Archive for March, 2011

Reenie Rose ~ Preserving your bridal bouquet circa 2011

Friday, March 25th, 2011

I had the pleasure of meeting with Loreen Hospodar and her savvy marketing “intern” from Reenie Rose. Loreen, the artist, has the perfect solution for the circa 2011 way to preserve your bridal bouquet. Instead of sending your beloved bouquet to get freeze dried (and let’s face it this never ends up looking the same way) you can commission Loreen to custom paint a portrait of your bouquet after the wedding.

Loreen begins the process by visiting your florist the day prior to the wedding to take pictures of your bouquet in many angles. After the wedding the bride and Loreen sit down to talk about the size of the painting and what the painting will look like based on the different pictures that Loreen took of the bouquet prior to the wedding. Once you’ve both decided on what she will paint, it takes her about 40 hours (some times more depending on the size and details!) to create an original painting of your bridal bouquet.

If you live out of town… there is nothing to be worried about, she’s got the perfect solution. Loreen will reach out to your wedding photographer about the pictures she will need in order to ensure she will have a good pictorial of what she will paint.

I had the chance to see a painting that was recently finished. The details, colors and artistry were beautiful. The painting is an heirloom to keep in your home, were you can enjoy and remember what a great time you had at your wedding. It makes a great gift from a guest or a family member. It even dawned on me that it’s a great gift from a groom to a bride as the flowers that were part of the bridal bouquet are all illustrated… so if he ever forgets, and wants to surprise you with a great bouquet of flowers on your wedding anniversary then he’s got a reminder of what to order hanging at home.

If you would like to find more information, see more of her work or wish to have Loreen commission a painting of your wedding bouquet please visit her website.

The Martha Stewart Show, Ovando and MJ Trim!

Monday, March 14th, 2011

This is the fourth and last blog post on my recent trip to NYC. You reach read my first, second and third post by clicking on the links.

Tuesday morning came by fast after designing the day prior with David Beahm, attending a cocktail reception at the ACE Hotel (talk about a hip place!) and then joining the rest of the designers for a relaxing dinner. I had a lot of fun trading stories with Trish and Cori the other two Illinois designers attending.

We woke up early and headed over to attend a taping of The Martha Stewart Show which airs live every morning at 10:30AM. Not only we got to attend but also got quite a few belly laughs with the featured guests of the day… Joan Rivers and her daughter Melissa.

The Chapel Designers waiting in line bright, early and with lots of coffee in hand

The Martha Stewart Show Studio

Front Row Seats

After the show we were able to ask a few questions of the lady herself Martha Stewart while she was taking a break after taping the show. One of the ladies in our group introduce herself and let Martha know what we were doing there. Martha went ahead and invited all of us for a tour of the headquarters! As you can imagine we jumped on that opportunity.

We did take some pictures and all I can post is the one I took of the main entrance. The tour guide at the Martha Stewart offices asked that we don’t share any of the pictures because they were in fact things they were currently working on for future magazine issues, the show and their website.  Therefore, I will respect their request and leave it to them to do the unveiling.

It was quite the experience to be there and see were it all comes from. Quite the unique office with lots of natural light and open spaces… it takes up  an entire NYC block!

After we were on a Martha Stewart high we rushed to our appointment to meet the amazing folks at Ovando! Ovando is a full service florist in NYC. They have multiple offices around the city, they also give classes but one of the most amazing things that sets them apart is their designers. Rather clean, contemporary and unique.  Alicia from Bella Fiori wrote a great blog post for Flirty Fleurs about our visit to Ovando.

I can’t finish the blog post  series if I don’t talk about MJ Trim. You see,  it was my last day in NYC and besides taking a quick trip to the Rockefeller Center for some gifts for my husband, visiting Crumbs Cupcake (their red velvet was outstanding) and walking 60 NYC blocks with my luggage (I have witnesses!)… I had to make a pit stop at MJ Trim! It is the mecca of trim, ribbons, buttons and lace. Rows and rows and rows of material calling out my name.  You can visit their website at

Look at the rows and rows of trim… Floor to ceiling high!

Thank you Holly for putting such a nice trip together for all of us! I had a great time and learned tremendously.  I leave you all with the view I woke up to every single morning from my hotel room at the Fashion Hilton Hotel in the Fashion District.

A Day Designing with David Beahm, Jeremy and Holly

Friday, March 11th, 2011

This is a third blog post in a series documenting my recent trip to New York City. You can read the first and second series by clicking on the links.

While we were at the NYC floral market quietly David and Jeremy from David Beahm Design were quietly purchasing florals that caught the designers’ eyes. For one designer it might have been a bunch of yellow parrot tulips, for another designer coral double (or peonie) tulips, or the anemones (they were gigantic at the floral market in nyc) for someone else it might have been double white lisianthus (that they couldn’t get of that quality back home),  for another designer it was mimosa that really caught her attention, for me it was the green hellebores. I had only worked with it once and I definitely wanted to work with it again.  After we visited the floral market with David Beahm and his lead designer Jeremy (Have I mentioned how nice these two guys are? They are awesome) we went to their office, unpacked the flowers and we talked about the care of flowers. Jeremy gave us some great tips and David reminded us of the correct way to cut stems so they drink lots of water while keeping bacteria at bay. Basics that every designer should know… but it was certainly a good reminder, and of course he also taught us a few tricks!

Look at all this nice floral product!

Jeremy kicks off the designing!

Show stopping Tall Arrangement created by David and Jeremy

We had a lovely lunch provided by Liana Rae Private Chef and Boutique Caterer. If you are having a small intimate party out in NYC I highly recommend her. This was lunch, I can’t even begin to imagine what she would create for dinner. The food was absolutely delicious.


Afterwards the real fun began. Holly and Jeremy began arranging 8″ rectangular glass vases with florals. They created three different arrangements on their own, and then asked us to pick some of the florals that they had purchased and create a design of our own. I choose that green hellebores that caught my eye and “borrowed” some of those yellow parrot tulips along with a few stems of yellow mimosa to create the arrangement below.

Green Hellebores, Dusty Miller, Mimosa and

Yellow Parrot Tulips  Created by ME!!!

All designers came up with different designs. Some full of color, others contemporary and sleek. Others used organic elements like tree bark or steel grass to complete their designs. It was a great way to see everyone’s different styles. Clearly, we were all so very different in our designs but we shared one thing in common…. our love of flowers.

Cascading Bouquet of Hot Pink Tulips, Scabiosa and

Hot Pink Sweetpeas Created by Jeremy

Hand Tied Bouquet of Red and White Roses, Yellow Parrot Tulips

and Mimosa Created by Holly Chapple

Afterwards, we got to split in teams of two and were given a random celebrity name to design for…. some of them male actors! David was not going to let us go easy on this one. Others got famous authors or singers.  Which was a tad different from the usual, but it certainly made it for an interesting challenge.  Once again, I was in awe of what the other designers created. So very different, yet all so lovely.

Design Challenge ~ Light Blue Hydrangeas, Blue Anemones, Lilacs,

Jasmine Vine, Scabiosa and Purple Sweetpeas  Created by Janice from Precious Pear and myself

After we cleaned up, David treated us to a session he had given before. He also shared with us how he stated in the business and was honest about what it takes to survive in this business. Hard work.

It was a wonderful day, we got to top  it off with a glass of bubbly. Thanks to Holly, Jeremy and David for such an amazing day! We were also invited by David to a party hosted by 100 Layer Cake and Elan Artists at the hip Ace Hotel!

Tomorrow on the blog … The Martha Stewart Show, our unexpected invitation to tour the  corporate offices by the woman herself, shopping at MJ Trim and a visit to Ovando!

The New York City Flower Market

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Also known to me… as the new floral heaven on earth.

We met David Beahm and his lead designer Jeremy (who were the most knowledgeable and nicest men ever! ) at the floral market for a tour of the who’s who of good product at the NYC Floral Market. I’m going to let a lot of the pictures speak for themselves. I’ve never seen such quality of floral product (anemones in the most vibrant colors), different varieties, flowers that I would never be able to get in Chicago because the florist designers here wouldn’t request it for their designs, plus a rose wholesaler who carries the most amazing and beautiful roses from south america. The varieties and colors were absolutely stunning!

I’ve always looked at Martha Stewart Magazines in awe as to were do they get these flowers! After seeing the flowers around me…. I knew were she purchased all of it for those amazing magazine spreads. The good news is that now I got the “scoop” on who to call to get the good stuff.

Pink Anemones Pink Anemones

Cabbage Roses

Cherry Blossoms

Inside the flower market

Fringed Tulips


Hellebores (they had it in deep purple too, too bad I didn’t take a picture of it!)

Greens & Foliage

Peonies, Jasmine Vine and Ranunculus


Orange Ranunculus (don’t they scream put us in a bridal bouquet?)

Light Pink Center Ranunculus


Green Centered Ranunculus

Roses at Harvest (they carried the most amazing species from South America)

Scabiosa Pods and Yellow Billy Balls


Jeremy, the lead designer at David Beahm Design mentioned that most of the floral product at the NYC floral market travels for a period of 12 hours on average, hence the reason why the product looks so incredibly fresh. After being surrounded by such floral beauty all I needed was my floral knife, a vase and water. I couldn’t wait to start arranging! That is exactly what I did at David Beahm’s office along with sixteen other designers! Tomorrow on the blog (as I continue my little trip down memory lane),  the one and only David Beahm.

New York, New York!

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Earlier this week I spent three days in New York City with eighteen other women. We were brought together by the master mind and ring leader Holly Chapple from Holly Heider Chapple Flowers in Virginia. You may have seen Holly’s bouquets in Martha Stewart, Style Me Pretty and countless of blogs. She put out a tweet that changed my life as I knew it last Saturday. She was putting together a trip to NYC for floral designers called Chapel Designers because we are all event florist servicing the events industry but mostly weddings, she asked in her little tweet… “Who is interested in attending”. I quickly answered “ME”. It was  a small trip to visit suppliers, take a trip to the floral market in NYC and meet with David Beahm. It ended up being so much more than that.

The rest of the Chapel Designers are:
Alicia of Bella Fiori from Colorado

Alicia of AJ Florals, Maryland

Cori of  Moss Fine Floral of Illinois

Katie of Inspired Floral Design from Kentucky

Courtenay of Courtenay Lambert Florals, Kentucky

Isha of Isha Foss Events, Virginia

Janice of Precious Pear, Vancouver, British Columbia

Jenn of Modern Day Floral, Michigan

Kristin a freelance designer, Virginia

Laura of Loda Floral Designs, Virginia

Liz of Fleur:ology, Oregon

Robin of freelancer in Ohio

Samantha of SM Greenfield Designs In Floral Artistry, Virginia

Trish of Grapevine Floral Company, Illinois

Yasmin of Events Are Us, Washington D.C.

Casey from Holly Heider Chapple Flowers

and of course, yours truly!!! of Exquisite Weddings, Illinois

That first night, we picked up right were our tweets left off. We had a lot of candid conversations, a little venting and of course we introduced ourselves in an informal setting. If you are looking to learn more about each designer, Alicia who writes Flirty Fleurs is writing a blog post about each designer. You can see pictures from our first night from our resident photographer (who happens to be a planner!) Vicky from My Simple Details in Washington DC.

Tomorrow on the blog a trip into the New York City Floral Market.

I’m off to New York City…

Friday, March 4th, 2011

I’ll be taking a trip to New York City next week. I’m meeting with a few designers from all over the United States on a little designers trip named Chapel Designers. The trip was put together by my twitter friend Holly Chappele from Holly Chapple Flowers out east. We will be meeting with David Beahm who is a major designer in NYC. In addition, to designing, I will be taking a trip to the NYC floral market and doing a little shopping for my current clients who would like a few different items for their weddings from what is currently available in Chicago.

Stay tuned next week while we blog about our trip and meet some of the other amazing designers attending.