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20 In DIY Projects/ Flowers/ Inspiration

Pantone’s Living Coral-Inspired DIY Bouquet

By now you’ve probably heard that Pantone’s Color of the Year is Living Coral. It is everywhere, especially in florals. The vibrant hue draws inspiration from below the sea, hence the name, and captures glowing tones rarely seen above water. Thankfully, with the help of artificial flowers, you can have the best of both worlds – any color, any season, any flower!

LeAnne Samuelson, Creative Director at Afloral, loves using pops of coral in her DIY bouquet arrangements. According to LeAnne…

Sometimes I come across a color or combination and I love it. It’s not always planned but I see the colors together out in nature or online and I throw it all together. You just get a feeling!

By pairing complimenting colors (coral & white) you add dimension. Samuelson shared with us her steps for this DIY bouquet, choosing white dahlias, cherry blossoms, coral & peach roses, and salal greenery. You can also use artificial flowers (Afloral has all those shown), or you can opt for real flowers or even paper flowers. Same steps for all.


Step 1: Find your focal flowers. Whatever catches your eye – color or texture – start there.

Step 2: Build around the focal point. Let it grow organically.

Step 3: Tape away! Samuelson uses floral tape every time she adds a new stem – it allows her to finetune later on.

Step 4. Keep the stems long and don’t trim till the end – you can change their heights later.

Step 5. Add your greenery. Fill in wherever could use a little love!

Step 6: Top it off with a ribbon or simply drop it in a vase for decoration.


Hopefully, these steps will encourage you to take a chance and try to make your own bouquet. You may decide you still want to leave the actual wedding bouquets up to the professionals but at the very least, this could be a fun activity with your bridesmaids. And who knows… maybe you’ll surprise yourself with something great!

0 In After The Wedding Is Over/ Flowers

How to Preserve the Bouquet After the Wedding is Over

When I got married over 12 years ago, wedding planning was a lot different. Wedding blogs weren’t really a thing yet. The only wedding shows you could attend took place in a banquet hall and were filled with cheesy DJs and big box bridal store fashions. Boy have things changed! Back then the ‘on trend’ way to preserve your wedding bouquet was to let the flowers dry out, then mix up this goo to spray them with, “preserving” them as a dusty, dried-up reminder of your wedding day. Even my wedding photos were before digital was really a thing so each frame of film was slightly precious. With digital, photographers are more free to shoot liberally and that includes getting gorgeous detail shots of things like the flowers that can be hung up as art long after the party is over. Another way you can have a keepsake of those gorgeous florals is with the ever growing trend of custom bouquet paintings.


Bari J. is an artist that I have known of for many years, not from her bouquet paintings but because of her fabric designs. My mom is a quilter and passed on that love of sewing to me. From a young age, she taught me to sew. She made her own wedding dress so it only seemed natural that I do the same when I got married. When I’m looking for fun projects to sew, whether it is a pillow for the living room or a dress for my daughter, I love bright, bold fabrics. That is exactly what Bari J. designs. She is first and foremost a painter. It is from those paintings that her fabric designs are created. When I saw that she was also taking commissions for custom bouquet paintings I was so excited. Prices for these custom originals range from $225-$690 which is actually a great price for a custom piece of art.



I love how gestural her brushstrokes are. She has also been working a lot with thick textures in her paintings too which are even more amazing. Her Instagram feed is a constant source of happiness.  Continue Reading →

3 In Flowers/ Paper Goods

Hand-Made Monday: Paper Flowers from This Lovely Day


{Nicole Bieber in her Raleigh, North Carolina studio}

Let’s face it — wedding flowers can be expensive. That reality, combined with the fact that they rarely last longer than the wedding day itself, has caused some creative brides to seek out alternatives to live flowers. One such bride was Nicole Bieber, a crafter-turned Etsy Seller who now sells her paper flower creations in her shop, This Lovely Day, to customers in the U.S. and worldwide.

Nicole’s delicate paper flowers come in all sizes and colors, and can be used for bouquets, boutonnieres, table decorations and much, much more (I’m imagining a large paper-flower ceremony back-drop installation…) — not to mention the fact that since they do not die, they can make great home decorations long after the wedding is over! Nicole was kind enough to answer some of my questions about her work.

{Paper Flower Bouquet in Jade}

CV: How did you get started making your paper creations?

NB: I have always loved crafting and handmade decorations.  My husband and I got married last June.  We had a very small wedding and wanted all of our decorations to be handmade.  I created paper decorations for our wedding that we now display in our home. Our wedding was totally handmade — anything we didn’t make was from an Etsy shop owner.  I loved it and I wouldn’t have done it any other way.


{Large Paper Flower Bouquet in Yellow}

CV: Where do you draw inspiration for your work?

NB: I enjoy browsing scrap stores to look for paper with interesting patterns or textures or old wallpaper.  I also like to read wedding blogs to find interesting color schemes that I want to use in my work.

CV: What are some of your favorite materials/types of paper to work with?

NB: I like to use heavy weight paper because it makes the flowers sturdy.  It is important to me to create bouquets that will last.  I also really like the look that textured paper gives to the flowers.

CV: What five words best describe your work?

NB: Handmade, Unique, Colorful, Creative, Fun

{Multi-Color Paper Flower Bouquet}

CV: What’s your favorite part of being a designer/creative artist in the wedding industry?

NB: I get to work with customers from all over the world to create beautiful bouquets.  I love hearing how my customers are using their flowers, helping them decide on what colors to use in their bridal bouquets, or creating a totally custom order for someone who has a very specific vision.

CV: What are some new/emerging trends you’re seeing in paper products at weddings?

NB: I have been getting a lot of requests for peach, cream, and tangerine colored flowers for weddings.  I’ve also made lots of paper flower boutonnieres which I love.


{Bulk Paper Flowers}

CV: Are you working on any new projects?

NB: I currently have solid colored flowers in my Etsy shop.  I am finishing up some flowers made out of patterned wallpaper and some flowers made out of book pages.

CV: What are some of the most creative ways you’ve seen your flowers/creations used?

NB: I had an order for 100 paper flowers that were going to be used to decorate the children’s wing in a hospital.  I’ve also seen them given out as wedding favors.


{Multi-Color Paper Flower Bouquet}

CV: Do you create custom pieces?

NB: Absolutely!  Most of my work is custom.  I have found that most of my customers are ordering for a very specific occasion and have different requests.  Each piece is made completely by hand once I receive an order.

CV: What is/are your favorite piece(s) you’ve created?

NB: I recently made some very bright yellow, jade green and coral bridesmaids bouquets that were so fun!  I loved the colors.

CV: Thanks, Nicole for taking the time to answer some questions for us! Be sure to visit Nicole’s Etsy Shop and Blog!

Corinne Van Arsdale is a Wedding Coordinator based in Madison, Wisconsin and serving Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago. Check out her website, blog, Facebook and Pinterest. If you know of a small business/hand-crafter you’d like to recommend for a feature on Handmade Monday, email Corinne at

0 In Accessories/ Beauty/ Flowers/ The Bride/ Vendors

Hand-Made Monday: Intricate Hair Accessories from The Honeycomb

{White Flower Hair Crown}

Now more than ever, brides are feeling the freedom to move away from long-held traditions and expectations about how they should look on their wedding day. For example, more and more brides are embracing alternatives to the classic wedding veil and opting for intricate and hand-made hair accessories to complete their wedding day style — like the lovely and delicate floral creations of The Honeycomb.


{A little sneak peak at Blanche’s studio}

“What you create is an expression of how you see the world,” says owner/designer, Blanche Kern, “and my world is pretty beautiful.”  This creative world-view translates beautifully into The Honeycomb’s lovely and feminine hair pieces, which she sells in the U.S. and world-wide, and she was kind enough to answer some my questions (below) about her work!

CV: How did you get started making hair pieces?

BK: I have been making hair accessories since I was a child. As soon as I learned how to sew, I was making ribbon hair bows for all of my cousins, best friends, and dolls. When I discovered Etsy in 2008, I was in college and also working part-time in retail; a job that left me feeling empty and uninspired. Interestingly, the classes I took to become a graphic designer have significantly improved my skills a headpiece designer. I had no way of knowing when I began working with flowers that it would turn into a full-time business!

{Pink Hair Pins}

CV: Where do you draw inspiration for your work?

BK: I browse a lot of magazines to watch the current trends in floral headpiece design. At the present time, silk flower adornments are extremely popular with brides all over the world. You can’t open a wedding magazine or browse a wedding blog without examples jumping off the page at you. They are even more popular now than when I began my work four years ago; which is exciting for me, of course!

CV: What five words best describe your work?

BK: Whimsical, romantic, fanciful, beautiful, woodsy

CV: What is your favorite part of being a designer/creator of hair pieces?

BK: There isn’t a day when I walk into my studio, look around at all my materials spilling out of their boxes and think, gosh I don’t want to go to work today. It just doesn’t happen!

{Lilac Flower Clip}

CV: Describe your ideal customer:

BK: I am excited when a bride comes to me and has no idea of what kind of accessory she wants to wear. She usually has her dress picked, and she knows she wants to wear flowers. But should it be a clip, a wreath, a veil? That is where I come in, to ask the probing questions: are you getting married in a church setting, or outdoors under the trees? Is the wedding theme going to be vintage, or woodsy, or classic? Is there a lot of lace or sparkle in the rest of the decor? This information-gathering helps us both put the bride’s vision for her headwear into words and a plan.

CV: Do you create custom hair pieces?

BK: I love custom orders! I always encourage brides to pick a handful of examples of my past work which they really love, and after discussing, I can design a unique headpiece which combines the various elements that they like best.

CV: What should a bride consider before buying a hair piece? (Does she need to decide on a hairstyle first?)

BK: It’s helpful for me to know what her wedding theme is going to be. It helps me guide her in the right direction for the “look” of her hairpiece. Knowing your hairstyle is also helpful for me: if she’s going to wear a full updo, I need to know, so I can make her wreath a larger circumference.

{Mustard Seed Circlet}

CV: Are all of your customers brides?

BK: I sell mostly to brides/bridesmaids/flower girls, although my pieces are popular for proms, theatre, re-enactments, cocktail parties, anniversaries, etc.

CV: What is/are your favorite piece(s) you’ve created?

BK: Trying to pick a favorite design is like asking a parent to pick a favorite child. Naturally, I love them all!

CV: Thanks, Blanche for taking the time to answer my questions! Be sure to visit The Honeycomb on Etsy for more beautiful hair pieces.

Do you know of a great small wedding business you’d like to see featured on Hand-Made Monday? I’d love to hear about it! Send me an email at

0 In Contests & Giveaways/ Flowers/ Photography

Chicago florist and photographer team up to celebrate your love story.

Well hello there! My name’s Janessa Knodt. I run a little floral endeavor called Forget Me Knodt.

I spend my days making lovely things like this:

Photo courtesy of Michael Rastall Photography

…and am always thrilled to be a part of joyful moments like this:

Photo courtesy of David Turner Photography

But enough about me. This post is really about you! And the fact that I’m part of a pretty fantastic giveaway that can greatly benefit you! Here’s the skinny:

I’ve teamed up with super-genius / super-sweet photographer Robert Johnson of Rojo Foto // Design to give Chicago couples a chance to win an amazing wedding package including full photography, plus all personals + ceremony florals, for FREE. It’s called the Love Never Fails Giveaway.

Pretty groovy, right?

All you have to do, basically, is tell us your love story. We’re reading through piles of them and will continue to accept submissions until midnight on February 29th. The winning couple will be announced on March 12th.

You can learn more and enter the contest by clicking here.

And please, spread the word! We LOVE a good love story, and can’t wait to hear yours!

0 In Flowers

Hi- My Name is Becca Blue- and I Love Flowers

When my brother and I were small, my mother’s favorite and most cruel punishment when we were naughty (which you know, was hardly ever!) was an allotted time spent weeding our gardens. If we didn’t pull everything up from the roots…more time was added. The horror! As I grumbled or whimpered about the absolute unfairness of my situations sitting in the dirt, in our garden- cursing the weeds and their ubiquitous roots; I didn’t realize I was learning. Learning about who was supposed to belong there, and who was uninvited. What shapes went well with each other- which colors complimented each other- which flowers just flowed from one to the next.  Learning about something I would love.  (DO NOT share this with my mother….)

There are countless  photos of me holding freshly picked (weed free!) posies to take to teachers or to friends houses throughout the years.  At college, I was on a first name basis with the school’s head gardener (that is normal, right?) to share in his tulip triumphs, daffodil dilemmas and yes,  his weeding woes-picking up on tips and tid-bits along the way.  My first landlord thought I was a lunatic for spending so much time in the patch of “backyard” planting and potting and plotting my own little garden.

It seems that flowers, although not always in the forefront, have always been present, weaving and winding themselves through my life.  I was over the moon when a florist I had long admired asked if I would like to come and work for her.  To learn.  To discover something that has been with me all the while- I love flowers.

When I started out on my own, I  seemed to naturally gravitate towards weddings.  I love the dreaming and planning that comes part & parcel with preparing for a wedding.  Creating a uniqueness that belongs to one couple- a pair of new friends- and to experience an intimacy that is shared with so many people is really an amazing experience.

I am humbled and overjoyed when a bride asks me to be a part of her wedding day. I am honored to be a part of  Indie Wed.

After all this time, who would have thought that my path would be the garden path?  Leading me right down the aisle to so many wonderful weddings, beautiful brides- and perhaps to you.  Stop by on Saturday and say hi- we can talk all about flowers and weddings, and even weeds- if you want.

Pictures of the lovely ladies courtesy of these photographers.  1) Rich Chapman Photography,  2) JPP Studios, 3) Kenny Kim Photography, 4) Mark Hensel Photography  (Thank you!)


0 In Flowers/ Inspiration/ Website

A Year in Review for Reenie Rose

Phew, we made it through the first week of 2012.

For the past couple of weeks, everyone has been reminiscing about the past year while preparing for the year ahead of us.  I would be lying if I said I wasn’t doing the same.  This week has been about analyzing, reviewing and planning for 2012…and Indie Wed especially.  The thing is, we can’t help but look back on the past in order to plan for our future.  That being said, I am going to do my part and pay gratitude to all that made 2011 possible for Reenie Rose….it only seems right and a form of good karma for 2012.

So, here’s a year in review for Reenie Rose:


Kara & Mike

Florist:  Kehoe Designs

Photographer:  Rick Aguilar



 Rachel & Jason



Carrie & Bill

Florist: Event Creative

Photographer:  Studio This Is



Kelly & Andrew

Florist: Grapevine Floral



Paula Jean &  Brian

Florist:  Kehoe Designs

Photographer:   Stuart Rodgers Photography 



Laura & D.R.

Florist:  Elegant Creations

Photographer:   Brad Photographers and Video 



 Maureen & Kevin

Florist: Pistil and Vine

Photographer:  Darcy Demmel Photography



Sarah & Ernest

Florist: Blumen Design

Photographer:  Jaclyn Simpson Photography



 The paintings are lovely, but the vendors I work with are fantastic.  The people I continue to surround myself with are the ones that are helping to build Reenie Rose to it’s potential.

Just think, by the end of this year, I’ll have completed a full calendar’s worth…and then some.  2013 Reenie Rose calendars….I like that idea.  Is it too early to place orders?