The Ladybug Blog

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.

Cowboy Canyon Style Party 2015-08-14 16.23.21 2015-08-14 16.23.26 2015-08-14 16.23.32 2015-08-14 16.23.52 2015-08-14 16.24.08 2015-08-14 16.24.25 2015-08-14 16.24.38 2015-08-14 16.24.45 2015-08-14 16.25.14 2015-08-14 16.25.23 2015-08-14 16.25.27 2015-08-14 16.25.36

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

Montana Cowboy Canyon Style Party 2015-08-14 16.50.08 2015-08-14 16.50.18 2015-08-14 16.50.22 2015-08-14 16.50.53 2015-08-14 16.51.00 2015-08-14 16.51.28 2015-08-14 16.51.39 2015-08-14 16.51.46 2015-08-14 16.52.04 2015-08-14 16.52.12 2015-08-14 16.52.17 2015-08-14 16.52.25 2015-08-14 16.52.47 2015-08-14 16.52.52 2015-08-14 16.52.57 2015-08-14 16.53.11 2015-08-14 17.40.59 2015-08-14 17.41.03 2015-08-14 17.41.10 2015-08-14 17.41.16 2015-08-14 17.41.22 2015-08-14 17.41.32 2015-08-14 17.41.48 2015-08-14 17.41.54

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

Montana Canyon Style Party 2015-08-14 19.35.20 2015-08-14 20.49.28 2015-08-14 20.51.22

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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

Garden Bridal Bouquet Challenge

My Garden Bridal Bouquet Challenge

A couple of weeks ago I thought I’d challenge myself to creating a Garden Bridal Bouquet using only the flowers I had available in my garden.

 Garden Bridal Bouquet Challenge

First I collected all the flowers I wanted to use and hydrated them.

Testing them to make sure they would hold up.

Some flowers do not hold up as a cut flower.

By testing them first I was able see what would be the best flowers to work with and if this were a real bridal bouquet.

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Some of the flower and foliage I wanted to use do not have stems long enough to be incorporated into the bouquet so I have to wire and tape them so they can be added to the bouquet.

Once this was all complete I could begin to create the bouquet.

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Creating this bouquet was so much fun.

It tested my creativity with only the flowers I had at hand.

Below is the final product.

The flowers and foliage I selected were Succulents, Magnolia foliage, Pentas, Buddha Belly flower, Stephanotis, Knock Out Roses, Begonia foliage, Dusty Miller, Phalaenopsis  Orchids, Bamboo, Foxtail Fern, Marigold, Dahlia, Rosemary, Anthurium, and Gomphrena

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In the coming weeks and months I plan on continuing my Bouquet Challenge.

I’m planning on creating Bridal Bouquets with different looks and from places you might not think you will find things to create a Bridal Bouquet.

You can always follow me on Facebook by clicking HERE

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scottGarden Bridal Bouquet Challenge

Tampa Garden Club Wedding

Amanda came to me to help her create her dream wedding.

The location was The Tampa Garden Club.

She was looking for something no one had seen before.

A romantic soft pastel garden theme.

She left me take the reigns and design her dream wedding.

Her Dad built an amazing gazebo for the ceremony that would become a permanent feature of her own secret garden.

We had so much fun creating her dream wedding.

2014-11-08 18.13.59Tampa Garden Club Wedding 2014-11-08 11.38.47 2014-11-08 16.13.412014-11-08 16.14.11 2014-11-08 12.13.052014-11-08 12.14.13 2014-11-08 12.15.47   2014-11-08 18.12.16  2014-11-08 18.15.44 2014-11-08 18.16.06 2014-11-08 18.16.34 2014-11-08 18.16.54 2014-11-08 18.17.12 2014-11-08 18.18.39 2014-11-08 18.18.45

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scottTampa Garden Club Wedding

Vintage Weddings? That is the Question.

Vintage Weddings?

Yes that is the question.

In today’s terms the vintage wedding is something somewhat from the Victorian Era.

I guess you could call it that.  Everything is Vintage today.  Styles of the Vintage Wedding Eras have opened the doors to many different interpretations of what exactly is Vintage Weddings.

A bunch of Garden Roses, Queen Anne’s Lace, and Dusty Miller does not make a Vintage Wedding.

Vintage has become the new Shabby Chic.

These are not necessarily Vintage.

Vintage is based on design styles, times, and trends of the day in the past.

This Vintage is not really what I call Vintage, but a name set to the time of the day.

Doing research on True Vintage weddings according to periods of architecture and fashion design of a particular period and place in time.

Here are some examples of what Vintage Wedding Style is all about.

Vintage Wedding Bouquets and Styles 2015-05-22 13.42.45 2015-05-22 13.42.50 2015-05-22 13.42.55 2015-05-22 13.42.59 2015-05-22 13.43.16 2015-05-22 13.43.19 2015-05-22 13.43.26 2015-05-22 13.43.34 2015-05-22 13.43.41 2015-05-22 13.43.49

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scottVintage Weddings? That is the Question.