The Wedding at the Boston Seaport Hotel Continued

Hi!  So, here we are continuing the story of the wedding at the Boston Seaport Hotel.  If you want to see the beginning of the story of my journey to create the flowers for the wedding, you can see it here.  The story continues with the packing up of the flowers into a UHaul van along with two other cars and with my helpers and me heading to Boston. The ride went surprisingly well, no delays or catastophes, and all of a sudden we were there! A piece of cake. Phew! Such a relief!

As soon as we arrived, it was time to get the bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres delivered to the bridal party. Everything was carefully placed in white boxes and sent off to the correct hotel rooms for delivery. The bride, bridesmaids and mother-of-the-bride were getting dressed for the wedding and they all looked beautiful!!

This box held the bridesmaids bouquets.  Long flowing peach ribbons were tied at the handle of these bouquets.  You can see the ribbons below.  I am hoping to be able to see a photo of the bridesmaids carrying their bouquets down the aisle.  I think the bouquets must have looked so pretty next to their blue dresses!  That was the idea, anyway!
This is the Mother-of-the-Bride Bouquet.
If you go to my previous Boston Seaport post, you will read the story of my dilemma with the "peach" peony.  Even with the color problem of the peony, I still really loved this bouquet.  I thought the colors were astounding and the bouquet was fancy and delicate.

                                           More bridesmaid bouquets

The mothers' bouquets, Grammie's corsage and a boutonniere, all ready to be delivered.

                    I couldn't resist showing you the bride's bouquet one more time.

I wanted to add this photo because you can see, in the background (kind of), the entrance to the reception area of the hotel.  This is where I was able to park my vehicles and go about the work of set-up and delivery.  It was great!!  This was one of the best venues with which I have had the pleasure to work.  Melissa, the wedding coordinator at the hotel, was awesome also! She was so helpful and really, really, nice.  Such a pleasure!  The parking attendant was so kind and considerate of our needs, as well.  The whole experience at the hotel was just wonderful.  I can't say enough about how great everyone was, all the way to the lady in the kitchen who told me, "how beautiful" my flowers were.  I took that as a great compliment and was truly touched.  


Next, it was time to get the entry area and ballroom decorated for the wedding.  This arrangement was to greet the guests as they entered the wedding area of the hotel.  It was the grandest of all the arrangements I made for this occasion.  As you can see, the flowers sat on a high trumpet-shaped vase.  It was supposed to have a dramatic effect and I think it did.

I loved all the flowers in this piece.  There were pink peonies, white roses, peach roses, peach and pink ranunculus, peach and pink spray roses, peach and white stock, white dahlias, white and pink sweet peas, white lisianthus and, last but not least, pink cherry blossom branches.  Lots of flowers!  Truly lovely!
This is what greeted the guests as they entered the reception area.


Also, to be placed in the entry hall on a side table was this arrangement. 

Many of the same flowers were used in this arrangement as had been used in the trumpet vase arrangement.  However, a large white peony, white anemone, pink astilbe and dahlias were added to the mix in this one.

Once the trumpet vase and side arrangements were in place, we were on to the ballroom to set-up and finish the reception centerpieces.  Most of the tables would have low centerpieces, fourteen to be exact.  They looked like the one pictured below.  However, all the low centerpieces were slightly different from one other so as to be unique and interesting.

You can see from this sampling that each centerpiece was, in deed, slightly different from the other.  The colors again were to be peach, pink and white but, these centerpieces were to have a "touch" of blue and gray.  The dusty miller added the gray. Cornflower and another "mystery" blue flower were added for the blue accent.

The next task at hand was to assemble the tall centerpieces.  There were six of them in all. Floral arrangements like the one below were placed on top of 36" tall clear, glass vases.  Voila!  Tall Centerpieces!  Almost...

After the centerpieces were safely set on top of the vases, I needed to add the finishing touches.  Greens needed to flow down the sides of the arrangements and a few more greens were added to the top.  This part was a bit time consuming and before we knew it, we had been at the hotel for almost three hours.

Here is the finished product. Sorry for the background clutter in the picture.  The hotel was in the process of setting up the room at the same time I was delivering and setting up the flowers. We were all working together to make the room gorgeous!

Here you can see the tall and the low centerpieces next to each other before all the dinnerware had been arranged on the tables.

Thankfully, some of the guests at the wedding were friends of mine and I was able to obtain a photo of the ballroom after the room had been totally decorated and set-up for the wedding. I wish the photograph allowed you to see the tall centerpieces better.  There is one way in the background of this photo. You'll just have to take my word for it that everything looked lovely :).
This was the view out the window of the hotel.  Pretty cool, huh?!  Such a great place for a wedding and it was the perfect day, weatherwise!

The last task I had to do at the hotel before leaving for the church (I had to place some white bows on the railings of the entry to the church) was to decorate the wedding cake.  I thought I would be doing this in the ballroom.  I had decorated other cakes before and they were usually placed in the reception area by the time I needed to work on them.  However, this time the cake was in the refrigerator.  My assistants and I hovered in the corner of the walk-in refrigerator and decorated the cake.  It got a little chilly but we had a great time anyway.

More beautiful flowers

Here is another hijacked photo from one of my friends who was a guest at the wedding :).  This is the cake as the guests saw it that evening.  The rose petals and candles were a nice touch.

The happy couple as they walked down the aisle after the ceremony.  Lovely, lovely, lovely.

Congratulations to Kerry and Mark!  I wish them a happy, happy life!!!

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The Boston Seaport Hotel Wedding and the Value of "and Company"

Of course, I want to share the photos and experiences of doing my first wedding in Boston with you but, I also want to tell you about the amazing people who make up my support system for these weddings and for life in general.  I am so lucky to have them.  When I started my company a few years ago, I thought long and hard about the name.  I ended up with Mitchell & Company Designs and Events.  Mitchell, of course, is my name.  Designs and Events was my attempt at letting people know what my company offered in a few short words.   The "and Company" was wishful thinking on my part at the time because, in reality, I was really only a one-man show...or at least that is what I thought.

The photo below is how all my weddings start---with a trip into Boston to the flower market to pick up flowers I have pre-ordered for the event.  Many times I find other flower "treasures" while looking around the market and add them to the mix, just for fun and a little more drama!  My sister-in-law and friend, Judy, usually accompanies me on these trips to help and give me moral support.  (I get a little nervous driving into Boston but, time and experience has helped on that front but, Judy's support is invaluable to me.)

After the flowers have been carefully packed into my SUV, we drive back to Groton with the A/C blaring to keep the flowers cool.  We usually need to bring an extra sweater for the ride :).  As soon as we get home we  start cutting the stems of the flowers and then putting them in water, which has been treated with flower food.  It's pretty labor intensive and Judy is a great sport to help me.

What I haven't mentioned is that when we arrived to pick up my flower order that day for the Boston wedding, I was informed by my vendor that not all of the flowers had made their way to Boston from their origination point of Holland.  The plane was too heavy and some of the flowers had to be left behind. What?!  I've never heard of such a thing!  Unfortunately for me, some of the most important flowers for the  wedding were left at the Holland airport!  Peach ranunculus and sweet peas were to be  center points of the wedding and they were left behind. I was told the flowers would arrive the next day, which sounds great, but I needed to start working on the floral arrangements the next day and didn't have time to make the trek back into Boston.  Judy, graciously, offered to make the trip with her husband, Bob, to get the flowers for me.  Soooo wonderful of her!

 However, the bad news didn't end there.  Not all of my flowers arrived the next day and there were serious doubts as to whether the remaining flowers would be in usable condition when they finally arrived.  More stress!!  This meant sending Bob and Judy to yet another supplier to find flower substitutes in case the flowers  arriving the next day on the plane were no good.  There were no sweet peas anywhere to be found so, I needed to find a back-up flower, just in case.  I sent Bob and Judy out again to pick up some lisianthus as an insurance flower.  More driving for them.  More stress for me! 

With Bob and Judy diligently searching for flowers, I was able to start working on the centerpieces and other arrangements.  I had 20 centerpieces to make for the wedding, 14 low centerpieces and 6 tall ones.  I also had two other very large arrangements to create, as well as, bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres. This photo below is of the tall centerpieces.  These were to sit on the top of 36" glass vases.  Quite elegant.  (You will see those photos in my next post.)
I loved the flowers used in these arrangements.  They included anemones, dahlias, Juliet garden roses, spray roses (I love spray roses), astilbe and lisianthus, to name a few.


On the first day of production I was also able to make "Grammie's" corsage.  I'm sorry I don't have a better picture to show you. It's always crunch time and I don't always have the luxury of taking time to take great pictures. This is a photo of the corsage while I was working on the it.  It would later be placed in a clear plastic box and stored in the refrigerator.
This is one of the bridesmaid's bouquets.  They were to be petite and have the colors of peach, light pink, white and a touch of blue and gray.  The bridesmaids dresses were blue, close to the color of the blue cornflower shown in the bouquet.  Very pretty!
Here is another bridesmaid bouquet.  In the background you can see part of the delivery system my husband, Tom, created to hold the vases securely in place while being transported to the hotel. He spent many nights designing and making these necessary devices for me.  Such a great guy!  I wish I had photos of his whole process.  It was quite impressive.

Are you beginning to see that my "and Company" had truly become a reality?  Judy, Bob, Tom and more to come were all supporting me.  I was so thankful for them!

Here is the Mother-of-the-Bride nosegay bouquet.  The pink flower you see is supposed to be a "peach" peony!  I thought the colors looked pretty together so I used it anyway but, it was not peach!  Several days later the "peach" peonies did, in fact, turn peach in color but to be honest, they only lasted, perhaps, a day to a day and a half before they were not viable anymore.  It was a lesson in peach peonies for me.  They are beautiful if you can put up with their finicky behavior!

Here are some of the boutonnieres.  This was really the only photo I got of them.  As I have said, everything is so time sensitive that there are not always extra moments to shoot photos.  The boutonnieres would later be placed in clear bags and two black corsage pins would be added.  The boutonnieres consisted of one peach ranunculus, one pink astilbe stem and one leaf of dusty miller.  The boutonnieres were then tied with a peach ribbon.
My daughter, Brittany and her friend, Nicole, would arrive the next afternoon to help me with the bouquets and low centerpieces.  Judy was also there to help me all along the way.  My "and Company" continued to expand.  They were all terrific! 
This was the brides bouquet.  She wanted it mostly white with touches of peach and pink.  She also wanted a cascading bouquet with lots of flowing greens.  I really thought it was beautiful.
These were  the low centerpieces after they had been loaded into Tom's traveling apparatus ready to be delivered to the Seaport Hotel in Boston.  We were finally about to make the journey into Boston, to deliver the bouquets to the bridal party and to set up the floral arrangements in the Grand Ballroom of the hotel. 

Please stay tuned for my next post for the rest of the wedding adventure.

However, before I end this post, I want to tell you about the others who have helped me along the way; people whom I consider to be my "and Company", as well.  My son, Sam, helped me create my website in the early stages of my business.  Since I am a techno-phobe, this was invaluable to me.  My daughter, Amanda, is a wiz with Microsoft Excel and she created a spreadsheet to help me with the ordering of the flowers for my weddings.  She also helped me set up my business Facebook page.  All things I never could have done on my own.  And my friend, Carolyn, was the person who really got this whole wedding thing going for me by putting her faith in me to do the flowers for her daughter, Keri's, wedding.  She encouraged me to take this on when I didn't think I could do it and,  now, here I am with several weddings to my credit.  She continues to be one of my biggest fans.  I could never thank her enough and I am so lucky to have her and all the others in my life. 

So, I have learned first hand that "no man is an island" and I am so glad and thankful for that!

Oh, and by the way, the peach ranunculus and the sweet peas did arrive and, miraculously, they were beautiful and in terrific shape!  Hallelujah!

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Tasting at the Barn at Gibbet Hill

It has been busy here at Mitchell & Company Designs and Events.  (For those of you who do not know, that is the official name of my floral design/event planning company.)  Busyness is why I have not posted anything recently.  I just didn't have time!  I guess, in a way, that is a good problem to have in business...too much to do.

I had two major events planned for April.  One was a big wedding in Boston...I will tell you about that event later this month...the other event was a wedding couples tasting at the Barn at Gibbet Hill.  That event took place on April 11, 2016. The Barn is in my hometown of Groton, Massachusetts and it one of the loveliest wedding venues in the state, in my opinion.  I reached out to the people at Gibbet Hill, just to let them know I was in town and that I did wedding floral design.  They asked me if I would be willing to donate eight centerpieces for their upcoming tasting.  Thinking it was a great opportunity for me and my business, I said, "Yes!"

So, I did A LOT of planning and purchased A LOT of flowers and got to work!
Part of the planning was to decide WHAT style of centerpieces I was going to make. To be honest, it caused me some stress thinking about it but, after a while, a devised a plan.  I made a centerpiece list and planned accordingly. 
 Early on I decided to make a centerpiece similar to the cocktail table centerpieces I did for my wedding in December, white with sparkles and all!
I feel it turned out to be quite beautiful.  I love the sparkles!  The flowers used were hydrangeas, roses, spray roses and ranunculus.  This was the centerpiece as it sat in my living room before being delivered to the Barn.

The centerpiece was to be placed at the regristration table but, the table had not been set up when I came to take my photos.  I had actually created a different centerpiece for the purpose of the registration table but, the folks at Gibbet Hill had other plans :).  I thought it would look really nice on a dining table.


When figuring out the different centerpieces I was going to make, I had  decided to do a few rustic, barn appropriate centerpieces, as well.  This was one such arrangement. The vase is made from birch bark and is a bit taller than my other centerpieces, giving it a different look from the lower vase arrangements.  Evidently, it was a favorite of one of the staff people because they took it home with them, which, of course, was great!
The flowers I used for this arrangement where white roses, white anemone (with the dark center), orange-red rosed, Juliet garden roses, sea holly, dusty miller and seeded eucalyptus.

This arrangement was my favorite.  I just loved it.  I loved the urn vase, the asymmetrical shape and the colors.  I used all sorts of flowers here.  I used Juliet garden roses, white anemones (green centers) mini green hydrangeas, white stray rose, pink rose, dusty miller and silver dollar eucalyptus.
I thought, in reality, this centerpiece looked even better outside, better than it did in the Barn but, that was not the purpose of the day!


This was another rustic centerpiece made of three separate, small arrangements placed on a tree trunk.

I think I will be doing a wedding in the fall which will have similar centerpieces.  Do you see the succulant on the mini tree trunk?  I really liked that look.  There was one in the birch vase, as well, if you want to check it out!

This arrangement was the one I had made originally for the registration table.  It was slightly taller than the other centerpieces and I wasn't sure if used as a table centerpiece,  
if i twould  be too tall for guests to see each other across the table.  I guess it was not a problem since this was another centerpiece that was missing the next day when I returned to the Barn for some of my supplies.  Sara, the event coordinator, had told me this was her favorite centerpiece :).  I think it may have gone home with her.

For this I used pink stock, burgundy ranunculus, orange-red roses, white hydrangea, white anemone, sea holly, wax flower and variegated pittosporum.  It had more of a rustic feel, as well, with the tin vase.  (I love those tin vases.)
Here it sat pretty on the table :).
I sneaked a peak at the appetizer menu.  It looked elegant and delicious!


Now that I think of it, I did do many rustic centerpieces.  After all, it is a barn!  I found this drawer container and just couldn't resist it!  
This arrangement had many of the other flowers I had already used except I added mini green hydrangeas.  


For some reason, I only have one photo of this centerpiece, which is too bad because if was really pretty.  The vase was a clear cube vase and it was filled with white hydrangeas, pink roses, white ranunuculus, dusty miller and pink stock.  This was more of a traditional centerpiece.  My thinking was that there are always brides who like the traditional look.
 I think it was this arrangement that prompted one of the couples to call me and ask if I would do the flowers for their wedding.  I meet with them in a few days!

Finally, here is my second favorite.  This arrangement was for the Sweetheart Table.  The coordinator had originally asked for a small centerpiece for this table but, I really wanted to do something special. I loved the flowing greens and the white and green color scheme. I thought it looked lovely on the table with the upholstered chairs in the background.  I am so happy I decided to go this way!
All in all, it was a great experience!  My only regret is that I didn't get photos of the whole room decorated for the evening.  I was a little intimitated because the staff was trying to get ready for the event and I didn't want to get in the way.  You'll just have to take my word for it, The Barn at Gibbet Hill is a wonderful place for a special event and the food is delicious!  I've been to a Christmas party there and the Gibbet Hill Restaurant next door is not to be missed!

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