Wedding Profile: Green and White Winter Wedding at Skyline Loft

I’ve been thinking about the photo below (by Tim Tab Studios) for the past year or two.  The composition, the feeling of anticipation, the gorgeous dress… and that bouquet isn’t so bad, either, if I do say so myself. And while I generally don’t show photos where people faces are recognizable, I’ll tell you that this wedding was full of beautiful people.  And so kind, too!  You can get a more well-rounded look of the wedding on Tim Tab Studios blog, but I’m going to focus on the flowers, of course.  

The details:  February wedding at Bridgeport Art Center’s Skyline Loft in Chicago.  Color palette: White and green, with touches of blush and navy.  Flower palette: Peonies, viburnum berries, ranunculus, White Majolika spray roses, hellebores, Southern smilax.

But enough talk.  On to the photos!  The bride’s bouquet was a bit loose and gardeny with white peonies as the focal flowers and viburnum berries, camelia and Southern smilax added for depth and movement.

Flowers by Pollen. Photography by Tim Tab Studios. Bride with wedding bouquet.

Flowers by Pollen. Photography by Tim Tab Studios. Detail shot of winter bridal bouquet with white peonies and viburnum berries.

The groom’s boutonniere featured a white ranunculus bloom, with a touch of olive foliage and white hypericum berries as an accent.
Flowers by Pollen. Photography by Tim Tab Studios. Groom in black tux with white ranunculus boutonniere.

Guests were welcomed to Bridgeport Art Center with a silver dollar eucalyptus-draped welcome sign.Flowers by Pollen. Photography by Tim Tab Studios. Wedding welcome sign with silver dollar eucalyptus garland.

Even the elevator got some attention from us!  The chandelier was decorated with sprawling foliage.Flowers by Pollen. Photography by Tim Tab Studios. Skyline Loft elevator chandelier with smilax foliage garland.

For the escort card table, a loose and foliage-heavy arrangement provided a focal point.
Flowers by Pollen. Photography by Tim Tab Studios. Escort card table centerpiece with panda anemone, cafe au lait dahlias, white majolika. Flowers by Pollen. Photography by Tim Tab Studios. Detail of escort card table.

The centerpieces served double duty at the ceremony, with the shorter centerpieces displayed on simple white pedestals down the aisle.Flowers by Pollen. Photography by Tim Tab Studios. Wedding centerpiece on pedestal for ceremony aisle decor.

We installed a suspended garland, dotted with flowers, above the ceremony area.Flowers by Pollen. Photography by Tim Tab Studios. Ceremony at Bridgeport Art Center Skyline Loft in Chicago. Flowers by Pollen. Photography by Tim Tab Studios. Bridesmaids with bouquets. For the cocktail hour, precious floral arrangements designed in vintage brass goblets decorated the highboys.
Flowers by Pollen. Photography by Tim Tab Studios. Highboy floral arrangement in vintage brass goblet.

During cocktail hour in the adjacent room, we transitioned the ceremony space to the dining space.  A mix of tall and short centerpieces provided variety throughout the room.  In this space, tall centerpieces draw the eye upward to the timber beams, wooden ceiling, and skylights.Flowers by Pollen. Photography by Tim Tab Studios. Bridgeport Art Center Skyline Loft wedding reception.

Flowers by Pollen. Photography by Tim Tab Studios. Garden style tall centerpiece in a gold vase

Foliage garland, pillar candles, taper candles, and votives lined the head table.
Flowers by Pollen. Photography by Tim Tab Studios. Head table with garland and candles.

Flowers by Pollen. Photography by Tim Tab Studios. Detail of wedding menu.

The suspended garland from the ceremony served double-duty, hanging above the bride and groom at the head table for the reception.Flowers by Pollen. Photography by Tim Tab Studios. Skyline Loft in Chicago head table with suspended garland.

A simple and elegant cake, simply and elegantly decorated with white peonies in top.Flowers by Pollen. Photography by Tim Tab Studios. Wedding cake with peonies on top.

The suspended foliage garland was all about this shot, don’t you think?  Thanks to Tim Tab Studios for capturing this moment so perfectly!
Flowers by Pollen. Photography by Tim Tab Studios.. Skyline Loft Bridgeport Art Center wedding in Chicago.

Creative Team:

Photography:  Tim Tab Studios

Coordination:  Liven It Up Events

Catering:  Catered by Design

Venue:  Bridgeport Art Center Skyline Loft


Wedding Profile: Fall Wedding at The University Club

Since getting into the wedding flower business, I’ve become a big fan of the old school private clubs in Chicago. The architecture and artwork is usually jaw-dropping, and the University Club of Chicago is no exception!  Big thanks to our clients, M&M, and to Christy Tyler Photography for sharing their gorgeous images.  I’m focusing on the flowers here, but you can get a feel for the whole day on Christy Tyler Photography blog post. It’s definitely worth checking out their blog to see the bride’s amazing headpiece!

I love wedding color palettes that include a range of colors, rather than the traditional palette of two-colors-and-a-neutral. For M&M’s fall wedding, we featured soft, neutral colors to complement the bridesmaids’ dresses, which were in varying shades of muted blue, grey, and dusty purple as our starting point.  Through the flowers, we added in soft, antique tones of blush, dusty lilac, muted peach, steel blue, grey and ivory.  We included both soft and fluffy blooms, such as garden roses, Japanese anemone, stock, and spray roses, with more textural dusty miller, blue thistle, and silver brunia.

Muted colors wedding bouquets flowers blush and dusty lilac wedding bouquet flowers

How about the blue thistle in the boutonnieres?

wedding flowers groom boutonniere with spray rose, blue thistle, fern

The ceremony was held at the University Club of Chicago’s Cathedral Hall, which has a very old world feel to it, with stone walls, a vaulted wooden ceiling, and gothic arches with stained glass windows.  We softened the space for the ceremony, “pre-use”-ing the centerpieces down the aisle, displayed on Pollen’s simple white pedestals. An aisle runner defined the aisle, along with clusters of candles.University Club of Chicago wedding ceremony aisle University Club of Chicago wedding flowers

University Club of Chicago wedding ceremony in Cathedral Hall

A foliage garland, candles, and white flowers decorated the stone fireplace.University Club of Chicago fireplace in Cathedral Hall The very tall ceilings of Cathedral Hall ask for tall centerpieces.  We created a mix of tall and short centerpieces for variety throughout the room, incorporating pieces from the clients’ antique silver collection into the centerpieces, supplemented with our containers.University Club of Chicago Cathedral Hall tall wedding centerpieces University Club of Chicago Cathedral Hall wedding centerpieces flowers University Club of Chicago Cathedral Hall wedding reception

Many thanks again to Christy Tyler Photography for  so generously sharing their photography with us and for making us look good!

Venue: University Club of Chicago

Photography: Christy Tyler Photography

DJ: Rachel of Toast and Jam

Wedding Profile: Colorful Spring Wedding at Halls of Saint George

All photography by Gabrielle Cheikh Photography.  See more on her much more comprehensive blog post!

The details:  May wedding at Saint George Serbian Orthodox Church and Halls of Saint George.  Color palette:  All of them!  Peach, coral, pink, red burgundy, lavender, navy, ivory…  Flower palette:  Keira garden roses, red peonies, pink peonies, burgundy ranunculus, blush astilbe, lavender scabiosa, peach stock, coral roses…

Spring wedding bouquet with Keira garden roses, ponies, astilbe, scabiosa.

Colorful spring bridesmaid bouquet with peonies, scabiosa, ranunculus, spray roses.Grooms boutonniere with white ranunculus, olive, berries, and rosemary

Garden-style spring centerpiece in gold compote. Garden-style centerpiece in gold compote. Red peonies, coral roses, spirea.Detail of centerpiece with burgundy ranunculus, blush peonies, coral roses, spirea.Foliage garland centerpiece with pillar candles.

Pollen Unveils Its Flower Donation Program: ReBloom

I’ve often said that after a wedding or event, the flowers are only six hours older than they were at the start of the event, and they still have a lot of life left in them. As a florist, one of the more painful parts of the event industry is seeing all of our work go into the trash after the event. Such a waste! At Pollen, we’ve worked to minimize the waste of all aspects of our business, including these slightly used flowers. We bring the flowers back to our studio, donate what we can, and compost the rest.

Flower donation

Lightly used wedding centerpieces, lined up to be reworked into bedside arrangements for donation. Photo by Clare Britt Photo.

After years of providing regular flower donations to Ravenswood Community Services’ weekly dinners and on an as-requested basis to organizations with missions that are in line with the priorities of the business, Pollen is expanding the program to include hands-on volunteer opportunities to organizations and businesses. We’re excited to officially unveil our flower donation program, ReBloom.

Through ReBloom, small groups join Pollen’s floral designers at Pollen’s studio to rework our briefly used flowers to make floral arrangements for donation to people who could use a little lift. Participants learn some basic floral design, then work under the guidance of one of Pollen’s floral designers to create floral designs from arrangements that are returned to the studio after the weekend’s events. Once the arrangements are complete, the group delivers the flowers to a nearby assisted living facility, hospital, or similar place.

Flower donation

Volunteer/designers create new arrangements for donation. Photo by Clare Britt Photo.

Flower donation workshop

Volunteers choose from the lightly used wedding flowers to create new arrangements for donation.

Flower donation workshop

Volunteers deliver and distribute the arrangements to a nearby assisted living facility.

ReBloom flower donation program in Chicago

ReBloom gives a little lift to those who could use it!

Groups of five to thirty people can schedule a two to three hour time slot to include instruction, design, and delivery of the flowers to a donation partner.  The activity is perfect for corporate team building experiences and others interested in giving back to the community.  For more information, contact or sign up for the email updates here.

Wedding Profile: Spring Wedding in Coral and Deep Teal at Salvage One

Revisiting M&M’s late June wedding from last year puts a smile on my face!  As always, Tim Tab Studios captured the wedding beautifully.

For the bride’s garden-style bouquet, coral peonies, poppies, ranunculus, and garden roses were the focal flowers in a loose yet lush style of bouquet.

Spring bridal bouquet with coral peonies, poppies, and garden roses.

Coral ranunculus boutonniere, ninebark, bowtie

Spring bridal bouquet, coral peonies, poppies, garden roses

The wedding party’s bouquets in coral, orange, fuchsia, and yellow complemented deep teal dresses.

Summer bridesmaid bouquets, coral peonies, garden roses, turquoise ribbon An eclectic mix of vintage-y containers perfectly suit Salvage One’s vintage and funky vibe.Summer wedding centerpiece, coral peonies, local zinnias, green hydrangea

Spring wedding centerpiece. Vintage glass compote, coral peonies, green hydrangea, geranium

Creative Team:

Update: Hospice Hearts Gift

12193338_1114287815247953_7760818650771858336_nPollen is so excited to present Hospice Hearts with a Valentine’s Day gift to help cover veterinary bills of the pets they bring in to their care.  For each wedding we booked between the date of my transport of Abby and Bosco up until Valentine’s Day, we put another $50 in the Hospice Hearts pool.  Eleven weddings booked in that time means $550 for Hospice Hearts!

Read here how Hospice Hearts captured my heart and moved me to support their mission.  As I’ve kept up with their efforts, I’m even more impressed with their work to rescue pets of people who can no longer care for their pets due to illness, being admitted to a nursing home, or death.

Bosco AbbyIf you have room in your heart and home for Bosco and Abby, who are currently with a foster family, please consider adopting these two cuties.  You can view all of the adoptable pets rescued through Hospice Hearts here.  Want to make a donation to Hospice Hearts?  Awesome!  You can support their work to rescue pets like Bosco and Abby, who lost their owner last month, here.

Chicago Wedding Show Round Up

A Few of Our Favorite Wedding Shows in Chicago

Booking season is underway! Many couples get engaged between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, leading to a jump in inquiries and consultations in late winter and early spring. Booking season for us! Planning season for you! If you got engaged over the holidays, you’ve likely started to dip your toes into wedding planning and begun your search for wedding vendors. We talked earlier about how to begin your search for wedding vendors, but I’d like to focus a bit more on wedding shows.

The wedding shows of the past have a pretty rough reputation as a cattle call of potential clients, shuffling through cheesy displays and pushy sales people. Thankfully, a few wedding shows have popped up in Chicago to defy that stereotype. Each of these shows is taking place in very cool, non-traditional wedding venues, so there’s the bonus of checking out a few of Chicago’s most interesting venues while at the shows. Here are our favorite foils to the traditional wedding show, in chronological order of when they are scheduled in 2016:

Indie Wed. Saturday, February 6th, 2016. Ravenswood Event Center, 4043 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago.
Indie Wed has a young and hip vibe, with many up-and-coming wedding vendors, as well as more seasoned, but still small and independently owned, wedding peeps. Held at Ravenswood Event Center, Indie Wed is three floors of displays from wedding vendors. Pollen has been there more years than not, though a booked wedding prevented us from applying to display this year.

Dose Trousseau. Sunday, February 14th, 2016. Morgan Manufacturing, 401 N. Morgan St., Chicago.
This is the first year for Dose Trousseau, which is being held in conjunction with Dose Love at Morgan Manufacturing. If you’re familiar with Dose Market, you know the vibe: a curated selection of hip, tasteful, high-quality, hand-made goods from small, local businesses. Dose Trousseau offers the wedding version of these qualities, with a hand-picked roster of wedding vendors who share the Dose aesthetic. Yes, we’ll be there!

Committed. Sunday, March 13th, 2016. Greenhouse Loft, 2545 W. Diversey Ave, Chicago.
Organized by the Chicago Green Wedding Alliance, Committed is a more intimate show of wedding vendors who are members of the Chicago Green Wedding Alliance. This means all the vendors are doing their best to be environmentally and socially responsible. For couples who share those priorities and want their wedding to reflect their values, the GWA has done the work for you to vet these wedding vendors. Of course, Pollen will be there!

A few other wedding shows are on my radar that I’ll want to check out this year. Feel free to leave suggestions for wedding shows worth checking out in the comments!