New Semester = New challenges

Last week was the beginning of the spring semester and the final semester of floral design courses at College of San Mateo.  Lots will be happening in the coming months including a Bridal Fair put on by the students and a grand finale party.

For our first design, we took bear grass and weaved the grass into a ring.  Then we took tulips and created either a bouquet or put the piece in a small container.  I added some Oasis Diamond Wire for some sparkle and this is what I came up with:

A little note on tulips:  they are funny flowers that keep growing even after they are cut.  If you ask for tulips in an arrangement, be aware that they typically last 3-5 days and if they are in a warm area they are likely to die sooner.  If you want a long lasting bouquet to send to people, don't ask for tulips!  However, in the Language of Flowers, tulips are very romantic flowers.  Here's a list of tulip colors and what they mean:

Pink Tulips- Caring
Purple Tulips- Royalty
Red Tulips- A declaration of love
White Tulips- Forgiveness
Yellow Tulips- Hopelessly in love

Coming soon:  Tired of giving or receiving red roses for Valentines day?  I am doing research on flowers and their meanings so you can order flowers with a message for your loved one!  Keep checking back for that entry!

The Elegant Dahlia

The dahlia is Mexico's national flower and one of my favorites.  There are so many different colors that go with almost everything and they have a great texture.  They are available for wholesale in the summer and fall months and have a vase life of 5-7 days if they are in their prime season.

In the Victorian era, giving the flower would symbolize sentiments of elegance and dignity.  It also symbolized a lasting commitment and bond between two people.   The dahlia is a great flower to have in your wedding bouquet or to give to someone you love!


Pseudo-surprise party: Update!

The big 4-0 party five weeks away and things are getting done.

The only rough spot I've hit so far was with the venue.  Their contract wasn't very clear that they require a $500 security deposit on top of the rental fee, so I had to scramble to find that money.  When planning a party, be sure to ask about all the fee's associated with rentals so you don't run into this problem.  I should have known better to ask!

This week I met with my friend, Allison, owner of Cake Done Right.  She will be designing and making the cake for the party.  I am very excited to see what she comes up with!

I also ordered some fun cups from a site called Beau-Coup.  The prices were very reasonable, but I have yet to see the product.  Once they get in, I will take a picture and write a review.

I am still shopping around for the best prices on decorations.  So far Oriental Trading Co. is the front runner, but I will be heading to Diddums this week to price some things there.

This week I will be solidifying the guest list.  Instead of a paper invitation, I will be using the E-vite service.  It saves money and a tree!  You could also use social networking sites like Facebook, but you can't personalize the invitation.

So much left to do!  Off I go!

Planning a pseudo-surprise party

The love of my life is turning the big 4-0 this year which means, PARTY TIME!

I can't give away too much because he reads this blog (he knows there is a party, but doesn't know any of the details), but I thought I'd use the event as an excuse to blog some tips in planning a birthday party.

The beginning steps of planning a party like this are:

1) Find a venue:  You can rent a venue or you can hold the party at your house or even a willing friend.  I decided I wanted to use mostly Redwood City vendors to support local businesses soI went looking for a venue that was low cost and located in town.  I found a small, not widely known place called The Redwood City Woman's Club located on Clinton Ave near Sequoia High School.  For 100 guests, 5 hours including set up and tear down, a janitor service, a security guard and venue rental, I am paying a total of $680.  The site includes a full kitchen with a side room attached that is perfect for a buffet table, a sitting room, a stage and a large hall for dancing or eating a sit down dinner.  The staff is very accommodating and excited to work with you on your event.   So far, I highly recommend it.  As the party planning progresses, I will let you know if my feelings change.

2) Pick a theme: This is one thing I will have to keep hush hush on, but for some ideas, check out Oriental Trading or Shindigz.

3) Create a Guest List:  Not much to say about this one.  Still working on it, but getting him to sit down and tell me who to invite has been like pulling teeth!

4) Create a budget:  Parties cost money no matter what.  Create a budget that your pocket book can handle and shop around to find the best prices.

5) Get help:  I've asked friends and family to help with certain aspects of the party like the cake and photography. I will also get a team of people to help me with the set up and tear down the day of.

Once you have these five steps done, you can start getting creative!  If there is anything else I can share over the course of the planning process, I will.  After the party there will be a full post on everything that happened with pictures.

Off to finish planning!


Flower of the month: January

In the Victorian age, flowers carried special messages.  Lovers would ask for romantic trysts and enemies would send insults through bouquets.  I decided it would be fun to start a series in this blog on the “Language of Flowers”.  Check in on the first Monday of every month and learn the meaning behind your birth flower and once a week, I will post a new flower with the meanings and some facts about them.  I hope you enjoy it!
The flower for the month of January is the carnation.  The general meaning behind this versatile flower is fascination, distinction and love, however, there are so many varied colors that each has its own specific meaning:
Red:  Deep romantic love, passion
White:  Sweet and lovely, innocence, pure love and faithfulness
Pink:  A woman or mothers love.  
Yellow:  Rejection or disdain
Purple:  Capriciousness, whimsical, changeable or unreliable
Mauve:  Dreams of Fantasy
Striped:  A refusal
Solid color: An affirmative
Carnations are available year around and really go well in any arrangement.  Their petals add texture and interest to a bouquet.  They typically aren’t fragrant flowers, but sometimes have a very musty scent.  The design below was a pomander ball I did for a wedding last April using carnations and a line of green pin cushion flowers.


2012 Wedding Trends

While doing some browsing, I came across this article and thought it was very interesting.  I especially loved the engraved plates that I pictured below.  Hope you enjoy it!

article courtesy of The Wedding Salon

Cookie-Cupcakes, Natural Accents, Colors of the Rainbow, Attention to Detail & Fashion Inspired Weddings, Amongst the Hottest Trends for 2012 Chicago, IL (October, 2011) 
Chicago, IL (October, 2011) --- Brides' fantasy weddings came to life at The Wedding Salon at The W City Center. The nation’s premier luxury bridal event showcased the hottest trends for 2012 including Nature Inspired Accents, Attention to Detail and Wedding Trends Straight from the Paris Runway. 
  • "We were thrilled at the success of The Wedding Salon in Chicago and the trends that were unveiled for the upcoming year!  The Chicago Market came together for one night, showcasing incredible fashion-forward trends," says Wedding Salon Founder and renowned Celebrity Event Planner, Tatiana Byron.  
The ultimate trend for weddings will be looking to nature and the local landscape for reception tables. Chicago's finest event designers showcased reception décor inspired by nature. Telluride looked to the Colorado landscape pulling birch wood accents for a natural wedding look.  Additional décor trends for 2012 include elevated centerpieces inspired by architecture and mismatched looks incorporated into table design. 
Jenny Yoo wowed brides with a couture bridal and bridesmaid fashion show showcasing the trend of colors of the rainbow with teal, yellows and greens gracing bridesmaids on the runway. For the bride, Jenny Yoo unveiled a classic collection for 2012 with fitted looks accessorized to perfection. 
New attention to detail and simplicity will also be a key factor in the upcoming year. From flowerless canopies, showcasing nothing but rich, flowing linen and velvet runners, weddings will showcase regal linens in new and inspired ways. Couples will add detail to their wedding in never-before seen ways showcasing their individual style. Yanni Design Studio unveiled the new trend of etching menus onto charger plates for the bride & groom to keep as memorabilia.

Photo courtesy of Real Life Weddings

The Candy Bar trend of previous seasons will shift towards cookies in 2012 with the introduction of cookie– cupcake towers by Cookies by Joey.  Engaged couples enjoyed this never-before seen cookie cupcake with stacked cookies in cupcake liners topped with freshly made buttercream & flowers for a new alternative to the wedding cake.  A twist on traditional cakes, Oak Mill Bakery revealed that brides are no longer looking to the wedding gown for inspiration for the wedding cake; instead they are modeling cakes after their favorite couture designer. Wildflour Bakery also looked to fashion by recreating hand-painted silk flowers and origami flowers on their delicious exotic flavored cakes. 
Showing that a beach honeymoon will never go out of style, The Wedding Salon featured the biggest names in Destination Weddings and Honeymoons including St. Regis Bora Bora, The St. Lucia Tourism Board and The Mexico Tourism Board highlighting Puerta Vallarta & Cancun as the ultimate go-to destinations in 2012. http://www.weddingsalon.com/index.php