Designer Spotlight On… James Abel

Meet James Abel of  James Abel Events, a New York City-based designer, who brings to life weddings and events that are as fun to plan as they are to experience.


James Abel
James Abel

Jamali Garden: How did you get your start?
James Abel: I have a fine arts degree and grandparents who were both florists. When I was young I spent a lot of time in their flower shop learning the names of flowers and being inspired by their arrangements, so I decided to follow in their footsteps. At James Abel Events we are full event designers. We’re not limited to just floral decor. We design custom invitations, menu cards, programs, every detail to make your special day as unforgettable as it should be.




JG: What is your approach to designing an event?
JA: I am always inspired by the client. Each and every client is unique and that drives me to do what I do. I believe that the look of the event should be a reflection of who the client is: when you walk into the room you should immediately know whose event it is.




JG: Tell us about one of your favorite, recent events.
JA: This past September I designed a wedding that pulled from two very diverse cultures. The bride was of Italian and Venezuelan descent and I was able to bring some wonderful elements into the design, including cattleya orchids in her bouquet (Venezuelan), and five sugarcoated almonds for favors (Italian). The five almonds represent five wishes for the couple: health, wealth, happiness, fertility, and longevity.

JG: What advice would you give brides about centerpieces?
JA: Guests spend a lot of time at the tables so you need to keep them interested. Use unusual elements like succulents and herbs to create a unique look. At this clambake, one of the centerpieces was made up of hydrangeas, dahlias, and carnations in wood boxes, accented with thyme in metal pots.


A thyme and floral centerpiece.
A thyme and floral centerpiece.


JA: Here I used Jamali’s antique black urn to create a bold centerpiece with seeded eucalyptus, peonies, roses, calla lilies, fiddlehead ferns, cymbidium and renanthera orchids, and amaranthus.

A bold centerpiece in our antique black urn.
A bold centerpiece in our antique black urn.


JG: Finally, what’s your favorite Jamali Garden product?
JA: Mercury glass is one of my favorite Jamali products. I love that it has so much versatility. It can be formal or less so. Jamali is constantly coming out with new shapes and designs allowing that trend to continue.

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