Floral Eye Candy by Lola Creative- Spring Flower Recipe
Mmmkay. Local and West coast flowers right now have me smacking my chops. Sometimes you don’t have much to say, don’t have an event, just want to get your hands into some of those scrumptious blooms. So, without a whole lot from me, here’s some floral eye candy made with 100% local flowers all grown on the glorious, tide-licked, west side of the country. This spring flower arrangement recipe below.
5 Sahara Rose (grown in CA)
6 ‘Belle Epoque’ Tulips (grown in WA)
5 stems double Waxflower (grown in CA)
7 Lilacs (grown in WA)
10 stems Heuchera ‘Creme Brulee’ (grown uh… outside my door)
12 tendrils of Ivy (not the bad stuff. Also grown outside my door)
1 hunk of Carex grass roots bagged and staked(pulled out of my containers to make way for annual flowers)
Behind The Scenes At One of Our Favorite Past Weddings
Check out what it took to pull together one of Lola Creative’s favorite summer destination weddings!
We thought you’d like a behind the scenes peek into how things were made, installed, delivered, all that not-glamorous hidden stuff that you may want to know about.
Maybe you want to do a big DIY feature for your own wedding (beware and read on)…
Maybe you are just starting your own floral or event design company…
Maybe you are just curious…
As for me, I just want to have an excuse to look at these gorgeous photos. Nonetheless, here is a look behind the scenes at a fabulous destination wedding.
Jana and Troy got married at Roche Harbor Resort in Washington’s San Juan Islands (Friday Harbor to be precise). All these light filled dreamy images are shared with us from Laura Gordon Photography. Thanks Laura!
A Luxurious Journey
The day went something like this: our staff catches the 6am ferry from Anacortes. This means we get in line sometime around 5am to be sure not to miss it. Which means we have left our houses sometime around 3:30am. (ugh). We sleep on the ride over.
We arrive, eat some breakfast, and head over to the resort to be let into the reception hall, a charming, white washed room filled with light and easy vibes.
Everything Went According To Plan
The van floor is awash with water. Since we don’t use foam often the water from our pre-made floral arrangements sloshes out. The first thing we do is find a shady spot for the floral arrangements and refill them with water.
Kokedama? Yes Please!
Four people get working on hanging an iron gate to the beams that will be the structure from which our kokedama balls will hang.
(Our bride introduced us to kokedama and now I am obsessed.)
The bride and mother of the bride supplied us with pearled wire and baubles to hang from some of the kokedama. We hand made the tassels days earlier in our studio. Kokedama are made by wrapping plants with roots in a well draining soil wrapped with moss and then hung.
Some Assembly Required
Two people get to work on assembling the sweetheart table backdrop. It was inspired by a fabric display in an Anthropologie window. For a ten foot wide and 7 foot tall display, it took over 400 yards of fabric and four people 3 full days of ripping and tying.
TIP: This is good info for you folks planning your own DIY feature for a wedding. These things take lots and lots of time, and often much more materials than you may think. The individual fabric strips are pre-tied to a rope so that just the individual strands need to be attached.
We attached the back to two adjustable height coat racks so that they could be moved behind the DJ after dinner. A shorter strip was attached to the ceiling to create a frame and layered effect.
The couple sat on a vintage loveseat behind wooden farm tables with luxurious garlands. The loveseat was provided by our dear friends at Vintage Ambiance.
TIP: Vintage furniture is often lower to the ground than contemporary furniture. We solved this by building two 4″ height risers to prop up the bride and groom to normal height.
Next we hung the kokedama balls.
TIP: If using kokedama or any hanging plant with soil, make sure you have watered it a couple of days before. Do not water it on the day of your event, or it will drip or be unnecessarily heavy. Also, pre-tie your individual plants to an S-hook so you don’t have to adjust the height in the air.
Making Sure Everything Is Right
One of our team takes the bouquets and personal flowers over to the couple as they prepare for photos. We want to make sure they are perfect and that they love them, know how to hold them, and remind them to dry off the exposed stems when they are out of water. We leave little vases with them so that the bouquets can stay hydrated when they are not in use.
We hustle down to the chapel to get the ceremony in order before heading back to the reception hall. We assemble the giant bird cage and fill it with candles and vines. Attach two giant swags to the door (both created without foam), and attach the adorable pew ends. Simple and beautiful.
Once the ceremony is complete, we head back up to place the mixed greenery garlands on the tables, flowers, and add decor to the indoor and outdoor fireplaces.
We tie sweet feathers and leather straps to candles, light all the 10 hour tealights, and fine tune any wayward flowers.
13 Hours and… It’s Break Time
We get the “okay” from the mother of the bride and are off for dinner around 5pm. So far, my team has been working for 13 hours.
After dinner, two of our team arrive back at the reception. After the guests have finished eating we roll the backdrop behind the DJ and take down the hanging layered piece.
Two people stay overnight and wake up early to tear it all down, pack it up, and catch a ferry home.
What It Takes
Wedding sets, especially destinations, are usually long days.
This one took two staff 8 hours and two more 16 hours.
But sweet, trusting families, light-filled rooms, gorgeous pieces to make, and dreamy photos like these are worth the sore feet!
And moments like these…
Designing Events, With A Pinch Of Wonder
I was going through images last week and came across this book arch we created a few years ago. I always thought this was so cool, and people went crazy.
With wedding madness in full swing, I thought the book arch would be a good reminder of how powerful this business can be.
Much of the time we get caught up in running the business:
- Has everything been ordered?
- Is everything ready to go?
- Are all the subcontractors prepped?
- Is there enough staff?
And for set pieces like the Book Arch:
- Do we have the materials?
- Do we have the welding equipment?
- Are we sure it’s going to be stable?
- How does it look?
It’s easy to get caught up in the mundane–albeit necessary–aspects of getting the job done.
When I come across images of events that really worked–and that had such a wide impact on people outside the event–it is a good reminder of the purpose of what we’re really doing: we’re adding that wee pinch of wonder that makes the difference between a serious yawner and a “I can’t stop gawking at how amazing this is” experience.
When we’re at our best, we take a profound moment in someone’s life and insert a bit of magic. It’s incredible what can happen when everything lines up.
If You Were A Bouquet, What Would You Wear?
Call me old fashioned, but I’ve always enjoyed nude bouquets.
Photographer/Artist/Philosopher Miguel Vallinas may have just changed that.
One thing true of all great artists is that they see the world a little differently. Vallinas is no exception, and if you haven’t seen his creations before you’re really in for a treat.
Vallinas sees things very differently.
And it’s powerful.
It Started With Animals
Vallinas is well known for his series named Second Skins, in which he takes portraits of animals, then “dresses” them in outfits that match the animal’s personality.
If you haven’t seen Second Skins before, you need to check it out.
Not only does Vallinas hit the mark in every portrait–seriously, the personality of each animal is perfectly captured by the outfits–some of the images are full of emotion and, dare I say it, humanity.
It’s amazing how Vallinas can look at an animal and come up with an outfit that really suits it. And it’s more interesting to think that if we can look at an animal dressed in human clothes and say, “Yes, that outfit really works for this animal”–that’s a pretty powerful statement about each of us.
But I digress…
What Do Animals Have To Do With Bouquets?
But Vallinas came out with a new series that dresses up floral bouquets, and the result is spectacular.
Here are a few of my favorites.
This bouquet is a jewelry designer and she makes accessories out of petrified wood. She also has a blog documenting her hikes and geode collection .
This bouquet is the president of toastmasters. He always holds open the door. Sometimes people thinks he’s fake because of his watch and shoe collection and permanent smile. But he just loves people. and his mom. He calls her every day.
This bouquet is a vegan grad student off to fundraiser for estuary restoration.
This bouquet has a thing or two to teach you about the dangers of forest fires.
This bouquet has finished her mid morning tea and thinks her cats Pearl and Snackers could use a younger companion cat to bring out their youthfulness.
This bouquet is super happy that his chrysanthemums are going to be featured at the next flower show.
This bouquet can’t decide where to book her next trip. And she thinks she’ll have to buy a new swimsuit.
This bouquet is super psyched about his interview with Microsoft
This bouquet can’t find her keys again, or its cell phone. It’s not too fussed about the cell phone anyway because her kids made her get the phone.
I absolutely love what Vallinas is doing, and I love the creativity.
I’ve only shared a fraction of the goodies that are on Vallinas’s site, so check it out if you have a few spare minutes.
You won’t be disappointed!
Tips To Communicate With Your Designer
Recently, a fellow designer asked me the following…
“How do you help your clients feel less intimidated in telling you their ideas.”
I was blown away. It had never occurred to me that people might be intimidated to tell their true thoughts to the designers they hire.
Once this designer said that, I immediately thought how dangerous this situation could be.
To let a free-associating, visual stimuli addict run wild is just dangerous.
People could be wasting money, ending up with a design related to my favorite color of the day (orange) mixed with the origami something I made out of my pastry napkin from my morning coffee mixed with the slick detail from an airstream lunch trailer. However cool that may be, it may not relate to you. Somewhere down the road, you may look at my design and suddenly think…
“What the hell is that?”
Nobody wants that, so here are some tips on how to communicate with your designer to ensure you don’t have any “what the hell is that?” kind of moments.
Inside Every Designer’s Mind
In order to prevent such disaster, allow my to explain how a designer’s mind may work (ahem).
And this doesn’t just go for me, but most designers I know (and, therefore, it applies to every designer everywhere).
We view everything as if it has some useful information. For that reason we inspect how things are made, how colors change in different light, how long it takes for a pumpkin to rot… All potentially useful information. These things zip around, running into things, tripping over each other, or sometimes just waiting. They are in there because we know that one day we will be sitting in front of you.
You will say something that will connect with something else and BANG, a great idea for you.
Or so we think.
Your Willingness To Be Open With Your Designer Is Critical To Your Happiness… Seriously
I’m not saying you won’t be happy on an existential level. You still might be happy, deep down. But you might not be happy when you see the results… know what I’m sayin?
Sometimes an essential part of design is just figuring out where your brain is at.
What will freak you out and what won’t. In that case, we may throw out a lot of ideas. Don’t worry, we will not jam pack your event full of nonsense. We’re just gauging your reaction.
What Can I Do?
Over the years, I’ve gained confidence that I am pretty darn good at nailing someone’s design boundaries and style. But what makes this process better for both of us is the following:
- Bring images of rooms, clothes, events, flowers, hairstyles, vacations, whatever that reminds of the vibe you want to achieve. It can really be anything that helps us learn about you.
- Tell us what you love, and tell us what you DON’T love and why. (it’s okay if you don’t know why)
- Come with an open mind.
- You can’t hurt our feelings, so just be direct if you have any reservations about a path we are taking.
- Let us know what your priorities are.
That’s it, pretty simple. If you bring an open mind along with some of the above items, you can be sure your design experience will be that much closer to dream-making–and not of the nightmare variety!