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Designer Spotlight: Alex’s Wedding Inspiration

Posted on by BelleFiori

My dream wedding has changed a lot since my Disney princess fantasies as a child. As a four year old, a grown man in a suit of armor riding a horse sounded so romantic and normal. Now, at twenty seven, that seems like a noisy hot mess. While the idea of wearing a dress that would rival Princess Diana’s wedding gown doesn’t strike my fancy like it used to, I’m still envisioning grandiose event details. Now that I’m in a position to have an actual, real and true wedding, my brain is going through never ending “yes, no, maybe-so” judgement calls on every wedding detail that could ever be conjured up by photoshoots and blog posts (even this one). 

The struggle is real. Due to my daily involvement/addiction with Pinterest and Instagram I feel the need to make my wedding unique and original. Which is easier said than done. This post is the beginning of my brainstorming process to create a weird, pretty, and shiny/sparkly wedding look. 

Like every good bride-to-be, I started with a Pinterest board and gathered images of styles and colors I liked and then tried to go a step ahead by finding non-wedding inspiration. I drew from my art history background and came up with an idea.  An idea that can easily be found on Pinterest already! Alright, not exactly. Cynicism aside, I was inspired Georgia O’Keefe. Her color palettes and imagery from her Southwest period seemed easily translatable to centerpieces and event decor. While Southwest themes can be found on Pinterest, I tried to focus on the striking colors in O’Keefe’s work. My goal was not to create a southwest theme, but find an inspiration that highlights burgundy, purples and blues, while finding a reason, other than hunting, to incorporate a deer skull into my piece. 

Here are images from round one of my design experiments. We’ll see how my ideas changes over the year to come. Wish me luck!

-Alex

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Belle Fiori Real Milwaukee Wedding: Katie & Alex

Posted on by BelleFiori

Katie and Alex’s Southeastern Wisconsin nuptials were the perfect mix of elegant and fun. From the touching ceremony at St. John’s, to the ping pong and brilliantly served shaved ice, these two hosted the perfect event.

When our florists at Belle Fiori were selected to work with this fabulous couple, we were thrilled to create bridal florals to accent some of Milwaukee’s most beautiful venues. From the gorgeous brick at the Lake Country ceremony, to the ever-classic ballroom of the Wisconsin Club, Belle Fiori was given exceptional backdrops for inspiration.

Katie’s beautiful lace gown from Maggie Sottero was the perfect pair for her creamy white rose, lavender herb, white freesia and babies breath bridal bouquet. The pops of lavendar provided a wonderful complement to the bridesmaid’s dresses and decor. The bridesmaid’s themselves carried bouquets of purple stock, lavender roses, delphinium, lavender herb and babies breath. We loved the color combinations which photographed beautifully with both indoor and outdoor backdrops selected by Heather Cook Elliot Photography.

It’s hard to be a florist. Because the range of blooms and endless possibilities make it hard to pick a favorite style of floral design. On any given weekend, we’re hand selected to provide wedding florals and centerpieces for many Milwaukee couples. But I have to say, we had a wonderful time creating Katie and Alex’s classically beautiful centerpieces-they were some of my summer favorites. Housed in gorgeous glass vessels, their reception arrangements were the perfect focal point of each tablescape.

Check out some stunning shots from Katie and Alex’s special day, and congratulations again to the beautiful couple!

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Reception Venue: The Wisconsin Club

Photography: Heather Cook Elliot

Bridal Gown: Maggie Sottero

Bridal Store: Savvy Bride, Brookfield

Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff

Groom’s Suit: Dubois Formal Wear

Handkerchiefs: C A Designs Embroidery

Hair and Makeup: Roots Salon, Third Ward

Floral: Belle Fiori

Cupcakes: Sweet Perfections

Shave Ice Truck: Kona Ice Lake Country

Table Tennis Fun: Evolution MKE

DJ and Lighting: Sound By Design

Linens: BBJ and The Wisconsin Club

Videographer: A. Alive Films

Popcorn: Poppin’ On Broadway

Ceremony Glass Crystals: Unity In Glass

Planner: Megan, Dare to Dream Weddings

Tropical Style Bouquets

Posted on by BelleFiori

With the exception of a few steamy days, our Milwaukee Summer has been rather cool this year. To compensate for a lack of lakeside laziness in the Sun, Belle Fiori decided to showcase our favorite tropical bouquets from around the web that take us from Costa Rica to Hawaii, and Morocco to California! Tropical inspired bouquets are a favorite for summer brides, and we’re loving the variety of designs florists across the country are coming up with.

Check out some of our favorites below! If you’re interested in designing a tropical inspired arrangement for a wedding, party, or even your kitchen table, give us a call at 414-272-2234.

We’re loving this beautiful bouquet of orchids, pincushion proteas, calla lilies, and hypericum berries.

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The color palette chosen to design this bouquet were shades of coral, burgundy, plum, and persimmon. The bold hues reflected a traditional Moroccan color scheme. You can even find out how to make this gorgeous floral creation here.

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Inspired by the colours of Costa Rica, this floral design comprises native Cuban flowers harvested from the Costa Rican area. With a little bit of metallic floss added in for a sparkly touch, this bouquet will surely add some flavour to your wedding look!  Image {Styled by Datura: A Modern Garden | Photographed by Carla Ten Eyck Photography | Via Style Me Pretty}

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Check out these gorgeous Costa Rican florals!

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Photographed in Saratoga, California, these fantastic florals definitely have a beachy, west-coast vibe.

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This tropical arrangement adds more freshness and naturalness to a wonderful beach celebration.

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This floral crown and bouquet are full of color and texture.

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This colorful, tropical wedding is a perfect fit for summer. Click here for more!

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The bright magenta and pincushion structure make this a simple bouquet that exudes tasteful tropical bohemia.

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Softpeaches and pink in the flowers by Il Profumo dei Fiori evoke a tropical feel.

This modern tropical wedding inspiration shoot brings beach-y styling to an industrial setting, for a styled shoot that ends up being nothing short of honest to goodness perfection with the added help of Blush Wedding Photography!

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Beautiful Flowers: Behind the Scenes with the Belle Fiori Processing Team

Posted on by BelleFiori

When you think of beautiful flowers in a wedding bouquet, anniversary arrangement or even as a single stem, you’re usually envisioning them at their peak. Full, open roses, luscious lilies and delightful dahlias dance in your head. When you walk into our shop, the front cooler is full of blooms all ready for a custom arrangement. Bridal bouquets and centerpieces arrive on the wedding day, picture perfect.

Are we magic? Well, kind of. Meet the Belle Fiori processing team!

Mary Nolan has been tending the flowers since Valentine’s week of 2014, where she got to help strip 3000 roses on her first day at Belle Fiori. She is really good at this now. The best part of processing for her is seeing the various wedding color palettes come together. Her favorite flowers are Anemone and scented Geranium.

Cecilia Zea started as an intern last January and is now at Belle Fiori full-time, processing and designing. Her specialty? Keeping the front and back coolers clean and organized which is important for healthy, happy flowers. Her favorite part of processing? “Life is like a box of flowers, you never know what you are going to get.” Cecilia’s favorite flowers are anything from Windswept Acres (our local source for specialty, seasonal flowers.)

Tama Roberts and Sarah Vulcano round out the team part-time. Being newer additions to the store, they are still in awe of everything that comes in.

What exactly is processing?

Flowers need a little love when they arrive at our shop. Several times a week we receive large quantities of flowers for the shop, events and weddings. These are often flown in from California, Holland and South America. Boxes of flowers fill the back of the shop, more bundles fill the sinks and buckets. Most of the flowers are closed up and could really use a drink. Now it’s time for our processers to work their magic.

Roses need to be de-thorned (gloves are highly recommended). Hydrangeas need a sharp cut with a knife. Snapdragons and stock need to go into the cooler immediately, Alstromaria and Godetia like to sit out awhile. Lilies “need space”. Dahlias are the divas of the flower world, and are very fussy about temperature. Also, not too much flower food, please. And sometimes, on very special days, we get baby pink pineapples and the whole shop is giddy with excitement!

New flowers are given a fresh cut, sorted into buckets of water and labeled for each wedding and event. The flowers are checked daily to see how they are coming along, as we want them at their best for the big day. This sometimes requires a bit more love (Dahlias again) but the result is worth it.

So, the next time you stop in, say hello to our hard working processing team. Our flowers are healthy and happy because of them!

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Cascade Comeback

Posted on by BelleFiori

When I started working at the flower shop about 6 years ago, the words ‘cascade bouquet’ would bring to mind huge puffy white sleeves, giant veils and of course a long waterfall of flowers accented by trails of Ivy. I was a child of the eighties and needless to say I was pretty skeptical about the resurrection of this glammed out wedding trend when I started designing for Belle Fiori.

Doing some research around web, it appears that the cascade bouquet is actually a modern version of what was once called a “shower bouquet” from 1910, which then reached its peak during the 20’s and 30’s. You have probably seen these bouquets if you’ve ever come across old black and white wedding portraits from those eras.

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Princess Diana brought this floral style back to popularity for a short stint in the 1980’s after nearly 5 decades of dormancy, with an enormous and iconic wedding cascade bouquet, and now we are starting to see the emergence yet again throughout the Midwest and in Southeastern Wisconsin.

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As the slow comeback of the cascade trickles into our shop we are so happy and surprised to see how much the style has evolved and improved. I absolutely love making them! Take a look at some of these gorgeous and unique modern cascade bouquets we’ve made at Belle Fiori from the last couple of years:

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How Do Flowers Get Their Color?

Posted on by BelleFiori

As florists, we often get the creative freedom to mix and match different types of flowers, colors, and textures to design the perfect arrangements. A big part of those decisions is often guided by the visions of wedding color palettes or our clients’ favorite blooms.

But the starting point from which our florists at Belle Fiori usually begin, almost always boils down to color. Grandma’s favorite was always yellow roses. The bridesmaids dresses are purple. There’s something about that perfect shade of pink peony.

Color is important. But how do flowers get their color?

Without giving you too much of a science lesson, (though I’m more than happy to nerd out about flowers) let me explain a bit.

Like people, who have different hair colors, eye colors, and complexions, the outward appearance of flowers is largely determined by their genetic composition. I’m sure many of you have heard of chlorophyll. It’s what makes leafy plants and stems green. Chorophyll is a pigment. Pigments, such as anthocyanins (found in many boldly colored plants) and caroteniods (found in a lot of vegetables), are determined by the heredity of the plant. …Its all in the genes! So basically, what your baby bloom is born with, is what you’ll get.

It’s possible that you’ve heard of people altering the colors of their own plants. Think…hydrangeas. Many people choose if they want their plant to appear more blue, purple, or pink. This tampering of hues has more to do with changing the PH of your plants’ growing conditions than with altering its genetic components….but it’s certainly fun to do it yourself!

No matter what your personal color preference, it’s interesting to think about how the appearance of your gorgeous florals is determined even before they bloom. And if you don’t know what color is your favorite? Stop by Belle Fiori’s Milwaukee shop and we’ll help you find what you love!

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Belle Fiori Real Wedding: Summer, Noel & Nate

Posted on by BelleFiori

It’s hard to believe that we are already a year out from this amazing wedding day from last July! Noel and Nate were neighbors of our former Milwaukee location on Ogden Ave, in-fact, Nate was one of our Friday regulars, so we were so happy when they told their planner, David Caruso of Dynamic Events, that they HAD to have Belle Fiori do their flowers! David is the best, so of course we were thrilled to be a part of this fantastic team!

Noel and Nate’s vision was a gorgeous one. The color inspiration was a lovely palette of sage green, cool greys and blues, and orange hues taken from their cloth guest napkins from BBJ Linens. They also knew they wanted a lush and organic look with unique floral varieties complemented by lots of botanical elements like succulents and ferns. As florists, this was music to our ears, and we couldn’t wait to begin brainstorming these fantastic combinations of color and texture.

Join us, as we take a look back at a beautiful day and celebrate one year of marriage with this lovely couple. The photos, taken by Valo Photography, are truly stunning!

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Noel and Nate’s wedding reception was one of our favorites to date. The Pritzlaff is a gorgeous event space all on its own, but this custom birch backdrop built by Barking Pony was unlike anything we’ve ever seen! Meant to look like the edge of a boat dock, our team framed the front of the stage with two showy floral arrangements of asparagus fern, astilbe, bells of Ireland, hydrangea, and cattail grasses. The beginning of the aisle was accented as well, lined with a collection of concrete vessels of assorted plants and candles to complement the dock inspired look.

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The dinner tables featured a few different wedding centerpiece styles: low, round succulent gardens with cymbidium orchids, assorted cement vessels of ferns with floating candles, and rectangular wood boxes of hydrangea, solidago, billy balls, dusty miller, cymbidium orchids, stock, protea and mixed greens. These combined to make a unique collection of arrangements to transform the Pritzlaff into Noel and Nate’s perfect space.

The couples’ head table featured a large, hanging fern planter highlighting the bridal party’s special seating. Unique arrangements like these are always fun for Belle Fiori to design-an exciting challenge to set the head table apart.

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We can’t thank Noel and Nate enough for letting Belle Fiori be a part of their Milwaukee wedding. The decor was outstanding and the vendors they chose made for a perfectly executed event. Happy Anniversary you two!

“Pop of Spring” Floral Class Collaboration with Mint & Lovely

Posted on by BelleFiori

Over the winter, Belle Fiori was contacted by Haley and Emilee of Mint & Lovely Event Studio to collaborate on a very exciting floral design workshop hosted at Hot Pop in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.

Our team was thrilled to have the opportunity to teach this fun and eager group about the art of floral design and we knew we had a great partner in Mint & Lovely. Guests of the workshop were treated to a gorgeous day of floral fun, designing a beautiful arrangement complete with tulips, ranunculus, spray roses, stock, peonies, leucadendron, clementine fruit, and sword ferns. It was a blast creating this seasonally inspired centerpiece!

Workshop attendees were also treated to delicious (and adorable) refreshments by Onesto and Yield Bakehouse along with a treat bag of take-home floral inspired goodies. We had a blast seeing everyone go to work on their arrangements, and were truly impressed by their talent!

Check out some of the lovely event photos from the day captured by the very talented photographer, Jenna Kutcher.

Many thanks to Hayley and Emilee for including us in this special event!

“Our desire to consume less and experience more was at the forefront of our minds as we planned and designed this event. From the moment the guests walked in, we wanted them to feel as though they stepped into a world colored with bright pinks, corals and fuchsia. We hope these photos conjure up grandiose thoughts of creating your own gorgeous arrangements at home now that spring has officially sprung!” – Haley & Emilee, Mint and Lovely

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Thistle be a Dazzling 4th of July!

Posted on by BelleFiori

Being a floral shop on the east-side of Milwaukee, Belle Fiori sees an explosion of people around our neighborhood as the weather perks up, especially around the end of June, when Summerfest draws people from other states and even other countries. As the sidewalks buzz outside, we tidy up loose ends in the shop and prepare for a mid-summer break over the 4th of July weekend to spend time with our families and rest up for the bustling second half of wedding season!

As we embrace a calmer shop aura and prep for the coming weeks, we have compiled some of our favorite patriotic arrangements from around the web to inspire your holiday weekend and celebrate Thistle as a 4th of July floral celebrity!

Our first stop is an amazing post from Jess Blazejewski of Style Me Pretty.  This lovely DIY tutorial shows how to make a super classy, garden variety floral centerpiece of red, white and blue, and Strawberries too! This arrangement features a lush variety of roses, garden roses, freesia, berries and Blue Mountain Thistle in a vintage blue tin can!

Click here for link

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We found this blue and white beauty on the Home Depot – Martha Stewart Feature page. Though is excludes the color red, it definitely invokes festive imageries of fireworks and sparklers! This arrangement features a simple mix of Blue Mountain Thistle and Globe Thistle accompanied by gorgeous white astilbe.

Click here for link

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Resident florist, Meghan Guthrie, of One Kings Lane, designed this loose style arrangement with “casual blooms in a patriotic palette” with a “nod to fireworks – [her] favorite part of the holiday.” We love how it looks as though it was just-gathered and just as relaxed as a summer picnic! Check out her awesome flower recipe infographic to see what she paired with Thistle to create this lovely design:

Click here for link

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Last, but not least, we found this “1950’s America” styled arrangement from Karin Lidbeck, a stylist, life style editor, designer, artist, and producer  for Country Living, Better Homes and Gardens, New England Home Magazine, Traditional Homes and many more. Inspired by the 1950’s fabric shown below she used “Climbing Roses, Thistle, Fuchsia, Dahlias and [Red] Yarrow… often depicted in Pennsylvania Dutch Style Designs. The pewter vase echoes the grey blue liberty bell in the fabric”. Stunning, classy, and delightfully American!

Click here for link

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Belle Fiori Real Wedding: Summer, Andrea & Filiberto

Posted on by BelleFiori

Belle Fiori can’t say enough about Andrea and Filiberto’s Milwaukee wedding. This gorgeous celebration from last June was inspired by a vintage Mexican fiesta, and a fiesta it was! It was the perfect ceremony at Mt. Mary College followed by an outstanding party. Throughout the day there were smiles abound as the bride and groom danced around in sombreros, guests broke piñatas, and enjoyed the sounds of mariachi at the fabulous La Fuente. It was a gorgeous day for an even more gorgeous couple.

Working with this couple’s vision was a dream. Our floral designers were able to create truly unique bridal bouquets and arrangements using Andrea and Filiberto’s breathtaking color palette. Red garden roses, peach roses, orange ranunculus, yellow billy balls, peach stock, red anemones, grey succulents, and vibrant teal paper flowers provided by bride made for a brilliant combination of colors and textures that mimicked the energy of the day. We love the way they chose to use flowers to accentuate both their venue and personalities.

Check out some fabulous images from Erika Lee Photography!

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