Opalia Flowers is one of my favorite flower shops in New York. Owned and managed by the wonderful Phoebe Crary, the shop is just gorgeous and the perfect spot to brainstorm your wedding flowers with Phoebe and her team of very talented florists.
Phoebe is so lovely to work with. She is sweet, smart and really understands that each couple is looking for something special for their wedding.
At Opalia Flowers, they take the time to get to know each bride and groom, their priorities and their style, so that they can create stunning, personal floral designs just for them.
Whether you are looking for a romantic bouquet with just a touch of Parisian charm...
or centerpieces that are soft, elegant and graceful...
or a beautiful chuppah with cherry blossoms...
even bright, summery, island chic designs...they can do it all!
The flower shop is so pretty and cozy. It is a great place to draw inspiration and get that personal touch.
To visit Opalia Flowers or contact them to set up a meeting for your wedding, you can find them at:
Opalia Flowers 718.643.9160 377 Atlantic Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11217 http://www.opaliaflowers.com/
You may recall Madeleine and Tora's engagement shoot in Battery Park, NY a few weeks ago. Well, the first part of their shoot that I styled as well and was photographed by Jen Huang actually took place in Prospect Park including a walk through the forest, down by the lake and a bit of playful fun in the meadows.
To read the article all about their shoot on Style Me Pretty, please click here.
My inspiration for this shoot came from a photograph that I saw of a girl in a meadow. It was so beautiful and with Madeleine's gorgeous, soft, graceful natural beauty, I thought that an enchanted forest would be the perfect ambience for her romance with Tora.
In order to create their enchanted forest, I began by scouting locations and Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York was an easy decision with its open meadows, tons of green forest-like spaces, duck ponds, waterfalls - it offered a ton of options for photos.
The next step was finding the perfect gown for Madeleine (aka: Maddy). She adores gem tones and this long flowing gown by 57 Grand looked just wonderful on her and suited the aesthetic perfectly! The rasberry color also looked amazing against the green of the trees.
With Tora, we wanted his suit to compliment Maddy's gown. While he came all dressed up a great navy suit and blue shirt, I immediately ran to the tie rack and grabbed a pink tie to give his ensemble a bit of a pop! and to bring out the pink in her gown.
Kat Flower did a wonderful job creating the perfect bouquet for Maddy. The whole idea behind the bouquet was to create a bouquet that looked like Maddy had just randomly picked flowers during her walk in the meadow. I gave Kat the color scheme for the engagement shoot and asked her to make sure that it fits the look and feel - and it does, so well!
As for the pretty daisy chain in Maddy's hair - that was completely improvised! While we were shooting by the peninsula pond, I saw a bunch of daisies in the grass and decided Maddy just had to have a daisy chain. She loved the idea so we went with it.
I am so excited to say that Kristin and Jeffrey's vintage 1940s wedding was just featured in the Daily News on Sunday, May 23rd on the "Down the Aisle" page. Click on the photo below to read the article and learn more about these fabulous newlyweds.
I have such sweet memories from when I was a little girl when my parents would come home late at night from weddings of our italian friends and neighbors. They would always arrive all dressed up with a little pouch of pastel colored Jordan almonds. I loved them then and I love them still today!
The reason that brides and grooms traditionally give Jordan almonds or any almonds that have a sugar coating is that fresh almonds have a bittersweet taste, which represents life. The sugarcoating is added with the hope that the newlyweds' life will be more sweet than bitter.
Different cultures - Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern - each have their own versions of the tradition. But that is just what it is - a symbolic tradition filled with hope and celebration.
Today, favors are much more complex. A lot of couples give favors either because they really want to thank their guests for coming to their wedding or because favors are cute or even because they feel like they have to...like it is a must at a wedding to have a personalized favor with their names and wedding date on them.
I believe that favors are meant to be a little thank you gift to your guests for sharing such a special day with you. They are a little extension of your big day for your guests to bring home with them.
Here are my top four tips on the world of favors:
1. Make them personal Being a thank you gift, the favors should be personal, not necessarily personalized, but definitely personal. Think of who you are a couple. If you love cupcakes, set up a cupcake stand for guests to bring 1 or 2 cupcakes of their choice home. You could do the same with cookies or fruit tarts from your favorite bakery. If you and your fiance adore wine and are getting married in a vineyard, give each couple a bottle of wine that you love from that vineyard. If you are music lovers, give them something music-related like a cd with your favorite songs.
2. Bring in your culture. If you and your fiance are from different cities, states or countries, go ahead and give something from where you are from. For example, at a wedding that I recently planned and designed, the bride was from Iceland and the groom's family was from South Africa so we gave out chocolates from Iceland and South Africa labelling each basket of goodies with the country that they came from.
3. It is not about the price. Sure there are expensive favors and less expensive ones but that isn't really the point. Delicious chocolate chip cookies baked by your aunt and tied up in a little clear bag with a pretty bow are just as personal (and taste just as great) as your favorite bottle of wine with a gorgeous personalized label. So think about what is meaningful to you and your groom-to-be as well as what fits within your budget.
4. You do not need favors. Don't feel pressured to give favors. Spending money on low cost, impersonal trinkets with your names on them will take money away from the rest of your budget and who knows where the favors will end up? If you don't have the time to brainstorm about the perfect favor or to create or buy personal favors and you would prefer to spend that part of your budget getting a better photographer, florist or band - then do it! At the end of the day, your guests have come to see you get married and share this joyous occasion with you and that is what they care about.
Here are some favors that I just love and people to work with who really do an amazing job at creating favors specific to you and your groom.
The unique, personal candy tables and favors designed to fit with your wedding style by the lovely, talented Jackie of Merci New York. Jackie creates favors and welcome baskets based on all of your favorite things and personalizes them as well!
A personalized wine bottle label and cigar by the fabulous Marina and Stacey of East Six. Take a look at the previous article I wrote all about East Six.
These are map tote bags created by Laura Hooper, who also does outstanding calligraphy. These are a great gift for a destination wedding or a wedding where most of your guests are coming from a different location. Check our my previous article on Laura.
A few years ago I have the wonderful opportunity to go to The Datai in Langkawi, Malaysia. It is an abolutely spectacular hotel with breathtaking views that rendered me speechless, amazingly relaxed and sated.
The Datai is tucked in the middle of an ancient tropical rainforest, on the northwestern tip of Langkawi with a secluded white sand beach facing the calm Andaman Sea.
It truly is the perfect spot for a honeymoon especially if you are looking to relax with a fresh mango cocktail on the white sands, swim in the warm waters and enjoy the quiet time.
The Datai has one of my favorites spas as it is in the midst of the rainforest. I would highly recommend the Datai Jade massage as a couples massage. It is a dynamic style to dissolve deep muscle tension and soothe the spirit. You will each have two therapists working of each of you in synchronized movements using a variety of massage techniques from around the globe including Japanese Shiatsu, Ancient Balinese, Traditional Thai and Hawaiian Lomi-Lomi. It is just heavenly with the sounds of the stream outside.
If you are looking for a bit of adventure during your exotic trip to Malaysia, definitely spend 2-3 days in Penang as well. Penang is just a boat trip away from Langkawi and offers a dynamic combination of Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim cultures, temples and foods.
In fact, Penang is one of my favorite places in the world as far as food goes. You have an enormous selection of cuisines to tempt your palate from Malaysian hawker and Chinese seafood and fish dishes (go to Bali Hai! across from the water) to Indian curries and Japanese restaurants. So scrumptious!
I am so happy to feature Poppies & Posies this week. The co-founders, Sierra and Juliet, are so sweet and lovely. Their style is absolutely precious and enchanting.
A bit about Poppies & Posies...
Poppies & Posies is a boutique floral and event design firm based in New York City. Sierra and Juliet, met when they both moved to the Big Apple in 2007. Sierra had been planning events for bigwigs like the Learning Annex and Donald Trump) while Juliet was working at places like Martha Stewart and Surroundings Flowers.
One day, they got to talking, and decided to combine their love for design, flowers, and parties. And so... Poppies & Posies was born!
Every detail of their fabulous fetes is meticulously designed and, whenever possible, handcrafted. Their arrangements are inspired by the organic movement and composition of the country gardens that both girls spent sunny summer days in as children. They love what they do and hope you will too!
A bit about their weddings...
They work on weddings of all sizes from 30 guests to 300 guests. They are happy to help clients design their weddings to fit any aesthetic. Their favorites are those that incorporate vintage elements and/or country inspired design concepts.
They love being challenged and pushed to create new ideas that fit each bride and groom's individual styles. For example, they are currently working on a design concept that will use vintage tins, but in a fresh and modern way.
Sierra and Juliet work in venues all across NYC, upstate New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. This summer they are most excited to be designing weddings at the Foundry, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Guastavinos, Stamford Museum & Nature Center, and the City Winery.
If you are looking to create the sweetest, most romantic garden- or vintage-inspired wedding, run, don't walk to the phone! No excuses!
I am the creator of Stellina Events, a wedding and special events design consultancy based in New York City. I focus on designing your wedding or event with you step-by-step by understanding the essence of the event you would like created and making your vision a reality from scouting the location anywhere in the world to selecting the invitation font, the photographer, and choosing the music. Every element of the event counts and plays a part in the overall picture of the happiest day of your life. Growing up in New York and living in Brussels and London for the past 7 years, I love working with people from all around the US and elsewhere. I always incorporate local culture with exotic elements based on a client’s background and desires. It doesn’t matter where you are located – I will work with you through meetings, email or phone calls so that you can make plans based on your location and availability. Not everyone knows what they want their wedding or event to look like and that is why I am here - to listen to what you like and dislike, what is you and what is not, and most of all - what makes you happy.