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Special Event Recap – Wisconsin LGBT Wedding Expo

Posted on by BelleFiori

Marriage equality in Wisconsin is bringing more and more couples into the mix of Milwaukee wedding planning. Belle Fiori is thrilled to be a part of that. No matter what sort of celebration you’re planning, our florists are always excited to cater to the visions of our couples. If you are needing floral decor for your wedding, be sure to call us today at 414.272.2234 to schedule a complimentary consultation!

Belle Fiori recently participated in the second annual LGBT Wedding Expo presented by the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce hosted at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center. This year, we created a wedding theme including rich, fall colors combined with a variety of different textures in items such as bridal bouquets, boutonnieres, and table decor. The deep tones of burgundy and plum in the cymbidiums, mini calla lilies, carnations and stock were the perfect combination to create a deep, fall color pallete while the crisp and rough textures of scabiosa and thistle gave each arrangement a rustic semblance. We had a great time greeting and discussing wedding plans with our LGBT community this year!

Many thanks to everyone we partnered with for this great Southeastern Wisconsin event, and a special shout out to our friends at Married in Milwaukee for doing such an awesome job promoting it!

Check out some fabulous shots of our work by the always wonderful Reminisce Studio!

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Make Thanksgiving Beautiful with Centerpieces from Belle Fiori

Posted on by BelleFiori

November always seems to go by very quickly, in just the blink of an eye you find yourself days away from Thanksgiving and hardly a month away from Christmas. With Thanksgiving nearing, you may find yourself in need of some floral décor to really make an impression on your guests this year. Belle Fiori is always happy to help bring holiday cheer to your home through our designs!

When ordering your Thanksgiving centerpiece, keep these three things in mind so the designer will better understand how to create the perfect centerpiece for you.

-Do you prefer a round or long and low design for your dining table?

-How many people will be sitting at the table?

-Would you like your centerpiece to be designed in rich, fall colors?

At Belle Fiori, we offer a variety of different styles and sizes of centerpieces to choose from. Our designers arrange centerpieces that can be viewed from all angles that also allow guests sitting at the table to chat and interact with each other. The floral centerpieces below vary in size, price, and style, all perfect for any table at your home this Thanksgiving!

Centerpiece #1 is our traditional long and low style. The flowering kale and ornamental peppers give this classic style of centerpiece a unique touch. The deep reds of the bottle brush, hypericum berries, and leucadenron used in this arrangement are balanced with coordinating purples and pinks from the snapdragons, stock and heather. This centerpiece is perfect for a table with 12 or more guests and is priced at $100.

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Centerpiece #2 is our take on a contemporary centerpiece designed in an asymmetrical long and low style. The use of air plants, lotus pods and cotton bring an earthy rustic feel to the centerpiece while also adding texture. The air plants are also a keepsake item in this centerpiece that can be used after your Thanksgiving festivities as decor in your home! The three slender candles are carefully placed to echo the asymmetrical style of the arrangement, distinguishing it from the traditional long and low style of centerpiece with candles placed side by side. The soft shades of stock, spray roses, and rice flower balance with the rich, fall colored lilies, solidago, and mums. This centerpiece is sure to wow your guests this Thanksgiving, perfect for a table of 12 or more and is priced at $180.

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Centerpiece #3 is our classic round, low and lush style designed in a clear vase. Sunflowers, red roses and black millet are always fall favorites to include in Thanksgiving arrangements. The use of rose hips, yarrow, bottle brush and solidago add texture to the arrangement as well. This centerpiece is ideal for a table of 7-10 people, but is also fitting for a coffee table or work desk. This low and lush centerpiece is priced at $80.

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Centerpiece #4 is our traditional round, low and lush style designed in a fall keepsake ceramic dish. This arrangement features fall colored roses, lilies and mums, as well as permanent botanical berries that harmonize with the rich, fall color palette. This arrangement is perfect to bring to someone’s home as a gift this Thanksgiving because the keepsake dish is oven, microwave, and dishwasher safe! This centerpiece is perfect for a table of up to six people and is priced at $65.

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Why stop at just your table looking fabulous this Thanksgiving? Many customers also choose other arrangements or bud vases in the same rich colors to place throughout their home on coffee tables, bathrooms, guest bedrooms, etc. The arrangement below features cymbidium orchids and pin cushion protea that adds an exotic touch to a modern arrangement with a fall color palette. This unique arrangement is perfect to display in an entry way to welcome guests into your home and is priced at $130. The bud vase collection below features line and focal flowers that can coordinate with your table centerpiece. These are perfect for placing in bathrooms or small tables designated as “kid’s” tables in your home this Thanksgiving. Bud vases can vary in price from $15-$25 and can include either a single stem focal flower or a small collection of flowers.

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Be sure to pre-order your Thanksgiving centerpiece this week by either stopping at our Milwaukee area shop or give us a call at 414.272.2234 so we can create something beautiful for your home this Thanksgiving!

Belle Fiori Real Wedding: Kaylyn & Kirk

Posted on by BelleFiori

Kaylyn and Kirk’s Milwaukee wedding was a breathtaking fall affair. A gorgeous autumn day in Southeastern Wisconsin paired with the fabulous taste of our couple made for a beautiful event. Belle Fiori couldn’t have been more proud to be a part of it.

Kaylyn’s bridal bouquet was an elegant combination of espresso roses, purple mini calla lilies, naked sunflowers, burgundy cymbidium orchids, orange pincushion protea, red hypericum berry, gold dahlias, seeded eucalyptus, fall grasses, and pheasant feathers. The wide variety of colors and textures made for a rich fall palette full of depth and interest. The combination of the bouquet florals and the gorgeous gray/purple hue of the bridesmaids dresses was absolutely stunning. Kaylyn’s selections were flawless.

The couple chose to carry their wedding arrangements through to the reception, held at the fabulous Pritzlaff Building. Perhaps our favorite decor of the evening, the wedding cake took center stage as an asymmetrical rustic creation accented by our very own flowers.

Check out some of the gorgeous images from Kaylyn and Kirk’s event below, and congratulations to the wonderful couple!

Photographer: Front Room Photography

Ceremony Venue:  Calvary Presbyterian

Reception Venue:  Pritzlaff

Entertainment:  Accent Events

Lighting:  Accent Events

Bridal Salon:  Vera’s House of Bridals

Cake:  Sweet Perfections

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Make Up: Melody Sopa Artistry

Nordstrom Gala Success!

Posted on by BelleFiori

Back in June, we posted that Belle Fiori would be a part of the new Nordstrom Grand Opening Gala this fall (click here to check out the super cute invites). The gala, which was a huge success, took place at the new Mayfair Mall location on October 21st. We were honored to collaborate with Nordstrom and design the custom gala invites this summer, and were even more thrilled to create custom floral arrangements for the event itself.

Check out a recap from the Milwaukee BizTimes below! We couldn’t be happier for the success of both Nordstrom and the local charities the gala supported. Flowers and a good cause? Belle Fiori is always happy to participate.


Nordstrom gala raises $190,000 for nonprofits

By Molly Dill

The event, which raised about $190,000 for three nonprofit organizations, attracted a sellout crowd of 1,800 at the newly constructed 140,000-square-foot, three-story space. It’s the retailer’s first full-line Wisconsin store.

From the lights projected onto the building reading “Hello, Milwaukee,” to the complimentary valet, to the hors d’oeuvres and champagne, Nordstrom spared no expense on the soiree.

While he was unsure about the cost of the event, Jamie Nordstrom, president of full-line stores, said 100 percent of proceeds from the $100/ticket event went to the selected charities.

“We sold out 1,800 tickets for this—part of it is the opportunity to raise a lot of money for some great charities,” Nordstrom said.

Those charities benefitting from the fundraiser were Ronald McDonald House Charities Eastern Wisconsin; United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County; and the Milwaukee and Cream City chapters of The Links Inc., which works to combat educational, social and financial challenges facing children and families. The organizations will split the $190,000 proceeds three ways.

The national Links organization has a history of partnering with Nordstrom, which is how its local chapters became aware of the opportunity for a fundraiser, said Jacqueline Moore Bowles, Milwaukee chapter president for The Links.

“When we learned Nordstrom was coming to Milwaukee, we reached out,” said Deidra Edwards, president of the Cream City chapter of The Links.

“We submitted a request and because of our outstanding community service and commitment to youth in the community in terms of closing the achievement gap” the organization was selected, Moore Bowles said. “That was something that was important to them.”

There were about 100 Links members at the gala Wednesday, along with a number of prominent community members, including Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Wauwatosa Mayor Kathleen Ehley, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee president and chief executive officer Vincent Lyles, We Energies vice president of local affairs Thelma Sias, and Marquette University Bell Chair in Real Estate Mark Eppli.

Attendees dressed to the nines sipped cocktails and noshed on small scale appetizers ranging from sushi duos to mini caramel apples to tiny baskets of cheese and fruit. Nordstrom sales staff was on hand to give makeup tutorials, recommend jewelry and clothing, and bring out shoe sizes for customers, who browsed among the merchandise.

A live band played on one level, while a DJ spun tracks on another. Models posed on pedestals to display the latest fashions. And each attendee received a favor upon departure.

There are four fourth-generation Nordstrom family members on the Seattle-based retailer’s executive team. Jamie and co-presidents Blake and Erik Nordstrom were at the gala Wednesday. The family members attend the store opening galas around the country to introduce themselves to the community, Jamie said.

“These are the people in the community that are going to be shopping here, so what better way to get to know them than throw a party?” Jamie asked.


Holiday Planning-Halloween

Posted on by BelleFiori

When planning your Halloween Bash this year, we realize flowers may not be the first thing that come to mind when thinking about your décor. Typically flowers invoke imagery of love, beauty, happiness, fond memories and dreamy romance, but we are here to show you some unique and strange flower varieties that will transport your guests to a darker world, or at least a spooky party!

Check out some of Belle Fiori’s favorite Halloween floral displays from the web…















Designer Spotlight: Amy – How To Order Flowers

Posted on by BelleFiori

When a customer calls or stops in Belle Fiori’s Milwaukee shop to order an arrangement, we as the floral experts have to develop a precise language that allows us to very quickly synthesize a multitude of possibilities.  What inventory do we have? What designs are possible? What budget are we working within? And most importantly, what is the customer really expecting?

We often hear subjective descriptions like “nice”, “simple”, “pretty”, or even “whimsical”, and it is our job to explore those words further and interpret what the customer is really saying. Flowers are not just a commodity after all, they are almost always a special gift with a significant meaning behind them, and we need to accurately translate the intention from customer to receiver.

Through many years of training, experience, and growing as a shop, we have created a streamlined process of ordering that allows us to not only remain in the creative seat, but also guide and educate our customers.

The floral examples below are two separate arrangements with an almost identical recipe, budget and vibrant color palette, and yet they are both very different from each other. Both fall into our most popular, medium category at $75.00.

Arrangement #1 is what we would describe as our “Tall & Asymmetrical” option in a vase with height. The flower stems are left long and are spaced apart with greenery in between. It has an airy feel with levels of depth like a garden would have. This style tends to be statelier and would look great on a larger surface, like a dining room table or in a business lobby.


Arrangement #2 is our “Low & Lush” option in a short vase. The flowers are arranged very close together in a compact style with very little greenery. It has a modern and stylish vibe which would be fitting for a coffee table or a work desk.

It really all comes down to personal preference, and one thing is for sure, we want everyone who orders flowers with us 100% confident in their purchase from the minute we say hello to the moment of the recipient joyfully unwrapping the package!







Holiday Planning: National Boss’s Day and Sweetest Day

Posted on by BelleFiori

October is one of our favorite months. We love fall in Southeastern Wisconsin and we love Halloween. Preparing autumn inspired arrangements is exciting, as there is no lack of inspiration with so many great seasonal colors and textures. Fall is fantastic.

But did you remember the two lesser celebrated holidays fast approaching? That’s right. There are two more coming up quick! National Boss’s Day and Sweetest Day are two of Belle Fiori’s popular October draws, and we can’t wait to prepare arrangements for you!

National Boss’s Day falls on Friday, October 16th and has become increasingly popular since its founding in 1958. Created with the intention of strengthening the bond between employees and their bosses and managers, Boss’s Day is a great way to show your appreciation for the many tasks handled by those in the position. (Don’t worry. There are holidays for all you non-bosses out there, and we promise we’ll remind your bosses to buy you your own floral gift or bouquet when the time comes!)

Back-to-back with Boss’s Day this year is Sweetest Day! Falling on Saturday, October 17th, Sweetest Day is a great reason to stop by Belle Fiori’s Milwaukee area shop and pick up something your loved one will enjoy. Whether it be a friend, family member, or significant other, we encourage you to give someone a floral gift that Saturday; it’s guaranteed to brighten their day!

If you’re interested in gifting your boss or loved one a Belle Fiori floral arrangement, stop by our shop or give us a call at 414-272-2234!


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Designer Spotlight: Winterizing and Planting Mums

Posted on by BelleFiori

Mums are popping up on porches and in yards everywhere throughout the Milwaukee area. These gorgeous, full flowers make for the perfect fall accents and come in a variety of shapes and colors. They’re also an inexpensive way to brighten up your home or backyard party. Our florists at Belle Fiori love the versatility of these Wisconsin-friendly blooms and always love seeing those little patches of color throughout the community.

Check out this awesome article from our friends at Better Homes and Gardens about the care and maintenance of these fabulous florals…

fall flowers

Fall Mums: Your Ultimate Care Guide

Mums in Containers

Garden mums also make great container plants. They’re just right for popping into a clay pot, lining up in a row in a window box, or placing in the center of a mixed container with trailing foliage plants all around. Many landscape plants can provide a backdrop for groupings of mums. For texture, choose ornamental grasses or the neon purple berries of the beautyberry shrub (Callicarpa). You also can pair mums with smoke tree (Cotinus), variegated sedum, the deciduous dwarf Fothergilla gardenii, or almost any conifer.

To get the most from your mums, choose cultivars according to their bloom times. It also helps to coordinate bloom time with the length of fall in your location. Most garden mums will withstand a light fall frost, but finding the right cultivars will provide the longest possible amount of pleasure.

Annual or Perennial?

Mums aren’t as expensive as many perennials, so if you choose to, you can plant them as annuals without worrying that you’ve spent too much money on something that might not live more than one season. If you’re an impulse buyer, you’ll probably see pots of colorful mums this fall and not be able to resist.

Fall planting lessens the chance of winter survival, however, since roots don’t have time to establish themselves. If you want something more permanent and are willing to provide proper care such as mulching and pinching to encourage compact growth and more blooms, plant mums in the spring and allow them to get established in the garden. This will improve their chances of overwintering and reblooming the next year. Some plants will even produce a few blooms in the spring before being pinched for fall flowers.

Hardy vs. Florist Mums

Florist (or cutting) mums and hardy (or garden) mums come from the same original parent — a golden-yellow daisylike mum from China. Today’s hybrids in both categories are the results of endless crosses between several species from China and Japan. The result of such hybridization performed over hundreds of years is different types of mums that perform for two distinct purposes.

Florist mums are large-flower plants with many possible bloom forms, from quilled to pompon to spider and more. Grown in greenhouses and used only as indoor plants, florist mums produce few, if any, underground stolens, which are necessary if the mum is to survive cold weather. Florist mums planted outside are most likely being used as short-term bedding plants that will be removed when the blooms are spent. You can plant a potted florist mum you receive as a gift, and it may grow for the summer, but it will not survive the winter, no matter how much protection you give it. Garden mums, on the other hand, produce underground stolens and can survive cold better. Most garden mums are perennials in Zones 5 to 9 and much tougher than florist types. Some cultivars are less hardy than others and can be killed by an early spring frost.

Whether you’re looking for a quick splash of color or a fixture for your border, mums are the pick for a fabulous fall.

Growing Mums

When it comes time to plant mums, consider these factors:

Location. Choose a spot that gets at least six hours of sun a day. Plants that don’t get enough sunlight will be tall and leggy and produce fewer, smaller flowers.

Soil preparation. Mums thrive in well-drained soil. Heavy clay soil should be amended. If your yard is soggy after the slightest rain, grow mums in raised beds with friable soil for good root growth.

If the soil is too dense, add compost and prepare to a depth of 8-12 inches for best performance. Mums’ roots are shallow, and they don’t like competition. Plant mums about 1 inch deeper than they were in the nursery pot, being careful with the roots as you spread them.

Trim off the previous year’s stems as soon as the new spring growth begins to show.

Watering. Water newly planted mums thoroughly, and never let them wilt. After they are established, give mums about an inch of water per week. When bottom leaves look limp or start to turn brown, water more often. Avoid soaking the foliage, which encourages disease.

Fertilizer. Plants set out in spring should get a 5-10-10 fertilizer once or twice a month until cooler weather sets in. Don’t fertilize plants set out in fall as annuals, but plants you hope to overwinter should get high-phosphorus fertilizer to stimulate root growth.

See our favorite mums.

Overwintering. Prepare mums for winter after the first hard frost. Mulch up to 4 inches with straw or shredded hardwood. Fill in around the entire plant, spreading well between branches. Pinch off dead blooms to clean up the plant, but leave branches intact. Mums have a better chance of surviving if you wait to prune old stems until spring. As soon as the weather warms, pull away mulch to allow new shoots to pop up.

Dividing. Mums grown as perennials need to be divided every couple of years. Divide in the spring after the last hard frost and after you see new growth starting. Dig up the plant in one piece and separate outer pieces from the center with a clean sharp spade or large knife. Replant the outer portions into a rejuvenated bed, and discard the original center of the plant.

Pests. You may notice aphids, leafhoppers, or spider mites, but they are not likely to harm the plant.

Pinching Mums for Better Bloom

The key to those full, rounded domes of blooms that you associate with mums is pinching to create more branching and keep plants compact. Don’t hold back — just a few minutes here and there will reward you with a thick, solid-looking plant.

If you’ve bought large, full plants in the fall, they have already been pinched and are ready for planting. Young spring plants will need pinching for maximum bloom and best plant shape.

Start pinching as soon as you see a good flush of buds. Pinch about half of the tender new growth at the top of the shoot; choose some stems with buds and some without. Repeat the process with every 3 to 5 inches of growth (about every two to four weeks) until July 4. Stopping then ensures you will get good bud formation and blooms in fall.

Varieties to Look For

Look for these recently introduced cultivars at your local nursery.

‘Blizzard’ This extra-late variety offers the largest (2-1/2-inch) and whitest flower available in a daisy garden mum. It develops into an almost ball-shaped plant covered with bright white blooms over extra-dark green foliage.

‘Bold Felicia’ The early blooms are an unbelievable neon-hot pink daisy with a bright yellow center disk.

‘Carrie’ A hard-to-find two-tone decorative flower that is a dark red-bronze in the center with golden-yellow outer petals. This extra-late cultivar shows none of the discoloration of aging petals seen in some older varieties.

‘Melissa’ This extra-late mum blooms through late October and was bred for excellent flower form, flower color, color retention, and growth habit. The bright lavender-rose flowers combine beautifully with ‘Erica’, ‘Ingrid’, and ‘Taffy’.

‘Vicki’ Another bright “wow” of a plant, these decorative blooms are rich orange with a darker orange center. They have awesome color and a full spreading plant habit.

‘Zesty Jean’ An unusual pastel peach-coral color, the early decorative flowers are more fully petaled and retain their color longer than others of this hue.

Belle Fiori Real Wedding: Jordan & Joe

Posted on by BelleFiori

We’re flashing back a year to the fabulous Ozaukee County wedding of Jordan and Joe! These two tied the knot last September and are a great example of what Belle Fiori has to offer seasonally for the end of summer and early fall.

Our florists loved Jordan and Joe’s bright and pastel yellow, white, and grey color palette. It was the perfect fit for September! Jordan’s bouquet and arrangements were a beautiful combination of yellow yarrow and spray roses in various shades. For texture and variety, we added white roses, stock, and stems of babies breath surrounded by dusty miller and brunia berry. Just enough color and interest for a classic but playful feel.

To carry their florals throughout the ceremony and reception, the couple chose to line the aisle with wood boxes of lush, wildflower style assortments of flowers. Their complementary centerpieces utilized mason jars and twine to give off a rustic vibe while still maintaining their sunny palette (which they even extended to the cake!) Jordan and Joe did a phenomenal job planning their florals, as well as their entire event!

Check out some images of Belle Fiori’s flowers by Spottswood Photography, and click here to view their post from Jordan and Joe’s big day!

Ceremony & Reception: River Club of Mequon
Invitations & Papergoods: Broadway Paper & Jeff Jasinowski ~design work
Dress: Stone Manor Bridal
Shoes: Nina
Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal
Tux/Suit: DuBois Formalwear
Transportation: Andrus Limosine Service 
Music: Sound by Design

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Holiday Planning-Grandparent’s Day

Posted on by BelleFiori

Did you know that Grapndparent’s Day is September 13th? Grandparents are some of the most important people in our lives, and Belle Fiori loves when clients make an extra special effort to celebrate their grandparents each September. We adore designing custom floral arrangements with your loved ones’ favorite blooms in mind. Remember-there’s no one who appreciates flowers as much as your grandma!

National Grandparent’s Day began with Marian McQuade, a housewife in Fayette County, West Virginia. McQuade made it her goal to educate youth about the important contributions seniors have made throughout history. She also urged the youth to “adopt” a grandparent, not just for one day a year, but rather for a lifetime. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter proclaimed that National Grandparents Day would be celebrated every year on the first Sunday after Labor Day. What a great holiday!

We encourage you to show your appreciation for your grandparents this year with a floral arrangement or gift. It’s a great way to acknowledge them for all that they do and remind them that you’re thinking of them.

Stop by Belle Fiori’s Milwaukee area shop today to order your custom arrangement, or click here to order any you like pictured below!

grandparents day




T16-1C Heart's Delight T97-1A Simply Chic Mixed Plant Basket T107-1C Bon Vivant Gourmet Basket T152-2C Premium Sunny Sunflowers T601-3C Premium Portrait in Purple

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