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Should You Do Your Own Flowers ?

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Apr 18, 2018

So, there’s a ton of people out there who love flowers.  I’m certainly one of them. There’s also a ton of people who want to become a florist.  Yes, I was also one of them. Then there’s a ton of people who think just because you love flowers, becoming a florist must be easy.  Here’s where you lose me… By a show of hands, who out there has ever browsed a flower shop, viewed the arrangements made by professional designers and thought to themselves, “Hmmm… I can do that!”  Now right off the bat- I’m willing to admit that there is a small segment of this population who is capable of replicating these florals but the hard truth is-most cannot. It’s a belief amongst some that professionally arranged flowers are overpriced and simply just not that hard to whip up yourself.  You see this with a lot of brides trying to save a buck or two or party hosts who believe their floral talents are just as good as the real deal. Well, maybe you will get lucky and prove to pull off the impossible! There is a select group who is able to pull off the wedding of their dreams by asking bridesmaids to give up their Friday night to stuff roses in oasis and who knows-they might even come out have decent…  ?


But trust me- if you have thoughts of playing these odds, I’d cash in your chips ahead.

Realistically, playing designer is actually really, really, really, HARD.  Many of the best in the Boston area have gone to college just to study the ins and outs of the industry, including floral varieties, seasonal availability, horticulture aspects, architectural theory and creativity techniques.  Most of the desired designers have several years training or have been mentored by a seasoned staff member. There’s also the business end of things behind these beautiful little buds which is incredibly important to understand when serving clientele.  They’ve learned how not to “age” a bloom” by over touching and what makes “sense” when arranging with a multitude of different varieties. My point is- more often than not, save yourself the hassle, expense and disappointment by doing your own arrangements for an important event.

If you’re going to ignore this advice- I’d read the rest…


Ok- I get it.  You’re not taking NO for an answer and are hell bent on making your own centerpieces for your bridal event or party.  If this is you- just think about these tips that might save you the pain and agony of having a total floral meltdown right before your special day.

To Avoid “The MESS”

When you spend too much time trying to jam stems of flowers together and then end up taking them out over and over again, it’s likely your piece just looks like one big mess.  To cut back on the likelihood of this happening, make sure you have the right height vase with the length of stems you want to use. Tall arrangements need a 10 to 12-inch cylinder, rectangular or flute shaped vase while shorter bouquets are great with low lying bubble vases.  Having the perfect height will cut back on “rearranging” pieces and protect against the petals from aging too quickly.

Make Your Colors Make Sense!

No, it’s a vicious lie that all flowers are beautiful so that must mean they all go together all the time.  WRONG! There’s a lot of thought that goes into professionally made color palettes, making it of great importance to pre-plan beforehand.  If you like blush tones, then purchase blooms of the pastel realm or if you prefer bright styles, stick to the straight rainbow spectrum shades.  Mixing and matching sound like a good idea but more often than not- the arrangement just won’t make eye appealing sense.

Tags: DIY Brides, Wedding Flowers, DIY

Winter Bridal Bouquets for this Christmas

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Dec 20, 2017

Believe it or not- Christmas is a very popular time of year for couples to take the plunge down Boston’s wedding aisles.  There are several reasons for this phenomenon, one being the most obvious-it’s a striking season here in New England where the weather has created your own natural backdrop for a beautiful bridal platform.  Snowy hills, crystal snowflakes, glistening icicles and boughs hanging with twinkling lights all add to a stunning theme that brides just can’t resist.  A second reason lies within the fact that quite often, expenses can be slightly lower compared to costs associated with the popular June wedding making it another enticing issue when planning a matrimonial date.  A third attractive pro for throwing a yuletide wedding affair is the abundance of gorgeous flowers such as amaryllis, white roses and a plethora of imported orchids that talented florists can arrange into memorable centerpieces and hand-held bouquets.  Speaking of winter bouquets…

christmas bqt.jpg

photo via Pinterest

2017 seems to be no exception for the busy season many wedding planners are gearing up for as well as floral designers who are creating seasonal masterpieces for brides to showcase on their special day.  Traditionally, you may have seen a ton of flat, red rose arrangements but now there’s a contemporary approach to matching December’s theme with a list of fresh, alternative blossoms.  Trending this month is a sophisticated color mix of burgundy and cream, white with pine cones and seasonal greenery, exotic tropicals and also a wintery combination of white, gray and green.  All very different from one another in style, check out these exquisite bridal bouquets which might just be the ideal vision of bridal bliss you’ve been looking for!

christmas bridal flowers.jpg

photo via Pinterest

This is one of my favorite examples of how to ditch the standard white, green and red motif for something far more interesting…  In this bouquet, we see white and green striped cyclopediums enhanced with white hydrangea, seasonal foliage and ruffled green gerbera daisies to finish the piece.  This is for the bride who isn’t afraid to walk on the edge of wedding traditions- a bride who dares to be different and isn’t at all inhibited to have all eyes glued on her.  Yes, this is going to run a little pricey but the good news is, these species should outlive other alternatives because of their sturdy stems and heads.


Tags: Bridal Flowers, Weddings, Wedding Flowers, December

November Wedding Details

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Nov 03, 2017

If you’re getting married this fall, you are one lucky gal or guy because the colors and textures from which you can work from are simply spectacular.  They’ll be no blushes or pastels during the month of November (unless that’s what you really want), only crisp electric color to snap up a bride’s palette.  For those who prefer this spectrum compared to other watered-down options, you’ll be thrilled to know that these shades can be utilized anywhere from the floral arrangements all the way to the table settings.  Yes, the warm tones are crossing boundaries into unchartered territories such as the brides and groomsmen’s attire, not to mention the cuisine being served, so have fun and explore the possibilities!  If you ask me, it’s about time these fall bridal ceremonies bumped up their color game to give guests a real taste of what it’s like to live in New England during November.  Here are the first two areas where you can venture inside the richness of flavor and shake up the traditional white wedding “I do’s”.  Don’t be afraid to experiment outside your comfort zone and give your special day the pop of color it deserves!


photo credit via

Floral centerpieces are the first place where most people start when trying to design an autumn wedding because the color choices might just set the stage for everything else.  We know the obvious shades of gold, red, green, yellow and orange are the obvious choices but you can also insert hints of other gem-tones too.  Try purple for instance, which can be varied in several different hues from plum all the way into a deep pink.  Hydrangea is an excellent fall variety and can be adjusted to rely heavier on either the green, blue or purple shades as much as the bride prefers.  Another welcomed touch of color is black which can darken the contrast and create excitement when mixed with orange.  If the Halloween look is not your thing, throw in pieces of cream and green to lighten the appearance.  Think lisianthus, chocolate cosmos and cymbidiums when planning this style for yourself.  

Yum, Yum- wedding cakes are LOADS of fun to design during the fall months!  Depending on your taste, orange, green, peach and brown are simply stunning when dressed on the tops of delicious icing.  You have the option of having a professional baker use frosting to create your autumn dessert or select seasonal blossoms that will make the display perfect.  In my opinion, flowers are always the way to go, particularly when you have such a beautiful variety of blooms to choose from during November.  Gerbera daisies, orchids, calla lilies, millet, roses and dahlias make great additives and all are available in a multitude of different festive tones.  You can also put an authentic touch on your cake by using maple leaves which have been touched by Mother Nature.

Tags: Planning a Wedding, Weddings, Wedding Flowers, November

Ways to Preserve Your Wedding Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Oct 27, 2017

You’ve just taken the big plunge down the aisle and are still reeling in the event’s momentum, hoping to savor every last bit of happiness and joy.  A wedding is a blessed occasion where two people promise to love, honor and obey one another so long as they both shall live, making this a moment they’ll want to always remember.  What are the popular ways of recording these stories?  Often, we hire a photographer for the pictures we’ll keep tucked safely inside an album or box our bridal gown in storage to perhaps hand down to our own daughter one day.  Some visit the ceremonial locations where they said their I do’s as many choose to vacation in spots where their honeymoons were chosen.  There are many different ways to record your romances in an effort to hold on to these commemorations and celebrate the union you share together for decades to come.


Flowers are another part of a wedding where couples often want to conserve visions of beautiful centerpieces, corsages and of course, bouquets.  Too frequently, brides omit this notion because they aren’t sure how to go about this since you are talking about a perishable item.  The good news is while this is true, blooms are easily saved in a multitude of different ways that can be showcased in homes for years after without having to rely on water.  There are several different ways you can do this such as pressing blooms using wax paper with an iron.  Another option is to dry them in a bunch by hanging the bouquet upside down in a cool dark space (roses work especially well for this method).  Florists will also recommend that you can freeze dry bouquets, which keeps the blossoms in a state of forever youthfulness.  While you can do this at home, professional freezing tends to work better, leaving brides with a more attractive end product to own as a keepsake.  Once the process has been completed, you can put the flowers on presentation within glass vases, jars or even frames that can be hung on the wall.  


As I said before, roses are a fantastic species to sustain and a lot of the reason lies behind the amount of water the petals contain.  If you know you are going to want to dry, press or freeze dry your wedding bouquet, keep in mind not every flower will perform the same.  Here are the top blossoms that will work well will these processes.

  1. Roses
  2. Heather
  3. Lavender
  4. Freesia
  5. Delphinium

Tags: Bridal Flowers, DIY Brides, Weddings, Wedding Flowers

How to Make a Hand Tied Bouquet

Posted by Rick Canale on Fri, Jun 23, 2017

How often have you visited your local florist and been envious of the way they can whip up bouquets like there’s nothing to it?  So, you go home, snip a few blooms out of the garden and think you can make the identical replica no problem, right?  WRONG!  There is a skill associated with making hand held bouquets that requires an eye for color, taste and the ability to follow a process.  Yes, it’s true.  Anyone can learn if they have the patience and passion to work with flowers and you don’t need a horticultural degree to do it.  Let this guide lead you through the steps towards creating beautiful arrangements for your home and events without having them look disastrous.


If you have a garden, particularly a perennial garden, you have a strong advantage from those who don’t because the product is waiting for you in your backyard.   If you don’t possess a green thumb, visit local farms that usually sell bundles of single variety blooms.  No matter what the temptation, stay out of your neighbor’s yard because it’s likely they won’t be pleased you’ve helped yourself to their hard earned harvested blossoms.  


When you’ve selected your stems, try to make choices that will allow you to make pretty contrasts between textures and colors.  Unless you’re using all of the same kind, mix spiky heads with wide faced petals and leafy foliage with simple greenery.  Do not overload the combination with too many things that just don’t go together.  If you want to play it safe, try arranging same shaded flowers instead of getting creative before you’re ready.  Learn the basics first.


Now that you’ve gathered all your flowers, it’s time to put them all together!  The trick to this is you want to slowly add stems to the bunch and turn the bouquet while you’re doing this.  That way, each side will balance allowing fewer holes and clumping.  Do not make it any bigger than what your hand can fit and tie a ribbon around the middle to finish it off.  Place in a vase or give as a gift to someone you love.  They’ll adore the thought and your floral efforts.

Tags: DIY Brides, Wedding Flowers, Garden, DIY, Bouquets

Garden Weddings

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jun 19, 2017

There are all sorts of themes available for Boston’s soon-to-be-brides, which appeal to a large spectrum of different tastes and preferences.  For example, for those who love sand and surf, a beach ceremony might be the right location for you to say your “I do’s” or if you are really into art, a museum would be a lovely option.  If you add a little imagination, you and your wedding planner can design the ideal place to hold this monumental occasion, particularly if you’re into beautiful flowers and gardens.  


Awhile back, I had this friend who dedicated most of her spare time towards harvesting one of the most stunning perennial gardens I’ve ever seen.  She loved her beds so much in fact that when it was time for her to walk down the aisle, she asked if she could walk down the pathways of her garden instead.  The whole family adored her idea and with a bit of help from landscapers and florists, she made her dream come true.   


If you’re getting ready to place a veil on your head and are interested in learning how to create this look in the midst of your own green thumb efforts, here’s what you need to keep in mind…  It’s really important to select a date that’s appropriate for this sort of occasion.  I assume you would want plants in full bloom but this being New England, it can get tricky nailing down an exact pinpoint of when this will happen.  Spring is a fussy season that can bring bad weather like rain, sleet and even snow meaning you should try to lean towards the end of June or the beginning of July.  If your flowers are mostly annuals, head towards August because they’ll need more time in the sun to grow and expand if you’re looking to make a dramatic impact.  


The other thing you need to think ahead about is keeping your garden pruned so it keeps blooming.  Many species will wither away if not regularly kept up and maintained.  Keeping a pair of clipping shears is an excellent way to be reminded of this task.


The benefit of hosting a garden wedding is knowing the floral arrangements have already been taken care of leaving you without the expensive bills to pay later on after the honeymoon.  The simplicity is wonderful because all you have to do to design pretty table pieces is take a few snippings from your favorite blooms and place them delicately inside glass jars.  You can also utilize their ready availability by making them into wistful wildflower bouquets, too.  Delphinium, sunflowers, nasturtiums, sweet pea, hollyhock, zinnias, roses, hydrangea and sedum will all work wonders for your hand-held bundles.  

Tags: Planning a Wedding, Weddings, Wedding Flowers, Garden, Gardens

Dressing Your Wedding Cake with Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Mar 20, 2017

Many brides don’t realize this, but a wedding cake can decide the entire theme of an event depending solely on the color, shape and accents it’s made with.  If the cake is decorated with shells or tinted blue, it’s most likely a beach motif or if the frosting is orange and black, it’s probably a Halloween inspired ceremony.  My point is, that it’s extremely important to keep this bridal planning issue in mind when you’re browsing the catalogue in the bakery.  You don’t want to showcase a hodge-podge collection of unspecified taste during your reception so maintain focus on one orientation and choose accordingly.  Your wedding cake should be one of the first details of consideration since it will become the basis of your party platform and will guide you through the rest of the coordination process.


If you ask me, it’s no big surprise that I favor a floral motivated decoration when it comes to bridal sweets!  Not only can you add your favorite blooms to the top, sides or bottom of the cake presentation, you can also match a specific hue that you would like to be prevalent.  Whether your favorite flower is the daisy, sunflower or rose, designers can work with bakers to make your sugary treat one that all your guests will remember.  These are models that caught my eye and all reflect a stunning yet sophisticated dessert display supported by deliciously decadent blooms.

Succulent plants have made a huge splash in the last couple of years because of their gorgeous color, exotic appearance and resilient longevity properties.  Barely needing water, these pretty little cacti are one of the most requested botanicals for interior designers and are now being asked for by Boston wedding planners as well!  Succulents compliment a variety of icing tints, particularly, peach, aqua and cream and make for a wonderful centerpiece that doesn’t need further props to make it pop.  


Bright and bold wedding cakes are a hit for summer and fall bridal events, specifically when shades of orange, yellow and fuchsia are thrown into the mix.  You don’t have to worry about matching because they contrast well with just about anything and you’ll have a million varieties of blooms to choose from.  Roses, gerberas, sunflowers, peonies and spring bulbs such as grape hyacinth are a few to keep in mind.  

Orchids are probably my favorite plant and/or flower in existence and I can’t think of anything that would dress a cake up more than adding just a few heads to the top or base.  If you’re looking for examples, cymbidiums, phaelenopsis and James Story orchids pack a punch of color and won’t wither like other softer petaled varieties.  

Tags: Planning a Wedding, Weddings, Wedding Flowers, Wedding Favors

Winter Wedding Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Nov 28, 2016

Throughout 2016, we’ve seen an impressive parade of weddings grace our Boston aisles, each having their own style and tradition to display.  The remarkable efforts of our finer city florists have truly out done themselves across the spring, summer and fall months of the year, so now we ask, “What do you have in store for the winter?”  Now that we find ourselves entering the colder realm of New England, designers have a fresh palette of color and texture to help construct yet another magnificent, bridal presentation for those planning to wed during December, January and February.  For those who think that the chillier weather is too hard to manifest a fabulous wedding floral presentation, think again… Florists are generating jaw-dropping pieces for centerpieces, bouquets and pew markers that are sure to impress even the most skeptic guest.  If you’re planning on walking down the aisle within the next few months, you might want to scroll through these ideas that embrace the beauty and breath take of winter in New England. 


Pew Markers and Podium Arrangements


photo credit via Lombardo's in Randolph

Sometimes when we thing of winter flowers, we automatically envision green, red or white but in all honesty, there’s a lot more options out there than merely Christmas colors.   Just by using our imaginations, we can transform all churches, temples and other religious centers into mystical staging perfect for brides and grooms everywhere.  One tip to keep in mind is that winter flora should be depictive of reflective color similar to ice and candlelight.  Pastels are the precise answer, including hues of peach, cream and light green that stay away from deeper shades like purple and crimson.


Table Centerpieces


For dinner receptions, you should be focusing on the lighting, which should be glowing and dream-like in nature.  Unlike the summer or spring where the mood is typically bright, winter bridal décor should be cozier and that goes for your table work as well.  Creams and opalescent tones are especially nice during this time of year and can be either created in large or small containers.  Since votives are a “must have” with this type of appeal, use varieties that will soak in the mood such as white roses, succulents or lambs ear greenery. 


Bridal Bouquets and Boutonières


Silver is an excellent property that should be worked in wherever it can, especially within bridal bouquets and boutonières.  Not only is it reflective of snow but it also a shade remindful of fairy tales and magic-an idea many brides love to see interwoven throughout their event.  Select forest types of nuts and berry foliage and combine with soft shades of blush or baby yellow.  Both the groomsmen and the bridesmaids will sparkle while the bride stays center focus within this “woodland utopia” appeal. 

Tags: Planning a Wedding, Weddings, Wedding Flowers

Flower Bombs… The New Rage of the “Green” Wedding Fad

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Oct 28, 2016

It’s not news to most in the floriststhat the “Green Movement” has foraged straight though the wedding industry, from the flowers used in bridal work to the containers they are designed within.  Making a conscious effort to improve our environmental conditions and the future state that we live in is an important initiative that we’re all thinking about these days, a concept that should be taken seriously throughout all enterprises and businesses.  The flower industry is no exception, in fact we have come up with some awesome ideas to helps others find ways to integrate this important theme within their floral needs, particularly newlyweds.  Weddings are usually a huge production but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be aware of our earthly obligations.


The Bouquet

You may not know this but there are certain varieties of blooms that are more eco-friendly than others.  If you’re ordering varieties that come from local, sustainable farms, than you’re moving in the right direction.  Typically, when product is bought from nearby communities, there is less transportation fuel being used as well as the contribution to aiding the health and productivity of his crop and land.  Brides may think this means that they’ll have to hold a bunch of daisies or other type of wildflower in order to do this but that’s not true at all.  In fact, New England growers often cultivate species that are traditional for this occasion as well as exotic varieties for those who like contemporary design.  Roses, bromeliad and beautiful dahlias (when in season) are only a few tips of the icebergs when planning a “Green Wedding” ceremony and reception.


The Tables

There’s a lot of hubbub about the waste that goes into wedding flowers but the truth is, clever florists usually reuse the product that is left and repurpose it for other upcoming jobs.  If the bride and groom are interested in keeping their floral goodies, one way to cut back on waste is to gift the centerpieces to guests by playing a party game called “1-2-3”.  The way that you do this is to place a number underneath every plate setting from 1-8 (or 1-10 if that’s the table count).  Then pick one of these numbers and write it on another piece of paper that is placed underneath the centerpiece.  At the end of the night, tell your guests to check their numbers and the lucky winner gets to take home a beautiful arrangement of flowers!


photo credit via

Party Favors

Have you ever heard of a “Seed Bomb”? These things are so cool and are replacing packaged seeds due to their environmental benefits such as organic makeup and enhancement of wildlife.  Seed bombs are becoming so popular that couples are using them as party favors, too- a sure fire winner for New England gardening and flower enthusiasts!  All you have to do is whip up a concoction of scent free kitty litter, dirt, water and a few seeds, roll them up into balls and allow them to harden.  Wrap with a bow and there you have it!  Seed bombs aren’t just a clever way to cut back on costs for your wedding, but also a fantastic way to foster vegetation as well as enhance the bee population!   

Tags: Planning a Wedding, Weddings, Wedding Flowers, Wedding Favors

Flower Trends for August Weddings

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Jul 22, 2016

If you’re a soon-to-be bride planning on walking down the aisle this August, you’ll be happy to know that this month plans on being the best time of year for wedding flowers!  What makes this month so special when selecting blossoms for bouquets and centerpieces?  Well it just so happens that the top Boston designers are planning on “wowing” their clientele with trendy options that promises to shy away from the traditional summer of long ago style.  I know we appreciate the pure as white look and the blushing pastels that have graced the cover of magazines for decades now but don’t you think it’s time that we’ve shaken things up a bit?  Can’t we find other options to incorporate our favorite garden blooms without designing the same bouquet over and over again?  Well according to floral experts, their answer is yes!  By showcasing a contemporary color palette and adjusting architectural style, these hot-shots are saying, “look out bridal world, there’s a new trend hitting Bean Town!”

Take a look at these fresh and favorable designs that our blushing brides are excited to dawn during their special day…


Orange is the flavor of the month and florists are incorporating this color within every square inch of their wedding planning.  From bright orange to a softer peach, this interesting hue is bringing shock and awe to all, particularly to those who are attracted to the happy and bright pop of shine.  Varieties that are being heavily requested are mokara orchids, cymbidiums, celosia and even some species of sunflowers, which hold the summer kissed tint.  Also watch out for the re-introduction of orange lilies, which are becoming a popular bridal flower once again!

Lime green is also a recurring flavor, which is being added to more and more pieces because of its property to easily contrast with several other shades as well as a perfect symbol of the summertime theme.  Green hanging amaranthus is specifically one example reflecting this style and designers can’t get enough of it for high vase work and even bridal bouquets.  


Photo credit: via Jeff Leatham

“Black is the new red” might seem an unlikely idea but dark burgundy and purple flowers are being regarded as a high commodity right now.  Black callas reign as the most popular crowd pleaser, especially when grouped together in mass clumps or mixed together with pure white stems of hydrangea or orchids.  Yes this style is for the sophisticated but if it appeals to you, your photographer will adore your decision when shooting the black and white portraits for your wedding album.  

Tags: Planning a Wedding, Weddings, Wedding Flowers, August, Trends

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