Wedding Winter Wonderland

Isela and George were married at St. Hyacinth Basilica in Chicago and had their reception at Intercontinental Hotel Chicago-Ohare in Rosemont near O'hare Airport. Their colors were white, navy and pewter and there was a subtle winter-wonderland theme throughout. From the Snowflake ornament favors to the icy branches in the tall centerpieces to their monogram in a was a delicate but perfect touch for an early January 2010 affair. Let me start by saying that I loved working with Isela and George and Isela was one of the most organized brides ever! You would never guess that this busy couple planned their stunning wedding in only a few short months! Everything turned out so great! For the personal flowers, Isela wanted a traditional all-white bouquet with some bling inside. I made a richly textured mix of hydrangea, freesia, stock, Stephanotis, lisianthus and mini callas with a navy handle and bling both in the bouquet and on the handle itself as well. The girls carried a smaller version of the bridal bouquet sans Stephanotis and with dark blue delphinium added to the mix to accent their navy dresses. Their handles were wrapped in pewter to contrast. The bouts and corsages for the event were AWESOME and consisted of callas and orchids silver silvery foliage and all were wrapped in either navy, black or pewter ribbon with silver wire accents. For the ceremony, we only did a small Blessed Virgin Mary Offering bouquet of 3 white mini callas and navy bow. The church was already so beautiful they did not feel it required more decor that that. For the reception, we came up with 3 styles of centerpieces and the couple purchased two-thirds of the vases themselves at Crate and Barrel so their guests could take them home. 2 of the styles were more simple but chic: Style 1 was a trio of submerged cylinders with white dendrobium orchids and variegated lily grass inside and floating candles on top. Style 2 was a 10.5 in cylinder with a bunch of stems of white dendrobium orchids popping out of the top in a spray with variegated lily grass inside. The final Style was our show-stopper and once assembled really gave height to the space. They were a 24 inch cylinder vase with submerged callas, lily grass and a submersible LED light inside and a fluffy arrangement of large white hydrangea and minimal foliage with icy branches on the top. At the end of the night, the guests got to take all of the shorter arrangements home and the top of the tall ones. Also for the reception, we put petals on the cake table and highboy tables, orchids on the top of the cake, and 3 hydrangea arrangements on the sweetheart table along with petals and votives. We also did my signature floral-rimmed gift card holder cylinder with a huge fluffy rim of hydrangea and a manzanita tree with hanging votives and crystals with a base of white flowers and silver foliage for the escort card table. Everything turned out stunning and was just perfect for the winter season! I am so glad everything turned out beautiful for the wedding and reception. Because the weather was so cold (about 9 degrees but with wind chill more like negative 6 degrees) we really had to work hard to keep the flowers from freezing and luckily I brought extras in the event of browning and wilting. Usually bouquets and centerpieces will last over a week and remain pretty well intact, but not in the case of extreme cold. Most flowers like to be in no less than 35 degrees typically, and orchids like it warmer than that (around 50 degrees)--so when you go from warm studio to freezing cold air to warm van to freezing cold air over and over again, they tend to go into shock after a while. Hopefully everyone that took home flowers moved them quickly into their heated cars and then into their heated homes!

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