Real wax, flameless candles for your wedding

I’ve decorated any number of weddings in which the bride wanted lots of lighting incorporated in their flowers and decorations, including candles and Christmas lights. Both those options had their difficulties — candles are not always allowed or require a permit from the fire department and Christmas lights require a power source, and its not like you can link together 20 table arrangements with normal Christmas lights. I’ve spent many nights loading batteries into yard-long Christmas light strings, wrapping up the battery pack to protect it from water in the arrangement, then taking it all apart at the end, believe me. And let’s not talk about the fire danger of traditional luminaries, where you light a candle inside a paper bag.


Image courtesy Candle Luminary

However, there’s a Southern California company that is making real wax candles, but instead of lighting them, you use rechargeable lights to light them up. Candle Luminary is making these candles in several sizes and shapes and, as you can see above, there is also a floating option. I got a chance to check them out recently.

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Dear Wedding Decorator: How much would you charge to decorate a wedding of 75+ people?

IMG_7766A: Prices on decorations wouldn’t (at least, they shouldn’t) be dependent on the number of people attending. If I were charging, the factors I’d be considering would be the materials desired (number of arrangements, types of flowers, draping, equipment), time (how much time needed to create arrangements, set up, break down), and location (far vs. close by) — that sort of thing.

I couldn’t really give you a ballpark on what a potential decoration fee would be without those factors. And beware florists and flower shops who give you a flat fee without asking for those particulars — either they will tack on fees for any or every little thing or give you the lowest-quality flowers and decorations available. You get what you pay for!

Bridal bouquets in wild colors

Because the economy is in the dumps, we’re apparently supposed to be all dour and serious and sedate is supposed to be in. But when it comes to your wedding? I think not. Your wedding day should be a joyous event, so if you want to have shots of color, by all means, go for it!

Photo by Flickr’s rydeeroo

I once did a story, a long, long time ago when I was an intern at the Arizona Republic, about brides who opt for colored wedding dresses, as opposed to the traditional, American white wedding gown. Apparently, the tradition still holds when it comes to wedding gowns, seeing as how the majority of wedding gowns are white or cream, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a shot of color with your bridal bouquet. For example, check out the bouquet above — it would be a very traditional bouquet, except the bride opted for those velvety red roses, rather than white. I love the effect.
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2 Weddings, 1 ritzy wedding venue with an ocean view

A friend of mine often works weddings at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, and whenever she does, she snaps photos for me. It’s a nice peek into the world of very fancy weddings — I don’t think I ever got a chance to decorate a wedding at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel (although I have decorated weddings at other Ritz-Carlton locations).

The first was a Pakistani-Bulgarian wedding, but you would never know it from the decorations. These are just a few photos from what my friend sent.

An overview of the setup. I love the simplicity.

An overview of the setup. I love the simplicity.

The vases holding the flowers are no doubt glass, but I would bet that the stands are clear acrylic. I would also bet that the frosting effect was achieved with either baby powder that’s easy to wipe off, or possibly just a result of condensation from the grass they’re sitting on.

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Rustic wedding decorations at Rancho Las Lomas

After a few weeks of dealing with a move to a new place, a friend has sent me these pictures from a recent wedding at Rancho Las Lomas in Silverado Canyon. The venue is always beautiful, and I appreciate the wedding decorator’s decision to not try to overwhelm the ceremony with flowers — rather, there are a few rustic touches, like baskets and braided candle holders, along with succulents, ferns and flowers here and there. I thought the decor was thoughtful and purposeful. What do you think?

Also, I’m a fan of the Marine honor guard. They look very serious, and the ladies attending weddings always appreciate men in uniform, amirite?

Tips and video on how to arrange flowers

There was a year when my husband had no idea what day Mother’s Day fell on, so he agreed to work. It was a bit of a disaster. So I want to help you guys out — Mother’s Day is coming up on Sunday. This Sunday. Sunday, May 12. And it falls on every second Sunday of May. Are you panicking yet?

Anniversary Flowers!

Mother’s Day, however, can be easy if you give yourself at least a couple of days to prepare. I think the overall arching theme is, don’t forget Mother’s Day. That said, if you just know the mom in your life would simply love some flowers and an acknowledgement that she is a great mom, then there are ways to learn how to arrange flowers on your own and thus earn that extra “I did it myself!” credit.

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Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) classes in Southern California

If you’re truly interested in learning how to arrange flowers, probably one of the most challenging styles would be Ikebana, the ancient art of flower arranging. Ikebana’s Japanese characters translate to “living flowers” and it is considered a meditative art form.

I have always seen Ikebana as something like sculpting — just with flowers, branches and leaves. Western-style flower arrangements are more typically wild and full of blossoms, but Ikebana — like the related art of Bonsai — is more restrained and, some might argue, disciplined.

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