Thursday, April 29, 2010

Black & White with Touch of Tiffany Blue - A Wedding in Houston

DSC06732_0493 chandelier reflections

Enough about the preparations, now let me show you the flowers at the event. 

Lee created a lovely welcoming landscape of rose petals, peonies, and votives.


The guests entered into a large white tent with two magnificent chandeliers. Please note beautiful embroidered chair covers that the bride selected.

DSC06558_0319 tent chandeliers tulips black and white

Stepping through the tent to the pool, floating tulip bouquets, à la Ken Marten style, greeted the guests at eye-level.

DSC06561_0322 Black and White Tulip Wedding

Here are two of the four head tables with the extra-fancy flocked black and white tablecloths...

DSC06562_0323 Black & White with Tiffany Blue wedding

...and contrasting Tiffany blue tablecloths. 

DSC06563_0324 Black, white, and tiffany blue  with tulips

The higher-than-expected response rate necessitated the popular bride and groom to add four more tables at the last minute. We stretched out the thousand locally-grown tulips by wrapping each bouquet around five large water tubes.  The other reason we had to stretch out the tulips was that I was hoping for big, beefy Dutch tulips but the Iceland's volcanic eruption prevented any Northern European shipments from arriving into San Francisco. 

Tracy came up with the idea to use the six bubble vases around the submerged tulip inside the tall cylinder to add visual interest for the seated guests.

DSC06564_0325 Black, white, tiffany blue wedding

We had enough flowers and containers to create extra sets of the black glass cylinder trios:

DSC06576_0337 black cylinder trio

The bride loves lime green and the "Limon" philadendron leaves fit the bill. The biggest cylinder of the trio had a two-inch band of black and white fabric wrapped around the middle to coordinate with fabric used for the wishing tree vignette.

DSC06625_0386 Wishing Tree

It seemed that everyone had a hand in creating the signage for the wedding. Between the sisters, daughters, nieces, and nephews, all the signs got done with only a couple of panic trips to Michaels and Walgreens. 


But it paid off because quite a few guests left their thoughts and wishes with the bride and groom.

DSC06667_0428 Wishing Tree

Guests had a choice to eat their delicious meal in the tent...

tent dining the pool...

DSC06730_0491 Poolside votives

...or in one of the cabanas.

DSC06721_0482 Cabanas

DSC06711_0472 Cabana

And those who wanted to dine in a more secluded and quiet place, they could hang out behind the cabanas in front of the fountains at one of the cafe tables. 

DSC06712_0473 cafe table by fountain

There were 421 floral or candle containers, all but two had water inside. It would have been impossible to create this event without many, many hands with a large helping of team work to set it all up and take it all down at the end of the evening. We are all thrilled that the evening went off without a hitch.  The next morning, a guest clutching a bouquet of white tulips paid us the highest compliment as we waited for our cars to arrive: "We all had a fantastic time. It was the perfect mix of fun festivities with just the right touch of gala."

To the bride and groom:
"May a flock of blessings alight upon thy backs."
- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

The Making of a Long-Distance Wedding

DSC06527_0616 Three boxes of California Flowers

We got the big news from Houston, TX in January: he proposed and she said yes. I offered to help with the flowers and she accepted. She wanted something simple; there wouldn't be much time for planning and it was a second wedding for both. Hence the family wedding machine starts up.

We needed a theme or color scheme. I floated some ideas and photos by the bride and groom; Constance at Rochambeau even helped develop one idea. Thank you, Constance! The bride was intrigued with the idea of Ken Marten's floating bouquets and the groom loves tulips. Thank you Ken! The bride selected exquisite linens to match the invitations in black and white with a splash of Tiffany blue.

For the next few weeks, while we were creating and designing our entry for the student competition at Bouquets to Art (stay tuned for that post), Tracy and I came up with some prototypes. Once the designs were agreed upon, the logistics for a long-distance event was to be worked out.

I ordered all the containers from the wonderful staff in the Dallas office of Floral Supply Syndicate. A pallet of vases will arrive in Houston one week prior to the wedding. Craig at Brannan Street Wholesale arranged for me to meet the flowers on Wednesday at the Houston International cargo area.

I was delighted to learn that the flowers were stored in the cargo refrigerator in this cavernous warehouse while I was still in the air.

DSC06526_0615 Houston Continental Cargo

I was amazed that all the flowers, including one thousand white tulips, fit in only three boxes.

DSC06528_0617 Houston Continental Cargo

Though they are rather large boxes that spanned across the width of my rental van.

DSC06529_0618 Three boxes California Flowres

I was over the moon when I learned from Karina at Taylor Wholesale Flowers that they rent out their back room for floral designers. It's a good thing that Karina and I had a friendly chat in Dutch so that I could discover this service. Proprietor Keith Taylor kindly stayed late so that we could roll the flowers into the walk-in refrigerator. The next morning Karina gave me invaluable advice on how to condition the flowers.

DSC06541_0609 Taylor Wholesale Flowers walk-in refrigerator

The greatest gift of the week was Lee Capetillo of Tah Dah Events and Creative Services, who worked his magic with the flowers:

DSC06546_0594 Lee Capatillo at Taylor Wholesale

DSC06547_0595 Tulips

I can not thank him enough for rescuing me from all my foibles. If you ever need any creative services in the Houston area, call Lee - he is a master!

Unbelievably, Keith Taylor made one of his delivery trucks and his driver Abel available to us to deliver all the flowers to the hotel the morning of the event. Keith Taylor is a class act! Working at Taylor Wholesale Flowers was a most pleasant experience and I was extremely impressed with the level of professionalism of the entire staff he assembled and felt embraced by their welcoming arms.

Next post - the big event!
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