Anatomy of a Table Vignette

Many of you might already be familiar with the idea of a table vignette, or what is sometimes called a “tablescape.” The word vignette originally comes from the French word vigne, meaning vine. It is often a term used in writing to describe a literary sketch (like a scene in a play or a story). Or, in painting, it is used to describe a story visually, like in a still life with objects that have underlying meaning. I love the idea that the diminutive word origin that was used to describe a plant growing on tendrils could also mean “growing a vine” or “spinning a yarn” in terms of storytelling – literally or visually.

Johannes Vermeer, "Milk Maid"

Beatrix Potter Illustration from "Peter Rabbit"

You may be surprised by this, but every time I create florals, whether it’s a bouquet or an entire vignette, I am telling a story. If the work is geared toward your event, the story is about you and for you! In a way, I’m painting your portrait. The literal beauty of a table vignette or tablescape is that it is telling your guests the story of you – your theme for that evening. Having a combination of objects and flowers on your table will entice your guests to dream their own story and understand the significance of these objects and flowers and colors from their own point of view. Finally, when they remember your event, they will feel intertwined with it – essentially “growing a vine” from your story to create their own. And when they tell the story to someone else, it will not only bind them to you for this one night, it will bind the listener – spinning a yarn. Wow! That’s amazing, isn’t it? When you go to see an art show, a play, a movie, or a musical performance, sometimes you walk away feeling like you shared something special with the audience, right? This is the same thing! You are creating an experience for your guests to take away, and you happen to be the main characters in this story!

So how do you do this? Well, let’s start with a real table vignette that I created for an event as inspiration!

Larz Anderson Auto Museum

First, you think about the event and the location. In my case, the event was The Larz Anderson Auto Museum Wedding & Bar Mitzvah Expo. What do you know about the space? What I know about Larz: it’s a gorgeous, rough-hewn gentlemen’s horse barn, so it lends itself to rustic yet elegant styling (you can read all about it in my past blog “What’s in Season: Designing for a Fall Wedding”). Then you think about the time of year. This event’s date was March 9, 2014. What is the significance of the date? Well, it’s cold, and there’s still a ton of snow on the ground. In my mind, what would guests want to see – where would they like to be transported to – on a cold, snowy March day? The significance of the date became more about what it could inspire about spring. A greenhouse!


My inspiration definitely had to be a greenhouse, but I also wanted it to relate to the space and the era in which the barn was built. There used to be an enormous greenhouse on-site when the mansion was still intact, so it would be a natural fit. What’s my color palette? As much green as possible, with some flourishes of spring color. What other things do you think about that are in a greenhouse? I think of mismatched rusty urns and old clay pots, wood, vintage glass, bits of nature. What else? Everything looking overgrown and wild and lush. What else? Remnants of human presence: an attempt at some point to keep things in order. Okay – so NOW we have a story to tell!!

Le Reve Greenhouse Vignette 1

Le Reve Greenhouse Vignette 2

Le Reve Greenhouse Vignette 3

Le Reve Greenhouse Vignette 4

Here is my finished greenhouse-inspired vignette that I set up for the event. I set it up in my studio, and then set up the finished product with a vintage linen for the event. What was amazing to watch was how everyone just gravitated to the table. Many times, I heard guests tell me it looked like it was right out of a greenhouse, without any prompting from me at all! The story of this vignette was a success for several reasons:

  1. Guests understood the underlying concept, and were prompted to talk amongst themselves about the vignette with fascination and smiling faces, which I was super happy to provide on that cold winter day.
  2. Guests were inspired to create something similar for their event. They were pointing out all of the things they liked about it and began to create their own stories about their own events with the inspiration!
  3. Guests wanted to ask questions and understand how I could help them achieve a vignette look for their tables: could we do a vignette even if it is fall or summer and not spring?

My answer: “Of course! Guess what’s even better about your wedding? It will be YOUR story instead!” Let’s go for it :)

Stay tuned for my next blog, Anatomy of a Vignette, Part 2: The Elements.

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Priorities: when to find and hire your officiant?

Now that you’re engaged, you begin your long list of to-dos. As an officiant, it breaks my heart when I get a call from a couple who really needs me but I’ve been booked on their date for months; I may have been able to be there for them. They told me that everything for the big day is set in stone…everything except who will marry them!

So after you choose your date and book your venue, find an officiant. How will you choose one? Check with friends, go online, and ask other vendors!


Ask questions, meet in person, make sure you are all comfortable with one another and can speak freely!

Discuss the rehearsal if you need one; your officiant can run your rehearsal efficiently and with ease. Talk about obtaining your marriage license; your officiant can help you with that detail, and you cannot get hitched without it! It’s generally under $50 and takes about 20 minutes in most cities. You both must go together to your city or town hall with photo ID. Have fun with it even though it’s red tape! Grab lunch, shoot a photo and keep the license in a safe place until you hand it over to your officiant, who will file it with the State for you after the ceremony.

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Vendor Visit: Bobby from Boston

In preparation for a styled shoot with the Boston Betrothed team, Lara and I (with the additional help of Elizabeth) headed out to Bobby from Boston‘s super-secret, not-even-open-to-the-general-public, absolutely hugenormous warehouse in Lynn, MA, to check out their amazing selection of vintage clothing. We spent a fun few hours amongst a plethora of unique and eclectic clothing and accessories, and were able to come away with some great options to dress our guys for our upcoming styled shoot! Check out a quick Behind the Scenes look at our visit!

And stay tuned for more big things from the styled shoot! We can’t wait!

Bobby from Boston – Vendor visit from Boston Betrothed on Vimeo.

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Dreamy Spring!

Happy Spring!

I love this combination of fresh spring color! All of these spring flowers bloom in the spring right here in New England. Most of these beauties were cut from my own gardens last spring. The salmon-pink flowering branches are Quince (which also come in a fiery coral, pale pink and white), while the lush, draping white bells are from Pieris – an evergreen shrub. These little bells come in a gorgeous array of whites and pinks and reds! There are also pale yellow ranunculus nodding in and around white and coral poppies and little yellow fritillaria bells. Finally, a pop of blue from muscari adds the finishing touch! I designed the arrangement in a beautiful vintage cut glass compote, which adds to its sweet charm.

Blooming in gardens in and around New England – coming soon to a neighborhood near you!

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Around Town: Seed to Stem

I’ve been a long-time stalker of Seed to Stem on Instagram. But it was only recently I realized they not only have the coolest little shop in Worcester, but they ALSO design florals for weddings! Lucky us. Virginia and Candace are the bohemian lovelies who run the shop and are also the creative masterminds concocting their unconventional wedding arrangements. We caught up with them in their shop and here’s what they had to say!

Boston Betrothed: Why is Seed to Stem different from your average florist?
Seed to Stem: We’re different from your average florist in that we only do fresh flowers for weddings and events. We try to only book one event/day so clients get all of our attention. Our style also differs greatly from most traditional florists. We design with a very natural, uncultivated look, and enjoy mixing traditional european blooms with other non-traditional elements.
BB: What would you say is your specialty? How do you work that into your weddings?
STS: Our specialty is creating a full feeling for our events. We pay attention to each detail, and arrange every space to create a cohesive feeling. Our specialty is also using more non-traditional botanical elements in conjunction with traditional elements to create beautiful and unique bouquets and centerpieces.
BB: Who is the Seed to Stem bride or groom? What budgets, venues, characteristics?
STS: The Seed to Stem bride and groom tend to be very unique individuals, not looking for your typical florist. Most like a nod to the traditional with a twist. Budgets range anywhere from $2000 to $20,000 depending on how elaborate the bride and groom want their decor. We cater to almost any venue, and travel all over the east coast. We have done weddings in raw industrial spaces, as well as rustic old barns. We really like unique, rustic/industrial wedding spaces.
BB: What’s the one most amazing thing in the shop right now?
STS: The most amazing thing in the shop right now is hard to say…. We love our taxidermy, and our collection of museum domes. We also have some hanging carnivorous pitcher plants in right now that are amazing.
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BB: Quick back story: when did Seed to Stem open its doors and why?
STS: Seed to Stem opened its doors in June of 2012, after previously renting a small space in an antique mall. We quickly wanted to expand and have a space that was truly our own. We wanted to create a space that was very unique for the area, and something that people would have never seen before. We feel that the whole shopping experience should be unique and engaging.

Seed to Stem is located at 174 Shrewsbury St. Worcester, MA 01604
They’re open Tuesday-Saturdays; check their website for details.
To make an appointment to discuss your wedding florals, email Candace and Virginia at or call to make an appointment: 508-890-0933.

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Spring Has NOT Sprung – Eye Candy for the Week

spring bouquetspring bouquet 2

Ahhhh…blooming branches and bulbs…can’t wait until our world is filled with color again!

All of these flowers were cut from our gardens in early spring. The coral color branches are red crabapple, while the white branches are white crabapple. There are many varieties of crabapple, some with single petal blooms (seen here), and others with double petals that bloom later in the spring. There are varieties of color from white to shades of very pale to very deep pink, and even reddish-purple. The bloom color will also determine the fruit color in the fall. The purple flowers you see are native lilac. These also come in white as well as many shades of purple, to plum, to even Wedgwood blue! Finally, you see white Narcissus and yellow Narcissus. The yellow Narcissus is commonly called daffodil or jonquil. There are as many as 60 varieties of this species – imagine that!

I’ll bet you remember seeing these beauties in and around gardens where you live! Look closely next time – you may discern different shapes and colors that you hadn’t noticed before :)

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Show the Love: Downloadable iPhone Wallpaper

Home (Screen) is Where the Heart is

Sure, the perfect engagement ring you’re rocking and the can’t-stop-smiling faces give it away, but we’ve got another little reminder of your love that you can look at all day: iphone wallpaper. Download and save as your home screen today, kids!

Engagement Downloadable iPhone WallpaperIllustrated Downloadable iPhone WallpaperDownloadable Wallpaper: Happening
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Around Town: Everthine Bridal Boutique

Oh, to be getting married again. Most things I would do exactly the same: venue, flowers, husband… but dress?! Having now discovered Everthine Bridal, I would strongly consider choosing a different wedding dress.

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVED my wedding dress, but Everthine has some of the most beautifully edited and well-chosen dresses and lines. From Elizabeth Dye to Jenny Packham and my personal favorite: Claire Pettibone. And new this month, Anna Campbell. These lines are sweet, feminine and romantic, interesting and unique. And beyond that, the Everthine shop is so lovely. Clean and white, a little bit vintage, with gorgeous accessories, headpieces, clutches, and veils. I have to say though, I was most impressed with the consultants Kimberley and Hillary. SO nice and SO knowledgable. I will surely be recommending my brides visit this shop!

We chatted with Everthine’s owner & stylist, Chelsea Tyler McNamara, who was kind enough to answer our questions!
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Boston Betrothed: Why is Everthine different from your average bridal boutique?

Everthine Bridal Boutique: Everthine was created for the unique and modern bride. We’ve designed an intimate environment filled with quirky and whimsical decor inside our antique home. At Everthine, we believe your wedding dress should be a reflection of your personal style. This is why we offer our brides a highly curated collection of gowns from sought-after designers. When you find your wedding dress at Everthine, you instantly feel relieved, excited, and most importantly…inspired!
Blog Collage-1393365628395BB: What lines are you carrying? You mentioned not many other shops carry these lines, can you elaborate?

Everthine: We carry couture designers such as Jenny Packham and Claire Pettibone as well as our indie girls like Sarah Seven and Elizabeth Dye. Blush by Hayley Paige and Nicole Miller are perfect for the bride looking for a gown that has a traditional base but with edgy details. Brand new to Everthine for 2014 is Australian designer Anna Campbell and LA-based Katie May. We are on the edge of our seats waiting for these beauties to arrive!

Our designers chose their stockists very carefully. They want to make sure the boutiques who carry them are in line with their brands and that their dresses complement the others they sit next to. They also want to make sure they do not saturate the market! Making them harder to find makes them more coveted. Every bride wants to feel like her dress was carefully scouted and can’t be found anywhere else!
Blog Collage-1393366262286BB: Who is the Everthine bride? What budgets, venues, characteristics?

Everthine: The Everthine bride is fashion-forward, modern, and unique. She doesn’t want to feel like every other bride. She wants her dress to feel one of a kind and does not want to blend in. Many of our brides are getting married at off-beat venues like factories and lofts or are having a low-key DIY event in a backyard or garden. She typically chooses a venue that she can make her own. We say time and time again…”we have the COOLEST brides!”
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BB: What would you like brides to know that you can’t necessarily say to them in the shop?

Everthine: Your dress should be a reflection of your personal style, no matter what! Other people may envision you in what THEY think you should wear, but it’s so important to stay true to yourself and YOUR vision. After all, this is your day and not theirs.
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BB: What’s the one most amazing thing in the shop right now?

Everthine: Hands down, our brand new Mignonne Handmade “Everthine” handpainted floral crown. Jenn, the designer, created it exclusively for us!
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BB: Quick back story: when did Everthine open its doors and why?

Everthine: I opened Everthine in the Fall of 2011. After getting engaged, I immediately began my dress hunt and was instantly disappointed in what area shops and even what NYC had to offer! I was so discouraged and felt that I was going to have to sacrifice my own style on my wedding day. As a graduate of Parsons School of Design and then currently in fashion PR, I was not new to the fashion industry. However, bridal was a different world. I dove head first into searching for designers that couldn’t be found at any old bridal shop. Needless to say, I gathered my thoughts, ideas, and inspirations and ran with it. Everthine was born only six months later! It was the best decision I ever made and I wake up every day grateful for my business, my team, and knowing that I make brides’ dreams come true every day.
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Blog Collage-1393366593199Everthine Bridal Boutique is located at 91 Wall Street Madison, CT, just 2 hours from downtown Boston. To make an appointment visit their website!

Photography and Interview by Studio Nouveau

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Storing Your Digital Wedding Photos and Videos

Storing your wedding photos and video

Typically with most wedding and video packages, you’ll receive digital copies of your edited wedding photos and video. The last thing you’d want to happen is to lose those files and all those precious memories along with them! All types of storage media have the potential to fail, so I ALWAYS suggest to our couples that they should make a backup (or even a backup of the backup!) of their digital wedding files. Here are a few different ways you can rest assured your digital files will be safe.

1. Burn files to a CD/DVD

- The cost of blank disc media is SO cheap compared to the other options listed that you might even consider burning multiple discs and keeping a few at a parent’s or friend’s house.

- CD/DVD media can be easily damaged.
- Storage limitations. CDs can store 700 Mb of data while DVDs can store 4.7 Gb.
- Requires some knowledge of burning data CDs/DVDs.

2. Thumb Drives

- Very easy to drag and drop files from your computer to the thumb drive or external drive.
- Not as easily damaged as CDs/DVDs.
- The price of thumb drives have decreased greatly over the years. You can purchase an 8Gb thumb drive for around $20.

- The small form factor of a thumb drive makes them easy to misplace.

3. Save them to your computer’s hard drive

- Always have quick access to the files.
- No additional cost (assuming you have the free hard drive space!).

- If your computer is lost/damaged or if a hard drive fails, the files will be lost forever.

4. Cloud Storage

- Signing up for an account on Dropbox is free and will automatically give you 5 Gb of storage. (Signing up through THIS LINK will get you and me BONUS storage space!)
- A copy of your files will always be available if your hard drive fails or if disks or thumb drives fail.

- Depending on the file size, you might require to upgrade your cloud storage plan to accommodate the files.

Regardless of the option you choose, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
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Spring Has NOT Sprung, But Here’s Some Eye Candy Until It Does!

Spring? Yes, please!

How refreshing to see bright color on a cold winter day! For those of you getting married in the spring – you are SO lucky! There is an amazing array of cool spring flowers to work with.

Flowers featured in this centerpiece: Fritillaria meleagris (purple checkerboard) and Fritillaria michailovskyi (tiny yellow and maroon bells); Muscari armeniacum (palest lavender – they are in the hyacinth family, and have a heavenly perfume); Clematis ‘Bee’s Jubilee’ (purple and lavender striped large flowers on a vine) – these are actually a summer flower, but they are now available in the market almost year-round; Daucus Carota or Chocolate Laceflower (deep plum and white cloud-like flowers); Ranunculus ‘Purple Heart’ (deep ruby round multi-petaled flowers); Fritillaria Imperialis (orange flowers). Add a little fern, and it looks as if you reached down in the garden and grabbed a handful of spring! I designed it in a vintage basket-weave milk glass vase.

Guess what? Most of this stuff grows right in your own backyard right here in New England! Look for them in gardens as you’re walking in and around town this spring!

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