Category Archives: Weddings

So Inspired By Sola Wood Flowers!

We are totally inspired by these delicate Sola wood blossoms! Each petal is hand carved from Sola wood (also known as Balsa wood or Tapioca wood) and pieced together to create these spectacular blooms. Sola wood is very soft and lightweight, making these flowers easy to work with and extremely versatile. They are available in several varieties and sizes – so perfect for adding a rustic and unique look to any bouquet!

Known throughout Europe, and gaining popularity in the United States, we’re sure these rustic blossoms will soon be making some noise in Canada.

Add Sola wood flowers to a bouquet of monochromatic garden flowers, mix them with succulents, or create an entire bouquet of them adding accents of soft foliage. They also make wonderful boutonnieres since they won’t wilt, and can be used throughout your wedding decor without breaking the bank.

The best part? They will last forever, allowing you to have a beautiful keepsake to remember your wedding day for years to come!

Images courtesy of


Consulting With An Expert On Your Wedding Flowers

Orchids and roses and gerberas, oh my! Deciding on your wedding flowers can be a little overwhelming. Flowers will be in the majority of your wedding photos so you want to make sure they make a statement. Your flowers should add to your wedding decor without taking the focus off of you and your bridal party. Booking a consultation with an experienced floral designer can ensure that your wedding day is enhanced by the flowers you choose.

When deciding on a florist for your consultation, be sure to find one that has a good reputation for weddings, either recommended by another bride or wedding planner.  Read online reviews or visit the florist’s website to view their portfolio beforehand. Most flower shops will do wedding flowers, but try to find one that specializes in weddings and events. Don’t be afraid to ask to see the shop’s portfolio or photos of recent weddings! Booking a consultation at least six months before your wedding is always a good idea. Most florists require time to order in your flowers, as well as any vases or supplies they may need.  A florist the specializes in wedding flowers will book up almost a year in advance. Booking early also allows more time to make changes to your order, so that extra boutonniere or table-center you may need can be added on without any problems.

Consultations take at least an hour, so set aside enough time to go through every detail with your florist. During your first consultation, it’s a good idea to keep your budget out of the conversation – your initial quote should be based on your vision. (We like to start with what your ideal bouquet would look like, and work from there.)  After the initial floral quote, if your flowers are over your budget, work with your florist to maintain the look you were going for, either by substituting similar flowers or downsizing your arrangements to suit your budget.   You may discover that your dream flowers aren’t far from reach!

Some flower shops offer wedding ‘packages’ and although they are convenient, your flowers should be unique.  This is your special day and you should enjoy creating a bouquet that reflects you! Bring pictures of bouquets and arrangements  that grabbed your attention, as well as flowers you like or may be special to you, keeping in mind that they should be pictures of fresh flowers as silk flowers tend to be unrealistic in size and color. A sample of your wedding colors is also a great thing to bring, as it will help the florist suggest certain flowers and fillers. We do recommend that you leave the quantity of flowers in each bouquet to the florist, as they know how many flowers they will need to achieve the look you are going for.

Picking your flowers should be a pleasant experience. It should be done without pressure or inconvenience. Don’t be talked into anything you don’t like! If you are having trouble picturing your bouquet or centerpieces, ask the designer if they will make ‘mock-ups’ that you can view before you make your final decision. Remember that cheaper isn’t always better, if you are getting quotes from several different flower shops because you are looking for the one that is the least expensive, you may just end up getting what you paid for.  This is your special day and you should be able to look at pictures of your flowers years from now and still say, “I love my flowers!

*special thanks to Dana Heald, designer at Mandala Floral for the wonderful tips!

Manzanita Branches: An Exotic Accent

With the 2012 wedding season fast approaching, we know that many brides-to-be have already started to think about their table centers and wedding decor. At the 2011 Bridal Expo, we featured a table centerpiece of stunning sandblasted manzanita branches, white dendrobium orchids stems, and white phaleanopsis orchid stems.  The base of the arrangement was laced with roses, cymbidium orchids, hydrangea, and calla lilies. Along with the design expertise of the Creative Weddings and Occasions team, we created an exotic focal point that would enhance any wedding decor.  We fell in love with manzanita…

Also known as ‘mountain driftwood’, manzanita branches make a great statement and can be used in many different ways. These wild and twisted branches are available in their natural deep reddish-brown, or sandblasted for a lighter color.  They are indigenous to the western United States, most commonly in the northern region of California, and come in a variety of sizes.  Although shipping can be  expensive, manzanita branches create beautiful focal pieces and are extremely versatile.

Suspend orchids from the many branches to create a canopy of exotic blooms or hang whimsical pomander balls at varying heights for a more playful look.

image from Koyal Wholesale

Phaleanopsis Orchids

Manzanita branches also make stunning ‘wishing trees’ as there are many smaller branches on which to attach crystals and personalized wedding cards. The branches can be lacquered to suit any decor theme and are available up to five feet in height!

photo credit Jerry Yoon Photography

While you may find it difficult to locate quality manzanita branches, the effort is well worth it! Mandala Floral recently secured a reliable source for quality branches and we were so excited to display them at this year’s Bridal Expo.

CPR Pavilion: Pewter And Pink Elegance

Our September 3rd wedding at the CPR Pavilion was definitely a favourite of 2011. With its glass dome and array of windows overlooking the heart of downtown Calgary, the CPR Pavilion lands itself on Mandala Floral’s Top 5 Calgary Venues list with ease. Accessible via the historic Palliser Hotel, it boasts one-of-a-kind architecture, plenty of light, and a unique view of downtown Calgary. The CPR Pavilion is the perfect backdrop for any event.

Our September 3rd wedding featured light pink gerbera daisies and light pink roses, with touches of light pink oriental lilies. These soft hues were accented by touches of pewter and a dramatic punch of black.

The altar arrangements needed to be very tall  to offset the high ceilings so we used lacquered curly willow and pink oriental lilies in tall pilsner vases. The vases were filled with crushed glass and pink LED lights, and set atop white stone pillars for extra height.

The CPR Pavilion is a uniquely intimate setting that lends itself to weddings with smaller guest lists. We loved the use of black table linens with the full posie of soft pink gerbera daisies and roses in pewter vases.  The romantic and lush look was topped off with black damask linens and the candelabra on the head table. In our candelabra arrangement we added a few pink oriental blooms for extra texture, and cascading pink dendrobium orchids.

A special thanks to Muriel MacRae for the wonderful photos,  Adeline Schickedanz for her wedding planning expertise, and The Palliser Hotel for their excellent service! It was great working with you!

Greens as accents

Our wedding this weekend was a beautiful mix of white flowers including freesia, lisianthus, waxflower, veronica, and callas.  But the most breathtaking aspect of the bride and bridesmaid bouquets was by far the silver dusty miller accents throughout, prompting me to write this piece about using unique greens to highlight floral bouquets.

We have such a wide variety of foliage at our disposal, with unique shades and textures to choose from, greenery can be a great way to add an unexpected element to any floral arrangement. An  interesting greenery mixed in with  your floral choices can enhance the flowers and also create visual depth, increase fullness, and sometimes even keep costs lower! Some of our favorites to work with are:

Cotinus : Dramatically dark purple/red leaves, great for adding depth and in bouquets with fall hues.

Dusty Miller:  Soft leaves with silver tones that pair well with structured focal flowers such as callas or casablanca lilies. Dusty miller adds a gardeny touch and softens strong flowers with its delicate leaves.

Pink Ti leaves: Large exotic leaves with fuchsia streaks. This vibrant leaf works well with most tropical flowers like birds of paradise, ginger, protea, and orchids. Use it rolled to add a punch of color, or as a collar to frame a bridal bouquet.

Nandina: Smaller fall toned leaves, best for accenting larger flowers like sunflowers, callas, and gerbera daisies. Create fall trees or garlands with it’s tall stems, or feature the delicate leaves in boutonnieres and corsages for a hint of color.

Simple Tablecentre Ideas

Finding an affordable yet stunning centerpiece for your wedding can be a difficult task! You want your guests to be wowed, and your floral choices to reflect your personal taste and style, but what are your options if you want to stay on budget? Can you achieve that wow factor and not break the bank? We think so!

There are always options. First and foremost, we recommend incorporating flowers from your bouquets or other wedding arrangements into your centerpieces. Choose a flower and really showcase it with a creative vase, or use repetition for high impact. We’ve come up with a few examples that can be tailored to any style of wedding and made to suit any decor.

A posie of hot pink hydrangea in this elegant Eiffel Tower vase adds a splash of color to the room.  Beaded bear grass is a great way to incorporate an accent color into any arrangement without overwhelming the focal point.

Dendrobium orchids are affordable and contemporary.  With an assortment of varieties to choose from, including green, white, and a wide range of purples, dendrobiums add a unique twist to the simplest arrangements.

For our cranberry and orange wedding, we used deep red gerbera daisies stacked in tall pilsner vases to accent the burnt orange table linens.  With their large blooms and vivid colors, they are a sure way to draw the eye!

Beautiful July weddings

To get started, I thought we’d share some photos from our latest weddings.  July is a great month to say’ I do’! There are so many flowers in season, it seems as though the choices are unlimited!

Sunflowers Galore!

These beautiful sunflowers are simplistic and radiant. Perfect for a midsummer country or backyard wedding!

Stunning whites and greens...

Elegant and sophisticated, whites and greens are always a hit. We love mixing textures with clean-lined callas, soft lisianthus, and exotic cymbidium orchid blooms.

Luscious Lavenders

We adore this stunning mix of lavender freesia, purple hydrangea, lavender lisianthus, and purple tulips.  The bear grass loops throughout and the aspidistra leaf wrapped handle add an extra touch of interest…

Stay tuned for updates on upcoming weddings and wonderful budget-friendly table center ideas!