Monday, August 12, 2013

Murphy Mondays: A Portrait of a Pretty Bouquet

I love having my picture taken - it's one of my favorite things. Personally, I don't think I take a bad picture, whether I'm sunbathing or on the move, and believe me, there are plenty of people who agree. But I understand that for most dogs - and people - having a picture taken is something to plan and take seriously. Especially brides!

The wedding is one thing...of COURSE there are going to be a lot of pictures taken at the wedding. But for many brides, the pictures don't start there - they start with their bridal portrait; a whole day set aside when they go to their photographer and have their picture taken in their dress. On the wedding day, there are lots of pictures of the couple and their family and friends, as well as pictures of the space, the flowers, the food, and more. But the bridal portrait is just about the bride. For most brides, bridal portraits are pretty important. They are wearing their dress and they have their hair and makeup done; so, of course, they need some wedding flowers.

This is where my people come in! At Bouquets of Austin, we offer the option for our brides to a get a bridal portrait bouquet and there are a couple of ways to go.

*A bride can have a full replica of her wedding day bouquet made for her bridal portraits. Hey, it's your day - you get to have whatever you want, right?!

*Another option is to choose our bridal portrait bouquet that is a little smaller than a traditional bridal bouquet - about the size of a bridesmaids bouquet - and includes all roses in the color of the bride's choice. This is often the option that brides choose. For one, a bridal portrait bouquet is a nice, affordable price. And, second, the bridal portraits are all about the bride and the dress. You just want some beautiful flowers to complement your overall look.

If you're ready to schedule your bridal portrait, make sure you talk to my people at Bouquets of Austin for your bridal portrait bouquet and get ready for an amazing day!

Have a great week!


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Pretty In - Traditional - Pink!

I love pink flowers - all of them - especially gorgeous garden roses and ranuncula! Combine these favorites with one of the most traditional wedding flowers of all time - stephanotis - and you have a truly gorgeous, timeless bridal bouquet.

This beautiful bridesmaids bouquet - in shades of pink - complemented the bride
and the navy blue bridesmaids dresses.

This wedding ceremony featured one of my favorite aisle treatments - ombre petals!

Ceremony/Reception: Villa Antonia
Wedding Planner: Barbara's Brides
Photographer: Anthology - NEED TO CHECK

Monday, July 29, 2013

Murphy Mondays: Bowls, and Bottles, Vases, and More!

Hi y'all! I hope you're enjoying your summer as much as I am! I can tell by the humans who come in to visit us that they are definitely enjoying their summer planning their weddings. How fun!

One of the things that couples discuss when they come in to talk to my people is rental pieces. Yes, we make gorgeous wedding flowers (and by we, I mean them) but the flowers have to go in something, right? That's where our vases and other pieces come in - we have a huge supply of vases of all shapes and sizes, bottles, jars, bowls, and everything else you can imagine to make your wedding beautiful. In fact, those pieces really help people to set the tone for the kind of wedding that they want whether it's rustic, vintage, classic, or modern.

Here are some things to consider:

*Don't underestimate how much these rentals pieces can really add to your wedding. They are the "frame" for beautiful wedding flowers. My bowls just hold my food and water - those bowls make your wedding come to life! My people will talk about these pieces when they talk about your flowers.

*The rental pieces are typically folded in to the price of your wedding flowers. Can you bring your own pieces for us to fill with wedding flowers? Definitely! Just know that this won't really save you much when it comes to pricing because our rental fees are so nominal. If you do decide that you want to use your special pieces, make sure they come to us completely clean, sticker-free and ready to use.

*If you decide that you want us to deliver your wedding flowers, we will also pick up the rental pieces at the end of your reception. So you don't have to worry about where all those bowls and vases go or making sure you get them back to us. We take care of everything!

Here, you can see that a very creative guy at one of our weddings found something else to do with our vases (don't try this at home)!!

So make sure you consider vases and all the rest when you come in to talk to us! Have a great week!


Friday, July 26, 2013

Wedding Faves: A Splash of Orange

Winter can truly be a spectacular season for weddings here in Austin and this one was no exception. I absolutely loved this winter bridal bouquet (January, 2012) which featured a combination of seasonal winter flowers with a collar of dusty miller. This particular foliage has become a favorite for its soft gray/green color and its velvety texture. And because it's become so well loved, we have found ways to incorporate it into every season this year.

Sweet navy blue bridemaids dresses served as great backdrops for cream flowers with splashes of blue and orange. I love the texture that the thistles bring to the composition.

Orange ranunucla for the groom - I love how the gray shirt and peach tie coordinate with the flower selections. Sometimes this is well planned and other times it just happens :)

The color theme continued all the way through the event down to the last layer of cake.

Ceremony: The Smith Family Chapel at Riverbend Church
Reception: Mansion at Judges' Hill
Photographer: Photography By Shea

Monday, July 22, 2013

Murphy Mondays: Beating The Heat

It's hot. Like hot, hot. You think you're hot? Trying wearing a fur coat in this weather. They don't call these the "dog days of summer" for nothing; and Texas summers are no joke. Still, there are plenty of brides and grooms who come to Bouquets of Austin to plan their summer wedding. And some of those weddings are...outside. Now, I don't get that but, hey, whatever floats your wedding boat.

Truth be told, summer outdoor weddings can still be gorgeous - and so are the wedding flowers - but brides and grooms sometimes need to get creative to help beat the heat at their summer weddings. Luckily, there are a lot of awesome ideas out there for humans (certainly not for us dogs, short of shaving us bald - and the answer to that is no) to keep cool at summer weddings. Here are some of the things that brides and grooms have done:

*Tent the ceremony/reception areas - Temperatures are one thing - the sun beating down on you is another (I should know). If you're going to have an outdoor wedding ceremony or daytime reception, think about tenting the areas or at least offering some sort of coverage to protect guests from the sun. That can increase comfort levels considerably. At the very least, provide pretty umbrellas that guests can use to keep out of the sun. Or consider hosting your ceremony at sunset and your reception when the sun has gone down.

*Offer fans for guests during the wedding ceremony - There are some adorable fan options to offer your wedding guests - paper, bamboo, and everything in between. Consider making your wedding programs into fans so that guests can keep cool and have a memento to take home at the end of the evening.

*Have bottled waters available for guests at the entrance to your ceremony - You can even think about making personalized labels for the water bottles and displaying them in fun, decorated coolers or have attendants pass them out to guests.

*Keep cocktails and appetizers cool and refreshing - Create a cool signature cocktail or refreshing appetizers that can be shared with your guests immediately following your ceremony. Keep it light, keep it simple, and keep it delicious.

*Limit the participation of your furry friends - This is a shout out for all my animal peers. It's totally cool to include pets in your ceremony (we love that; make sure you give us some pretty wedding flowers) but once that ceremony is over, get us inside with a responsible party, air conditioning, and a treat for our good work.

Summer weddings can be wonderful. Do what you can to make it as comfortable as possible for you and your guests and get ready to party!

Have a great week!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Wedding Faves: Oh Juliette!

At Bouquets of Austin, we sure do love our pretty pictures. This is one of our favorites - a beautiful moment captured against a sweeping background. The lawn at the Mansion at Judges' hill is always a stunning backdrop for some equally spectacular wedding photos.

I absolutely loved this monochromatic color palette of cream and peach - featuring another one of the up and coming favorite garden roses, Juliette. Thanks to the grower, David Austin, garden roses are rapidly rising in popularity and - thankfully - availability!

What's wrong with this picture?  The bride provided these candles and the planner (from out of town) displayed these on the table without glass covers - not a good idea. This was a Spring wedding a few years ago before our recent string of fires. However, whether there's a burn ban or not, it is never a good idea to put candles on tables without covers. In this case, the linens were all but ruined from the running wax. The flowers looked awesome but these candles make me grimace every time I see this photo! Moral of the story? Cover those candles!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Murphy Mondays: Rainy Days and Mondays

It's a rainy Monday here in Austin and while that may not be news in other parts of the country, that's BIG news here! We are, after all, in the middle of summer and that means it's hot, hot, hot. It also means it's dry, dry, dry. We need rain in a big way. But, for Austin weddings (and dogs), rain can make things much more complicated. For dogs like myself rain means having to go outside and step in...wetness. Think about it. You wouldn't like it so much either. For brides and grooms planning on having their ceremony and/or reception outside, rain can throw a real dog bone into the event. So what can you do to make sure that your wedding runs without a hitch - even in the face of bad weather? Here are some tips:

*Have a backup plan. That may seem like a given, but you wouldn't believe how many people fail to plan for rain - even when they are having an outdoor wedding! Especially here in Austin where rain isn't the norm. Work with your venue - and your vendors - to make sure that there is a plan in place for rain.

*Make sure your venue can accommodate your guests inside as well as outside. Yes, you can certainly fit more people in an outdoor space than an indoor space. So brides and grooms will plan for a certain number of people outside even if those same number of people won't comfortably fit inside the venue. Bad idea. It's like trying to fit three dogs in a dog house.  You don't want to compromise your guests' experience by having them squeeze inside an uncomfortable space if rain does happen. Choose your venue - both the outside and the inside - based on the number of guests that you are inviting - NOT how many you think will come. It's Austin...they will come.

*Hire a planner. Nothing will help you navigate a rainy wedding day like having a professional planner in your corner. A wedding planner will help you put together a contingency plan and, best of all, they will manage your vendors accordingly.

For us here at Bouquets of Austin, we've had to manage many rainy day weddings. My people are used to it. They know how to turn a beautiful outdoor ceremony into a beautiful indoor ceremony at the drop of a hat. And, luckily, wedding flowers look great no matter what the weather!

Enjoy the rain and have a great week!


Friday, July 5, 2013

Friday Photo Spotlight: Rustic Elegance

There are some wedding gowns that we just can't get out of our heads and this is one of them. Could this gown be any more spectacular? Or this bride any more gorgeous? This is one of our favorite weddings - a rustic, yet elegant, affair at Vista West Ranch (with bouquets to match!).

Wedding Planner: Barbara's Brides

Monday, July 1, 2013

Murphy Mondays: Quality Control at Your Service!

Hey there people - long time, no talk! Sorry I've been quiet for awhile but boy have I been busy! First of all, I've still been swimming every Thursday and I am pooped! Second, it's summer and I have lots of things to do around the shop and at home. Let's face it, my work is never done. Recently, I added a new job to my list of many, many responsibilities. I think it's a good one and for sure something that will help me a lot at Bouquets of Austin. What's the job? Quality Control Specialist!

My humans at Bouquets of Austin definitely know a LOT about quality control. After all, they make sure that all the wedding flowers that leave our shop are perfect for our brides and grooms. So I've gotten to see real quality control at work every day. But I can't say that I've had to worry too much about it in my job at the shop. I'm mostly responsible for greeting clients and, of course, picking up any loose food crumbs if they find their way to the floor.

But recently, my cousin Jennifer took me to PetSmart. You know PetSmart, right? It's a store just for us pets. Anyway, I don't know if you know this or not but they have an entire aisle for treats. AN ENTIRE AISLE!! FOR TREATS!! I didn't know which way to turn first. But I did my duty as the executive Labrador that I am and I did my best to INSPECT each of the treats. QUALITY CONTROL PEOPLE!!! Consider it an internship. And I rocked it hard.

Here are the things that I learned in my time as a Quality Control Specialist:

1. There are WAY more treats than I ever knew existed. Apparently, my people have been holding out on me. I'll have to address that.

2. Not every treat is the same as the other. There are many varieties of treats - just like flowers - and some are awesome and some not so awesome (I would never say "bad" because NO treat could ever be bad).

3. I realize how important quality control is now. My people sure do have their work cut out for them and now I know they are even more awesome than I thought because they really do care that all the flowers that come out of Bouquets of Austin are just perfect.

Now I also know that I can be much more helpful around the shop. Now that I can sniff out the good stuff I can certainly help with sniffing around the flowers. Maybe there will even be some more treats in it for me. It's the least I deserve, right??

Have a good week!


Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Photo Spotlight: Gorgeous Gloriosa Lilies

A stunning bouquet from last fall - something for a bride looking to make a statement!
It features gloriosa lilies and hot pink coxcomb finished with a collar of scented geranium foliage and a lush pink velvet ribbon.
Photographer: Anthology

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wedding Faves - Allan House Reception

In Austin, we absolutely love our outdoor celebrations throughout the year. After all, on many weekends we're looking at temperatures in the 70s, blue skies, and gorgeous breezes; and a recent wedding that we did was no exception. We were fortunate enough to be able to work at one of our favorite venues, The Allan House - an intimate wedding space amidst elegant Victorian surroundings.

Our bride and groom wanted seasonal flowers to set their tone of outdoor garden elegance which was reflected in everything from the personal flowers to the reception flowers.

What began as an intimate ceremony space was transformed into a beautiful dining space, complete with soft peach linen draping, ivory lace overlay, and matching chair sashes. We created an eclectic and elegant centerpiece design that complemented the wedding colors and supported the overall tone of the wedding. Some tables featured a mixed collection of vintage milk glass with seasonal blooms - including garden roses, peonies, and stock - in shades of blush, peach, and ivory.
Other tables featured bird cages overflowing with seasonal garden flowers, setting the scene for garden romance.
 Finally, taking advantage of the natural beauty of The Allan House, the rock walls around the courtyard were lined with mason jars and assorted sizes of pillar candles, creating an outdoor glow of romance.
As always, we loved working at The Allan House - and, of course, with our awesome bride and groom. It was a beautiful weekend and a reception we'll never forget!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Photo Spotlight: Gorgeous Four Seasons Ceremony

Nothing is more lovely than the lawn of The Four Seasons in Austin TX - the perfect, romantic spot to say "I Do".
This is one of our favorite ceremony designs from last spring - starting with a beautiful white stage (provided by Townsley Designs) and featuring our 4-post white canopy, aisle runner/petals and suspended pomanders on shepherds hooks all in shades of purples. Just gorgeous!
Ceremony/reception:The Four Seasons, Austin TX
Planner: Pearl Events
Photographer: AJH photography

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Fall Flashback

It's May already! And as the summer heat makes its speedy approach, we're turning back the clock to show you some of our favorite pictures from our Fall, 2012 wedding season. Here are just a few that made the cut...

This is one of my favorite events of the season which included an absolutely spectacular 9' cross from Mancino Iron that we completely covered with flowers. Talk about a WOW ceremony piece!
We completed the look with two large, luscious arrangements - in the softest tones of whites, creams, and blush - at the entrance of the aisle. Finally, we lined the aisle with petals and candles for the ultimate romantic space.

The bridesmaids bouquets were crafted with soft, romantic flowers - sweet and simple to complement the bridal party's rich, indigo blue dresses.

The gorgeous reception - held in the Darrell Royal Ballroom at Barton Creek Resort & Spa - featured gold chiavari chairs, champagne linens, and a combination of gorgeous tall and low centerpieces. Best of all, it featured an adorable bride and groom who were full of smiles - and that's always the best part for us!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Murphy Mondays: Keep Swimming

Last week I did something brand new. Something unexpected but completely awesome. I took a swimming class!! An ALL day swimming class!! My people found out about this amazing place not far from us where dogs like me hang out for the day and swim, play on the agility track, eat, relax, and do some overall socializing. Sounds great, right? I have to admit though...I had a couple of concerns. For one, how would they manage without me for a whole day at Bouquets of Austin? Secondly, I am not currently at what they call my "fighting weight."

Turns out, it was fantastic and I loved it!! Of course, the next day I was pretty beat and, therefore, not as much help with the wedding flowers as I am normally. When I got to the shop, first I did this...
Then I changed it up and did this...
 Then I thought Stephanie needed some help, so I did this...
Which, immediately after, caused me to do this...

Yes, I'm tired but I can't wait to go back and I'll get stronger every time. It's good advice for couples planning their weddings too...even when it gets crazy, keep swimming - something great is on the other side!

Have a great week!


Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Photo Spotlight: Soft, Sweet, Romantic Bridal Bouquet

This is one of my absolute favorite color combinations - creams,whites, and blush - featuring one of my all-time favorite garden roses, the White O'Hara. If only you could smell this photo...

Monday, May 13, 2013

Murphy Mondays: Sharing the Love

As an Executive Labrador Retriever, I am called upon to manage many tasks at Bouquets of Austin. Of course, one of my most important roles is to protect the shop; I am, after all, a large dog and so I suspect my humans look to me for a certain level of protection. As I am more likely to lick someone to death than to pose any sort of canine threat, I really only act as "protector" in name only; but I keep that to myself. If, however, you need some food protected, I'm your dog.

As we've also discussed before, my role also includes greeter. That's my favorite part because I get to meet new people and show them what a great guy I am. I call this sharing the love; and when you work in a wedding flower shop, sharing the love is what it's all about. The people who come to meet us are happy and in love; they are there to plan the biggest day of their life and we're all happy to be a part of it! But sometimes even the happiest of occasions can cause strife between families and we see even the smallest piece of that in the consultation room at Bouquets of Austin. As an easygoing dog, I like to keep the peace; so here is my easy-to-follow tips on spreading the love when it comes to your flower meeting with us:

*Be respectful. It seems like a simple thing but boy can this get out of hand sometimes. I may really run Bouquets of Austin, but I still have to respect my humans and they are always respectful of me. So we like to make sure that everyone who comes to a meeting with us is respectful of each other. A lot of times brides and grooms bring along several members of their family to their meetings. That's always fun because it is, after all, a happy celebration. But fighting in that meeting...not so happy. Keep it loving and respectful.

*On that note, spread the love by keeping the bride and groom as the focus of the meeting. It is their wedding and, therefore, it should be their voices that are heard when it comes to the wedding flowers. Yes, everyone involved in the meeting will certainly have their opinions, but during the meeting may not be the best time to express those opinions if it causes conflict or derails the purpose of the meeting.

*Be open. The role of my humans at Bouquets of Austin is to make sure that our couples get gorgeous flowers on their wedding day. They are really good at what they do. So they always appreciate when couples - and their families - allow them to make suggestions based on their experience. When you're open to ideas, you may be pleasantly surprised by something you may not have thought of when it comes to your wedding flowers.

*Finally, spread the love by spreading the food. Please don't forget your host at Bouquets of Austin - ME. Gratuities are appreciated and I'll take whatever you've got (although bones are best).

Have a great week!


Friday, May 10, 2013

Color? White? Or Something in Between?

Our consultation process is just that - a process. We ask questions of our brides and grooms - getting to understand their style so that we can best realize their wedding flower vision. In turn, they ask questions of us. Part of our job is to help our couples understand the nuances of flowers - and how they can best be used to help create a spectacular wedding design.

One of the most frequently asked questions of our design staff?

Should my bridal bouquet be all white or should I include color?

This is a tough one because, quite simply - in the end - it is the personal choice of the bride. But do we have a preference? Yes - sometimes we do.

 There's nothing more classic and "bridal" than an all white bouquet. But no matter what, the bridal bouquet should always be a complement to the wedding dress. Brides can either look at the bouquet as another accessory or....they can look at the flowers as something to be showcased - the spotlight of the wedding "outfit."

If you choose an all white bouquet, you can always make it interesting by adding a few varieties of flowers in whites or perhaps a few berries or an accent - even a colored ribbon to make a statement.

One of the biggest trends right now is the blush bridal bouquet - and boy are there a lot of ways to achieve blush! Generally speaking, "blush" refers to a combination of flowers in soft pink, peach, and champagne.

If, in the end, you decide you don't want to add a color to your bridal bouquet, you can always complement a white bouquet with foliages and natural green flowers. Once again, it all comes down to your vision - a beautiful classic bride with all white or a soft romantic vision with a blush or pastel bouquet and allowing Mother Nature to add the right hint of green. No matter what you picture, we'll help you bring that vision to life!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Let There Be Color!

Weddings have certainly changed dramatically throughout the decades, as have brides themselves. A 1950s bride may bear no resemblance to the modern bride of today. And yet - despite it all - they certainly share the desire to create a day that completely reflects their personality; what they love the most. In short, every bride wants their wedding day to be all about them.

As wedding florists, we love this simple truth because it allows us to creatively paint a picture of every bride and groom. Cookie cutter isn't our thing; it's always interesting to see what couples bring to the table and it's our job to help them express their personalities through the design of their wedding flowers.

Of course, when people think of weddings, they usually think white. Certainly white flowers are the quintessential wedding flowers. But over the years, we've also loved to see the dramatic use of color. Whether it's a color theme that is carried throughout the wedding or just a pop of color used here and there, there's much to said for the use of color in a wedding.

For brides wanting to make a little more of a statement with their bridal bouquet than the traditional white, the color possibilities are endless - maybe just a combo of colorful seasonal flowers and a variety of elements.
With this wedding, the bridesmaids wore chocolate brown and carried a smaller version of this vibrant bridal bouquet.

For a more modern look, use a single type of flower. In this case,  the bride carried a collection of these gorgeous gloriosa lilies. Her bridesmaids wore black and carried white cymbidium orchids with raspberry throats.

This bride loved variegated flowers and especially these gorgeous striped amaryllis. And for an extra special touch, we added some bling to her wrap. Her bridesmaids wore red and carried all white bouquets with pops of red.

There's so much that you can do with color. Don't be afraid to incorporate it into your wedding flowers!