Selene and Jason

July 23rd, 2012

Here are a few lovely centerpieces and bouquets from Selene and Jason’s June wedding in Los Gatos. Purple has been a popular color this year. My New York florist friend Liza Lubell reports the trend is happening all the way over on her end of the nation as well. What gives? I guess it feels luxurious and romantic… and it sure does look purty with the muted grays and greens of the succulent palette. I’ll take it.

Selene and Jason 1

Selene and Jason 2

Selene and Jason 3

Selene Bouquets

Sarah and Alex, Part 2

June 22nd, 2012

Oh my, these are some dreamy photos… you might remember Sarah and Alex’s Headlands wedding from an earlier post with my own (inferior) pics. Here are their professional shots, taken by Lydia Chen of Lydia Chen Fotography. Thanks to Lydia, Sarah, and Alex for sharing these!

Sarah and bouquet

Alex's boutonniere

Sarah and ladies 2


For each of Sarah’s lovely bridesmaids, we drew a single color from the overall palette and went for a monochrome-ish look to contrast with their creamy neutral dresses. Here are close-ups of three of them:




And a few great shots of flowers from their reception below… We collected vintage brass bowls and vessels for the centerpieces. I stacked three of them here for a tiered wedding “cake” arrangement for their guestbook table:

Sarah and Alex wedding cake

Sarah and Alex tray

The place card table is below, with apothecary bottles collected by the couple. That crazy big gold flower is a dried cardoon!


Sarah and Alex Centerpiece

One of my favorite weddings ever. Delicious.

More Monica and Ryan!

June 14th, 2012

Just received this lovely shot from Monica and Ryan, whose wedding I posted yesterday. Don’t they look so happy? Just when I get a little burnt out on weddings, a shot like this comes in and I get excited about them all over again. Photo is by Kate Harrison. Thanks for sharing, Kate!


Monica and Ryan

June 13th, 2012

We’re doing a couple of lovely weddings at the Headlands Center for the Arts this season. Here is the first of them!



The bouquets awaiting the arrival of the bride and maid of honor. We made a little bonus hairpiece for Monica, using one of the bearded irises from our palette. Iris is my daughter’s name, so the flower holds a special place in my heart. There were some amazing locally grown bearded irises at the flower market this spring. We combined them with lilacs, geranium leaves, ferns, succulent rosettes, tillandsias, and mosses for lush and lacy texture. There are also deep purple scabiosa in there, and some silvery dusty miller.


We created a few vibrant green bouquets to decorate the benches along the ceremony aisle, and also a freestanding mossy branch for the front of the room. Close-ups:


For the dining tables, Monica and Ryan wanted simple and unexpected centerpieces. We combined large xerographica tillandsias with silvery-purple begonia leaves and some feathery moss. It was somehow a lovely pairing with the old-fashioned mix-and-match table décor.



I was lucky enough to have the fabulous Alysia of Alysia Marie Floral on hand for this one, and also my beloved Julie Benjamin. Thanks, ladies!

Rachel and Kyle

April 26th, 2012

Rachel and Kyle got married at the Cliff House — another great historic San Francisco spot! — on an improbably gorgeous day last November. They live in the Outer Sunset and were so happy to celebrate their wedding right in their own neighborhood. I have never seen the view there look so dazzling. I remember on my way home after the set-up, I saw Rachel and Kyle coming up to the wedding on the Great Highway in an old Rolls Royce. All I saw through the window was her little vintage headpiece and the bouquet, which she was holding up near her face. So romantic! Here are some lovely photos from the talented Gary Sexton.







Leila and Philip

April 12th, 2012

The Sunnyside Conservatory is hidden away in a weird spot near the Glen Park Bart, and for decades it looked like nobody cared about it. I grew up just up the street, and I always thought there must be ghosts (or, at the very least, giant raccoons) lurking in its overgrown depths. A few years ago it was renovated, with spectacular results. The conservatory building is immaculate, with rich wood paneling all throughout the inside, and the plantings around it are interesting and very well-maintained. (My husband, who is a bit of a palm tree nerd, wouldn’t forgive me if I didn’t mention the rare Chilean wine palm that’s part of their collection.) Anyway, this is all to say that we did a lovely wedding at Sunnyside a few weeks ago, on a rainy Saturday in March. It was so cozy and intimate inside the conservatory, with the rain battering on the glass. The light that day was beautiful but kind of tough to work with for a (very very) amateur photographer like me, so the photos below do not do the flowers justice. I hope to share some professional shots when they come in!


We made a couple of tall mossy branch arrangements for the ceremony. Together they suggested a kind of archway as a backdrop for the couple’s wedding; I didn’t get a good shot of both together, but I’m hoping to pass on some professional photos when they come in. Here’s a bit of a close-up, with some mosses on the windowsill…


And Leila’s bouquet:


I was so excited when she told me she wanted a lush cascade, down to her knees. We used ranunculus, some leucadendron, and berzelia, and for the vines there is passiflora, jasmine, and asparagus plumosa, with Spanish moss and “old man’s beard” lichen. Julie models here, but I can’t wait to see the bridal portraits with lovely Leila in her gown.



More sprawling vines for the centerpieces! In the antique shop, surrounded by chandeliers and oversized armoires, they had a kind of “Alice in Wonderland” feel, perfect for early springtime.

Amirah and Dave

April 6th, 2012

The military buildings in the Presidio and Fort Mason make such fantastic wedding venues… you get that elegant “old San Francisco” feeling along with a playful kitsch factor. Amirah and Dave got married at the General’s Residence at Fort Mason, where there is a parquet floor to die for and some stern old generals smirking down at you from their oil portraits on the walls. For their flowers, too, the couple wanted elegance with a sense of play.


I used lush, deep purple spring flowers in Amirah’s bouquet — anemones, lisianthus, sweet peas, boronia (so fragrant!) — with succulent rosettes and a few tillandsias and ferns.


The guinea hen feathers gave these dramatic corsages a sense of whimsy too. Julie Benjamin (of Little Lane Studios) never ceases to amaze me with her work on our “small flowers.” Thanks also goes out to the lovely Alysia Hook, who joined our team for this wedding.


We’ve been playing with “container-less” arrangements, using mosses to create the look of a little garden growing right out of the table.


More fun with mosses and succulents!


Bi-Rite created this pretty (and no doubt delicious) cake and decorated it with some plants I pulled from our palette of purples and greens. Amirah and Dave are putting together a “wedding garden” with all of their succulents; they asked guests to sign river rocks to place in the garden in lieu of a guestbook. So lovely and fun!

Amanda and Sean

March 19th, 2012

This dreamy wedding happened in Guerneville last fall. Amanda and Sean and their family and friends took over the magical little riverside cabins at Dawn Ranch. For the centerpieces, Amanda collected old copper kettles and pots, with some amber and green glass bottles for accents. Her stunning veil was a family heirloom. Sigh! I loved this one. Enjoy the photos, generously shared with us by photographer Lyndsay Undseth.




Julie Benjamin made the adorable aeonium boutonnieres.



A bridesmaid’s bouquet, enjoying the cocktail hour.


I love working with vintage copper with a tarnished patina. The finish is so versatile, and it looks stunning on white (or with greenery, like the feathery live moss we used here).


Michele and Tony

February 10th, 2012

Michele and Tony got married in our very own garden at Flora Grubb back in October. Couples who get married here at the nursery don’t need a whole lot of other décor, what with the plants everywhere and all, but Julie and I did their personal flowers: Michele’s bridal bouquet, the boutonnieres, and a few amazing hairpieces. Their photographer, Marla Aufmuth, got some insanely beautiful shots and was generous enough to share them. Please check out more of Marla’s lovely work on her site.

This photo of Michele’s bouquet appeared in the SF Chronicle in a piece about the wedding. The ingredients: sempervivum rosettes and sedum ‘nussbaumerianum’ (that’s the orange-ish succulent); senecio ’string of pearls’; some pittosporum foliage; echinacea; various tillandsias; a fragrant, lemony geranium; orange cockscomb and chocolate cosmos.

Michele Ronsen and Tony Marcell's wedding at Flora Grubb, San Fr


What a dress! Later on in the evening, the lovely white layer on top was removed to reveal Michele’s gorgeous orange party dress underneath. Michele and Autumn Adamme, the owner of Dark Garden, collaborated on the design of the dress.


Here’s a nice detailed shot of Michele’s hairpiece. Julie Benjamin made it, of course, along with the stunning boutonnieres below.

Sarah and Alex

December 13th, 2011

Right now the Headlands Center for the Arts is my favorite place to work. Its dramatic, expansive surroundings are a perfect contrast with the elegant intimacy of the venue. Sarah and Alex drew on the aesthetic of the building and the Headlands for their wedding inspiration. We discussed working with colors that would evoke autumn but wouldn’t read as a traditional fall palette: matte (metallic) gold and amber, creamy neutrals, seafoam green, soft purple. I collected old brass bowls for their containers. My favorite piece was this bouquet in three layers for the guestbook table:


So romantic! Lots of succulents and tillandsias, along with privet berries, yarrow, lisianthus, queen anne’s lace, seeded eucalyptus, arbutus blooms, acacia, antique hydrangea, and crape myrtle leaves.


Sarah’s bouquet turned out beautifully. We added a few little gilded baby pomegranates for some subtle metallic glow.


Sarah’s bridesmaids were wearing party dresses in creamy neutral shades, so we did little monochrome bouquets for each of them, drawing four colors out of our palette: cream, gold, soft green, and deep purple.



Corsages with lace bracelets, and lovely boutonnieres with some subtle gilding (thank you, Julie Benjamin!)


Another nice shot of Sarah’s bouquet awaiting her arrival.


This fun display, with amber glass apothecary bottles collected by the bride and groom, greeted guests on their way into the building. The crazy big pouf is a dried cardoon… I wish you could see in the photograph just how sparkly it was!



Such a gorgeous way to end the wedding season. We were lucky to have Alysia Hook’s help with these bouquets as well. Congratulations, Sarah and Alex! More photos coming in soon from this summer and fall…