The Ladybug Blog

Flower of the Week the Queen Anne’s Lace

Queen Anne’s Lace

Also known as wild carrot.

Lovingly used in bridal bouquets and arrangements.  This flower is named after Queen Anne of Great Brittan and her Grandmother Anne of Denmark.  It is thought that the red fleck in the center appeared when Queen Anne pricked her finger on a needle while making lace.  Today in the floral industry you will not typically see the red fleck.  This is more so seen in the wild variety.  You can easily alter the color by cutting the flowers stem and placing in a vase of water colored with food dye.  In the language of flowers Queen Anne’s Lace represents sanctuary.


Wedding Flowers.

Wedding Flowers.

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scottFlower of the Week the Queen Anne’s Lace

What it take to create your wedding day flowers.

Have you ever wondered what it takes to create your wedding day flowers?

These are things to consider when budgeting for your wedding day flowers from a florist point of view.

Not everyone understands what it takes from beginning to end.

So I have decided to give you a little insight on just how detailed we florists have to be in order to create your wedding day flowers.

Tampa Yacht Club Wedding

  1.  Typically we have either a phone or in person consultation which takes anywhere from half and hour to two hours depending on how elaborate the wedding might be.  Going over all the details of what might be needed to achieve your dream wedding.  Sometimes this is up to one year prior your wedding but as little as weeks prior a wedding.
  2. Now it’s time to get the quote together.  I personally have to create recipes for every arrangement including bouquets.  This allows me know know how to order your wedding flowers and how to price them to fit your budget.
  3. Next I type up your quote with all the details and send it off to you in about a week to two weeks after our first meeting.  By this time I have put in up to 4 hours just getting your quote together before sending it off to you for your inspection to make sure we have not missed anything.
  4. I get an email back requesting some change.  I revise the quote and get it back to you.
  5. We receive the retainer and signed contract from you and you are on the books for your wedding day.
  6. Two – Three weeks prior your wedding date we get together either in person or by phone to go over all the details and finalize many loose ends to get you your final total.
  7. I update your quote with all the final details and send it off for your approval.
  8. Once I receive your final approval along with your final payment I now go back to all the recipes and work figure how many flowers we will need to order along with all the rental items and such that will be needed to create your wedding day.
  9. Two weeks prior your wedding day.  I order all the items needed.  This may take contacting up to 5 different wholesalers to obtain the product including ordering direct from places like Holland and Ecuador to get exactly what you want for your wedding.  We typically order 20% or more than what we will actually need since not every flowers is perfect.  We need to order extra to make sure we have enough as close to perfect flowers to create every bouquet and arrangement.
  10. Next we begin to collect all the rental items at the shop and get them cleaned and prepared for your wedding day about a week out from your wedding.  Everything has to be packed for easy transportation and to make sure there is no breakage or damage in transportation.  This can take several hours to a couple of days depending on how large the wedding might be.   We will also get all the additional prepping of the hard goods such as the containers filled with floral foam, crystals that might be needed, candles, and anything that might be needed.
  11. Typically we start receiving your wedding flowers on Tuesday prior your wedding day.  When we receive the flowers they have not seen water.  They are delivered in boxes and they have to be cut and place in water with special chemicals that help the flowers open and maintain their freshness.  Some flowers require very specialized attention to get them to the perfect maturation for your day.  For instance.  Peonies may take several days to open.  This may require ordering 2 times more than required and working with them to get them to open for several days.  In the cooler at night and out in the shop during the day.  Re-cutting several times and finally open to create your wedding bouquet.  Not to mention those Garden Roses that arrived for your bouquet came in badly bruised and some were even rotten and now we scramble to replace them in time for the wedding Saturday.
  12. Now everything is under control.  On Thursday we start to create your wedding flowers that can be made in advance to the wedding.  Depending on the bouquets they can be made and placed in the cooler and will stay fresh and beautiful for your wedding day.  We start prepping the flowers for corsages and boutonnieres, and any arrangements that can be started are prepared and put in the cooler as well.
  13. Friday we do all the final work.  Wrapping bouquets and making sure they are perfect, putting all the corsages and boutonnieres together, creating more arrangements, and prepping to load all the rental items for the wedding.
  14. Saturday we arrive early (8-9am) to the shop to start the process of going over every detail.  Making sure we have not missed anything and everything is to perfection.  We load the personal flowers that need to be to the hotel early for pictures.  Another truck is loaded with the ceremony flowers and off to the church to set up for the ceremony.  The alter arrangements are to be used as arrangements for the guest tables at the reception so someone will be spending several hours at the church after setting everything up to wait for not only the ceremony to be over, but the pictures to be taken so they can collect the items and take to the reception.
  15. Several staff members are at the reception location setting everything up.  Putting all the final details out and waiting for the cake to arrive so they can decorate it with fresh flowers.
  16. The photos at the church are over and a staff member collects the items at the church and arrives at the reception to place the final items to finish off the setup before the guest arrive.
  17. We now leave for anywhere from 4-6 hours while the reception is going on.
  18. It’s time to head back out to the reception again anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour before the reception is over.  We will typically arrive anywhere from 15 – 30 minutes prior the end of the reception.  Many times when we arrive we will wait more than an hour for the everything to finish up before we can start our strike.  We never walk in and start breaking down the reception until we are given the go ahead.  We even arrive only to be told the reception has been extended an hour.
  19. It’s finally time to breakdown and pack up the rental items.  What took us over 4 -5 hours to set up is packed up and loaded in the trucks in about 1-2 hours and back to the shop we go to unload the rental items.
  20. It’s now 1óclock in the morning the next day and we are unloading at the shop.
  21. Normally takes 15-30 minutes depending on the size of the wedding to get all the items in the shop and head home.
  22. We arrive at home around 2am or later.
  23. Monday is now here.  We have all the rental items to put back in their place and prepare for the next weekends wedding.

These are just a few thing that go on in order to produce a wedding at it’s finest.  There are so many more variables that happen along the process.  Things that not even you would believe.  Not including all the production of the wedding.  The day of the wedding typically takes anywhere between 10 – 14 hours from beginning to end the day of your wedding and anywhere from 2 – 6 people to complete.  That’s between 60 – 132 man hours just the day of the wedding.  So when budgeting for your wedding make sure you add 20 – 30% or more to your flower budget depending on location and difficulty of setup to include delivery, setup, and strike.


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scottWhat it take to create your wedding day flowers.

Tips on saving on weddings

Brides often ask me how they can save on their wedding flowers and here a few tips.


1. First look at what date you are picking for your wedding day.  Weddings around Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Christmas tend to cost more since flower prices tend to go up.  Don’t forget if you are doing a destination wedding during peak season such as spring break prices can be a lot higher for things like rooms.


2.  Reduce your bridal party.  I know it’s hard to make a decision on not having 12 bridesmaids, but your friends will understand that you didn’t ask everyone of them to be in your wedding.


3.  Keep your bridal flowers simple.  The Bridal bouquet is where you might want to splurge and the Bridesmaids bouquets could be something as simple as a couple of Hydrangea or a couple of Roses with some beautiful foliage.


4.  I often hear of seasonal flowers.  There are some flowers such as Peonies, Lilac, Lily of the Valley, Blooming Branches, etc. that have very short periods of the season.  None the less.  Peonies are often available odd time of the year, but are traveling very long distances to get to your florist.  It’s the transportation that factors in to the cost of the flower.  In place of Peonies you might want to think about Garden Roses.  These are normally available year round and will give the a similar look at about half the cost of Peonies.


5.  Reduce the guest list.  I know it’s hard to do, and you want to invite everyone you know, but it just isn’t always practical.


6.  Doing a wedding at a venue where you can do the everything from the ceremony to the reception will save in transportation and be much more convenient for all your guests.  For instance a hotel with a beautiful courtyard where you can hold the ceremony and the guest can move easily to the reception.


7.  When it comes to centerpieces look into decor for some of your tables.  Candles might be the first thing that pops into your mind, but candles can be quite expensive.  Also talk to your venue.  Most places require candles to be in glass.    This will be an added expense unless you want to hire a Fire Marshall to oversee the event, and that can run several hundred dollars as well.  Not to mention if the wax from the candles drip on the table cloths you may have to pay retail for the linen to replace them.  Using decorative items such as Candelabras, Vases, etc. that you can rent rather than purchase is a way to give some interest to your overall look and theme.


8.  Reduce decorations for the church or use flowers from the ceremony to decorate the reception.  Pew markers can often be used to decorate head tables, cake tables and even guest tables.  Alter arrangements can be designed to be used on guest tables, or possibly buffet tables.  Remember that if you are having your florist stay through the ceremony to move these items there will most likely be additional costs for them to wait through the ceremony and even through the photographs to collect these items and move them.


9.  Have a plated dinner rather than a buffet.  Buffets are much more expensive than a plated dinner.


10.  When meeting with your florist find out if there are lesser expensive flowers that will achieve the same look and feel you are trying to achieve.  A florist can help you with making the right decision on the flowers that will fit into your budget and still look perfect for your wedding day.


11.  Hire a wedding planner.  Yes this may cost you a few hundred dollars for a day of planner to several thousand to help you though the entire process, but can help you to make the right choices and help you to budget your wedding needs and keep you focused on not over spending.  They also have many resources to help you meet with other professionals that not only fit your budget, but are reputable.


12.  Wedding insurance.  Yes, there is something called wedding insurance.  Life brings all kinds of unforeseen unknowns and changes in our lives.  Wedding insurance can cover many things that could happen for just a couple hundred dollars.


These are just a few things to think about when trying to cut costs.  I know not every bride has hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend and even if they do they are still looking on ways to cut costs.




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scottTips on saving on weddings

Flower of the Week. The Lilac.

The Beautiful and Fragrant Lilac

This flower is coveted by gardeners and brides alike.  For me it brings back memories of staying at my Grandmother’s house in the spring when they were in bloom surrounding the entire house.  With the windows open through the night you could smell the fragrance of one of the first flowers of spring.  Lilacs come in an array of color from very light lavender to deep lavender and even white.   There are both single and double bloom varieties.  Lilacs can be very finicky.  They can wilt at the drop of a hat.  Today for the floral industry we mostly find lilacs in the lavender and white hue and much of the fragrance has be bread out of the flower for the floral industry.  When they are in season in the Carolina’s we do get what is called Bush Lilac and it does have the heavenly fragrance, but depending on the weather they can be a very short season.  Unfortunately we can not grow lilacs here in Florida.  They need several weeks of dormancy and cold to set their flower heads.

In the language of flowers the Lavender Lilac symbolizes the First Emotion of Love, and the White Lilac  represents Youthful Innocence.



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scottFlower of the Week. The Lilac.

The Vault Downtown Tampa’s Premiere Venue Space

What a gem. The Vault Downtown Tampa is one of the Premiere Venues located in the heart of the city. It’s always a pleasure being a part of a Tampa Wedding or Event at The Vault. If you are looking for a Unique Downtown Tampa Wedding or Event Location you will certainly find it here and, here’s why. Enjoy the tour.

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scottThe Vault Downtown Tampa’s Premiere Venue Space

Flower of the week

Beautiful Garden Roses

Beautiful Garden Roses


Roses date back more than 35 million years.  Prized by many gardeners in all climates and cultures.  Roses have been associated with wars as well as joyous occasions such as weddings.  Legend says the oldest blooming rose bush has been blooming for over 1000 years located at Hildesheim Cathedral in Germany.  Roses come in many forms.  From the wild roses with simple petal forms of 4-5 petals to Garden Roses that are full and fragrant.  In the late 1800’s roses were hybridized to create the Tea Rose.  Today the Garden Roses are making a come back in the floral industry. These roses do not last nearly as long as the hybrid roses, but the fragrance and beauty depicted in Flemish paintings are remarkable.  There is nothing like a true garden rose.   Today Garden Roses are a staple of the Bridal Bouquet bringing back days gone bye.

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scottFlower of the week

First wedding of 2016

What a wonderful way to start the New Year with another Great Tampa Wedding. It was an honor to help in the creation of this amazing wedding at The Vault Downtown Tampa. Mark and Lindsey were amazing to work with. I was given a guideline of what they were looking for and I took it from there.  With Tammy Waterman of Special Moments Event Planning at the helm we created a Winter White theme. The Chuppah was adorned with a modern custom made chandelier along with lush floral tiebacks of Hydrangea and Ivory Roses. The aisle was lined with more than 400 roses that were turned into petals and tall cylinders with White Cymbidium Orchids submerged in water with floating candles.



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The wedding began with a full day of setup starting at Noon sharp.  Our crew was one of the first on site along with Coast to Coast Party Rentals with a gigantic stage to be set up for the band. After hours of setup the guest began to arrive and arrive and arrive.  The ceremony was standing room only.  Meanwhile the Mise en Place staff was steadily scurrying about creating a meal fit for a king.

Not long after the ceremony was over the real work began.  The Chuppah had to be removed, petals collected, and cylinders filled with water moved to guest tables to be completed with abundant arrangements of Hydrangea, Ivory Roses and White Phalaenopsis Orchids while the guests enjoyed horderves and cocktails in the Lock Box.

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As all the commotion and planned exchange of the ceremony to reception Chef Marie and Chef Carlos made their appearance with a beautifully designed wedding cake from Hands on Sweets.

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In the background Phillip Lloyd of Phillip Lloyd Photography was discreetly photographing all the changes and Michael Greenberg of Nature Coast Entertainment Services slipped in the door to set up the Photo Booth in the vault.

The band prepared for the guests and the party began.

There was one huge surprise by a gust appearance of the group Sister Hazel.

Once again it was so great to work with some of Tampa’s Best Wedding Professionals.

We at Apple Blossoms Floral Designs wish Mark and Lindsey many many years of Health and Happiness, and oh yes to Baby Jack as well.

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scottFirst wedding of 2016

Montana Cowboy Themed Party

While on my visit to Kalispell, Montana I was asked to help with some floral arrangements for a friends party and I was more than happy to help.

These folks had a plethora of fun antiques to work with that I could just collect for the tables.

I collected everything from old medicine bottles to horseshoes.

It was great fun to create this Cowboy Canyon Style design for this festive party.

We started outside, but had to move inside due to weather.

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When we moved inside we added more fun things from around the house to the tables.

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Inside or outside it was a perfect evening including a singing Cowboy which was the icing on the cake.

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scottMontana Cowboy Themed Party

Montana Canyon Style Bridal Bouquet

My Montana Canyon Style Bridal Bouquet Challenge

While on my visit to Kalispell, Montana I decided to challenge myself in making a Bridal Bouquet and Boutonniere to match.  The adventure was great.  It started with collecting my first items on our trip to Hungry Horse Damn.  My travels took me into Glacier National Park as well as to Big Fork and White Fish.  Collecting items along the way.  A very good friend allowed me to use a stag horn from a Mule Deer as the base.  Everything I collected was more or less permanent or dried botanical.

Things such as a variety of pine cones from several types of trees, White Birch bark, Shale, dried grasses, leaves, and lichens.  When creating this bouquet I wasn’t quite sure just what to call the style until a very good friend mentioned Canyon Style.  I loved it and now I have my Canyon Style Bridal Bouquet to share with you.

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I also designed a Boutonniere to match.

Montana Canyon Style Boutonniere 2015-08-13 21.11.14

Montana Canyon Style Bridal Bouquet Challenge was a fun and great thing to create.

After creating it I gave it to a very good friend for her to use as a centerpiece on her dining table or to hang on her wall as a birthday gift.  It brought her to tears.  It now hangs proudly on her living room wall.

Montana Canyon Style Bridal Bouquet imagejpeg_0

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scottMontana Canyon Style Bridal Bouquet