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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Blossom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 9/20/2005 at 1:21am

Florist frustrations…
We’re in the midst of our florist search right now. We thought we’d look for a San Diego-based florist who will go to Temecula, since we don’t want to have to trek up there every time we need to meet; and this poses some unique challenges. Because of the distance, I’ve been mostly contacting
North County florists. Our search got off to a rocky start, as evidenced below:

  • Adrianne Smith Floral Design—Already booked on our date, which I was pretty disappointed about, since I find her style unique and intriguing.
  • Carolyn Carlstrom—Requires a $2,000 minimum order to go to Temecula; with our tiny wedding, I don’t think we could meet that figure, even if we ordered extremely elaborate arrangements. (Note: I don’t think she has such a high minimum normally; it’s just because Temecula’s so far away from her home in Del Mar.) I’m so sad that it’s not working out with her; I love her work (see jonesygrl’s vendor report for pics), and she’s been so incredibly nice in our e-mail correspondence, I wouldn’t even have bothered to talk to anyone else if she had had a lower minimum. She did offer to do our bouquets and centerpieces if we can pick them up ourselves; that poses logistical problems, but we’re keeping that option open for now.
  • Amanda Baghoyan, Modern Bouquet—E-mailed her last week and got an auto-reply response stating that the office was closed until September 19. I hope to hear back from her this week.
  • Kristin Quick, Kreeations Inspired Florals—Haven’t received a reply to my e-mail. I don’t know if she would go to Temecula, anyway, since she’s not in North County; I just thought I’d check with her on the off chance that she would, since her style really appeals to me.

As you might imagine, I was feeling completely discouraged for a while there. Things are looking a little better now, though. We got in touch with Adina Onda of Simply Adina—this took a couple of attempts, too, since I think I had the wrong e-mail address for her initially—and had a consultation yesterday, which went well (more on that later). We’re also scheduled to meet with Linda Rendon next week, and we may also try to meet with Annette Gomez and Jennifer Cole, and possibly one other florist.

…and floral fantasies
Since booking a florist requires having some idea of what kind of flowers we want (duh!), I’ve been putting a lot of thought into what I envision for flowers, as well as décor in general. Up until recently, I’d only had vague ideas, but, after poring over a multitude of photos, I’ve decided that I have a very particular style in mind: I’m completely enamored of the work of a
New York florist named Ariella Chezar. I’ve never seen anything quite like her designs; they’re so lush and organic-looking, almost as if they were picked straight from a garden. I love the way she lets the flowers spill out of their containers and drape and flow naturally, and she uses such interesting, unusual materials (vines, fruits, berries). The vines are especially delightful—they give me the impression that her arrangements are about to run amok and start spreading tendrils all over the place. Here’s a quote from her Web site that I think captures the essence of her style: 

“I look to the flower growing in its natural state as my inspiration. Rather than work against the inherent grace of each flower by packing them too closely together or forcing them to be uniform, I allow them breathing space to arch and move as they might. The possibility for drama comes in through the combinations of texture and color, which, whether contrasting or layered tone upon tone are always consciously thought out and never garish.”

If you go and look at her Web site, you’ll see what I mean:

http://www.ariellaflowers.com 

Here’s a picture of an Ariella design I found on www.elegantbride.com that completely floored me when I first saw it:

Roses, anemones, hellebores, fritillaria verticillata, grape hyacinths, viburnum & jasmine:
 

I love the contrasts in this bouquet—it’s messy yet still clean and modern-looking, and it combines more formal flowers (e.g., roses) with wildflower types (e.g., anemones)—and the dark centers of the anemones look so dramatic against the white. It’s a perfect complement to our site’s rustic-yet-elegant ambiance, and this is the general look I’m going for. When we met with Adina, she said all the flowers in the bouquet would be in season in July except possibly the viburnum (which she suggested replacing with green hydrangea). I was really happy to hear that, since I had been thinking that some of these blooms were spring flowers and wouldn’t hold up well in the heat of a Temecula summer.

Here are some more pictures of Ariella centerpieces (wrong colors, but perfect in terms of general style):


Other than the bouquet, though, I don’t have any pictures of arrangements I like that incorporate the colors I’m contemplating for our reception—probably gold linens with accents of purple, something like this, but with round tables:

 

For centerpieces, something with lots of greens, and maybe some purple combined with one or two other colors? Maybe like one of these, but with more color added:


Probably won't do tall centerpieces, but like the greenery in this pic:

But, of course, designs more like Ariella’s that I posted above.

Color-wise, all I know is that I want rich, vibrant colors, and I think maybe purple would be good because it brings in the color of the grapes in the vineyard. And I don’t want the colors to be too dark; maroon/burgundy looks very striking in the barrel room, but I’m hesitant to use it because I’m afraid it’s too somber and reminiscent of the fall season. As far as specific flowers go, I keep seeing peonies, which is weird because I’m not all that fond of them; but their lushness just seems appropriate for our site. I don’t want too many of them, though, because I think that might look too blowzy. I’d also like to incorporate some fruit (grapes, blueberries, blackberries, limes?), and definitely some type of vine, but not ivy or grape leaves. See how vague I am? Other than these general parameters, I can’t give the florist a lot of direction. 

So my challenge is finding a florist who can see the vision of Ariella’s style and emulate it, yet adapt it for our particular needs. If I had pictures of designs that I wanted replicated exactly, I wouldn’t fret too much; I’d just find someone who does good work and hand over the pictures. But I’ve browsed countless Web sites and only came across one florist—Carolyn Carlstrom—who has done work even remotely resembling what I’m looking for. Most florists’ arrangements seem to be much more compact and tightly packed than Ariella’s.

Our meeting with Adina was reassuring for a number of reasons. After talking with her, I felt more comfortable that florists really can adapt their style to a fairly large degree (our coordinator had told us this, but I admit I was skeptical). She told me that the reason most florists are doing the compact arrangements is because that’s the style that’s popular with brides right now. She also seemed to “get” my vision, was genuinely excited about the opportunity to do something a little different, and made good color suggestions. Another thing we liked about Adina is that, if we book with her, she’ll make sample arrangements that we can go and view at the Bridal Bazaar, at no charge to us; she wants to make sure she understands exactly what we want and gets it right. She even said she would try to reproduce a picture I showed her of a birch-frame escort-card holder that I thought looked rather labor-intensive to make.

Adina also struck us as an honest person who holds herself to high ethical standards and tries to keep prices reasonable for her customers. She’s very personable and seems easy to work with. One thing that concerns us a little is that her office looked kind of disorganized; but I know a lot of creative people are a bit messy, and it’s just uncomfortable for me because I like to work differently. To be fair, she did start a file on us and took extensive notes, and she knew exactly where other clients’ files were located (she pulled a couple to show us some examples). And I’ve never seen any negative comments about Adina on this board, so I think I'd feel comfortable booking her. The anal side of me just wants to meet with a few more florists for comparison purposes.



Edited by Blossom
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Katie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 9/20/2005 at 10:19am
Girl, you should definitely interview Nancy Stevens.  I'm not sure what her travel fee is, but she is phenominal.  Her work is beautiful, and she's got a wonderful personality.   I've referred two co-workers to her, and they both booked her on the spot.  Seriously....give her a call!
**July 29, 2006**
Ceremony: Grace Lutheran San Diego
Reception: Oceanview Club Pt. Loma
www.mikeandkatie.com | My Journal
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Blossom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 9/20/2005 at 2:53pm
Katie—Thanks for the florist recommendation! I'll definitely try getting in touch with Nancy...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Katie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 9/20/2005 at 3:18pm

Check out Christina79's vender review -- that's the only bride I can think of off the top of my head who has used her, but I know if you do a search there will be plenty of others to reference!  Good luck in your search!!  

ETA: Here's the link clicky



Edited by Katie
**July 29, 2006**
Ceremony: Grace Lutheran San Diego
Reception: Oceanview Club Pt. Loma
www.mikeandkatie.com | My Journal
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Blossom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 9/22/2005 at 10:02pm
Katie, thanks again for the link to Christina79's wedding review—those were some gorgeous flowers! I've contacted Nancy but haven't heard back from her yet, so we'll see...


Dress shopping, round 2...
...was a complete wash. My MOH and I went to David's Bridal in Mission Valley this evening and left without trying anything on. Out of all those racks of dresses, they had absolutely NOTHING that would work for me. When I explained to the saleswoman what I was looking for, she was very apologetic and told me she couldn't help me; I could see she was sort of eyeing me like I was an alien for wanting such a weird style. Frustrating!!! If this coming Saturday's shopping expedition doesn't yield anything, maybe I should start seriously exploring the custom-made option.

Some random thoughts
I had lunch with an old roommate yesterday. It was so great to see her; it's been too long, probably five years or so. And it turns out she loves wedding planning—she practically single-handedly organized and coordinated her BIL's wedding recently—and is totally excited about helping me out! Yay!

Yesterday's get-together underlines one cool aspect of having a wedding: I've been able to re-connect with several old friends I'd lost touch with that I'd like to invite. And it's gratifying that they've all been so happy to hear from me and have told me they'll be at the wedding—even the OOTers. It's nice to know that people care.

On a completely unrelated note, I had forgotten to mention that when we met with Adina, she told us she likes working at Ponte because the staff are great to work with. I was happy to hear that; our limited interactions with Ponte have been positive so far, but I've read so many horror stories about problems with sites that you just never know, and it's nice to have that extra reassurance.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NY bride Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 9/23/2005 at 4:34pm

Hi Blossom,

I thought I'd pop in and say hello.

I loved reading the details of your DJ interviews. I thought I had one chosen - a family friend who recently did my sister's and cousin's weddings, but when I spoke with him to secure our date, he said he'd rather party with the rest of us. Can't blame him for that... So thanks for posting your thoughts on the DJs! I'm planning to call Justin next week.

Good luck with the dress shopping tomorrow - don't forget to bring a camera with you!

NY bride
August 4, 2006
St. Mary Magdalene & Admiral Kidd Club








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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Blossom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 9/27/2005 at 2:44pm

Hey NY bride—Thanks for dropping by my journal! That’s great that you’re going to call Justin; I hope you’ll like him as much as we did! We’re kind of sad that we won’t have the chance to get to know him better.


Dress shopping, round 3

Went dress shopping with my MOH again on Saturday. This is fast becoming one of my least favorite activities. Our first stop was Tour of Elegance in
Mission Valley, which I had slightly elevated hopes for, since they carry the Eternity line of modest bridal gowns. We were very impressed with the service—we were the only ones there, and the woman who helped us, Saundra Toor, really knows her gowns—but there was a limited selection of dresses that fit my parameters, and only one that was even remotely flattering (but just okay). Saundra apologized that she didn’t have more for me to try, but she seemed to think I’d be better off with a custom-made dress; she actually said to me, “You’re a custom girl.” Apparently, she used to be a designer herself and does custom work; but her gowns start at $1,000, which is a bit more than I want to spend.

We went to PreVue in Grossmont Center next. I felt more at home here than in most of the other stores, since it's a more casual, help-yourself place. (I know lots of brides appreciate the personalized service at shops like Tour of Elegance and Bridals by Susanti, but it makes me uncomfortable to be fussed over, and I start getting very contrary.) We found one possibility that I tried on; again, it was just so-so. I can’t get over the feeling that I look like a freak in a circus side show in these dresses; they’re beautiful but completely wrong for unglamorous me. I need something much simpler and more understated.

My coordinator recommended trying Here Comes the Bride and Brides by Demetrios before I completely give up, so I guess I’ll hit those next week. I feel guilty about asking MOH to go dress shopping with me again; she’s already gone with me three times, and she hasn’t been feeling well. So maybe I’ll see if I can drag some other poor, unsuspecting friend with me next time, or face the daunting prospect of going alone. I don’t usually mind shopping by myself, but I’m so intimidated by all those big white gowns!



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Blossom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 9/28/2005 at 2:36pm

More on florists

I talked to Nancy Stevens yesterday. She was super nice, but her minimum for a Temecula wedding is $2,000 (normally it’s $750). Bummer.


We had two more florist consultations this week; it’s been an interesting process, since all three florists we’ve met with are quite different from each other. We’re still waiting for a couple of quotes, which will obviously factor into our decision, and we’re meeting with at least one more florist; but I figured I’d go ahead and record my immediate impressions.


Linda Rendon

mailto:rendonfloral@yahoo.com

Extremely nice lady; like Adina, she seems to really want to do right by her brides. She includes mockups of a bouquet and centerpiece as part of her quote so she can be sure she and the bride are on the same page. Based on the pictures she showed us of her work, I think she’s a very good, solid florist; but I’m not sure she and I share the same aesthetic sensibilities. I showed her pictures of arrangements that appeal to me, and she seemed to like them; but she suggested incorporating pastel pink shades in the barrel room, and my feeling is that those colors will look too washed out in such a dark room. And although she said she liked my ideas, I didn’t sense that they sparked a lot of enthusiasm in her. I got the impression that she could come up with a general reproduction of the style I want but wouldn’t infuse the designs with her own creative flair.


On another note, Linda said she loves working at Ponte because the people there are so nice. Another vote of confidence for Ponte—yay!


Amanda Baghoyan, Modern Bouquet

http://www.modern-bouquet.com

Also very nice. Seemed much more business-like than the other two; the result of running a shop rather than working out of her home, I suppose. She told us she has several designers working under her, some with their own specialties (tropical, English garden, etc.), but that she oversees all the work. The cost of any mockups would be charged separately.


I was quite impressed with the portfolio she brought with her—much more so than when I looked at her Web site—it’s very creative and represents a variety of styles, including some designs with the looser look I like. For some reason, though, I just wasn’t that comfortable with her. Part of it was probably that I was feeling incredibly tired and groggy. But it was more than that, and I couldn’t figure out why at first, since she really was nice, listened carefully, and truly seemed to want to understand what I wanted. After mulling it over, though, I think it’s because I got the impression that the business aspect of her work took precedence over her love of flowers and floral design; and, as with Linda, I sensed that Amanda grasped the mechanics of my style but didn’t see my vision of the ambiance I want to create. I’m sure part of that was my fault, since I wasn’t very forthcoming. FI kept interjecting and prompting me because he could see I wasn’t talking much, and later he asked me why I was so quiet when I had elaborated so much more in our other two florist meetings. But I didn’t care for her color suggestions for the barrel room, either; she recommended using shades of lavender, which doesn’t appeal to me. I’m after rich, vibrant colors, not pastels.


I do think Amanda’s a very talented florist, though, and I have to give her kudos for her efficiency; we received her quote the day after we met with her. It came in at just over $1,600, which is a bit more than I was hoping for. The prices for most items were about what I expected, but there were just a few that were a lot higher than what I thought they’d be. Her $175 charge for a petal path seems especially high to me; but we haven’t gotten any other quotes yet, so maybe this is typical? I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the other quotes look like.


So, to recap, Adina is the only florist we’ve met with so far that I’d trust to take my vague ideas and flesh them out into what I’m envisioning, so I’m anxious to see her quote. Although I think Linda and Amanda would do a good job, too, I’d probably have to be much more specific with them about what flowers, colors, etc. to use, and I’d prefer not to have that responsibility. I’d much rather set some general parameters and give our florist creative license. We still have at least one more florist meeting, though, so we’ll see…



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dizzy_girl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 9/28/2005 at 2:53pm

Hi-you are doing so much work!  Yea!

I too am in the midst of my florist search.....another idea, that may be closer to home (depending on where you live) is Fleurs de Claire.  She lives in OB....she is young and fun, and had a ton of ideas when I met with her.  (I'm just making a rec. b/c you sound like me....have a few ideas, but want someone to take them and run.)  I have not seen her quote yet since our meeting (last Saturday) so I can't say how much she costs, but I'm going to be it's reasonable......

Good luck....I'll be interested to see who you pick!

October 7, 2006
Oceanview Room, Point Loma
www.kellyandtre.com
Dizzy Girl's Bridal Blog



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dizzy_girl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 9/28/2005 at 2:53pm
Oh....I forgot the main reason I wrote you.  I wanted to add that I was not all impressed by Linda Rendon either.  I know people on this board LOVE her, but we didn't seem to click......
October 7, 2006
Oceanview Room, Point Loma
www.kellyandtre.com
Dizzy Girl's Bridal Blog



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