2013 Recap: Winter Wedding Flowers

2013 was an amazing year at Pollen!  We worked on some truly lovely weddings, and got to work mostly in our signature style of loose and gardeny design (with a touch of whimsy).  I just love working in a style that “goes” without being too matchy-matchy.

In the hustle to get our work out the door, I often don’t have the chance to take photos of our work, but below you can see a few snapshots I did manage to catch, both at our studio and on site.  In this quick series of posts, I’ll be highlighting our work from each season of 2013.  And in yet another future post blog post, we’ll feature some of the professional photos from our 2013 weddings.  In the meantime, my snapshots will have to do!

Below are some examples of our floral design for weddings and other events (and some just for fun!) in the winter of 2013.

IMG_0942pew swags Loose and gardeny wedding bouquet.altar arr

pinned boutonniere

Winter floral design.  Tall and short centerpiece. Muted winter wedding bouquet.1357337978147 Loose and gardeny floral centerpiece in muted tones.

 In the next post, I’ll share some examples of our spring 2013 work.

How to Pin a Boutonniere

When I deliver weddings, people are often REALLY relieved when I offer to pin on the corsages and boutonnieres.  It’s become clear that people really aren’t comfortable with this task, and I’ve seen so many strangely and/or precariously pinned boutonnieres, that I’ve decided to provide some tips on how to pin a boutonniere.

First, where does the boutonniere get placed?  On the left lapel.  On a notched lapel, such as the one shown below, the boutonniere is placed below the notch.  Many suit coats have a buttonhole in the exact area where you want to pin the boutonniere.  Guess what boutonniere means in French?  You guessed it: buttonhole.  That’s why it’s there, though admittedly kind of vestigial.

Lapel showing buttonhole

So let’s get started.  First, I hold up the boutonniere to the lapel, to see where I think it looks right.  I try to center the boutonniere on the lapel from left to right, allowing for a little space from the seam leading to the notch of the lapel.  I like to angle the stems so they follow the narrowing angle of the lapel.  You can see below what my mind is targeting as I size up the lapel.  Equal distances between the left, right, and top of the lapel, stems angled toward the bottom of the lapel.

Lapel, showing target boutonniere placement.  How to Pin a Boutonniere, by Pollen.

Now for the hard part.  Bring on the pins!  Basically, you use the pins to make a stitch through the boutonniere stems.  The stitch (or pin) begins and ends on the back side of the lapel, catching the boutonniere stem on the front of the lapel.  Make sense?  By approaching the boutonniere from the back of the lapel, the pins aren’t visible.

I hold the boutonniere in place, then flip the lapel slightly so I can see the back of the lapel.  I put the pin through the back of the lapel, fairly perpendicular to the boutonniere stems.  I like to place the first pin near the top of the stems.  The stems may be wrapped with ribbon or floral tape.  I like to get that first pin through the top of whatever is holding the stems together.  I use a second pin a little lower than the first, to prevent the boutonniere from pivoting.  Or if the boutonniere has a leaf background to it, I’ll use the second pin up higher and go through the leaf.  Below is a photo of two pins behind the lapel and through the boutonniere stems.

Back of lapel pin placement for how to pin a boutonniere.  by Pollen.

And the final product:

Pinned boutonniere, by Pollen.

I’ve seen many different ways of pinning boutonnieres, but I find this technique to work best for me.

What?  Too many words to read?  Okay, okay.  See the video here!

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Thanks to the model, Matt Gassman of The Traveling Photo Booth!

Indie Wed Recap v2

Pollen was lucky enough to be selected to display at Indie Wed not just once, but twice!  I have described last year’s display as “showing off.”  I created a bouquet, centerpiece, and boutonniere for three different looks, showing the range of styles Pollen can do.  Intimidated by a sophomore effort, and no longer feeling the need to be all things to all people, I took a different approach this time around.

This year, I kept it simple, and focused on the direction Pollen is heading, both in style and philosophy.  The style we’re honing is one that is naturalistic, a little gardeny, and seasonal.  And we’re making the transition to working only on weddings where sustainability is a focus, which was the original idea behind Pollen.

When I tell people that I started Pollen to be an eco-friendly option for couples planning weddings, I’m often asked, “What does that mean?”  This year, Pollen’s Indie Wed display answered that question.

Sustainable floral design means…

Designing in water, not floral foam. Floral foam (that green spongy stuff) is a petroleum-based product that is not biodegradable.  And it contains formaldehyde.

Working with sustainably grown flowers. Locally grown flowers are Pollen’s first choice, but in winter, we need to look to warmer climates for our flower supply.  We seek out flowers that have been certified as sustainably grown by a third-party certification program, such as Veriflora.  Or flowers that have been grown in the Netherlands, which leads the way in the cut flower industry with technology, conservation, and labor rights.  Our sourcing decisions are based on a thoughtful hierarchy of the least harmful impact of the cut flower options available, while fitting the budget and color scheme of the wedding.

Working with the seasons. What is seasonally available typically also is more affordable.  A display of forced spring bulbs (in recycled glass containers with vintage marbles) as a centerpiece demonstrated a seasonal option.

Considering the life of the centerpiece after the event. By using plants (such as the forced bulbs) as centerpieces, guests can take them home to enjoy for long after the wedding.  Alternatively, flowers can be donated to a retirement home or shelter.  Pollen can arrange to have your wedding flowers reused after the big day.

Supporting the community. Our display featured votive candles from Bright Endeavors, a local social enterprise working to break the cycle of poverty.

Working to reduce, reuse, and recycle.  We try not to buy more stuff if we don’t have to.

  • Pollen participates in Bright Endeavors’ votive refill program, in which they refill votive holders with soy wax for reuse.
  • Pollen will rent out containers for larger weddings, and otherwise offers a vase return program, in which clients (with prior agreement) can return unwanted vases from their wedding for a partial refund.
  • Pollen looks for alternatives to buying new.  The bridal bouquet in the display was wrapped with a vintage necktie, instead the usual satin ribbon.  Oh, and our table cover was upcycled from curtains and linens.

Special thanks to Kelly and Shannon for organizing Indie Wed; to Sarah (pictured below, on the right), who braved the crowds with me to be the face of Pollen; to Julie, who lent me her marbles (no joke); to Carla, who cut and folded paper for the display signage and handouts; and to Jessica and Peter of Matushek Photography, who took the photos!

Wedding Profile: All Pink, and All Peonies!

I loved this all pink, all peony wedding.  Okay, okay…  I used some white orchids for the boutonnieres and corsages.  Peonies would be a bit large for pinning on, after all!

Bridal Bouquet of Pink Peonies

Peony Bridal Bouquet

This was a day wedding for a bride who was truly a dream to work with.  At the initial consultation, we talked about keeping it simple and soft, and landed on using only peonies.  No greenery.  No accents.  Just peonies, in a range of pink, from light to dark.  Just peonies for the bridal bouquet, the bridesmaids’ bouquets, and the centerpieces.

Peony Wedding Centerpiece

Peony Centerpiece

The centerpieces, like the bouquets, were just peonies in a mix of shades of pink.  I recently added the recycled glass vases to my rental inventory.  I really like them because they have a strong presence, and because of the small opening, don’t require a ton of flowers (and a ton of money) to fill.  The pink peonies helped to soften the otherwise somewhat masculine space at Salvatore’s.

Such a pretty and simple look for spring!

Indie Wed Recap

I had such a fantastic time at Indie Wed!  Initial estimates indicate that around 1,000 people attended the event, held on Saturday, January 30th at the Ravenswood Event Center.  It was so wonderful to see past, present, and hopefully future clients.  Seeing so many of my clients indicated that I was definitely in the right place!  And, wow, such a fantastic group of vendors!

For Pollen’s display, I created three floral vignettes, each with a different theme: vintage, modern, and quirky/woodsy.  I wanted to show the range of styles that Pollen can provide, and how flowers can truly enhance the theme of the wedding. The display also showed ideas for including eco-friendly options in wedding flowers.

Each vignette had a bridal bouquet, table centerpiece, and boutonniere, as well as a mini-inspiration board.  My idea with the inspiration board was to mimic the initial part of the creative process of designing wedding flowers.  Typically, a potential client comes to a consultation with a photo of some element of the bridal party’s attire, a color scheme, and sometimes an inspiration piece.  It’s my job from there to interpret this look through the floral design of the bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, and centerpieces.

In future blog posts, I’ll tell you about each vignette.  For now, I’ll share photos of Pollen’s Indie Wed display and our new business cards, hot off the presses and just in time for Indie Wed.

Pollen's Indie Wed display

Pollen Business Card and Contact Info

Pollen Business Card--Front

Pollen Business Card--Back

Check out a few of the other incredible Indie Wed vendors:

Delicate Creature
Fine and Raw Chocolate
City Provisions
Spilled Ink Press
Edyta Szyszlo Photography
Foodie Registry
I Do Films
Jeremy Lawson Photography
Toast & Jam
Green Paper Company

Indie Wed Sneak Preview–Vintage Themed Vignette

I’m really excited to have a display at Indie Wed later this month (January 30th at the Ravenswood Event Center).  After some deliberation, I’ve decided to have a few vignettes on my table with different wedding themes.  Each vignette will have a bridal bouquet, boutonniere, centerpiece, and placecard holder.  Along with these items, I’ll have a mini inspiration board, with the item that inspired the theme, the color palette, and a photo of the bride’s or a bridesmaid’s dress.

For one of the vignettes, I’m borrowing the theme for a wedding I’ll be doing this summer.  A creative couple I met with a few months ago brought to their consultation their inspiration piece for their wedding: a sheet of gift wrap with a collage of vintage postcards from Paris.

Cavallini Gift Wrap -- Paris Postcards

I immediately fell in love with their vintage French theme, and my mind started putting together soft green hydrangea and beige roses in aqua antique medicine bottles.

Fast forward a bit to the release of the first issue of Eco-Beautiful Weddings, and I fell in love again–with the look on page 76.  The dress is soft and romantic, with a light aqua detail.  The birdcage veil and necklace give the look a vintage feel.  I thought, that would go great with the vintage French theme!  So I’m making it happen with the vintage-themed vignette that Pollen will have at Indie Wed.

A few sneak peaks of my vintage themed wedding vignette for Indie Wed…

Vintage Theme Inspiration Board

Vintage Theme Inspiration Board

For the placecard holder, I’m planning on a dual purpose placecard holder/wedding favor: a mini herb pot with the placecard sitting in it.  I created a vintage-looking placecard that resembles an admission ticket.

Vintage Themed Wedding Placecard

Vintage Themed Wedding Placecard

For the two other vignettes, I’m planning on doing a modern theme and a seasonal/rustic theme.  I’m still working on these ideas!  Stay tuned.  In the meantime, get your tickets for Indie Wed!