Sassy Diva Designs and Events presents Floral Artists of the Bay Area (FAB)

For the past 2 years, I served as the President for the SAIFD (Student American Institute of Floral Designers) Alexander Graham chapter at CSM, before we were unwillingly kicked out of the college and told we were just "hobbyists" (but thats another story).  The board unanimously decided to continue the educational programs that were held monthly at CSM and over the past year we have tried to figure out the best way to continue offering these amazing programs.  Over the week, it was decided that my company, Sassy Diva Designs and Events, would serve as the official head of the organization.  

Our group meets every quarter in different locations throughout the Bay Area in order to encompass both North Bay and South Bay designers.  We look for top quality designers to demonstrate the latest trends and techniques in the floral world as well as promote events that are happening all over the Bay Area.

We still have lots to figure out, but we had our first meeting under the new management last night and it was quite the show!

Our designers for the evening were former CSM instructor, Dianna Vigil, AIFD, and Irasema Carranza of Ralston Florist who put together seven gorgeous arrangements that could be used for Spring weddings or parties.  Thanks to a generous donations from California Flower Shippers in Mountain View, they were able to use whatever was in the warehouse to create these magnificent floral designs.  Here are a few pictures of what they came up with!

Dianna and Irasema  
Design #1: Perfect for an office or for someone who wants a big arrangement, but doesn't want to spend a lot.  Orange Gerbera Daisies, flax and the leaves make up this asymmetrical design.

Design #2: Pave centerpiece in bright spring colors.  A great way to add some pop to a table.

Design #3:  Tall centerpiece with manzanita, gerbera daisies, roses, orchids,  and amaranthus.   

Design #4: spring bridal bouquet with coral peonies, yellow freesias, manzanita branches, purple orchids and more.

A new trend that I am getting a lot of requests for is to use the bridal bouquet and attendants bouquet as decor for the reception.  A great way to do this is to have a decorative vase.  You can leave it empty or fill it with rocks or other materials and it makes a great centerpiece!

Design #5:  Tall birdcage with gardenias, roses, stephanotis vine and bear grass.  Very fragrant design that would look nice near the guest table or sign in table.

Design #6: This was one of my favorites.  They took a tall fluted vase (typically a rental item) and placed a wire wreath holder on top.  Asparagus vine was wound around the wreath wire and white phalaenopsis orchids were wired into the center of the vase.  They then used gardenias, roses, calla lilies  and stephanotis vine to complete the look.

When the event is over, your guests can take the top of the design home, and the designer can take the vase back.  

Design #7:  The final design of the night got a lot of "oohs" and "aahs".  A breathtaking cascade bouquet using stephanotis vine, gardenias, phalaenopsis orchids and roses.

The design was held in a bouquet holder that was covered up with white satin ribbon and an Oasis wire collar for extra support.

Over all, the designs were absolutely amazing.  Special thanks to Dianna Vigil, AIFD, and Irasema Carranza for their beautiful work, and to California Flower Shippers for the donation of all the flowers you see in these pictures as well as rental chairs for our group!  

The next event will be held this summer in San Mateo.  Keep an eye out for more details!


Don't take "No" for an answer

Since the beginning of the year, I have talked to at least two brides who were not satisfied with their florist.  In both instances, the brides were told that certain things they wanted were not available or very expensive.  One bride wanted purple calla lillies in her bouquet and was quoted over $200.  She also wanted a gardenia in her hair and was told that they weren’t in season, so it was impossible.  Another bride really wanted submerged centerpieces, but was told they were too difficult.

As a designer, I was shocked.  A bouquet with roses and calla lilies should not cost over $200 (I charged her a whopping $85), gardenias are available year around, and submerged centerpieces are easy and very affordable.  I quickly alleviated their questions and made them feel like I was listening to them to give them everything they dreamed of.

While you are searching for your florist or floral designer (whether its me or one of the many others out there) you should feel as if they are listening to you.  If you hear the words “can’t”, “impossible”, “too hard”, “you should want this”, walk away quickly.  A florist, and any other vendor for that matter, should do everything in their power to make you feel as if they are listening and want to make your wedding the day you’ve dreamed of.  It is your day after all!

Its true that at some points in the year, certain flowers are not available, but the florist should be able to give you alternates that are similar in look and cost instead of flat out saying “no”.  Here is a good resource for when certain flowers are in season.  

Don't be afraid to ask the designer questions, or to take your time in choosing who you go with.  That being said, leave yourself plenty of time to book your florist!  You may think its one of the easiest things to do, but with all the choices out there, it can get complicated quickly  (As a side note, if you book with me early enough and are still questioning flower choices, I will take you to the flower mart as a special trip to look at the different flowers).

A few more tips for looking for a florist:

-Have a budget to work with before your initial consultation.  It helps the florist know which flowers are in your budget as well as sizes of centerpieces, bouquets etc.

-Bring pictures with you of flower choices, colors, layouts, etc.

-Know all the "extras" you want like aisle pieces, rose petals, arches, ceremony decor, cake flowers etc.  Having this list will help your florist come up with an accurate quote.

-Decide if you want to go to your local florist shop or search for a independent floral designers (see this blog post for the differences)

-Ask your friends who they have used, or ask the florist if you can talk to former clients for reviews.

Floral Designer vs. Florist

While writing a blog post on how to look for your florist, I started thinking about the difference between what people call "florists" and what I am, a floral designer.  So we are going to start with this post first...

The first question that pops up, is one more experienced then the other?  Absolutely not.  Both florists and designers are trained to do everything that comes with floral design.  The difference lies in where they work.  Florists will typically have a shop and while working on weddings and events, they will also be taking orders for birthdays and other day to day events while managing the shop.  A designer typically focuses on one event at a time and will work out of their home or a smaller workshop, but won't have product on hand for day to day orders.

Another difference is cost.  Florist shops will usually charge an overhead, but because they always have flowers on hand and usually have someone deliver the product, they aren't as expensive as a floral designer.  Most designers will charge more because of the added time and gas it takes to pick up the flowers and supplies they need.  If the wedding is big enough, they also may need to rent a space to work and store the pieces.

It also depends on what you want your flowers to look like.  Designers will typically have more time to create an overall look to fit your theme, whereas florists in a shop will only be able to create the centerpieces and other floral pieces for the wedding.  Both will create beautiful pieces, so it depends on what you want the flowers to say about your wedding.

Hope this helps while you are deciding on florals for your wedding!  Next week, check in and read some tips on how to talk to your florist or designer at the initial consultation!

A Hollywood Affair

Located at the stunning Fox Theater in downtown Redwood City, the first wedding of the year for Sassy Diva Designs and Events was one to remember.

When I first talked to the bride, her name sounded very familiar.  It turns out that I had worked with her on several theatre projects in the past!

Her wedding was a month away and she had talked to another local florist, but wasn't very happy (this is not the first time a bride shared her frustration with other florists, a blog post on that will be coming soon!).  There were a few things that she wanted and was quoted at a ridiculously high price or was told that there was no way she would be able to have certain flowers, like a simple gardenia for her hair!  When I heard this, I was shocked and quickly assured her that what she wanted was available and I could give it to her within her budget.

Since the wedding was being held at the fox, we wanted something dramatic (and the bride specially requested feathers!).  I also wanted to make sure that the red roses she asked for wouldn't clash or blend in with the red curtain in the background, so we added some beautiful dark purple calla lilies.

The bridal bouquet had ivory feathers and an ivory ribbon accent with just a little bit of sparkle added to the callas.

The bridesmaids bouquet had a single feather accent (in the colors of the bridesmaid dresses, purple and teal) with the red roses and purple callas.  To add some drama to the bouquets, I made a collar out of purple aspidistra leaves.

The grooms boutonniere had a feather accent to match the bride's bouquet.  Not pictures is the groomsmen bouts which were similar but did not have the feather accent.

The other piece she asked me for was a simple arrangement on the guest book table.  I used a tall silver vase and used hydrangeas, three red roses, the purple callas and these gorgeous white ostrich feathers to add some drama.  

A special shout out to my friend and co-conspirator Allison of Cake Done Right for her work on the wedding as well, with the feathers, its like we planned the whole thing!  

It was a lot of fun working on this wedding and I wish Kris and Raegena Brunker warm wishes on their marriage!  

Bridal Fairs- To attend, or not to attend?

In an attempt to promote my business even more, I signed up to do two bridal fairs in January and February.  I heard mixed reviews from other florists on whether they got any business from the fairs or not, but I thought, what the heck, might as well try!

The first one was located in the San Jose area.  I used bright pink and purple anemone's, white Casablanca lilies, Stargazer lilies, pink David Austen garden roses, pink and cream spray roses, lisianthus, orchids and red roses to create 3 very different bouquets, a sweet heart table design, two tall centerpieces and a low centerpiece.  Take a look:

At the second fair, located at the beautiful Fox Theatre in Redwood City, I decided to try something a little different.  Instead of just doing bouquets, I matched each bouquet up with a centerpiece and created a vignette.  I used red roses, white hydrangea, eggplant purple calla lilies, peach roses, succulents, purple and pink lisianthus, jasmine, amaranthus and other greens.  I got a lot more of a response from this set up, then the last!  Enjoy the photos!

Which was your favorite design out of all these?


Life, Love and Happiness

Its been a whirlwind 6 months since this Sassy Diva got hitched.  Took a long hiatus from floral work, but now I am back and business is booming!  In the upcoming weeks, you will see posts from two of the bridal fairs I attended and photos of a Holywood Glamour wedding at the Fox Theatre in Redwood City.  We will also be talking about how to deal with your wedding florist and to not take "no" for an answer!

Lots of exciting things coming up!  Hope you enjoy!


Janice and Holm- August 19, 2012

On a beautiful, sunny, warm day in Campbell, the adorable couple Janice and Holm tied the knot at the lovely Ainsley House.  I was so lucky to be apart of their big day and had so much fun putting their flower arrangements together.

I met with them a little over a month before they got married, on a referral from Miranda at Divine Affairs Events.  They weren't very sure about a theme, but they knew that they wanted dark pink, red and orange in their flowers.  We went through many pictures and talked about likes and dislikes and finally came up with a game plan.

For her bouquet, I used a bouquet holder wrapped in gold angel hair and white beaded wire.  I used roses, orchids and dahlia's to add color and texture to the bouquet.

For the groom's boutonniere I used rolled orange rose petals and wrapped the stem with the same angel hair and bead wire to match his beautiful bride.

For the bridesmaid, I did a smaller version of the brides without the orchids.  Instead of bead wire, I used red decorative wire.

The groomsmen and fathers got rolled orange and red petals with the same wrap as the bridesmaids.

The mothers of the bride and groom got a shoulder corsage with a pink rose and orange alstromeria.  The wrap matched the brides bouquet.

The flower girls got matching baskets with a sheer orange ribbon and angel hair handle.  

For the ceremony, we did aisle runners out of moss cones,  and three arbor pieces with orange fabric draped in a "v" shape.  The flowers used were roses in pink, red and orange, alstromeria, gerbera dasies, calla lillies and celosia.

 They also had a cocktail hour following the ceremony before the guests headed to the reception site.  I designed two tall buffet pieces and small cocktail table designs  Flowers used for these designs were orange and pink dahlias, pink, orange and red roses, and three call lilies as a crown.  The vases for the buffet were tall black Eiffel Tower vases and the cocktail tables used clear square vases with red stones.

On to the reception!  One of the things Janice requested is that we use potted plants in the pieces.  Most of their guests were from out of town, but the few that were from the area, she wanted to have them take home a plant arrangement that they could remember forever.  She also really liked a centerpiece that had a tall manzanita branch surrounded by flowers at the base.  After much, thought, I developed this design:

Using potted plants as well as cut flowers, I was able to create the look she wanted and have something for her guests to take home.  I am really happy with the way that they turned out and I received many rave reviews from the bride and other guests.  Maybe using potted plants is going to be the trend in 2013!  It really does look nice and is a great gift for guests!

All in all, it was a very successful, beautiful event!  Congratulations to the newly-weds!