Tis’ The Season-Wedding Season

The sun’s peeking through with glimmers of hope that snow has passed. Birds chirp a happy tune at the passing of the cold. Cherry blossoms tease us with their rosy blush. These signs can only mean one thing. It’s spring, right? Well, almost, that comes on March 21st, but for those of us in the wedding industry it is the beginning of “The Season”.

Engagements announced at Christmas and Valentines result in a frenzy of phone calls to book vendors for summer and fall weddings. Brides with Pinterest boards and inspiration albums begin their vendor search with visions of a perfect wedding day. And at the English Garden, we’ve been taking our vitamins and sharpening our design tools in hopes of matching the boundless energy and enthusiasm of our amazing brides-to-be.

At The English Garden, we do a lot of weddings. It’s become what we are known for, so much so in fact, that a friend quipped to me the other day that my staff and I are the “Wedding Queens” of the Triangle. Now this is also the friend who tells me I’m having a good hair day when my cowlick is standing four inches off my head and that my bottom looks smaller when I am obviously wearing my “Mom” jeans, but I’ll take her wonderful sobriquet as the great compliment to my staff that it is. Royalty or not, my staff is amazing and I believe that they are the most talented and knowledgeable around and they LOVE doing weddings.  But for me, hearing the term “Wedding Queen” while wonderful is still a bit foreign & surprising and something I feel is more akin to calling Ebenezer Scrooge the “King of Christmas.”

Just like Ebenezer didn’t always understand the true meaning of Christmas, it has taken me awhile to learn just how much our level of service and care and attention means to our bridal clients. When I opened The English Garden, I didn’t set out for it to be wedding central. I grew up in a florist where funeral sprays outnumbered bridal bouquets 3 to 1. I in no way considered wedding flowers my bailey-wick, as a matter of fact, I didn’t much care for weddings. My close friends and family know this, but most people don’t know that my wedding day was more akin to a SNL skit than a day to record in the family album. Our conservative families didn’t see the need for formal, large wedding as we had lived together many years and it was Warren’s second wedding. So, my childhood vision of a simple ceremony on a country farm was traded for a harried “production” number in Vegas complete with a German Elvis clad in a translucent jumpsuit, a bumbling minister in a double knit brown leisure suit, towering bouquets of silk flowers, and piped in Hooked on Classics Muzak. Topped off with the fiasco of changing into my wedding dress in the middle of the afternoon on the Vegas Strip while our possibly tipsy limo driver treated us to a rousing rendition of “Don’t Stop Believing’”, my wedding day generated more guffaws than ahhhhs.

Overwhelmed by the frenzy of a whirlwind wedding, I failed to put the brakes on to make sure our wedding day reflected the things my husband and I love. As a love struck bride relieved that I was finally getting hitched, I didn’t feel entitled to ask for my favorite things-a bridal bouquet of Easter lilies and freesia, a bluegrass band playing Into the Mystic, an endless supply of banana pudding for dessert.  Thirteen years later, I can certainly find the humor in my wedding day mayhem, but I’ve also found the poignancy of those “lost” choices and that has become an unexpected source of inspiration and solace. I realize that I’ve been given a “second chance” to make wedding dreams come true by having the opportunity to help brides and grooms create beautiful and meaningful weddings.

My talented team and I work tirelessly to help a couple find their design “voice” in crafting decor that is about their style, their vision and their budget. We ask the easy and hard questions-”What do you like? What do you not like? What is most important to you? What would be your dream wedding? What can you live without if budget becomes an issue?” We work with a couple every step of the way to ensure that every detail is not only covered but perfectly so. At the end of the day, our goal is to help a couple select floral and decor elements that align beautifully with their vision and within their budget.

In 2014, we will design flowers for our 1,000 bridal couple. Seven years ago when starting my business, I could never have envisioned arriving at this milestone. I don’t know if this makes us the “Wedding Queens” of the Triangle or not, but I’m truly honored that so many couples have extended an invitation to us to share in their walk down the aisle.

To read our reviews please visit our Wedding Wire site here

Sarah + Don

Sarah + Don

Meredith

Meredith

Travis

Travis

Nicole

Nicole

Katrina + Brent

Katrina + Brent

nancyray-megmatwed-3002

Lauren + Derek

Lauren + Derek

Kate

Kate

Melissa

Melissa

Stephanie + Bridal Party

Stephanie + Bridal Party

Tracy+Bridal Party

Tracy+Bridal Party

Carly

Carly

Mary Cameron + Brian

Mary Cameron + Brian

Janet

Janet

Lauri + Aaron

Lauri + Aaron

Groovy Gerberas

375674_10151626287334634_486629683_nNeed a way to brighten a rainy day? Consider a bountiful, beautiful bouquet of vibrant, colorful gerberas.

Iconic in shape and form; limitless in colors and varieties; gerberas are a wonderful addition to any floral palette. A simple vase of gerberas is a perfect, simple way to say “Thank You!” or “I’m thinking of you!” to a friend or associate. Larger scale bouquets of gerberas in either an assortment of colors or a modern, monobotanical presentation can add a dramatic statement to an office environment. And for weddings, few flowers offer the variety and price point of gerberas for today’s style conscious brides.

At almost any given time, you will find a wonderful mix of gerbera colors and varieties in the English Garden cooler. We always enjoy standard blooms in red, orange, yellow and pink, but flower growers now offer a wide variety of novelty blooms cultivated in an eclectic palette of fun and funky colors. The majority of gerberas are cultivated in California and Canada with California’s Sun Valley leading the way in volume production. In recent years, innovations by Canadian growers have taken gerbera variety to a whole new level. A few of our recent favorites from Canada and California include:

 

  

  A striking Canadian gerbera, Blue Skies, offers a vibrant purple option to the gerbera line-up.

 

 

 

 

 

  Marmolada, a fun tri-color variety from California grower Sun Valley blending red & pink petals.

 

 

 

 

 Crossroads, a vivid bloom perfect for summer with yellow petals radiating from a red and black eye  and cultivated both in the American and Canadian markets.

 

 

 

 

   Venice, a delicate pairing of creamy white petals with a rosy pink center.

 

 

 

 

 

     Bold and Big! The fabulous Power Play from Sun Valley offers a jumbo orange bloom.

 

 

 

 

Call us at 919-341-6650 to have our talented design team create a custom gerbera design for your special occasion or drop by our studio to check out what fun varieties are on hand this week.

Portofino | Clayton, NC

I can not tell you any more how much I love my job!  It’s just…amazing!  They do so much!  This weekend they prepared for multiple weddings, one of which was an English Garden employees sister.

Although I could not be at all the weddings to help set up, I was able to set up the Portofino.  The Portofino is a luxury home complex that specializes in “gracious country living.”  Needless to say, the venue was outright gorgeous!

Here’s a look at what the English Garden does!  Take a look at the detail!  Everything floral, it is quite amazing.  The English Garden has a great team that does all of this, I have been so blessed to have worked with every one of them!

Congratulations Sara Whitney! No rain could ruin your day.

–Nikki

Special thanks to Fancy This Photography !!

The Sutherland | Wake Forest, NC

The English Garden is a florist set up in Raleigh, NC that focuses on event decor and has just recently started their take on everyday delivery of flowers.  Working with all of the employees of the English Garden has certainly placed a stamp on my little heart, I have learned so much!  The employees are really the best in customer service and detail!

Below is an event that the English Garden catered to.  Pay attention to the detail of the flowers, especially under the reception tent!  There are buku’s of vases that each flower bouquet is humbled in, they are all different and unique.  It gives such a great vibe to the entire set up!

A big thank you to The Sutherland !! This is the venue of desire for the Saturday wedding!  It is a quaint place located in the heart of Wake Forest, NC.

Photo courtesy of Fancy This Photography !!

An Eloquent Review from an Elegant Bride

The English Garden was delighted to receive this raving review from Kathryn, one of our favorite brides:

“My bouquet was STUNNING!  It was literally jaw-dropping when I saw it and exactly what I envisioned!  The bridesmaid’s bouquets, boutonnieres, hydrangeas, and center pieces were PERFECT!  It was honestly everything Abby [Kathryn’s made of honor] and I envisioned and so much more!  It blew me away while I was walking down the aisle and when I was looking around Cobblestone Hall while dancing with my dad and seeing everything for the first time.  All the hard work paid off…it was really happening, and I owe so much of that to your beautiful flower arrangements and amazing talent.”

The stunning couple, Kathryn and Andrew were married in May of 2012. Accompanied by their closest family and friends, the couple celebrated their “Southern Intimate Affair” at Cobblestone Hall. The venue and the bride were decorated amid Oncidium orchids with dusty miller foliage and craspedia. The bride and groom were truly a sight; it was a pleasure to create Kathryn’s vision.

If you’d like to view Kathryn’s full review, please visit: http://www.weddingwire.com/reviews/the-english-garden-raleigh/ccd5afef7b1bdfbd.html

 

Photos provided by Craig Carpenter at http://www.lusterstudios.com/

There’s no place like home.

I love Sunday weddings. There is something unexpected about a wedding outside of the classic Saturday at 3:00 pm time. Add to that a location as warm and welcoming as a beautiful family home and the stage is set for a relaxed, intimate affair. Such was the setting for Roxanna and Stefan’s wedding.
With family and friends gathered, the couple said their vows in a simply and elegantly dressed living room. An eclectic grouping of candles and white and green florals including tulips, snapdragons, bells of Ireland and hydrangea on the mantel softly framed the ceremony. Accents of natural curly willow in a soft brown provided a visual connection to the rich leather chairs the couple selected for seating in lieu of white chairs.
Following the ceremony, guests shared in toasting the couple with sangria made by Roxanna’s mother Helen and festive Persian wedding cookies, a nod to the family’s heritage. A reception at Durham’s Parizade featured a savory menu of family favorites. Vibrant bouquets of jewel tone florals with roses, gerberas, callas, iris, and hydrangea enlivened the Mediterranean inspired interiors of the restaurant. More images to come from our friend Christobal with Azul Photography, but we have included few fun images from today’s set-up.

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A Day of Romance

Great bouquet!

Great bouquet!

When a couple have a vision for their wedding day and then entrust their vendor partners to fulfill the vision , the result can be stunning (and the wedding process can be a breeze.) Such was our experience with Hannah and Steve. From our first consultation, they shared their vision for their wedding day- a “romantic first date”, that date of course being the start of their new life together. Red roses, a blending of Opium and Freedom varieties selected from our ever growing palette of reds, classic white Escimo roses, subtle touches of beautiful foliages, seasonal blooms like lilies and waxflower  and dramatic branches transformed the veranda and ballroom of the Governors Club in Chapel Hill.  Hannah’s bouquet, a stunning presentation of red roses captured so elegantly by the artistic photography of Brian Mullins, epitomizes the romantic feel of the day. No detail eluded Brian’s keen eye. Every time I look at the gallery I discover another element captured by his lens. Hannah and Steve’s classic style and shared vision made their wedding day one to remember. Their  connection as a couple and their incredible personalities will ensure that every day of their married life will be as romantic as their “first date.”

Nice Photos at Cafe Luna

Nice Bouquet.

Nice Bouquet.

We recently got back some of the pictures of a wedding we completed at Cafe Luna. Diane McKinney was the photographer as you can see from the photos. She really captures the florals in a magnificent way. We love working with her for this reason!