An Italian vineyard summer wedding

 
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A summer wedding in Italy in the hills of Verona; this was the amazing location for Hannah and Luke’s wedding.

Ph Sergio Sarnicola

Ph Sergio Sarnicola

I had the pleasure  of organizing all the floral decorations for this lovely couple’s special day. I first got in touch with them by e-mail and then we had a lovely chat (via Skype) about their wedding plans.

Hannah and Luke chose  a very delicate palette in tones of white, green and a touch of light pink for all the floral decorations. The style was very natural and romantic, perfect for the location.

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The flowers which I proposed were: white and light pink roses, white, green and pink eustoma, white hydrangea and baby’s breath. For the greenery  I went for olive, buxus and ivy, all local and seasonal.

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

The romantic and natural floral arch for the civil ceremony looked amazing set in a small green garden overlooking a wood. The atmosphere was very relaxed and joyful and the bride and groom looked radiant as they walked down the flower filled aisle.

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

The 5 bridesmaids all dressed in pearl grey looked amazing with their white, green and light pink bouquets.

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

For her bridal bouquet, Hannah chose a very natural style in white and green. It was the perfect match to her ivory wedding gown. She looked  stunning.

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

After the ceremony there was an aperitif and dinner  set on a terrace overlooking the vineyards. As the sun was setting, the long imperial table with its delicate floral arrangements running down the centre and flickering  candles, set the scene.

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

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Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

Ph @Sergio Sarnicola

 

A country chic wedding in Italy

 
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Last year I met Sarah and Martin when they decided to celebrate their wedding In Italy. They fell in love with Relais Corte Guastalla, a beautiful  16th century Italian country house, located just a short distance from stunning  Lake Garda and romantic Verona . They decided to organize their party here and they chose an intimate, charming country church for the ceremony.

ph @Mario Casati

ph @Mario Casati

ph @Mario Casati

ph @Mario Casati

ph @Mario Casati

ph @Mario Casati

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ph @Mario Casati

ph @Mario Casati

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ph @Mario Casati

ph @Mario Casati

The floral backdrop was a mix of romantic and country chic.  White, green and peach were use as the colour scheme for the  event.

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ph @Mario Casati

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ph @ Mario Casati

ph @ Mario Casati

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ph @Mario Casati

ph @Mario Casati

ph @Mario Casati

Sarah was passionate about white peony so I used this as the main flower together with an array  of graceful and rustic flowers.

ph @Mario Casati

ph @Mario Casati

ph @Mario Casati

ph @Mario Casati

ph @ Mario Casati

ph @ Mario Casati

ph @ Mario Casati

ph @ Mario Casati

@ Mario Casati

@ Mario Casati

A big thank you to Cristiana a very efficient wedding planner who coordinated the whole day magnificently.

Mario Casati captured the joyful, romantic and effervescent atmosphere perfectly.

ph @ Mario Casati

ph @ Mario Casati

ph @Mario Casati

ph @Mario Casati

ph @Mario Casati

ph @Mario Casati

ph @Mario Casati

ph @Mario Casati

ph @ Mario Casati

ph @ Mario Casati

ph @Mario Casati

ph @Mario Casati

 

An inspirational escape to Northern England

 
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In July I flew to Manchester for a few days to meet floral designer Fiona who runs Firenza Floral Designer (she was listed by the Telegraph as one of the 20 top florist in the country). I’ve been following her work  and I like very much her style, so I decided to have a one to one workshop.

It was a beautiful sunny day  when I  met Fiona surrounded by  her dogs in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside. We chatted in her romantic, peaceful garden and it was hugely inspirational to compare our styles. We both discovered that our main source of inspiration came from nature.

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Als she showed me how to create one of her unique bouquets, I felt elated at designing something so different to my usual style.

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and beau

Ph @Belle and beau

With the same flowers we both made completely different creations.

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

Over lunch in the sunny garden I got to know Holly an incredible photographer who took some beautiful photos of the day.

What do you do to find inspiration?

Ph @Belle and Beau

Ph @Belle and Beau

 
 

4 essential tips for an impeccable table

 
Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

 
 

In October I organized a one day floral workshop focused on how to decorate a table from start to finish. I asked Manuela Piccoli an expert interior designer, to join us and to  give inspirational insights on table etiquette.

During the preparation of the course I kept in mind 4 key points :

  • Style

  • Palette and flowers

  • table preparation

  • less is more

Style

First of all I chose the style. I went for a very romantic, elegant and baroque look. While I was looking for inspiration  I discovered that  next year one trend in wedding decorations will be  “New baroque”. I’m curious to see how the baroque style will evolve this time around. Baroque style always includes ornate gold, extravagant locations and luxurious decorations; how interpret it is completely up to you.

Palette and flowers

I always choose the style and colours at the same time. It’s so important to have a clear idea of the palette from the start. For this event I went for opulent shades of burgundy paired with bright pearl-ivory and gentle gold/caramel tones.  The selective use of colour gave me the freedom to choose the best flowers and greenery. Thanks to the different shapes and petals, I could express the uniqueness and elegance of baroque.

Among the flowers chosen there were:

  • “Antik caramel” garden roses for their sumptuous candy caramel shade

  • Yves Piaget “Ivory” garden roses with their ethereal petals reminiscent of  Japanese silk paper.

  • “Dark chocolate” dahlia with its velvety opulent dark chocolate hue

  • Intense burgundy and light cappuccino carnations

  • Translucent pearl leaves of  Lunaria

  • The beautiful long lithe shape of Stock and Cat’s tail

Ph @Paolo Castagendi

Ph @Paolo Castagendi

Ph @Paolo Castagendi

Ph @Paolo Castagendi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

ph @Paolo Castagnedi

ph @Paolo Castagnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagendi

Ph @Paolo Castagendi

 Table setting

After deciding on the style, colour mood and flowers  I met Manuela in her atelier to select all the necessary items. Keeping the style and colours in mind we chose  elegant and timeless white. We picked out old linen table cloths,  fine white bone china dishes decorated in gold, French cutlery and antique crystal glasses.

Ph @Paolo Castagendi

Ph @Paolo Castagendi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagendi

Ph @Paolo Castagendi

Less is more

When I’m decorating I never forget this golden rule. For this event it meant not adding  any more colours to the ones we already had. Manuela and I immediately agreed that the best and only choice was white for everything.

Ph @Paolo Castegnedi

Ph @Paolo Castegnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

To wrap up:

  • Don’t forget to use candles

  • Find objects in yours cupboards and use them in an unsual way

  • Don’t forget to decorate the rest of your home or location with a detail inspired by your table design: a colour, a flower or …

  • And don’t forget to enjoy yourself!

Ph @Paolo Castagendi

Ph @Paolo Castagendi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

A big thanks to Orietta for having us in her beautiful relais and to Paolo for the incredible photos.

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

Ph @Paolo Castagnedi

 

A medieval castle shoot

 
Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

 
 

At the end of winter, just before the approach of spring I was invited to do a shoo in a medieval castle.

When I received the moodboard about this shoot I started by choosing the  colour.

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Burgundy was my immediate choice for its elegance, timeless style and versatility. This shade always gives a deep and dramatic note to each creation.

Starting with the bridal bouquet, I paired  the burgundy to different shades of pink in order to highlight the romantic style of the bridal gown.

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

I wanted to create a luxurious and opulent bouquet where  different textures, petal shapes and flowers would add an ethereal and flowing style.

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valetina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valetina Fraccaroli

For the table decoration I picked flowers with amazing tones of burgundy: ranunculus, spellbinding anemones and dramatic tulips. To give a sparkling light I added  some peach tone flowers. Antique candleholders and small vases with candles added  a magical touch to the whole evening.

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Photo @ Valentina Fraccaroli

Many thanks to an incredible team

Photo / Valentina Fraccaroli
Video / Forever Film di Paolo Brentegani
Drone / Andrea Bianco
Stationery / Bee in Love – Wedding Design di Elisa Tedesco
Mua & Hair / L’officina del MakeUp di Claudia Jclo Make Up
Wedding Cake / Cremerie
Dress / Marianna Michelon
Suit / Baratto Lavis
Shoes / Anniel
Rings / MIOeTUO
Venue / Ai Conti – Break, fast & slow
Patrocinio / Wedding in Arco
Bride / Caterina Brazzoli
Groom / Fabio Porta

 

6 floral installations at the Milan design week

 
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Every April Milan opens its doors to the design week and events of “Fuorisalone”.

For me the Fuorisalone has became an absolute must. In this edition two elements that immediately caught my attention were: flowers and the combination between modern and antique.

As soon as I arrived I went straight  to see the Danish brand “Hay” which was hosted at Palazzo Clerici. The Nordic style was perfectly integrated in the magnificent neoclassical rooms decorated with marble and golden stuccos. The floral arrangements added a cosy atmosphere to the grandeur of the palace.

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Moving on I stopped at the baroque Palazzo Litta, that held the installation  “Temple in the forest” designed by the London studio of Asif Kahn.

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Next I was taken by surprise by the pop up store that Raw had created especially for the Fuorisalone. The new collection of floral fabric born from the collaboration of the amercan brand John Derian and the English  Designer Guild, had a very romantic feel.  Intense pink flowers styled by “Flo” were surrounded by candles to set the scene.

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Arriving in Piazza Duomo I went to see Tiffany’s shop windows. For this occasion Tiffany had asked 5 artists to create a special installation in a silver greenhouse. When I stepped inside I was immediately enchanted by a spectacular curtain of flowers displayed before me.

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In the afternoon there were 2 palaces to visit.

In Palazzo Serbelloni’s courtyard there was the “Swarosky palace”. Upon entering I marveled at the effect of the glittering dancing lights everywhere.

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On the first floor of Palazzo Serbelloni I was blown away by the incredible and stunning floral arrangements created by Christian Tortu for  the Danish brand Gubi. The choice of colours, flowers and natural elements from the vegetable world were perfectly matched with the awesome rooms and furniture.

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To end this amazing day I visited the installation created for Louis Vitton at Palazzo Bocconi. Just inside the courtyard was the incredible Hexacube House “Bubble house” designed by the Greek designer Goerge Candilllis in 1970. Stepping inside the palace, at the top of a majestic staircase I was welcomed by a cascade of 10.000 paper flowers.

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Did you have any chance to visit the Fuori salone? Let me know what surprised you most!

 

the magical world of pictures meets the magical world of flowers

 
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I’ve been always attracted to stationary, paper and drawings and that’s the reason why I want to introduce you to a group of talented young girls who goes by the name of  “This is Fairground”. They saw the light 6 months ago when Rebecca, Jesna and Petra decided to turn their love for illustrations into an adventure.

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They deal with every aspect of wedding stationery,  birthday invitations and every type of special occasion, from the inspirational moodboards right down to thank you cards. All their graphic work is inspired by their passions: music, art, video, cinema and travel.

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When I first read their “about page”  I was very intrigued with how they described their work:” We adore every kind of paper. We mostly love creating wonderful tales tailor made for you, so that you can keep them as a reminder of your happiest moment… We create magic. We take you back to the fairground”.

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In their work nature, flowers and colours are essential and are perfectly matched with the way I create with flowers.

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In December we started with a Christmas card. They immediately understood what I wanted to transmit: joy, light heartedness and magic.

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In January I finally found a way to mix photos and illustrations. I talked about  this project with them and so the drawings on my wedding page became reality.

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And what about you?  Do you prefer images or illustrations? Let me know!

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4 reasons to choose carnations

 
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Today I would like to write about carnation, a flower that is very often underestimated without being able to stand up for itself. These opinions come from the past when the floral arrangements were very basic or because here in Italy the custom is to use them on sad occasions.

But I think the time has arrived to open up the doors to this special flower which has a lot to offer.  Let me give you at least 4 reasons to change your mind about carnations

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First of all nowadays there is an incredible variety of colours which always leave me speechless. Since the start of my career I’ve discovered numerous carnation varieties.

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The second reason is that carnations keep you company for quite a long time, nearly a week or more. A tip they don’t like much water in the vase and the stems are quite fragile.

Thirdly carnations can be found throughout the year and they are fairly cheap. For these reasons they are ideal to complement any floral arrangements.

Ph Paolo Castagnedi

Ph Paolo Castagnedi

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And finally they have a wonderful delicate scent and are very soft to touch. A bunch of white carnations  looks like whipped cream. Their consistency and the movement of the petals remind me of sumptuous velvet.

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Don’t forget that in flower language they mean pure love.

Ph Paolo Castagnedi

Ph Paolo Castagnedi

Have you ever thought about giving them or  decorating  your home with them?

 
 

Backstage at a Verona wedding

 
 

Action!

Last October we made a video and I had real fun. It was the first time for me.

The main characters were:

Cristiana the wedding planner, who directed the whole day

Tiziana the make up artist who did the make up

as floral designer I created the bridal bouquet

Guido, the photographer

Noemi, the videomaker

Two beautiful young models

Not forgetting an orange red Fiat 500

And last but not least amazing Verona at sunset

Here is the day in photos.

During the preparation

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

Last touches

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

Creating the bridal bouquet

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

The happy ending

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

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@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

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@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

@ Guido Pera

Take a look at our video and let me know what you think! Il completo lo troverete stasera alle 21.00 sulla sulla mia pagina Facebook e sul mio nuovo canale Vimeo

 
 

YOUR ITALIAN COUNTRY CHIC PICNIC WEDDING

 
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Searching for an idea for an original and stylish wedding? A picnic wedding could be just the thing!

Imagine a beautiful 16th century Italian country house, Relais Corte Guastalla, surrounded by Custoza vineyards, just a short distance from stunning Lake Garda and romantic Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet and eternal love.

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

An exclusive picnic wedding in the shade of majestic trees, amidst bouquets of peonies, roses, lisianthius and many other hand-selected spectacular flowers. Only the finest china, crystal and original French silverware will be used to make your special day absolutely perfect!

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

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@ Marco Bravi

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@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

Our team of highly qualified professionals will help you create your unique picnic wedding with an unforgettable magical atmosphere in a stylish setting.

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

A typical picnic wedding package for 25 people includes:

•    3 nights accommodation including international breakfast at Relais Corte Guastalla in a double or triple room

•    Exclusive use of Relais Corte Guastalla location for 3 days

•    Wedding Photography service  by Marco Bravi

•    Floral design and decorations by Tania Muser

•    Wedding Planner: Cristiana Sarego of My Perfect Day

•    Place settings by Manuela Piccoli

•    Food and drinks for the picnic

We create made-to-measure packages according to your special requests.

Get in touch with us!

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@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

 
 

A peak behind the scenes of a country chic picnic

 
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A country chic picnic is  an unusual way  to celebrate  your wedding reception, a birthday or a bridal shower. I’d been thinking about this ideas for quite a long time. Then when I met Orietta at Relais Corte Guastalla I knew that I’d found the perfect  location. So a couple of days later  I decided to organize an inspirational picnic shoot with: Orietta, Cristiana, Manuela an Marco.

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

Let me introduce you to this wonderful team:

Orietta and her husband who welcomed us in their fabulous park and villa.

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

Manuela Piccoli a romantic interior designer who’s passionate about shabby chic! She spends most of her time at antique markets in France searching for unique pieces. She turned the park into a magical setting with wrought iron lanterns, floral patterned armchairs and soft mauve velvet cushions. She laid out a white linen tablecloth on the grass with floral bone china dishes, French silver cutlery and crystal glasses.

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

Marco Bravi and his son always manage to capture incredible emotional moments.

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

Cristiana, a very capable wedding planner coordinated the whole day magnificently.

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

My job was to organize the flowers. In keeping with the country theme I chose delicate wild flowers paired with luxurious peonies, elegant roses together with olive, rosemary and seasonal greenery.

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

The mood was: fresh and sparkling, romantic and elegant with a retro feel about it.

These were some of the behind the scenes moments.

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

Check my blog tomorrow for the picnic package details.

@ Marco Bravi

@ Marco Bravi

Thanks to Gaiadi for the stationary!

 
 

4 pink combinations for your Christmas table

 
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Last week on a grey cloudy morning I met  Manuela Piccoli to create an unusual and inspirational Christmas corner. As soon as I arrived Manuela took me to her deposit full of antiques, a real treat for my eyes. It was like opening a door and take a glimpse into the past.

I discovered an amazing 18th  century dresser where I created a magical winter wonderland. I used branches of rosehip, silver and green cypress, pine, moss, a magnificent Hellebore and masses of glowing candles. To make the atmosphere even cozier I  added a green velvet armchair and a pink  one, a crystal chandelier and  two white wrought iron lanterns.

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A sunlit corner filled with plants was a perfect location for the Christmas table. I wanted to create  a romantic and vintage look. So we used an embroidered white tablecloth, mismatched wrought iron with soft white  wollen white blankets. 19th century  Sheffield dinner  plates from 900, fine bone china dishes, antique silver French cutlery, Liberty green glasses and small 50’s style bowls adorned the table.

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For the flowers I chose the different shades of intense pink. This tone is perfect for its versatility and meaning. A few days back I read an article about pink which signifies  kindness, romanticism and gratitude.  I daresay “perfect” for this festive period.  Use this palette to surprise your guests this year!

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The flowers were: Ranunculus, Carnation, Cymbiudim, different types of berries from light pink to dark violet.

Here are 4 possible combinations with pink:

  • Pink/violet: violet Anemones and blue Hyacinth
  • Pink/red: intese red roses "Red Naomi" and pillar box Ilex
  • Pink/Bordeaux: bordeaux Ranunculus, Anemones, Carnation and Skimmia
  • Pink/silver: silver berries

Don’t forget to add seasonal greenery!

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Hope you are getting into the Christmas spirit.

Best wishes!

See you in January!

Send me some photos of your seasonal decorations!

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Intensive floral workshop with an autumn twist

 
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There was a unique vibe during my last intensive floral work-shop in October.

The special ingredients that made these two days so incredible were: an amazing group of curious and focused women: Natascia, Alessia, Nadia, Giorgia, Caterina, Silvia and Elena. Each one with her own dreams, passions, but above all very determined to share this experience.

The wonderfully welcoming Relais Corte Guastalla location set amongst the Custoza vineyard was the perfect backdrop for our week-end.

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I chose the vibrant autumn palette of : the bordeaux chrysanthemum, the chocolate of the Cosmos, the ruby red of the hydrangea  and the more delicate tones of pastel pink of the perfumed O’Hara roses.

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At the beginning of the course I gave a small  floral patterned notebook to each partecipant. Here they could note down any tips that they’d picked up during the week-end.

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This was my fourth  intensive floral workshop and I must say it was a really magical experience for us all.  Here are some special words from Natascia from Parma:”Wood of Ceylon, powerful, crisp, exciting, magical, special  and unique. This was how Tania welcomed us on the  first morning. The morning light shimmering through the windows of the villa, candles flickering, a folded apron on the table, and a unique patterned  notebook. A small branch of red apples laid out to remind us that nature is a work of art, and all our flowers displayed magnificently on the mantelpiece.

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A special thanks to Elena, who captured those two days beautifully with her camera.

 

An autumn wedding with an essential flower

 
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Hi again, hope you had a good summer I’d a splendid one. As the leaves are starting to fall I thought I’d tell you about a wonderful autumn wedding I did last year.

Paula and Adam are a lovely couple who live in London and wanted to celebrate their union in Northern Italy. They chose the romantic location of Valpolicella amidst the vineyards.

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Paula had a very clear idea of the style, the hues and the atmosphere that she wanted for their wedding. Being passionate about flowers herself it was important that they played an important role on their special day.

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Constance Spry the English floral designer was a source of inspiration for Paula. This innovative floral designer was behind the creation for Elizabeth II’s coronation and many other royal events. She was a very strong, independent woman, passionate about flowers who brought flowers to the masses. Nowadays her elegant and natural style is very much in vogue and she wrote many books about floral design.

Going back to Paula’s wedding she chose a palette made up of different shades of bordeaux, burgundy, green and cream. A touch of light peach was added to give light and to create and edgy contrast. The chocolate hue of her moodboard conveyed elegance, smoothness and consistency.

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For the flowers we chose:

  • Dahlia "dark chocolate", a flower with a dramatic red-chocolate colour;
  • Dahlia “cafè au Lait” which I love deeply and its sole presence brightens up every floral arrangement;
  • Cosmos an ethereal flower with a bold almost black hue and velvet petals (check out my link);
  • Stonecrop and Amnivisnaga, the first is fleshy and the second has a vintage lace look;
  • Berries of black and red Viburnun, pink Symphoricarpos, peach St. John’s Wort and branches of small green rosehips;
  • Foliage of different shades together with the unique burgundy violet Cotinus.

And last but not least black grapes and pomegranates were placed on each table for good luck.

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Paula’s gown  was simple in style and light golding colour, a perfect background for her beautiful, big bridal bouquet. The curvaceous branches of green rosehip and cosmos gave a lightness and flow to it.

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As you can see from the photos the final result was stunning"!

Take a look for yourself and let me know what you think.

PH: Dave Watts

Some photos are from Pinterest and some are mine.

 

an unusual Saturday in Berlin

 
 

Destination Berlin to meet a very close friend for a 24 hour stay.

Two absolutely essential places to visit were Fiona Bennet’s hat laboratory and the Soho House Berlin space.

With Giselle, my dearest friend, I headed immediately to visit Fiona the “hatmaker”, who dresses many Berliners heads for every occasion. Stepping inside the shop, once an old soap factory, you enter a beguiling timeless world. A white fairy world where hat boxes, ribbons, little pearls, silk flowers and feathers vie for space and I just felt like Alice in Wonderland.

Pop next door, you find yourself in the future, in a space with mirrored and silver plated walls where colourful dresses, shoes and accessories are showcased.

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After a well earned break in a cosy bar we took an unusual taxi, a 1963 Peugeot to the Soho House Berlin.

A two floor building with huge windows where modern and vintage is perfectly balanced. Inside the store you can find a barbershop, a florist, books, a coffee-shop, a corner with old vinyl records and of course the latest fashion. Dotted around the store are many little sofas and tables where you can stop and watch the world go by.

During my short but sweet Berlin stay I was pleasantly surprised to notice that everywhere was decorated with plants. In a nutshell the latest trend is definitely the Jungle urban style. Obviously there are always flowers to go with it!

 
 

discovering hellebore

 
 

Today I’m going to tell you all about my morning with Laura the owner of “The Unsual Garden” where I had the pleasure of discovering new varieties of hellebore. I met Laura in September in Mantua where she was showing off her recent crop of tulip, daffodil and iris bulbs. I immediately bought some colorful tulips and daffodil and so now I can’t wait to see them bloom. In the last few months I’ve been keeping in touch with her in order to know when the hellebore was ready to blossom. Usually they start blossoming in December but this year it was delayed due to lack of rain and the intense cold. Finally the message arrived and so I jumped into the car and went to see her.

Twenty years ago Laura and two families bought a piece of land where they built their homes. They left the garden unfenced so as to enjoy the countryside at its best. On clear days they have an amazing view over lake Garda and the nearby mountains and it’s a haven of peace and tranquility.

In spite of the greyish day, the garden had a magical atmosphere. I was immediately attracted to an impressive tree boasting tiny red apples and to delicate bunches of Viburnum dawn foresi. Laura was the perfect host accompanying me to explore her garden, pointing out the different varieties of hellebore scattered all over the garden. I even discovered some uncommon ones such as: hellebore picotee with delicate burgundy veining, a polka dot variety, a doubled petal one and even a blue one (I couldn’t resist buying one of the blue ones and I can’t wait to see it bloom).

Having spend a wonderful morning with Laura I’m anxious to return in April when the garden will be in full bloom.

Just a word about caring for your hellebore. It’s a hardy perennial, rustic plant and starts blooming at the beginning of winter until April. This plant likes half shade, and in April when it finishes blossoming it’s essential to keep it in the shade until autumn. In the Uk and northern America it‘s also known as the Christmas rose as it was traditionally used as a Christmas decoration. The most common variety is the Helleborus niger with its pure white flowers.

Hope you’re keeping busy in the garden as spring is on its way!

See you next time!

 
 

9 flowers to match the colour of the year

 
 

Greenery 15-343 colour of the year!
Each November Pantone Color Institute choose the colour which will influence fashion, design and weddings for the following year.

I love the motivation and definition that Pantone gave for this year’s choice: Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.

If you are going to get married this year, Greenery will be very easy to add to your moodboard. You could either choose just a green palette or add it to the other colours. In addition to the classical and timeless white and green combination, there are many other possibilities: take a look at this link.

Talking about flowers, there is quite a choice, here are some that have interesting shades of green:

  • Carnation “prado”, annual
  • Light green eustoma, best time spring &summer
  • Rose from Ecquador, annual
  • Light green hydrangea, spring&summer
  • Chrysanthemum “froggy”, annual
  • Snowball, May
  • St. John’s Wort green, annual
  • Alchemilla, annualAmni, spring&summer
  • Blue throatwort, annual
  • Dianthus tricky, annual

Finally green is perfect for any style you choose for your wedding: from modern to romantic, from elegant to natural.

Have a look at the moodboard I created to get some inspiration. Have you already decided about your wedding moodboard? Tell me about your choices.

 
 

a December wedding

 
 

The photos speak for themselves, it was the wonderful winter wedding of Chiara and Alessio. As you can see the bride was radiant, sweet and romantic.

Chiara and I met for the first time in spring. During our meeting she expressed the desire to use red as the main colour for their day. So the floral moodboard I proposed was: white and red anemones, double red tulips, white and red ranunculus, berries, small apples, dried oranges, rosehips, silver pine, Norway pine, silver and green cypress.

Chiara chose the beautiful church of St. Zeno in Verona for her special day. It boasts many beautiful and opulent frescos, in particular the magnificent Mantegna altarpiece by one of the most famous Italian Renaissance painters. I suggested a neutral palette for the floral decorations white, different shades of green and silvery-grey. These colours enhanced both the beauty of the church and flowers.

With a snow white bridal gown it was essential a touch of red. Red rosehips were added to pure white anemones, ranunculus and small white rose buds. With a touch of red lipstick the bride was ready.

Bright red took center stage throughout the decorations: from the place setting to the centerpiece, right down to the wedding cake decoration. For each table I created colorful floral compositions wrapped in soft white linen and for the bride&groom’s table there were some small “floral cakes”. For each guest there was a small pine branch with a little red apple, and a cascade of red flowers for the wedding cake.

I would like to thank Chiara, Alessio and Paolo (the photographer) once again for letting me share their unique day.

 
 

anemones

 
 

In the winter flower gallery let us spare some time to better get acquainted with anemones. You’ll learn to love this graceful flower little by little. Anemones are so unpretentious and shy, always huddled together with their blossoms tightly closed as though they’re hiding a secret.

Once you buy them you need to arm yourself with plenty of patience. They will slowly reveal themselves like dancers doing pirouettes in light voile skirts. As the blossoms open up, they finally show off their dramatic black centre surrounded by bright coloured petals. We are spoilt for choice with all the variety of colours. From pure white, ideal for a winter bouquet to vivid red, perfect for Christmas and St. Valentine’s, right down to timeless elegant burgundy.

Here are some practical tips for caring for your anemones:

  • the hollow stems are very delicate so handle them carefully
  • they don’t need a lot of water (maximum 5 cm)
  • they’ll grow so keep this in mind when creating your floral arrangement
  • buy them at least 3 days before making your floral arrangement

I came across these photos of anemones and I was fascinated by them. This shots were taken by Jessica a Californian floral designer, who revealed that anemones are her favourite flowers. I think she managed to capture all their beauty, what do you think?

Which are your favourite winter flower? Let me know!

 
 

festive flowers for your Christmas table

 
 

To create an elegant Christmas table I was inspired by this blue tableware from the designer store Froh & Sinn in Zurich. I suggest a welcome floral arrangement in a light blue vase if possible, 3 bouquets of white roses for your centrepiece and a small bouquet for each guest placed on a blue napkin. Add a cozy atmosphere lots of snow and candlelight for some true festive spirit.

For the welcome floral arrangement, you will need:

  • 1 medium branch of Norway pine
  • 1 medium branch of silver pine
  • 2 small branches of cypress with pine cones
  • 2 berries of silver brunia
  • 2 berries of white St. John’s Wort
  • 1 stem of blue Sea Holly

    Start with 2 slightly overlapping big branches, add some silver cypress at different heights and finish with a bunch of berries on the front. To add some sparkle thread a string of led lights among the branches.

For the rose bouquets, you will need:

  • 6 stems of fully blossomed white roses
  • spruce (as much as you may need)

First remove all the leaves from each stem and create your bouquet using the criss-cross technique (have a look at the video in the link). Finally cover all the stems with small branches of spruce that you prepared earlier and tie with a ribbon.

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If you need some more tips for decorating your Christmas table please send me an e-mail, I’ll be happy to answer you. I look forward to seeing your creations!

If you want to brush up on your flower arranging skills or even give a workshop as a gift, don’t hesitate to contact me. Remember my workshops are open to everyone no matter what your level, just the only essential ingredient is passion!

Don’t forget my next workshop will be just before St. Valentine to help you create a special bouquet (see link for details).

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and see you in January 2017!