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Tips & Tricks   |   7-23-15

The Meaning of it All

When it comes to wedding planning, flowers have become a standard element in wedding decor. It is easy to forget how they came to be and why we include them at all. Wedding flowers are in fact steeped in rich tradition and have a long history over the years.
Perhaps one of the most important floral elements of the big day is the bridal bouquet which arose from a variety of origins. Originally, the bouquet carried was a bundle of herbs, greens, spices or even garlic! In Ancient Rome brides carried these bouquets to symbolize fertility and fidelity and to ward off evil spirits. In Greece, the ivy and greens symbolized enduring love. In Tudor England the bouquet included marigolds and other florals that were dipped in rosewater and later eaten by the bride and groom (many thought they were an aphrodisiac).
The traditional herb and spice bouquet was eventually replaced with flowers when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, carrying a beautiful bouquet of blooms. Holding on to some tradition, her bouquet also included the rosewater marigolds. Some things never change!
In the spirit of spirits, bridesmaids were originally viewed as identical duplicates of the bride: veil, bouquet and dress, as a way of tricking evil spirits from attacking the bride. Though the dresses may not be the same as the bride, the matching tradition is still very prominent and bridesmaids continue to carry beautiful floral bouquets in weddings today.
One of the cutest elements of weddings is without a doubt the flower girl. The inclusion of the flower girl in the wedding ceremony is another long standing tradition with multiple origins. In Ancient Rome, similar to the bride, flower girls carried bushels of wheat and herbs as a symbol of prosperity and fertility and in Medieval ceremonies the bushels displayed as herbs and garlic, again to ward of those pesky spirits. Eventually the herbs and spices disappeared and blooming flowers arose in the form of floral hoops and scattered petals. Floral hoops symbolized a never ending love and scattered petals symbolized a path to happiness for the married couple. 
 
Another interesting aspect of the flower girl is the abundance of children in the ceremonies of royal weddings. We often see an entire attendant party of flower girls and it is often thought that the children are a symbol of the transformation of the bride from childhood into adulthood as she joins a life with her partner.
Last but not least, a still popular floral tradition in modern weddings is the bouquet toss. In the victorian ages brides tossed their bouquet to their friends for safe keeping against spirits. The woman that caught the bouquet was said to have safety and luck which ultimately lead into a life with a happy marriage.
While we don't have to worry about evil spirits today, the inclusion of flowers in a wedding remains a prominent aspect of modern day ceremonies. Flowers, in every shape and size add beauty and elegance to the lifelong union of two individuals and we say the more the merrier!
Tips & Tricks   |   7-17-15

Definition: Modern

As you start to plan your wedding one of the first questions that arises is: "what style wedding will you have?" The names classic, traditional, modern, contemporary, garden, get tossed around all the time - but what does that really mean in the world of weddings? 
 
Often times, we have clients who come into our office that think they want modern and contemporary, but when we get down to the nitty gritty of designing the look of their event they discover that they are actually much more traditional than expected. 
So what does a modern wedding really look like? What does it mean to have a contemporary arrangement? Modern and contemporary can really be used interchangeably in the world of wedding flowers but we can look into the world of interior design to help answer that question!
"Modern" in the design world often refers to clean, unadorned décor with natural materials. Think Mid Century Modern with sleek silvers and woods and an airy feeling. A lot of these decors are neutral in color. The same can be said for flowers. A Modern floral style may manifest itself into monochromatic flowers in a beautiful silver container or it may translate into minimal flowers paired with dramatic pieces of wood and natural green foliage. 
 
Another way to consider defining the look, is that modern design is always forward thinking and innovative. This allows designers to create new looks and exciting styles.  
When we are referring to interior design, "contemporary" means things that are current or living in the same time. In other words - something that is popular right now. This can often be translated into a look that encompasses pieces of design styles that are continually popular and interspersed with new ideas. Some examples of this would be the Art Deco or Bauhaus movements, which are still popping up in ways today.
Either way you cut it a modern look is often clean, sleek and airy. These high style arrangements are the perfect looks for someone who likes a touch of adventure in their décor. Below, check out a few more of our favorite modern style arrangements.
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Event Showcase   |   7-13-15

Soiree on the Sand

If you follow us on twitter, last week you got a look at a beautiful four day event we did in the Florida Keys last spring. Today we're diving in to share all of the beautiful floral details about this stunning soiree. The entire weekend was planned and designed by our friends at Uncommon Events in Pennsylvania, and with some help from some of our favorite South Florida vendors, it turned out to be a hit.
We kicked off the weekend with a small dinner at Morada Bay Cafe in Islamorada. The venue already has these great colorful tables and chairs, so we paired that with dark purple glass goblets from Atlas Party Rental and great low modern pieces. Our designers pulled in a fun and tropical vibe to coordinate with the existing decor of the restaurant. They used beautiful purple macara and pink vanda orchids with bright orange pin cushion protea and vibrant green anthurium. The arrangements were also filled with accents of tropical grasses and all placed in a sleek cut glass container. We combined the entire look with nickel lanterns and pillar candles running down the length of the table. Quite a showstopper don't you think?
For the second event of the weekend the clients hosted a fun and relaxed beach BBQ. This event was a special treat to design as we created a distinct area for the kids to play featuring bright yellow and white chevron linens. Don't you just love the kids' sized chiavari chairs from Elements and Accents!? They might have been our favorite detail of the entire weekend.
The kids tables also featured aqua napkins, whit glass milk jars with bright yellow and white flowers including roses, gerber daisies, and tulips. The look was continued into the place settings with mason jar drink glasses and rustic copper silverware.
For the adults, we brought in rustic farmhouse tables from Unearthed Vintage and paired them with benches and chevron striped cushions. We placed natural wooden boxes filled with the same flowers as the kids tables for a bright and cheery styling. Our team also used the aqua napkins and copper silverware throughout the space. Continuing with the copper look, we placed copper and glass lanterns along the table with cut glass votive candle holders to create a soft ambiance.
Our favorite detail of the evening was the aqua and yellow vintage lounge arrangement from Unearthed Vintage! It was perfection for this event. Paired with some bright floral accents and vintage string lighting overhead, care of SFL Productions, it was a great place to party the night away.
The main event of the weekend was an early morning beachside christening and our team did not disappoint. Our designers built this beautiful moss and driftwood gazebo and create a "ceiling" of lush florals in pink and soft whites. This looks like it could just grow in your garden forever!
We combined the look with beautiful cross back garden chairs and let the backdrop do the talking! What a view! Following the services guests were treated to a beachside luncheon complete with market umbrellas and a soft palette of pink and white.
Our team adorned the tables in bright pink satin with a beautiful white daisy overlay from Over the Top. This is one of our favorite linens and it was perfect for this event! Placed on each table were lush arrangements of peonies, blush garden roses, frill tulips in vintage style crystal containers. Personalized ghost chairs replaced traditional place cards for the guests.
Small cocktail pieces dotted the landscape with white cymbidium orchids, coral and hot pink roses, touches of sea fans and nautilus shells with vibrant orchids. 
Last but not least the weekend ended in an intimate dinner party at Pierre's in Islamorada.
Our designers went dramatic and sexy with this look, using dark cymbidium orchids, orange pin cushions and dark burgundy garden roses in elegant rose gold containers. Running along the table, complimenting the rose gold, were beautiful gold wire hurricanes and an abundance of votive candles for an intimate vibe.
We had an absolute blast working with Uncommon Events and all of our fabulous vendors for this event. It was truly a show wonderful weekend and we couldn't wait to share with with you. Thanks to Uncommon Events for bringing us for this wonderful event and thank you to Alison Conklin Photography for the beautiful images! Tell us, what was your favorite look of the weekend?
Event Showcase   |   7-8-15

Perfect Spot to Say I Do

Chuppahs. Mandaps. Gazebos. Pergolas. Archways...no matter what the name, the four-sided structure has become a centerpiece of wedding ceremonies across the board. A Chuppah is literally a "canopy" or "covering" and traditionally originates with Jewish ceremonies. These days, couples of all backgrounds are adopting the structure into their own services to anchor the ceremony for the bride and groom. Traditionally they are adorned by a cloth ceiling or canopy but are also prominent in open-air varieties. We absolutely love creating these beautiful ceremony structures and today are showcasing a few of our favorites from past events.
This simple structure was created with sheer fabric drapes that flowed in the sea breeze and accents of natural driftwood. It was the perfect compliment to the beautiful view!
We love creating garden style structures like this chuppah. We mixed white and lavender flowers, garlands of greenery and delicate willow branches entwined throughout.
Another structure combining wood and florals - this piece featured vibrant orchids and roses and simple hanging orbs with votive candles.
Cherry blossoms are always a wedding favorite. This chuppah played double duty as a feature to the cake during the reception. We accented the base of the cherry with piles of rose petals.
When the look of the wedding is more organic, a wood chuppah is the perfect solution! For this bayside ceremony we covered the entire structure in grape wood and driftwood with touches of orchids throughout.
There is nothing quite as romantic as a beautiful fabric chuppa. This all white piece was accented by a lush combination of pink, blush and ivory roses along the top with clusters of the same at the tiebacks on the legs. Simple and stately!
Returning to the garden look this chuppa never gets old! We used an iron peak top structure to create the perfect focal point over this ceremony. Adorning the lush garden foliage is hydrangea, roses and willow in asymmetrical, natural pattern to give the illusion of a "growing" garden. 
When it comes to orchids you can never have too many, as evidenced by this beautiful seaside structure covered in white phaleonpsis orchids. The ceremony was held during sunrise to create an even more beautiful backdrop!
This wood and green structure was a perfect combination of whimsical and classic with pale blush and white florals amid twisting vines and greenery.
Last but not least is one of the most recent events we've done. This oversized Mandap was a showstopper of dripping orchid garlands and crawling foliage of babies' breath and greens. It was over the top and stunning!
No matter your wedding style you cannot go wrong with a beautiful gazebo or Chuppah over your ceremony. Wood, fabric, and foliage - it all combines to create the perfect backdrop to say I Do! Which one is your favorite?
Inside Track   |   7-6-15

Rose Garden

We work with cut roses all the time at Parrish Designs, hundreds of colors and varieties with little or no thought to what they must be like in their natural growing state. This weekend I had the pleasure of being a guest at my dear friend Jack Pierson's charming house in the Hamptons, where I was able to stroll through his amazing rose garden and experience roses as they are really meant to be seen. Adding to the whole experience, I assisted him as he entered the Southhampton rose competition, where he proceeded to win 11 ribbons and 1 medal. The following images are a story board of the day's events and the beauty of his amazing garden. I will not be able to work with roses again without picturing how gorgeous they look climbing and trailing around a garden instead of stuck in a vase. Enjoy!!!! 
 
- Kathryn
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