Wedding Wednesday :: Tulips, Tulips!

Why I love tulips .. they are so versatile! As you’ll see here, they can be used in romantic, frilly floral designs and they can be used in modern, contemporary floral designs. They come in a variety of colors and shapes, every color except blue AND the shapes – parrots, fringes, doubles, standard!

How do you like your tulips?
..Fluffy or modern?
..Pale pink or bold orange?

Floral Design 101 :: A Tulip How-To

Awhile back I was freelancing at Flora Nova in Seattle and we were discussing how to stop tulips from growing in bridal work. I’m sure most of you have experienced this phenomenon, right, of the Tulip growing out of your arrangements? Ok, so it isn’t really a phenomenon. Tulips are phototropic – meaning they grow and move in response to searching for light. Of course, this is partially what I find intriguing about the tulip, a floral design changes daily as the tulip moves and grows. Yet, this is not necessarily something I want to happen when including tulips in my bridal/bridesmaids’ bouquets. Christiane of Flora Nova showed me a trick she had been taught, to slice the stem right below the bloom to slow the growth of the tulip. I was skeptical, does it really work? Plus, you all know I like a good test/challenge — so here goes! I picked up 20 stems of extremely fresh & tight tulips from the wholesaler and tried out this technique.
See what happens —

Flirty Fleurs - yellow tulips in sleeves

Two bunches of tulips fresh from the wholesaler. I will mix the two bunches and divide them evenly for the test.

Flirty Fleurs - Yellow Tulips

Tulips all stripped of bottom foliage and cleaned with fresh clips on stems.

Flirty Fleurs, How to stunt the growth of tulips

How do you stunt the growth? Simply cut under the bloom with a sharp knife. Be sure to not go all the way thru the stem! I sliced about 1/3 of the way into the stem.

Flirty Fleurs - How to stunt the growth of tulips

Another angle, you can see I slightly push down and slice below the bloom – this slows the growth of the tulip.

Flirty Fleurs - Yellow tulips in blue jars

Freshly processed tulips are place in clear water (no flower food)

Flirty Fleurs - yellow tulips how-to care for tulips

Day 3 – Cutting the stems does work! You can see the 4 tulips on the right side are smaller than the 3 on the left.

Flirty Fleurs, Tulip Treatment

Tulips on Day 6, You can see the bottom 4 are smaller than the top 3. The bottom 4 are the tulips which were cut.

Flirty Fleurs - Tulip How-To Test

Day 6 – Top 3 have not been cut, bottom 4 are cut.

Isn’t that something? From what I can see with all the tulips it looks to be best to slice the tulip when it gets to the stage where you want to slow the growth. A few of the really green, tight tulips that I sliced are not growing and opening – the good side of that is that I’ll have tulips to enjoy for at least two weeks at home!

Tulip Festival in Skagit Valley

It’s that time of year again! Time for the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Washington. Every April the tulip farms in Skagit Valley open up their doors and invite the public to see tulips in bloom at their farms. Chad and I had a lovely day out visiting RoozenGaarde & Tulip Town, perfectly sunny day to dilly dally through the tulip fields and display gardens. I will try to show some restraint here and not post 100 photos, just a handful of the pretty flowers we saw…

RoozenGaarde Display Garden of tulips, hyacinths and daffodils

RoozenGaarde

RoozenGaarde - Queensland Tulip, blush pink fringe edge tulip

Queensland Tulip by RoozenGaarde

Tulip Town

Tulip Town

Tulip Town Tulip fields

Tulip Town

Tulip Town, salmon pink tulip

Tulip Town

Tulip Town, rows of yellow and orange tulips

Tulip Town

RoozenGaarde, Tulip Beds

RoozenGaarde

RoozenGaarde, green and white tulips

RoozenGaarde

RoozenGaarde, Tulip Display Garden

RoozenGaarde

RoozenGaarde, Tulip, Hyancinth and Daffodil display gardens

RoozenGaarde

RoozenGaarde, fields of tulips in bloom in Washington

RoozenGaarde

RoozenGaarde, tulip display garden

RoozenGaarde

RoozenGaarde, tulip display garden

RoozenGaarde

RoozenGaarde, tulip farm

RoozenGaarde

RoozenGaarde, Salmon Parrot Tulip

Salmon Parrot Tulip at RoozenGaarde

RoozenGaarde, Red fringe tulip

RoozenGaarde

RoozenGaarde, Orange tulips in the field

RoozenGaarde

RoozenGaarde, path of muscari

RoozenGaarde

RoozenGaarde Display Garden of tulips, hyacinths and daffodils

RoozenGaarde

RoozenGaarde Display Garden of tulips, hyacinths and daffodils

RoozenGaarde

Funny to think that last year my Mom & I made a special trip to Skagit Valley to see the tulips, I had no idea that I’d be living just 20 minutes south of Skagit Valley one year later! Funny how life changes.
I think I enjoy listening to the comments made by other visitors to the gardens & fields as much as I enjoy looking at the flowers. I hear so many people in awe of the beauty they are seeing, it’s really a cool thing to witness.

Fleur Friday

Today we are posting our 1,000th Post!!!

Thrilled to see this Whimsical + Romantic Garden Wedding Inspiration featured on Elizabeth Anne Designs this week!
This photoshoot was created last summer during a Chapel Designer workshop in Virginia. You may recall last summer the workshop that Holly Chapple and I had at her home/studio property in Virginia, part of the workshop was creating the florals for this shoot.
To the ladies involved in the shoot ~ loved seeing your work featured! Primrose Floral, A Garden Party Florist, Chic Floral Designs, Magnolia Wedding Flowers, Isn’t She Lovely Florals
Photographs by Genevieve Leiper
Stationery – Miss Merkle Design | Gowns – Soliloquy Bridal | Models – T H E Artist Agency

Flirty Fleurs, centerpiece with persimmons, pink and green hydrangeas, pink coxcomb, clematis vines

Flirty Fleurs, petite floral crown of pink and green flowers

Flirty Fleurs, pink and green floral bracelet

Flirty Fleurs, table setting with pink and crimson florals

Flirty Fleurs, bride and groom with pink, green and crimson florals

See the entire photoshoot here

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Q&A :: What’s your favorite Spring Flower?

The Question:
What’s your favorite spring flower and why?

The Answers::
I have so many favorite Spring flowers! Being from the DC area, any blooming branch and especially cherry blossoms are a must have on this list. Then, in addition to the usual suspects, I love designing with all fritillaria (meleagris, imperialis, volpis etc.), muscari and poppies. I’ve started a boatload of poppies for my cutting garden this year. I love working with them and their crazy stems – each one is different, they look so delicate but are tough and resilient, their colors capture the light so beautifully, look a little disheveled when they first open, and can handle being burned. HA! Sort of a metaphor for a floral designer!
Sue, White Magnolia Designs, Maryland

White Magnolia, arrangement of orange and yellow poppies, orange tulips, purple kale, gloriosa lilies, roses, lilac

White Magnolia Designs

White Magnolia, arrangement of icelandic poppies

White Magnolia Designs

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I love tulips, any kind and any color. I think because I was raised in Western Washington and it brings back such fond memories. Also because it is a welcoming sign that winter is over!
Kris of KRISanthemums, Oregon

KRISanthemums, arrangement of pink tulips

KRISanthemums

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I love the flowering branches that are only available in the Spring. In particular I love Forsythia. Check out an arbor I covered in it for a wedding last April.
Andrea Layne Floral Design, Florida

Andrea Layne Floral Design, wedding ceremony arch decorated with forsythia branches

Andrea Layne Floral Design

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Peonies and tulips are hands down my favorite spring flowers. My grandmother used to have the prettiest peony bush in her front yard. They remind me of her. And tulips are just so simple, delicate and pure…. I love how they all have personalities of their own.

I love it when a bride says “I love peonies and tulips” because she’s speaking my flower language. In this bouquet, I’ve married my two favorite spring flowers in with hydrangea and delicious freesia for a soft, romantic bouquet.
Jessica, Blooms ‘n Blossoms, Kentucky

Blooms and Blossoms of Kentucky, white and lavender bridal party bouquets of tulips and peonies

Blooms ‘n Blossoms

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Favorite spring flower? Sweet Peas! Photo by Penny Sylvia
Shannon, Flourish, California

Flourish flowers,  Penny Sylvia Photography, white hydrangea, pink roses, pink sweet peas, white roses

Flourish
Penny Sylvia Photography

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Some of my favorite spring flowers are paperwhites and daffodils! There’s nothing more promising of warmer days ahead than a bright yellow daffodil poking its head above the snowy ground, or the sweet scent of paperwhites wafting through a room. I especially love these flowers because they are some of the first flowers we have available at our shop in the early spring since we only use locally grown flowers and foliage. This arrangement was designed with the first daffodils of 2014, and it made my heart sing!
Carling, Local Color Flowers, Maryland

Local Color Flowers, arrangement of quince, yellow daffodils, white paperwhites, yellow iris

Local Color Flowers

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The French Tulip – this graceful beauty never disappoints! They always seem so elusive and untouchable (at least here in NoMi) so when they surface in the spring I am always drawn to them.
Jennifer, Bloom, Michigan

BLOOM, arrangement of parrot tulips, ranunculus, frittalaria, poppies, lilac

BLOOM

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This was difficult. I love all flowers and the spring ones are my favorite- maybe because they have such a short season. I think that my favorite spring flower might be the lilac. My grandmother had a beautiful garden and used to let me play with the flowers. She lived 2 hours away and always made a point of visiting for my birthday in early April. She would cut all the purple lilac that had bloomed in her yard and bring it to me for my birthday. I can not pass up lilac in the Spring and I always try to get some to have in the house for my birthday – it brings up great memories.
Melody, Fleurish Floral Designs, California

Fleurish, Bridal bouquet of white ranunculus, roses, hydrangeas, lilacs, lisianthus and freesia

Fleurish Floral Designs

Fleurish, Bridal bouquet of white ranunculus, roses, hydrangeas, lilacs, lisianthus and freesia

Fleurish Floral Designs

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Tulips!! One of my favorite spring flowers!! I love that you can drape them, bend them, or have the go straight up. They continue to grow, and have a mind of their own. Love their colors and textures.. Parrott, French, Peony(also known as double), Fringed or Standards. They are amazing flowers.
Flowers by Karen, Washington

Flowers by Karen, Washington, Flower arrangement of orange tulips, orange snapdragons, green cymbidium orchids, orange roses, orange ranunculus

Flowers by Karen

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Favorite spring flower: Tulips – old school but timelessly pretty!
One of my favorites is this peach-orange design with green trix by one of our florists, Le Printemps.
Shavanna Miller, Founder & CEO, Bloompop

Le Printemps, arrangement of orange tulips and green trick dianthus

Le Printemps

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Do you have a question you’d like to ask for a Q&A session? Email it to me at: info@flirtyfleurs.com

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Wedding Wednesday :: Floral Chandeliers

The Flower House, Denver, Red Carnation Floral Chandelier

The Flower House, Denver

Yvonne Design, Pastels floral chandlier

Yvonne Design

Cherries Flowers, Gia Canali Photography, Hanging Floral Chandelier of white phalaenopsis Orchids, white hydrangeas,

Cherries Flowers
Gia Canali Photography

Bold American Events, Branch chandelier with drapping greenery and orange roses

Bold American Events

Lilium Floral, Amy Herfurth Photography, Hanging Yellow Tulips with hanging cymbidium orchids

Lilium Floral
Amy Herfurth Photography

Tantawan Bloom, Branch Chandelier with phalaenopsis orchids and candles

Tantawan Bloom

Karen Tran, Darin Fong Photography, Red, orange and green floral chandelier

Karen Tran
Darin Fong Photography

Bows and Arrows, Apryl Ann Photography, floral chandelier of greenery and tropical flowers

Bows and Arrows
Apryl Ann Photography

Harvey Designs, Floral Chandeliers

Harvey Designs

Hiram Trillo Photography, Red Floral Chandelier

Hiram Trillo Photography

Ipomea Floral, Kina Wicks Photography, Floral Chandelier of seeded eucalyptus and hyacinth blooms

Ipomea Floral
Kina Wicks Photography

Michael Daigian Designs, Calla Lily Chandelier

Michael Daigian Designs

Mondo Floral Designs, Floral Chandelier of Coral Charm Peonies

Mondo Floral Designs

Book Review of How to Plan your Wedding by Paula Pryke

Paula Pryke, How to plan your wedding book cover

Paula Pryke has released her latest book, How to Plan Your Wedding, book number 16 for those of you keeping track! This book is a bit different than the others, this one is written for a bride planning a wedding.

I asked Paula, we’ve known you to write 15 previous books focused on ideas for the floral designer industry, this book is different as it is created for the bride, why were you inspired to create this book?
“Weddings have become so diverse and have changed totally in the last ten years. Although there is a lot of wonderful advice on the internet, I thought there were still people like me who like to hand write advice or reminders in a note-book style. I also think that all the blogs, pinterest, websites can be quite intimidating and so I wanted simplify things.
I have gleaned so much information about weddings in the last 26 years of working on them and since my own! Also, I often meet people who are planning weddings of all ages who just don’t know quite how to get started, so I wanted to write a guide that would help them through the exciting process.”

I feel the same as Paula, even in this age of the internet & computers, I still like to hand-write out my notes and I adore the thought of creating a lovely keepsake to remember this special day. In fact, there is even a space towards the end of the notebook where the bride can record memories of the day, such a nice touch! Whereas other planning binders are usually large & bulky, How To Plan Your Wedding is the perfect size notebook which can be slipped into a purse and taken to vendor appointments.

Now if you are a floral designer (which you probably are, considering you are reading this blog!) and are wondering if you’d enjoy this book, I can tell you – Yes! I found myself thoroughly enjoying each and every page, Paula has shared many new floral designs in the book. The book really is packed full of beautiful and inspiration images of floral arrangements.

Of course, I asked Paula what her next project is and she says – “I have a new book on Wedding Flowers out in January 2015. I have just finished the photography after 13th months! My new book out next year is also focused on weddings so I feel I have been totally immersed in weddings. I’ve been eating, sleeping and dreaming weddings and of course working on them!”

Paula Pryke - Bridal bouquet of pink and green flowers

Paula Pryke - All white wedding reception with peonies and baby's breath centerpieces

Paula Pryke - Bridal bouquet of all white peonies

Paula Pryke, Wedding cake with pink roses in between the layers

Paula Pryke - Bridal bouquet of pink, plum and crimson bridal bouquet with jasmine vines

Paula Pryke - Daisies for a flower girl

Credit for the images: How to Plan Your Wedding by Paula Pryke, published by Jacqui Small, ¢G20 hardback.

Click here – How to Plan Your Wedding – to order on Amazon

Now I have exciting news for one lucky reader – we are giving away one copy of How To Plan Your Wedding!!!

Send in a photograph of a Pink Bride or Bridesmaid Bouquet that you have designed to info@flirtyfleurs.com
We will select one lucky winner!

Please submit picture by Wednesday, April 23, 2014.

38 Degree Flowers Co., Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

I’m thrilled to share today’s ‘Fabulous Florist’ interview with all of you! We are interviewing William of 38 Degree Flowers from Vietnam, so wonderful to see what is going on in the world of floral design on the other side of the world.

38 Degree Flowers Co., Contemporary Asian Floral Design of calla lilies, tulips, pincushion proteas, cymbidium orchids, berries

How did you start your business and how many years have you been in business?

Our 38 Degree Flowers – was founded in Dec 2011. With the motto: “Warming Heart, Delighting Soul”, we always try our best to deliver the love from soul to soul, and warm the heart via petals. We import flowers from all over the world of the highest quality. We are actually the first and only company, which imports flowers on a regular basis. It was very hard for us to do this in the beginning because of long shipping times. Most shipments take about 20 to 25 hours by plane.
In the circumstance of fierce competition in flower market nowadays, we have to face lots of challenges and vicissitude. Fortunately, our clients and fans really enjoy our designs and the diversity of flowers we bring to Vietnam.

38 Degree Flowers Co., Contemporary floral design with plum callas, orange pincushions and lily grass

What is your design aesthetic? How do you create your style and where do you draw your inspiration?

38 Degree Flowers team members have trained in many different design styles; therefore, we can satisfy different customers’ requests. Not only are our designs artistic and elegant, but they also are full of humanism and inspiration.
We are individually affected by many floral styles all over the world. However, the Western modern and contemporary styles got the greatest effect on us. Our design and work always implicate the meaning of dynamic life and beauty of nature.

38 Degree Flowers Co., Contemporary floral design of mokara orchids, baby's breath and curly willow twigs

What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?

Vietnam is a developing country. Over past 10 years, we have changed many things from life to idea. Thanks to the Internet, we have gotten opportunity to reach the international floral world, and catch up the latest trend in floral design industry.
We live in a tropical country. Therefore, Vietnamese people have the inclination toward typical Western flowers such as Peony, Delphinium, Tulip, Protea, Ecuador Rose, David Austin . . . We realize that in Vietnam market, those flowers are getting more and more popular each day, especially those are famous with great tale, beauty and scent.

38 Degree Flowers Co., Modern Floral Design with purple, magenta and red vanda orchids, white phalaenopsis orchid

Are you a retail shop, studio/warehouse or home based? Do you offer any services in addition to floral designs?

We are a flower retailer in Vietnam. We offer all kinds of services that relating to flower such as floral design, flower express, wedding/event planning . . And we are now so proud to be one of the most famous flower companies in Vietnam..

38 Degree Flowers Co., Holiday decor design

What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
I do have a huge toolbox with many, many items for floral designing and arrangement. But, to tell the truth, my favorite baby is a little flower knife. Not only is that knife extremely useful, but it also is a precious gift from my first teacher.

38 Degree Flowers Co, white phalaenopsis orchids, ivy and curly willow in a glass vase

What’s your favorite flower?
Am I so greedy to admit that I love all of flowers in the world :D ? I realized that every single flower has its own charisma and distinctive beauty. So, just call me Mr. Casanova or Flowerizer because I cannot choose my favorite from this fantasy and beautiful world, really.

38 Degree Flowers Co, Centerpiece of white peonies, chamomile, pink peonies, white lilac

Contact Information:
38 Degree Flowers – Warming Heart, Delighting Soul
Director: Mr. My Do (Mike Do)
Editor: Mr. Thong Nguyen (William Nguyen)
Photographer: Mr. Tapir Truong and Mr. Hung Bui
Florist: Mr. Khoi Ha, Mr. Vinh Don and Mr. Vy Nguyen

Headquarter: 108 Hai Ba Trung Street, Dakao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: +84 909 769 208

Premium Store: 79E Hai Ba Trung Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Tel: (+84 4) 39 412 779

Website: 38degreeflowers.com
Facebook: 38degreeflowers

38 Degree Flowers Co, Centerpiece of white peonies, purple lisianthus, purple hydrangea

38 Degree Flowers Co., Red contemporary floral design with roses and twigs

38 Degree Flowers Co - Contemporary Asian Floral Design with Red Dogwood twigs, red coxcomb, red rose hips

38 Degree Flowers Co, white phalaenopsis orchids and curly willow in a glass vase

38 Degree Flowers Co, Arrangement of gold cymbidium orchids, yellow sunflowers, yellow ilex berries, hydrangeas

38 Degree Flowers Co, Bridal bouquet of pink peonies, blush roses, pink tulips and wax flower

38 Degree Flowers Co, Centerpiece of white hydrangea and pink roses

38 Degree Flowers Co. Elevated floral design of pink roses, white stock and white larkspur, white hydrangea and pink tulips

38 Degree Flowers Co. Elevated floral design of pink roses, white stock and white larkspur, white hydrangea and pink tulips

38 Degree Flowers Co., Hotel Lobby in Vietnam, Large floral display of cymbidium orchids, orange pincushion proteas, white roses and baby's breath

38 Degree Flowers Co., Hotel Lobby in Vietnam, Floral Display of Birds of Paradise, green hydrangea and coral carnations

38 Degree Flowers Co., Hotel Lobby in Vietnam, Floral display of purple vandal orchids and green anthurium

38 Degree Flowers Co., Vietnam. Branches and Baby's Breath Design

38 Degree Flowers Co., Vietnam. Branches and Baby's Breath Design

William Nguyen of 38 Degrees Flower Co Vietnam

Fleur Friday

Floral Verde, Bridal bouquet of Burgundy Scabiosa, Burgundy Hellebores, Burgundy Sweet Peas, fritillaria, maiden hair fern, dusty miller, solomon's seal foliage

Designed by Janet of Floral Verde

I’ve been infatuated with the above bouquet designed by Janet of Floral Verde since I saw it the beginning of this week. Such fabulous colors and textures!

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As for the highlights of my past week…

  • Last Sunday Patty of Brittany Flowers and I attended a flower show at Skyline Flower Growers Wholesale. Patty & I had so much fun watching the show and visiting with each other. This was my first visit to Skyline, always good to know who the suppliers are in the area, and I picked up some great tulips from them.
  • Chad & I visited the Skagit Tulip Festival this week in Mt. Vernon — wow, the endless array of tulips to see! I plan to share the photos from the festival in a week or so on the blog.

Just a reminder – Debra Prinzing and I are teaching floral design classes in Seattle on May 3rd – more information here.

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Oh, and the Hellebore Hunting excursion with Riz Reyes that I mentioned on last Friday?
This was the end result…

Bella Fiori, Green and Burgundy Hellebores, Peach Quince and Akebia Vine

Bella Fiori

Q&A :: Ethics in Designing Events

The Question:

I just met with a bride who found a wedding she loves on Style Me Pretty, and basically asked me to re-create all the florals/design concepts from that wedding. For me, this brings up a major ethical issue, and I am curious how you all deal with this: though I completely understand drawing inspiration from certain images/designs/ideas, I just don’t feel comfortable copying something made by another designer. In this case, there are some pretty specific color/flower/design choices that she wants to emulate, and to me it just feels wrong…. I also don’t understand why anyone would want their wedding to look EXACTLY like a wedding that already happened….. but I guess that is a separate issue…..

Has anyone else encountered this type of situation? How did you deal with it?

Best,

Designer in Washington

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The Answers:

It isn’t that uncommon for a bride to come into a consult with me with a wedding, bouquet or centerpiece that she wants to reproduce! The way I deal with it really depends on the bride. Sometimes all it takes is a comment that I do have my own design style that I will bring to the theme which would include using different vases, votives, etc. and switching up a few of the flowers and their placements to make the design more unique to her. If that doesn’t get the job done, I would make suggestions of ways to modify or enhance the design…again changing up flowers types, shapes, and placements, adding another layer to the tablescape, etc. I also would look for alternative designs that are similar to include in her design board to show her how to blend different designs into something that she may love even more. My experience is that all of these things that show my unique style and creativity and an emphasis on her uniqueness, as well, result in a new floral design that she loves more than the one she brought in to be reproduced.

Andrea Layne Floral Design, Florida

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When brides bring me inspiration photos, I typically use them as just that. I use the colors and/or the shapes to inspire me so that the design in the pictures is reflected somehow in my designs. 9 times out of 10, if I do this, the bride can see how her pictures inspired me to create her design. Every once in a while, a bride will reply to my proposal by telling me she wanted exactly what she saw in the picture. In these cases, I explain to the bride that I want her to have something unique and personalized for HER special day. I tell her that I am happy to use certain flowers, or to recreate a certain shape but that I am unwilling to simply copy another designer’s work. It’s my hope that my brides are coming to me because they want a Sweet Blossoms design. Sometimes, I just have to remind them that their wedding is SPECIAL and deserves a design that is just for them!
Blair at Sweet Blossoms, Maryland

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I tell my brides that all our work is custom, but I am happy to see inspiration photos. I don’t think it is unethical to repeat a color scheme from another designer, but I make it clear that (unless it’s a ball of baby’s breath or all hydrangea centerpieces) it’s not going to look just like the ones in the photo. I literally say, “we don’t copy the look, we look at all your inspiration photos and work from there”. There is seasonal variation, container changes, geography, etc. I also make it part of my rap that they get the best work from me when I have some flexibility in case what’s available (either from my own fields or from the wholesaler) isn’t up to wedding quality, OR if something is even nicer that what I was originally thinking. I will promise, for example, peonies in season, but my recent March bride got no such promise, and sure enough, the peonies were terrible that week so I used something else. Best of luck.
Polly, Robin Hollow Farm, Rhode Island

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You are right to listen to your “gut” on this one. I happened to be on the other side of this issue about a year ago. I developed a proposal for a bride based on her vision. She was not flexible about flower choices and her vision was more than her budget. When the proposal came in over her budget, I told her that we could revisit the proposal and make adjustments to be more in line with what she wanted to spend without sacrificing the “look.” I never heard back even after following up, and then one day I saw images from a wedding on my Facebook page. I immediately recognized the design (wheat grass in low wooden boxes with several gerberas inserted to look like they were growing from the grass). Every design element of this wedding was in my proposal. I contacted my friends at the venue to find out whose wedding it was, and low and behold it was the bride for whom I developed the proposal. I had met the owner of the local florist shop who did the flowers, at a couple of bridal shows and liked her a lot. I was surprised that she used my design for this wedding, and I have to say that I’m having a hard time coming to grips with this. Once a couple of years ago, a bride gave me a proposal from another designer, with whom I am friends, and I told her that I would have to develop my own design for her. She was fine with that. My design was completely different (and not any less expensive than her first proposal), and she went with me. I can sleep at night!
Jane Guerin, flowers, Virginia

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I think that it’s a compliment to copy and if that’s what makes the Bride happy then it’s worth doing. I get asked that all the time as they use others pictures for inspiration. As we use a natural product I do not feel there are proprietary rights on our designs and due to using natural products it will never be exact anyway. The slight differences that using a natural product create will ensure your touch is on it. Just ensure to explain to the Bride that it will be as close as a natural product can deliver. That line has never failed me.
Jane, Budget Blooms, British Columbia

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I have been doing strictly wedding and event florals from a home based studio for 23 years and I find that it is very common for a bride to give me a photo or a link and ask for her flowers to look just like that. Most brides have a problem envisioning what their wedding will look like and these photos are the best they can do when describing their wedding. Because their wedding is taking place in a different venue, the wedding won’t be exactly the same. The chances that all the product and the colors will be identical are low, so I just go with it and try to personalize the wedding where I can. In the end, my work might be submitted to a florist by a bride somewhere else in the world, and they are copying my designs. I try not to get hung up on this – we are inspired and learn from different designers all the time, I just try to look at it this way. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Melody, Fleurish Floral Designs, California

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I am asked by brides and shown pictures of things that want recreated for their wedding all the time. Nature of Pinterest and the Knot.
However, we can only recreate the style.. we will never be able to recreate the designers first work that was published. It will always have our flare on it. Plus as artist.. we all have our own eye and if 3 people copied the same bouquet .. it would turn out 3 different ways.
I also let my bride know that I will work really hard on finding all the flowers that are pictured… but.. sometimes they are just not available. I will always let them know up front that while the style will be there.. it is impossible to copy completely. Plus by the time their wedding day is there.. as long as it’s beautiful, and in the style and colors they want… in the end that is all that matters.
As for the ethical side.. great masters in the art world are copied all the time. Nothing is as good as the original work of art.. so goes it with flowers. I am sure that my designs have been copied, but style and flare will always remain with me.
Flowers by Karen, Washington

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Isn’t it the ultimate compliment when your style or design is copied?
I don’t think we have copyright laws in place for floral design. Plus, I think there are very few “original” forms of art and design. Fabulous design in all mediums repeats throughout history as trends and popularity command.
We all have our gifts and weaknesses in life. Some of us are artistically inclined and some are not. If a Bride sees something she is wild about why not copy it? She may not have the interest, time or skills to decide on her own look.
However, I do believe a great florist will get to know her Bride, read her personality and style and gently guide a Bride towards a look and style that fits and reflects that Bride.
Nancy, Destiny Hill Farm, Pennsylvania

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I’ve actually had this occur a couple of times. Now the florist weren’t in the same town, but I simply sent an email to the shop, complimenting their work & explaining that I had a bride that wanted me to recreate their design. Both shops were thrilled to get the positive feedback & the one shop even sent me their recipe for the bridal bouquets with design tips. The only thing one of the shops asked was that we’d ‘like’ their FB page & maybe leave a positive Google comment, which we were more than happy to do!
Sharon, Muffy’s Flowers, Alaska

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This is a tough situation and one I think we can all relate to! I think there are some brides/people that don’t see our craft as, well, a craft. They don’t see it as a form of expression and the ideas as of other designers as a form of “creative property”. They simply see pretty flowers and want the same thing – they don’t see it as ripping someone’s designs (or entire wedding!) off. There are also people that cannot visualize anything they can’t explicitly see, so saying “inspired” or “similar” doesn’t seem to mean much other than “it’s not exactly what I see” and can’t understand what you’re talking about. I find that trust in my capability as a designer is the only thing that will put them at ease. That being said, I try to understand WHY they want exactly what they see in a photo. Is it the color, the form, shape, movement, the “personality” of it, etc. I can typically pick up a theme in the “design language” they use as we go over photos, I interpret it and repeat it back to them to be sure I understand. When we are on the same page, I explain that what they see cannot be exactly replicated. Flowers may not be available or may be subpar size/quality, colors may not be exactly the same shade, possibly due to different lighting in the photo (a photographers skill cannot be under emphasized here! My photos and a pros photos of the same bouquet don’t even compare!), and I am a different designer. Try as we might, copying a different designer is extremely difficult. Anyone that has freelanced will tell you that! We are all different and have a different eye. Similar, sure, but all of us are different. I reiterate their “design language” again, to be sure I understand what they want (I’d hate to be wrong!), and tell them that I can do that and it will be very similar to and inspired by what they love about the photos. Typically they know that I “get them” and understand and agree and we both walk away with a better understanding of one another. If they don’t, they probably wont hire me. I actually feel more comfortable with that, if they can’t trust me they certainly shouldn’t hire me! I think all you can do is educate the client and hope for the best. I try to be sure my clients get what they want, but in the end, trust your gut!
Chandin, Studio 3 Floral Design, Washington

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With this type of a bride, I have been able to use select phrases such as: one of a kind, originally yours and individual inspiration to help the bride select elements that will define her wedding. Asking for personal items or flowers of meaning have also helped. It definitely is a fine line and one that takes time in the consultation process.
Kris of KRISanthemums, Oregon

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Do you have a question you’d like to ask for a Q&A session? Email it to me at: info@flirtyfleurs.com