Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Inspired Floral Arrangement

So, its the night before Halloween and you have a party tomorrow. You're struggling with coming up with some elegant floral decor options. How about you try this one on for size? We pulled together dark brown with muted vintage purple colors. Even the dark foliage is a perfect play on spooky spider webs.


What other floral color combos would you like to see for a Halloween party?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Reclaimed Foral Foam

Just a little food for thought: What if we reclaimed all of the used floral foam and re-purpose it for something else?

As Floral Sense makes steps to going green, the one component that is SO difficult to get away from is floral foam. This foam is completely non-biodegradable. It is used for a few days, at most, and thrown out. Multiply this by the number of arrangements throughout the world and you might begin to imagine the impact on the environment. BUT, we still use it because it allows us to create certain designs that we would otherwise be unable to. Using watermelon as a substitute is an interesting concept but is not practical for all purposes.

SO, what if we could reclaim all of this used floral foam and use it for something else?

Just a thought. Any suggestions anyone?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Baccarat Vases

Earlier today, I had to swing by Baccarat at South Coast Plaza to pull from their amazing line of fine crystal for the Corona Del Mar Home Tour. Marcy, the boutique manager, and I had way too much fun brainstorming together in the midst of all the beautiful pieces to choose from. It was tempting to pick everything to showcase. But here's a sneak of some of the vases I'll be designing for that we FINALLY narrowed it down to. And yes, even the kitties will be making an appearance next Tuesday!

My favorite piece is The Forest of Dreams Five-Vase Holder designed by Marcel Wanders:
(This picture is borrowed from the Baccarat website.) This particular piece is surprisingly versatile. You can remove the vases to switch it out with tea light holders or stick-candle holders. And the ornamental detail I just love!
This one retails for $3500.

Baccarat's stemware is a whole different story of prettiness! Just go to their website or visit their boutique at South Coast Plaza. All I know is that I am very excited about accenting their crystal with some gorgeous flowers.

More to come on the Corona Del Mar Home Tour!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Help! How do I pick a floral designer?!

Ah, music to my ears. How DO you find the perfect florist for your event? Whether its for an extravagant wedding or just a fun party you're throwing, there's more to a florist than their ability to throw some stems in a vase.

Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself:

What is my budget?
This is an important question because how much money you decide to set aside for the flowers will determine the number of pieces you can have and how extravagant you can make your arrangements. Every event is a budget event despite the amount of money you have or don't have. Just decide whether or not the flowers and decor are more important to you than other parts of your special day. Do you want some innovative designs or do you just need something to fill the center of your guest tables? Be realistic and you won't be dissappointed.

What kind of designs do I want?
A great indicator of a good match for you: take a look at their portfolio. If it has an "ooh, ahh" effect on you, you may have found the design style you're looking for. If not, keep looking.

I think I found my designer but I still don't know what I want.
Don't worry about this one so much because a good designer will be able to conjure up some great designs that work within your theme and budget. Again, be realistic. But personally, I love it when my clients hand over a bunch of pictures, fabrics and color samples to give me a sense of what ambiance they are going for. Often I find myself brainstorming together to create the perfect look for the event. What I hear frequently too is, "I didn't know this was what I wanted until I saw it."

What is their reputation?
This is important. You certainly don't want to hire someone who is seemingly awesome only for them to NOT show on the day of. That would be more of a nightmare than anything else. Yelp is a great resource. But referrals are even better. If your friends or family know their work and can vouch for them, its probably a good indication that you have a reliable designer to work with.

Just remember to have fun! Don't stress too much. You're paying someone else to do the stressing for you.

Happy planning!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Budgeting for Your Wedding

I have one word for budgeting: PRIORITIZE

Every wedding is on a least, it should have some type of guideline to the amount of money that will be spent. Otherwise what inevitably ends up happening is OVER-spending. And for most, that isn't a good feeling.

So, sit down and make a list of the most important aspects of your wedding and splurge your budget on those. Everything else doesn't matter to you anyway to skimp out on those parts. For example, for those who love florals and decor (ahem) should spend away on dec'n out their wedding hall with as many blooming beauties as their heart desires. But if the floral decor is super low on the priority list, don't be afraid to DIY it....or substitute it all together with some fun functional alternative like mini cakes.

Is it really that simple? Yes!

This concept of prioritizing also applies within each category. Going back to the floral decor example: Let's say the florals are number 1 on the list but you realize that the reception decor is so much more important to you than the ceremony decor. Again, pour your budget into the reception and not so much in the ceremony. Can you just imagine what an impact that will make for the most important part of your wedding rather than spreading out the budget into everything? If you're not sure where flowers and decor will make the most impact, ask your trusted, experienced designer for advice and they will certainly be able to help you maximize your budget.

PS - If you find yourself getting distracted with all the pretty knick-knacks in the low priority part of the list and your tempted to purchase, go back to the list and remind yourself what is important. Get your focus back on track and your budgeting will follow.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Designing with Succulents

I just want everyone to know: I 'heart' succulents.

Yeah, I know, they are super trendy right now. But, what can I say, I am a sucker for trends.

But the funny thing is, this particular design of succulents has been sitting here for many years. Can you guess where this is?

All of the Southern California residents have probably already figured it out by now. Its Disneyland! Right at the heart of the Storybook Land Boat ride lies this beautiful quilt of mini varieties of so many beautiful succulents. Love, love, love!!!

FYI, I also 'heart' living on Southern California. Its okay to be jealous. I understand.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Preston Bailey's Paper Topiaries

I recently came across these pictures on Preston Bailey's blog post.



Can you tell the one major difference between the two pictures?

Yep, one has far fewer flowers than the other because the topiaries in the second picture are made from paper. And the impact of the redesign is truly stunning!

This is a great point of inspiration from Preston Bailey - taking an old design and finding a way to make it new. This is the heart of innovation and how beautiful it is!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Wedding Industry Professionals Association (WIPA) October 2010 with Chef Andrew Spurgin of Waters Catering

There are so many reasons I look forward to event industry networking events. I get a chance to check out various venues, enjoy delicious food and hang out with some of the most amazing people! This past Thursday evening, I headed on over to the WIPA event at the Huntington Beach Hilton Waterfront.

The guest speaker was Andrew Spurgin, Executive Chef/Director of Waters Fine Catering in San Diego.

He has quite a resume including having cooked for three US presidents and Martha Stewart! And the content of his talk was so enriching. Here's a snap of a part of his presentation.

And I had the opportunity to chat with him after dinner service. He had some intriguing stories to tell (as you can imagine from his wealth of experience) but my favorite comment from him was to never compromise on the integrity of you or your product just to save a contract. Love that! And he truly lives by his own words. Another part I appreciate about Andrew is that he is very involved with the slow food movement so all the food prepared from his kitchen truly start with the finest ingredients!

I had the pleasure of sharing with evening with Andrew along with these lovely ladies:

I'm sure you're dying to see the fabulous details pulled off by all the vendors so here it goes.







For beautiful professional images of the event, please see Luminaire Images blog post. You can really see the details from their pictures!

Event Sponors:
Venue/Catering/Accomdations: The Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort
Rentals: AFR Rentals
Linens: BBJ Linens
Photography: Luminaire Images
Printing: The Card Lady
Florals: Flowers Fusion
Entertainment: Del Lago Trio
Dessers: A Wish and a Whisk
Chameleon Chair Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

Thanks Vivian for allowing me to borrow a few of your images.

PS - Happy Birthday Mary!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Gambling for the Gulf Presented by

Last week, presented a unique fundraiser in response to the massive oil spill in the Gulf.

"The well that spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf Coast may have finally been plugged, but the clean-up and relief efforts needed have only just begun. Moreover, the long-term social and environmental consequences from this disaster are far from known. In response, is funding a field research project for Kristen Gamble, a UC Irvine PhD student, who studies the impacts of environmental disasters, and the relief efforts that follow. We will be coordinating this project with the New Orleans based Gulf Restoration Network to ensure access to important contacts, data, and impacted areas. All proceeds from the event will go towards these efforts."

The event was sponsored by Andrei's Conscious Cuisine in Irvine.

And funds were raised via gambling.

Raffle tickets were given in exchange for the chips won at the end of the night.

And I was personally coveting the surfboard and beach cruiser. But no such luck my way that night.

Thank you for your work towards a sustainable future!

For businesses interested in receiving consultations to 'green' their business practices, please contact Jesse Baker at