Choosing Your Event Florist

Choosing the right florist can be a difficult task. You want to make sure the florist handling all your wedding flowers understands your vision. It will help to have a good idea of what you want your wedding design to be. Do you want to go tradition, classic, modern, or a specific theme? Once you have this decided, look online for inspiration photos and colors. If you have dress or tux swatches bring them along to your floral design appointments. Don’t forget, you can meet with multiple florists before you decide who to go with.

Keep in mind that not all flower shops participate in the wedding industry. Some shops may strictly do retail arrangements and focus on holidays. Then you have floral designers who are more likely to do weddings and special events. These shops are made up of creative individuals who will work with you to understand your vision and help bring it to life.  You are not just buying flowers, you are receiving floral event design and a set-up/delivery service.

You should decide how important your flowers are to you for your wedding in order to budget correctly. Do some research and ask for suggestions from friends or someone who has recently planned a wedding. Sometimes websites like Wedding Wire and The Knot can point you in the right direction with reviews and prices ranges for certain shops. Know that certain flowers cost more than others, being aware of this will keep you from feeling blindsided by the pricing of small bridal bouquet of roses. Pick a few Florists that you think you might click with and make some appointments! The sooner you book the date the better.

 

Wedding Floral Designs by Leigh Florist

 

When you attend your appointments be sure to bring your colors, and photos of any ideas or things that you like. They will most likely have tons of photos of their own work for you to look through as well. Ask about rental items and what flowers will be in season at the time of your wedding. Be sure to explain your vision for your wedding in detail. Ask questions and give/get as many details as you can. If you feel confident in the designer and like what he or she is saying then you may have found your perfect floral fit! It helps if the florist comes recommended by your venue. Chances are they have worked at your venue before and know the ins and outs. It’s always good to have a vendor that knows your venue and the people working there well. This goes for any vendor – venue relationship.

Fall Engagement Photos

Congratulations, you’re engaged!  It is now time to start planning for the big day.  One of the first things to plan are your engagement photos.  These can be so much fun, especially during the Fall season.  The different colored leaves create an amazing backdrop.  There are endless ideas you can incorporate in your photo shoot.

Here are a few ideas:

Winery

Wandering through the vineyard, or opening a bottle of wine and toasting to a successful marriage and many happy years to come!

Vanessa Joy Photography – Laurita Winery New Egypt, NJ

  • A Park

Collecting leaves, throwing them in the air and letting them fall all around you. The leaves and trees in the background create a colorful vibrant background for your photographer to utilize.

Ashley Gerrity Photography

 

Colleen Jones Photograhpy

FALL in Love

Fall weddings are extremely popular and are giving spring weddings a run for their money. The changing colors of the trees in the fall offer bright colors that will inspire your wedding décor. You will have beautiful floral color options from rich, deep reds to burgundy’s, and bright yellows to vibrant oranges.  Some of the most timeless flowers grow in the fall.  Here are 5 of our top favorite.

  1. Sunflowers

Sunflowers may be available all year round (at a higher cost in the off season) but they grow locally here in late summer and fall at a more budget friendly price.

  1. Dahlias

These lavish blooms are one of our bride’s favorites.  Their blooms range from a small delicate flower to a dinner plate size bloom.  They come in a multitude of colors, to match any bridesmaid dress, or color scheme.

Ashley Gerrity Photography

 

  1. Mums

Mums are a great wall to really bring fall into your wedding.  Having mums planted in a pot and used as ceremony décor is a great idea. They can then be moved and used to decorate your reception space too!  It’s cost effective, and really adds a lot of fall color.

Daisy mums make the perfect compliment to sunflowers.

 

  1. Celosia

Celosia comes in two types of blooms, feathered or coxcomb. The coxcomb bloom resembles coral. Celosia comes in many fall colors.  Very popular are its dark burgundy shades, for bouquets and centerpieces.

Ashley Gerrity Photography

 

  1. Bi-colored rose

These roses are grown all year round but are more likely used in the fall season. Popular fall roses are high and magic, or circus rose.  Its bright yellow and orange petals make them a true show stopper. They would look amazing in all aspects of your wedding.

Jennifer Carr Photography

A Bee and Its Flower

Bees and flowers have a lovely symbiotic relationship.  This means the relationship mutually beneficial for both parties involved.

The bees and flowers begin their bonding in late spring into the summer. This is when the bees are most active and the flowers start to bloom. As the bees travel from flower to flower, they pollinate each one. Their body picks up the pollen from each bloom which is then dropped onto each flower that it lands on after that. The bees do not intend to leave any of pollen behind because they are trying to get as much pollen back to their hives.  Pollen is the bee’s food source.

Bees also collect the nectar from the flowers. The nectar is a mixture of the plant sugar and water. This nectar provides the bee with energy to help them continue on their journey to collect pollen. Pollination of the flowers is very important. When a female flower is pollinated it helps process of making seeds.

Here is a list of ten flowers (according to Fafard: Science behind the art’s blog) that are best for bees.

  • Pale Purple Coneflower (early summer)
  • Common Yarrow (early summer)
  • Sunflower (summer)
  • Blue Giant Hyssop (summer)
  • Horsemint (summer)
  • Purple Coneflower (summer)
  • Black-eyed Susan (summer)
  • Aster (late summer early fall)
  • Joe-Pye Weeds (late summer early fall)
  • Golden Rod (late summer early fall)

Extra fun fact: Bees cannot see the color red, they tend to avoid red colored flowers.

Sunflowers

When you think sunshine and flowers most likely your first thought is sunflowers.  They’re large, bright headed blooms make the sunflower one of the most recognized flower around the world.  Sunflowers originated in the Americas and Europe, and were then cultivated as a valuable food source for centuries.

Artists throughout history loved the sunflower’s unique splendor—those of the Impressionist Era were especially fixated on the flower.  You will often see photographs of wild sunflowers with their tall stalks stretched out trying to reach the sun.  The receiving of a sunflower means the feeling of adoration, admiration, and platonic love towards a person, such as a family member or friend.  It will give the feeling of positivity and strength. It would be a sure way to brighten up their day.  Aside from being beautiful and important symbolically, the sunflower is downright useful. Almost all varieties produce edible and good-tasting seeds with plenty of health benefits.

The sunflower was common in American Indian tribes in North America. It is said that the plant was cultivated by the American Indians in present day Arizona and New Mexico around 3000BC. Some experts say the sunflower was domesticated even before corn! Used in many different ways when it came to food, the sunflower was a significant food source to the American Indians. The seeds where ground up and used in flour for cakes, mush and bread. Some mixed them with vegetables and some ate them as a snack but cracking the shell and just eating the seed (like we do today).

Sunflowers were used for more than food purposes too, such as purple dyes, body painting and decorations. Parts of the plant were also used for medical purposes from snakebites to body ointments. Sunflower oil (from the seed) was used in the hair and on skin and the dried stalk of the flower was used as building material. The whole plant including the seeds was very often used in American Indian ceremonies. Who knew so much use could come from a flower?

Sunflowers are heavily used in wedding decor and personal flowers such as bridal bouquets and centerpieces.

Sunflower bridal arrangements by Leigh Florist

BE a BEE Keeper

Bees are an extremely important part of our Eco system.  Their pollination process is essential for the growth of flowers, plants and trees all over the world.

The European honeybee is the most common species, and the only species kept in America. They are just 1 species of 20,000 worldwide known species. North America is home to 4,400 bee species including social bumblebee colonies, solitary tunnel nesting bees and solitary ground nesting bees.

Honeybees are the only insect which stores food in excess.  The colonizing of bees is called bee keeping.  Tending to bee hives requires a lot of time and knowledge.  General maintenance requires periodic inspections during the warm months to make sure your queen is laying eggs, your workers are building up honey stores, and your colony has enough space to expand.

Bees are directly influenced by their environment.  Their behavior and success varies greatly across climates. Management time and style will depend on your climate, your hive style, and your particular bees. All colonies are unique, and each beekeeper will have a different experience.

There are 3 types of bees in the colony: The Queen, the worker bee, and the drone.  The queen is the most important bee in the colony, there is only one.  The queen will lay all of the eggs for the colony, “deciding” when to lay drones eggs, or workers eggs.  Worker bees are sterile females who do all of the foraging, feeding of young, honey production and storage, wax production, cleaning, and defending the hive against intruders.

The only male bees in the colony are drones. Their only purpose is to mate with virgin queens from other colonies. Once they mate, they die successful bees. Unsuccessful drones return to the hive to eat honey and pollen. Once swarm season is over, drones become a drain on resources inside the hive, and are evicted by workers.  Bee keeping is hard work, but rich in reward.  There are many bee keeping groups and clubs that you can join to learn more about the bees in your local area.

Dress up your Ceremony

The ceremony is usually your guests first impression of your wedding so lets set the mood!  This is where a lot of photos will be taken of this special moment in your life, so how do you decorate? There are so many way to create the ultimate ceremony space.  It is amazing what flowers and a little imagination can do!

  • Doors

If you can find a set of old barn doors or historical weathered doors, you can drape a sheer fabric to soften and create a backdrop.  Have your florist create a beautiful garland or swag of flowers to accent.

  • Draping curtains

Whether you have a cozy indoor ceremony or a romantic outdoor setting, a simple way to create an altar is to drape fabric over branches of a large tree.  It’s romantic, simple, and with some added floral accents it will bring your garden wedding to life.  If you are working with an indoor space try an arch with draped fabric, florals and lights. Eye-catching and romantic!

  • Hanging a curtain of lights

Hanging lights is such a beautiful and romantic backdrop to your ceremony.  It will illuminate your event with a beautiful glow, and the pictures will be jaw dropping!

  • Flower or garland curtain

Create a backdrop with a curtain of flowers or have a simple, minimalistic look with greenery garlands. The things florists have down with flowers to create those soft and beautiful backdrops is amazing.

 

Stephanie & Jarrett at The Bradford Estate

Photos by Tiffany Atlas Photography

 

Roses Flower Curtain by Leigh Florist Weddings

 

Chic Rusitc Door Decor

http://shabbychicmagazine.com/wedding-decor-ideas/

History of Boutonnieres

It’s no secret that most men aren’t really into flowers, especially wearing them. However, did you know a boutonniere is historically the manliest thing you are wearing as you walk down the aisle? If you’re the groom or even a groomsmen, you may be wondering about the flowers you may have to wear on the special day. You may feel silly wearing a flower especially if it’s a girly color like pink, but think about the big picture and how it connects you to your beautiful bride. It ties the two of you together in a special way on your wedding day.

If you read our History of corsages blog then you got a glimpse of where the boutonniere tradition comes from but let’s expand! Some believe that this tradition goes back to ancient Egypt and the Aztecs. They would wear certain colored blossoms to show their support for players who participated in sporting events.

Others believe that the tradition came from the battlefields of the civil wars in England where the bloom or bloom color signified friends or enemies from each other. Boutonnieres didn’t become popular on lapels until the early 19th century when fashions began to change. Bigger coats that folded over revealing the inside of a buttonhole, creating a lapel didn’t become popular until this time.

It is said that boutonnieres became popular for special occasions because flowers provided a perfume effect, warded off evil and disease.

Typically, the boutonniere the groom wears should be a bit different from that of his groomsman. Sometimes they are a fuller design or even a different flower of the same color. The blooms should be pinned to the left lapel of the tux or suit jacket. A good jacket will have a sturdy buttonhole to support the weight of the flower. Some flowers are heavier than others so you will need to make sure it is secured correctly. Most of the time the grooms boutonniere will match the bride’s bouquet and pull them together for a picture perfect look.

Boutonnieres by Leigh Florist

 

Hydrangea

If you have been invited to a wedding in the past couple of years, chances are you have seen the hydrangea flower in either the wedding centerpieces or even in bridal bouquets. If you are big on the meaning of flowers, hydrangea means love and admiration, making it a sought after flower by brides to-be.

Hydrangea was first cultivated in Japan, but they have recently found fossilized hydrangea in North America dating back millions of years. Hydrangea was not seen in Europe until the 18th century when a colonist brought the North American hydrangea plant over to England.

Today, hydrangea mainly grows in the Americas. Big hydrangea heads are many smaller blooms clustered together. The little star-shaped flowers grow along wooden stems and create a big, pompom shape, making them very versatile and very easy to use in arrangements.

The most common color of hydrangea is white, but they also come in a variety of colors; such as blue, red, pink, or purple. In hydrangea varieties, the exact color often depends upon the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. Acidic soils produce blue flowers, neutral soils produce pale cream petals, and alkaline soils result in pink or purple. They can also change color, or be bi-colored. All depending on how acidity is added or removed from the soil. Hydrangea is available all year round, making it great for any occasion you would like to celebrate!

Some brides often worry that if they choose hydrangea for their wedding flowers it will wilt easily.  If your florist sources the hydrangea from top quality sources and hydrates each bloom properly, you will have nothing to worry about.  They are a beautiful flower that will compliment any wedding arrangement.

Take a look at a past wedding we created which included hydrangea in the wedding bouquets and wedding centerpieces.

What’s a Corsage?

For as far back as we can remember for occasions such as milestones birthdays, graduations, proms,   weddings and even baby showers there have been flowers involved. From table decorations to personal arrangements pinned to a shirt, or tied around a wrist to fresh flowers placed in an up-do or a flower crown on your head. But where did this floral tradition start? Why were people pinning fresh flowers to their clothing?

The word “corsage” is French and originally referred to the bodice portion of a formal dress. Women used to pin flowers to the bodices of their formal wear which was known as “bouquet de corsage”, quickly shortened to what we use today.

In ancient times, flowers were worn to special events in order to ward of any evil. Hence why weddings and special occasions became the main flower wearing events! Some even wore flowers to simply keep themselves safe. It is said that boutonnieres provide the same for men by warding off evil and preventing disease. Back in the 16th and 17th centuries many people would wear corsages and boutonnieres every day to stay healthy, but as time went on they became more common just for special events.

As more time went on, the placement of corsages changed from the bodice to a strap on a dress near the shoulder. The meaning of corsages also change and was less focused on warding off evil or preventing illnesses and became more of a luxury. When courting a lady, a gentlemen would give his date a corsage as a gift for attending an event or dance with him. This is more like what we know corsages to be for today.

The gentleman would show respect to his date’s parents by presenting a bouquet of flowers and usually would pin a flower from the bouquet to his date’s dress. This was meant to represent attachment to another person. Corsages were also given on holidays, and even birthdays to show love and appreciation.

More presently, corsages are still worn for many special occasions. However, fashions and styles continue to change and more ladies will wear a wrist corsage, flower crown, flower ring, or carry a bouquet instead of pinning anything to their beautiful (and expensive) dresses.

A cordage is meant to make someone stand out from others and signify that she is celebrating something very special. Some will even press and frame their corsages to hold on to special memories.

Corsages by Leigh Florist