Geranium Lake Flowers ( makes DIY flowers doable—just book a design session for two or three days before your event, bring your besties (plus Champagne, Blue Star doughnuts, or Little Bird burgers from across the way!), and get creative. The downtown floral boutique will deliver your blooms on the big day. “It’s definitely a party or a fresh approach to the bridesmaids’ luncheon,” says owner Kim Foren, “and it can save couples an average of 30 to 40 percent.” Albany bride Heather Burk is having Foren craft the bouquets and boutonnieres for her November 2013 nuptials to Michael Nelson at the Leftbank Annex, but signed up to make the table décor with her mom, ’maids, and friends. Check out the trial run she and a few loved ones did for our benefit.


Style Me Pretty

1) Burk envisions eclectic floral arrangements that feel as though she just wandered through an English garden and picked her favorite blooms. Family friend Sue Lebow helped her practice with white hydrangea, silvery dusty miller, and blue and purple delphinium.

2) “My mother and I have scoured nearly every antique store along the I-5 corridor, from Albany to Seattle,” says Burk, who also enlisted friends to help find the deep blue, green, and clear glass bottles for the centerpieces. “I’ve termed our overall theme ‘collected elegance,’” she notes. “Many items we’re using have already had a life in some way, and have a story of their own to contribute to our special day.”

3) Modern suits often feature narrower lapels, so make sure your boutonnieres are appropriately scaled, Foren says. Grooms typically appreciate smaller, simpler bouts with unique texture, like these thistles backed by dusty miller.

4) The bride-to-be wants a bouquet that’s approachable but also fittingly full, lush, and gorgeous for her sophisticated urban venue.

5) Just for fun, Foren showed Burk how to create the bouquet’s textured, round shape, wrap the stems with ribbon, and place the pearl pins that secure the handle.

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