Thursday, July 8, 2010

Peony: Love or Torture?

Many of my brides come to me with a stack full of magazine photos with bouquets and centerpieces they love. I would say that at least 75% of those photos showcase, in one way or another, the peony. Peonies (pronounced pee-o-nees) are beautiful, fluffy flowers that truly encompass what a “wedding” flower should be.

But alas, these elusive flowers are difficult to get. They are only truly in season 4-6 weeks in the year. And when those 4-6 weeks will be? No one knows except for mother nature. Peonies are considered to be in season late spring or early summer which technically is mid-April to late May or early June. That’s really not a long time. You can get them a few weeks sooner or later, but you would be paying a pretty penny for them.

A lot of time I feel like peonies are another form of torture.

I am often the bearer of bad news. I have to tell these hopeful brides that the chances of getting peonies will be unlikely (though not impossible). The good news, though, is that I can offer up some other deliciously fluffy flowers that nature has graced us with.

Ranunculus (Spring flower available from March to April or May). Comes in a variety of colors including white, pink, hot pink, red, burgundy, orange, and yellow.

Garden Tea Rose (Mostly in season during the summer months including June, July and August). These come in a lot of colors also including white, pink, red, burgundy, peach, yellow and orange.

Dahlia (Summer Flowers available late May to October). These come in a variety of colors, and the later in the season, the more colors there are. Most popular ones are orange, red, pink, yellow, white and burgundy (dark red).

Gardenia (available year round). Comes in white.

Hydrangea (available all year round). Colors include pink, green, blue, lavender and white.

Lisianthus (in season during the spring and summer months). Colors include white, pink, and lavender

So if the in-season of peonies doesn’t happen to fall under the 6 weeks you happened to be getting married, hopefully one of these flowers can take its place!

Power Flowers

Many of my clients coming in right now for the fall and next year events are looking for an alternative to the boring old "rose". Well here are some options of what we can do when the rose just won't cut it anymore or....some inspiration that the rose is still the BEST option for affordability and COLOR!

Do not let the cleavage distract you. Okay – you can look. But once you are done check out the beautiful orange flowers. There are a variety of orange roses, coxcomb and seeded eucalyptus pods.

My favorite alternative to the rose is calla lilies. Here are some great photos of calla lily bouquets.

DIY Escort Card Tree

It’s been a little while since our last DIY post, and I know you are all itching for a new project. Well, the wait is over! A client of mine brought this fabulous idea to us for a tree of colorful round escort cards. Using colored paper and paint chips allows you to develop your own color palette, and the results are really charming and will be unique to you and your wedding.

Here’s what we used for this project:

- A package of multicolored heavy weight construction paper (about $10 for 87 sheets of 5×7)
- A bunch of paint chips from Home Depot (or maybe it was Lowe’s, but it definitely was not the mom and pop paint shop down the street who we love and support)
- Paper Shapers Nesting Punch, we used a round one but there are lots of different shapes out there ($15ish)
- An endlessly useful fine point Sharpie, of course, you can use any pen you like.
- Some decorative branches (prices vary depending on what type of tree, but start around $8 a bunch)
- A small hole punch.
- A ribbon or string to hang the place cards from the branches, although we opted to put them on the tree without either.

Once you have your paper and/or paint chips, just start punching out shapes.

Also, at this point you should punch small holes at the tops of your circles (don’t wait until you’ve done the handwriting, lesson learned).

Hopefully, you have someone whose handwriting you are fond of to help write the guest names and table numbers on your circles.

Arrange your branches in a vase, basket, bottle… however you wish. Then begin hanging your escort cards. As I mentioned before, we just put the branches right through the little holes, but you can use string, ribbon or whatever you like. Our choice gave a more austere look to the final tree, but ribbons or twine might make it look more romantic, nostalgic, pretty…