Tag Archives: orchids

Floral Feature with Louloudi Design: Ceremony Magazine

01 | 23 | 2010

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As a photographer who enjoys photographing weddings, I’m all for real real weddings. But it’s so much fun to make editorial photographs of all those hypothetical (and totally attainable) picture perfect details.  On newsstands now is the 2010 issue of Ceremony Magazine with a few of my photographs from a shoot I did over the summer with Michael Mantalos, the floral designer behind Louloudi Designs.  The color palette was so lovely that I left the shoot wanting to do a painting in those colors.  I promise to share a few more images soon.

photos, except magazine cover: Gia Canali; florals and design, Michael Mantalos; linens, LaTavola

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Julia & Eli’s Wedding On The Way + Reimagined Florals

11 | 10 | 2009

krislyn-flower

Well, I am finally working on a blog post about Julia & Eli’s wedding.  I mean it this time!  I’m only five months behind on that (and it’s only the second wedding of the season)!  But for now, I thought some of you might like to see this lovely flower from their wedding, reimagined by {Krislyn}.  I’m not sure what it is—but it looks to me like orchid petals + pussy willow.  I wish I could grow a garden of them …

photo: Gia Canali

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Tammy & Mickey’s Super Hot Wedding

08 | 01 | 2009

tammy and mickey

These are the dog days (and nights!) of summer and I find myself wanting to paint everything in the hottest colors I can imagine.  I want even my blues to be hot.  Tammy and Mickey’s wedding has been on my mind lots these past days and mostly because of their hot, hot colors.  The pairing of pinks, purples, oranges, yellows, and electric blues with their venues and the very sensuous mood of their wedding worked especially well for them.  And although we use lots of these images elsewhere in our blog and site, I thought it would be good to get an idea of how everything worked together to create what was really a breathtaking event.  As in any good color design, the color should work with the color scheme and season and general mood of your location, rather than against it.   Throughout the images, you might notice bits of blue and turquoise.  I think … little accents of cool color bring out the heat in all the other colors.  I also got the distinct impression that their wedding became warmer and hotter as day became night.

Genius florals by Michael Mantalos, {Louloudi Design}.

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Tammy’s accessories included a barrette she made by hand at work (she’s a fashion designer!) …

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Mickey getting ready, and showing off his Canali suit.  Love it!

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the groom in his canali suit

A few photographs from their sweet ceremony.  When you wed at a church as ornate as this one, no adornment is necessary.

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And here’s where it goes from warm to hot—the warmth of candles, the heat of red dahlias and yellow orchids, and the opulence of a gilded cake combine perfectly.  Cake by Margaret Braun.

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A belly dancer entertained the guests during dinner.

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I am a fan of any excuse to get everybody very happily dancing.  It is one of the best opportunities to photograph bride and groom with their wedding guests.  After the first dances, Greek dancing began.

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The evening ended with some of our favorite nighttime portraits.  (Yep, I posted some of these earlier this week.  That’s what put Tammy and Mickey’s wedding fresh in my mind).

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Revisiting their wedding these many months later, I am wondering how so few of these images made it through to our portfolio.  Of course, I’m always a little discouraged by how little of our work we can really show—but that’s a major reason we started this blog.  I think Tammy and Mickey’s wedding is a fantastic example of a wedding that was opulent without being extravagant.  There were little handmade touches.  We love that.  Hope it inspires.

photos: Gia Canali

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R & A’s Los Angeles Wedding

06 | 23 | 2009

4x5 wedding portrait

R & A did a wonderful job conceiving their wedding. It involved lots of peculiarly-LA logistical challenges—a ceremony at the church the groom’s family attends in Downey, a reception on a chilly early-spring evening at a private home in Agoura Hills, getting guests to drive the hour-and-ten-minutes between locations—to name a few. But it came together beautifully under the direction of Heidi Mayne from Red25 (whose new site will launch very soon, so be sure to check back).

This wedding initiated me to {Krislyn} whose delicious designs have me swooning … Krislyn made the bride’s balsa wood and Swarovski bouquet (below and previously featured), the wishing tree, and the A + R vase (also below) that sat beside the tree at the reception. Lucky for me, Krislyn did florals at another wedding I photographed recently so I get to indulge (and share!) my newfound obsession.

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I have to confess, though, my aesthetic obsessions at Rosalinda and Aris’s wedding were varied. Many are indicative of current and coming trends:

  1. Krislyn (cannot be overemphasized). The design is extraordinary. And I am pro-keepsake. Aren’t we all? It’s not only “green” to double duty pieces from your wedding as home decor, it’s wonderful to have more to hang onto.
  2. The groom’s modern slim fit three piece suit from YSL. May all my grooms be so well-dressed. I love that a vest gives the groom not only a perfectly tailored look, but an “alternate” look. He won’t wear the jacket all night anyway.
  3. The bride’s all-over lace gown by Elizabeth Fillmore. It perfectly accented the bride’s lovely figure. The asymmetrical train was pretty fabulous, too.
  4. Bare wooden dining tables, dressed with manzanita or beechwood branches and orchids.
  5. Greek revival fashion, e.g., the bridesmaid dress.
  6. How the bridesmaid’s bouquet accented the color of her dress. This rarely happens so nicely, and was, apparently, an accident. Katie’s Flowers in Downey had set out to make a “neutral” bouquet because they didn’t know what color the bridesmaid would be wearing.
  7. All the nooks and crannies—and the Moroccan flavor—of their friend’s house, where the reception was held. I am always happy for architectural/environmental portrait opportunities. This house offered myriad.
  8. Little wooden wedding sign.
  9. Stone seating “cards” and table numbers.

A sweet little ceremony getaway in the groom’s brother-in-law’s Rolls Royce.

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Some of the sweet reception details … I loved the variety (as I always love variety) in the centerpieces.  Manzanita or beechwood branches strewn with orchids, or wooden boxes full of them decorated each table.  Presenting old family photographs as they did, in a frame, with strings and clothespins, was quite charming.

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The light changed quickly as day turned to night, so we snuck portraits here and there, as we could, amongst dancing and toasting.

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A little nighttime love … As I mentioned earlier, R & A spent most of the night close together. If you want wonderful photographs of you and your beloved late into the night, do this!

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This couple did an amazing job of designing a gorgeous wedding without it feeling like they were over-producing it. (I think that’s a weird diagnosis of some weddings, but probably true, now that I think about it.) They prioritized having a great party … and it paid off. They danced with each other and their guests into the wee hours of the night. For my own part, I was very happy that they made time, even as the sun set, for me to get out the clunky old 4×5 camera (see top image). I’m looking forward to seeing how these images become themselves, later on …

photo credit: Gia Canali floral centerpieces: Malibu Market & Design lighting: Images By Lighting

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Wedding Design & Aesthetics: Variations on a Theme

02 | 10 | 2009

I’m really so happy—aren’t we all?!—that brides everywhere are freeing themselves from the tyranny of the matchy-matchy wedding.  It’s a wedding design aesthetic that reigned uncontested for far too long.  Variations-on-a-theme isn’t just the different-bridesmaid-dresses-in-the-same-color thing, but I do think it was a small first step in the direction of freedom.  And in the last year or two, I have seen “variations on a theme” spread to all sorts of design elements, including florals and decór.

Honestly, even though I think they were just a starting place, I love seeing bridesmaid dresses that don’t match at all, or follow some broad color scheme—chocolate, saffron, and turquoise, with some patterns thrown in. Just really flattering dresses for each bridesmaid (which, naturally, makes the photographs that include the bridesmaids much better).  It also photographs very well when the families dress on a loose color scheme, with all different outfits in, say, khaki and blue, or all jewel tones.

Personal flowers are a lovely—and logical—opportunity for variation.  Below is a bride with her bridesmaids, who all wore different cream-colored dresses.  Floracopia created unique bouquets to match each bridesmaid’s dress.

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(Clearly!) I have a soft spot for flowers.  So, what’s more exciting than having more to photograph / more to look at?  Here is another example of variation of personal flowers. All the bridesmaids bouquets were white (and green), but each bouquet featured a different bloom.  The corresponding groomsman wore a boutonnière made with a small arrangement of the same flowers.  The photographs below are not matched bridesmaid-to-groomsman, but I think they give a sense of the overall feel.  Florals by GD Designers.

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Centerpieces are another high-profile, attention-grabbing opportunity to show off your creativity.  Using a few tall arrangements of unique blooms at some tables can add visual interest … and save you money over using tall arrangements at every table. Or, you could have a florist create different arrangements on every table.  The possibilities here are endless, too—different containers (e.g., vases), different flowers in the same color group, different colors of the same blooms, different everythings.  Below, a simple illustration of different containers.  This bride also alternated the patterned linens with solid black ones for more variety. Florals by Michael Holmes Designs.

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If you are on a shoe-string budget, get your green-thumbed friends to grow and arrange flowers that are native to your area—or just raid your local farmer’s market.  Some of my clients did this with a wedding at the Mill Valley Outdoor Art Club in Mill Valley, CA.  The centerpieces for the reception were all loose—and different—flower arrangements of local flowers in Mason jars.  The result was pleasing; it struck a happy balance between the unique and the united.

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Cohesion, or the theme itself, is what “pulls it all together” visually, and the variety what adds interest. Couples are freeing their florists (and other vendors!) to do something they’ve never been encouraged to do before … create something unique.  This generous spirit is coming from celebrity clients and Joe & Jane couples alike.  I realize that I’m probably preaching to the choir, so I’d love to hear how other brides are making their own variations.  We’ll revisit this design aesthetic point from time to time.

My new hope?  For variations in stationery.  Now that the environmentally-conscious weddings are becoming more of a social standard, I’m looking for some crafty innovations with paper goods.  I’d like to see couples get a letterpress plate, but print their invites and other paper goods on vintage/re-purposed or scrap paper. (You have got to believe those letter-pressers have some wicked scraps stashed away, right?).  Escort cards made from … vintage playing cards, maybe.  Does anybody know someone out there doing this?

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Bride Interview: Julia On Her D.I.Y. Florals

02 | 06 | 2009

We usually have one bride a year—who’s not a florist—who braves d.i.y. florals.  This year, it was Julia, and the flowers were beautiful, both soft and feminine.  Her bouquet was one of my all-time favorites, full of peonies, with this gorgeous Garden Lace peony right in the front.

Florals make a huge impact at your wedding, both in person and on camera (why we’re featuring them on this blog).  So Julia suggests—and I agree—taking on d.i.y. flowers only if it’s something you really enjoy.  She points out that, “if it’s stressful for you, you can d.i.y. something else.”

On her doing her own flowers, Julia says:

“I really did consider what kind of flowers I wanted when I picked the wedding date because I knew we weren’t working with a huge floral budget. I considered what flowers would be in-season, so we picked May instead of September.  I love peonies—I’ve always loved peonies. The first house I lived when I was little had almost nothing to recommend it, except there was this long hedge of deep red peonies.  When we moved, I asked my parents to put peonies in at our new place.  [Years later] when the wedding came around, it was a bit too early for the type of peonies growing in our yard to bloom. So our neighbor cut the ones in her yard, wrapped them, put them in warm water [and brought them to San Francisco].  Those peonies made up a substantial part of my bouquet.”

julia's bouquet

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Did you grow all your flowers?

“No, we bought some at the flower market.  You pay a lot more when you go in two months ahead of time and say you want a bunch of white tulips on a certain date.  So we went in [to look] and bought the flowers on the same day.  I never would’ve picked orchids [ordinarily].  They don’t grow where I live—they aren’t me. But I wanted to be open to what people had.  The orchids were elegant, beautiful.  And we were so happy with them.  I think if I had gone in ahead of time with an idea—I would’ve missed them.”

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So … growing, buying, arranging all your flowers is a lot of work. How did you pull that off, logistically?

“I suggest getting the flowers a couple of days beforehand.  The flowers are so tight—you want them to open a little. I got mine on Friday, and we were getting married on Sunday.  We did a rehearsal midday Saturday and a rehearsal lunch.  My married girlfriends, and my fiancé (now husband) Bob, helped with the arranging.  Four to six people worked on it for three or four hours in the suite in the hotel room.  A lot of people came by to visit us in the hotel suite while we were working and stayed to help for twenty minutes or so.  Everything was done the day before except I did my bouquet the morning of the wedding. I was still deciding what I wanted, so I had set aside a lot of the peonies I thought I might use.   All the websites tell you how to order flowers, what to do with them—but not how to move them.  You get flowers in big packing boxes, so we put the arrangements back in the boxes.  Then my uncle drove them over [to the venue] and someone put water and the arrangements into the vases.”

What did you learn through the process, or what advice would you give to would be d.i.y. wedding florists?

“Think it out beforehand and have a plan.  It really reduces a lot of the stress.  Your mom, your aunt, everybody will think that you’re totally crazy for wanting to do your own flowers. But if it’s something you enjoy, you should do it. Also, one of the things I recognized early on was that doing arrangements that required floral foam was way to advanced for me for a big event.  Hand-tied stuff is great. And I found the bouquets easiest.”

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We’ll be featuring some other d.i.y. projects Julia and Bob did later today.  Thanks for taking time to share with us, Julia!  You, Bob, and all your family and friends did a great job making your wedding personal and special.

photo credit: Gia Canali

floral source: the neighbor’s front yard & San Francisco Flower Market vases/containers: Save On Crafts
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