Tammy and I had the pleasure of meeting with Kristina Carter, owner of Vrai Photography last week.  We talked for quite some time and shared views on business and green initiatives in the special event industry.  Kristina is a charming and truly talented photographer with a passion for spreading the word about all things “green”.   Kristina emphasizes customer experience as a key element of her services and her artful eye and photographic technique capture memorable moments in a truly unique way.  We are thankful that Kristina has taken the time to post a wonderful vendor spotlight post about Flowers With Feeling, Inc. (http://vraiphoto.blogspot.com/2009/04/impact-tipvendor-spotlight-flowers-with.html).  You can find out more about Kristina’s work at her website at http://www.vraiphoto.com  or the Vrai Photography Blog at http://www.vraiphoto.blogspot.com/.

Vrai Photography Blog: Vendor Spotlight / Green Chicago Florist

Vrai Photography Blog: Vendor Spotlight / Green Chicago Florist


Frank Andonoplas of Frank Event Design hosted the Association of Bridal Consultants Meeting on March 10th, 2009 at the historic Drake Hotel Chicago.  This sold out event was a smashing success and brought together some of Frank’s favorite wedding vendors, wedding ideas and wedding sources.  Read more about this event and “Frank’s Favorite Things” at http://frankeventdesign.com/frankblog/?p=27.

Flowers With Feeling, Inc.: Brides Choice Awards Honoree 2009

Winter Wedding Centerpiece / Wedding Reception at the Palmer House Hilton Chicago. (Photography by Bartelt Studios Photography)

Winter Wedding Centerpiece / Wedding Reception at the Palmer House Hilton Chicago. (Photography by Bartelt Studios Photography)

Barbara and Greg were first introduced to Flowers With Feeling, Inc. Chicago by Frank Andonoplas of Frank Event Design in November 2008 in preparation for their January 2009 wedding (Ceremony:  Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church / Reception:  Palmer House Hilton Chicago).   Frank has designed social and corporate events since 1992 earning numerous honors and professional designations, and has become known as one of the premier experts in his field (click here for Frank’s Bio).   Barbara and Greg had impeccable taste and wanted to achieve an elegant yet understated winter feel, reflective of their personalities.

Calla Lily Bridal Bouquet. (photography by Bartelt Studios Photography)

Calla Lily Bridal Bouquet. (Photography by Bartelt Studios Photography)

Wedding Centerpieces / Wedding Reception Flowers:  Low, tabletop wedding centerpieces were tailored to reflect Barbara and Greg’s style preferences using seasonal flowers including Green Goddess Amaryllis (white), Vivian Spray Roses (cream), white stock flower, fragrant white wax flower, Hawaiian Dendrobium Orchids (white) accented with touches of white pine tips and cedar. Each wedding centerpiece design was placed directly atop dinner tables and completed with three flickering cylindrical votive candles.  For added effect, Frost Lighting Chicago was contracted to pin-spot each wedding centerpiece at this simple yet elegant Palmer House Hilton winter wedding reception.

Bridal Party Flowers:  Barbara’s bridal bouquet maintained a simple, loosely designed aesthetic incorporating 40 white Calla Lilies accented simply with fragrant white pine tips.  Pine tips were inserted neatly between each Calla Lily to maintain separation and to achieve the desired airy feel Barbara desired.  A simple Vendella Rose (10) bouquet was created for Barbara’s Matron of Honor.  White pine tip touches completed this clutch style bouquet design.  Female attendants and family members were each presented with single White Cymbidium Orchid bloom corsage accented with pine for continuity and fragrance.  Gentleman wore simple but striking miniature white Calla Lily boutonnieres.

White Calla Lily boutonniere accented with white pine tips. (Photography by Bartelt Studios Photography)

White Calla Lily boutonniere accented with white pine tips. (Photography by Bartelt Studios Photography)

About the Flower Palette:

Amaryllis:  Amaryllis originate from South & Central America and the Caribbean and are also known as Hippeastrum which means “night star”. Amaryllis’ main season extends from September to April. Due to the large bloom size, a rigid stick is normally inserted into the hollow stem during processing to ensure stem stability during design and handling.

Stock:  Stock originates in the Mediterranean and Canary Islands and is also commonly known as Gillyflower.  Stock’s peak season is between March and August but can normally be sourced year round.  Stock means lasting beauty, bonds of affection and promptness.

Vendella Roses:  Vendella Roses are a pale cream variety available in lengths from 40 cm – 70 cm.  Suitable substitutes for Vendella Roses are” Timeless”, ” Ivory” and “Renate” Roses and are also available in a wide variety of solid and bi-color varieties year round.  Roses are typically hand wired during processing for additional bloom support and longevity.  Trivia:  In the 19th Century, scented roses were often used to make jelly.

Waxflower:  Waxflower is best characterized by its woody stem and small waxy yet delicate looking fragrant blooms.  Waxflower is generally available year round and is one of the most popular flower choices in the floral industry.  Waxflower is typically used as a “filler” flower and is used to enhance, soften and to add texture and fragrance to floral designs.

Hawaiian Dendrobium Orchids:  Hawaiian Dendrobium Orchids are a premium Orchid variety that has desirable characteristics including stem length often in excess of 36″ and open blooms that extend to the stem tip.  Thailand Dendrobium Orchid varieties normally bloom from the stem base upward, transitioning to closed buds near the stem tip.

Frank Andonoplas of Frank Event Design assists groom with boutonniere pinning. (Photography by Bartelt Studios Photography)

Frank Andonoplas of Frank Event Design assists groom with boutonniere pinning. (Photography by Bartelt Studios Photography)

Wedding Service Providers:

Wedding Flowers:  Flowers With Feeling, Inc. Chicago
Wedding Coordinator:  Frank Event Design Chicago
Lighting:  Frost Lighting Chicago
Wedding Photography:  Bartelt Studios Photography Chicago
Wedding Reception:  Palmer House Hilton Chicago 
Wedding Ceremony:  Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church

Wedding Flowers & Decor | WeddingWire Reviews

(click here to see customer reviews of Flowers With Feeling, Inc. Chicago)

Silver Candelabra

Elevated Wedding Centerpiece: Silver Candelabra (by Flowers With Feeling, Inc. Chicago)

As part of our ongoing commitment to create, to share and to inspire, we are happy to present Flowers With Feeling, Inc.’s ‘Event Spotlight’.  Today’s spotlight shines on a recent garden wedding at one of Chicago’s premier wedding and special event venues, Galleria Marchetti  (featured on Bravo TV’s Top Chef Chicago – “Wedding Wars” ).  Floral décor was designed and created by Flowers With Feeling, Inc. Chicago.

Nestled among flowering trees and seasonal blooms in this Tuscan inspired landscape, the Pavilion and the East Courtyard at Galleria Marchetti offered a magical setting for today’s featured wedding reception.  This unique oasis in the city presented an ideal canvas for inspired floral centerpieces and décor.

Floral centerpieces were created in an elegant high / low pave’ style using minimal foliage designed in a compact spherical form incorporating romantic soft white, ivory and champagne colored flowers including large open Virginia roses, champagne spray roses, large white Hydrangea, soft green Hydrangea, white stock flower, and white Hawaiian Orchids finished with cascading green Amaranthus. 

Elevated centerpieces are displayed atop sterling silver four arm illuminated candelabras completed with scattered Virginia rose petals and flickering candlelight at the base.  Low centerpieces are created in a coordinating fashion and displayed in the exclusive low ‘Marano’ candle stand.  The head table centerpiece consists of various components with a dramatic coordinating compact long and low centerpiece as the focal point.  Bride’s and bridesmaids’ bouquets were also placed in pre-positioned vases spaced strategically throughout the head table following the ceremony for added enhancement.  Watch the video below to see these wedding flower designs, created by Flowers With Feeling, Inc., on location at Galleria Marchetti Chicago. 

Ride along with Chicago florist Flowers With Feeling, Inc. as they design and execute floral and décor services for weddings and events at some of Chicago’s best known venues including the Chicago Yacht Club, Saint Josephat Church, the Palmer House Hilton, Wyndham Hotel Chicago and Café Brauer in Chicago’s near north Lincoln Park neighborhood.  Featured wedding and event decor locations also include the Donald E. Stevens Convention Center, Drake Hotel Chicago, Chicago Hilton and Towers and Westin Chicago River North.  Subscribe to the Flowers With Feeling blog by email or in reader (RSS feed) for future editions of “on location videos”, Chicago floral, wedding and event décor features, ideas and trends. 

Wedding centerpiece by Flowers With Feeling, Inc. Chicago

Whether your vision is classic or contemporary, creative and affordable lighting options can add vitality and ambiance to your event and give even a modest centerpiece depth and vibrancy.   LED lighting (light emitting diode) is more widely available than ever before and in many forms and colors.  In many cases brides and event designers are opting to replace traditional candles with equally affordable eco-friendly LED or combining LED with traditional or soy candles.   

Our featured design (right) by Flowers With Feeling, Inc. Chicago, illustrates the combined use of both LEDs and traditional floating disk candles.  One of the clear advantages of using this technique is the dynamic feel and movement of flickering candlelight in combination with the warmth and color of the LED.  In this example, blue LED lights are masked beneath a soft cloud of white chiffon.  This somewhat traditional wedding centerpiece is brought to life by incorporating elements which by themselves might appear one dimensional but together result in a dynamic multi faceted presentation. 

These long lasting, affordable and compact reusable lights open avenues of creativity that were once limited to applications that allowed for large short lived battery packs and a limited range of colors.  Today the applications are nearly limitless and can inject an added dimension into your event that guests will surely enjoy. (www.flowerswithfeeling.com)

Earth Hour Chicago On Saturday, March 29, 2008, from 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM, Chicagoans will join together in a collective effort during Earth Hour Chicago 2008 to illuminate the effective impact of even the smallest individual contributions to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse emissions.  For one hour, between 8:00 – 9:00 PM, residents of more than 20 cities around the world are being invited to take part by switching off lights and turning off appliances.  The concept which originated in Sydney Australia in March, 2007 is being embraced by Chicagoans and by participating cities around the world including Bankok, Copenhagen, Melbourne, Manila, Tel Aviv and Toronto.

Kokua Hospitality properties including The Allerton Hotel, Chicago City Centre and The Inn of Chicago are three such businesses that will be hosting soy candlelit (soy candles)gatherings featuring low impact specialty libations including organic beer and eco-tinis complimented by a selection of upscale eco-efficient cold fare, acoustic music by Chris Gelbuda and a healthy dose of ambiance.  It is estimated that the monetary impact of this one hour “lights out” effort at these properties will result in approximately $5000 in energy savings which will be generously donated to the World Wildlife Federation to support the ongoing effort.  While many will choose to enjoy a quiet, lightless moment of tranquility others will choose to paint the town green.  Below are just a few of Chicago’s best:

Avenue M Restaurant and Lounge at the Allerton Hotel is offering an Earth Hour menu prepared without the use of heat or energy. Fabulous offerings and specialty cocktails enjoyed over candlelight are sure to make Earth Hour a memorable experience.  These special items will be available throughout the evening.

InnBar at the Inn of Chicago will host candlelight cocktails from 8:00pm-9:00pm. Join us all night for our highly anticipated Eco-Tini (made with organic vodka and raspberries) and a selection of organic beers. Chris Gelbuda will be performing at 7:00pm, acoustically of course! Soy candles will illuminate the swanky scene provided by Flowers with Feeling.

Winners at the Chicago City Centre is proud to offer a selection of organic beers and spirits to encourage our guests to get in the true spirit of Earth Hour. Soy candles, provided by Flowers with Feeling will again set the mood in an eco-friendly way.

Earth Hour 2008 will begin in Christchurch, New Zealand and will cascade through 14 time zones including participating U.S. cities Phoenix, Atlanta San Francisco and Chicago.  This dramatic and symbolic initiative is yet another step in Chicago’s ongoing commitment to being one of the greenest cities in the nation.  Visit http://www.worldwildlife.org/ or http://www.earthhour.org/ for more information.