Photo Shoot : An Orchid Inspired Bridal Shower in a Walnut Grove

I can't even begin to express how lucky I am to work with such amazing vendors each month. And, the designs for the wedding vendor challenge this month have totally blown me away. PLUS, pink and purple happen to be my favorite colors :) Today, I have a spectacular display from Kim of Something Floral and the most creative idea for guests favors. Wait until you see!!!!! Let's get started and I'll turn the blog over to Kim as she explains her design ideas behind this shoot as well as the flowers that she incorporated . . .

This sunny, summer afternoon bridal shower was set in rural Michigan, at a private residence in their picturesque walnut grove where tall trees provided shade. And, a hint of sun with yellow rays of light peeking through the lush green leaves created natural spotlights across the grounds. Orchid patterned invitations from Papermints set the mood for stately elegance and provided a visual hint to guests that there would be more orchids and purple, pink, and grey to come at the shower.

I wanted the welcome/guestbook table to coordinate with the dining tables but not replicate them exactly so while I used a table of the same size and shape, I chose purple as the dominant color, pink as the secondary color, and silver as the accent. The table linen was a standard, polyester table cloth in plum, but I wanted the table to have some "wow factor" since it was the first table guests would see when they arrived and it would set the mood for the rest of the shower décor. Therefore, I surrounded the edge of the table with realistic, faux/permanent, Phalaenopsis orchids in an eggplant color. I wanted to pull visual focus to the top of the table, where the guestbook, favors, and welcome cookies were displayed, so as to not complete with those items, I used orchids in a color close to the linen color.

The welcome/guestbook table also contained a cookie stand brimming with petite butter cookies which were decorated with dainty pink and violet roses. Metallic paper doilies were added to each later of the clear stand for a hint of silver. Miniature, faux/permanent, violet Phalaenopsis orchids were placed and suspended in the center pillars of the cookie stand for an extra pop of color and to enhance the orchid theme.

Besides the impressive display of orchids around the edge of the welcome/guestbook table, other flowers accented the center of the table. A variety of artisan-crafted earrings, custom created by a local jewelry designer, were offered to guests as favors. After guests arrived and signed the guest book, they were encouraged to select a silver gift box (tied with pink satin ribbon) and their favorite pair of earrings from the 40+ pairs on display on a jewelry holder floral arrangement. The jewelry display arrangement consisted of two, ivory jewelry holders that were first painted silver to match the shower's color palette, and decorated with two layers of fresh roses (Thrill variety), spray roses (Blue Moon, Majolika, Hot Majolika, and Lovely Lydia varieties), violet and lavender stock, and salal. No surface was left undetailed, as the base of the bottom layer featured pink striped ribbon and three rows of hot pink sequins. Two stems of realistic, faux/permanent, candy striped, Phalaenopsis orchids were floral taped together and placed in the arrangement in the center of the earring holder so that the earrings spiraled around them. 

For the primary tablescapes, I chose grey and silver as the dominant color, purple as the secondary color, and pink as the accent. Since the topper would be most visible to shower guests, I splurged on a grey and silver one that was both embroidered and sequined while choosing a standard, more economical, plum, polyester tablecloth as the base linen. Silver, satin pillowcase style chair covers were used to coordinate with the silver and grey topper, and the chair cover backs were accented with hot pink, ruffled, millinery rose accents. The napkins were plum, polyester to coordinate with the base linen, and instead of using a standard napkin ring, I opted to make napkin rings using a beautiful, hot pink, pleated satin and velvet ribbon that I purchased from a fabric store. The satin pleats of the ribbon coordinated well with the satin border on the table topper and satin chair covers, and the velvet added a surprising (for summer) touch of lux that was perfect for an elegant shower. A beaded brooch was pinned to each napkin ring for a hint of sparkle, and a darling, moss-covered table number sat atop each dining table to help guests find their assigned location.

Each place setting on the primary tablescape consisted of antique china and antique crystal. Silvertone placecard frames accessorized with pink crystals held orchid print placecards and marked each guest's reserved seat. Instead of a formal dessert table, bright pink frosted cupcakes wrapped in silver, crystal and sequin accented cupcake wrappers (made from silver metallic, paper doilies), were placed at each guest's table setting atop silverplate pillar candle stands.

The main tablescape centerpiece was a two-layer, topiary style design created in a tall, silver, ceramic vase and featured realistic, faux/permanent, eggplant, raspberry, and pastel pink Phalaenopsis orchids cascading from the top while the base of the orchid stems were surrounded by fresh roses (Thrill variety), spray roses (Blue Moon, Majolika, Hot Majolika, and Lovely Lydia varieties), violet and lavender stock, and salal.  Phalaenopsis orchids, frequently referred to as moth orchids because of their bloom's shape, add a touch of elegance to any setting. They are pricey (both fresh and realistic, high quality faux), but their arched multi-bloom stems are graceful and sophisticated, and only a few stems are needed to add panache to an arrangement.

ADVICE FROM KIM: A mixture of fresh and faux florals were used together throughout this photoshoot to demonstrate the option and versatility of using both together. I frequently suggest this option to our clients who have a favorite flower that will be out of season at the time of their special event and also to clients who want pricey floral varieties in their bouquets and arrangements but who don't have the budget to use pricey blooms throughout their décor. One word of caution, however. When mixing fresh and faux/permanent botanicals, it is absolutely critical to use the most realistic, highest quality permanent botanicals available, as a person's eye will naturally be drawn to anything that looks out of place in a bouquet or arrangement. Low quality flowers are not realistic and will stick out like a sore thumb, especially amidst fresh flowers. If you want faux flowers to be believable and to mix harmoniously with fresh flowers, they MUST look realistic.

DIY GOODIE : How-to create your own cupcake wrappers from paper doilies with a bit of bling

Why buy cupcake wraps when you can quickly and easily make your own? Here are the materials and tools you will need, which can all be purchased at your local craft or baking supply store:
• 10 inch paper doilies in the color of your choice (silver metallic shown in the example)
• Cupcake papers/liners in the color of your choice
• Flatback crystals, rhinestones, sequins or other decorative items and trim
• Scissors
• Hot Glue Gun
• Glue Sticks
• Optional: Stapler and staples, double-sided tape, or scrapbook adhesive squares
(if you prefer instead of the hot glue gun)

Vendors:
• Styling, Coordination, Floral Designs, and Cupcake Wrapper Designs: Something Floral / Something Spectacular, Warren, MI
• Stationery and Paper Goods: Papermints, Studio City, CA
• Photography: Urban Fire Studio, Center Line, M
• Linen Rentals: Fabulous Events, Waterford, MI
• Earrings / Jewelry Favors: Shining Moment, Clawson, MI
• Silvertone Earring Boxes: Notable Notions, Los Angeles, CA
• Moss-Covered Table Number: White Tulip Boutique, Connecticut
• Silver Paper Doilies, Magenta Metallic Cupcake Papers, and Royal Icing Flowers: Heinrich's Decorating Nook, Center Line, MI
• Petite Butter Cookies: Jonesville Bakery, Jonesville, MI
• Cupcakes: Kroger, Hillsdale, MI
• Earring Stands, Napkin Ring Fabric, Napkin Brooches, Pink Photo Guest Book, and All Frames (Placecard and Welcome Table): JoAnn Fabrics
• Guest Book Pen: Hobby Lobby
• Location, antique china, and antique crystal glassware: Private Residence, Hillsdale, MI