Savage Romance

Mt. Lebanon Floral is beyond excited to present this amazing bridal video. It has been a wonderful collaborative experience putting this together. Please take the time to watch and wonder at the work of each contributor.

Song: Lora Faye – All Night
Location: Savage River Lodge
Video: Pictory Productions
Photo: Veronica Varos
Flowers: Mt. Lebanon Floral
Styling: Bliss Events
Wardrobe: Glitter & Grit
Hair & Make-Up: Hannah Conard Beauty

Picture Perfect Engagement

We’ve been up to some sneaky business here at Mt. Lebanon Floral. We had the pleasure of being a part of the surprise proposal of Anna Ciaccio…and she said yes! Anna arrived at what she was told was a photo shoot to model our latest live jewelry, but the ring she ended up with was diamond rather than succulent. These beautiful images were captured by our friend and photographer Heather Tabbacci. It was a true privilege to be able to contribute to this special moment, and we wish Anna and her new fiance all the best!

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Wet Plate Photography with Jason Snyder

One of our most unique shoots to date was a collaboration with photographer Jason Snyder. Jason is a champion of a style called wet plate collodion. A common practice in the 1800’s, wet plate collodion was designed to make taking family portraits more accessible to the general public, and each photo produced is one of a kind. Anna Ciaccio, friend and model, shows her classic beauty in extravagant headpieces of Carmel’s design. Jason Snyder graciously agreed to answer a few questions about the experience, and we are excited to share what we learned with you:

Our first question was in regard to what attracted Jason to wet plate collodion. Jason explained that “the beautiful tonal range and ultra fine grain of the positives and the negatives” were one of the main attractions for him, in addition to the dynamic nature of the photographs. As a photographer, Jason is primarily interested in “the making of photographs, regardless of method” and there are many methods he uses to make pictures beyond wet plate collodion.

“I  like the singularity of the in camera image, and the specific connection that I have through the camera to my subjects.”

Wet plate photography is impressive for more than just the images it produces, as the production is an age-old and intricate process. We asked Jason about the popularity and availability of  the materials necessary for such an undertaking, and he informed us that there is a worldwide but tight-knit community of photographers who hold an interest in wet plate collodion, and the materials can be attained readily from photographic suppliers and chemical companies. The hardware of the process can be found at modern manufacturers, but we were interested to find out that much of the darkroom and actual camera components are made by Jason himself.

When assessing the value of these images it is important to take each step of its production into consideration. The time and experience that is required for proper execution is extensive, and the chemistry involved can be expensive. These one-of-a-kind images are made one at a time, each on its own piece of handmade film.

As this was Mt. Lebanon Floral’s first experience with wet plate collodion, we were interested to see why it was that we had only just been exposed to this amazing art form now. Jason explained that, while he is not sure of the reason for its revival, collodion photography is more popular now that it had been in the past five years.

“I think it has a place now more than ever, and should not be a replacement for, merely a supplement to, other expressive ways to work. In the end, a moving, well made photograph with content, execution, and holding power will have those qualities not because of the way in which it was made, but for more basic reasons.”

While we believe that flowers go with everything, we were pleased to hear that Jason also felt that “the floral collaboration was a success on all fronts”. Numerous images resulted from this shoot, the black and white images below are the wet plate images, and others were produced by color film and digital photography.

“The flower arrangements rendered well in collodion…It left me anxious to photograph outside where we have a little more creative freedom in the content.”

Mt. Lebanon floral is enormously grateful to have had this experience with Jason. Our mission is to seek out cutting edge ways to spread and create floral beauty, and we are always excited by the opportunity to work with great talents like Jason Snyder.

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To check out more work from Jason Snyder visit his website!

Pretty in Pink

We were both heartbroken and inspired by the story of 26-year-old Meghan Franz. In early October of 2015, Meghan was diagnosed with breast cancer. Recently engaged and determined to have her blonde locks for her wedding, Meghan and her fiance John decided to put their special day on a fast track for October 31st. Meghan was referred to talented photographer and friend of Mt. Lebanon Floral, Sasha Danielle to be her wedding photographer. Sasha graciously agreed to the wedding and one better: a special boudoir shoot for a very special bride, free of charge. After sharing her ideas for this shoot with us, we didn’t hesitate to make a floral donation. In the spirit of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and in honor of Meghan, we centered each piece around lush pink roses. For the shoot, we fashioned thick garlands, a bridal bouquet and head wreath for Meghan to model, and we were overwhelmed by her beauty, strength and sparkling personality that was captured in each photo. We wish all the best to Meghan and John as they join the battle against breast cancer. May your love for each other bring you strength in the challenging months ahead.

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Around the Shop: What’s new?

Mt. Lebanon Floral is starting off the new year fresh with new designs in live jewelry! Stop in to check out succulent bracelets, neck-ware, and rings or order custom designs of your own. Just water, wear, and entice wonder.

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New varieties of silk flowers are arriving daily, and we are excited to share them with you in the form of custom wreaths, arrangements, or for your own home decor. We are always happy to freshen up dated wreaths and arrangements you bring in from home as well!

Having trouble coming up with the perfect valentines gift for the man in your life? We have just the thing! Luxury men’s grooming kits are sure to inspire his daily routine.

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For those of you looking the rid yourself of negative energies of 2015 and take a more positive step into 2016, stop to in the browse out selection of crystals, incense and elixirs to promote physical and spiritual healing, restfulness, awareness, conscious exploration, etc. We carry a special detox elixir from Corner Apothecary Alchemy that assists in purging old habits, negative thoughts and ways of thinking so you can but the best version of yourself forward. This may seem like hippie mumbo jumbo, but don’t be afraid to give it a try. You just might have a change of heart…

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The Petraitis Wedding

One of our all time favorites, the Petraitis wedding was one of lush beauty. Bride Katelyn was a dream to work with and an absolute vision in lace. We were able to pull from the creme and blush tones of her gown to create a loose garden bouquet with subtle plum accents. Katelyn also wore an understated head wreath of baby’s breath to complement the romantic vibes of her bouquet. The elegant palate she chose contrasted beautifully with the rich coloration of the church venue, which was expertly captured by photographer KT Merry. The wedding reception at the Pennsylvanian was decorated with lavish arrangements of hydrangea, dahlias, roses and textured greenery atop glass urns, all of which was illuminated by soft candlelight to produce a sense of grandeur and opulence that is associated with this venue. We are so pleased with the outcome of this enchanting event, and wish the new couple every happiness as they begin their new life together.

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Fantastical Fascinations

Here at Mt. Lebanon Floral, we have a definite love of fantasy. Lucky for us, we aren’t alone! Along with one of our favorite photographer friends, Heather Tabacchi, we were able to make our most enchanting imaginations a reality. Models Anna Ciaccio, Olivia Norton, and Emily Jordheim channeled their inner goddess with dream catchers, crowns of crystal and a headdress of mythical proportions. Carmel worked true magic on these featured headpieces, and the result was something of a fairy tale.

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June Photo Shoot with Mandy Fierens

In another spur-of-the-moment photo shoot, Carmel and photographer Mandy Fierens displayed their creative compatibility in a showcase of wearable art of an organic and primal nature. The photo shoot took place in a rented studio that included a wardrobe from which they could pull clothing that complemented the theme of the shoot. Both Mandy and Carmel love fashion shoots, and Mandy enjoyed the chance to use some interesting techniques, such as prism photography, in order to capture these beautiful images. Mandy encouraged Carmel to follow her heart in the creation of the floral headdresses and spirit stick. The urban studio setting provided the perfect contrast to the natural elements of the floral couture Carmel designed, all of which was brought to life by the lovely Aubrey Borowitz, a model with whom Carmel has done several other shoots. Without much planning, these three talents were able to pool their energy in order to compose an awesome work of art.

 

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National Legalization of Gay Marriage

  Since the Pennsylvania legalization in July of 2014, Mt. Lebanon Floral has welcomed same-sex couples into our business with open arms. With three same-sex weddings already under our belt, we are so very excited to pursue this new market, and participate in the making of history.  Mt. Lebanon Floral is proud to be able to connect to these recent events on a personal level through our very own Paul Cavalero.  Paul and his husband Doug were married by Mayor Peduto on June 15th of 2014 following the Pennsylvania ruling, and in the midst of Gay Pride Week in downtown Pittsburgh.  In true Mt. Lebanon Floral fashion, Paul made floral leis for the two of them to wear for their service.  Paul and Doug were third to be married in a group of 19 same-sex couples.  Having been publicly together for 24 years prior to their marriage, both Paul and Doug feel that the officialism of their relationship has brought them closer.  When asked if they considered themselves to be activists, the answer was yes and no: No, they are not active participants in prides or protests (though they have attended them), but they are activists in the sense that they have always lived honestly and openly in their relationship with each other and their loved ones.  Doug referred to their wedding ceremony as “inadvertent activism” in that it was purposeful, but not for the goal of making a statement, rather to simply take part in something historic and previously unimaginable, and to finally solidify their relationship in the eyes of the state.  Both Paul and Carmel are elated by the opportunity to support other same-sex couples as they prepare for their own weddings, and relish in the positive change that is sure to come from this legislation.  Paul expressed his pride for the business, saying, “Mt. Lebanon Floral is at the vanguard of this new market.  Carmel doesn’t turn anyone away”.  At Mt. Lebanon Floral, we believe that every couple has the right to celebrate their love and unity through marriage, and we are happy to provide our services in order to make the recognition of all types of love a uniquely beautiful occasion.

By Abby Palmieri

Paul & Doug

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Maura & Olivia

These two ladies stole our hearts, and we are so happy to have been a part of their special day.  Maura and Olivia were married in front of their family and friends in the Tent at Schenley Plaza, conducted by Reverend Scott Rudolf of the UU Church of the North Hills.  The reception was held at The Porch at Schenley.  These beautiful photos are courtesy of Dave Issod, the photographer for the event. We wish all the best to these two in their new lives together!

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Victor & Jeff

One of our all time favorite weddings took place at Unitarian Universalist Church between Victor and Jeff.  They were married during an intimate gathering with their family and friends.  The event was catered by Rania’s Catering and we were so happy to be included in this beautiful evening.  We look forward to more beautiful weddings like this! Congratulations gentlemen!

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Bouquet of the Day

The Bouquet of the Day started rather organically: a way for Carmel to showcase new product, whether it be from across the country, across the world, or most commonly from our local growers. Each day, Carmel would feature a picture of a bouquet on the Mt. Lebanon Floral Instagram account. As the posts became more and more popular, the campaign expanded to invite others to come to the shop and work with Carmel to create their own masterpiece with our featured flowers. The prediction was that other floral designers would take this as a cooperative, learning, and friendship building experience between their shops and Mt. Lebanon Floral. There was, however, an overwhelming response from models and photographers, and very little interest among designers. In this way, the Bouquet of the Day campaign evolved into a kind of workshop for those unfamiliar with the art of floral design, and this new target had different, but equally exciting merits. Carmel has said that each person who came in attacked their bouquet in a different way, and the experience became a character study in the way that she could see how the product and experience was interpreted by each guest. The first to visit us was Stephanie De Felice, a model who has worked with Carmel (she is featured on our home page) and has become a great friend of Mt. Lebanon Floral. When making her bouquet, Steph was independent and confident, and it lead to the creation of one of the best bouquets. Some participants stayed only long enough to make their floral arrangement and left shortly after, while others, such as photographer, model, and friend Mandy Fierenz, loved the experience so much she stayed the whole day with us, and decided to come back for more! One of the most interesting observations was that our very own Mt. Lebanon Floral employees had the most difficulty with their arrangements. As one such employee, I was so excited and overwhelmed by the freedom and extravagance available to me that I didn’t know where to begin! The bouquet of the day campaign turned out to be a wonderful experience for all who participated, and an important time for Mt. Lebanon Floral to be able to inform our partners and patrons that we have an open door policy, always wanting to make our visitors feel welcome and “in the know” about all things flowers. We believe that strong business relationships are built through transparency and inclusion in all facets of our work. We are ever so thankful to all of our lovely guests for accepting our challenge and rising above and beyond it. It is because of events like this that I can say I truly love my job, and am proud to help in the spread of floral beauty that occurs at Mt Lebanon Floral.

By Abby Palmieri, age 17
Floral Assistant and Salesperson at Mt. Lebanon Floral