Yet Another … Bouquet Breakdown

On Saturday, October 29, we capped off a busy fall wedding season in Hempstead, Texas. Here, we designed hand-laid runners, a breathtaking ceremony altar overlooking a gorgeous little country pond, small touches, and the sweetest autumn bouquet you ever did see. I love the way the colors timed together, and the way these wispy pieces all pulled together to create a “just picked from the garden” dreaminess that we all know and love. Let’s break it down, shall we?
Lisianthus: I love the way Lisianthus blooms move and sway off the stem. When they blow open they create this stunning flutter that delicately just floats off the surface of your bouquet.
Quick Sand Rose: Here, she’s the star of the show! This rose was integrated into the bouquet with another rose called an Earl Gray Rose, each boast a dusty romantic tone. Quick Sand’s tone is more champagne while Earl Gray is more silver. But here, Quick Sand is the prima ballerina!
Olive Leaf: Lately, we’ve seen Olive Leaf dictate our bride’s Pinterest boards. The way these leaves read both misty green on one side and very verdant on the other is a great play on texture, and the way the stems bend and lean gives this foliage a lot of movement ideal for a bouquet.
Gumphria: Gumphria, here in white, is a playful little button shape that flatters these more delicate stems and gives the wildflower look that this outdoor wedding embodied.
Brezilla Berries: To play off of the silver shade of the dusty miller, the Brezilla Berries unify the cool tones and promote a different texture.
Astrantia: Our bride wanted lovely lavender and purple shades woven throughout her day, and Astrantia provides and elegant deeper tone while being a delicate inclusion with it’s wispy nature and fluttery-ness (is that a word? It is now).
Dusty Miller: I often hesitate to include dusty miller when it’s not immersed in water, because it has a tendency to wilt and wilt fast. But, I took a risk here because I felt like it really framed this bouquet and provided a softness that was essential. I believe, the risk paid off … look how pretty!
Lavender: Our bride just wanted Lavender – Lavender everywhere! From the fragrance to the texture to the color, it suited this event so well. So, using the more substantial Spanish Lavender, I carefully timed it throughout the bouquet to pop that subtle dose of purple.
Seeded Eucalyptus: Those Pink House followers know the Seeded Eucalyptus is some of my favorite framing foliage. No different in this case!
Ranunculus: Ranunculus petals are so soft and romantic. They are one of my all time favorites, and in this bouquet we had so many fluttery textures I felt that we needed some roundness to … well … round it out.
Hellebore: Rarely are there stems out there as romantic as Hellebore. The way it bends, folds open to reveal shades of monochromatic tone-on-tone, the multiple little petals on each stem. Golly, she’s a pretty flower, and that bright, bold green was so needed here.
I can’t list enough reasons why I love this bouquet so much, but when I finished it off with just a simple champagne ribbon, I had a feelin similar to what I think “beaming with pride” feels like. I didn’t want to hand it over … occupational hazard it seems!

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Bouquet Breakdown

This weekend, we designed the florals for Allison and Michael’s killer wedding out in the lovely Brenham. Working with coordinator Paula Growden of Beautied Events was a dream come true, and her execution was stunning. We were just honored to be a part of it! Using deep aubergine tones, oxblood hues, and some softer pops of blush and peach underlined by luxe greenery and wispy touches, the entire look seemed as if it had just been picked from the garden and displayed on the tables overlooking rolling countryside. Yep … it was as unbelievable as it sounds. And we just can’t wait to see Heather Curiel’s amazing images documenting the day. In the meantime, y’all will have to settle for my embarrassing iPhone photo taken outside of the church where our Bride and Groom said their vows. I had to get a picture of this bouquet though, it was a fall-inspired beaut if I ever saw one. Let’s break it down shall we (insert 90s rap background music here):
Dahlias: These MASSIVE purple Dahlias stood front and center on Saturday. Monopolizing most of our vessels due to sheer size, we had to insert the mack-daddy of all the Dahlias into Allison’s bouquet. This was the anchor. I always like to have an anchor stem that all of the other stems compliment. Well, to NOT use these Dahlias as the anchor stem would be a crime. A true, huge, crime. So, here she sits, front and center.
Juliet Garden Roses: Nothing is quite so purty as a Juliet Garden Rose. Juliet Roses are a kind of David Austin Rose along with our favorites like Kiera, Beatrice (hello, yellow beautiful roses), and Patience (also featured here). Juliet’s can attribute their popularity to the way the petals fade in an almost ombre like fashion. All we know is, these bad boys really softened the overall wildflower look of the bouquet
Patience Cream: Another soft stem, the buttery color of this garden rose offers a subtlety to the overall stronger hues that we used throughout the design. Plus they are just pretty, okay?
Dark Hearts Roses: Now, we’ve heard that red roses are cheesy time and time again. We couldn’t disagree more. These Dark Hearts were the color that we needed to unify that stunning Dahlia and the softer shades we folded in. We never recommend going from dark to light with no transitional shade in between. It illuminates the flaws in the lighter color stem giving a less cohesive and pristine look. So, ta-da, Dark Heart Roses, ladies and gents.
Ornithogalum: Yeah, I don’t really know how to say it either, but it looks great, doesn’t it? The fluttery white bloom that juts off the bright green center boasts this black eye that really plays well with the darker-meets-lighter shades and the overall just picked from the garden look. A great and unexpected inclusion.
Privet Berries: Typically you see a darker colored privet berry. Unfortunately (or fortunately, however you choose to look at it) these privets hadn’t darkened yet so they were still a bright green. Ultimately, this allowed for more texture play with our greenery, so you won’t get too many complaints out of me … though I was hoping for an almost black colored berry. But you win some you lose some. Que Sera, Sera.
Italian Ruscus and Nandina: I used oodles of Ruscus, Eucalyptus and Nandina in these arrangements and bouquets, and couldn’t be happier about the combo!
Cheers to Allison and Michael! We were so thrilled you included us in your day!
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al fresco dining

There is no denying that the Houston summer is brutal. But when the night rolls in, sometimes we’re lucky enough for the heat to break and give way to a truly amazing outdoor dining experience.
Gardens are made to be enjoyed, and your outdoor spaces are as much a reflection of you are your interior spaces or your attire and personal presentation. So, when you have an opportunity to dine al fresco or host an al fresco dining opportunity, seize it with these tips!

Set the stage: in every garden or yard there is framework. Either a patch of shade, a flowering hedge, or if you’re very lucky, there is an existing structure to set your table off. Not only does it create a focus, but it also creates a flow for the event.

The Power of a Place Setting: charger, charger, charger. Nothing makes an impact like the elegance of a charger. Woven, wooden, ceramic … it all works.

Napkins, and Menus and Greens … Oh My!: Take elements from your garden or yard to set off your napkins. Tie with a sprig of herbs if you have an herb garden blooming. Rose bush nearby? Snip a few blooms and gently lay them across the plate. Unify your yard and table with natural elements. And don’t feel like a printed menu is overkill. It’s thoughtful and ties the entire setting together

Flowers and Candles and Their Dual Purpose: Yes, mosquitos and gnats are just part of summer in the South. But setting off your statement floral centerpiece with candles offers a little buffer for those pesky bugs. Not to mention they set the tone for an intimate dining experience

Family Style Dining: Keeping a stunning, but single centerpiece framed by pretty, contained candles as a focus allows for passed trays of food from appetizers to salads to pizzas. Passing the plates makes a more interactive dinner and for a dinner party of 6 to 16 this makes a fun impact and memorable evening

Al fresco dining is a way to celebrate the warmer season and is one of our favorite parts of southern entertaining!
*thanks to Swift & Co. for the dining pieces and Kelli Durham for the photos!
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the art of the centerpiece

The art of an elegant table is just that: an art. It’s not fussy or overworked or mundane, at that. it bears some nod to the creative vision of the hostess, and it should represent both the event, what’s being served and the season. 
While a focal centerpiece will never go out of style, the table runner has become a trend in recent years when it comes to weddings. There is no reason why it cannot become a trend on your dining table too.

To start, roll coated chicken wire out along your table to get the appropriate length. Cut the wire at the end of the table. Remember, your cascade comes from the greens, not the framework. Once the wire is cut, you’ll roll it and wrap the edges around themselves to create a tube down your table. 
To create a base of greens use long stems of greenery tucked into the chicken wire. I do recommend having floral wire handy to secure some wayward pieces, but in general the greens should hook into the chicken wire easily. You want the lush, wilder look, so embrace the way the greens sway. 

Once your base of greens is set, the fun part of creating a spring runner is adding the flowers. We chose to go with a romantic pastel palette, but this can transcend seasons all based on the shades of and kind of blooms you choose. Here we’ve chosen:

garden roses
sweet peas

Any flower with a long, malleable stem is ideal. 
To construct, start at one end and work your way down, getting heavier in the quantity of flowers as you get towards one end. We want the flowers to build on themselves and crescendo down the side of your table that your guests will see as they enter. 

As they cascade, that’s when using small pieces of floral wire will come in handy. Securing the stems to the greenery base will allow for them to spill romantically down the side of the table. Finish off your runner by adding more textured feathery greens like ferns. 

The charger creates a base for your table, and anchors the china to the overall design of the centerpiece. I chose a lighter, glass charger here to allow the runner to flourish on its’ own without the distraction of a gold or ceramic charger.

The napkin fold and inclusion of a printed menu may seem silly to some, but it’s a detail that makes a huge impact. It’s so simple, yet so stunning at the same time. 

Final touches. Straighten the details. And you’ve secured your dining experience as one radiating that ever-elusive southern charisma only captured by a truly exceptional presentation!
*thanks to Swift & Co. for the dining pieces and Kelli Durham for the photos!
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