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Wedding Flowers

  • Posted on December 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Thinking about flowers for your wedding?  Having trouble deciding on which flower means that special something to you?  Perhaps you already know exactly what you want.  Everything is easy smeasy, right?

You’ve been told , perhaps by your local florist, that you can get your flower or anything you want or need, at any time you want it.  The flower doesn’t necessarily have to be in season in your area you’ve been told, but it is in season somewhere and you can order that flower and have it at your wedding anytime you want it, right?  A flower that is not grown here in New York or even the northeast, can of course be gotten from the southwest, or even further south, South America including one of the Americas in the southern hemisphere. That is all very true of course, but what you are not being told is that there can be quite a hefty price attached to receive that very special flower you want.  Yes, of course you can have any flower.

Another reason, the florist may say that everything is in season and can be in season all the time, is that flowers now rather than 60 or so years ago, have been cross pollinated to present a varied flower, more resilient, an even more exotic flower in look and scent. A flower that can be grown almost anywhere. Just because this is the case, is that specific bloom going to be within your budget, whether it is merely a victim or cross pollination or has been flown in from the southern regions of the world? Whether it is science or imported, is the price tag too great for your budget.

When my husband and I were getting married, I’d found a beautiful purple and exotic flower within the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Found the name, looked it up online, and found that it would be in season during the summer time, however I hadn’t look to see where it was natively grown, and if it were here in the northeast. Alas, it was not in season in New York City during that time frame and I had chosen a flower that was so exotic, that it was not even in season in the United States. Getting it from the southern hemisphere was prohibitive to our budget.

When picking out your flowers be mindful of what is in season and exactly where it is in season, if you go the route of a florist. The florist can get you anything you want at any time of the year, but be smart and do some research on your own as well.

While compiling the budget for you wedding, you of course can always give yourself breathing room around your segments, so if you run into something like a pesky out-of-season bloom, perhaps you can splurge. If you feel it is a bloom you will not be able to live without, then and only then, if you have the money figured into your budget to use for this specific instance, by all means do it. Tell yourself ‘you deserve the splurge’ and do it, but if you have not worked it in, then don’t blow the seams off your budget by getting this one item. If you do it for this bloom, you will undoubtedly do it for almost anything else in your wedding purchases. If done repeatedly, you won’t be able to call your budget a real budget and will start to spend future money on your wedding, which I do not condone.


Here’s some tips to keep your cost within budget or lower:


  1. Do further research, there may be another bloom that mimics your exact flower that is in season within your area.
  2. Look at your wedding attire, see if there is something in or on it that represents a bloom and go with that one, if it is in season. (That’s what happened to me. I revisited my dress’ appliqués, which were hydrangeas. Perfect they were in season during June, and in purple*.)
  3. Do you have a theme to your wedding, maybe there is a flower that works perfectly with your theme. (It’s probably not the exotic flower you initially had in mind, but it will lend itself to something more reasonably within your budget.)
  4. Hey! Here’s a novel idea; confer with your fiance’. Maybe there is something that could be highlighted that you both like. Maybe you won’t even go the flower route. Mmmh!
  5. Purchase your bouquets from an emerging florist, rather than a big named flower company. (They might be able to not only drop them off, but supervise the handling of the blooms for decorations and handing or pinning them to or on your wedding party.) See

    Handheld or table setting blooms

  6. Purchase your bouquets from your local florist shop.
  7. Purchase your blooms from a local deli. (Don’t forget you’ll be in charge of making of the bouquets.)
  8. Purchase your blooms from one of the web or phone floral companies. They’ll deliver to your door. (Probably the day before your wedding.)
  9. Purchase from a warehouse or giant florist out in the outer boroughs. (It’s great to live in New York City for many reasons and this is one of them.) (If it’s from the warehouse: Don’t forget you’ll be in charge of making of the bouquets.)
  10. (Perish the thought) Silk or flowers made of cotton/polyester. They may not smell like real flowers, but if gotten at the right place, you can have your beautiful blooms forever. (Why not spritz the scent of your choice on your flowers?)


All in all, wedding flowers even though they can expand into ten or more segments within your wedding, they do not have to completely obliterate your budget. With some planning and ingenuity you can stay within your budget and have a beautiful wedding with beautiful wedding flowers. Just think outside the wedding flower box, and win.



Doesn’t it look like she is in a greenhouse?   No, she is standing in the midst of silk blooms.  Can you tell the difference?

Same-Sex Marriage Equality-Yes [Finally] Today; Wedding Toppers Tomorrow?

  • Posted on June 28, 2011 at 1:50 am

At Unity of New York, yesterday there was rejoicing in the aisles, in the congregation, and on stage as Rev. Paul Tenaglia’s moratorium was summarily dispensed with because the vote to allow same sex marriages came back in the affirmative. Rev. Tenaglia emphasized this by having various groups stand up and proclaim their sense of pride, accentuating that we all deserve and now all do have pride in choice of who we can marry. Equality is not equal if all cannot and do not experience the same things, including getting married. Just the night before the news spread like wild fire throughout the city, and probably the state, that the law had been voted on, and marriages could commence 30 days hence or starting on 25 July. Anyone wishing to get married can register as early as 5 July 2011. The vote in the affirmative could not have come at a more propitious time, the start of weekend of the Gay Pride March. I am sure it felt like it was a sign from the heavens, to march with renewed pride and celebration.

What does this mean for New Yorkers? It means that no longer does the Gay Community have to get married in one of the other states to the north of us and live in “sin” or as nonentities, without rights and benefits of being married here in New York. It means also that they will get to experience the same marriage or contractual agreement challenges that other married couples go through during the life of their marriages, now too. But even before that, other things may have to be taken into consideration. A friend of mine suggests this first year may be one of chaos, much like the new cars that come out onto the market (You know, the ones that have come from concept first into new car form). As every straight person who lives together before marriage, can tell anyone—living together and living married are two completely different things. In this first year, relationships that had been going along smoothly, even though there was no marriage available, may go through growing pains now that they can get married, or even break up because they can get married.

The other interesting thing is that I have heard that there is now a scarcity of wedding cake toppers, since the passage of the vote for same-sex marriage, (according to 1010 WINS-7/26/2011) you know those traditional and ‘so-called’ comical cake toppers that often go on top of the wedding cake for the show at the reception. Here’s what I hope will happen to those wedding cake toppers: I hope that whoever manufactures them, now gets real models for each group of people that are being depicted. Have you ever noticed that all of the wedding cake topper figurines only have one or two different faces? There is no real differentiation between a Caucasian, African Diaspora, Asian, or Hispanic figurine. That is other than skin tone and possibly thicker eyebrows for Hispanic and curlier hair for the people of African Diaspora descent. Otherwise all are based on Caucasoid features. In order to have real inclusiveness (within the wedding cake topper) more thought must put into the manufacturing process, as well. Possibly this doesn’t seem to be a big deal, but when you look at your cake topper and it looks nothing like you, you begin to wonder who’s wedding is it anyway. Inclusiveness does not mean every one looks alike, acts alike, or even dresses like. It means we are all included at the party, no matter what our differences. That’s really what makes a party fun, don’t you think? I for one, believe that. Now that we’ve gotten the big stuff out of the way, let’s start on the wedding cake toppers.


With regard to the wedding cake toppers there are many ways to remedy that challenge. Some I can even tell you about in another blog entry. Some really fun DIY (Do-It-Yourself) projects to make your wedding (cake topper) yours and fun.


Getting Ready.

  • Posted on June 28, 2011 at 12:17 am

As the day approaches for the event, I have started to do my own taste-testing.  Not from the wedding cake bakers in the running though, just random bakers.  What I found interesting though is that my stomach knows right away what is good and not to ever approach again.  I think I told you about the upcoming video in which I am tasting cake.  Well the props, (yes they were real) were from the fabulous Carrot Top.  Neither cake was a wedding cake, but oooooh, they were good.

The other day, I was in the mood for more cake, but not anywhere near Carrot Top, so I went to a random bakery nearby and had what I had hoped would be a chocolate cake.  Alas, it was possibly pound cake covered with chocolate frosting and topped with sprinkles.  It was good, not fabulous, but my stomach was not pleased in the least.  The moral of the story is, even though it’s cake and covered in chocolate, doesn’t mean that it will be good all the way through.

Behind the Scenes Scoop – Part 3

  • Posted on June 19, 2011 at 9:49 pm

To say that I am excited is an understatement. There are still a number of things to get done in the next three weeks. One is to find a champagne sponsor/vendor. I am looking for a New York State champagne vendor first, but may open that up a bit, as long as the champagne tastes good and is within the bride’s budget.  fortunately I have a couple of people working on this with me.  I am confident by midweek that will be in place as well.  If given the opportunity I will probably enlist those same people to do the taste-test of the champagne, since I am definitely not a connoisseur. Or maybe I should use my tongue after all. Mmmh.  Maybe I could do a taste-test with one from one of the guest judges’ establishments, plus the champagne and make a decision. What do you think?

All in all, I am in the middle of the end and it is still fun. Much like when I was writing my book and dreaming (literally) about what would be written next, I am being awakened during the night or early morning to get up and write, I ‘ve started awakening knowing what I am supposed to do during the day in relation to the upcoming event. Whether it is to help the event along toward its success by securing both cake bakers/designers [In Process] and the judging panel [DONE] or making the aspect of the brides attendance fun and exciting [DONE]. That’s the hunt for me, a lot like the hunt of our wedding on a budget, the writing and finishing of my book. It is a fun excursion, that I do like. I hope you will reap some of the benefits of my hunt.

Things to look forward to in the next 3 weeks, a video about the event and the book-from yours truly, my book: New York City Budget Weddings: Elegant and Affordable‘s soft launch during the event at Riverside Church on Sunday, 10 July 2011 in the Assembly Hall. There will be lots of chances for brides to walk away with a copy of selections from the book. The name of the event is Wedding Cake Taste-Off and interested bakers can now go to the website: to get more information, rules.  Brides can sign up via email: or calling to: 866 675 9994.   I hope you all can come. It is going to be a lot of fun for all of us all.


Day of Event Flyer


Wedding Cake Taste-Off Author’s Fitting

  • Posted on June 17, 2011 at 1:32 am


Today was all about me. Don’t you just want that sometime? To have a day when it’s about stuff you either have to or want to get done. Well, that was what today was all about.

Here’s what my day’s plan was:

  1. Videotape invitation to Brides for Wedding Cake Taste-Off and talk about my book.
  2. Dress fitting with Ms. Rose Jeffries of Rose Loves Fashion
  3. Call my co-Sponsor; Ms. Angela Gregory, Weddings at Riverside
  4. Make some calls
  5. Home to write.


Did I get all of that done? Absolutely. Was it as quick as it took you to read it? Absolutely, not. First off, I forgot to turn my phone off last night and someone called and awakened me around one am. Not fun, especially since I then did not go right back to sleep. My time to awaken was scheduled for 7:20 am. I did, but also heard someone hit the bathroom, as I was about to and so lay down for a minute. Not wise, I reawakened an hour later. Called ahead to my fitting to let Ms. Jefferies know I’d meet her an hour later than prescribed. Met with the videographer, picked up some luscious cake and off we went to just in front of Riverside Cake, to shoot.

Aerial View

I think she (Videographer) got some awesome footage, plus it was not hard to eat the cake either. Yummy! When you see the footage, I am sure you will agree. Video tapings being what they are, we ran over by 45 minutes. So now I am an additional hour late for my fitting. Plus, I had to dash down to the Garment District to meet her.

At the fitting, ladies, unless you sew (which I don’t) and of course after you have already approved of the design, and interjected your opinion on draping or comments about the spots where you might be uncomfortable (which I did), shut up. I added my two cents and nearly torpedoed the top. I’d put my head into the wrong opening and thought I was correct, which meant all the measurements were wrong. Not! Rose and her team soon discovered my mistake and pinning commenced quite efficiently after that. As you may know designers do the first fitting in muslin, so pulling out the muslin, would have been a lot of wasted work in this case, but not horrifying. I see now why doing a gauge in needlecraft is SO important. (I crochet.) The fabric and the drape is going to be luscious. I cannot wait for you to see it. THANK you Rose for your patience and talent. It is going to be fabulous.

Designer to Author for Wedding Cake Taste-Off

I had to go shoe perusing for a hot minute (Didn’t find a thing I liked, but I was in Midtown, anyway.), and then bead perusing as well. Got some ideas on a potential fun, but elegant necklace. What I find, for me, is after a bit of creativeness in another genre, I am ready to come home and do some serious writing. It’s kind of like oiling the pump. [You’ll find I am not very good at cliches.] Oh, and I made my phone calls in Bryant Park. Very soothing and just what I needed to get more work done. I now have a night of writing ahead of me and I am raring to go. WooHoo!


A waste of time?

  • Posted on June 11, 2011 at 1:44 am

Due to something I ate yesterday, my sometimes delicate stomach rose up in protest into the night/morning last evening, right after choir rehearsal.  Needless to say, the things I had prescribed to get done both last night and this morning in relation to the Wedding Cake Taste-Off event were not gotten to.  Spiritually, I suppose, one could say, I was forcing myself to rest.  Or at least to stay home and get a lot of reading done.  Theoretically, that is what happened.

I have so much to do, but today it was not to be done for the Wedding Cake Taste-Off event in July.  I am still in search of a champagne sponsor who will do the champagne service for the invited guests.  I did take a look again at my press release and tighten it a bit.

My editor came over yesterday and gave me marketing tips but not the final edits.  That’s frustrating, although the tips were quite wonderful, but I want to see the final edits so I can put them in and then send them off to the last person to read it BEfore the event.  Way before the event, I hope so that the book can go to print.  Of course, the cover design is not finished as yet either, so I shouldn’t fret anyway, right? The designer and I had a discussion about that and the eBook design, which is not to be done by the same person.  So . . .?  What about that flyer though for the event? [Pretty cool, I think.]  The designer captured exactly what I’d detailed.  That wonderful designer, is Fouzia Eldrissi’s ( website designer (  [Jjkodesign is having a contest for small businesses, you might want to check it out].  Ms. Eldrissi will be at the event on 10 July and she is interviewed in my new book.  She is a delight.

If I re-cap my week, actually it has been quite fulfilling really and it might even seem as if I deserved to rest.  I had a meeting with Angela Gregory the wedding coordinator of The Riverside Church, which is the (sponsoring venue) this week with regards to the planning and how things are shaping up.  I’ve spoken, (texted actually) the fabulous Rose Jeffries [] who is designing my outfit for the event.  Researched and acquired the bags that the goodies will go in, researched both California and upstate New York vintners, set-up both the website, it’s content, prize structure, bakers rules and added content to Like Page . . . actually it goes on and on.  Really, I did deserve to rest and I guess my body must have known that I wasn’t really planning to so voluntarily until Friday (today) afternoon, when I would walk the Highline.  Walking, although meditative, and somewhat recuperative is not resting, so all in all it was not a waste of time after all.  No, it was a great day to reflect on all that has been gotten done.  Forced though it was, it was still a great day, in the end.

Here’s the Behind the Scene Scoop-Part 1

  • Posted on May 28, 2011 at 5:16 am

Alright, I promised you a surprise and information on my book, well today you are in luck, I decided to tell you what’s been going on. You already know the name of the book and you already know the surprise, but what about the behind the scenes goings on . . . Do you want to know that?

For the last 5 – 6 weeks I have been working with a phenomenal team of women who have helped me put together an unforgettable book launch. I will say there were also a couple of guys along the way who helped as well. A lot of women have said that men are usually not known for listening, but listen to me they have been doing and I have to just send you all a shout-out for that as well.

My book is in final edits, YIPPEE! The process to getting it to the published state or eBook form has been longer than I thought it would be. You may recall, I finished or proclaimed I’d finished a while back and even likened it to giving birth. It is still feels like that. Now, I have decided to birth something else, but this time not alone. [Has that been done before? Is that like birthing with ‘a village’? Humm, maybe.]

One of the people I interviewed after being presented as a new author at Riverside Church’s wedding event, was Angela Gregory. Ms. Gregory is the Wedding Consultant at The Riverside Church and we talked about brides thinking outside of the box when it came to their weddings. She even told me about her book that she is currently writing about her experiences from her point of view as a wedding consultant. Now, I get to encourage her, as people encouraged me while I was writing my book. I have looked forward to doing just that.

About an month after our interview, I got an idea about how to publicize my book while benefiting two other types of people within the wedding process. I shared it with a few of my friends and then took it to Angela via email. She loved the idea and we threw some dates around and came up with 10 July 2011. Yup! Just 6 weeks from now, this new event will take place at The Riverside Church in the Assembly Hall.

What have I been doing since the date has been nailed down. Batting around ideas on how to publish my book. Doing rewrites that the wonderful Carla Lynne Hall, my editor, Internet marketer, and advisor has sent to me. Ms. Hall has been a Godsend, she has been so patient and has steered me on how to set up my website. She has reined me in when I have gotten excited about publishing right away and reminded me that there were still things to look at in depth before thinking about publishing anything, right away. As a seasoned author of several books herself, Ms. Hall continues to guide me with each step onto the correct path prior to publishing. Publishing is a whole other process, too. Her advice has been invaluable when it comes to marketing my book both in person and online.

From brainstorming with both Ms. Hall and Guya Rai (my WIBO-Workshop In Business Opportunities, classmate and part of my 1/3 of my brainstorming group from class.), led me to think outside the box myself with how to market my book. That is how I came up with the idea of the Taste-Off. Initially it was named something else, but by the time my first meeting with Angela came to an end, we trashed the first name and were going back to the drawing board. Then a thought, call it intuition, or call it God, the name popped out of my mouth and the people around me got a look of glee and delight on their faces. I ‘d come up with the name for the event. When I spoke to my team about it later, they concurred what Angela and her team told me at the end of our meeting, that it was a terrific name and it said exactly what it is. And that is how Wedding Cake Taste-Off was born.