A Wonderful Time

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Since you've seen the pretty film-y shots from Florida, now we should get technical. Behind the scenes. Sneak peak into the process. Etcetera. Since the bride had already had her official wedding ceremony and it was dreamy and romantic and elegant and rustic and all of the good things that come with throwing a very fancy party in the middle of the woods (see photos here and here), we decided to have fun in Florida.

I have long been obsessed with Slim Aarons, a photographer famous for taking photos of socialites in hotbeds of preppy perfection- Palm Beach, Newport, New York and beyond. His poolside portraits from the 1960s and 70s were the first thing that jumped to mind when Ashley told me about the party her mother was hosting at a bath and tennis club outside West Palm.

Finding Slim's book A Wonderful Time in a free pile on the street years ago was a highlight of my days in the West Village and his interest in preserving prep really made sense as a jumping off point for the party. Citrus, obviously, and mix-matched milk glass, too. We embraced Florida instead of fighting it.
IMG_5960 IMG_5290 Sourcing local citrus still on the branch proved very tricky. All of the growers we spoke to wouldn't sell branches cut since they were more interesting in next year's crop. (Understandable.) Also, November is quite early in the season for fruit, since most trees hit peak production in January. 

We ended up shipping citrus from the West Coast that's grown especially for floral use, along with some other really beautiful California roses, ranunculus, celosia, camomile and tulips. The overnight fed-exing of flowers seems excessive even to me, but considering that nearly all flowers in your local grocery store were grown in Central America, buying from California is actually a more responsible solution.
IMG_5348 The milk glass vases were sourced from antique shops and the internet in record time. Too scared to ship them down ahead of us, we bubble wrapped them individually and filled up our carry-on's to bring them on board. We lost a few and had to scramble for more when we arrived.
IMG_5366IMG_5397IMG_5375 We ended up arranging the centerpieces in a spare room in the tennis club. We had a view of the ocean and kept spirits up with the cheapest of cheap mimosas around. André saves the day, always. The highlight of the job came after 10 hours of arranging, the executive chef brought us a surprise steak dinner on silver trays with silver covers. Food has never tasted so good.
IMG_5617IMG_6033IMG_5508 Always desperate to get photos of arrangements, we dragged a few back to our house and took some snaps around the gardens. I shot most of a disposable camera roll which is what you saw last post. Getting photos is my favorite and also the most anxiety producing moment of any event. You always have a million other more important things to be doing but, oh, god, pics or it didn't happen. I will beg, borrow and steal to have a few moments alone with my camera.
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The day after, with heaps of citrus still hanging around, I got a few more moments to snap away. I made a little bouquet with leftovers and had Micha change into a 1960s lemon yellow nightgown I bought at an antique store when we were searching for more milk glass. We took some shots and then packed up the car, cup holders filled with ranunculus, and headed down to Miami to relax.

53 comments:

  1. oh that citrus, so fresh! Elegant arrangements

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  2. ...Both beautiful and delicious! Those oranges, must go to kitchen now. :o)

    ...I adore your arrangements and their settings. They always look as if they were meant to be together no matter where you are.

    ...Enjoy your weekend!

    ...Peace & Blessings :o)

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  3. Oh I love this posts so much!
    I must get your CA source for citrus and those amazing ranunc's! the CA stuff from our local wholesaler is always such shit.

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  4. They look so beautiful! You're really very talented.

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  5. Beautiful, beautiful work! I'm new to your blog and can't wait to see what you are up to next!

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  6. I love everything about this post. Citrus, milk glass... your photos are stunning!

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  7. Your work is so ethereal and this post is no exception! Love reading your blog...

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  8. I forgot about the bleak midwinter outside for five minutes. Thank you!

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  9. Oh my! The milk glass with the citrus. Gorgeous! Those arrangements are heavenly! Just a magnificent post all the way around. :)

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  10. Always love your photography! I am the same way, love to shoot my flowers. Your choice of background is always perfectly complimentary to your flowers, it's just like choosing the right vase!

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  11. So BEAUTIFUL! Ranunculus are one of my favorites. You are so talented!

    I just found you from the list of Alt Summit "up-and-comers". I've looked at almost every one of them at this point, and yours is really special. I love original content like yours and your photography is fantastic, too. Congratulations. I'm a fan! :)

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  12. As the snow falls outside my window, I am transported to 1940s Florida, and I want my mimosa, dammit! Well done.

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  13. Do you have a favorite kind of disposable camera? You've really captured the great dark greens that I love about Florida.

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  14. It takes a special lady to orchestrate a project of this scale in an unfamiliar city. You pull it off with grace and style... not to mention the giggles! the luckiest assistant ever, right here :) so much fun. Love that you'r sharing your process, beautiful post!

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  15. That is one inordinately lucky bride.

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  16. The camera is a walgreens store brand- recommended by my friend Frankie Zmetra.

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  17. Orange and jaune...my two favourite colours. Beautiful work as usual Amy.

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  18. Love the matryoshka-like oranges. Also I've never seen André look so classy.

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  19. Smith & Ratliff:

    We call it low-classy.

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  20. thank you thank you thank you

    my mood (and day) was drastically improved with that post.
    i'm grinning!
    amazing work amy!

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  21. this is my kind of winter wonderland. thank you for sharing!

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  22. These arrangements are just incredible! I love all the different shades of orange and yellow- I live in Seattle and the weather here has been positively miserable for the last week- this post was the perfect antidote! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  23. Those pictures are absolutely stunning. Seriously!

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  24. Your pictures are really gorgeous...beautiful blog overall. Just lovely.

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  25. I read this post a day or two ago and I am still thinking about some of the photos & text. Thanks for sharing your process. It is really inspiring to see how someone can achieve a fluid, yet striking individuality.

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  26. whot mead said in that first sentence. CAN'T GET THEM OUT OF MY HEAD.
    you slay me, lady. xo.

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  27. Oh the colours, so beautiful. I love the orange and yellow tones. Makes me crave for spring and summer even more by the way, so I better stop staring at them now. But oh my, gorgeous!

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  28. I love these pictures, all of them!

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  29. Beautiful photos!

    http://haderablog.blogspot.com/

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  30. Hi, I found your blog through Alt's list. What beautiful styling and wonderful images. I love all the tones of orange. Well done sourcing citrus on the branches. I would have thought that only possible if you had an orange grove in your own backyard!

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  31. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G pics!!!
    visit my blog on http://laviecestchic.blogspot.com
    xoxo Marika

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  32. lovely

    http://thewardenstoday.blogspot.com/

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  33. Hi, I'm a new follower of your blog. I am a florist in Spain.
    These arrangements ... I love citrus these colors yellow, orange ... as they look!
    Well, greetings and see you soon, I will follow your blog;-)

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  34. Wow it def sounds stressful but I'm sure glad you got photos- these are absolutely incredible!! Love the citrus combine w/ the flowers, so perfect, amazing job!
    http://dusanabotswana.com/

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  35. WAUW!
    really great photo's!
    beautiful al these colors!

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  36. Wow such gorgeous imagery and the incorporation of citrus is amazing.

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  37. Timing is most important part in every person's life. You share beautiful and delicious pix. You photo timing is great and brilliant. I like orange photo so much.

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  38. Wow what's beautiful image you share with us. I like your photography clarity and timing. Its too good post.

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  39. Thanks for sharing heart touching post. Your work is so ethereal and amazing and this post is no exception. Orange and jaune is beautiful colour. Its really nice photos.

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  40. I am Slim's daughter. I've long followed your work. How fun that you should be inspired by my Dad's photos. And how luck you were to find a free copy of his book! What glorious displays you put together for this party!!! Love them!
    All best, Mary

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  41. I really appreciate your work thanks for share this fantastic information. I defiantly like all colorful images of fruits and flowers.

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