Celebrate the joys of your life with Joie de Vivre.

Joie de Vivre brings freelance floral design to your Northshore, New Orleans and Baton Rouge events. We meet, discuss your vision and collaborate to make your floral idea a reality.

No storefront means no overhead for me and better prices for you. It also means that flowers are purchased for you and only you, allowing you to benefit from the freshest possible product. Attention and creativity is poured into making your event a memorable one, not just some pretty flowers in a vase.

While Joie de Vivre is my business and design is my passion, it all starts with the flower. Hope you enjoy my many ramblings.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Flower's Journey

Ever wonder why flowers can be so expensive?  I think it takes being a part of the industry to have a true appreciation of all that a flower experiences prior to be enjoyed by the end user.

Many of the flowers we see travel further to reach us than we travel in our lives.  This certainly gives us perspective, doesn’t it?  Most of the roses we buy here in the U.S. are grown in South American countries and orchids travel from Hawaii, Canada and as far as Thailand to grace our presence for a few days or possibly weeks. Many flowers will travel the world, going from their country of origin to the world’s largest floral auction in Aalsmeer (Netherlands), to then be sold and transported again to its final destination.

Flowers these days are bred for performance, and they must be cut, graded and packaged, not to mention transported, inspected and transported some more before arriving to area suppliers. When you think about how fragile they can be, it’s amazing that they reach us looking as lovely as they do.

When I receive flowers for your event, they are boxed, out of water.  I must remove them from their protective packaging, remove foliage and thorns, recut the stems and allow them to hydrate before I can think about creating your floral extravaganza.  So if your event entails hundreds and hundreds of stems, think about all the time to prepare those individual stems, not to mention all the design time it took to produce your masterpieces!  I will not even mention the time it takes to plan the design and redesign as a client modifies their plans.  Whew! I’m exhausted just writing about it.

So next time you gaze at some gorgeous blossoms, if your first instinct is to gasp at the price, think again about all it took for those flowers to reach you. Then you may think they didn’t charge enough!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Permanent Botanicals (AKA silk flowers) for Bridal Bouquets

You will quickly see that I have strong feelings about this subject. My intention is not to critique brides that go that route; it is simply to reflect on some of the reasons that brides give for wanting silks.

1.      Cost. You get what you pay for.  If you hope to have somewhat realistic silk flowers, you will pay for them and there’s a good chance you will pay more for them than what you would for the real thing.

If budget is a concern for you, that’s totally understandable.  The key for anyone on a budget is flexibility.  Speak to your floral designer about your budget and be open to suggestions.  Their business is creativity and if you are flexible with their ideas, you will probably end up with a fabulous creation, all within your budget. (But remember, you have to compromise!)

2.      The keepsake idea.  I’ve heard a few brides mention the idea of silk flowers as it relates to having a memento of their wedding to look back on.  As a gal that dried my bouquet, I can say that it’s in a plastic box in my closet.  I promise you, it would be no different with a silk arrangement.  I look at my wedding photos or gaze at my ring and reminisce about my magical day. I don’t need my dusty flowers to take me back to the day. 

If you need a memento of your special day, look no further than the ring on your finger.  Most of us probably hold on to our wedding dresses, freeze a piece of wedding cake, keep our something new and blue, in addition to keeping our wedding invitations, announcements and the list goes on and on.  Do we really need to have more mementos?  This question is coming from a sentimental fool that holds on to everything.
If you really want to preserve your bouquet, consider having a professional dry it or freeze dry it.

3.      Romance. We can agree that your wedding day is supposed to be the most romantic day of your life, right?

Question: how would you feel if your honey presented you with a bunch of silk flowers on Valentine’s Day, another romantic day?  It wouldn’t feel very romantic, would it?

Think back to the last time you received flowers, what’s the first thing you did when you received them (after reading the card)?  You plunged your nose into the bouquet to catch a whiff of the intoxicating scent, right?  You can’t really do that with silks, can you?

Conclusion: if it’s unromantic to receive silk flowers on Valentine’s Day, a romantic holiday, isn’t it even more unromantic to give them to yourself and others on the most romantic day of your life?

If you must have permanent botanicals, go for it!  This blog was simply based on my reflections after recently hearing a couple brides’ reasons for wanting silk.  I hope I’ve given you some food for thought!
By the way, I realize there are times when permanents seem to be a viable solution.  This is when a bride must have a particular flower and it’s either not available or able to withstand weather conditions.  I’ve read of instances where permanents have been used in magazine photo shoots simply because they couldn’t get the desired flower in flawless enough condition.  The flower in question—the white anemone!  This amazing little flower has so few petals; imagine how hard it is to find 50 or so flawless white stems for that perfect bouquet!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sometimes Less is More

While bridal magazines inspire us with lush floral extravaganzas, sometimes that lush full look isn’t consistent with a bride’s personal style or budget.  When you see a lush, full floral display, remember, each stem is an investment, so it all adds up quickly.  Perhaps that lush garden look isn’t your style.  There are many of us out there that appreciate the simplicity of a single stem, whether it be the texture of ginger blossom or linear beauty of a few calla lilies swirled in a vase.  Why not enhance that one amazing stem and really make it a statement flower by submerging it in water?

One single large vase or grouping of vases with a few immaculate stems can really make an impact.  Couple the water’s magnification of the blossoms with the light reflected by surrounding candles and you have one memorable table.  
Now let’s go a step further.  How often do you see that submerged stem suspended in water without the use of rocks or floating candles to hold it in place?  It’s a very clean look and in this context is completed with a swirling grass accent.  (This photo was a trial run for a future project with dendrobium orchids; so remember, never wait to the last minute to test your concept).
Clean.  Simple.  Beautiful.  Just remember the glass cleaner as unsightly fingerprints will destroy this pristine look.