We put together this inspiration board for Tahoe Unveiled (our sister company) and thought you might enjoy it! This board takes an organic approach to wedding style and shows how natural elements and a little creativity can be used to create a feeling of casual elegance.
I was recently invited to the Costanoa Lodge in Pescadero. The second I turned off the main road and drove through a tunnel of eucalyptus trees, the surroundings forced me to leave my busy day behind and relax in the peaceful setting. It is such a beautiful place and so well designed. Costanoa offers the outdoors lover an excursion indoors and out with a variety of unique lodging accommodations, a delicious restaurant, and an infinite amount of outdoor activities. In addition, they have designed the property to be eco friendly with an onsite reclamation water plant, tv-free rooms, organic sheets, recycling containers in each room, onsite garden, and the list goes on. The three different lodging styles are filled with character. The lodge rooms are luxurious; the log cabins are the epitome of rustic elegance; and the bungalows allow you to be one with nature. As bathrooms are not included in the cabins and bungalows, comfort stations are provided. Not to be confused with a campsite restroom facility, the comfort stations are oozing with style. These consist of an outdoor fireplace with Adirondack chairs, heated floors, toilets, private indoor and outdoor showers, and a sauna.
As I walked around the property on my tour, I was so captivated by the various features, especially the wedding space. A beautiful, fresh and lush lawn overlooking the canyons serves as the perfect ceremony and reception venue. The adjacent patio and outdoor fireplace offers a romantic setting for the dance floor and/or lounge area. I was surprised to discover that Costanoa provides most of the necessary furniture and all of the catering. This really cuts down on additional wedding costs, labor fees, and permits. Plus, their furniture is very fitting for the green wedding style - natural wood folding chairs, banquet tables, canvas umbrellas, linens, glassware, and dinnerware. The onsite restaurant, Cascade bar & Grill, is also available for weddings to use as a late night venue or even to hold the dinner and reception. The setting is intimate and romantic!
The company's motto is "Discover the pace of nature." I couldn't find a better way to describe the surroundings, the facilities, and the atmosphere. Guests come to the Costanoa Lodge for an experience unknown to anywhere else. They will find themselves pleasantly surprised with the unique design and style of vacationing.
To learn more about this beautiful property, become a fan of Costanoa Lodge on Facebook!
Bellissima Floral Creations has been part of the Lake Tahoe, California community since 2002. They are a full service wedding and special event floral design company, creating distinctive arrangements with unique and personal touches for clients' most treasured occasions. Bellissima was founded by Sara Spurlock, who takes great pride in providing thorough, hands-on service for her clients. She is the lead designer and is involved in all aspects of the design and creation process. She considers her design style to be whimsical and resonate with updated elegance.
What inspired you to become a florist and start your own business?
Artistic talents run in my family and I've always been drawn to creative and crafty activities. As friend's started to get married, I wanted to contribute to their special day. I decided to put my creative drive to work as "florist" for these engaged friends. All it took was one time and I was hooked! Considering all the different varieties of flowers, vessels, presentations, and each client's unique personality, I realized the possibilities are endless.
Do you have a unique style or specialty?
These are some catchphrases that characterize the Bellissima Floral style: unique, personalized, unexpected, whimsical, organic, festive. I love to think outside the box and to create something different each time. I spend hours researching and brainstorming for ideas that either might match a client's personality or may pose as interesting ideas that I can present to future clients. I also pride myself on getting to know my clients and the personality for their event so that their vision can be understood and translated into an amazing reality.
After working with hundreds of clients, I am sure you receive an eclectic variety of requests. What is the most interesting? What is the most common?
I've definitely had some interesting visions to translate: ostrich feathers in the centerpieces, enchanted elegance, black and white wedding, vintage Hollywood Glam, woodland chic, contemporary whimsical, "007" theme.
These nontraditional concepts have been some of the most fun to brainstorm and create because the clients really wanted something unexpected that pushed the limit.
The most common request I receive is that the flower decor reflects the Tahoe surroundings and contributes to the setting. I find that this is important regardless of the theme. I never want anything to look out of place. It needs to compliment and be cohesive with the venue and personality of the event.
What do you love about being a florist?
Since Bellissima specializes in floral designs for weddings and parties, I get to meet a lot of different people and get to know my clients pretty well. Because I am trying to make sure that each even resonates with the client's personality, I am always creating original designs and arrangements. The work is never dull and always innovative! I love that I can contribute to such a memorable day in people's lives.
Do you have a favorite event that you designed?
I have so many, it's hard to choose. One that sticks out is a wedding last fall at PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn. The clients wanted the florals to come across as organic, yet contemporary, warm, and elegant. The colors were eggplant, white, and green with accents of matte silver and brown. The floral and design elements were eggplant calla lilies, white orchids, gardenias, white tulips, dark purple lisianthus, green grasses, moss, polished natural stones. It was important to the clients that the dining tables be welcoming and warm, while articulating their modern, simple style. The tables were set-up in long, family-style rows. Flowers spilled down the center of each long table, individual types of flowers filling various sized clear glass, cylinder vases. The centerpiece layout included TONS of votives scattered among the florals. Half of the votives were presented in taller footed candle holders so the candle-light was dimensional. Half of the tables were dressed with ivory satin linens, and the other half with a beautiful brocade "oyster shell" (soft grey).
The menus, tucked into the deep plum napkins at each place setting, were printed in brown on ivory cardstock and we used mahogany brown chivari chairs. The seating cards were displayed on soft beds of moss stuffed into dark brown wooden boxes. The guest book/memory table was edged in dark brown wooden boxes planted with wheat grass. For the cocktail tables and powder rooms, we floated gardenias, orchids, and floating candles in bowls lined with little river stones.
Due to the thunderstorms, the ceremony had to be pulled indoors at the last minute. Luckily we had ordered some up-lighting, originally intended for lighting some large arrangements in the corners of the room during the late night, dancing portion of the reception. Instead, we used the up-lights to highlight the altar arrangements: square matte silver urns stuffed full of moss, pampas grass, and steel grass. This, along with a lot of extra candle-light, really added drama and romance to the indoor ceremony. Regardless of unexpected circumstances caused by the weather, the event came out beautifully: romantic, warm, welcoming, lush, elegant, and organic.
I have always been in love with the unique, yet traditional floral combination of green, white, and yellow. It's a classic look that never ceases to impress in both simple and extravagant occasions and settings. It's subtle, elegant, and fresh while still providing prominence.
Bottom Left: A complex yet elegant bouquet - compliments of Martha Stewart Weddings
Quintessential modern arrangements - compliments of Martha Stewart Weddings.
If you would like to see a particular collage of bouquets, centerpieces, decor, specific colors, etc. let us know by leaving a note in the comment section.
The Knot's pick of best outdoor sites features the Redwood Grove at the UC Botanical Gardens. This place is beautiful ~ the tall redwood trees create a very magical and romantic setting while the amphitheater creates an atypical but intimate ceremony site. We coordinated Christine and Tom's wedding here last August. Everything from the floral arrangements to the voluptuous redwoods was stunning and caught the guests by surprise.
The service started with the bridesmaids and groomsmen entering from behind the guests as tradition states, but the bride and her father walked through the trees down a winding path in front of the amphitheater, allowing the guests to sneak a peak of the bride in between the tree trunks and the greenery. During the service, Christine's brother joined the musicians by playing the violin. It was romantic, peaceful, and perfect!
Ceremony Venue · UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens
Reception Venue · The Berkeley City Club
Florist · Grandi Flora
Photographer · Darcy Padilla
Videographer · Martin Meyer
DJ · Denon & Doyle
Ceremony Musicians · The Sterling Trio