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Manolo for the Brides » Flowers http://manolobrides.com Manolo Loves the Brides! Wed, 30 Apr 2014 11:36:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.3.1 On Flowers in a Wedding http://manolobrides.com/2012/12/13/on-flowers-in-a-wedding/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/12/13/on-flowers-in-a-wedding/#comments Thu, 13 Dec 2012 14:10:09 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=12310 Weddings are the beginning of a life-changing and life-long journey to create life and live happily ever after. Hence, flowers and herbs have been used since the ancient Greeks to symbolize love, happiness, luck and long lives. Usually, the brides, and sometimes the groom too, would wear flowers and herbs around their head to symbolize fertility, fidelity, purity and ward off evil spirits. In India, flower petals were sprinkle over the bride and groom at the end of the wedding ceremony as a magic shield against evil spirits as well. In England, a small girl would lead the bride and her bridesmaids to the church while sprinkling flower blossoms along the path to ensure a life filled with flowers and happiness. The small girl is now called “flower girl”.

Bridesmaids have also existed since ancient Greece, and they would make the floral decorations including bridal bouquet and boutonniere.

Herbs had had different meanings. Dill was considered the herb of lust, and when carried down the aisle the bride would lust only for her husband. The aphrodisiac power of dill has not been yet confirmed. Furthermore, the Ivy was used to represent enduring love.

Nowadays flowers are still used in wedding for tradition and to set a relaxing, youthful, festive, cheerful, joyful and lively atmosphere. Vases for weddings are used as decoration and to extend the beauty of its contents, which usually are flowers. Cylinder glasses are also used as centerpieces containing water, flowers and/or floating candles; but more often are used to hold alcoholic beverages.

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Wedding In a Winter Wonderland http://manolobrides.com/2012/11/28/wedding-in-a-winter-wonderland/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/11/28/wedding-in-a-winter-wonderland/#comments Wed, 28 Nov 2012 20:26:20 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=12269

There’s nothing like a winter wedding. Snow (if you live in an area where it’s common) makes a pretty backdrop for a wedding. And since winter is a far less popular time of the year to marry than spring or summer, it’s quite possible to get extra good deals on halls, catering, and flowers. And with all the decorative items on sale for Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve, etc. it’s easy to get all kinds of pretty sparkly things to make your day beautiful on a budget.

Of course, there are some practical issues to consider, too. Weather is more likely to be stormy. One unexpectedly heavy fall of snow could spell the difference between a full house and lots of empty pews at your ceremony. Since many people travel for the holidays at this time of year, it’s also possible that you’ll wind up with less guests than you’d hoped due to family obligations or used up vacations days that won’t allow people to come out your way.

Once you’ve looked over the pros and cons and decided to set your wedding in the winter months, here are a few ideas to make it extra pretty and seasonally suitable.

Cover up!

If you’ve found love in a cold climate, chances are you’ll want a pretty jacket, coat, cloak, sweater, or shawl. Even with the slow but steady return of sleeves to bridal couture, the fact is most wedding gowns are not designed to keep you warm in the great outdoors. This is festivewear, not survivalwear. Even if you only need it for getting from the limo to your wedding site and perhaps a few pre-ceremony photographs, it’s a good idea to have something that will keep you from turning into your something blue.

Looking for bridesmaids’ gifts? Matching shawls or sweaters would make a pretty and practical idea.

For your feet? Maybe pretty Victorian boots would be a good idea to keep feet both attractive and dry.

Go with the season!

Remember that there are less flowers in season during the winter months. That means that using a lot of bright flowers will cost more than it might in another time of year. So choose what’s in season to make your bouquets, centerpieces, boutonnieres, and corsages. Use a variety of pretty evergreen sprigs like in the bouquet shown, decorate tables with poinsettias or tiny living evergreen trees, or go blatantly and fabulously fake with sparkly brooches or festive pinwheels.

And don’t forget the season when picking your menu! Looking for a good signature cocktail? Try a mulled wine or eggnog. Consider gingerbread for your wedding cake. Want a delicious, popular, and satisfying main dish? Think about lasagna, roast beef and mashed potatoes, or a mac and cheese bar.

Don’t ignore the obvious decorations!

If you’re planning a wedding for next winter, I would heartily recommend hitting the stores for the post-Christmas ornament sales. Bowls of Christmas balls filling a glass bowl would make great centerpieces for your wedding. Strings of lights will make your hall all the prettier. Wired ribbon can be lovely tied in bows on pews. Linens in rich colors will also be on sale in preparation for the lighter spring colors coming soon.

As I said before, winter weddings can be lovely in a very special way. They warm our hearts in the cold months, and give us one more reason to celebrate. So use your imagination to bring the best of the season to your wedding day. Everyone – including you! – will be glad you did.

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Brooch Bouquets Made Easy http://manolobrides.com/2012/11/20/brooch-bouquets-made-easy/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/11/20/brooch-bouquets-made-easy/#comments Tue, 20 Nov 2012 22:02:43 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=12232
One of the more popular alternative ideas in the wonderful world of weddings in the last few years has been the brooch bouquet. If you’ve got access to a bunch of fun sparkly pins, you can make a unique – and potentially quite meaningful – bouquet to carry when you marry.

But you may be wondering how exactly it’s done.

Best Destination Wedding has a great article on creating your own brooch bouquet. With just a few simple tools and materials, you can make a bouquet like the one shown above. Or leave out the faux flowers for an all-brooch one.

The author mostly bought brooches from inexpensive sources, such as thrift stores, eBay, and Etsy, but if you’ve already got a selection of sparkly brooches or have ones you can borrow from family members or friends, it gets even less expensive to make.

I don’t know about you, but I love these things!

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In Praise of Baby’s Breath http://manolobrides.com/2012/08/30/in-praise-of-babys-breath/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/08/30/in-praise-of-babys-breath/#comments Thu, 30 Aug 2012 15:47:26 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=11850
Most of my life, this is how I saw baby’s breath, that ubiquitous filler of cheap bouquets of roses and carnations. There would be half a dozen roses or carnations, two fern fronds, and a couple anemic sprigs of baby’s breath to ‘fill’ out the look. It never worked. Most of the time, I tossed the ferns and the baby’s breath and made do with the half a dozen ‘real’ flowers.

But you know what? Something magical can happen when the filler is used as the main bloom. Something, say, like this:

(Image via Pretty Little Things)
Suddenly a flower that was puny and pointless is a cloud of romantic elegance.

(Illustration via The Ring Bearer where you can also find instructions)
Or it can be relaxed and rustic.

(Illustration via The Alternative Bride)
You can even reverse the polarity and have a couple lovely blooms nestled amid an explosion of baby’s breath for a cool, modern look.

Using fillers thoughtfully can save you big bucks on your floral budget. But there’s no reason whatsoever to sacrifice style in doing so. If you pay attention and use your imagination, it’s amazing what a humble filler flower can do.

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LOVE/HATE: Feathers as Flowers? http://manolobrides.com/2012/08/24/lovehate-feathers-as-flowers/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/08/24/lovehate-feathers-as-flowers/#comments Fri, 24 Aug 2012 20:23:49 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=11830
When we think about what a bride will carry down the aisle with her, we usually think of flowers. Of course, it’s also perfectly proper to carry a prayer book, a fan, or to follow the example of Frances Folsom when she married President Grover Cleveland in the White House and carry nothing at all.

But most commonly, we carry flowers. We expect other brides to carry flowers. We think of them tied in a bouquet… but the fact is a bouquet needn’t be made of flowers. And some brides – whether from concerns about allergies, dislike of the waste of cut flowers, or simply a desire to be a little different – would much rather their bouquets be made of something else… such as feathers.

Me? I LOVE the idea, so long as they’re done well. The picture up top is my idea of a great feather bouquet. The feathers are simply allowed to be themselves. I happen to be a fan of having things look like what they are.

But what about you? LOVE ’em? HATE ‘m? Think they soar to heights of fabulousness? Or consider them for the birds?

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Inspiration: Mint http://manolobrides.com/2012/07/12/inspiration-mint/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/07/12/inspiration-mint/#comments Thu, 12 Jul 2012 18:37:16 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=11640
It’s fresh, it’s retro. It’s cool, it’s the hot color coming up on the wheel. It’s mint, and it’s going to be big for 2013 weddings. But how to use it effectively? Is it right for you? I don’t know about you, but I love this mint and lavender table setting by Archive Vintage Rentals.

Of course table settings are one thing… but far from the only thing you can do in mint. How about a mint wedding gown?

I found this pic at Stella Harper Events, and I love it. Not only is the dress fabulous, the VW microbus in the back looks exactly like the one my father drove for about twenty years until he passed it on to one of my brothers.

But not everyone is ready to wear a mint wedding gown. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a few colorful accessories to pull the color scheme together.

Check out this etherial wedding halo of mint fabric flowers and pearls I spotted at Platinum Weddings and Events.

And of course it looks delicious on the buffet table!

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Now What Do I Do With It All? http://manolobrides.com/2012/06/19/now-what-do-i-do-with-it-all/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/06/19/now-what-do-i-do-with-it-all/#comments Tue, 19 Jun 2012 19:05:53 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=11556
Your wedding is going to be lovely. After all, you’ve worked hard to come up with just the right accessories to carry out your dream theme, picked the perfect flowers, designed a menu that will delight the taste buds of your friends and families, and chosen a spectacular one-of-a-kind gown.




But what the holy heck are you going to do with it all once the day is over? After all, you don’t want to be a one-woman ecological disaster in the making, and you don’t want to be wading through masses of wedding detritus come your tenth anniversary, either.

That means you’ll need a plan to store the things you care about keeping and dispose of the things you don’t want anymore responsibly.

As per usual, I have a couple thoughts on the subject.

The first thing to do is to figure out what matters enough to you to keep it. This varies wildly from person to person. You may want to hang onto your wedding gown forever, hoping that one day your daughter will love it as much as you did and wear it when she gets married… or you might feel you don’t have either the sentiment or the closet space for that one. I know a couple women who carefully preserved their bouquets and display them in their homes. Mine went into a compost bucket in a friend’s vegetable garden without a moment’s regret. The tomatoes were excellent that year. Some people frame their invitations while others cut up any leftover ones for craft projects or shred and recycle them.

It doesn’t matter what things matter to you enough to keep and which don’t. What matters is figuring it out on your terms.

Once you’ve got that worked out, decide whether to donate, sell, or recycle all the things you possibly can.

There are charities that will take wedding gowns, veils, and other bridal accessories and either sell them for charity or give them to brides who would not be able to afford gowns etc. otherwise. If you aren’t sentimental about your gown, headpiece, or gloves, look up what groups in your area will pass them on to breast cancer survivors or the homeless who want to marry. Items like aisle runners, bouquet holders, or fancy pens for signing guest books are often gratefully accepted, too.

Another good candidate for donation is flower arrangements. If you’ve got any that have survived the heat (or other weather conditions) and the vases aren’t rented, think about donating them to a hospital or nursing home to cheer up patients.

Food is trickier. Many times your reception food cannot be donated to organized charities due to health regulations. But there’s nothing to stop you putting out take home containers for your friends so they can have any leftovers… or you could have a couple volunteers pack up the food and give it on a one-on-one basis to homeless, hungry people in the streets.

Or maybe you spent more than you’d meant to and would like to make a modicum of that back from the things you don’t want to keep. eBay, Craig’s List, and bridal boards are great places to sell off the things in good condition that you don’t want to give apartment space to. After all, that wooden sign that said ‘The Bride is Coming’ looked adorable when the little boy carried it down the aisle… but what are you going to do with it for the rest of your life? Well, another bride might love the idea of having one and look on your lightly used one as the answer to a maiden’s prayer. And you might be well able to use the couple of bucks that prayer nets you!

Then again, sometimes it’s fun to take something that was important for one reason, and make it useful for another reason. Maybe you don’t want to preserve your bouquet, per se, but are loathe to just dump it or hand it off to someone else. Why not dry the sweet-smelling petals for potpourri? Or dry the flowers and use them in crafts projects? If they’re edible, you can even cook with them.

Once a wedding is over, there’s a lot of clean up to be done. But if you have a plan for what to do with things afterwards, you can make your wedding easier on the earth, and spread some happiness while you’re at it.

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LOVE/HATE: Huge Centerpieces? http://manolobrides.com/2012/05/24/lovehate-huge-centerpieces/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/05/24/lovehate-huge-centerpieces/#comments Thu, 24 May 2012 12:30:25 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=11422
When it comes to reception centerpieces, there are brides who feel elegance and appropriate decorum require a massive display like this in the center of each table.

Me? I gotta say I HATE those centerpieces. They’re impossible to converse around. I might have a fighting chance, but then I’m pretty short. I can duck under the branches on a lot of them. But Mr. Twistie is tall. And these things often branch out in width, as well as in height. My poor beloved finds himself spitting out ivy and rose petals every time he opens his mouth, or in grave danger of his moustache catching fire if there are candles involved.

I know where the concept came from. It came from Victorian dinner party extravaganzas. Those tables often featured huge, florid arrangements of flowers in massive silver, glass, or ceramic display pieces. Guests would enter the hall, ooh and aah over the centerpieces as they found their seats, and tell the people sitting on either side how impressive they were.

Then – and this is the bit most people don’t know anymore – the servants (usually the footmen) would come and remove the centerpieces from the table so that conversation was possible.

Any rebuttals? Additions to my chorus?

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Handmade Without the DIY http://manolobrides.com/2012/05/18/handmade-without-the-diy/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/05/18/handmade-without-the-diy/#comments Fri, 18 May 2012 16:15:44 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=11394 You guys know I love DIY. I think it makes for a unique, highly personal celebration. On the other hand, it’s not for everyone. Some of us don’t have the time, or the inclination to do the work for ourselves. And let’s face it, there are some amongst us who simply do not have the crafting chops to get the job done right. For example:

(Image via CraftFail)
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to put up that poor mess of string at my wedding reception!

So what do you do if you love DIY but don’t have the time or the space or the talent? Why you go to people who have those things and pay them to do it for you. And that’s where Etsy comes into play.

Your invitations will say a lot more than just the time and place you’re getting married. Whether you’re looking for something whimsical or elegant, modern or old fashioned, chances are someone is doing invites on Etsy that will appeal to you. Me? I’ve fallen madly in love with these hand calligraphed ones by PaperandCalligraphy. See? They’re even sealed with wax! At $4.00 apiece and frankly not very practical to send through normal mailing channels, they aren’t for everyone. Still, if you’re having a very small wedding and only inviting people close to home, it’s a charming option.

I’ve fallen madly in love with these pom-poms of dried flowers put together by EcoLectic Events. Styrofoam free and made of organically grown flowers, they’re completely eco-friendly. And at $19.50 each, they’re even pretty budget-friendly as bouquets or as general decoration in the room.

If you’re looking for a special veil on a budget, you might do a lot worse than this English netting bandeau veil with handmade flower decoration by Fascinating Creations. It’s a charming look, and at just $68.95 it won’t harm your wallet at all!

You can even get a custom wedding gown on Etsy!

How about this charming informal wedding dress by atelierTAMI? At just $530.00 (made to your measurements, corseted bodice and petticoat included!), it’s hard to beat for price or perkiness.

Even if you can’t DIY for love nor money, there’s no reason you can’t have a few custom, handmade touches to your wedding, if you want them. It’s all a matter of knowing where to look.

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Five Ways to Reduce Your Wedding’s Carbon Footprint http://manolobrides.com/2012/03/23/five-ways-to-reduce-your-weddings-carbon-footprint/ http://manolobrides.com/2012/03/23/five-ways-to-reduce-your-weddings-carbon-footprint/#comments Fri, 23 Mar 2012 12:30:57 +0000 http://manolobrides.com/?p=11155 Once upon a time, if you mentioned an eco-friendly wedding, people tended to think of something like this:

You know, obviously hand-hewn, crunchy granola, unfashionable, and probably reeking of patchouli.

In short, even a lot of people who admired the commitment these couples made to living lightly on Mother Earth wouldn’t be caught dead in a ditch looking – or smelling – like them.

But times have changed. You don’t have to be a card-carrying hippie to care about the environment anymore. and you don’t have to completely reject both tradition and fashion to follow your convictions.

To start with, think about decorations that are consumable. For instance, the centerpiece on this reception table not only looks gorgeous, but feeds your guests at the same time. Bowls of fresh fruit, small platters of appetizers, pretty jugs or pitchers of beverages, candies, or even an attractive cake for the table’s dessert… any of these things will look fabulous, taste great, and save on your budget for fresh flowers and non-organic decorations.

Alternately, consider putting live plants in pretty pots on the tables for decoration.

Really consider how many paper goods you need… and forget about the rest.

Yes, you’ll need invitations and RSVP cards. You’ll need thank you cards of some sort. But think hard about whether you really need ceremony programs. Decide whether you would rather have your guests decide their own seating, eliminating the need for place cards. As for menus, doing without entirely, making only one per table to be shared, or setting up an attractive chalk board for the whole room are all viable alternatives to one at each place at each table.

Oh, and never forget that you can find invitations and all the rest printed on recycled paper.

Second hand doesn’t have to be second best. Maybe someone close to you has the most gorgeous wedding gown just hanging in her closet. Maybe you find a fabulous veil in a consignment shop. Perhaps your aunt has some serving pieces she’s ready to let go. You might even find the perfect ring pillow in a garage sale. Why let these wonderful things go to waste? Give them a home and a second chance.

Remember to check for natural fibers. Cotton, linen, silk, and wool are natural fibers. Rayon is a synthetic fiber made of natural materials. Nylon, polyester, acetate, and so on are not natural fibers by any definition. If you’re going green, synthetic fibers are not what you’re looking for… though if they’re being re-used I won’t tell anyone!

If you have leftovers left over, try to find a green way of disposing of them. In some cases, you may be able to donate leftover food to a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter. If your meal won’t meet the legal requirements, then set out Chinese takeout boxes and invite your guests to take some food home with them. Mr. Twistie and I did this one (though I wish I had thought of the boxes at the time!), and it was a big hit. In fact, we’d seriously overbought food for fear of people leaving hungry, and a couple of our friends lived on leftovers from our wedding for days afterwards.

Keep it real, my friends… but feel free to forget about patchouli and incense. Unless that’s your bag, man.

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