at places like Murphys, Ca for beautiful and affordable places to get married!  Think outside the box!!!!! A small rustic schoolhouse that is available here in Douglas Flat, Ca, is a wonderful place for a small wedding.  Check out local parks….we have a beautiful public park here in Murphys, Ca!!

Again, what is this year’s biggest trend? MORE FOR LESS!!!  MORE FOR LESS!!! And while that statement used to be reserved for the so-called “underprivileged,” it just isn’t so any longer.  Today’s bride is having to understand the complexities of a tough economy more than ever…no matter what her status.  And remember, it isn’t a matter of necessarily doing without, but more of a matter of how to create something fabulous out of the mundane.   After all I like to say: CREATIVITY IS THE NEW BLACK!  The key to success  with all of this,  is careful planning, whether you consult with a professional like Silver Leaf Events, or you go it alone.  Try not to only equate money with success….some of the most incredible weddings have been created with more imagination, talent, and patience and guidance,  than anything bought “out of the can,” so to speak with lots of $$$.  Have fun trying new things…………..GET CREATIVE…………..and you will achieve the wedding of your dreams.  I promise!!!

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Blue Flowers: Dyed or Natural

This morning I was asked about my thoughts on blue orchids.  There is a bride that is trying to come up with her look for her beach wedding, and wondered about combining white lilies with blue orchids.  Hmmm well needless to say, that question inspired today’s blog topic.  What flowers are available in blue, and should you ever dye them to get the color? UH……………………..

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Holy Guest List Batman, The Cost of Weddings is About to Soar!

It is no secret readers, that the cost of gas is about to rise to levels that we Americans have never experienced.  We are also keenly aware that with the rise in fuel costs, comes the rise in cost for EVERYTHING!!  Anything and everything that has to be delivered, which is pretty much everything we consume, will undoubtedly take a dramatic upward turn.  So what does this mean for the wedding business, and more importantly, how are you going to budget your money to get the wedding of your dreams?

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The DIY Bride: Should You?

As a professional florist, and former shop owner, I have created wedding designs to fit every budget.  In the 1990’s when our shop was doing a very large wedding business, the economy was relatively stable, thus brides on average were able to work with a larger budget.  Did that larger budget translate into a larger floral budget?  Well……..not always, but I will say that there was a bit more money going into the coffers of all professionals in the business then.  2012?  Hmmmmm let’s talk about that!

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My Favorite Gift Idea of The Week

I’ve been writing a lot lately about the basic building blocks of a wedding.  Everything from budget concerns, to the right time to buy flowers…..I’ve been blogging about it, sharing on facebook, talking to random folks on the street and so on.  So today I thought I would indulge in a bit of advertising about a gift that I think is rather unique, and without a doubt, a lot of fun!

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Flowers Revisited: Budget Reality Check, Please!

I know, I know, it is not the first time that I’ve discussed the topic of flowers.  But as a florist, and former shop owner, I thought I might take a minute to revisit the subject.  So readers, indulge me for a moment!

The reason I wanted to discuss the topic of flowers a little more, is because when it comes down to it, it is the flowers that convey the emotion, style, taste, and tone of the wedding.  When the bride and her party walk down the aisle, the first thing people notice…other than the bride herself, is the flowers that everyone is carrying.  When guests walk into the reception area, it is often the flowers that bring out the ooooh’s and ahhhh’s.  So…if all of that is true, then why oh why are designers often left with the absolute tail end of the deflated budget to work with??? Brides……Please, please, please, rethink your budget strategy!!!

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Vow Renewal Couples, Let’s Hear from You!!!

If you’ve been reading my posts, you know that I dedicate most of my blogs to the first time bride. Well today I thought I would write about a wedding topic that doesn’t get as much press…………..the vow renewal!!!

I do not mind sharing the fact that I divorced my first husband after 17 years of a marriage.  While this was a union that probably should have never happened, we did however produce two wonderful children that are now wonderful adults! But alas, this story of a “marriage gone wrong,” does have a happy ending!  Today, I have been married 12.5 years to the most caring, loving, kind, giving, most selfless man on the planet, and in 2014 for our 15th anniversary, we plan to “tie the knot all over again!”

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Entourage? Do You Need That Many Opinions?

I cannot help but laugh when I watch the latest and greatest “reality” shows dedicated to everything wedding.  Like all shows claiming to be real life, in real-time, those that broadcast “everything wedding”, are of course edited, scripted, and sometimes….and I’m sorry…dumbed down so the American public will watch.  I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a “bridezilla” having her 15 minutes of tantrum throwing fame?  Do I?  Well not really, but every once in a while these shows do manage to produce a nugget of real wedding planning life!  Think, entourage. And I do not mean the television series!

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