Photography: Katy O’Dell Photography
I’m often asked to detail all the flowers clients will see at their wedding – outline for them each little bloom. I don’t do that. And it’s not because I’m afraid of them stealing my floral recipe or divulging my deep dark secrets, it’s really because I don’t know. It’s that unknown that makes for your unsurpassed wedding floral story.
The floral consult process normally starts months before your actual wedding date. At that time I soak in all of your lovely ideas, start thinking about your color palette and suggest a few key blooms that will most likely be in season. The month before your wedding day I’ll revisit these notes. I’ll focus on what product has been awesome so far this season and then really analyze the color story and the overall feeling of your wedding day. I’ll choose the best varieties from across the country, sourcing from often several wholesalers and reaching out to some of my favorite local spots.
The week before your wedding the blooms begin to arrive. Boxes upon boxes land at my doorstep and I begin to unpack. It’s better than Christmas as I pull each and every bunch from its plastic sleeve and compare how the blossoms will look together, really envisioning your bouquets and centerpieces and how beautiful your wedding will be.
And then I get to that one box. The one that sent me peachy orange instead of coral blooms. Sometimes the pink is more purple and less cherry. And sometimes things just feel off.
This is where I get creative. This is where the unknown inspires me. One of my favorite examples of this is the untold story of Jen’s bouquet. When I unpacked her gorgeous flowers I was in love. She wanted a blush and berry palette that would stand bold against her black and white stripe and glittering gold accents. All was in order except for a few bunches, which were half the size of their usual selves. Half the size means half the product which meant I was surely going to run out. I began working anyway hoping that maybe I could stretch it, maybe I had ordered too many somewhere else and maybe something would all work out in the end. It became clear that it would not.
I wanted to get the key pieces put together. Bouquets are of the utmost importance, especially hers. So I worked tirelessly on them. Then on to her bouquet. I put it together once. I put it together twice. I tweaked and rearranged. It just didn’t feel right. Something was missing and after 2+ hours, I took a break.
Taking a moment to yourself is important. Stepping back can help so much. So I set out to solved my shortage problem and found myself wondering the aisles of a local greenhouse. There sat the most beautiful Wine and Roses Weigela bushes. The deep shades of merlot were so rich and perfect they nearly jumped in my cart and drove themselves home. They were the most impeccable addition a designer could ask for. I happily purchased my plants and made my way back.
With the addition of the berry colored blooms, Jen’s bouquet fell together in 5 minutes flat. The missing ingredient was found and my day was made.
However, it’s not something I could plan for. Often I just stumble across plants that scream “perfection”. Sometimes the search takes a little longer. Being creative and open minded is what is so enticing to me about floral design. No two bouquets will ever be identical, not two flowers are every exactly alike.
Sometimes things just turn out prettier than planned.0