Design miscellanea and everyday musings by Nathanael C. Saldana

Category: Floral Arrangements


Okay, so William and Arely weren’t actually getting engaged–just officially announcing their courtship to close friends and family–but it was so important to me I wanted to make some flower arrangements to add to the celebration. I experimented with different combinations and styles instead of doing all the same. After doing three I realized I had so much baby’s breath left I decided to make an arrangement of all baby’s breath. Interesting!


Cavities of the World: Beware!

This project was so much fun! Of course, a friend like Kristen deserves the best graduation party ever, or at least the most well-designed if I have anything to say about it. We celebrated her finishing the dental assisting program with a great party! The invitation design sparked the theme for the entire party. I created all the flower arrangements, cupcakes, and paper crafting to match! Helpful DIY tip: buy giant 20″ paper doilies in bulk from a restaurant supply website, and spray-paint them ahead of time in the color of the party! They are so useful and practical, and spruce up generic plastic tablecloths by a mile.

Congrats Kristen!

Photos 1, 12 and 14 courtesy of Melissa Mercado of MJM Photography

20th Anniversary Party Design

It was such a pleasure to design this party, and I had an opportunity to put my aesthetic hand in many aspects of the production and organization process. Jennifer’s favorite color is pink and she loves Victorian themed design, so we made a neo-spring-Victorian design for the whole party. Turned out a great success!

What I learned:

• Visit the space at least once, if not multiple times before the actual set-up day.

• Keep a detailed journal, including lists, measurements, quotes, prices and contact info. That way if you forget how big the round tables are or how many they have, you will know exactly where to look.

• In many halls, the dance floor works better in the center of the space, with all the tables around it. That way everyone is close to the action, no matter where their table is situated. Also, that way the people sitting in front won’t have to squeeze their way through twenty tables to get to the food or bathroom.

• Investigate renting a helium tank instead of buying a disposable one. Our options eventually dictated the most logical purchase: Buy a disposable helium tank at $35 for 50 balloons, or rent one at $49 for 125 balloons. Easy decision. Oh, and keeping all the balloons in the same color palate or hue is usually a good way to go.

• When vendors mess up, DON’T SETTLE. Even if it’s the last minute. When the cake arrived, the design was all wrong, and we were about to just use it to avoid more hassle. But we decided to call anyway, and they immediately sent a new cake with the correct design and gave us our money back. Long story short – two sheet cakes for free. Win!

• Use as many disposable items as possible (paper doilies, disposable table cloths, etc). That way the clean up will be easier and you’ll be packing up much less than you brought.

• For the day-of set up, organize your helpers and give each person their assignment beforehand. Our set up crew included an eight-and-a-half-week pregnant woman, one other girl and myself. Many people bailed, probably because they thought we’d have enough help. People will appreciate the seriousness if they are given assignments ahead of time. Also on the subject of setting up, dedicate some time the night before to drawing up a time line. Obviously the cloths/centerpieces can’t be arranged before the tables are set up. The band can’t come in with equipment until you know where the dance floor is going to be. The food can’t arrive until you know where you’re going to put it and the tables are arranged. Knowing these things ahead of time will help determine in what order you set things up.

And lastly,

• Save all your boxes and plastic bags. You’ll need them to pack everything up.

April Flowers


A while ago, I began experimenting with flower arranging, and very quickly fell in love with the delicate craft. I use low vases with water-absorbing foam to hold the flowers in place. These arrangements were for an engagement party at my parent’s house. I chose pink and peach roses, white and lavender spider-mums, pastel pink carnations (which came with several green buds that looked lovely), and pink tulips.

The bride is going to have hydrangeas for the reception, so I actually bought some at first, but to my dismay they completely wilted over the first night, before I even began arranging. I’ll have to experiment to figure out how to keep them fresh…

Click to see more photos…