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Welcome to my blog. I document my adventures in travel, style, and food. Hope you have a nice stay!

Flower Tuesday: The Sunflower Challenge

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The Sunflower Challenge

Are they elegant? Are they cheesy? Are they summer or are they fall? Sunflowers are tough. Their big, happy faces are definitely favorited by many, but how do you incorporate elements of rustic and chic using flowers that are normally considered "cute"?

Someone once told me that you aren't truly a designer until you can create the mundane into something beautiful.  When our clients Lauren & Doug approached me to discuss the details of their rehearsal dinner at the beautiful Ram's Gate Winery, I was up for the challenge to create elegant arrangements with sunflowers that would stand up to the extraordinary scenery at the winery. Breathe. Go!

I am a proponent of the rehearsal dinner relating to the wedding in some way. Lauren wanted to make sure that the rehearsal dinner was understated, yet a little "preview" to what the guests could expect the next day--which were abundant arrangements full of herbs, apples, and grapes in a white & green color palette for their late September wedding date.

We wanted to go with a little color and casual touches of fruit with the feeling of simple-yet-elegant. For cocktails, I went with mini-sunflowers that I believe were all sorts of different types of hexaploid perennial sunflowers (Just in case you all didn't already know how nerdy I was about plants...) I liked that the brown centers had specks of yellow, which brought out a less stark contrast in the color palette. I added crisp mint for some sensory experience, and then touches of fennel to give the arrangement some extra color and scent. The julep cup added an elegant touch to the arrangement.  The tables were then adorned with simple clear glass votives to add a bit of modern-chic decor.

For the indoor centerpieces, I had actually taken my inspiration from Van Gogh's Bowl with Sunflowers, Roses, and Other Flowers. I wanted to create a lush, spilling-over effect.  Rose scented geranium brought a light scent to the arrangement, while dreamy yellow garden roses brought another yellow element to simmer-down the sunflower which can be overwhelming in arrangements. Added touches were pears, yarrow, and nigella to give a more garden-like feel.  The silver pedestal vase gave a classic, polished, and refined look to the arrangement.

Lauren & Doug love dahlias, and as we are all aware from the Blush is Not Dead post last week, I am pretty smitten myself!  So...for the outdoor tables, I wanted to make sure that they were incorporated and made sense with the design. I added a mix of white dahlias by the names of Tiny Treasure and White Fawn with accents of sage. The entire studio smelled like Thanksgiving dinner mid-summer creating these arrangements. No qualms about that!

Please comment and let us know if you think the design for Lauren & Doug's rehearsal dinner passed the test for The Sunflower Challenge!

Venue: Ram's Gate Winery | Sonoma, CA

Photography: Elisabeth Millay

Floral Design: Alicia K Designs | Amanda Vidmar

Event Planner: Alicia K Designs | Alicia Falango & Jessica Harrington

The AKD Holiday Table Inspiration

Blush is Not Dead