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Quick Fixes for Floral Wedding Woes

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Jun 22, 2016

Wedding season is upon us and Boston brides are lining up to walk down the aisles!  There is shear excitement in the air even though the bridal season can be a bit stressful which can sometimes ruin an otherwise blissful occasion.  With all of the tasks that need to be done to make the event successful, there’s no wonder why couples can feel overwhelmed with stress right before their happy day.  Wardrobe fittings, catering menus, location options, invitation details and music arrangements can snowball into catastrophic messes so we can certainly see why the idea of elopement is becoming more attractive…


The truth is, there are several blogs and articles out there to help relieve some of the pressure, including tips on how to pre-plan disasters before they even occur.  Wouldn’t that be something if we could correct bridle hiccups (that we know most weddings experience) before they happen?  Honestly, I don’t believe that you can predict every blunderbuss situation but when it comes to flowers, there are definitely a few tips that are useful if you’re willing to be a bit flexible.  Take a look at some suggested advice given by our city’stop floral designersthat will keep you smiling all the way to your honeymoon!  You’ll feel confident that your special day will have an attractive display of blossoms, as well as the confidence to focus on what truly matters- reciting the vows of “I do”.

Helpful Bridal Flower Tips

Flexibility Saves the Day

Hey, if you’re willing to agree on some changes to the photo you saw in your favorite wedding magazine, things will go a lot smoother once it’s time to get down to the business of ordering the flowers.  Floral professionals understand issues such as availability, cost and presentation that may negatively affect your vision as well as your wallet.  Do some homework on the arrangements that you prefer and afterwards, ask the florist their opinion on whether the flowers are the right choice for the job.  Listening to what they have to say could not only end up saving you the trouble of dealing with nightmarish logistical issues, but they could also save you a ton of money.  Even the smallest adaptations can make a huge difference to the outcome of your wedding work so keep things flexible.  Should you show them the ad in “Brides” with the gorgeous cascading phalaenopsis and palm trees scattered throughout the room?  Absolutely!  By doing so they’ll have a better idea of what your tastes are and perhaps can come up with a similar look that’s just as stunning at a lower price.


Fussiness with Exact Color Will Only Lead to Doom

I was a wholesale florist for twenty years and it never failed to amaze me when a florist promised a particular shade of a particular shade of a particular shade of…blush?  It’s a flower, which means that an exact tint is impossible to foretell.  Particularly when a pink tone such as “salmon” can be seen differently depending on the person you ask.  What looks like salmon to me, might not look like salmon to you so don’t get too precise with variety names.  If you’re a savvy bride, you’ll choose a basic color that can be easily identified like lavender or soft pink.  These are terms that everyone is familiar with and you’ll know that your florist will be able to appease your wishes.

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

Favorite Flower Girl Trends for Wedding Season 2016

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Jun 10, 2016

June has long been recognized as the month when most weddings take place in New England and now that the time is upon us, Boston brides are just days away from blissfully walking down the aisle.  But there’s another casted bridal character that also plans on making her special promenade, accept her job will be to fulfill the role of flower girl.  This is a very exciting and important job for these little ladies and they can’t wait to have their moment to shine!  Often this sweet and precious part of the ceremony becomes one of the guest’s favorite moments to watch so it’s important to prepare your flower girl with the perfect petals to drop along the pathway.  This year, favorable options extend from traditional symbolism to contemporary floral varieties, which have made it even more fun to plan and match to your particular style and taste.  Whether you’re going for a whimsical or classic appeal, you’ll want to select the appropriate blooms for her to make a beautiful pathway down the aisle.  Here are the most popular flower girl trends for wedding season 2016.

Blue’s In

It’s not a secret that we’re seeing more and more dyed flowers hit the market so its no surprise that florists are starting to use this technique to fill flower girl baskets as well.  Blue dendrobiums are both efficient and effective with producing this look since they are small and absorb color with ease.  Roses are another option which hold the blue dye ink well through their petals and will hide any bruising that a white variety may be accustomed to.


Rainbow Appeal

Rainbows are making a big come back down the wedding aisles because they are an attractive presentation that’s fun and festive.  This spectrum of color can easily be achieved with a wide variety of different flowers, which also makes it easy for you and your florist to acquire.  One possible list of potential rainbow flowered petals are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and pink roses.  They’re readily available and wont cost you a boat load of extra wedding budget cash.  

Soft and Simple Pink and White

Pink and white flower petals are a classic flowergirls.jpgin the wedding biz because not only are they beautiful but the tones don’t distract from differently designed centerpieces and bouquets.  Blush pink is certainly more requested than hotter, brighter pinks but a nice compromise would be to combine the two for a soft pop of color.  White basket fillers could be chosen for their size and shape such as white peonies for a larger petal as opposed to white daisies, which are smaller.  If you want to accent a pure blanche tint just add a couple of petals of yellow sunflowers or orange nasturtiums to brighten things up a bit.   

Tags: Planning a Wedding, Weddings, Trends

Masculine Boutonnières for the Manly Man

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, May 25, 2016

Wedding season is a beautiful portion of the calendar when couples confirm their love for one another in front of friends and family.  In order to create this stage of bliss for the newlyweds, the process involves many people.  We know that we have to hire a band and caterer and whatever you do, don’t forget the florist, but outside the vendors, there are others who we call upon for help.  Besides the bride and groom, the matrimonial cast includes stars such as the ring bearer, the flower girl (our favorite) the bridesmaids and the groomsmen.  While the children are probably excited to have important jobs for the service and the bridesmaids are just dying to wear that orange taffeta dress you assured them looked stunning on all of them, a particular group of guys may be a bit harder to convince of their relevant roles…


Groomsmen can be tricky to orchestrate but in all honesty, they’re usually the lifesavers of the party who just want to have a good time. In general, they’re the ones who loosen everyone up and make the big problems seem pretty minor after a few trips to the bar so you’ve got to pay attention and make sure they are fashioned as well as the rest of your wedding attendants (even if they really could care less).  If you’ve managed to get them all in a blue or black tux or suit without any gag props being mentioned, then you’ve done a job well done but let us not forget the boutonnières that will be pinned to their lapels.  Boutonnières sometimes have a bad wrap with groomsmen because they are often designed too big or too feminine for their taste.  If the bride is insistent of making them wear fuchsia roses because pink is her favorite color, well then you’re just going to live with it for the next six hours but if she’s flexible, there might be hope for a “Manly Man” boutonniere.  

What is a “Manly Man” Boutonniere?

A “Manly Man” boutonnière is just as attractive as a regular floral wedding piece for a man’s suit but incorporates more of a masculine appeal by using darker colors and a more rustic texture.  Men in general appreciate this contemporary style of dressing them with flowers because the shading and size tends to be simpler, smaller and less flashy than traditional pieces.  


How Can You Request “Manly Man” Boutonnières from Your Florist?

Mentioning this term to your floral representative should be explanation enough but if you have to indulge them further, request boutonnières that utilize greens, browns, blues and white.  You can even get away with oranges and reds when the season calls for it.  Rustic lapel displays are both attractive and soothing to the eye when walking down the aisle, plus they look great in photos as well.  Try these cool “Manly Man” boutonniere ideas for your wedding day and watch your guys dance the night away!

Tags: Prom Flowers, Weddings, Wedding Flowers, Boutonnieres

December Weddings

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Dec 07, 2015

If you’re mulling over the idea of picking a wedding date before the year is over, you might want to contemplate saying, “I do” on December 24th or 25th.  Sound like a ridiculous idea?  There are actually several positive aspects of throwing a Christmas Eve/Day ceremony including wider availability, lower costs for reception halls and higher accessibility to bridal vendors (eg. wedding planners).   Another bonus is that you’ll be choosing an important spot on the calendar, which decreases the likelihood of one of you forgetting your anniversary (trust me, it happens)


For many couples who debate booking their nuptials in December, fear commonly derives from the flowers having to be an all white, red and green color palette but I assure you there are other options.  While it is true that these shades are abundant during the yuletide season and more affordable, florists can still create bridal worthy floral work without making the church or event room look like a lit up Christmas tree.  Keep in kind there will be varieties intertwined that are accustomed to the holiday product line but use this to your advantage.  Foliage such as pine is a lot cheaper than other greenery such a hosta leaves or ruscus.  In the long run, it will save you money so be aware of what your florist is carrying this month and compromise additions within pew markers and boutonnières.  From bouquets to table centerpieces, let these stunning samples convince you of the vast possibilities that await a holiday wedding celebration!



The trick to making a December wedding not look “Chrismasy” is to keep all three of the red, white and red color combination out of your bridal work.  One or two shades are okay but a third will bring you right back to the holidays and that’s what you want to avoid.  This bouquet features white ranunculus (luckily available at this time) and white hydrangea.  Place pearl pushpins in the center of the heads and you’ll dazzle with this stunning all-white-wedding theme. 




For those who desire a sultry style, you may want to go for the deep reds and burgundy color tone.  Not only is the look both wedding appropriate and beautiful, florists will be able to utilize the abundance of berries, amaryllis and roses that are popularly shipped into Boston during December.  Candlelight works really well against this sexy platform as well and inspires a romantic feel for both newlyweds and guests. 



You can’t get more glamorous than a thick bunch of green cymbidiums for a bride and her maids hand held bouquets.  These orchids are fabulous year round and also enhance an exotic appeal.  You might be worried that you can see white in the center as well as a touch of pinkish red but in no way does this pretend to be a Christmas inspired presentation.  The cymbidium bouquet is sleek and tropical so there’s no mistaking its bridal worthy effects.





Tags: Weddings, Wedding Flowers, Flowers, December

Proposing on Christmas

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Dec 02, 2015

Christmas is rated one of the most likely holidays to be proposed to, following right behind Valentine’s Day.  Maybe it’s the glow of the lights or the feeling of cheer but whatever the reason may be, the yuletide season is very popular month to pop the question!  When you know the time is right and you’ve finally found that perfect person to share the rest of your life with, it’s important to do things right.  Sure, bending down on one knee is sweet and all but why not go the extra mile and come up with a plan that makes your proposal a truly memorable event in his or her life?  


photo credit:

I get it-subtlety is your thing but I assure you that there are several ways to make the experience unique and creative just by using some festive themes that Christmas already brings us!   Utilizing décor, color and festive traditions associated with this time of year can not only “wow” your soon-to-be but can also take the pressure off having to come up with something on your own.  These are some of the most successful ways to propose to your significant other, each having a high rate of acceptance as apposed to rejection. So once you have the little box in your hand, try one of these romantic and clever strategies to hear an “I do” this Christmas.


Dress Up as Santa Claus

I know, I know this has been done before but dressing up as Santa Claus is a solid way to go and has extremely promising outcomes.  All you need is a red suit, beard, hat and sack and voila- you’ve made the perfect outfit!  Don’t forget to say “Ho Ho Ho” and bring along a little mistletoe!


An Ornamental Ring

This is a sweet gesture for those who love to decorate and we all know-a little added glitz for our Christmas trees is what its all about!  Find some delicate twine or string and simply hoop through the ring, tying a knot on the end.  Make sure the area you want to hang the ring isn’t cluttered with other ornaments that could be distracting and watch her become awed over your gesture!


photo credit:

Treasure Hunt

Okay, this is for the fiancé/fiancée who likes a little adventure mixed in with their romance.  Wrap different sized presents, all containing items that can be associated with getting married.  Try to place them in a line so the hunter is being led to the really big gift-the ring!


“Future Mrs.” T-shirt  

If you think she’ll think it’s funny and she has a great sense of humor, try buying her a “Future Mrs.” t-shirt that you can either buy off the internet or have made at any local printing shop.  The benefit of this approach is that you’ll know right away what her answer is by whether she tries it on or not!


Light It Up

Mr. Griswold would love this fun idea of stringing Christmas lights on your roof or lawn that say, “Will You Marry Me?”  Wait until it becomes dark outside, tell her you want to show her a treat and flick on the switch to watch her heart melt at this sentimental display.


An “Advent” Calendar

For those who enjoy the countdown to Christmas, you might want to think about using this method of placing a ring inside an advent calendar!  She’ll have fun opening up each day of December and get an extra special surprise on the 24th!

Tags: Planning a Wedding, Weddings, Christmas

How To Persuade and Dissuade Impossible Wedding Demands

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Sep 18, 2015

Click to edit

I worked in the wholesale flower business for decades specializing in high-end invents-weddings in particular.  Although most of the time, the florists whom I consulted were gifted with pleasant (and most importantly) realistic brides, there was always that one client who proceeded to torture designers unmercifully.  Here’s the top five snags Boston Florists run into when planning their floral work:

photo credit:

  1. The eminent request for a variety of flower that DOES NOT GROW during the season she wishes to wed.  
  2. They insist on a particular color palette that is so ugly, the florist is afraid to be recognized as the designer.
  3. Desiring the most expensive flowers available but not wanting to pay for them due to budget constraints.  
  4. Changing their order a week before the affair leaving the florist to cancel their order from the wholesaler who is bound to go bananas.
  5. Asking for the most heat sensitive flowers such as sweet pea and lily of the valley for a July date forecasted to be in the 90’s.  (You know they wont live to see the aisle).  


So I know we all recognize these agonizing situations but a few tips can help alleviate these ugly confrontations.  Stress is usually the number one instigator for disagreement and ridiculous requests so whatever a florist can do to prepare the customer will be helpful to decrease surprise costs or failure of availability.  Contracts set up before the florists makes any attempt to fulfill the order is always wise and can deter “you promised” or “I never agreed to pay that” from being said in the long run.  Other ideas that might help render a difficult bride are these five tips to assist the florist in experiencing a fuss free wedding day.


  1. Have everything in writing so there is a concrete paper trail during the entire floral buying process.
  2. Make a quick pamphlet for each season, which showcases the readily available flowers so that the bride has a firm understanding that you are not a magician.  
  3. Do not leave the sordid topic of cost until the end.  Deal with a clear budget concept during the first meeting and hold tight to your guns.  Make sure this information is clearly printed in the contract mentioned in tip#1.
  4. Try not to get too specific about each and every bloom you plan on using for the affair.  With the exception of the bouquet, chances are she won’t notice every bloom anyways.  You can use this as a little wiggle room if a problem occurs with your market order.
  5. Keep reflecting back on her and the wonderful occasion marriage is instead of focusing solely on the role of the flowers.  The event is about joining two people who love each other after all, not the centerpieces or boutonnières!

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Tags: Planning a Wedding, Weddings, Wedding Flowers

George Clooney's Wedding Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Oct 18, 2014

It’s been deemed the wedding of the decade as fans watched the 53-year-old Hollywood actor, George Clooney, marry the famous human rights lawyer, Amal Alamuddin.  Dating less than a year, the nephew of acclaimed silver screen actress, Rosemary Clooney, had finally found his ladylove after a long career of bachelorhood.  Although details of the matrimonial extravaganza, which took place in Venice, Italy, are still surfacing, the world is on the edge of their seats wondering what this star studded pair had in mind to celebrate their nuptials. 


Believed to have taken place over a three-day span, reports specify that guests were escorted to the seven-starred venue in boats driven through the romantic Grande Canal.  Once they arrived at the Aman Grande Resort, an imperial dinner was served following the couple’s exchange of loving promises atop of a lifted stage.   Official wedding photographs were taken in the middle of the hotel’s lush garden, containing blossoms rich in vibrant color.  A-lister invitees including Matt Damon, Bono and Cindy Crawford who watched as the bride (dressed in a stunning Oscar de la Renta gown tailored with cream French lace) and groom recited vows on a raised platform decorated with white pillar candles.  Red wine flowed and music played on until the early hours of the morning…

 But what about the flowers? 


Floral décor has remained a hushed topic for this event although we have been able to take a peek at a few details revealing first and foremost- that there were a lot of them!  As having been described as a wedding exhuming elegance and grandeur, the palette has been described as mainly white with accents flowing throughout the table centerpieces.  The stunning British advocate carried an all white bouquet of ranunculus and hydrangea, tied together in a traditional European style, while Clooney nixed wearing a wedding boutonnière all together.  We know that massive buckets of white hybrid delphinium were used in several main staged pieces as well Casa Blanca lilies, roses, orchids and lisianthus, again all in shades of white.  Pictures of delicate peach roses and green lady’s mantle were also seen being delivered by florists in dozens of massive buckets.  Floral arrangements included large arches, small bud vases, table rounds and personals, which were included in the estimated $13 million dollar wedding festivity.  Now that’s what you call a wedding!

 suze-1 Suzie Canale lives in Westwood, MA. She works in the Westwood public library, mother of two boys, an avid chef and gardener who finds time to serve as the Director of The Women's Lockerroom Foundation of Boston. She has published four children's books through the Beantown Tales. 

Clooney wedding photos for this blog from People Magazine and CNN

Tags: Celebrity Florist, Hollywood Florist, Weddings, Suzie Canale, Wedding Flowers

Vintage Baseball Theme Wedding

Posted by Rick Canale on Sat, Sep 07, 2013

This past July, I celebrated my tenth wedding anniversary to my amazing wife Suzie. Many people renew their vows on this special anniversary and even seek to recreate a new wedding all over again. While Suzie and I did not renew our vows, some theme weddings caught my eye. My favorite was the Home Field Advantage featuring an an entire vintage baseball wedding.

Below are some photos from that showcase this ultra cool baseball wedding. PhotoByShoops©RealWeddingsMagazine TheCouple12 resized 600

The stunning bride is carrying jasmine, hydrangea, scabiosa spheres and accents. This lush bouquet really keeps the vintage timeless look for this theme wedding.

baseball place cards

what a cool concept replicated old tobacco baseball cards that also serve as place cards for the guests. This would be the only wedding place card I would ever keep, a true collectible.

PhotoByShoops©RealWeddingsMagazine 1 resized 600

antique crates, vintage banners along with vintage bats and catchers masks; also having this wedding on the field really brings this wedding home. The addition of baseball fare like hot dogs, apple pie and bottles of coca cola make this a wedding to remember.

cracker jacks

another great keepsake gift includes gift wrapped cracker jacks. 

I don't think my wife would be on board for this themed wedding. But I would love to be a guest if anyone is having a wedding like this. You could even have your justice of the peace be a real umpire. The list of possibilities is endless. 

Tags: Baseball, Weddings, Wedding Flowers, Wedding Favors

Choosing Your Wedding Favors by Boston Author Suzie Canale

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Jan 02, 2013

: The Favors...

"Our wedding was many years ago.

The celebration continues to this day." ~Gene Perret



Traditionally speaking, wedding favors are given by the newly wedded couple to their guests in both thanks for their attendance to their special day and as a small reminder of the festivities.  There are several factors which decide the form of the particular gift such as a wedding theme, seasonal time of year and of course, a budget agenda.  While some choose engraved trinkets of couple's names and wedding dates, others opt for less customary items which reflect a twosome's spirit or interests.  Wedding favor shopping is an amusing to do during planning, allowing those who would like to exercise their artistic imaginations to do so as much as they wish.   Selecting anything from picture frames to satchels of candy, take a peek at these fabulous yet affordable ideas to offer your friends and family.

Traditional and Engraved~ Traditional favors are sometimes a safe and easy way to go if you and your mate are having trouble nailing down a particular item to give your guests.  Many past favorites include monogrammed baubles such as drinking glasses, photo hangers and key chains.  While all o these are low in cost and easily ordered on almost any wedding favor website, they also represent a useful keepsake from the occasion.  For those who would like to give an updated spin on this novelty theme, replace picture frames with playing cards featuring pictures of the couple's happy moments together.   Aromatic candles with the date of the ceremony and the couple's initials also make smart and useful replacements for drinking glasses and key chains and seeds.

wedding favors seeds


What's "In"~ Modern times have given forth to a myriad of fabulous contemporary favor ideas involving anywhere from cherished sports teams to new age motifs so if the customary offerings don't excite you, have no fear.   Popularity is growing in areas of goody stations where patrons can make their own penny candy take home bags filled with jellybeans, tootsie rolls and lollipops!  For the sports lovers who desire to share their love for a team or game, miniature footballs, baseball caps and golf balls imprinted with the twosome's faces are perfect to liven the celebration.   Other trendy gifts include scratch tickets, photo infused coasters and on site photo booths which provide both the favor and entertainment for friends and family.

Boston Bridal Bouquet

Homemade~ Everyone knows that homemade gifts come straight from the heart so roll up your sleeves and get cracking!  If you or your mate have a particular skill or creative talent, don't be afraid to use your personal assets.  Perhaps one or both of you are painters, calligraphers, gardeners or crafters?  Utilize those abilities to make personalized presents and keep the items simple and relevant to the specifics of your occasion remembering bigger is not always better.  Jars of homemade jams, hand tied nosegays designed with blossoms picked from your flower bed and even freshly baked brownies are "people pleasers" with virtually no room for disaster.  


Boston Author Suzie Canale

Tags: Suzie Hearl Canale, Weddings, Suzie Canale, Wedding Flowers, Wedding Favors

Choosing the Musical Entertainment for your Boston Wedding

Posted by Rick Canale on Fri, Oct 12, 2012

  Bands or DJ's...

by Suzie Canale


"A long marriage is two people trying to dance a duet and two solos

at the same time." ~Anne Taylor Flemi

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It’s the first dance as a couple and both of you are holding on to each other just knowing that this is the first sway of many. Whether you’ve chosen a band or DJ, music begins to engulf the room in a rhythmic harmony where not a single guest can take their eyes off of the newlyweds. It takes just a few seconds, but as the lyrics begin to tell the distinctive details of how the pair fell in love or the deep connection shared between the two, you begin to see the bond of marriage already taking shape on the dance floor. The delivery and choice of music can tell the humor, character and the rich seeded love, making it of the utmost importance to select a beautiful euphonious presentation that is specifically tailored to reflect their distinctive story.

Bands~ Hiring a live band or orchestra is a wonderful choice of entertainment for several reasons.  For starters, this type of musical arrangement invokes a elegant repetoi0re which partners well with ballroom or estate located events.  Another positive aspect of bands is the personal delivery of music, honoring requests from the wedding party as well as the audience.  Although usually a tad bit higher in fees than other options, live singing tends to create a more appealing atmosphere by creating a setting where listeners are more involved and attentive to the chiming of the instruments and vocals.  Two top wedding bands for Boston bound brides to consider are Kahootz and Men in Black.

 wedding flowers in milton randolph

DJ's~ For couple's looking for a no fuss option when tackling the task of wedding music, DJ's are a great choice since they are both eclectic in their music composition and are often considerably less expensive than live bands.  Willing to spin whatever requests you may have in mind, this particular type of music delivery has several benefits including easier set ups and break downs and have a wider compatibility with location sites and themes.  DJ's will compliment any function hall site as well as party motif allowing more flexibility and of course creativity when compiling music scores.  If you are looking for Bean Town's hottest DJ's, check out Pure Energy Entertainment in Peabody, Ma or DJ Ken Drew who services all of New England.


Suzie Hearl Canale

Tags: Suzie Hearl Canale, Weddings, Music, DJ's, Bands

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