Which lighting options are best for my wedding work?
From incandescent to LED, what you need to know before buying
by Joe Barnes, Marketing Director, Kennicott/Nordlie
Lighting has become as intricate and important as any other part of a wedding or event. Good food, flowers and music are essential elements, but lighting choices can either enhance the experience… or undermine the rest of your hard work. Designers typically face a choice between two types of lighting: Traditional incandescent lighting or LED lights. Knowing the pros and cons is helpful before investing in what should be your go-to lighting supply for many years.
How much will LED reduce my carbon footprint?
LED lights are 80-90% more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs, which can be a major selling point with customers who put a premium on using an eco-friendly provider. While it’s unlikely your client will scrutinize the actual energy bill, the gesture will be appreciated.
Which lighting options will complement my flowers?
It all depends on the effect you’re after. Incandescent lights tend to glow with an orange light, which will cloak the natural colors of your floral arrangements. LED’s emit more of a true, white light that presents petal colors as they are.
Also, incandescent lights are omnidirectional, so at least half the light produced needs to be reflected and redirected towards your flowers. LED lights overcome this inefficiency by being naturally directional, emitting light for 180 degrees. You’ll be able to point the lights directly at your work to a better effect.
How can I prevent annoying outages and breakage?
LED lights dominate in this area. Their lifespan dwarfs that of incandescent lighting, often lasting 10-20 times longer without failure. New LED lights can last up to 100,000 hours compared to only 1200 hours from incandescent lighting. LED lights also shine through a diode, not a traditional filament which is more fragile; remember this the next time you see your crew manhandling your lights while tearing down a wedding! Another feather in LED’s cap is that they operate with multiple light emitters on a single luminaire. If one or two diodes go out, it won’t take out the whole string.
Why should I pay more for LED lights?
LED lighting costs significantly more, but only on the front-end. Incandescent lights often prove to be more expensive (in the long-term) due to high replacement costs. Wedding and event designers looking to invest in higher durability are wise to consider LED. But those who need a much lower-priced option, and aren’t concerned about product longevity, always have the cheaper option.
5 Design Tips for Lighting Weddings and Events
There are many ways to incorporate LED or incandescent lighting into your event designs. Here are a few ideas to kick start your creative ideas!
Lighting Canopies & Curtains
Sparkling lights cascading down from the ceiling transforms any room into a scene right out of a fairy-tale, whether used outright or cloaked in fabric. It doesn’t take a lot to pull-off a charming effect, but swinging for the fences often produces stellar results. Much like ceiling canopies, a wall of lights creates an easily-achievable backdrop that is always a hit with your clients. Combined with the right fabric, they can also provide a lovely cover for areas that would otherwise be an eyesore at the event.
Consider taking advantage of new LED polestars, which can be easily hanged from the ceiling. They possess a subtle twinkle; 14% of the bulbs incorporate a flashing effect that allows for glimmer without going over the top.
Lanterns Filled with String Lighting
If you don’t relish spending time on a cherry-picker, or you don’t have an accessible ceiling from which to hang lights, consider filling decorative lanterns with battery-driven LED lights. Not only are they (mostly) weather-resistant, but they take only minutes to assemble.
Wrap-Lighting Trees and Columns
You’ll need a lot of lights to pull it off, but wrapping or hanging lights from columns or trees is a surefire way to get the most out of your space.
Weaving lights throughout Christmas garland makes for a holiday centerpiece that pulls off the yuletide charm people want when celebrating the season.
For more info on LED lighting for your events, contact your Kennicott or Nordlie sales representative.
Peonies: Eight Popular Charmers
by Gail Pabst, Peony Hotline
The winter peony season has begun and Chilean peonies are bigger and better than ever! With all the different colors and varieties available this season, your holiday designs and sales are looking bright.
This season, when you deck the halls, add some sparkle with the many different peonies available from your most trusted wholesaler. Here are some options to get your creative juices flowing...
Looking for the perfect flower for winter brides? Festiva Maxima, a peony with white and red flecks, captures two of the season's favorite colors. Ode to elegance with its intoxicating fragrance, the Festiva Maxima is a brilliant way to brighten up winter parties and bouquets.
Add a Christmas burgundy to holiday designs. This gigantic, award-winning, bouffant bloom is recognized as the best deep-red double peony available. The rich merlot-colored flower features a high rounded crown and a sweet-spicy fragrance. Red Charm adds the perfect accent.
As classic a peony as they come! Let Sarah Bernhardt's extraordinarily big and deliciously-fragrant blossoms bring a sense of tradition to your event as the monochromatic pink color scheme dazzles onlookers.
This blush-pink double peony brings so much texture, fragrance and cloud-like warmth to floral designs and arrangements. Gardenia is an ideal winter wedding peony.
This ruffled, semi-double peony blooms with coral pink outer petals, boasting rose overtones and gold center stamens. Its moderate fragrance will delight time and again. Coral Sunset also works well in fall-themed floral designs.
You can never go wrong with Felix Supreme, the rare heirloom peony with a big head and bright, beautiful color. In contrast, this hot pink/raspberry red flower has a subtle floral note.
These large, dark-burgundy peonies are always a show-stopper. Strong, rich and bold with a lovely fragrance, the Henry Bockstoce is a great choice when you want a design or centerpiece that leverages scent for additional impact.
Duchess de Nemours
First introduced in the mid-19th century, Duchess de Nemours is a fragrant double-flower that remains the standard by which all other white peonies are judged. A touch of yellow at the base of the ruffled inner petals warms them with a lovely candle-like glow for the holidays.
Israel-Grown Anenomes and more
These flowers bring the beauty, but are in high-demand...Event designers with a passion for seasonal flowers are likely no strangers to the charms of the Anemone, the showstopping texture of Clooney Ranunculi, and the majesty of double Lisianthuses. All three flowers offer unparalleled color quality and strong vase life, but their popularity really comes from what they bring to winter weddings: a dash of whimsy with an abundance of sophistication.
Supplies are limited! Floral artists interested in these particular flowers should act fast - they might be gone well before the Spring season draws to a close.
Floral artists love Anemones because they have no foliage, and require very simple care. Anemones require very little flower food, and a fresh cut with new water every three days. Longtime Flower Grower/Importer Shlomo Danieli (Blooming of Beloit) gives high praise to the anemones he brings in from Israel, “We grow our anemones in lower Galilee in the northern district state of Israel,” says Shlomo, “We provide constant shade and yield tones of purple, pink, mauve and red that are among the most vivid in the world."
Care & Handling: Vase life for Anemones is relatively short (3 to 8 days), so it is best to sell them within two days of receipt. Recut stem ends with a sharp blade, removing at least one inch to eliminate dirt and microbes. Immediately dip or place stems into a hydration solution, then place into sterilized containers filled with properly porportioned flower food solution - either regular flower food, or low-dose nutrient solution.
Once processed, put the Anemones into a floral cooler at 33-38 degrees F to hydrate at least two hours before selling them. Avoid placing Anemones into containers with Daffodils, as they exude a sap that can shorten the life of the Anemones.
Danieli is particularly proud of this coming season’s Clooney Ranunculus, which are grown in a protected cold frame atop a 1000-foot mountain in Jerusalem. Caring for these flowers is the same as for Anenomes, except there does exist some foliage that needs to be cleared. Clooney Ranuncluli are wonderful for events due to their low risk of peaking early.
“Designers love Clooney Ranunculus in orange, yellow, pink and white,” Shlomo states, “but all of our colors perform exceptionally well at weddings and events”
See "Elegance Ranunculi" below.
The moderate weather at the heart of Israel also yields vibrant colors of Elegance Ranuculi, one of the most popular offshoots of this variety. Available in white, light pink, dark-pink, burgundy, red, cappuccino, yellow and orange, the Elegance Ranuncului.
Care & Handling: Recut the stems at an angle with a sharp blade, removing at least 1 inch of stem. Immediately dip or place stem ends into a hydration solution, then into storage containers partially-filled with properly proportioned flower food solution. Because these flowers are grown from tuberous roots, you can use bulb flower food.
Immediately after processing, place Ranunculi into a floral cooler at 34-40 degrees F, and allow them to hydrate for at least two hours before selling them. Cold storage for more than two days is not recommended, so avoid purchasing more than you can sell or use at that time. Vase life for ranunculi is typically 3 to 7 days, but Clooney and Elegance Ranunculi have been known to reach 10 days!
Desert (Double) Lisianthus
In the south of the Negev desert, in the Arava, along the east boarder of Israel few hundred meters below sea-level lies an oasis of Lisianthuses. Growing under constant cover, these flowers are hydrated via constant drip-irrigation and enjoy availability until the end of May.
The Israel-grown, double-Lisianthus is available in 9 colors: white, purple, pink, apricot, champaign, yellow, green, two-tone purple & two-tone pink.
Care & Handling: With proper care, Lisianthuses should provide consumers with 7-14 days of enjoyment. Upon receipt, remove foliage that would otherwise fall below the storage water-line. Recut the stems, dip into a hydration solution, then place into a flower-food enriched solution. Store in a cooler at 33-38 degrees F, allowing them to hydrate at least two hours before selling.
Remove blooms as they fade to encourage the other buds to open.Lisianthuses are geotropic (affected by gravity), and their stems will curve if they're not stored perfectly upright in their containers. Leaving them in their sleeves during storage can help prevent stem curving, but it can also restrict air circulation among the blooms, leaves and stems. Avoid misting these flowers during storage (or packing them too tightly) because doing so can promote the onset of Botryits, a fungal disease that appears as gray patches on leaves and flowers.
Clematis: Vase Life, Care & Handling
The idea of using fresh-cut clematises as design flowers is often overlooked by wedding and flower professionals, largely because other varieties tend to steal the limelight. Roses, peonies, and orchids always seem to take center stage; look a little deeper, though, and you’ll notice some outstanding supporting roles played by flowers like the colorful clematis
Clematises are one of the best flowers for events, sometimes rivaling even alstroemerias for long vase life. Typically a clematis will last 7 days in the vase, but there are a few clematis varieties that can last up to two weeks!
PICKING THE BEST CLEMATIS
Be sure to buy your Clematis when they are only ¾ of the way open, or just on the verge of opening – depending on the timing of your event. Be wary of buying a clematis that has been fully opened for a few days, as you may not get the longevity out of it that you want. When in doubt, touch the stamens. If they dislodge from the flower from simple physical contact, then the clematis has already peaked.
CARE & HANDLING
Placing your new clematises in warm water will speed up the blooming process – a good tip only for when you’re attempting perfect timing on wedding designs. Normally however, for everyday arrangements, lukewarm water is recommended. Once your designs are finished, remember that clematises don’t like heat or direct drafts. Keep them out of sunlight, and away from A/C vents.
Some argue that the best season for clematises has come and gone, but Kennicott Brothers offers availability through October, and possibly later. Ask your sales representative which colors are available for your next big wedding job!