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Friday, December 30, 2011

Behind The Scenes: A Tuscan Wedding Dinner for Southern Bride Magazine

 I was kicking back after a busy holiday season with my latest guilty pleasure -- Pinterest 
(Lillie's has its very own board here) -- just searching around, and what should pop up but this photo shoot of a Tuscan themed wedding dinner...a photo shoot that I had done with Southern Bride Magazine! So, I thought I should share more of it here. 

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Oh how I wish we'd been in Tuscany, but alas, we were not. Instead I set up the shoot at an old Spanish Colonial home tucked away in an unlikely part of Birmingham. Gabrella Manor, as it is now called, had the right bone structure to give us our night in Tuscany. 

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Each element on the table shares a common theme of elegant rusticity synonymous with the Tuscan countryside. Textured linens, raffia, hand-thrown pottery, dark wood and hand-painted tiles form a backdrop for an abundance of fruits, herbs and late summer blossoms. 

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These wonderful baskets tied to black chivari chairs are filled with rosemary, tomato red rosehips, antique hydrangea, garden roses, fushcia beautyberry (or pokeberry as we call it down south) and tiny sunflower-looking mums called vyking.


 Here (above) is wedding planner Anita Kanellis of AK Brides who worked with me to pull the look together with wonderfully rustic place settings from Peter’s Pottery,  linens and chairs from Aztec, and beautiful invitations by The Invitation Place. 

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Diane Olexa of Olexa's Cakes baked this stunning gold wedding cake - almost too pretty to eat....almost. Bridesmaids dresses by Dalia McPhee, and of course, to set the mood, Andy Tolar of Design Productions hung strings of cafe lighting.

Natural light was provided by the Alabama sun, which refused to dim for most of the very balmy evening. I suppose this should have helped me get into character, but in my dreams Tuscany has less humidity.

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The folks at Southen Bride Magazine brought in The Foto Altelier  to shoot stills and these shots are straight from the video made by the always fun, John and Angela Deaver of Main Street Productions who documented the event on video here on VimeoEnjoy - Ciao!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Weddings 2011: Fall leaves and wood slices

Fearless color isn't the only fearless thing about Ryan and Whitney's wedding. After all, this is the groom who chose to pop the question in one of  the most daring ways I've heard (And I've heard a bunch!) He sent his beloved, Whitney, high into the air aboard a skydiving plane and then stood at the target landing sight with a giant sign:

"I Love You Whit. Will You Marry Me?" 

Come to think of it, Whitney is the real firecracker! How many girls would jump from a plane into the arms of her man? 

And so it was appropriate that Whitney's wedding at The Sonnet House was a riot of fall's brightest colors: firecracker red, tangerine, and fearless yellows. 

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I love how photographer Frank Carnaggio captured the intensity of Whitney's bouquet of tulips, freesia, rosehips, and billy balls.

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 The rustic mantle at the Sonnet House was the ideal foil for a swath of fall foliage and vines.

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To round out the rustic theme,Whitney's precious parents brought in these wonderfully aromatic slabs of cedar from a fallen tree.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Weddings 2011: Fall Dahlias and a Charm Bouquet

From the first few minutes into meeting Betsy I knew it was a match make in heaven...sure, Jonathan and Betsy make a great pair too, but I'm talking about me and Betsy. All the things she wanted to bring to her special day were second nature for me. A love for soft, natural elements and a romantic, garden aesthetic.
Looking at these wonderful images shot by Amanda Pair and her equally talented friend, Wynter Pate, it's easy to see how Betsy's vision was perfectly matched for the venue she chose, The Sonnet Leeds, Alabama. The historic home and grounds are a balanced blend of pristine and patina. Just look how russet dahlias and delphinium sing against that blue gate and rusted roof!  And, oh, that kiss!

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Love for family was the golden thread that ran throughout Betsy and Jonathan's wedding day. Betsy's charm bouquet wrap suited her charmed wedding

We were happy to get to work with some of our favorite friends on Betsy's wedding day. Jerrod and Corey do such a great job at the Sonnet House and John and Angela Deaver at Main Street Productions are always fun to have around on wedding day!

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I wanted to share my favorite shot last. Betsy and her mother, no flowers necessary. Just an honest and lovely depiction of the wonderful bond between mother and daughter. 

I want to call my mom....

Sunday, November 27, 2011

fern and wedding flowers: a perfect combination

I love fashioning boutonnieres with fern for Lillie's grooms! So artful and masculine. This wonderful close-up by Amanda Pair captures how the tips have begun to bronze in the cool autumn weather. Here I've added in bits of lamb's ear and seed heads. Yum! See Jonathan & and Betsy's wedding here.


For a pop of color I worked in bright red rosehips to tiny stems of resurrection fern. For more of Whitney and Ryan's wedding, photographed by talented Birmingham photographer Frank Carnaggio, check the full blog post here.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Weddings: tulip bouquets and Historic Rucker Place

I know what you're thinking...that picture of the blonde bride with the perfect smile and perfect yellow tulips is an ad for Lillie's, right? Could be, but no. Victoria is a real-life bride who married lucky fella Chris at the beautiful Rucker Place overlooking Birmingham, Alabama.

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The afternoon of our first meeting together Victoria told me about her groom Chris and his landscape design business. Loving the outdoors as I do, this completely intrigued me. Chris joined us at our next meeting and and the three of us worked together on a plan to give the wedding a natural outdoorsy feel using Alabama greenery and honeysuckle vine.

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The sunny yellow of tulips and freesia, everything about this wedding makes me want to smile.The tulips were a happy surprise for a HOT August wedding. Tulips are cool season, spring flowers. We honestly just "Hoped" for tulips. I ordered the tulips and "Begged" my suppliers to search. We were all excited to see Victoria carry a bouquet of her favorite blossom. 

Thanks to Daniel Taylor for capturing the essence of spring in a glass (even in August).

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 Bird's nest centerpieces on pintucked linens and a pair of kissing canaries atop a scrumptious cake by Dreamcakes gave the reception a decidedly aviary theme. 

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I guess I will forever think of Victoria and her yellow bouquet when a newly engaged girl asks me for tulips in a hot Alabama Summer.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Weddings 2011: spring showers and blue hydrangea garland

On wedding days sometimes we have an unexpected rain shower ~ this was the case the day bride Calley married her sweetheart Brian in Homewood, Alabama at Trinity Methodist on Oxmoor Road.
The rain shower that surprised us was a summer shower that drenched us completely in a period of 3 or 4 minutes. 

That's me on the ladder, mere moments before the deluge, wrestling a garland of hydrangeas under the magnificent stone arch.

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Fortunately, flowers (especially hydrangeas - hence the name "hydra") relish a generous soaking, and a flower junkie like me is used to playing in the water....but photo equipment is not so resilient. Leave it to gifted veteran photographer Jerrod Brown to not run from the soaker, but transform the moment into magic.  

Serendipity! Jerrod found an unclaimed umbrella and quickly handed it to Brian just as he stepped outside the church doors with his new Bride, Calley. The leaves on the trees dripping a bit and the sidewalks still wet, everything glistened like a Hollywood it had been planned that way!

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Check out the full article on Calley and Brian in Alabama Weddings Magazine for more images from the wedding. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Weddings 2011: Spring Lenten roses and historic Altadena Presbyterian Church

 March Weddings in Alabama have such a unique look. Our trees are still gray and bare from the winter and I find myself urging spring to hurry up by adding brightly colored flowers to Lillie's bouquets and boutonnieres. 

Beverly Andrews and her team at Engaging Celebrations knew this when working with Sarah to plan her wedding day. From the perfect weather with an aqua sky looking like it was ordered to match the wedding (how did Beverly do that?), to the popsicle truck that delighted wedding guests late in the afternoon, John and Sarah's wedding could not have been more delightful.

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To help John and Sarah welcome their guests to the historic Altadena Valley Presbyterian Church  we added a pair vibrant spring wreaths blooming with lenten roses and spiky purple veronica to the whitewashed church doors. This wood frame church oozes with charm and made for a picture perfect wedding!.

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Sarah's bridesmid's carried jonquills, lenten roses, veronica, gerber daiseys and kermit mums in apple green.

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The evening celebration was anchored by Geoff Carlisle of JAMM playing dance tunes that kept everyone on the dance floor.
A big thanks to photographer Emily Kicklighter for these beautiful wedding images.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

flower day with kelli

January is the month to do things that I never seem to have time for during the height of Lillie's wedding season and a perfect time for a fun little "Field Trip!"
Last week Kelli Taylor of Daniel Taylor Photography and I took a little field trip to downtown Birmingham to the large floral supply houses. Take a peek at the fun we had . . .

Monday, January 10, 2011

bouquet trends

Matt Jones Gallery played host this weekend to "A Whirlwind of Wedding Wisdom" sponsored by the Alabama State Florists Association. Darla Pawlak spoke on the new bouquet trends sweeping the nation. It was very interesting. She said bride's all across the nation are looking for texture and "Green" in their bouquets.
I would like to say, my dear brides are trend setters! Lillie's brides have been asking for green bouquets for years. I have lost count of the number of brides requesting lambs ear and garden perennials in their bouquets. 

It is always a joy to include a unique wildflower native to the state of Alabama, in a bride's bouquet. In Summer and Fall we often tie perennial blossoms in the bridesmaid's bouquets. We remember the groomsmen too when we incorporate a tiny piece of fern or rosemary in the men's boutonnieres.

The softness of lamb's ear, the elegance of dark green camelia or the feminine fronds of maiden hair fern are wonderful options to add texture to Alabama Bride's Bouquets.