March 3, 2017

Joann + Michael at The Mandarin Oriental

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Joann & Michael / Mandarin Oriental / Ryan Brenizer Photography

Joann & Michael / Mandarin Oriental / Ryan Brenizer Photography

 

“Michael is an anesthesiologist and I am a gastroenterologist and yes, it’s a little cliched, but we are two doctors who met at work in the hospital!”

Joann recalls the particular day she and Michael connected for the first time, after almost a year of seeing one another here and there. “I remember seeing him for the first time and thinking he was so handsome, but we are not in the same department so my interactions with him were always a bit random.”  However, one fateful Friday, Michael and Joann were paired to work together for the entire day. It was a slow day of work, so the two had a chance to chat and get to know each other. “I just remember laughing a lot and enjoying the day,” recalls Joann, “Shortly after that he asked me out and I was so excited to spend more time with him outside of work.”

 

Joann & Michael / Mandarin Oriental / Ryan Brenizer Photography

Joann & Michael / Mandarin Oriental / Ryan Brenizer Photography

 

They laughed so hard and talked so naturally on their first date out to Japanese food, neither of them even realized when the restaurant was starting to close. “I don’t think it took us long after that to realize that we were meant for each other,” says Joann,  “Michael has always felt like home to me. He makes me feel so comfortable to be myself. I feel like I’ve known him all my life. I feel very lucky to have found him!”

When it came down to planning, neither Michael nor Joann had a set idea for what kind of wedding they wanted. “All we knew was that we wanted to plan an event for our close friends and family that was filled with lots of warmth and love and wanted it to be a memorable night for everyone, not just us.”  The couple began by compiling a list of vendors and venues that interested them based on research and reviews, and then set up a series of meetings.  When we asked Joanna about the process of finding the right venue and vendors, the in-person meetings were crucial to determining what they wanted and who they trusted.  “The meetings were probably the most important part of our planning process because as great as reviews can be, the in-person meeting or site visit really helped us realize what we wanted in the end of it all,” she explains, “This was especially important for our vendors – if we were trusting them with one of the most important days of our lives, we needed to know that we would connect with them to trust them completely.”

Plus, taking the time to find vendors they trusted only led to more connections. “Once we established relationships with vendors, we also found them to be a rich resource for referrals to other vendors, because who better to ask for advice and referrals then from vendors who you already trust!”

 

Joann & Michael / Mandarin Oriental / Ryan Brenizer Photography

Joann & Michael / Mandarin Oriental / Ryan Brenizer Photography

 

“After we secured our venue, we began to look at flowers to figure out our plan.  When we saw pictures of bright, jewel-toned flowers, it was undeniable that it evoked the emotions consistent with what we wanted for our wedding, as opposed to whites or pastels,” explains Joann.  “When we spoke with Rachel about this, she took our ideas and put together the most stunning arrangements.”

Joann carried a one-of-a-kind bouquet of eggplant calla lilies, plum ranunculus, purple and fuchsia roses, and burgundy anemones. Tall arrangements in similar tones with raspberry spray roses and purple hydrangeas stood at the aisle entrance and the altar with votive candles clustered at the base, creating a mesmerizing, romantic ceremony.

 

 

Jewel-toned blooms carried into the ceremony, with a card table arrangement of manzanita branches dotted with iridescent purples and pinks.

 

 

Centerpieces ranged from soaring sprays of Hawaiian orchids to low, lush collections of hydrangeas and roses.

 

 

In the glow of candlelight, these stunning, rich colors transformed The Mandarin Oriental into a fantastic, welcoming wonderland that was completely unique.  “The rich colors of the flowers were so beautiful and expressive, they brought warmth to the wedding and I could not stop smiling, I felt like it perfectly brought out the mood of the night.”

 

Joann & Michael / Mandarin Oriental / Ryan Brenizer Photography

Joann & Michael / Mandarin Oriental / Ryan Brenizer Photography

 

We asked Joann her advice for letting go and enjoying the big day. “We both made sure to take moments to soak it all in.  Our guests had a blast, the venue was amazing and the flowers and lighting were beyond words….we felt so grateful for it all.  We wanted to get married again the following weekend!”

 

Congratulations, Joann and Michael!

 

Venue: Mandarin Oriental New York
Planned by: Jessica Jordan Events
Photography: The Brenizers
Videography: Love in Progress
Cake: Madison Lee’s Cakes
Bride’s Gown: Vera Wang
Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade
Groom’s Tux + Shoes: Giorgio Armani
Rings: Tiffany & Co.
Beauty: JAC Beauty
Ceremony/Cocktail Hour Music: Juilliard Musicians
Reception Music: DJ David Medina
Invitations: Minted
Photobooth : Sweet Booths

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March 1, 2017

Springtime Flowers Feature

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For those of us not fortunate enough to live in eternal warmth, spring often signifies the much-welcomed peeling off restrictive layers, heavy woolen wraps and full length casings that double as winter coats. We’ve traded our cumbersome snow gear for the tailored sophistication of a trench coat and kitten heels. We breathe again and our world is filled with the budding optimism of sunlight.

Spring weddings are much like the light that breaks through the dense, grey haze of winter. They are flirty and fresh, bringing the first pops of bright color after the long departed summer hues have faded. They conjure images of lush rolling hills just beginning to sprout with green carpets and cobblestones wet from a light spring rain. Flowers, just like fashion, change for the season, and springtime flowers are some of the most beloved around the world. They are colorful, fun and bring sunshine into your days. Here at Bride and Blossom, we have a few of our favorite flowers that we love to work with during springtime weddings.

Peony: The bombshell of spring flowers, peonies add instant glamour to any bouquet or arrangement. Full, lush and downy petals with a heady and intoxicating scent, these luxurious blooms are perfect with any color palette and come in a range of tones from white, light pinks and fuchsias, to sunny corals and voluptuous reds. Use en masse for an opulent décor statement.

 

 

Gerbera Daisy: Modern, fun and unexpected, the gerbera daisy is a perfect choice for the adventurous and eclectic couple. A favorite floral for pop art inspirations and installations, it is hearty and comes in a spectrum of saturated hues. This youthful and nostalgic bloom invites a playful pondering of He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not…

 

 

Cherry Blossom: At once structured and wild, cherry blossoms add an ethereal element to any wedding. One of the best reasons to choose a spring nuptial is the chance to wed under a canopy of fairytale-worthy blossoming branches. While its petals are delicate and tissue-like, the branches are sturdy enough to be shaped into structures for arches and chuppahs and also add much needed height to table arrangements for cavernous venues.

 

 

Anemone: Delicate and feminine, yet modern, the anemone offers a soft floral touch for the contemporary wedding. The almost wave-like petals juxtaposed against the black center of the flower pose a striking vision for a sophisticated and dramatic effect. Anemones are a favorite choice for a classic black and white wedding palette.

 

 

Sweet Pea: Innocent and ladylike, these ruffled petals are the ultra feminine bloom. Like the layers of a sheer gauzy dress, these flowers whisper the coming of spring. Best used in clusters, their frilly delicateness leaves one breathless with their beauty. Available in a bounty of watercolor hues, these blossoms are lightly scented with a sweet floral perfume.

 

 

Tulip: Tulips are the ultimate spring flower and are readily available in a full rainbow of colors, from muted pastels to bright intense tones. Reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn’s slender and sleek iconic beauty, the tulip radiates sophistication and elegance. Simultaneously modern and nostalgic, tulips are adaptable to a range of décor inspirations. The tulips’ malleable swan-like stems make them one of the only flowers than can actually be shaped and molded into artistic sculptures. In some cases, they appear to languish as if in a floral state of ennui, adding to their refined allure.

 

 

When choosing the right floral for your wedding, remember to consider a few key factors:

  • Each flower has its own personality
    Make sure you are choosing one that speaks to your own individualism and yours as a couple.
  • Speak the language of your venue
    Make sure your choices echo the design and décor of your chosen space and don’t compete or disappear like a shrinking violet.
  • Don’t fall in love with a bloom that isn’t available in your color palette
    Check with your event planner or florist for the best options.
  • Timing is everything!
    Some blooms, while coveted for spring weddings, are fleeting. Make sure the blooms you choose will be available for your date.
  • Let the flowers shine!
    Make sure you’re choosing the best bloom for the appropriate arrangement. Don’t use delicate flowers for a powerhouse job, like a chuppah. Save the heavy lifting for more sturdy, longer lasting flowers or blooming branches.

 

Some of the most evocative and romantic weddings are in the springtime. After a long and cold winter, we’re all ready to fall in love in the spring!

 

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February 27, 2017

Finding Wedding Flower Inspiration through Famous Works of Art

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Flowers have been the muse of artists for centuries. In Italian Renaissance painting, delicate botanicals bared symbolic meaning. The Impressionists painted blossoms to express their perceptions of the natural world. But you don’t have to be an artist to understand the innate power that a flower holds. Just think about the intoxicating beauty of a garden in full bloom, or how a rose is used as a gesture of emotion, communicating love or sympathy at times when words are hard to find.

The floral motif in art is vastly rich. For this reason, we thought it would be fun to curate a collection of artworks and explore how each piece can be used as inspiration for the bride-to-be who is in the process of choosing her wedding flowers.

 

Dutch Still Life Paintings of Flowers

Still-Life with Bouquet of Flowers and Plum - Painting by Rachel Ruysch

Still-Life with Bouquet of Flowers and Plum – Painting by Rachel Ruysch – via Wikipedia

 

During the Dutch Golden Age, artists showed their masterful skill creating still-life paintings, and flowers were a popular subject. Rachel Ruysch ran right alongside her male contemporaries, enjoying a successful career thanks to her distinctive style and beautiful flower paintings. Ruysch’s vibrant bouquets are rendered with exquisite detail, inviting the viewer to search for symbols and hidden surprises.

 

 

The expressive color palette, variety of textures, and unique flower combinations of the old masters form a springboard of ideas for wedding blooms. We love the idea of recreating the floral still-life as a table centerpiece, but with a modern spin. Mixing asymmetry with a natural feeling arrangement gives a nice juxtaposition to the overall design.

 

Georgia O’Keeffe, Calla Lily Turned Away, 1923

Calla Lily Turned Away - Painting by Georgia O'Keeffe - via Okeeffe Museum.org.

Calla Lily Turned Away – Painting by Georgia O’Keeffe – via OkeeffeMuseum.org

 

No other artist knew flowers better than Georgia O’Keeffe. Her up-close, abstract renderings of flowers captivate with sensual forms and soft graduations of color. One of O’Keeffe’s most famous works, Calla Lilly Turned Away, reveals the quiet beauty held by a single flower.

 

 

Elegant and sophisticated, the calla lily is a perfect flower for the traditional bride. A simple bouquet of trumpet-shaped blossoms in crisp white is timeless, yet chic. Cast a mood of modern romance with a sleek, airy tablescape that pairs the calla lily with white roses.

 

Henri Fantin-Latour, Roses in a Stemmed Glass, 1875

Roses in a Stemmed Glass, 1875 - Painting by Henri Fantin Latour

Roses in a Stemmed Glass, 1875 – Painting by Henri Fantin Latour – via Wikipedia

 

French painter Henri Fantin-Latour was known for his luxurious paintings of flowers, the rose in particular. There’s a striking duality to his works such as Roses in a Stemmed Glass, which wavers between technical precision and romanticism.

 

 

Forget the assumption that roses are too traditional or overused. Surprisingly versatile, the rose speaks the language of love in many different ways. Soft pink roses paired with chrysanthemums and greenery set an amorous tone in a table centerpiece. While a standard nosegay bouquet for bridesmaids gets a dreamy makeover by matching cream and pastel roses with sprigs of dusty miller.

 

Robert Mapplethorpe, Orchids, 1989

Orchids 1989 - by Robert Mapplethorpe - via Mapplethorpe.org

Orchids 1989 – by Robert Mapplethorpe – via Mapplethorpe.org

 

Defined by a balanced composition and high contrast between light and dark, Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs of flowers like Orchids exude grace and strength. Infused with a still, extraordinary beauty, the bloom’s transfixing power takes center stage.

 

 

For the bride who wants wedding flowers that are polished, yet exotic, white orchids are a wonderful choice. For dramatic elegance, emphasize the flower’s suspending curve. A cascading wedding bouquet of soft hued roses and white orchids looks absolutely divine going down the aisle. To create an atmosphere of spectacular romance, accent a tall table centerpiece with descending orchids.

 

Vincent van Gogh, Irises, 1890

Irises - Painting by Vincent van Gogh - via MetMuseum.org

Irises – Painting by Vincent van Gogh – via MetMuseum.org

 

Vincent van Gogh took comfort in painting flowers during his stay at the asylum at Saint-Rémy. A delicate serenity is sensed in his interpretation of the violet flower, which places an arrangement in a simple white vase against a faint pink background.

 

 

Irises are an ideal choice for the bride planning her wedding for late spring/early summer, when the flower is in season. White roses are a wonderful counterbalance to deep purple, producing a bridal bouquet that feels fresh and tranquil. A centerpiece of vivid irises accompanied with dianthus fashions a look that is stylish, yet refined.

The spellbinding allure of flowers is immortalized in many of art history’s most celebrated works. We hope this art-inspired guide helps the bride whether she’s searching for that special blossom that speaks to her heart, or in need of unique floral design ideas.

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February 21, 2017

Wedding Garland

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After the main event has happened and everyone is ready to celebrate, an unforgettable tablescape sets the stage for your wedding guests to relax, indulge and get to know each other better. Garlands are an impactful and gorgeous way to reinforce the overall theme of the wedding and give your guests something beautiful to take in while sipping champagne. They also are wonderful visually, as they offer one continuous focal point for the eye to follow. This keeps the table from looking overrun with adornments and translates well in photos. Garlands are also very adaptable and can be used with any color, floral or other inspiration for your wedding.

 

Suzy & Jerry - Wedding Garland - Bourne Mansion - Photo by Ryon Lockhart

Suzy & Jerry – Wedding Garland – Bourne Mansion – Photo by Ryon Lockhart

 

A few things to keep in mind if choosing a garland for your tablescape:

  • Make sure your garland doesn’t overflow into the space needed for your table settings. Check with your florist or event designer to make sure the table dimensions are adequate.
  • This may not be the best choice if you are planning to have a “family-style” dinner. Instead, choose smaller arrangements that can be moved to make room for food.
  • Mixing textures, complementary colors or tonal shades help the garlands from becoming monotonous.

 

 

Trends for 2017

 

Greenery Garlands: The Pantone color of the year, Greenery, is the perfect inspiration to draw from for your wedding and is amazing when used for a garland! So many ways to incorporate this in a garland, from sprigs of fresh herbs to petals that bloom from light jades and lime tones to budding baby kale buds. It also can oscillate from light and ethereal feeling to robust and hearty, depending on the greenery that you choose. For a more earthy and organic feel, try using olive branches and fresh rosemary, or if your wedding is more romantic and garden-inspired, lay eucalyptus and ferns down the center of the table. You could even have a more masculine and wintery garland when incorporating evergreens.

 

 

Full Flower Garlands: Utterly romantic, these opulent centerpieces are the glamour girl of flower garlands. Lavish, lush and sure to make your guests swoon. Plush roses and peonies are the ideal flowers for these but hydrangea and carnations are stunning en masse and come in an array of colors, especially wonderful for an ombre garland effect.

 

 

Candle Light Garland: For the ultimate sensual mood, drench your guests in candlelight. When florals are the expected centerpiece, candles as the visual focal point offer a memorable décor element. Keep sight lines in mind if using tall candelabras and don’t skimp. The more flicker, the better!

 

 

Saturated Color in Garland: Don’t be afraid to go full spectrum color! Be really evocative and bold with your color combinations and create an everlasting impression on your guests. Flowers come in many saturated and dense color options. Choose one flower in variant colors or a few colors in different blooms. Make sure to have focus and repeat throughout the garland so the eye doesn’t become overwhelmed. Go for unexpected combinations and have fun!

 

 

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February 20, 2017

Jewelry Inspiration for a Spring Bride

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Just like the dress and flowers, the jewelry a bride chooses to wear down the aisle is a reflection of her personal style. Finishing touches such as glittery earrings or a delicate bracelet are all that is needed to compete your wedding look. We love the idea of a bride wearing her great-grandmother’s pearls. But, this is also the perfect occasion for you to treat yourself to some gorgeous new pieces. When it comes to bridal jewelry, there are no rules. Bridal collections for Spring 2017 showed us a variety of new and stunning looks for the season. From understated to bold, there is something for every style and personality.

 

Bridal Look - Diamond Jewelry - via ModWedding

Bridal Look – Diamond Jewelry – via ModWedding

 

Classic

The classic bride considers Jackie Kennedy the ultimate fashion icon and has had her wedding colors of Tiffany blue and silver picked out since she was a little girl. Jewelry should be timeless and understated, yet unique just like the woman wearing it. Pearls are a given and the traditional single strand necklace will always be in fashion. For a personal spin on tradition though, consider wearing a double or triple strand pearl necklace. Make the classic look truly your own with an elegant pair of diamond stud halo earrings and diamond bracelet from Tiffany, of course!

 

 

Romantic

For the bride who has always dreamed of a fairy-tale wedding, accessories are a very important chapter in her story. The key is to not overdo it with sparkle. Rather, focus on one or two statement pieces and build around them. Accentuate the romantic look with radiant dangle earrings encrusted with diamond and pearls or a delicate floral motif headpiece. Like a sophisticated princess crown, a bejeweled headband looks absolutely charming with a topknot hairstyle. For a necklace, a frontal design ornamented with crystals and teardrop pendant will do just lovely.

 

 

Vintage

The vintage bride wants nothing more than to recapture the glitz and glamour of The Roaring Twenties on her wedding day. The jewelry philosophy here is more is more; you can never have too many diamonds and pearls. It’s finally your chance to wear a dazzling headpiece that would have made Daisy Buchanan envious. While choosing a necklace based on your gown, there are many looks and styles to complement different silhouettes. For example, accentuating a plunging V-neck with layers of decadent pearls or a stunning choker or shoulder piece looks divine on a bare neckline. Finish the look with a show-stopping cocktail ring. Again, consider your gown when deciding on a piece – a simple gemstone won’t complete with texture and beaded ornamentation; a luminous cluster looks fabulous with silk.

 

 

Modern

Out of all of this season’s bridal runway looks, you were most excited about the trouser trend. Maybe not for the aisle, but you’ll definitely be wearing a white pantsuit at the reception. You have a minimalist approach to accessorizing and gravitate toward designs that are simple and sleek with a little bit of edge. Bold, unexpected choices include statement hoops, earring jackets, an architectural silver cuff, or silver plate sash – all are pieces that speak to the modern bride’s fashion sensibility. When it comes to adorning the neck, a gold geometric Y necklace is a stunning complement to wedding white.

 

 

We hope this guide provides the inspiration you need to find beautiful jewelry that speaks to your heart in a personal way, as what truly matters is that your wedding jewelry and accessories make you feel beautiful in the moment. Years from now, you want to be able to look at each piece as a treasured token of the love and joy you felt on your wedding day, and always remember that your bridal look was all you had ever dreamed of.

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February 16, 2017

The Sweetheart Table

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Celebrating your big day with family and friends while being close to your newlywed is what makes the day so magical and fires up the romance of it all. As we know, wedding days can get a little hectic amongst the greetings, pictures, dancing and toasts. It can appear to fly by in the blink of an eye! We know how special this day is, how much planning goes into it and, at the end of the day, the bride and groom’s main purpose is to be with one another. At your wedding reception, having a special place for the two of you to catch up and enjoy each other during the excitement is something we find extremely special and essential. Creating a ‘Sweetheart Table’ for two is a great way to find your alone time while still being involved with guests and adored by all. This not only makes the sweetheart table a great concept, but it also adds another decorative feature to your venue. We have a few great tips and tricks on making your sweetheart table one to be admired by all and adding an extra touch of enchantment to your special day.

 

Sweetheart Table - Modern Style - Garden Party via Style Me Pretty

Sweetheart Table – Modern Style – Garden Party via Style Me Pretty

 

The first thing to decipher in the process of building your perfect sweetheart table is its type or shape. This tends to be the focal point of the room, as it is separated from the other guests’ tables. Sometimes, it is positioned across the dance floor, and other times it’s placed at the head of the room. There are many options to choose from and couples mostly lean towards a single round table or a rectangular shape for two. Many couples use their imagination to come up with outside-the-box ideas like a wine barrel or mirrored tables. While this is preference-based, we find that both shapes work well for specific styles and venues. Round silhouette works great in an indoor venue, one that’s romantic, classic and more ornamental. Rectangular tables work beautifully for an outdoor wedding environment due to their symmetry with nature, while also having a rustic or authentic look to them.

After choosing your table structure, the next step is to pick complementary seating. This is where you can really get creative and have some fun! There are many options, whether it’s two single chairs, a bench, a loveseat couch or even floor cushions. Depending on your wedding theme, using a funky seating arrangement can add that innovative feature and be a focal point statement. For example, if you’re having a vintage décor inspired wedding, incorporating two old-fashioned tufted velour chairs is a gorgeous option to play into the style. Yet, for a black tie modern affair, incorporating two straight lined black and white chairs would emphasize the sleekness and the ambiance. It is important to remember that these are your seats for the entire night and even though you want them to stand out as part of the overall design, you need to make sure they are comfortable enough for you and your loved one.

 

 

Since the first steps of choosing the table and chairs are now complete, it’s time to add the décor. The physical table is a design element on its own, yet incorporating details like linens, flowers, signage and candles can really make it pop! Deciding whether you would like to cover the table with linens or simply leave the wood or glass uncovered can create a design detail on its own. Many like to use luscious creams and white linens, while some add glitter, sequins or colorful options to make a statement. Having a wooden table is a beautiful feature for themed weddings and ties in charmingly with an outside setting. While thinking of adding florals to the piece, it is popular to feature one large arrangement at the front of the sweetheart table that sits perfectly between the two place settings. It is also common to use a floral or greenery garland that drapes from one side of the table to the other, often hanging onto the floor for a whimsical touch. If you feel like you would rather keep the table looking a little bit cleaner, adding flower arrangements to the bottom of the table and around the perimeter is another beautiful option. After flowers are all set, candles complete the look! Many don’t realize the vast variety of candles that can be used in wedding design. Including elements such as mercury glass votive, ornate candlesticks, raw candles and crystals always dresses up the table. For most weddings, mood lighting sets the tone, and this is a way to achieve a private romantic ambiance. A few other small touches include signage that reads “Mr. & Mrs.” or possibly a monogram or quotes. It’s a cute touch that makes it fun while adding personal flare.

 

 

Lastly, now that the table and décor have been decided, it is extremely important to choose your sweetheart table’s backdrop. For some venues, this is an easy fix as they have a gorgeous mantle to be decorated behind you or floor-to-ceiling windows with a water view. Sometimes, this is a perfect final touch without taking away from the design of your table. In other cases, if you’re having your wedding in a raw space, there may not be a pretty wall to line up along, so we have a few ideas for creating your own sweetheart table backdrop. One of our favorites here at Bride and Blossom is a flower wall behind the table. You can stick to neutrals or add pops of color for an enchanting scene. If you are looking for a country approach, building a shiplap wood wall with pictures and greenery could be the best route to take. Some more creative ideas include large hanging picture frames, flowered altars and handmade folding doors. Getting creative will ensure a picturesque scene for everyone to remember. Another small trick to finishing your complete look is placing the table on a small lift so that all of your guests can see exactly where you are and you get a better view of your reception.

 

 

Remembering that it is your day and making time for each other is our most important tip! Enjoy the company, laugh together and be swept away with the romantic ambiance of your perfect sweetheart table.

 

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