One of the most beautiful and well-known species in the flower kingdom, is hydrangea. Hydrangea originated in many regions of the world, including North and South America, Europe and Asia. Now worldwide, they are very famous and a popular flower grown in gardens, while also being used at special occasions and weddings. Offering a variety of species in the kingdom, it is most famous for its hydrangea and Dutch hydrangea variety. The hydrangea species is famous for its large soft clusters and overwhelming beauty in its natural state. The hydrangea flower is grown on a hydrangea bush in single clusters containing multiple little flowers and blooms. Though each individual flower is very small, hydrangea’s florets are known for coming in full round clusters at the top of a single stem.
Hydrangea are most popular and known for their pure white petals, yet they are also grown in a variety of colors including purple, blue and pink. A small fact that many don’t know about hydrangea is that the color of the hydrangea flowers depends on the acidity of the soil they are grown in. This can determine whether they will produce, for example, blue or white flowers. Offering a complete range of colors, Dutch hydrangea bloom in a little more variety of colors than the average hydrangea, including white, green, and all shades of pink, blue and purple.
Hydrangea, though grown in many parts of the world, thrive in moist soil with partial shade and die instantly when exposed to direct sunlight and heat. Another fact about the hydrangea is that they are the ‘camel’ of the flower world, meaning they require and flourish off a huge amount of water. Hydrangea need to drink excessive amounts of water a day to stay crisp, fresh and silky. They get their name from the Greek word ‘hydro’, which means water, and ‘angeion’ which stands for vessel. This symbolic name is very fitting, since this species requires a lot of water to grow and lasts a long time.
Representing honesty, gratitude and the thought of giving, hydrangea makes for the perfect package for many occasions. Another aspect of this species is that its unique look can adapt to many wedding styles. From classic, romantic, modern, colorful or even neutral styles, hydrangea can modify and complement their surroundings beautifully. Hydrangea are a staple flower in the summer and spring, but are also used for special occasions during the other seasons. As we mentioned earlier, hydrangea are offered in blooms of white, purple, blue and pink, making them the perfect statement piece that complements both arrangements and brides. These flowers look beautiful and delicate, yet are very strong and have a long vase life with plenty of water. They are a classic choice, and one that complements each and every occasion.
Alyson & Gary / The Estate at East Wind / Kate Neal Photography
Cancun, Mexico. Spring Break, 2008. It was Alyson’s senior year of college, and this was her last hurrah before graduation. One night, she and her girlfriends were out at the hotel bar when Gary and his friends approached and asked if they could sit together. Alyson offered to share her seat with Gary, who was celebrating being in preseason for Major League Soccer with the rest of the team. The gang shared in a wild night of partying, and Alyson and Gary said goodbye assuming they’d never see each other again.
But all week, they continued to run into each other again and again, soon discovering their rooms were side by side! After a few more days of heavy partying, Alyson and Gary decided to take a night off and go on a date. Gary slipped a note under her door to verify their plans, and she did the same to confirm. The two saw “Juno” with subtitles and spent a lovely evening together.
The dreamy days of Cancun were coming to an end all too soon. Alyson and her friends, and Gary and his team all went out for a final night of celebration, and the next morning said their goodbyes, thinking for sure this time they’d reached the end of their correspondence. “After he left, I was down by the pool and my girlfriend came running over telling me I had to go up to our room,” Alyson recalls, “When I opened the door, there were rose petals on the bed and a note on my pillow. It said that he didn’t expect to meet anyone in Cancun of all places, but would like to see where this could go and asked that we get in touch once I was back in NY.”
Gary called Alyson the next day while she was waiting for her layover, and asked if he could come visit her in Syracuse on Sunday (The next day!) Alyson’s girlfriends urged her to say yes, and Gary drove from Boston, MA to Syracuse, NY the next morning after a huge snowstorm, just so they could spend one day together.
“I knew by the end of that summer he was going to be the man I married,” says Alyson, “The definition of serendipity is finding something good when you’re not looking for it and that is our story and why I love it so.”
Alyson & Gary / The Estate at East Wind / Kate Neal Photography
Alyson and Gary were married this past October, in a magical ceremony and celebration at the stunning Estate at East Wind on the North Shore of Long Island.
The couple said their vows before a beautiful floral archway accented with curly willow branches, ivory and cream roses, Italian ruscus and silver dollar eucalyptus. A whimsical walkway lined with roses led up to the altar with additional branches and greenery.
Ceremony / Alyson & Gary / The Estate at East Wind / Kate Neal Photography
The bountiful garden setting was perfect for what Alyson envisioned for her floral design. “What I really wanted for our wedding was to have this dreamy, bohemian, garden-y look rather than a more traditional ‘put together’ type of floral design,” explains Alyson, “I wanted the floral design to be airy, but lush with cascading flowers and lots of greenery.”
Alyson carried a rounded bouquet of dusty rose amnesia roses, ivory garden roses, cream vendela roses and ivory spray roses, with accents of dusty miller and silver dollar eucalyptus arranged with texture and dimension, and gathered with an ivory satin ribbon. She wore a beautiful long-sleeved gown by Lihi Hod, from the designer’s amazing 2016 collection of Boho-inspired gowns and two-pieces. “Gary said he envisioned me wearing a dress similar to the one I wore, but what totally threw him off was the way I wore my hair – he loved it!” remembers Alyson, who wore a fantastic fishtail braid.
Walking down the aisle and exchanging vows were some of Alyson’s most cherished memories of the whole day. “I just remember locking eyes with Gary and never letting go,” she says, “And our vow exchange. I absolutely loved the personal touch it added to our wedding; he is quite the poet and had me and a few others in tears!”
The wedding party looked dashing, with Gary’s groomsmen in dapper charcoal suits from Robbie & Co and a single Amnesia rose in each lapel. Alyson’s best girlfriends wore ethereal Rose Water gowns by Two Birds and carried gorgeous, pastel bouquets to complement the bride’s.
Groomsmen / Alyson & Gary / The Estate at East Wind / Kate Neal Photography
Bridesmaids / Alyson & Gary / The Estate at East Wind / Kate Neal Photography
Dusty rose was at the core of Alyson’s dreamy, elegant color palette. “I was going to go with a trendier color scheme – heather grey and a deep purple. However, after I got to playing around on Pinterest and looking at floral arrangements and color schemes, I realized how classic and romantic pink hues looked, but I still wanted something different from the often used (but pretty!) blush color.”
“I stumbled across this antique, dusty rose color that reminded me of rose gold, which I’ve always been a fan of, and just fell in love with it! The color would pair perfectly with neutrals and it was a done deal.”
The reception was held at East Wind’s Estate, a breathtaking, modern hall with skylights, exposed brick, and brass chandeliers. Guests were greeted by two sandblasted manzanita trees rooted in a bed of fresh blooms and illuminated by floating glass votive candles.
Creating a magical, Bohemian vibe in alignment with their serendipitous meeting , Alyson and Gary’s décor struck the perfect balance between wild and polished, subtle and bold. Tables were decked out in both high and low arrangements of roses, hydrangeas, dahlias, and tulips, with gold glass-stemmed candle holders bringing a romantic glow to the room. A floral garland was strewn across the couple’s sweetheart table, and adorable signs accented with fresh blooms and greens hung on the newlywed’s chairs.
On the East bank of the Hudson River, thirty miles north of New York City, lies the beautiful historic settlement of Chappaqua. Founded by the Quakers in the 1780s, Chappaqua is home to a multitude of stunning historical buildings, including the timelessly elegant Crabtree’s Kittle House, where Ryan and Darren Mooney were married in impeccable style this past November.
Ryan & Darren / Crabtree’s Kittle House / Meg Miller Photography
Ryan and Darren reside in Boston, where they met during their second year of law school. “We were both at a mutual friend’s birthday party where I learned Darren was moving not far from where I lived,” recalls Ryan, “I must have had liquid courage because I jumped at the opportunity to show him the neighborhood. It was very awkward, to say the least…we went to the gym and then Trader Joe’s! It stuck though, and we’ve been together ever since!”
Four years later, Darren proposed on the infamous Acorn Street tucked away in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. “I thought we were on our way to a Christmas party, but soon learned Darren had other plans. He even had a photographer hiding in an alley to capture everything.”
The next morning, Darren surprised Ryan with a trip to Newport, RI, their favorite getaway, where they stayed on the water at the Castle Hill Inn. “It was warm for early December (el nino/global warming), so we got to walk along the beach barefoot while drinking champagne. It was my kind of weekend!”
Because Darren proposed in December, the couple went into their venue search knowing they wanted a winter wedding that reflected the holiday vibes surrounding their engagement. On the weekend following New Year’s Eve, the couple set off from Boston to tour a handful of venues in the New York area where Ryan grew up. Crabtree’s Kittle House was their first stop.
“We drove up and immediately fell in the love with the huge wreath hanging outside,” says Ryan, “It got better when we stepped in to find garland running along the staircases, rustic touches here and there, and an overall homey and welcoming feel throughout.”
Wedding Party / Ryan & Darren / Crabtree’s Kittle House / Meg Miller Photography
While they still looked at a few other venues, the couple kept thinking back to the Kittle House and eventually cut their search short. “What ultimately sold us was the people who worked there. Everyone was genuinely nice, caring and accommodating. We felt comfortable and we felt valued.”
The Kittle House began as a humble barn when its timber frame was first built in the 1790s, and it was important to Ryan that their wedding décor reflect the venue’s history. Deep greens and rose gold served as a base color scheme, while accents of deep pink and violet opened up the décor to a more free, rustic feel. The reception featured a combination of long, lush garlands and low centerpieces in an English garden style.
“Bride and Blossom scattered dim candles throughout the centerpieces that added warmth and a soft glow to the Kittle House. It was perfection!”
Ryan carried a stunning, textured bouquet of burgundy bacarra roses, pale blush quicksand roses, ivory spray roses, burgundy ranunculus, cream garden roses, parvifolia eucalyptus, and seeded eucalyptus with accents of Italian ruscus vines and hints of natural greenery
Bridal Bouquet / Ryan & Darren / Crabtree’s Kittle House / Meg Miller Photography
She wore a gorgeous gown by Eve of Milady and her magnificent “something old” – a fur stole given to her grandmother by her late grandfather, his dedication stitched right into the lining.
“It was so special to literally be wrapped up in a message of love from my grandfather, and my grandmother felt like he was there that day with us all to celebrate.”
When asked what advice she would give to brides-to-be going through the process of planning, Ryan emphasized trusting your gut about little details that matter to you. “Brides are constantly told to relax and that no one will remember x, y or z. I hated hearing that because I’ll remember at the end of the day! If you have the time and the resources, focus on what matters to you and ignore the naysayers. Plus, I had many guests comment on some of those ‘small’ details and how they loved them, which made my day even better!”
Bridesmaids Bouquets / Ryan & Darren / Crabtree’s Kittle House / Meg Miller Photography
Nestled in the tall grass and lush trees off the coast of a small lagoon 60 miles east of Manhattan lies The Old Field Club. This elegant, old-fashioned venue was the perfect backdrop for the marriage of Alison and Sean last month, where the couple chose florals in classic, vintage-inspired colors arranged in bold and innovative style.
“I knew from scouting Pinterest and other websites that I wanted flowers that looked like they were freshly picked from the garden, particularly because the vibe of our wedding was more laid back,” writes Alison of what she envisioned for her floral décor.
Tablescape / Alison & Sean / Old Field Club / Paul Francis Photography
Alison carried a truly show-stopping bouquet of white and cafe au lait dahlias, white garden roses and sweet pea with light blue delphinium, white scabiosa, silver dollar eucalyptus, rosemary, and olive leaves. Organic, highly textured, and elongated, this bouquet was crowned with a mesmerizing burst of color before a waterfall of greenery and a trailing ribbon of champagne satin. “For the shape of my bouquet, I wanted an elongated, uneven shape – again, to fit in with that ‘just picked from the garden feel,'” explains Alison, “It was perfect, beautiful, and rustic – but still muted enough that neither my bouquet nor the bridesmaids’ bouquets drew away from the dresses or the girls themselves!”
Her bridesmaids carried complimentary bouquets that played perfectly against their timeless blush and rose gowns by Jenny Yoo, while Sean wore a single light blue delphinium, accented with greenery and a champagne ribbon. “For the colors, we wanted to play off of the bridesmaid dresses, which were a dusty rose color, and also the Pantone colors of the year for 2016 – rose quartz and serenity. We played around with a few different blue flowers until we found the blue delphinium, which was the perfect shade of light blue, and fit perfectly in with the freshly picked wildflower feel.”
Sean and Alison met attending Marist College and have been together for over seven years. While they were friends prior to dating, by the time they got together, they both knew right away that their connection was something extraordinary. “Our wedding was such an amazing day surrounded by family and friends, and a ton of the people that we were blessed to meet together at Marist were there to celebrate with us!”
Growing up in Edgemont, NY, Samara was always close with her best friend’s older sister Amy. Hanging out after school or on weekends, she always admired Amy’s boyfriend’s best friend Keshar from a distance, but at the time seven years was much too wide an age gap for her to think of acting on her crush. Little did she know their paths would cross again years later, when Amy and her boyfriend got married. This time, the seven year age difference didn’t make things seem so out of the question.
A few months later, after completing a medical rotation in London and Florida, Keshar called Samara and asked her out on their first date. The following Saturday, he picked her up at 10 AM for a delicious brunch at Norma’s followed by an entire day in Central Park. It was the longest first date either of them had ever been on, and they’ve been together ever since…
The two were married this past June in impeccable style at Tribeca Three Sixty in Downtown Manhattan.
Samara’s vision added a touch of sparkle to an elegant, modern, all-white design. “It’s funny, as an art major in college and one who is internally charged by design, one would think I loved color – but I don’t!” Samara explains, “I love white; so I chose to do all white flowers to keep in line with my modern and simple take on wedding floral. It was also summer, so white felt clean and fresh. I just loved it.”
Samara carried a beautiful rounded bouquet of all-white peonies and sweetheart roses in full bloom tied in ivory satin, while her bridesmaids each held a different type of all-white flower, from dahlias to peony tulips to mini callas.
The couple said their vows beneath an enchanting chuppah of curly willow branches adorned at their meeting with a spray of white dendrobium Orchids. Samara remembers seeing the chuppah for the first time, set and ready for the ceremony. “It made everything feel real. I was still in my robe. This was when I shed my first, but not final, tear of the night.”
Their guests were welcomed by a stunning, textured card table featuring a quintet of white arrangements, accompanied by hydrangeas, roses, and peonies with floating votive candles at various heights. Tribeca 360 has a sweeping loft feel, with an open ceiling, exposed ductwork, and huge windows that open to a 360-degree view of the city. “I did not want to distract from our beautiful views, so low table arrangements were key – while also eliciting table conversation!”
We asked Samara if she had any advice for brides-to-be, from the planning process to letting go and enjoying the day. She says she found it beneficial to plan early, do plenty of research, and to keep her plans private. “I didn’t wait to be told what I could and couldn’t do. I knew what I wanted and I made the decisions. Don’t let other people influence you. Go with your gut and do what you want – it’s your day!
I chose to keep everything very private leading up to the wedding. My now husband, our parents and our vendors were the only people clued into anything! Not even my maids of honor, which I know bothered the hell out of them!
This was key because it allowed people to enter our wedding with an open mind, and a certain element of surprise! No one knew what to expect – and if and when something had gone “wrong” or unplanned – no one would know but me.”
Samara & Keshar / Tribeca 360 / Alison Conklin
“A family friend of mine gave me one piece of advice. I took it – and I’m so glad that I did. She said to stop and take a pause before walking down the aisle. Look at everyone here for you, take in all the love. Look down at your groom and start walking. Just seeing everyone’s faces is overwhelming, and it can cause this moment to become a blur. Taking a minute allowed me to truly be in the moment. I’ll remember that feeling forever.”
David first caught Becca’s eye on OK Cupid in August of 2014. With six tattoos of her own and counting, she was inspired to message him after spying the ink on his arm. They went on their first date the very next day, and on their second date the day after that! After mini-golfing on the West Side, they sat and watched the sun set over the water, and Becca knew this was going to be something special. Dave, who’d been concerned his previous marriage and children might spook his date away, was relieved to find he could be completely honest and open with Becca. She wasn’t going anywhere.
Happy Couple / Becca & Dave / Bridgehampton Tennis and Surf Club / Andre Maier
Their connection was instant and undeniable – so much that only three weeks after meeting each other, Becca and Dave got matching infinity tattoos! The tattoo artist thought they were crazy, but they certainly proved him wrong. On their one-year anniversary, they went back to get matching circles to represent their never-ending love.
Becca and Dave love taking long road trips together, and Becca has a tradition of picking up a scratch ticket every time they stop for gas. On the morning of January 31st, 2016, Dave and his two kids came home with a stack of lottery tickets for the family. Becca scratched and scratched until finally – she won! The prize? Will – You – Marry – Me – ?
When she looked up, Dave was down on one knee with a gorgeous diamond ring. In the spirit of their trademarked spontaneity, the couple took off the very next day for a two-week engagement moon in Asia.
Becca & Dave / Bridgehampton Tennis and Surf Club / Andre Maier Photography
Becca’s bridesmaids were ethereal in blush, lavender, and blue gowns by Plum Pretty Sugar. As the light cooled and the waves broke against the sand, Becca and Dave said their vows beneath a stunning chuppah of fresh-cut hydrangeas, roses, and greenery. A birdcage crystal chandelier hung from the center, adding a perfect touch of elegance to the beach.
Chuppah / Becca & Dave / Bridgehampton Tennis and Surf Club / Andre Maier Photography
Romantic white florals carried over to the stunning candlelit reception, with vase upon vase of lush white blooms. At the center of guests’ tables, orchids, ranunculus, and calla lilies stood suspended in water in tall cylindrical glasses, flanked by ivory pillar candles.