Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Cost of Flowers

Photo shoots have become all the rage this year, talented people joining forces to create a look and then have it published on websites. I think this is all great, I love the creativity, the inspiration, the fresh ideas. I appreciate all the wedding blogs that show these beautiful and lush floral designs portrayed in the photo shoots. Only two slight problems... Price & Season.

Yes, I too, LOVE peonies, garden roses, hydrangea, ranunculus, anemones, orchids, etc. I would use them every day if it were possible. I'm sure many of my fellow floral designers feel the same way.

Let's first talk about the price. I will be placing the flowers in 3 categories which reflect the pricing here in Denver, Colorado.

Most expensive, more than $10 per stem:
Callas, mini & regular sized
Casablanca Lilies
Garden Roses
Lily of the Valley
Orchids ( Cymbidiums, Cattleyas, phalaenopsis )

Medium Price, $5-10 per stem
Fern Fronds (monkey tail)
French Tulips
Glorisa Lilies
Orchids (Dendrobriums, Mokaras, Oncidiums)
Pincushion Protea

Least Expensive, under $5 per stem
Asiatic Lilies
Bells of Ireland
Craspedia (Billy Balls)
Gerber Daisies
Grape Hyacinth (Muscari)
Green Fuji Mums
Hypericum Berries
Scabiosa Pods

Now, I know what many of you are thinking - oh good, my favorite flower is in the least expensive category. Yet, there's another element to take into consideration when selecting your flowers - SIZE! As with most things in life, size matters.
Yes, hydrangeas & Casablanca lilies are expensive per stem but they are large and therefor you need less of them to make an impact. The delicate flowers such as ranunculus, anemones, sweetpeas, tulips, tweedia, stephanotis, craspedia fall under the least expensive flower per stem but they are small and you need a lot of them to make an impact.

The other issue with many of the flowers we see in styled shoots - their availability. Seems the most popular flowers seen in photo shoots are anemones, ranunculus, peonies, tulips and garden roses. Here's their breakdown by season. Anemones and ranunculus are spring time flowers, they grow the best in early spring. The practically disappear during the hot summer months and then make a return half way through September. Peonies are available mid-May thru June. Sure, you can get some in early May and July but they are half the size of the prime season peonies. We do see them re-emerge in November as they are being shipped in from the southern Hemisphere. I have heard rumors that growers are emerging in Alaska which will mean we'll receive peonies for an extended season, hopefully this takes place by next season. Tulips do appear to be in season almost year round now, however, their prices surge in the summer as this isn't their normal season. Plus, they are smaller than when in their season prime and open very quickly. They really are best November-early June. Garden roses are at their prime during the summer and fall months (June-November).

There you have it, the most popular flowers broken down by cost and season. Any questions or comments? Please let us know.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Do you love peonies?

Do you love peonies? If you do then I'm pretty sure you are going to love this bouquet. (I'm thinking of my friend Janine (Makeup by Janine) while I type this, she loves peonies!)

Thank you Andrew & Jessica Photographers for sending these over!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Flower Inspiration :: Peony Envy

I came across this beautiful website which sells peony plants. The front page shows a great chart of peony colors.

Check out Peony Envy website for more eye candy.

"Know that a beautiful garden takes years to develop, hours of planning, months in the dirt, and maintenance. Remember the old garden truisms - first year sleep, second year creep, third year leap - or first year roots, second year shoots, third year flowers."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Kate's Timber Ridge Wedding

Alicia and Bella Fiori team,

Thanks so much for everything you did for my wedding. Being an artist myself it's hard to let other people put your vision into place. When i walked into the Timber Ridge hall i was so amazed! It all looked exactly like i hoped it would and better! Thanks for the beautiful job! I've gotten loads of compliments on the uniquely beautiful centerpieces and the gorgeous archway!

Kate and Dave

Photography by Autumn Burke Photography

Shop News :: What's Happening at Bella Fiori

Hello my dear friends!
I hope you have enjoyed your summer and are now looking forward to fall. I love fall! It's amazing in Colorado how on September 1st it's as if someone flicks a weather switch here. We suddenly go from 90+ days for the past two months to more comfortable temps in the 70s & 80s and every morning greets us with a crispness in the air. Although, I know the first snow is looming... I hope it takes its sweet time arriving.

As for Bella Fiori & Bella Rents it has been a busy summer and looks to be a busy fall.

A few highlights:
We designed the flowers for The Knot event. I will be posting beautiful photos from Jensen Sutta. Meanwhile, you can see a recap on the StudioWed Blog.

We've been invited onto the preferred vendor list for the brand new Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Denver. It's a beautiful property which will open in October.

I've been surfing the net, with the help of Google Alerts, to find any write ups including photographs of our work. I came across these:
A Realistic Wedding
Alisa Benay - Wedding Dress Photoshoot
Jensen Sutta - 10 Mile Station
Jensen Sutta - Crooked Willow Farm
Weddings By Tanya

That's just a few tid-bits for now. I have quite a few photos from weddings to post and will be doing that in the coming weeks.
Wishing you a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wedding Inspiration :: The Brown Palace Hotel

A beautiful color palette of burgundy, mauve, pink and merlot was used to design the flowers for this lovely wedding. A perfect color palette for the stately Brown Palace Hotel in downtown Denver.

For more photos please visit the Frances Photography blog. Frances & I had the pleasure to work with wedding planner extraordinaire Michelle Gillette of Dramatic Events.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Vintage Pink Baby Shower

A few weeks ago Debbie from Save The Date Events called to ask if I'd be interested in designing flowers for a very pink, very vintage baby shower. I said, yes of course!!

We used my collection of milk glass vessels and filled then with lush arrangements of garden roses, peonies (in August!), ranunculus, sweetpeas, hydrangea, lisianthus and touches of jasmine vines.

The full table setting at The Brown Palace Hotel in downtown Denver:

Debbie created such an adorable atmosphere for the baby shower. Here are a few photos showing the other elements:
Cutest Favors:

Display of cookies and milk, how cute!

Milk glass vases displaying the menu:

A cute candelabra provided by Debbie:

Display of cakes:

Friday, September 10, 2010

Creative Business Symposium with Sean Low

A reminder that we are fast approaching the Creative Business Symposium with Sean Low. It takes place this October 25, 26 & 27 at the beautiful Oxford Hotel in Downtown Denver.

Andrea and I are very excited to bring Sean Low to Denver. He's a business man, he's coming here to help business owners grow their businesses. No fluff here, he gets down to the nitty-gritty and makes you think! Makes you push yourself! Makes you be honest with yourself!

Monday - All Day Workshop open to all creative business people. 9-4, lunch served.
Tuesday - Two workshops are offered:
9-11 - Workshop for Photographers
1-3 - Workshop for Event Planners
Wednesday - One-on-One meetings with Sean Low

Register for Sean's Creative Business Symposium here.

Sean wrote the following article which reflects what he plans to present at the Symposium:

The 4 P's

I cringe at rules, proscriptions, formulas — anything that tells me how I have to do anything. It feels far too confining for me and creates an illusion of safety: if you do it this way, things will all work out. Mostly, I just hate being told what to do. There is no net and the only person that has the “right” answer for you is you. That said, there is a huge difference between being unconventional and being reckless. Not to be overly outrageous, but without core principles your creative business will fail. I translate core principles into the 4P’s: Passion, Philosophy, Platform and Process.

Passion: The unending, visceral, overwhelming desire to create the art that you do. There are far easier ways to make a living than to run a creative business. Nobody needs what you provide. Your clients hire you because they think you and your art can transport them to wherever they want to go. Hard for me to ever imagine that you would be able to honor and embrace this responsibility if you were not deeply passionate about what you create.

Philosophy: What is the purpose of your creative business? To be famous? Rich? A means to an end? The end? What do you want your clients to feel about you, your art and your creative business? Your employees? Vendors, friends and family? You? Your creative business has to have a purpose beyond delivering your art. Your business is simply the vehicle through which you can share your message. The integrity of what you believe is what infuses what you are selling regardless of whether you are creating it for yourself or a client. Your clients buy the message as much as they do the art. Soulless art is an oxymoron and is unsustainable as a business.

Platform: If you do not deliver to your clients what is most valuable about you and your creative business, you cannot hope to get paid what you need. What makes Apple different from Dell? The Flip different from Sony? Target different from Hermes? The better question is why each cannot sell the others’ products? Platform – each of these businesses message is designed to elicit a response (i.e., sale) from the audience that cares most about it. If you are confident about your philosophy and what you are truly passionate about, designing (or fixing) your platform will become obvious. I just finished Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh (the CEO of and, for me, the coolest part of the story was how they created an extranet for their vendors. Zappos’ vendors can see how their inventory is selling and at what rate on a real time basis – they have the keys to the store. Instead of taking all of the power from Zappos, the extranet turned vendors into partners and made them more, not less, invested in Zappos’ success. Transparency is a key part of Zappos’ platform, derived from their passion for customer service and their philosophy to deliver happiness.

Process: Nobody will be able to see your passion, philosophy or platform if you do not have a defined process. Yes, you have to write it down so that everyone – clients, employees, vendors, colleagues, even your mother – knows what comes next. There is not just comfort in everyone knowing how you do things, there is trust and faith. Talking the talk is necessary, but walking the walk is what defines a creative business. Tell me what you are going to do and then do it.

Fall is the time all of us think about what is to come and plan for the future. My prayer is that you use the 4P’s to help guide you. They are meant to be accomplished in order: Passion first (what gets you out of bed), Philosophy (what do you want to share with the world), Platform (who do you want to share it with and why) and finally Process (how you are going to share it). Will it guarantee the financial success of your creative business? Of course not. All that the 4P’s are meant to do is to help you satisfy your soul — to make sure your creative business best reflects all that is most important to you as an artist and human being. I would like to think that the rest will take care of itself.


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