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Hydrangeas continue to be one of the most popular wedding flowers for 2013.  Hydrangeas come in a vhydrangea pictureariety of colors and are available year round.  While they are an extremely beautiful flower, they are also one of the most fickle wedding blooms.   

Hydrangeas look absolutely lovely in bouquets, and many brides choose to have their bridesmaids carry a simple bouquet of just hydrangeas.  Some are so large and fluffy, that only one may be needed to make a beautiful bouquet. 

If you are considering hydrangeas for your wedding, keep in mind that they do require a lot of water to keep from wilting. Because of this, they are not a good choice for corsages or boutonnieres.   However, there are a few tricks that your florist can use to create lovely pocket squares and pomander balls.  If you are getting married in the hot summer months, and will be taking pictures prior to your ceremony, you may consider asking your florist to make two bouquets to ensure that one will look absolutely perfect as you walk down the aisle.

bouquet and wine bottleDid you know that the average price of a wedding is $28K?  Even though we would all love to have that extravagant wedding that we’ve always dreamed of, unfortunately, we all must deal with the reality of what we can afford.  Often times you’ll end up compromising and settling for the basic wedding options instead of what you really want.   But if you could have the wedding you want at the price you want, would you?  Then the answer may be in downsizing your guest list and having a more intimate wedding.   Narrowing your guest list may be the way to keep your budget in check without compromising the indulgences you’d like to bestow on your guests.

The smaller your guest list, the larger your venue possibilities, like that cute restaurant you both love, your parents backyard, or that beautiful art gallery. Aren’t these options better than that institutional establishment that most brides end up with?

Minimizing your guest list will allow you to indulge the people close to you and who really matter in your life, instead of entertaining people you barely know.  Consider it “exclusive access” to your wedding.  With a smaller guest list you’ll be able to splurge on that expensive champagne and caviar.

Your intimate wedding will make it easier for your guests to mix and mingle, and you will get to spend time with each and every person you invite.  Wouldn’t that be a lovely way to spend your wedding day?

 

Click here to view Secret Window’s all inclusive and intimate wedding package.

 

 

 

You’ve chosen the perfect dress, the veil, and the shoes, now to complete your look you will need to choose a magnificent bouquet of flowers!  Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing your wedding bouquet.

Complement Your Gown

Your flowers should complement your dress, not compete with it.  If your gown is very ornate, you might opt for a clean and streamlined look, while a simple dress might be a perfect match for a more extravagant arrangement.  If you have fabric swatches or photos of your gown, take them with you to your meeting with your florist.  This along with details about your wedding venue and ceremony theme will be helpful in choosing the right flowers.

Explore Different Bouquet Shapes

Bouquets can be made in various styles and sizes, from extravagant cascading bouquets to a free form, hand-tied style.  The possibilities are endless!

Aroma

Love the smell of flowers?  Contrary to popular belief, not all flowers are fragrant.  Consider adding a few fragrant blossoms into your bouquet, like gardenias, stock, or stephanotis.  Consider aroma as part of your impact.

Stem Appeal

Consider wrapping the stems to compliment your blooms.  Wrap them tightly in a carefully braided ribbon or a gorgeous piece of fabric that compliments the color scheme of your entire affair.  If you alter your gown and have extra fabric, consider wrapping your stems with it for a beautiful coordinated look.

 

Flowers Slim You Down

Remember to hold your flowers as low as possible!  It is natural for you to be nervous, as you are the center of attention.  Brides inadvertently pull their bouquet upward to their chest, or into their bellies as a protective mechanism.  Hold your bouquet below your waist so it sits low on your gown.  This will shave a couple of inches off your waistline.  Who doesn’t want to look taller and thinner?

Prevent Wilting

Flowers are fragile and can perish easily.  That is the reason many bouquets are made with hardier flowers like roses, peonies, and lilies.  If you select more delicate varieties like gardenias, hydranges, or lily of the valley, you will need to take precautions.

Hydrangeas need to be kept in water as long as possible.  Lily of the valley and gardenias bruise easily, and will need to be kept upright and not resting on its side.  If you will be using hydrangeas or delicate blooms in your bouquet, keep it refrigerated until the very last moment before the ceremony.  If you are taking photographs before the ceremony on a hot summer day, you may want to consider having your florist make two bouquets or having a hidden water source.

 

 

 

 

 

The Raspberry Lime Tequila Cocktail (Serves 1)

8  raspberries
1 teaspoon honey
Juice of 1/2 a lime
2 fresh mint leaves
1 oz. tequila (gin works just as well if you aren’t a tequila person)
Chilled sparkling water

Directions: Place raspberries, honey, and lime juice in a small measuring cup. Muddle mixture until raspberries release their juices. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pressing down on solids to remove all liquid. Add mint leaves to the strained mixture and muddle to release mint fragrance. Pour mixture over ice and top with tequila and sparkling water. Serve immediately.

1.  Late-Night Wedding Snacks

All that dancing works up an appetite, which is why many brides and grooms add late-night wedding snacks to cap off their day.  Think street fare fun foods, comfort food or easy breakfast pick-up food.  Silver dollar pancake stacks anyone?

2.  Gourmet Food Trucks

Mobile eateries have been around since the days of the chuck wagon.  Today they’re popular from New York to California.  Many couples are embracing this unique trend as a creative way to feed wedding guests.  Multiple food trucks can be brought to almost any venue and serve a variety of food from ethnic to the American hot dog.  Be sure to plan for the weather and the number of anticipated guests.

3.   Artisan Spirits, Signature Drinks, Craft Beers, Wine

Weddings are about celebration and savoring the good things in life:  family, friends, food, and don’t forget drinks.  More and more couples are getting creative in how they incorporate wine and spirits.  Signature drinks remain popular, but now craft beer displays, artisan spirits, and wine tasting are growing in popularity.

4.  Decadent Desserts

It hasn’t been “just wedding cake” in years.  Pie buffets or dessert stations with assorted parfaits, cookies, truffles, pudding, cannoli shells, brownies, and cheesecake are popular.  How about an ice cream bar with scrumptious toppings like crushed Oreos and Butterfingers with whipped cream and cherries?  Eating all this will give you a reason to dance all night long!

5.  Niche Food Bars

As the average wedding size continues to grow, niche food bars are becoming increasingly popular, as they offer a greater variety of food and are cost-effective since fewer servers are needed.  The key to a good station is action!  A chef cooking or a server assembling different components of the dish will make the station feel alive and will move the quality of the food up a notch.  Food doesn’t have to be fancy and high-end to be effective if you add action.  Niche food stations also give guests an opportunity to mingle as they move about the reception hall.  The food choices are endless, mashed and sweet potato station with all the condiments, Mediterranean food like lamb, hummus, and assorted cheeses, or street fair like sliders and hot dogs.  Anything is possible!

6.  Coffee Bar

Complete with its own barista, it will give your wedding the feel of an upscale coffee shop, and ties in nicely with wedding dessert offerings.  Add hot cocoa and frappe drinks for the younger guests and cordial shots for the adults.

7.  Healthier Kids’ Choices

For the young ones at your wedding, why not offer healthier food choices with more whole grains, and fruit and veggies as sides.  Remember to go nut-free – avoiding foods with tree nuts or peanuts – for those with allergies.

8.  Locally-Sourced/Seasonal Fare

Local sourcing of food continues to be popular as consumers look to reduce their carbon footprint, support local growers and farmers, offer quality products, and keep costs down.  Everything from locally sourced vegetables to meats, ice cream, wines, beers, and spirits is possible.  If it’s made locally, it can be offered.

9.  Enhanced Intermezzo

Used throughout Europe as a way to cleanse the palate in between courses, intermezzos are usually small, light and refreshing. Sorbet is commonly used, as is a light sparkling wine such as Prosecco.  But why not spruce it up a bit?  Wrap the sorbet in foil, like a piece of French candy.  Consider a wine-infused sorbet with cabernet, merlot, or sangria, or Italian lemon ice served in the paper cup with a wooden spoon.  Another idea is to move away from sorbet entirely and serve shaved ice granitas or a liquid intermezzo like a non-alcoholic version of punch romaine.

10.  Allergy-Free Fare

With food allergies on the rise, there is an ever-growing need to accommodate those who must eat a certain way because they have no choice.  This is a really important trend that cannot be ignored.  Fortunately, an ever-growing group of vendors and caterers are able to provide allergy-free alternatives.  The truly allergen-free and gluten-free vendors have had training for themselves and their staff in how to prepare their work environment and handle the food safely from source-to-service without risking cross-contamination.  Their staff will know how to respond to guest questions without making the guest feel conspicuous because they understand the medical nature of the request.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you struggling with what to buy your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen to thank them for being part of your special day?  Here are some ideas that are affordable and useful.

For your Bridesmaids

The most popular gift for Bridesmaids is usually a nice piece of jewelry or accessory that compliments their dress, but wouldn’t it be nice to treat them to some “girl time” with a luxurious spa gift card?  Whether it’s a mani-pedi the morning of the wedding or a massage and facial after the bachelorette party, this relaxing gift is one that they will surely treasure.

 

For Your Groomsmen

Tired of the same old idea of a monogrammed flask, or cufflinks that eventually end up in a drawer? Time to think outside the box!  If your groomsmen are sports buffs, how about buying them tickets to a big game featuring their favorite team?  Throw in a prepaid card for a couple of beers, and believe me, they will be in heaven with a gift they will always remember.

 

For Your Maid of Honor and Bestman

You have given this honor to someone who is important in your life.  They accompany you on dress shopping trips and tastings, they plan your bachelor and bachelorette parties, and are there as witnesses when you sign your marriage certificate.  Take the time to thank them in a way that is truly personal and shows them how much they are appreciated.  Consider arranging a dinner for two at their favorite restaurant, tickets to a theatre performance or museum, or season tickets for experiences you know they’ll cherish.

 

Whatever gift you choose, try to make it as personable and useful as possible.  Your guys and gals will truly appreciate your efforts.

 

 

 

With the abundance of wedding magazines and publications that feature flowers, it’s easy for brides to become overwhelmed when it comes to making a decision regarding their wedding bouquet.   Just when you think you have found the perfect bouquet for you, you will pick up another magazine and find something else that you like better.  Almost every bride I consult with seems to have the same problem.  My recommendation to them is simple:  Collect all the pictures that you like and put them together on one board.   Once you have all the pictures in front of you,  you will be able to compare and evaluate them.  Inevitably, you will always come back to the same one.

Still struggling with your bridesmaids flowers?  Here are some ideas for choosing your bridesmaids’ blooms.

Mismatched.  If you’re planning a rustic-themed wedding or a garden celebration, mismatched bouquets help to create a relaxed, informal feel.  The “just picked” look, with lots of greenery and foliage tied with twine, is popular.  Or, if you prefer something more contemporary, give your bridesmaids different bouquets for a fresh, modern look.

Color Pop.   Why not adorn your best girls with posies in a variety of rainbow shades?  This is a great way to add a touch of bold color to your wedding day.  Sunshine-yellow craspedia and hot-pink peonies make a huge impact, particularly when paired  with pretty gowns in delicate neutrals.  If you fancy going for brights but the mismatched look isn’t for you, think about using just one bloom in a stand-out color.

Sorbet Chic.  Classic and undeniably romantic, sorbet shades for bridesmaids’ flowers are here to stay.  Soft hues of off-white, green and lavender work well when paired with feminine chiffon frocks and loose, romantic hairstyles.  I love large blowsy hydrangea heads and pale-pink roses tied with lace, ribbon or shimmering organza for an elegant and timeless look.

 

Originally, the flower girl’s job was to spread grain at the feet of the bride to promote fertility and happiness in the marriage.  Today, they toss rose petals to create a lovely path for the bride as she begins her new life.  What a perfect way to include young children in your ceremony.

There are so many options for this special dress.  Try to find one that will fit into the wedding scheme, but one that can also be worn several times before it’s outgrown.  Although it may be hectic to shop with a little girl, take her with you on this momentous outing.  Her happiness with her dress will translate into her happiness the day of your wedding.

A green wedding opts for an environmentally-friendly alternative to each element of the celebration, from invitations to the dress and the cake.  Many couples who go green in their wedding planning already recycle their glass, paper and plastic, shop for organic food at farmers’ markets and conserve energy at home, and they want to extend their earth-conscious values to their big day.

The first thing on the to-do list is to find ways to shrink the event’s carbon footprint by minimizing long distance travel for guests, and finding products that emphasize recycled over new.  So, the smaller the guest list, the smaller the impact on the environment.

Choosing Your Venue                                       

The greenest venue is the one closest to your guests as the location will determine how many people will have to fly or drive long distances.   Outdoor venues like a park or botanical garden provide their own natural beauty, which minimizes the need for decorations.   You may choose an art gallery or museum, as it gives back to the community.  Daytime weddings also save on electric power.

The Invitation

You can save trees by having your invitations made of recycled paper, or avoid paper altogether by sending word of your nuptials by email.  Although etiquette experts frown on electronic invitations, they approve of other paper-free communication through wedding Web sites. On these sites, you can post directions to the wedding location, link to your registry and give other information to guests.

The Registry

In the spirit of avoiding waste, you may suggest that guests give practical and philanthropic gifts, such as a donation to your honeymoon expense or to an animal shelter.  If you can’t forgo your presents, suggest green items and opt for no gift wrap!

The Dress

You can wear your Mother’s gown, or buy a second-hand gown on Craigslist or eBay.   However, if you choose to buy new, after the wedding consider selling or donating it to a charity.  An extremely touching way of recycling your dress is to use it to make christening outfits for your children.  You can always opt to wear a party dress or evening gown that can be worn again and again after your wedding.

 

 

The Reception

Buy Local!  By doing this it means that food, flowers and decorations won’t have to be shipped from far, avoiding unnecessary transportation related carbon emissions.   Choose a seasonal menu, rent your china and linens, pare down the courses, and choose a seated dinner rather than a buffet, which requires more plates and utensils (people go back for seconds, using another plate thus more water to wash them).  If you have party favors, a donation to a favorite cause in the name of the guest or organic chocolate, are popular options.  And if you are having a party favor, consider a donation to a favorite cause in the name of the guest or edibles such as organic chocolate.

With more than 2 million marriages taking place in the United States each year, many couples see value in the cumulative and ripple effect of a green wedding, including supporting eco-friendly products and services while inspiring friends and family to follow you along a greener path.

What an exciting time!  Your big day has finally arrived.  You have chosen the perfect dress, for the perfect man, and you will marry in a gorgeous chapel in the mountains with stunning scenery.   While the Air Force Academy may be the perfect place to get married, getting on base isn’t always easy. If you are planning an Air Force Wedding, there are certain measures that you will need to take to ensure that your wedding vendors can get on base.  With heightened security, you will need to have all vendors placed on a list and copies of their drivers license and vehicle registration must be obtained.  This information will need to left at the gate along with your guest list.  Without this information, your deliveries will be detained at the gate, and if not enough time is allowed, your flowers may not arrive in time for your wedding.

Secret Window is located only 8 minutes from the Air Force Academy, and we are very familiar with the delivery logistics.  We have helped many Air Force brides achieve their wedding dreams.  Whether you live in Colorado or out of state, our team of talented designers will help you create the wedding flowers you’ve always dreamed of using only the freshest and best quality flowers available.

If you are looking for a wedding reception venue, Secret Window also offers a beautifully landscaped outdoor tented garden area that can accommodate up to 150 people, and our caterer, Garden of the Gods Gourmet, has a variety of menu options to suit any budget.

Give us a call to schedule your complimentary floral consultation, or to view our facility.  We look forward to hearing from you!

It takes at least six months to plan a formal wedding on a large scale, however, it is possible to arrange less formal celebrations in three months or less. If you pick a popular time of year to have your wedding, you may find that many sites and services are already booked, so it is always better to start the planning process early. When it comes to the flowers, most varieties are available year around. The exceptions being lily-of-the-valley, which has a very limited availability outside the month of May, peonies, which although can sometimes be outsourced at a hefty price, are generally available only during the months of May and June. If sweet peas are your chosen flower, it will make sense to hold your wedding during the summer months rather than in winter. Nature is a great mentor, and following the trends of the season will give the most harmonious and beautiful results. The other major consideration for your wedding flowers is that certain dates are peak times for the flower industry. If you are a real romantic and decide to get married on Valentine’s Day, it not only might be difficult to get a florist to commit to arranging your wedding flowers, but you can expect to pay premium price for them as well.

Did you know that throwing your bouquet at the end of the festivities dates back to the eighteenth century?  It was thought that it would pass on the good fortune of the bride and groom to anyone who was lucky enough to catch the flowers.  This was a serious tradition in the days when a woman was considered the property of, first, her father and then her husband after marriage.  Back then, marriage was necessary for the woman to secure her own financial security.  We have moved on from those days, but the custom of throwing the bouquet remains a lovely highlight of the end of the festivities.  If you are interested in this tradition, be sure to tell your florist at your wedding flower consultation.  Many brides can’t bear to part with their beautiful bouquet, however, your florist should be able to provide you with a smaller version of your bouquet especially for this part of your celebration.

Your bouquet need not only be composed of flowers.  You can choose to embellish your bouquet or those of your bridesmaids with decorative elements to dress it up and personalize it.  A few elements you may consider using are, feathers, velvet leaves, wired crystals, pearls, or other gems, beaded flowers, buttons, or silver charms.  Many brides carry an heirloom item like their Grandmother’s brooch.   Instead of ribbon wrap, consider using a sentimental handkerchief or for a vintage look, a handmade doily

All it takes is a little creativity.  The possibilities are endless!

Almost every bride knows the look she would like to have for her wedding bouquet; romantic, fun, wild, simple, etc.  But while every bride knows the look she may want, she may have trouble finding the right flowers to achieve that look.

I recently met with a bride who wanted her bouquet to look simple yet elegant.  She knew what colors she wanted for her bouquet, but didn’t know which flowers to choose to give her the look she wanted.  After listening to this bride describe her perfect bouquet, it was determined that she did indeed want something simple yet elegant.  She did not want a bouquet filled with lots of different flowers or fillers, and roses were definitely out.

The first flower that came to my mind for simple yet elegant was Calla Lilies.  She knew that she wanted white and purple and she found both with the Picasso Calla Lily.  With this simple flower, she was able to achieve her simple, yet elegant look.

 

So many brides have come to me lately saying that they want a “vintage feel” for their wedding.  It seems to be all the rage these days.  But what constitutes vintage?  To most, men especially, they think it means old, because they associate it with vintage cars.  But vintage can also be fun and creative.  I will share with you some of the vintage looks that have been popular with my brides.

Old wine bottles and apothecary bottles are a big hit, and it can be fun to scavenger for these items at garage sales, thrift stores, and even grandma’s house.  Scatter them along the middle of a long table with a couple of flowers in each to create a pretty vintage look.  Also popular are old tin containers, these can be harder to find than the bottles, but often can be found as reproductions.  Carnival glass gives a lovely vintage feel as well.  My favorite is mismatched silver containers filled with massed flowers like hydrangea and dahlias.  Forget about the silver polish, they look better tarnished. Old doilies look wonderful on a table and are quintessential for a vintage look.

You can carry the vintage feel into your bouquet with soft colored flowers, I especially love the rose “Amnesia” because it has a very vintage look to it, and also picks up other colors around it.   You could add a string of pearls or your grandmothers brooch to your bouquet, and wrap it in an heirloom handkerchief.

All it takes is a little brainstorming and creativity to come up with the vintage look and feel that you are looking for.  The possibilities are endless!  So have fun searching and collecting these wonderful items that will help make your wedding the memorable day it should be.

 

 

 

We have all heard about the new trend “trash the dress” right?  Seriously, brides spend thousands of dollars on their wedding dress, and although they may only wear that dress one time, how many brides can actually bring themselves to trash it?

One of my recent brides told me that she is having three wedding ceremonies.  A formal ceremony here in Colorado, and two out of state for family members who can’t attend the church ceremony.   This was the first time that I had ever heard of a bride having three wedding ceremonies and actually getting to wear her wedding three times!  I told her how lucky she was, because most brides only wear the dress once and then put it into storage.  She then told me about the plans she had for her wedding dress.  Her dress would only be saved until the birth of their first daughter, because the dress would be used to make her daughter’s Christening dress.

What a wonderful and beautiful idea!  This child will wear a dress that was part of the union between her parents.  What a symbolic gesture for a child’s Christening day.  It would be wonderful if more dresses were used this way instead of sitting tightly packed on the top shelf of a closet.  What a wonderful gift for the child, one that can be handed down and worn again and again.

Trash the dress?  I guess in a way yes, but in a much better and useful way.

Avoid wedding day disappointment

 

Ever wondered how many brides receive their wedding flowers on their wedding day and are disappointed with the quality and the way they look?  This happens more than you think.  Having been in the flower industry for over 25 years I have heard many horror stores, and have come to the rescue of many distraught brides.   I recently had a mother come into my studio asking if I do weddings.  When I told her that I did she breathed a sigh of relief and told me that her daughter was getting married in two weeks.  She had not heard from the florist that they had originally booked with so she decided to pay them a visit.  To her dismay she found out that the florist was no longer in business.

Imagine your wedding day with no flowers.  There could be nothing more disappointing on your wedding day, than having your flowers arrive and not meet your expectations.  If I can give one word of advice to all you future brides, it is do your homework on your florist.  Do they have an actual business location, or work out of their home? Do they have a floral cooler?  Many florists who work out of their home or a remote location, do not, which means that your flowers are sitting out at room temperature until they are delivered to you.  If they have a cooler, Take a look at the designs inside, do you like their style? Don’t be afraid to ask questions! How long have you been in business, how much floral experience do you have?  How many weddings have you done? May I see pictures of your work?  Any reputable florist will be happy to answer any questions you have and show examples of their work to you.  It is essential that you do your homework ahead of time to avoid disappointment on your wedding day.

Did you know that purple is the symbolic color of royalty?   Its cohorts lavender, lilac, and mauve provide a softer look in this family of cool colors. Flowers ARE grown in blue-from pale and pastel tones to intense azure and violet shades.   Flowers that come in blue and purple are:  Anemone, Aster, Calla Lily, Cornflower, Dahlia, Delphiniium, Freesia, Gladiolus, Hyacinth, Hydrangea, Iris, Larkspur, Lilac, Lisianthus, Orchid, Phlox, Rose, Scabiosa, Stock, Sweet Pea, Tulip, Tweedia & Veronica.

The purple palette is lovely when used monochromatically, but is also very beautiful when complemented by white, cream, pink, and green.  Whatever shade of purple you choose for you bouquet it is guaranteed to make a lovely statement of who you are.

This bouquet features purple veronica, hydrangea, and delicate light-blue tweedia.

 

 

 

 

The white bouquet is the most classic of wedding palettes. Symbolizing innocence, purity, and newness, white also symbolizes the start of a married couple’s life together.  With so many varieties of white flowers available, traditional need not mean predictable.  White can easily transform from casual to formal, and from classic to contemporary.  This color can be a star on its own to create an elegant all-white wedding, or it can be a supporting role as the perfect neutral complement to colored flowers.   There are many variations of white, bright white, natural white, ivory, cream, alabaster, bone, and can be accented with hints of color, either in cool blues and greens or warmer yellows and pinks.

You can’t go wrong with an all-white bouquet.  This bouquet features white peonies, with Italian ruscus.  Very simple, yet extremely elegant, and oh so fragrant!

 

Fresh flowers will enhance your wedding in every way, but the one everyone will remember is the Bride’s bouquet.

Choosing the flowers for your bouquet will be one of the most pleasant pre-wedding experiences that you will have.

Your florist should be able to create a unique bouquet that will be perfect for you, one that expresses your personality, and one that will be comfortable for you to carry throughout your ceremony.  It will be the most photographed floral arrangement of the day, and it should complement you and your gown in every way.

The most recent trend has been for a simple round hand-tied bouquet on natural stems.  The advantage of this bouquet is not only does it look beautiful and natural, but it always photographs well, however they are held.  The natural, just-picked look of flowers has also been popular, as well as the inclusion of herbs in a bouquet, such as lavender, rosemary, sage, lemon balm, myrtle, and scented eucalyptus.

To gain insight into the bouquet that you think you would like, browse through wedding magazines and books and look for ideas and flowers that appeal to you.  After a while, you will start to build up an idea of the design you like.  This will make it easier for you to explain the bouquet that you want to your florist, and it will help make it possible for your florist to create the bouquet of your dreams.

The one thing I always tell my Bride’s is “be sure you get the bouquet you want.  This is your special day, and all eyes will be on you.”  You can always cut costs somewhere else, but your bouquet is a reflection of you and who you are.

 

Generally, bouquet shapes fall into five categories, Nosegay, Posy, Round, Hand-tied, and Cascade.

The nosegay bouquet is approximately 16-18 inches in diameter, and is a densely packed mound of flowers, greenery, and sometimes herbs.  Both simple and elegant, this bouquet works best with compact blooms such as roses, ranunculus, calla lilies, and tulips.  You can mix and match the flowers or use only one variety.  The nosegay is ideal for nearly every style of wedding, and can be dressed up or down, depending on your choice of flowers and stem treatments.

The Posy is smaller than a nosegay, but similar in design.  It is perfect for little hands, or for a bridesmaid’s bouquet, and is usually made with smaller bloomed flowers.

The round bouquet is similar in style to a nosegay but usually larger.  The classic round bouquet usually contains large flowers loosely arranged.  It is a good option for the bride in a formal wedding that wants something bolder than a nosegay, but less conspicuous than a cascading bouquet.

The hand-tied bouquet is a bunch of blooms casually hand-tied with a ribbon.  This type of bouquet works best in an informal wedding since it has a just-picked natural look.  A mix of garden flowers or French tulips can give a simple yet elegant look for a spring wedding.

The cascade bouquet or shower bouquet is the most formal and traditional of the bridal bouquets.  It is often composed of blooms that are wired to “cascade” or shower gracefully over the bride’s hands.  Petite brides should pass on this bouquet, as it can be potentially overwhelming.

To find the perfect bouquet for you, think in terms of an overall style.  Simple, natural, or romantic.  A simple bouquet, either in a traditional or modern sense, can work for almost any wedding style.  Simple may have only one variety of flower.  A dainty posy of staphanotis, the most classic of wedding flowers is subtle and elegant.

A natural bouquet is more freely styled, loosely arranged, and is ideal for semi-formal or informal weddings.  Natural can include sunflowers, zinnias or a variety of seasonal flowers.  Herbs can be mixed in along with numerous grasses and pods providing a wildflower look.

A romantic bouquet is lush and overflowing, and can be tailored to many wedding styles.  Think of a bouquet with a mix of peonies and David Austin garden roses, parrot tulips or frilly sweet peas.  A romantic bouquet can also be complemented with berry accents and swirling tendrils of ivy or other greenery.  Of course, these styles are always open to interpretation and adaptation.


Your bridal bouquet will be the most special handful of flowers you will ever hold. And, like the gorgeous gal carrying it, your bouquet will be the center of attention.

Your bouquet is part accessory, part medium for self –expression, and part work of art. Your bouquet will give an indication of the style of the celebration. It’s style should echo your own, while complementing that of your wedding. Your bouquet will establish the style of the rest of your wedding flowers. For example, the groom will most likely wear a boutonniere made from one of the flower varieties in your bouquet, and while your bouquet will be grander than your maids’, theirs will borrow from its shape, varieties, and palette.

For the best possible bouquet choose flower varieties that are long-lasting without water, and durable. Your bouquet will be in motion and handled throughout the day. Next, decide on color. All white has always been the most traditional, however, your bouquet should reflect your personality. If you are fun loving and adventurous, then anything goes!

When choosing your bouquets shape, consider the formality of your gown and body type. Generally, voluptuous brides should go with bigger bouquets, as small nosegays might seem out of proportion. Petite brides should pass on the grand bouquets, as their tiny figures might get lost behind a sea of flowers.

Whether classic, glamorous, sophisticated, or playful, your bouquet can be as individual, and beautiful, as you are.

In the Victorian language of flowers the Carnation is symbolic of admiration, and pure love. Why then has it become almost obsolete in the wedding bouquet?
The carnation has become an outcast in the flower industry, mainly because people view it as a cheap funeral flower, but the carnation is not the cheap flower that it used to be, there are so many advantages that are often overlooked.

The best advantage is that it gives great value for the price, and comes in a wide range of colors. They are also extremely long lasting, and have a wonderful fragrance. Their soft ruffled edges give bouquets texture and visual interest.

Can’t afford hydrangeas? Carnations when massed together can mimic the look of hydrangeas, and will last twice as long! Massed flowers of one type have recently been the most popular choice for weddings and are perhaps one of the most successful options because they photograph well.

So don’t be too quick to discount the lonely carnation. It may just be the flower you need to express YOUR admiration and love!

We just returned from the Wedding MBA in Las Vegas where picked up on some of the new trends in the wedding business.  One of the newest trends is wedding Painting.

Have you ever wished that you could capture your wedding day in a portrait?  Well now you can.   The new trend is wedding painting.  Just what is wedding painting?  It is where you commission an artist to paint a picture of your wedding day, complete with guests and all!  What makes this painting special is that you will have a quality work of art that you can hang on your wall depicting your wedding day, without having to bring out the wedding photos.  It is something that you will cherish forever.

Wedding painting can’t be done by just anyone.  You will need to find a skilled and talented artist that can capture the essence of your wedding in a couple of hours.  Not an easy feat for just anyone!  Your best bet for finding an artist who is able to paint your wedding is to visit galleries or visit artist associations.  They most likely will be able to refer you to an artist that will have the capability of wedding painting.

Secret Window is able to provide you with a wedding painter for your special day.   Instead of the typical girls night out bachelorette party, consider having a painting party, where each of your guests will walk away with their very own painting.  If you would like to find out more, come and visit us at Secret Window Art Gallery and Floral Studio in Monument Colorado.

Originally, the term tussie was defined as a knot of flowers, and mussie referred to a clump of moist moss used to keep the flowers fresh. During the Victorian Era, these small bouquets became a means of communication. The language of flowers became an integral part of the social life. This was a very romantic time in civilization, and the floral tussie mussie incorporated romance into everyday life.

The traditional tussie mussie of the Victorian era is still used today. It may be the bridal bouquet or a bouquet for the bridesmaid. A smaller version may be used as an alternative to the traditional Mother-of-the-bride corsage. With the proper material choices, a tussie mussie can tell a virtual story of the relationship of the bride and groom.

We are Monument’s premier florist specializing in weddings and events. We also service Palmer Lake, Larkspur, Jackson Creek, Black Forest, and Colorado Springs. Our promise to you is that you will receive beautiful, thoughtful and fresh flowers for your wedding or special event. Because we tailor our work to each individual, we choose not to be part of Teleflora or FTD. Please give us a call to place your flower order or to schedule your wedding consultation.

I love it when brides get creative and share a bit of their personality in their wedding centerpieces.  The right table decor can tie together the sincerity of the ceremony with the celebratory atmosphere of the reception.  There are so many fun options these days whether it be homemade, vintage or chic, the possibilities are endless!  All it takes is a little creativity!  Remember, some wedding centerpieces compliment a wedding theme, while others are meant to be a focal point of the day.  Knowing the difference is the key!

Secret Window was honored to accept the Peoples Choice Award for best tablescape arrangement at the Zonta Glass Slipper Ball on January 28, at the Crowne Plaza in Colorado Springs.   We were among some of Colorado Springs finest florists who contributed their creative designs to the annual event which was attended by many prominent business people in the area.

This year we decided to do something really different and unusual.  I have always been a big fan of foliage arrangements.  There are so many different colors and textures of foliage available on the market these days that you can create almost anything.  With a little thought and creativity, you’d be amazed at what you can do with it!  Not only did we have fun making them, but it was also a kick to watch everyone check them out.  Yes, there were two, a boy and a girl!

 

December is by far the most popular month for guys to pop the question.  Is it because they are looking for that special gift for that special girl and are influenced by all the diamond and jewelry commercials at this time of year? is it because they are feeling a little sentimental?

The month of December brings about so many different feelings for so many people.  Most view it as a very happy time of year filled with lots of activity and the frenzy of shopping.  December brings families together from near and far, and what better time than this to share the news of the upcoming nuptials.

If you don’t get the ring you want this Christmas, don’t worry.  New Year’s Eve is the second most popular day to get engaged, and don’t forget, there’s always Valentines Day!

Planning a wedding takes  a lot of time, time that you may not have.  There are so many details to deal with, from the dress to the venue, and everything in between.  Maybe Mom can only get away for one day, and you need to squeeze everything into a Saturday afternoon.

We would like to make your time a little more effective.   Secret Window and  Wild Flours Confections are now able to offer you the convenience of having your floral and cake consultation in one place.  No need to run around town with time constraints.

Wild Flours Confections specializes in gourmet cupcakes, and incredible, edible art!  I had the pleasure of tasting her cupcakes this week, and they looked positively gorgeous, and tasted amazing!

So brides, if you are looking to save time by combining two consultations in one place,  give us a call at 719-481-9600 to schedule your appointment.  June weddings are booking quickly, so don’t wait too long, give us a call today!

It is an honor to be chosen as the Best Man at a wedding. Many times the decision is a difficult one, does the Groom choose his brother or his best friend since grade school? No matter who is chosen, make sure that they are responsible and able to handle all the responsibilities that come with the position.

Before the ceremony, the Best Man helps the Groom get ready and must be absolutely sure that he has the marriage license with him. If he forgets this, there will be no wedding, and that is trouble from the very beginning. He should get the ministers fee from the Groom and give this money to the minister privately following the ceremony. It is also the Best Man’s responsibility to look after the little guy, the ring bearer, and make sure that he explains to him what he is supposed to do. He assists with car arrangements and luggage arrangements for after the reception, and make sure that the Groom has all necessary tickets and travel documents. Before the ceremony, the Best Man should tell the ushers which ladies will be receiving corsages and make sure that thy don’t seat them before they are pinned on. The Best Man should arrive at the reception first so that he can welcome the Bride and Groom. So no riding in the limo together. If you do, drop him off first and have him go in ahead of you. In fact, send everyone in ahead of you so that you newlyweds can share a private moment together before heading inside to a reception full of people who won’t leave you alone for the next four hours! The Best Man should make the first toast at both the reception, and the rehearsal dinner, and hopefully, he won’t make one that will embarass you to death. He also should help the Groom get ready to leave the reception. And last but not least, he should make arrangements for flowers to be delivered to the Newlywed’s honeymoon suite.

So it’s not all party after all for the Best Man. If he’s on top of things he will ensure that the day runs smoothly from beginning to end. After it’s all over, he can sit back relax and give himself a big pat on the back for a job well done.

I was asked to add additional information about event or wedding painters which is a West Coast trend moving East.  Live event artists such as A.T. Archuleta (Secret Window Gallery) will complete your oil painting in approximately 4-6 hours.  Although most wedding painters paint with acrylics because of their short drying time, Archuleta prefers oils because it adds more luminosity.  The trade off with an oil painting is that it usually takes a couple of weeks for it be dry enough to glaze and be delivered to the bride and groom.  Archuleta also recommends putting a varnish on the painting after four to six months.  This will add to the archival capability and beauty of your oil painting.

I recommend that you look at several  paintings of the artist you choose so that you feel comfortable with their talent and ability to capture your special moment.  Not all painters are equal!

The artist should schedule a meeting with you to discuss the details of your event including day, location, and time. You should choose which special moment of your celebration you would like captured in the painting such as the ceremony or reception.  The reception is preferable since it allows more time for the artist to capture the feeling of the event.  The artist should arrive approximately two hours before the start of your event to set up the blank canvas and begin laying out the scene, and filling in the background.  The artist will continue working through your event capturing the look of your guests, including the bride and groom, and the overall beauty of the location as the moments unfold.

As your celebration progresses, the artist will finalize the details on the painting. Your guests will love to take a look at the work in progress and will be fascinated by how quickly the painting evolves.  A wedding painter is a great way to add entertainment to your event and give you a lasting memory.  The cost of a talented event painter ranges from $1500 – $3000 on up.

 

Planning a wedding is a lot of work.  It is easier when everyone involved takes care of their responsibilities, however, many don’t know what their job entails.  Maintaining traditional etiquette in this area can often eliminate frustrations, hurt feelings, and ruffled feathers.   We will help you identify who is responsible for what here.  This week we will start with the primary responsibilities of the Mother of the Bride.

First and foremost, the Mother of the Bride should help the Bride and Groom set a wedding budget.  Once that task is done it’s off to the fun stuff, Shopping!!  She should accompany the Bride and help her pick  out her wedding attire.  She should also select the gown that she will be wearing to the ceremony as quickly as possible, and then inform the Mother of the Groom of the color and style so that the two can coordinate without duplicating.  The Mother of the Bride should help create a guest list for the wedding, get a list from the Groom’s family, and assist the bride in ordering the invitations.  It is also the Mother of the Bride’s responsibility to accommodate her out-of-town guests.

This is just the beginning of the wedding party responsibilities.   Next we will cover the responsibilities of the Mother of the Groom so stay tuned for more!

 

The most frequent etiquette question regarding wedding flowers is who pays for what?  Traditionally, the costs are shared as follows:

The Bride and/or her family are responsible for the Bridesmaid Bouquets, Flower Girl Bouquets, Grandmother Corsages  & Ceremony/Reception Flowers.

The Groom and/or his family are responsible for the Brides Bouquet, Mother’s Corsages, Groom’s Boutonniere and all other Boutonnieres.

Many do not know the history of “who pays for what” and find it quite interesting.  While tradition dictates the breakdown, it does not mean that the costs must be shared in this manner.  Often the bride’s family pays for all of the flowers.  While today’s wedding couples are a little older and more established, many choose to pay for the flowers and the complete wedding themselves.

I was asked to show our Walk-in Cooler located in the floral studio within the Fine Art Gallery…  So here it is! At Secret Window you can walk in with the flowers and pick what you want or we can custom make an arrangement to your liking.  We can create something for your intimate dinner or large party…

We are busy at Secret Window with Holiday parties.  One of our our most recent Christmas parties consisted of multiple large arrangements.  Three of those arrangements were made up of three dozen extra long white roses in clear glass pedestal vases creating an elegant look and an atmosphere of elegance for the evening affair.  The hidden lights brightened the arrangements and added an element of intrigue  to the evening.   What a joy to be able to create something on a grand scale!

Fresh Cut Arrangement – Green & Blooming Plants – Wedding & Corporate Events

Secret Window Floral is full functioning Floral Studio that offers the Palmer Lake, Woodmoor, Jackson Creek and the town of Monument fresh flowers and floral designs for all occasions, along with green and blooming plants that enhance the beautiful paintings that hang throughout the spacious territorial style building. The walk-in floral cooler that is open to customers is filled with gorgeous fresh floral arrangements and a selection of loose flowers allowing for customized bouquets for patrons.

Call 719.481.9600 to place an order

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