These charming, vibrant blooms with their signature black center derive their name from the same Greek word meaning “the wind’s daughter.”
Anemones / Kristen & Dave / New York Botanical Garden / Chad David Kraus Photography
Anemones open in the day and close up at night, a unique trait that played a symbolic role in the Greek myth of Aphrodite and her lover Adonis, a mortal. The story goes that the two lovers would go hunting together in the woods, Adonis chasing game on foot and Aphrodite trailing behind him in her swan-driven chariot. Aphrodite’s ex-lover Aries soon grew jealous of their bond, and while Adonis was out hunting alone, his rival disguised himself as a boar and brutally attacked Adonis with his tusks. While Adonis fought for his life, he was no match for a god and fell to his death on the forest floor.
Aphrodite rushed to his side, but it was too late. In mourning, she sprinkled ceremonial nectar on her lover’s wounds and carried him out of the forest. Turning back, she saw crimson anemones had sprouted out of the ground where each drop of blood had fallen. The wind blowing the flowers open or closing them in stillness is said to represent the gain and loss of love.
There are over 150 varieties of anemones in a wide range of colors and shapes, bearing one to three blooms per stem. Anemones’ petals are extremely delicate, but beautiful to watch furl and unfurl around their black or yellow fringed centers as they burst open towards the light, creating beautiful gestural lines.
Anemones make a stunning statement in bouquets and arrangements, thanks to their wide, deep centers and pastel or jewel-toned petals. If you’re looking into a black-and-white wedding, anemones are one of the few flowers with true black centers that bring an impactful pop to a white bouquet or arrangement.
No matter your style or color scheme, incorporating anemones into your décor will bring drama, detail, and elegance to any ceremony or reception.
Traditionally reserved for Jewish ceremonies, a chuppah is a four-posted canopy that symbolizes the home a couple will build together during their marriage. Today, chuppahs can be seen at weddings of all types, from nondenominational to secular. Chuppahs are a beautiful way to frame your ceremony and create a personal, sacred space for you and your partner to exchange vows.
Every chuppah begins with a sketch, often drawn from several inspirational sources. “We work closely with our brides on creating the perfect ceremony backdrop, as the decor is setting the scene for such an important moment,” explains our Director of Events Elianna Phelps, “Sometimes our brides bring us several inspiration images – none of which are their dream ceremony.,,
…Creating sketches allows us to help our clients combine the aspects of each image that they love into one, and give them a visual along with a description to make sure that we nail the concept and create the ceremony of their dreams.”
Chuppahs vary greatly in terms of style and construction, leaving the couple’s design options wide open. Typically they begin with a metal structure as a base, covered in fabric or branches. Other chuppahs have a wooden frame, such as birch poles. They can then be embellished with flowers, branches, and greenery.
Chuppahs are exciting to design and construct because the final result is always a little different. “When it’s a new style or look we haven’t done before, the result always feels even more magical,” says Elianna, “The biggest challenge I find is timing – sometimes we cannot get into the ceremony space until an hour before guests arrive. That’s when things get stressful – when you are under the gun, there is no time for mistakes or corrections.”
Even when things get down to the wire, the stress is always worth it. There’s nothing quite like framing a unique, sacred space for each couple to commit to their everlasting love.
We are so fortunate here at Bride & Blossom to have so many incredibly talented and creative designers working as part of our B&B family. Our designers come to us with diverse skill sets and experiences, and we assign arrangements based on their strengths, to best execute each client’s unique vision and bring their proposals to life. We chatted with three of our talented team members about how they got into the industry, what a typical day at the studio entails, and what it takes to be an extraordinary floral designer.
How did you get into floral design? Why were you attracted to it?
I was a beauty school drop out, for real! I took Cosmetology in a Vocational High School and hated it. But I did fall in love with the Horticulture Program – and that is how I “blossomed” out into flowers. I was attracted to the freedom of it. I liked the way the flowers smelled and the way you could make them look so interesting and pretty. I liked that they brought others so much joy.
Can you tell me about an average day at the studio?
An average day at the studio, that is funny! There is no average day, every day has its unexpected things that get thrown at you. Flowers come in wrong, someone calls out sick, that sort of thing. But one thing is for sure – we work really hard to make it happen and we try really hard to have fun and laugh a lot while it is happening. It gets you through!
What is your favorite part of the job? What’s the most challenging?
My favorite part of the job is to put together a bouquet or centerpiece that looks aesthetically pleasing. The colors are on point, the textures go well, and the overall effect is just awesome! The most challenging part of my job is finding a work/life balance. It is generally a seasonal job, so when there is no work, you have a few months on your hands with no income and time to fill. Then, all of a sudden, you are slammed with work and have trouble finding food in your home or clean clothes. I have learned to schedule days off and take care of my body so that I can make it through the busy season.
What makes an extraordinary floral designer?
An extraordinary flower designer is someone who can do any type of flower arrangement necessary. Can you do a bouquet, boutonnière, an escort card table, or a centerpiece? Are your mechanics strong in your design? Can you do all types of styles of design? Are you of your word? Do you show up? If not, sit down, you aren’t an extraordinary designer.
You also teach floral design for Bride & Blossom’s flower classes. Can you tell me more about teaching and the environment you aim to create in the classroom?
As for teaching, I love it! It is one of my favorite aspects of flower designing! The classes are so eager and interested in learning. I love to hear their feedback as to the things that interest them so I can share with them the knowledge that they want. I like to impart the care of flowers, styles for your selection to set the theme, and what it is really like to be a flower designer. I try to instill the importance of mechanics and proper ways of doing things so their masterpieces stay alive and in one piece longer. I also like for them to have fun with it.
Click here for more information on our upcoming flower classes.
How did you get into floral design?
Well, I was working part-time at a laundromat and I needed more work to support my wife and kids. My daughter, who has special needs, was five at the time and my younger son was three. One day, my boss’s wife told me a friend of hers, who owned a flower shop in Manhattan, was looking for part-time assistance. So they spoke about me and they sent me over there. I started cleaning flowers, delivering, organizing vases and pots in the shop – that is how I got introduced into this industry.
What attracted you to it?
What attracted me to the industry was the fact that everything was new for me. It was like a new land undiscovered. The different flower decorations and plants were all so new to me but I have always liked to discover and learn new things in life and for me, this was a new world.
Is is different than what you expected?
Yes, because of how much work, care and dedication these flowers & plants need, to become these amazing arrangements, bouquets, and events at the end.
What is your favorite part of the job?
At the end of the event when you step back and see that after all the stress, hard work, and ups & downs, everything looks beautiful and spectacular. And everybody, especially the client, admires your work and it makes them so happy. That particular part – to see and hear the happiness of that special person…that make me so happy and proud and you realize that all that hard work and stress…it is worth it.
The most challenging part of the job?
The most challenging part is those days when nothing’s going your way, and you have to work twice or more to make it happen. Sometimes things get twisted and everything feels impossible like when you order 3,000 Leinidas roses and they don’t come in as they’re supposed to, or when a windy day takes down a beautiful arch just a few minutes before the ceremony, or when you’re transporting arrangements on a very cold day and arrive to find most of the flowers frozen. What we will do?…. in the end, we always make things happen and the event ends up amazingly beautiful.
What do you think makes an extraordinary floral designer?
Dedication, never giving up, the ability to improvise, limitless ideas, working your magic with what you have, not with what you want. Love what you do and let your creativity flow.
I have always had a passion for working with flowers, ever since I was a young girl. I love their beauty and their smell, how every flower and foliage is completely unique. I find that I’m immediately drawn to flowers the moment I walk into a room, and I love to study designs and arrangements. I have never been so passionate about anything before, and so I wanted to be surrounded by this passion every single day.
Is it different than you expected?
My first experience in the floral industry was completing a one week Year 10 work experience with a florist in Sydney Australia. I was young and eager to work hard which helped when the reality of working with flowers became evident. Early mornings, heavy lifting and an unkempt environment (e.g. the flower stems falling to the ground instead of in the bin). I have never been afraid of hard work so this was a small price to pay in order to fulfill my passion.
What does an average day at the studio look like?
My average day at the Bride & Blossom studio starts with an allocation of floral arrangements needed for the upcoming wedding. First, I gather the flowers and equipment I need from the flower recipe list. Then, I begin by designing the personal florals first, which include the bridal bouquet, bridesmaids bouquets, boutonnieres , corsages and flower crowns. I spend a lot of time on every piece as they are very intricate, and it requires a lot of focus to make sure they look perfect.
When I’ve completed the personals, I do a large clean-up of the area I’ve been working in – this is normally a must! Next, I’ll move onto the larger arrangements including the table, bar and alter arrangements. When these are completed, I will pack all the arrangements into boxes to get them ready to be transported to the venue.
It’s a long day with few breaks, but it’s a great atmosphere and lots of laughs with the other designers helps to make the day really enjoyable. I end my day with yoga and a long shower.
What your favorite part of the job?
Constantly creating unique and detailed arrangements with different flowers and foliages. I also love working with the team. We work hard but we’re always laughing and exchanging great stories.
The most challenging part of the job?
The most challenging part of the job is the physical toll it takes on your body. I work 8-19 hour days on my feet making floral arrangements and lifting/moving heavy objects, like large buckets of water and heavy flowers or branches.
What makes an extraordinary floral designer?
An extraordinary floral designer is someone who is passionate about working with flowers at any cost. They use the floral design principles to make aesthetically pleasing arrangements despite what materials they’re given to work with. They are constantly researching and trying out new ways to improve their arrangements.
While you may not be swooning over the full-length gloves, white stockings, and pill box hats, there’s no denying the sixties brought about a newfound freedom of expression in bridal style – florals included.
Today, we take a glimpse at these sixties sweethearts’ wedding flowers – with tips on how to click fast forward for a vintage-inspired, millennium-approved take:
Audrey Hepburn’s Ring of Roses
Audrey Hepburn married Mel Ferrer in a tea-length flared Balmain* dress with satin puffed sleeves and elbow length gloves, accompanied by a stunningly simple crown of roses. (*Yes, that’s the same Balmain responsible for Kim and Kanye’s cyborgian armor at this year’s Met Gala!)
Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer
Photos on Getty Images via essensedesigns
At a serene summer wedding in Montauk, Bride and Blossom added wisps of Italian Ruscus, Baby’s Breath, and Jasmine Vine to a ring of white spray roses for a more contemporary, boho feel.
Pattie Boyd married George Harrison in January of 1966, wearing a red fox fur coat by Mary Quant over a pink and red silk dress by the same designer, cream tights and pointy leather flats. George wore a Mongolian lamb coat made for him by Miss Boyd.
While you may not be keen on getting married in full fur, we’re loving Pattie’s wild, spilling bouquet. Clean up this look with an elegant cascade of orchids, or by applying the same concept to decorative accents, such as this pew arrangement with trailing eucalyptus and and a champagne satin ribbon.
Catherine Deneuve married David Bailey in 1965, wearing peep-toe heels, a long sleeved bell dress and – evidently – white polka-dot panties. Besides reminding us to wary of a windy wedding, Catherine is rocking a statement floral headpiece gathered in the center and propping up her veil. If you’re considering a bold alternative to a circular crown, try a gathered pop of florals, either front & center or nudged to one side for a more casual, modern look.
Johnny Cash and June Carter got ‘married in a fever’ in Franklin, KY in 1968. June wore a short lacy dress in baby blue with a matching crown and carried white bouquet dotted with red roses. Adding a splash of red is a great way to spin classic pastels on their heels, whether as bright structural accents in a centerpiece, or a sprinkle of berry tones in your bridesmaid’s bouquets.
One of the best parts of working with Bride & Blossom is having the opportunity to hear the amazing love stories of our brides. Liza and Jesse’s story is no exception!
“Jesse’s sister Carly introduced me to Jesse at her Hanukkah party several years ago. My close friend from college grew up in the same town as Jesse and is close friends with Carly. It took Jesse almost a year to ask me out, but after our first date, the rest was history. Being married to Jesse makes me feel like the luckiest girl!”
We think she’s pretty lucky too, especially helping to create a classic ambiance for her traditional wedding at The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park. Liza went with a clean, simple color palette in shades of white and ivory with blush accents that popped against the dominant neutrals she chose. With a show-stopping venue like The Ritz-Carlton, she knew better than to overdo it on décor, and let the setting add to the classy, romantic mood.
“My most memorable moments of my wedding day began with my mom buttoning my gown and my dad seeing me for the first time. At the event, the most special moments were seeing Jesse’s smile as I walked down the aisle and being surrounded by our closest friends and family on the dance floor. It was the most magical night of our lives!”
We loved working on this stunning and deceptively simple bouquet for Liza to carry down the aisle. 30 cream vendela roses were hand-tied with ribbon that complemented the bride’s dress, and the groom’s boutonniere contained a single cream vendela rose wrapped in ribbon that matched the bride’s bouquet.
Gorgeous high centerpieces of white hydrangeas and blush-colored roses accented with tall, floating votives decorated some tables, while lower flower arrangements mixed with the same tall floating votives created transparent levels where guests would be seated. Overall, the mood was classic, chic, and 100% New York City bride.
Peach Juliet Garden Roses in the Bride & Blossom studio
Peach, the sophisticated cousin of that ubiquitous wedding color — pink. This often-overlooked color can add a delicate touch of femininity to your wedding decor without going over-the-top. It works brilliantly as the subtle pop in a neutral color palette, and is brought to life with the addition of vibrant greenery. At a recent Bride & Blossom wedding held at Manhattan’s Refinery Hotel, we saw this color take center stage as the star of a particularly sophisticated soiree. The cosmopolitan venue provided the perfect backdrop for hues of peach, ivory, and cream with lush green accents.
Studio D NYC photography captured the intimate atmosphere of the occasion. The bride’s lace gown and simple bouquet, flickering votives on bistro tables, and elegant lanterns all contributed to the classically-romantic vibe.
These bright neutral colors were the perfect compliment to an exceptional evening in NYC. We hope this inspires your own “peachy” affair to remember!