Friday, October 24, 2008

Changes abound

I figure its about time for Wedding Decorator to grow up and be on its own domain name and host. Blogger, you've been good to me, but you have to let go sometime!

So don't be surprised if you see little activity in the next few weeks. I am getting ready to begin blogging Wedding Decorator on a new site, but it remains to be seen whether I will move all move all of Wedding Decorator to the new site or keep the current entries here. At any rate, please be patient and you'll hear from me soon!

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

An arch, pew decorations and pool flowers

Ah, did I catch your attention with the mention of pool flowers? Yeah, you don't see it that often, but when you do -- wow! These pictures are from a friend who did not want to be identified, but she so happened to be at two weddings a few weekends ago and saw the flowers and just knew I would want pictures. The pictures were taken from her cell phone, but you can click on each photo for a bigger version.

The first wedding, by the way, was at Dove Canyon Country Club, a venue I have never had the pleasure of decorating. The area code on the website tells me its in south Orange County, and my friend says Rancho Santa Margarita. The second wedding was in Palos Verdes at a private home.

The arch was decorated with gorgeous red roses, lemon leaf, leather fern and what I just learned were Bells of Ireland. Heheh. My mom used them for years, and I always just assumed they were leaves -- they're actually flowers! For the longest time I always thought of them as the "sucker-looking greens." Silly me.

Here's a close up of the pew decorations. The florist used the same flowers from the arch, except with some pink snapdragons. It appears there were flowers only on the innermost seat of the first and last row on each side -- in other words, just four pews were decorated along the center aisle. It's a good way to save some money. Besides, it was a gorgeous venue, so I don't think it needed a lot of flowers to dress it up.

Here's where the Palos Verdes wedding pictures start. There was a table with the table cards/assignments decorated very simply, but nicely dressed up with a vase full of calla lilies. Remember what I wrote before about flowers for tall arrangements? The calla lily is also an ideal candidate for a tall arrangement, but don't forget to get that stout vase. A calla lily's stem is pretty thick and heavy (compared to other flowers). But this vase is weighed down by what looks like polished glass and black rocks, plus it looks like the weight of the vase is pretty evenly distributed. By the way, it surprises me that calla lilies are so popular in weddings now (it shouldn't surprise me, since they're so graceful looking) since I always thought they were the flower of death. But there are some who believe it symbolizes rebirth. So maybe I'm wrong. Who knows?

The guest tables seemed to have three centerpieces, all in square glass vases wrapped with burgundy (or brown) ribbon. The tallest, which looks to be about 8 inches tall, is all white and pink variegated roses. (By the way, roses aren't my favorite flower, but if I had to pick one, these would be it.) The second, half obscured by the candle in a hurricane, is a possibly 6-inch vase filled with what looks like mini calla lilies. The third is probably 4 inches tall and filled with pink hydrangeas, and all seem to be flanked by candles. Very pretty. Hopefully they got to light those candles.

Ah, the pièce de résistance. Flowers in the pool. I've only seen this done a few times -- once at Michael Cooper's wedding in Palm Springs a long time ago (that was awesome, but I have to admit, I didn't actually see him but was helping at a wedding I was told was his), and at my own birthday party! That's another story for another time. Anyway, this floating flower arrangement looks like mostly pink carnations and a line of red roses, plus a variety of six lit candles of different heights. They're probably floating on a mix of oasis (the foam that, when soaked, keeps the flowers in place and watered), possibly wood and possibly styrofoam brick, which floats, in a criss-cross formation to enable the whole thing to float. I'll definitely have to show off my 18th birthday party flowers later on.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

October wedding? Then think about wedding insurance

Photo by Flickr's TooterMonkey

I'm sitting at home on my usual day off, just watching the orange-reddish glow of the sun illuminate my fingers at the keyboard, wondering why I've been to so many weddings in Southern California in October. "So many" may be an exaggeration, but maybe not, since I've not been to a lot of weddings as a guest, but I've been three as a guest in October. That's a lot in my book. And since determining earlier this year that October is quite the popular month for weddings (at least among people who read this blog), it seems that wedding insurance must also be a popular must-have for October weddings in Southern California. Or at least it seems it should be.

The above photo, by the way, is of Malibu Presbyterian Church, which was destroyed in last year's fire in Malibu, which was part of the 2007 California Firestorm.

Having worked in news the past five years and lived in Southern California all my life, October and November are reliably the worst wildfire months of the year. I have actually decorated and been a guest at one wedding where a fire broke out in the canyon behind the reception site, the Castaway in Burbank. But it seems to me that maybe wedding insurance isn't for everyone...

Apparently, cold feet is one of the main reasons for a wedding being canceled, and insurance doesn't cover cold feet. Sorry. However, let's be optimistic and posit that both bride and groom and in-laws-to-be are ecstatic to be joining families and talk about all the other things a bride or groom or wedding planner cannot control and might need insurance on.
  • The church or the reception site: Say you've picked the most gorgeous sites available, nestled in the mountains of Malibu or along the beach in Texas -- but then there's a wildfire or a hurricane. This is where insurance would come in handy.
  • A vendor is a no-show, something happens to the food or the flowers, someone's car/truck breaks down or something else vendor-related: This happens more than you might think, and I'm sorry to say I've had this happen to me too. If you had to cancel or postpone for something like this, insurance would cover it.
  • A member of the wedding party gets sick or is injured in an accident: God forbid your mother or father or an in-law becomes injured or gets sick, but this is definitely something covered by insurance.

I think those would be the main reasons, although, also includes military deployments or surprise corporate moves as another reason why a wedding would be postponed or canceled. Although, I think in the case of a corporate move, the wedding might just become more of a destination wedding.

Anyway, do you think to might need insurance? In tough economic times, most would say -- better safe than sorry. Personally, I think the ratio of cash flow to wedding expenditure should have more to do with the need for wedding insurance, and as that ratio becomes bigger, the more you should consider going easy on your wedding budget.

Then again, what about people really looking forward to getting married that day? I did a blog post last year on one couple that immediately readjusted their plans as Malibu burned. The whole point to the wedding, after all, is to get married.

At any rate, beside article I found, here are a few more resources on wedding insurance from USA Today, InsWeb's Insurance Blog, and

And as with anything wedding related, I would recommend going with a wedding insurance policy on a recommendation, rather than what comes up first in Google. Hey, that's how I looked for it too!

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