Archive for January, 2013

Style Me Pretty Feature on the Little Black Book

Monday, January 21st, 2013

We are excited to be featured on Style Me Pretty’s Little Black Book today. Click here to see the blog post and additional images of the entire day. It was hard not posting this beautiful wedding planned by Engaging Events by Ali, with photography by Jeremy Lawson Photography, fabric by Art of Imagination, catering by Food Evolution and all florals by Exquisite Designs at the lovely Room 1520.

We hope you enjoy this feature as much as we enjoyed designing the flowers for Megan and David’s wedding.


Megan carried a bridal bouquet of white garden roses, white dahlias (from our garden!), white cymbidium orchids, dusty miller and white sweet peas. I absolutely love this portrait of Megan.


Her bridesmaids carried all white roses bouquets which we repurposed as part of the centerpieces.


This fabric chuppah was created by Art of Imagination and we added two large floral arrangements at the gatherings


Modern arrangements of floating candles in oversized candleholders and white hydrangeas and white star roses.

Megan and David thank you for letting us be part of your wedding day and Ali Phillips …. it goes without saying, we love working with you!

Love at Breath Taking Heights at the Willis Tower

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Thanks to all the couples and vendors we got to meet a few weeks ago at the Love at Breath Taking Heights Bridal Show at the Metropolitan Club at the Willis Tower. It was a pleasure meeting all of you. Thank you to M&M Rentals for the gold rim china, silverware, glassware, and gold chivari chairs and Tipsycake for the mini gold chevron patterned cake and Kenny Kim Photography for providing these pictures.


Tall Arrangmeent of hydrangeas, garden roses, queen anne's lace, peonies, and lilacsTall arrangement of white hydrangeas, light pink spray roses, white anemones with black centers, queen anne’s lace, white lilacs, juliet garden roses and antique  pink garden roses.

Exq Designs Sign for Bridal Show

Compote arrangement of juliet garden roses, hot pink garden roses, white anemones, white lilacs, queen anne’s lace, seeded eucalyptus, white sweetpeas and white o’hara garden roses.

Gold sequins tableclothWe had a a lot of brides asking about the tablecloth we used. We actually created this overlay for the bridal show to stay with the current trends of gold, muted colors and pops of antique pink. We hope you liked it. I don’t suggest you use this cloth everywhere but it would look spectacular on a head table or escort card table!

Maya and Sid ~ An Indian Wedding at the Chicago Botanic Gardens

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Maya and Sid came to us via Charlene Liang from Sweet Chic Events. The couple was planning an indian wedding at the Chicago Botanic Gardens with a ceremony in the English Garden  and the reception in the McGinley Pavilion. We started playing with pinks and hot pinks but as the planning moved along we decided to add oranges, purples and reds for quite the mix of bold colors.

9. Maya & Sid. Botanic Gardens Wedding. Fragola Productions. Sweetchic Events.


Maya and Sid

32. Maya & Sid. Botanic Gardens Wedding. Fragola Productions. Sweetchic Events.


We added small silver elephants within the dinner tables. Guests loved them so much not one was found at the end of the night


18. Maya & Sid. Botanic Gardens Wedding. Fragola Productions. Sweetchic Events. Exquisite Designs.

Maya carried a bouquet of red roses, red celosia, with accents of white stephanotis blooms and hot pink mokara orchids

28. Maya & Sid. Botanic Gardens Wedding. Fragola Productions. Sweetchic Events. Exquisite Designs.

Chair Clusters

29. Maya & Sid. Botanic Gardens Wedding. Fragola Productions. Sweetchic Events. Exquisite Designs.

31. Maya & Sid. Botanic Gardens Wedding. Fragola Productions. Sweetchic Events.

The indian ceremony took place outside in the English Gardens and we created a fabric mandap for them

33. Maya & Sid. Botanic Gardens Wedding. Fragola Productions. Sweetchic Events. Exquisite Designs.

We hung paper lanterns above the dance floor along with two floral chandeliers next to the head table.

35. Maya & Sid. Botanic Gardens Wedding. Fragola Productions. Sweetchic Events. Exquisite Designs.

Trios of mercury glass with lots of colors!

36. Maya & Sid. Botanic Gardens Wedding. Fragola Productions. Sweetchic Events.

The couple wanted to add elephant details in small ways throughout the reception so we created a moss elephant for the escort card table and added small silver elephant details around the tables.

37. Maya & Sid. Botanic Gardens Wedding. Fragola Productions. Sweetchic Events.


39. Maya & Sid. Botanic Gardens Wedding. Fragola Productions. Sweetchic Events. Exquisite DesignsChair details on the head table.

Our friends from Poetic Productions created this trailer for the wedding!



We wanted to thank Charlene for introducing us to these wonderful clients, Kristina Perez at the Chicago Botanic Gardens, Fragola Productions for sharing these beautiful pictures and Keith from Poetic Productions for sharing this video. We loved working with all of you. Maya and Sid thanks for letting us be part of your wedding day, we had a great time designing your wedding!

Summer Chicago Wedding at Prairie Productions

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Nothing says a bride is ready to have some fun until she tells you….. “I want pink, no take that back…. I want hot pink” That is what we heard from Kristine. She was a hot pink summer bride, pair it with shantung grey tablecloths and bright whites and this was one hot wedding. Kristine came to us via Liven it Up Events mastermind Anthony Navarro. Add in a stellar cast of vendors with J&L Catering and gorgeous pictures by JWiley Photography and you have quite the fun wedding.

 Kristine carried a petite bridal bouquet of white alabaster roses with David Austin’s Patience Garden Roses with small accents of seeded eucalyptus and dusty miller.

Light pink Peonies bridesmaids bouquet

Hot Pink Peonies Bouquet


We created a little posy bouquet for the flower girl. She was absolutely adorable.


One of my favorite pictures of this wedding, were the couple gets a quiet moment before all the guests arrive and they exchange vows.


Hand tied chair clusters of hot pink hydrangeas and hot pink garden roses


The couple was flanked by two of these altar pieces with a bold mix of hot pink hydrangea, hot pink celosia, hot pink roses, hot pink garden roses, hot pink dahlias and dusty miller.


Prairie Productions


Hot pink Mokara Orchids waiting for the reception to begin


Since this was not a traditional seated dinner wedding the couple wanted  to have a nice mix of tall highboy tables, cabaret tables along with full size dinner tables were guests can mingle and move about throughout the evening. We also provided a fabric and uplighting at this wedding.


Thank you to JWiley Photography for these beautiful pictures, see more of her work and this wedding on her blog and Liven it Up Events for letting us be part of the team. Kristine, it was an absolute pleasure working with you.

It’s Raining Dahlias in Chicago

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Most planners have a saying that goes: You are only as good as the vendors behind you”. Well us floral designers have a saying: “You are only as good as the blooms you get”. If the quality of a flower arrives in absolutely pristine condition it is easy to create a design that speaks for itself. But when blooms arrive looking a little beat up or just plain ol’ sad it’s hard to make something gorgeous out of them, especially when they are two breaths away from death.

Two years ago I was having that issue with dahlias. Dahlias are hard to grow, hard to transport and since they were high in demand a few of the usual suspects were incredibly hard to get. Especially those Cafe au Lait dahlias that everyone seems to love for their creamy with a blush undertone. Last year around mothers day I told myself I would try it, because what did I have to loose…. and this is a blog post about what happened.

I started as everyone else does…. with dahlia tubers which I ordered online and around late May when the tubers started sprouting. Trust me when I say this, I had no idea what was in store for me but all I had to lose was the time I spent planting them and $160 I spent on them.

Unless you don’t remember it was a hot summer, super duper hot. I probably watered these plants just about every other day in the summer and I did throw in a few prayers that my plants wouldn’t die on me. Maybe because I wanted to see them come to life after all the time spent on them. While my babies were growing I got to spend some time with my friend Holly Heider Chapple out in Virginia. During my time there he took me to see Don from Don’s Dahlias whom she purchases dahlias for her designs. Don knows his dahlias quite well and he thought me a few tricks to ensure my plants kept on thriving and continued providing blooms the entire season.

After two months of dragging hoses, pinching back plants, staking them, fighting weeds, praying that the hot weather would not absolutely fry the plants and a few spiders. They started to look like this.


They grew so much that I had close to 20 to 30 blooms every other week. Again that was from just 20 tubers that I planted. My goal was to get my plants going pretty strong for one wedding taking place late in September. If it didn’t work out… well then it didn’t work out and I could still order from my wholesaler. What I didn’t expect was the fact that my plants gave me so much back. So much…. that I was able to do this.

Do you see that dinner plate dahlia? It was the star of the bridal show. Other designers at the show wanted to ask were did I get them.

So you see them on the escort card table? Yep, we had them there too… and on this bride’s bouquet, and on the floral arrangements we placed on her chuppah.

We also put them in this huge arch for our bride at the South Shore Cultural Center, that arch looked divine in person.

They also made an appearance at these weddings and events!

And for good measure I grew some purple ones too because I knew I was going to use them.

So there you have it, my little secret is out. If you were my client last year (between late July to late October) and you had happened to have white, blush or purple dahlias in your designs summer chances are you had them at your event.  I had a great time growing them (minus fighting the spiders!) and of course getting to use them in my designs. That’s as locally organic grown as we get around here!

We will be growing some other things next year….already on the ground more tulip bulbs than I can count, hellebores, peonies, freesias, clematis and will test out ranunculus, sweet peas, pieris japonica, mock orange, fox tail lilies (aka emerus), forsythia and hops vine along with what else… dahlias!

That is what I call… reaping what you sow. Literally!

Amy and Cynthia at The Drake Hotel

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Last October we had the pleasure of working with Amy and Cynthia. They came to us via MDM Entertainment who was providing all the music and uplighting for the wedding at The Drake Hotel in Chicago.

Amy carried a bridal bouquet of green dianthus, aubergine callas, burgundy dahlias, scabiosa pods, green cymbidium orchids, burgundy celosia and green hypericum berries. Cynthia called a bouquet similar to Amy’s but with all white flowers  with accents of burgundy celosia, green dianthus, and cream roses.


I absolutely love this picture from Colin Lyons Photography. It captures the beauty of the day. The sun was shinning and the weather was absolutely perfect for their wedding. Notice Amy’s gardenias. She chose these in lieu of wearing a veil.


 The Gold Coast Ballroom at the Drake Hotel, all uplighting was provided by our friends MDM Entertainment


Amy and Cynthia share a kiss

Thanks to Colin Lyons for sharing these beautiful pictures and our friends at MDM Entertainment for introducing us to these wonderful ladies. Cynthia and Amy we wish you both the best. Thank you for letting us be part of your wedding day.