Loving The Wedding Bouquets

 Silk Foxglove, roses in white and pink, ranaculus, sweet peas, peonies, eucalyptus and lots of greenery

Silk Foxglove, roses in white and pink, ranaculus, sweet peas, peonies, eucalyptus and lots of greenery

 Silk Orchids and Peonies Bouquet, with just enough greens

Silk Orchids and Peonies Bouquet, with just enough greens

 BoHo Free-form Silk Bouquet

BoHo Free-form Silk Bouquet

 Free-form silk bouquet full of roses and peonies and lots of greens

Free-form silk bouquet full of roses and peonies and lots of greens

Loving The Bouquets

We all know bridal tastes change, and we see that pretty easily in the new dresses that come out each season. The style of flowers a bride carries changes too, but I don’t think it's as obvious or noticed.  Right now on Pinterest I am seeing there are not as many bouquets designed with just one flower, or a ball of tight flowers.  I think we have turned a corner on bridal bouquets styles; from the flower ball on a stick, which is nice, but has gotten a little regular, to these wild free-form bouquets that have all sorts of flowers and greenery going all sorts of directions.

I love it!

The new bouquets are usually pretty big, but somehow they don’t overwhelm because they don’t take themselves too seriously.  The silk bouquets I have sold recently are a good example of bouquets that are a rich, lush mixture of a whole bunch of different flowers and greenery, sometimes 15 different stems of all sorts of flowers and greens. They are simply gathered together, and tied loosely with a ribbon.

I do have to suggest you do these lush, rich bouquets in silk flowers from www.DestinationBouquetByDorian.com, because  I don’t know how they keep a lot of those field greens from wilting…they aren’t really meant to be cut so they may wilt fast. Clematis vine is beautiful in a bouquet, but that just wilts out of water.  The everlasting silk bouquets have as much movement and interest as fresh and after the wedding they would look fabulous in a vase as a lasting memento of  your wedding.

As always, I have a few new wedding sites I have found and enjoyed:

Weddingbee.com has a lot of fun articles and a forum to exchange ideas and wedding items with other brides.

And DisneyWedding.com.  Not really my style but just a lot of fun to look at.  They do sell really cute flower girl dresses, with big satin sashes, or maybe you do want a coach with bewigged footmen to deliver you to your wedding!

Enjoy the journey.



Congratulations and Best Wishes On Your Engagement!

According to the old fashioned etiquette rules, when you heard a couple were engaged you would congratulate the groom, because he had talked some woman into the drudgery of becoming an unpaid cook, housekeeper, child birther/raiser and bed warmer.  You were to offer the bride your best wishes because she would need them to get through the next decades of unpaid drudgery.  Fortunately, times have changed and brides and grooms are living on a more equal plane. 


Wreaths, Garlands and Timeless Weddings

Do brides today realize how close they are to their sisters of Ancient Rome and Greece when they place a garland down the middle of the table at their reception, or weave a floral wreath in their hair before they walk down the aisle?

Weddings Italian Style

best italian heart.jpg

Weddings Italian Style


I recently returned from two weeks in Italy and we saw three weddings while we were there.  Italians hold their weddings apparently any day of the week, the wedding in Lecce, Florence of the South, was at the cathedral on a Monday afternoon.  Another in Matera was on a Saturday morning. Finally, one on a Thursday, with a noon mass in a 13th century church, followed by a civil ceremony in the town administrative building, just a short walk away.  Afterwards there was a very public champagne toast between the bride and groom on the town square.  This was in a little hill town, Maranole, half way between Rome and Napoli, and they had covered a balcony leading into town and another balcony overlooking the town square with two enormous banners, with a photo of the bride and groom, announcing the couple were going to be married in town that day.  At the toast they also released the same professionally printed enormous banner, although printed long-ways, up and over the town.  It floated aloft with three enormous helium balloons.  Then all the guests released the single balloons they had been handed.  Maranole backs up to a vast natural mountain preserve on one side and was just up the hill from the Bay of Naples on the other. I don’t know if the balloons were the sustainable cornstarch type that are available here.  I hope so, otherwise both the banner and the balloons were going to end up as a big blobs of plastic trash somewhere in nature.

Before the public toast on the square a crew in t-shirts had pulled up in a mini-van and rushed around setting up big lanterns, a cloth draped table and to frame it all a 10’ tall heart created out of white balloons.  The best part was the heart was attached to a little motor, so when the B&G came out it was turned on and the motor made the heart shake back and forth.  The crew then cranked up the PA system to blast Tony Bennett and Pat Benatar songs.  I would have preferred an accordion player serenading them, but maybe accordions are considered as quaint and old fashioned in Italy as they are here.

The first two weddings we only saw the crowd waiting for the wedding party, no bride.  The bride we did see was wearing an enormous ball gown of netting covered with sequins.  I do love a ball gown and frankly when else can you wear anything that fun and get away with it?  Even thought the weddings were all mid-day, many of the woman guests were dressed in long formal cocktail wear.  I suppose if you have it why not wear it.

Where does our responsibility to the environment lie when planning a wedding?  It seems the more contrived the wedding, as this one in the hill town was, the bigger the plastic footprint.  Using sustainable bouquets from www.DestinationBouquetByDorian.com is one way to create a really wonderful keepsake, while being able to reuse and repurpose your flowers because they are exquisite silk.  We have stopped throwing confetti and rice in the US, hopefully people are asking for cornstarch balloons.  At the Italian wedding the crew popped pressurized tubes of paper confetti and plastic rose petals all over the B& G and then left it blowing around.

Later we walked across the square to dinner and there were still petals blowing around…it was just a reminder to try to leave no footprint at all.

Best Regards, Dorian


 "Antonella & Andrea, Married Today"

"Antonella & Andrea, Married Today"

Beautiful Wedding Venue! Good Marriage?

 Ten foot tall  vault doors  leading to some sort of coin stamping room!  Perfect to display the cake!

Ten foot tall vault doors leading to some sort of coin stamping room!  Perfect to display the cake!

Do you think where and what sort of wedding you have can make a difference to your marriage long-term?  About two years ago the Archbishop of Canterbury, as head of the Church of England, declared "Enough!  No more pompous, over the top, ridiculous wedding performances."  I believe it was a couple that used a trained owl to fly down from the rafters of some rented barn venue to deliver the ring to the groom that sent the Archbishop over the edge, or maybe he just saw one too many of the enormous hats the Brits wear to weddings ...what ever it was, I do agree.  Have a lovely wedding in a beautiful dress at a gorgeous place, have plenty of delicious food and drink, a cake and a second dessert, in a venue filled with lush and sustainable silk flowers that were designed and delivered by Destination Bouquet By Dorian. I really draw the line there though....and you know what i mean.  The traditional rules for what your wedding should be like were; make it as nice a party as your family has ever hosted, but in that same manner.  Otherwise it seems an insincere way to start a marriage and looks a little like an episode of "My Gypsy Wedding."

I thought of this Tuesday night when I went to a marvelous event for all the different wedding vendors in the Bay Area at the Mint, or the Old San Francisco Mint at 5th and Market in San Francisco.  It is a wonderful old building from 1874, and it survived the '06 quake and fire when nothing else around it did. It has the perfect patina of old age, nothing updated about it.  There are marble fireplaces in every beautifully proportioned room, tall ceilings and long tall windows frame great urban street views.  There is a stone courtyard and a long chandelier-filled corridor running through the middle of the building. Amazáe Events really was able to to make the venue shine like a polished old coin.   One definite perk, all your guests can park in the Mission Garage, kitty corner to the venue.  The means a lot in San Francisco.

I was struck what a wonderful wedding ceremony and party could be had there, and the atmosphere, because of the buildings age, would strike just the right note.  A place with a lot of beautiful elements, where people like to be, but underneath a strong old building that has stood the test of time; just like the couple that has made a long-tem commitment to a good marriage. 

Best Regards, Dorian


Why Silk Flowers....


 This is a fresh flower wall courtesy of WedLuxe, why not create it in high quality silk?  Not inexpensive, but certainly more affordable to rent, and will be repurposed.

This is a fresh flower wall courtesy of WedLuxe, why not create it in high quality silk?  Not inexpensive, but certainly more affordable to rent, and will be repurposed.

I am passionate about flowers and making them part of life’s big events.   To pick something beautiful that sprang from the earth to help celebrate an important milestone in life; humans have been doing that since time began.

I am also a Pinterest junkie and I love looking at the wedding venues filled with rich, over-the-top arrangements in flower walls, on table tops and candelabra, especially if they have used roses and trailing phalaenopsis, or moth orchids.  They must have cost many thousands, used all sorts of resources to grow and ship, and what happens to the flowers the next day?  Out they go.

That is why I use silk flowers.

I would not use them if the quality were not so high.  The colors are clear and bright and they just look real.  When I had a booth in March for the bridal fair at the Fairmont Hotel, brides walked right past, thinking it was too early in the planning to choose fresh flowers.  So I stood in the aisle and asked the brides and their friends to touch the bouquets.   That was when they couldn’t believe they were silk!

I love fresh flowers though.  I took this photo last Sunday in my backyard, it is a monarch butterfly in mid-air attracted to the rubrium lily that comes up every year and blooms for weeks.  With high quality silks for your venue décor you can have both the beauty of fresh flowers with the luxe look you want, and you will be able to to afford more flowers and still take a positive step towards recycling and repurposing.

Best Regards,  Dorian


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BEST WEDDING EVER..or, Yes I DO have a Princess Diana Bride Doll

To me the British Monarchy reached its zenith the morning Lady Diana married Prince Charles, 35 years ago next Friday the 29th.  I won't say happy anniversary since it was a sad situation after the wedding.  Nevertheless it is my favorite wedding of all time and yes when you come to visit us you will be stared at all night by the Princess Diana bride doll looking out of a cabinet in our guest room.  (We don't charge people to stay so stop complaining about how weird/creepy you think dolls are.)

Diana's wedding seemed to start off the still-going-strong streak of amazing weddings.  Her dress was a fabulous white silk taffeta froth, her veil was 25 feet long,  It was her bouquet that topped everything though; it was big and heavy, beautifully made and full of classic white flowers.  It looked flawless to me.  Those three elements, the dress, veil and bouquet just took everything else, including the glass coach, Saint Paul's Cathedral and Prince Charles, along for the ride.

I haven't looked at a picture of Diana's bouquet in awhile, and now as I do I realize it is dated.  No one really uses ivy now, and the bouquet has a smooth teardrop shape.  Todays bouquets  are all about interesting textures and non-symmetrical shapes.  We make a much freer and looser look, with the flowers used more naturally and usually left on the stems.  The way the stephanotis, the small white waxy blossoms, are all wired together to cascade down, that alone would have taken hours and hours of hand wiring and they look really stiff.  Today the same flowers could be left in the clusters they grow in creating a still formal but softer look.

When I was shopping for a bridal gown, long after Diana's wedding, they were still offering an exact copy of her dress, only in polyester and sewn really cheaply so that the seams and synthetic horsehair itched like the dickens when I tried it on.   I remember it was $125, one of the least expensive dresses available, and I wonder how many thousands they sold over the years.

With July 29th coming up I would love to re-create the same feeling of Diana's bouquet with the same roses, gardenia's, lily-of-the-valley and stephanotis, but in a current interpretation.  All right, I am taking the challenge.  I am working in high-quality silk flowers now and not fresh, but stay tuned and once I can gather the materials I will journal what I come up with.

Best Regards, Dorian    www.DestinationBouquetbyDorian.com

Childhood Wedding Memories

 Loved the crown when I was seven, still do.

Loved the crown when I was seven, still do.

My very earliest wedding memory is ripping the heads off of the full blooming roses on my mother's carefully planted bushes along the drive way, and throwing the petals in the air to rain down upon me because I was a "bride."  Fresh rose petals have a peppery smell when you tear them and and that smell brings back strong memories for me.

 When I was five I went to my babysitter's wedding. She was a neighbor in our brand new subdivision that had recently replaced the apricot orchards in the Santa Clara Valley.  I remember two older gentleman at the reception, smoking cigars on the patio under a slatted wood trellis.  One of those men asked me to marry him as he put the cigar band around my finger!  I don't remember what I thought then, but I hope I was delighted and today I think it was very sweet.  I also remember the sugar bells on the cake, which are inedible to anyone but a five year old, and remember thinking if weddings meant you had things like cake decorations made of pure sugar, count me in.

When I was growing up as one of five we predicted each person future.  My siblings predicted I would have a big brood of children, drive a station wagon, be very active in my parish and have a flower shop!  A few of those predictions came true, although I drove a mini-van when my sons were young because they don't make station wagons any more.  The most accurate part of my siblings prediction...I  have enjoyed the wedding flower business for years.