Enjoy Your Wedding!

Sept post

All your life you have dreamt of your big day…your Wedding Day! Your dolls have been married too many times to count and there have been so many pretend weddings that everyone has been married (at least once)! Now you have met your future spouse and have your dream ring…it’s time to plan the wedding that you have always imagined! You don’t want to leave anything to chance.

Whether you are engaged for a short time or a long period it seems like FOREVER and you want to remember every moment of the planning (well almost every moment…there will be a few tears and/or tense moments). Everything passes so quickly – the planning, the showers, the parties and then the wedding day.

But wait! Don’t let it all pass so quickly! Enjoy every moment! Make memories along the way bond with your friends, family and of course fiancé. Decrease the stressful situations before they start and increase the fun.

When shopping for your wedding dress everyone wants to come, but in this case more is not necessarily merrier. When too many people are involved it tends to become more about what they like and think you should wear rather that what you want. Feelings get hurt and you end up stressed and overwhelmed! Just ask a few of your closest confidants and make a day of it. When my daughter was planning her wedding several years ago she invited her maid of honor (who happened to be her sister) and myself. We knew her style and helped her choose the gown that made her feel like a princess. She was able to focus and find her “perfect” dress and then enjoy a dinner and drinks to celebrate! A suggestion to include all of your girlfriends and the mother of the groom is have an “unveiling” party. Invite everyone over for dessert and drinks then model your dress before the big day. They feel included and you have another opportunity to make great memories.

Keep your wedding about you and your fiancé. You both love something a bit quirky and want to incorporate that in your wedding or reception. It is almost guaranteed that you will hear about it and sometimes you have to gently let someone who means well, know that you appreciate their suggestions but that you have definite ideas of what you want.

Are you a DIY bride? Why not get together with your bridesmaids, etc. and have a girl’s night to work on the project or projects. Look for DIY classes in your area. They may offer private group classes to teach you how to make some of the cool things you’ve seen on Pinterest.

It is easy to stress during this time and maybe not take as much time for yourself and your fiancé. Plan date nights for just the two of you or if either of you have children include them in a zoo or park date. Take a few minutes for yourself whenever you can. Read, exercise, soak in a tub, whatever relaxes you! Laugh and smile and enjoy the little things.

Don’t sweat the small stuff on your wedding day. On my daughter’s wedding day, we had to switch around the best man’s tie with another tie, someone was missing their vest, someone forgot to turn on the speakers for the front half of the chapel so that the processional music wasn’t heard but no one noticed and everyone had a great time.

It’s your wedding day and it will fly by! Try to take a little time to breathe, relax and enjoy. There is an old saying, that you will enjoy everyone else’s wedding more than yours. This is a result of being the center of attention and everyone wants your attention. Try to eat some food, have a drink and dance the night away.

Life is Beauty Full! Enjoy!
Cathy

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Wedding Flowers…Fresh or Alternative

Wedding Flowers…Fresh or Alternative? That is the question.
Second Column

As if your head wasn’t already swirling with all of those wedding planning details, now there are more decisions to make. Do you go with fresh flowers, some type of alternative or a combination? Maybe I can help by breaking it down for you.

Fresh flowers are beautiful, traditional and smell great! They can be inexpensive if done DIY or can be as expensive as your budget will allow. There are, however, a few limitations with fresh flowers. You will have to be aware of what flowers will be available at the time of your nuptials. Many varieties of flowers are seasonal and can be very expensive if purchased out of season. Also, fresh flowers last a relatively short period of time and then will be discarded. If you are using fresh flower centerpieces I suggest giving them to family and friends to take home to enjoy or arrange for them to be delivered to a local hospital or nursing home. If you would like to preserve your bouquet then I would recommend finding a floral preservationist prior to the wedding so that your bouquet can be preserved in a display frame or case as a permanent memory of your wedding day.

When you think about alternative arrangements you probably think about artificial or “fake” flowers from your local craft store. However, there are many alternatives out there. A quick search of the Internet will help and/or search sites like ETSY for a variety of alternatives.
1. Brooch bouquets are very popular. These are gorgeous and create bling! The brooches can be new or vintage. Do you have a favorite brooch or a collection of brooches? Ask your designer to include them in your bouquet. These bouquets can be heavy so you may want to mix fresh flowers or another alternative flower with a few of your favorite brooches.
Paper flower arrangements/bouquets bring a whole new look to paper. I have seen entire weddings done with paper flowers from bouquets to boutonnieres to centerpieces. Origami flowers are made with intricately folded paper to form beautiful flowers. Do you love to read or do you love music? There are flowers made with pages from old books or sheet music. There are paper flowers that are fashioned into actual flowers such as roses, carnations, etc. The variety of paper that can be used in making flowers is endless…tissue, cardstock, and scrapbooking to name a few. For those of you who like to DIY there are tutorials on sites like YouTube, or you can buy the directions from various sites. Search the Internet for a variety of sources.
There are some very unique items that I have seen for bouquets…seashells, feathers, lollipops, and raw cotton bolls (raw clumps of cotton still in the husk) to name a few. These items can be mixed with fresh flowers as well as another alternative flower. Designers love to be creative so don’t be afraid to share your vision.
Of course, there are the artificial/”fake” flowers. These flowers have come a long way and many look quite real. If you choose to go this route please check out what you are purchasing to make sure they are of a nice quality.
The final category I will mention is the fabric or ribbon flower. Fabrics and ribbons are used to create rich textural flowers that offer a large variety of uses. Depending on the fabrics/ribbon used you can create your vision whether it be country/rustic, romantic, vintage, gothic, etc. Common fabrics/ribbons are silk, satin, taffeta, linen, burlap and felt. This type of flower works well with embellishments (add brooches, shells, etc.).

Finally, when you choose an alternative to fresh flowers you create a lasting memory to display in your home. No need to preserve, simply display. At the beginning of this article I mentioned using a combination of fresh flowers and alternatives. A mixture in a bouquet is a great way to have the best of both worlds. Adding a few fabric flowers, brooches, etc. in a fresh flower bouquet creates interest and texture. After the wedding if you don’t want to preserve your bouquet then just remove the embellishments and you will have a lasting memory.

Have fun searching out exactly what works for you!

Life is “Beauty Full”!

Cathy

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How Does Your Garden Grow?

Anyone who has ever tried to grow flowers or anything for that matter, know that it takes time, patience and loving care.  The flowers of Cocroft and Delbridge are just like that but without the dirt.

 

First, you plan out what flowers you will grow.  The outdoor gardener pours over seed catalogs, combs the internet and drives to all the area nurseries to choose just the right combination of flowers.  I pour over fabrics and embellishments, comb the internet and drive to all of the area fabric/craft stores to choose just the right combination of supplies for my flowers.

 

So many choices!

So many choices!

Next comes the preparation of the soil and planting the seeds and plants.  For me next comes the preparing of the materials:  cutting fabrics and ribbons to the proper length for each flower and choosing embellishments.

Different lengths are cut for different flowers

Different lengths are cut for different flowers

 

Petals are made one at a time.

Petals are made one at a time.

The outdoor gardener watches and waits, tends their garden weeding and watering.  I form each petal individually sewing by hand anywhere from 5 to 20 petals for each bloom and then carefully sew them together to form a flower on a stem.  Then I form leaves and attach them to the flower and then cover the raw edges with fabric to form a calyx.  I finish each stem with floral tape to give each one a finished effect.

Fabric is chosen for leaves and then they are completed and attached

Fabric is chosen for leaves and then they are completed and attached

It takes weeks sometimes months for a flower to grow to perfection whether it is lovingly grown in the ground or created by hand.

Almost done..the flower is formed around a stem and leaves are added.  Then the calyx and finished with floral tape

Almost done..the flower is formed around a stem and leaves are added. Then the calyx and finished with floral tape

 

Lastly, gardeners display their finished products in lovely bouquets to share their beauty!!

Rosey Gold

Gardens that are grown with love are Beauty Full!

 

Until next time,

Cathy

 

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Happy Earth Day!

Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle

Let’s go back just a bit to the time and place that planted the seed for Cocroft & Delbridge’s flowers!

It’s Spring 2011 and we have just met with a florist who is helping us plan the floral part of my daughter’s fall wedding  (thank you Francie owner of Botanical Splash in Chadd’s Ford, PA).  Courtney came prepared with vision pages for bouquets, corsages, boutonniere’s, arrangements for the Chapel and arrangements for the Reception Venue.   Cha-ching, cha-ching…Courtney LOVES flowers.  Francie did a fabulous job!  See the photos below.

Gorgeous bouquets!

Gorgeous bouquets!

 

Courtney's bouquet

Courtney’s bouquet

 

Tip 1:  Go into your meeting with a budget.  Florists are very willing to work within a budget.

 

Tip 2:  Have the Chapel/Church Arrangements moved to the venue.  Ask family or friends that are not part of the Wedding Party to take on this responsibility.  Or if you have a wedding planner they will do this.

 

Fast forward to September 2011 (one month to go) I was beginning to wonder what happens to all of those flower arrangements after the reception?  Have you ever wondered that?  I asked the folks at the venue what happens to all of those beautiful arrangements?  I was told that:

A. You can take them or give them to friends and family to take home

B.  Dipsty dumpster out back!  After spending a lot of money I did not want to hear, that after less than 24 hours of use they would hit the trash!  Our venue did offer to drop any remaining flower arrangements off at a nursing home.

 

Tip 3:  Send home the arrangements with friends and family to enjoy or have them dropped off at a local hospital or nursing home to share.

 

On October 8, 2011 Courtney married her groom Erik Jenks! Everything was beautiful and we had a great time.  We invited friends and family to take arrangements and the rest were delivered to a nearby nursing home.  But, what to do with all of those bouquets?   Options:  If you are on top of things, you could have them preserved by a flower preservationist, or like us you try the hanging them upside down in a dry area (didn’t work well for us).

 

Tip 4:  Arrange ahead of time with a floral preservationist to preserve your bouquet or hire Cocroft and Delbridge to create your wedding party flowers from the beginning!

The great thing about our bouquets is that they can be taken apart and repurposed to make an arrangement for a vase or several vases.  It can be a great bridesmaids gift!

 

Help keep the world Beauty Full!

 

Until next time,

Cathy

 

Thank you also to John Barone Photography

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