A bit about our most recent events
April and Jim
Cameron and Nick
Dana and Mark
Melissa and Kyle
What an honor! Several photographs of our work were featured in this year’s Florists’ Review ‘Picture Perfect Trends’ article. Our designs were selected from hundreds of submissions, from florists all across the country. We are so proud of our work and honored to be seen as outstanding among our peers.
We would like to first thank our wonderful brides, Carolyn, Jillian and Sarah, for providing us with amazing inspiration this year. Without their beautiful wedding visions, we wouldn’t have been able to create such unique and dazzling arrangements.
We would also like to thank Dan of Dan Merlo Photography, Steve of Steve Koo Photography and Andrew of John Andrews Photography for capturing such elegant images of our work. Their eye for detail really made our work pop.
Lastly, a big thanks to all of our family and friends for their support. It’s been an exciting first year, and this feature really takes the cake!
Our Upcoming Events:
Belles and Thistles is on the move this year with events all over the Midwest! We will be bringing our traveling design talents through Chicago, Indiana and even Ohio.
And there seems to be a theme developing in our future designs: Purple. Several of our Brides are using one shade of purple or another in their event design, but that’s where the similarities end. Our Brides have very different ideas about their weddings, making each event quite unique and that’s what makes our job so much fun.
In March, after a super secret Bridal Shower, we kick off our event season with Melissa’s wedding on the 31st. Her color palate is Eggplant and Champagne, and her big day will be held at one of our favorite venues, the fun and funky Salvage One in Chicago. Next we are designing for Dana on April 14th. Her Plum and Charcoal color scheme will create a stunning, elegant look for her Spiaggia reception. Our spring events continue into May with Cameron’s wedding on the 25th. She chose a Damask print as the inspiration for her wedding, using Green, Black and White to create a bold graphic look.
Summer starts with Katy’s June 2nd event, a fresh-picked garden wedding in Ohio, followed by Kristi’s August 24th fete at Starved Rock. Her palate is Purple, White and a bright pop of Red. Fresh flowers combined with lanterns, birdcages and branches will create a romantic country-chic vibe. Lastly we take on a fall wedding, returning to Salvage One on September 30th for Lindsay’s wedding. Here we will use natural tones, feathers, branches and tons of candles for a warm inviting feel.
We are very excited to design for this great group of Brides-to-be, and looking forward to spending 2012 working hard to create the beautiful events that our clients will remember forever. What lucky ladies we are!
Billie and Aaron’s Wedding 09.18.11
You may notice a familiar face when you look through the gallery of Billie and Aaron’s rainy wedding ceremony. The Groom, Aaron, was a groomsmen at Jillian and Phil’s wedding just a few months ago! Aaron and Billie had the sweetest wedding ceremony on a gray day in September, and they didn’t let the rain ruin a moment. The theme of their wedding was that of a garden. The couple planted bulbs, together with their daughters, in lieu of the traditional unity candle ceremony. They spoke of love, laughter, and how nurturing each other was like tending to a beautiful garden. And how fitting it was that the sky opened up to water the seeds of their love on that day.
The groom, mothers, flowers girls and bridesmaids each carried a single flower down the aisle and placed it into a vase at the alter. After the ceremony the loose flowers were compiled to make the Bride’s bouquet. The alter space in the garden at Roots was created by an arbor that the couple later put in their own garden. We added a few fresh arrangements to the outdoor space but for the most part let the garden’s beauty set the space. Indoors we decorated the guests dining tables with small canning jars filled with a mix of pink, green and white flowers. We used belles of Ireland, queen anne’s lace, roses, carnations, monte cassino and more to really bring the outdoors in and create a wild-flowery romantic look. Candles and seed packet favors rounded out the look and made the garden theme shine.
Christa and Tim’s Wedding 09.03.11
This wedding was a Belles and Thistles first. We never met with this Bride in person, nor did we speak to her over the telephone. The planning and consultation for this event were done entirely over the internet. The Bride, Christa, and Jenn, took Italian language classes together at the University Of Illinois several years ago, and reconnected over Facebook. Ah, the internet is a magical place.
Christa and Tim, who live in Oregon, were married at the Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church in Chicago. They planned a super cute DIY wedding, but decided to have us help with the fresh flowers for the ceremony. Right from the get go, Christa knew she wanted- Succulents, Hydrangea, Billy Balls and Queen Anne’s Lace. And that made our job really easy, all we had to do was bring her vision to life. She was going for a lush, natural look, with a twist. Her bridesmaids wore non-matching gray dresses and carried cream and green hand-tied bouquets with a pop of golden yellow. The Succulents were really the star of this show, giving a unique texture to the arrangements. The Bride wore a cream gown custom made by her Aunt, and carried the Succulents and Hydrangea with the Queen Anne’s Lace, but no pop of yellow. The Guys wore Succulent Boutonnieres, and the Parents and Godparents each had a Cymbidium Orchid Corsage or Boutonniere. The church decor was fairly simple, just a simple sash with a cream hydrangea on every third pew. This wedding was clean, pretty and totally Christa, and we were glad to be a part of it.
Jillian and Phil’s Wedding 07.02.11
Last weekend we designed a fabulous wedding for Jenn’s sister-in-law Jillian, and her wonderful fiance, Phil. This couple was a joy to work for and gave us free reign to create them a personalized, pretty look for the event. Jillian and Phil’s wedding had many special elements, like a paisley pattern, sparkling gemstones in kiwi green, caribbean blue and orchid purple, and a vintage glamour vibe.
The beautiful Bride wore a red carpet worthy gown by Maggie Sottero and carried a romantic bouquet of Lily of the Valley accented with an antique rhinestone button. Two Maids of Honor, three Bridesmaids and Jr Bridesmaid wore pewter tea length dresses and carried cascade bouquets of Orchids, Roses, and Sweet William, finished with antique gems, blue glass mm balls and ribbon. The girls wore jewelry in Peridot, Amethyst and Topaz and fun and funky purple shoes. The Groom, five Groomsmen, Jr Groomsmen and Ushers each wore black suits and paisley printed ties in the wedding colors. The Groom’s boutonniere matched his Bride in Lily of the Valley, and the rest of the gents wore boutonnieres of lavender Roses with Hypericum, an antique button and a hint of glittered foliage.
The church was decorated very simply and elegantly. Jill is not a fluffy bow and tulle draping kind of gal. We went softer and more modern feel with the pew decorations, just a simple white sash with an orchid bloom. A touch of glitter and subtle paisley print made them really special. As there were 14 people participating in the ceremony, the alter did not require added decorations. To add large floral pieces would have looked forced, crowded and been costly. So instead we put our budget to better use with a beautiful arrangement placed before the Virgin Mary and put a few ferns around the room to soften the hard lines of the church. We also opted to roll out the aisle runner before the ceremony as to display a hand-painted monogram on the runner’s end. The ceremony was touching, beautiful, and an amazing start to Jillian and Phil’s lives together as husband and wife.
For the reception decor we went a bit more elaborate. Kiwi green linens were used to highlight the head table, cake table and DJ table, and classic white linens were used on the dinner tables to really let the colors of the flowers pop. We chose to do four different types of centerpieces to keep the room really interesting. The Bride liked the look of fresh green and purple flowers with blue embellishments. That design concept worked really well for us, and kept us from having to dye or spray-paint the flowers in her arrangements. Centerpiece #1 is a low and lush arrangement of Orchids, Roses, Sweet William, Peonies, Carnations, Hypericum and Hydrangea. This arrangement was all about rich textures. To add that bright pop of blue we inserted votive candles trimmed in blue ribbon and blue glass mm balls. Centerpiece #2 was a multi-vase look. First we filled the assorted glassware with blue water beads and then topped them off with clusters of Roses, Orchids, Sweet William, Carnations and an orb of Button mums. To tie in the paisley theme and the reoccurring monogram we added a band of paisley paper with the monogram to each vase. Centerpiece #3 was made to look like a hand tied bouquet leaning casually in a simple vase. Roses, Cymbidium and Mokara Orchids, Fuji mums, a Monstera leaf and Bear grass made up the bouquet. The oval shaped vase was filled with blue gemstones and the bouquet was wrapped with blue ribbons. Centerpiece #4 was another multi-vase look but this time we built up instead of across. To create this clean, modern look we used three rose bowls filled with blue deco-wire and stacked them on top of one another. One bowl held a rose, another a hydrangea, and the last an orchid bloom. To give the centerpiece more impact on the table we finished the look with rose petals.
We didn’t stop there for reception decor. We put flowers everywhere. There were arrangements on each end of the two bars, the sweets table, head table, DJ table, and even in the restrooms. The pew bows were reused to adorn the entrance to the hall, the escort card/guestbook table, cake table and smaller accent tables also got special attention with flowers and candles. The reception venue had an outdoor space available to the guests, so we took that as an opportunity to add even more romantic candlelight and fresh floral touches. Sconces hung on the lattice walls and bowl of hydrangea adorned the cafe tables.
Overall we were really happy with the way everything turned out. If it weren’t for Jenn’s lengthy time spent at the hair dressers the day went exactly as planned. Our team worked really well together and we even learned a few lessons. HUGE thanks to the team that helped us set up this event- Emily, Sharon, Brenda, Kathi, you’re the best, we couldn’t have made this happen with out each of you!
Dose Market 07.10.11
Why spend your weekend off reading the paper in your jammies or pulling dandelions? Put some pants on and come over to see us this Sunday, July 10th and check out the certified awesomeness that is Dose Market. Fabulous Food and Fashion together in the River East Art Center (10:00-4:00) : 435 E Illinois St, Chicago 312.321.1001
We know for a fact that your tummy will not be disappointed. This week X-Marx Chicago is hosting a Wúcháng Tea House. Chef Abe and his team present exciting, exotic snacks and sweet treats that are sure to transport you from downtown Chicago straight to China. Plus sample rare teas chosen by their resident tea guru, Rodrick Markus. But the most exciting part (for us), is that Belles and Thistles will be designing Asian inspired centerpieces for the tea house tables, as well as hanging out to meet and greet the masses. Come out to see what we have created, sample some beyond-delicious foods, chat about flowers or an upcoming event. Get Dosed!
Gaelic Park 07.14.11
Belles and Thistles is pleased to announce that we have just been named the preferred florist of Gaelic Park in Oak Forest, IL. We are excited to be joining forces with such a wonderful staff in an absolutely gorgeous facility, to create truly memorable weddings in the months and years to come.