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…
How to Make a Glorious Springtime Bouquet
“Don’t make things ugly.” This is really the only rule we have at Lola Creative, unless we’re going for ugly-pretty or ugly-scary/cool. But when it comes to bouquets for weddings, pretty-pretty is the minimum. What we really try for is more like, “HOLY HANDFUL OF DRIPPING EARTHLY MAGNIFICENCE!” – or something of that nature.
My first bouquets were barely pushing pretty-pretty. Mainly because I learned from the You Tube. My roses weren’t fully open, flower diversity was so-so, and the shape looked like my bouquet had been squeezed through my sweater sleeve. This changed while on a business trip to New York. I snuck out of my then ‘real’ job to take an intro bouquet class at the New York Botanical Garden. I learned a couple of simple tricks to get a full bouquet that looks like each flower could just continue on growing. We’ll go over that at our GARDENESQUE BOUQUET WORKSHOP. Register here.
But today we’ll just breeze over some terms for different types of flowers and how they are working in this bouquet, inspired by St. Patty’s Day.
And here are the yummy, American and Lower Left Canadian flowers.
Base: These are flowers we start out with, I typically start with three. Their main purpose is to support the other flowers ON TOP OF THEM and be a barrier for flowers around them that want to squeeze into the center. So don’t get too attached to them because you aren’t going to see very much of them. They are back up dancers. Now you could use them also as secondary, but I did not.
Focal: This is the one or two flowers to drool over and often the most expensive. We don’t want too many. These are typically near the middle and typically one is smack on top of my base flower so it has maximum room to stretch out and be fantastic.
Secondary: These are flowers to add color and build your bouquet out. They go all over the dang place. I typically choose one or two types.
Sprouties: These are flowers that are smaller and hover over the other flowers giving it some movement and lightness. For gardeney bouquets I use a lot of these and place them throughout. The stems need to be longer than your base and focal flowers. Sprouties can be flowers, pods, or small, delicate foliage.
Foliage: Here I use a few foliage to get a good garden variety. the rigidity and loveliness varies. For example, the box, which goes a bit unnoticed is rigid and will help keep flowers from squishing in and can help in supporting big floppy flowers. The delicate geranium is used a bit more like a feature because of its graceful arch.
Drapey bits: Not shown in the image above is drapey bits like the pieris, Placed near the outer ring or along the outside, they will make the profile of your bouquet look fab, add grace, and an elegant drippy quality.
Special bits: These are the pieces that I add last, after most everything is secured and I’ve had a chance to inspect the bouquet in a full length mirror. I then decide where these go to bring focus and character to where it needs it.
And THAT, flower friends, is the anatomy of a gardenesque bouquet. sign_up. for our bouquet workshop on March 28th to put all this good stuff to use and play with some of the lushest flowers and foliage our local farmers have to offer.
Rulz for throwing a crazy fun bash- the Bamboo Beats 411 Party
This is the second year we’ve participated in Bamboo Beats’ yearly bash and it’s always high on the ridiculous fun meter. We’ve compiled some of the best shots of the night courtesy of Alante Photography to assist in describing what I think is BB’s winning mix of freak and fun.
The reason for this may be obvious. We want more of this dancing on one’s head business…
…and less of what this orange shirted gal has to offer. This is me mastering the good ole clap, stomp, wiggle, wiggle. My other move is the shaka-legga-shaka-legga-shaka-legga-shaka. But for some reason Alante Photography decided not to document that.
Number 2: Have a little “Whuuuh?!” Factor
We love the Bamboo Beats parties because they allow us to make the stuff that typically aren’t requested. Unexpected decor is key to an unusually fun party. Have expected decor and you can have a usually fun party. When people walk into a party, I want them to feel like anything could happen. It drives up the adrenaline, opens up awareness, and sends the guest exploring for more uncommon details. Pull together some appropriately “out-there” looks and you are on your way to priming your guests to be jumping in anticipation for the night to come.
For this 9 foot tall cardboard, street art-astic flower urn, we partnered with artist Eli. Eli is a mysterious artist and so we don’t know what his last name is or if Eli is even really his name at all. He provided us with the night’s motto, “GET WEIRD.”
We set up the back room of Within Sodo as a ceremony set with 9 foot tall arch-screen sprayed up by Eli, our racetrack aisle runner, orange tree, and decals on the chairs with words from Digital Underground’s 1991 hit “Kiss You Back”
Number 3: Good Eats
The importance of the unexpected is transferable to food as well. Here we’ve got Baked Custom Cakes with adorable cupcakes in a shocking color palette, but whuuuuh? A boombox cake and a splatter paint cake? Can’t wait to put them in my mouth. And by the way, those are our newest vase acquisitions with metal flower armatures. So cool.
This guy clearly loves street food.
Number 4: Drinks for thirsty dancers.
Nothing like a Hilliard’s to sooth a break dancing injury.
Number 5: Freak Show
What’s he doing? taming a rabid rhino? Making furniture levitate with his eyes? Is he a human statue? No, he’s Valentine of Valentine’s Men’s Grooming Salon. So he’s not really a freak but his skills are freakish. Just his meticulous care for these dude’s heads leaves crowds mesmerized and turns manscaping into a spectacle. And this sort of unexpected spectacle goes a long way in making people remember a party.
Number 6: Document!
Wedding in the Woods
Moss fashions, faux antlers, and paper animals? Oh my!
Oh yes. We (Lola Event Floral & Design) recently participated in Weddings in Woodinville, an exclusive wedding show in which vendors are hand picked for awesomeness and asked to transform a space as if jaws dragging on floors were the main objective.
We were selected by Kelli at Shindig Events which is excellent since we go together like charred crust on a roasted sh’mallow. We were teamed up with Matthews Estate Winery, an expansive site with tons of options for amazing events, and Shane Macomber with Shane Macomber Photography.
Good thing we handed out napkins… to wipe the dirt off the jaws…. from the dragging, you know. And the drool off the leaves… and the tears of joy… and the anticipatory perspiration… and the… nevermind.
Spanish moss, a cord of wood, and airy forest greenery! Um,I should mention that we rent these things.
the Spanish moss from below. Magical.
faux antler chandelier, yo. That’s actually what the bride is saying with her eyes… that and “Thanks for the warm shrug, yo.”
Smore deliciousery by Lady Yum. (and they were)
Fine, fine suit by Trillium
Garden Rose, bouvardia, and freesia bouquet by Lola Event Floral & Design
Our fine, fine, elk man made of papier mache,sticks, and paper products, in a fine, fine suit by Trillium tailor. Elk suits were out of stock so we had to squeeze him into a human suit.
This photo is by Soper Photography
Paper by Paper Fling.
Eats provided by Foodz Catering.
Super awesome lights provided by the Bunch Store.
Sh’mallows roasting over a chalkboard fire.
More yummies by lady yum. The red ones were mango Habanero. They blew my mind.
A Novel Place to Get Married
This summer we at Lola Event Floral & Design had the pleasure of working with an out of the ordinary, self-described “coupla nerds.” There’s nothing like a new idea to get the create juices really pumping. Cindy and Sam’s desire for a no real flowers allowed, triumphant expression of all the things they love led us and their creative team to a truly one of a kind wedding. Perhaps the most triumphant piece (besides a glowing bride and groom and proud family) was our fantastic book arch. We really just can’t shut our mouths about it.
So if you haven’t already seen it on the Huffington Post or other outlets, here it is again- this time with our own photos. Definitely go to Alex Rubin’s page for pics of the beautiful couple, more book arch, and more wedding photos.
Thank you, also, to the couple for being so neato and for choosing such a great team of creative professionals
To the Lola Event Floral & Design team for all the great pieces and long hours of mindless book drilling.
Pink Blossom Events for planning, paper flower centerpieces, and in general making everything work.
Sodo Park/ Herban Feast for the iconic site and tasty eats
Heathoriginals for paper flower mastery
and Rubin Photography for capturing it all.