Welcome to the Bella Signature Design Blog!

We are so happy that you came to visit our blog! Bella Signature Design focuses on creating a custom, stylish event that is highly personal, with details that synergistically come together to create an atmosphere that is a direct reflection of you. My passion, as a designer, is to infuse your event with all the little things that speak to who you are, and to share that with your guests in a stylish, unexpected way. Our blog will be changing in the next few weeks to reflect our vision and our passion, so hang on for the ride and enjoy!

Feel free to peruse the posts, look in our archives for some great advice and be sure to leave comments on what you like. We love hearing from you!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Before and After: Purple wedding

On friday we showed you the "before" post of this weekend's wedding, the flowers that came in, and a sneak peak at the linens. Here is the "after!"

The wedding turned out quite pretty, with a beautiful sunny day at the always stunning Kiana Lodge. There was definitely a LOT of purple going on, which was just what the bride had asked for! Purple Reign indeed. I was glad we had included quite a bit of chartreuse to make the purple "pop!" a bit more, it made it fresher and not as dark as it could have been.

The groom's boutonniere.

The bride's bouquet

The bridesmaids bouquets

The aisle markers
Altar arrangement

A centerpiece

What do you think?



Friday, May 22, 2009

Floral Fridays: Before and After

Brides often ask us about the process of creating their wedding flowers, so here at Bella Signature Design on select fridays we'll post some pictures of flowers and accessories we are working with from that weekend's wedding, and show you the results on Monday!

This weekend we are working with Kimberly, a physician who was clear about her likes and dislikes, and was really easy to work with! I love that. Kimberly's wedding is at Kiana Lodge, one of my favorite places to design weddings - it is so picturesque there! Our Bainbridge studio is only 10 minutes away, so we usually create any kitsap county weddings from there versus our Seattle studio.
Kimberly loves purple, so she came to us with a color palette of deep amethyst and Lavender, with pops of chartreuse to make the palette "springy" as I like to say. So many purple weddings this year - purple is still going strong in 2009...

Since Kimberly chose "Victorian Lilac" a soft blue lavender for her bridesmaids, we choose "Ocean Song" roses to bring in the lighter lavender.

Cool Water and Blue Curiosa roses brought in the medium purples, and for a true royal purple we have Lisianthus. Bright green Viburnum, green cymbidium orchids, purple mokara orchids and some fun fern curls!

The linens - a beautiful plum overlay with applique blooms in leaves! I love three-dimensional linens!

Results on Monday!


Monday, May 18, 2009

Tricks of the Trade: Tarnished Silver

We've had a lot of requests for some "Tips and Tricks" of the trade here at Bella Signature Design, so in addition to some of our "behind the scenes" peeks, we thought it would be fun to add this to our repertoire of posts. While preparing for next weekends wedding, I realized that the silver containers I planned on using were quite tarnished. Now, I only use real metal containers - I just don't like the look and feel of the 'silver' plastic ones, they just look and feel fake to me. I like the weight and feel of the real thing, even if they do tarnish over time. Although a little hint of tarnish may give them 'character,' these beauties were beyond character!
I remembered a product I had used on pans to get of the tarnish, a product back from my bartending days....

I was a bit skeptical, but "voila!" the silver bowls came out shiny and happy. (as was I!)

I love it when a product works even better than expected! Even better, you can pick it up at at hardware store, and sometime even at larger grocery stores, and it's usually less than $2.00!
For best results, I make a paste out of the powder from the can, using a bit of water. Make sure it is pasty, not runny, or it doesn't work as well. Scrub it all over the container, which will become a it hazy. Next, take a clean towel, and polish - and your container will shine shine shine!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Urgent: Need local (Seattle) "first year of wedding" stories

Want your name in print in a beautiful, glossy magazine in town? (seattle) I received an email from Laura, the fabulous editor at Seattle Met Bride & Groom . She is looking for "quick, thoughtful, funny, light" stories about the first year of marriage for their next issue.

"Short, witty, clever, thoughtful, and otherwise meaningful lessons, realizations, successes, and failures to share and keep in mind from the first year of marriage. These “lessons” don’t have to be deep and spiritual, in fact, I prefer that they’re off-the-cuff, casual, and fun. "

So, leave a comment below and we'll pass them on to her ourselves!



Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Green tuesdays: green business practices

It's easy to talk about using "green business practices" but harder yet to define what that means. Many of our speaking engagements across Seattle cover the basics of green business practices, and no, we don't just mean recycling your office papers! (Although that is a great place to start). A few weeks ago on our Green Tuesday post we wrote about our green floral practices, so today we though we would mention a green practice we use that applies to any business.

The "paperless office" was a term that was thrown around years ago, and finally companies are finding ways to implement ideas that create less paper waste. When I first started Bella Signature Design, our typical design proposal started with me gathering multiple swatches, writing up original and revised proposals on the computer, printing them out and mailing them off to potential clients. I was hesitant to email my proposals, because an emailed document often looks quite differently once it arrives to the recipient if is simply in a Word Processing format. I didn't have the money at the time to invest in some of the excellent, but expensive, software that existed out there at the time, such as Adobe's great PDF writer.

When I made the pledge to really minimize paper in our office, I searched for a less expensive alternative and was delighted to find deskpdf. There are several versions, from $19.95 and up, and I use the least expensive version without any problems or need for more features. If you are not familiar with pdf writers, this great software locks your document so that it looks the same to your recipient than it does in front of you (in nontechnical speak). It makes your documents look polished, and it also does not allow the recipient to change the document, which can be a plus for proposals and invoices.

With such a great, affordable alternative, I no longer have any need to send 'snail mail' copies of my proposal to my clients, unless they request one with their design portfolio. They simply receive a beautiful version in their inbox, without harming a single tree!

(and no, I don't receive any money from deskpdf to write about them!)



Saturday, May 9, 2009

Behind the scenes: Magazine Sneak peak!

A centerpiece Bella Signature Design did for the latest Seattle Bride Magazine Photoshoot, featuring romantic garden roses, Magnolia blossoms, viburnum, peonies and sweetpeas...

We always LOVE participating in magazine shoots, they showcase our creative, edgy, fashion-forward side. A few weeks ago we participated in a fabulous photoshoot from Seattle Bride Magazine, with a theme of "Elegant Decay." LOVED it! Some of our friends like Flora Nova and Aria were on hand as well, so there was a fabulous selection of blooms for the photographers to utilize. We will want publish more of ours once the Fall Issue comes out, but this sneak peak by the fabulous Edit1Media (who was on hand to film the day) was so fun I just had to share! We were excited to see that the model got to hold our fabulous and edgy bouquet for the shoot (Always fun to have YOUR design be featured with the model). Beside the long edgy bouquet, we also did the overly romantic garden rose and peony one in tea stained colors, and all the designs featuring magnolia blossoms (the model even had them in her hair - fun!)

Here is the link for the fabulous behind the scenes sneak peak at the next issue of Seattle Bride Magazine: http://edit1media.com/blog/archives/546


Friday, May 8, 2009

Floral Fridays: Lilacs

Ah, the scent of lilacs. If you are looking for fragrant wedding flowers, look no further than these sweet, delicate blooms. For me, lilacs flood me with memories: despite living right in the middle of a big city like Berlin (Germany), our little street was lined with tree lilacs, in every possible lilac hue from the palest lavender to deep pinky plum, and of course, crisp white. In the spring, the air was infused with their heady scent - absolute magic!

Right now, when I open the front door of my house on an early May morning and the wind stirs my lone lilac bush just right, those memories of childhood come right back, and I can't help but smile.

Lilacs aren't the hardiest of blooms, but with proper conditioning they should make it through the day as a bouquet and in a vase as centerpieces, although they do not seem too fond of oasis (floral foam that many of use for more complex designs).
For everyday, buy them when they are fresh and plentiful at your farmers market. For your wedding or special event, I suggest late April through mid to late May, depending on your location and that year's weather. Lilics are fabulous with fluttery blooms such as sweet peas and peonies, I prefer them monochromatic in tone when mixing textures.

image from martha stewart weddings

image courtesy of Kathy Wright and Company, a fabulous Sand Diego designer!



Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Green Tuesdays: Eco Jewelry

okay, so perhaps you are noticing that I ADORE jewelry. And when it's 'green' and stylish, I fall even harder. Thanks to twitterer @daniellejewelry, I came across Kristin Coffins Etsy Shop, where I found all sorts of fun, beautiful and eco-friendly gems and baubles, crafted with care.

The wave band (above) would make a fabulous wedding band with it's sinuous form, don't you think?

Oh, you need bridesmaids gifts? What about the Orange Sapphire wave band in Sterling, or the 14k petite diamond pendant for something really nice? Great prices for fabulous gifts.
Personally, I am swooning over the twig bracelet. Really. want. this. bracelet!!

Besides looking fabulous on my wrist, it would also be a great gift for a bridesmaid or mother of the bride as a special thank you..
Beautiful work!

All of Kristin's Jewelry is made out of recycled gold or silver, and all stones are fair trade and cruelty free. For more eco-friendly wedding tips, search thought our "green tuesdays" labels!


Friday, May 1, 2009

Design Elements: Chairs

Chairs are often overlooked as a design element, although most brides wrinkle their nose at the standard banquet chairs that most venues provide. There are a variety of chairs available for rent, to fit almost any design scheme and color palette you choose.

Wooden or Resin Garden Chair

These have a more casual, garden or beach feel to them. Perfect for a sandy beach, casual garden or seaside view ceremony and reception, they are inexpensive and actually quite comfortable as long as you get the ones with the padded seats. They come in black, white, and tan at most rental companies. Between $2.50 to $4.00 per chair In Seattle, try Pedersens Event Rentals.

Bamboo Folding Chairs

These also have the perfect beach or rustic vibe, and are a fun alternative with a low price tag. In Seattle, these are available at ABC Rentals.

Chiavari Chairs

The most popular upgrade chair for weddings, Chiavari Chairs come in a variety of colors, and can further more be customized with covers for the chair pads in just about any color – (Bella Signature Design now carries over 40 colors of chiavari chair pads, in several different fabrics!) Most venues do not offer these chairs, but will accommodate if you rent them by putting their chairs away. They are in the medium price range, from $7 to $10 per chair, depending on color and region. They offer a elegant, more formal ballroom feel. I actually love the juxtaposition of the elegance of these chairs for a ceremony on the grass…especially when in gold or silver, but the fruitwood ones are very classic.

My new favorite is the “Crystal” version. I’ve seen a few of these floating around Seattle, but not in enough quantity for an average sized event…

Ghost Chairs

Ah, I LOVE these chairs. Most of my clients know how much I love modern and contemporary designs, both in home furnishings and in event design, so I was really drawn to these. Not available in Seattle yet (come on, someone get these please!!) they are popular in New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. A few companies will ship them nationwide, but with a price tag from $25 to $50 per chair PLUS shipping, it is often cost prohibitive for events where you can not rent them locally. The smaller, more delicate Victoria Chair comes in various colors, while the larger Louis comes in basic tones (I love the amber and smoke). Resource One is a great source for these.

Apparition Chairs

Seattle has finally come up with an alternative for the Ghost chair. I love that these fit in better with a modern event, as the color palette of the event design ‘shines through’ these chairs. They are also a better price tag than Ghost Chairs (last we checked they were $25 per chair). They are available through Stellar Event Rentals.

Which ones do you like best?