Monday, April 9, 2012

DIY Weddings ~ One designers story.

We love our DIY brides, we truly do.  They come in with so much energy and so many great ideas.  It's fun to sit and talk to them about their plans, their needs, their wants, and their big day.  We love helping them save money by ordering in bulk, seeing their eyes light up when they come in to pick up their flowers.  But every time we help one, in the back of my mind I worry for them.  I worry that they will become overwhelmed, that it will not come together as easy as they thought, that they will miss out on enjoying their big day, and most of all that they will regret it. 

I had a wedding last week, Bridal bouquet, 3 bridesmaids, 4 corsages, 7 boutonnieres, and one piece for the head table.  Her bouquets were petite, nothing overwhelmingly large or frilly.  Very simple, elegant, and not difficult to put together.  But even though it was not an over the top wedding with a ton of centerpieces, tons of flowers, and lots of extras it was time consuming.  It took me about 7 hours to complete this wedding, and if Sheryl would not have created  the head table piece it would have come close to about 8 hours.  I am not a slow designer and the bouquets came together quickly.  I did wait on some other clients, answer a few business calls, post a few things on facebook, took time to eat lunch, handled a few walk in sales people, and took a few trips to the cooler.  That is nothing compared to the craziness that is all around a bride on her wedding day.

As a bride you have to attend to all of the little details.  The last minute changes, the family coming in from out of town, last minute calls to your other vendors to make sure everything is just right, and not to mention you still have to get gussied up and walk down the isle.  Now add to that the stress of creating your own wedding.

Flowers come in flawed, some colors will not be exactly what you picked, some stems may be broken, some may not want to open on time, and some may not come in at all.  Not to mention the gathering of supplies, processing all of the flowers when they come in, and all of the little bumps in the road that will come your way.  

I do not want to sound like I am discouraging anyone from creating their own big day.  I am not, if you have the talent or know someone who does go for it.  But just know that it's not always as easy as it looks.  

Here is one brides story, she is a floral designer with years of experience.  She made the choice to be a DIY bride, a choice she now regrets. 

Read her story here.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Up in the Air over Helium

Helium, how we love thee.  You fill our balloons for parties, birthdays, and special events that are close to our heart.  Balloons show someone's love for another, that they are another year older, or make someone who is under the weather feel so much better.  But one day you will be gone and balloons as we know them will never be the same.

Yes it is true.  Helium is a non-renewable resource and one day it will be gone.  We all know that helium is used for balloons, but did you know that their are many other uses for helium?  
Helium's single largest use is in cryogenics to cool super magnets used in MRI machines and nuclear reactors. It is also used for welding.  So what makes helium so great?  It is the second lightest gas, surpassed only by hydrogen.  It also has a super low boiling and melting point that makes it perfect for cooling those super magnets in MRI machines.

So where does helium come from?  Helium is a natural by-product of mining for natural gas.  Once upon a time the gas was captured when released and stored.  Around World War I and II, the US government saw that helium would come in very handy to the war efforts.  It stockpiled a very large amount of helium, the largest supply in the world.  Because of all the extra helium, we understand that the US is no longer capturing Helium like it used to.  In 1996 the government decided to sell most of the stock pile.  The problem is that they wanted to sell as much as possible, as quick as possible and did not adjust to the fair market price.  This means a lot of helium flooded the market at rock bottom prices.  Now that supply is running low and the market price is being adjusted at a super fast rate.  According to some of our florist friends around the country some have seen a 2x to 3x cost per tank of helium.  A tank that might normally have cost around $85 back in 1996 is now selling for as high as $325!  WOW, put that in your balloon and float it!  

Now before you panic, this shortage has not hit our town as of yet.  We have talked to our supplier on several occasions and he assures us that he has plenty to keep us supplied for the foreseeable future.  So Decatur will still have balloons and we can all still have great parties.  I have heard reports of shortages from all over the country, some florists are being told that there is none and that they should not hold their breaths for that to change anytime soon.  

There may come a time when collection resumes and everything goes back to some kind of normal.  Most speculate that helium still has another 100 year run, but not at the prices we have seen.  Medical and industrial use will take precedent over the balloon industry and only those that can afford it will have it.  I for one do not look forward to the day that balloons will cost $100 each, and that will be long after we can afford to buy the tanks to fill the balloons we love so much.  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bold in Gold

This weekends wedding was one that we just adore.  It has some personal touches that make it a one of a kind and that is just what we strive for here at The Secret Garden. 

We'll start with the bridal bouquet ~ The bride brought us this fan and wanted us to create something that would accent it.  We choose white hydrangea, a single white rose, white spray roses and some blue delphinium to match the bridesmaids dresses.  She wanted a small cascade style and this fit the bill.  The springeri with blue delphinium was perfect for a petite cascade.   Everything is touched up with gold glitter, it may be hard to see in the picture but boy did it sparkle! 

Now the Bridesmaids ~ The gold foliage in the back was part of a silk rose we had for the holidays.  The bride fell in love with the texture and the color.  We paired that with cream hydrangea, cream roses, and cream spray roses.  We finished it off with touches of gold glitter spray to really make it pop!

For the Grooms & his Guys ~ The groom we took some gold sticks and curled them for an extra accent.  Gold Baby's Breath and Springerie to match the brides cascade.  For the groomsman and dads we used an ivory rose with gold baby's breath.  For the little ring bearer we took a cluster of delphinium and a touch of gold.  Perfect!

For the Moms ~ Gold ribbon with small spray roses.  Can't let the Mom's miss out on the gold bling that everyone else is enjoying.  Love this wired ribbon because it makes a statement.

For the altar of the church we selected a blending of the bridal bouquet.  You see the gold sticks here again to give it the pops of gold.  White hydrangea, white roses, white spray roses, and blue delphinium.  This piece will also double as the centerpiece on the head table at the reception.  We kept it low so that the guests can get a good look at the bride and groom.


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