Wedding Wednesday :: Berries, Berries & more Berries

Megan Sorel Photography Modern Day Design, pink and burgundy dahilas, hydrangea, scabiosa and raspberries flower arrangement

Modern Day Design
Megan Sorel Photography

Wedding Wednesday :: Blue Floral Inspirations

Wedding Wednesday :: Peach & Purple Floral Designs

Wedding Wednesday :: Lavenders, Lilacs and Purples

Wedding Wednesday :: Coral Floral Inspiration

I’m having a lot of fun with the new series – Wedding Wednesday! Such a fun way to get to showcase a lot of floral designers and lots of pretty flowers!!
Today it’s all about Coral Florals, enjoy!

Botanic Art - Hochzeitsfloristik, Eventfloristik Coral Bridal Bouquet of peonies and graden roses

Botanic Art – Hochzeitsfloristik, Eventfloristik

Poinsettias

I adore Poinsettias, I really do. I see people cringe and say ick when they see Poinsettias and I just don’t see why. It’s a beautiful plant which now comes in a variety of colors. I’ve been searching high & low to find centerpieces which utilize Poinsettias in the design – no easy task, mind you! I did uncover a few beauties to share with all of you.

white poinsettia centerpiece

Designed by Espe Floral

pink and white centerpiece with poinsettias

Designed by Fox Fodder Farm

Holiday Pool Float with poinsettias Los Angeles

Designed by Hidden Garden

red poinsettia flower arrangement

Designed by Martha Stewart

star made of poinsettias

Design by Neill Strain

pink poinsettia and amaryllis with roses centerpiece

Designed by Tulipina

As for conditioning the stems of the Poinsettias for the arrangements, which is necessary since they do secrete that milky sap..
1) They can be placed in individual water tubes, keeps the sap away from other flowers and provides them a water source (useful if arranging in floral foam)
2) Sear the cut stem, easiest over a pillar candle – quick sear and then place in a vase of water. Let it sit in the water and condition before using in your arrangements.

So now what do you think of Poinsettias? Going to give them a try in future arrangements?

Fabulous Fall Flowers

Hi Flower Friends!
Well, I’m guessing you are all super busy this week with Thanksgiving so I’ve decided to keep it easy on the blog .. today I’m showcasing a bunch of pretty fall flower arrangements for you to peruse. Hope you enjoy all these pretties as much as I am!

Chapel Designers Conference, Designing with Ariella Chezar

Wednesday was a nice and calm day, the perfect way to end our time together in New York City for the Chapel Designers Conference. Cori and I started with a leisurely morning perusing the New York Flower District. More on that in a bit when I share pretty flower pictures of what we saw available. Meanwhile, a large portion of the group was touring Martha Stewart’s offices, such a great treat for the new designers joining Chapel Designers this year!

After the leisurely morning it was time for our afternoon session with the incredible Ariella Chezar. This woman can work with color like no other person I’ve seen, such a natural artist. She started out with designing one of her famous compote centerpieces for us. Then a few of the designers in our group designed the satellite centerpieces. Ariella sat a lovely table, perfect for a Sunday brunch.

Ariella Chezar

Ariella designing a centerpiece

florist Ariella Chezar

The table setting that Ariella created, would be perfect for a springtime summer brunch:
Ariella Chezar

yellow and plum centerpiece

Photo by Angie of Posh Floral

Ariella Chezar Centerpiece

Photo by Angie of Posh Floral

Ariella designed this gorgeous bridal bouquet for us to study, everyone was enthralled with her ribbon treatment:
Bridal bouquet by Ariella Chezar

Such a great four days with our Chapel Designers group in New York City, so thankful for all the wonderful people I met last week. The trip always goes by way to quickly, I always wish I had another day or two to talk to everyone!

Stay tuned, I will be sharing photos from the NYC Flower District later today, tomorrow and Friday. We saw lots of beautiful flowers!

Expert Panel : Locally Sourced Product

I’d love to know if you source flowers locally or from US farms. If so, can you share your experiences working directly with growers? If not, why not—so we, as growers, can improve and reach out to designers … we’d love to know what your favorite “locally sourced” flowers/foliages are.
Submitted by LynnVale Studios, LLC

Robyn from Bare Root Flora:
We are fortunate that our local brokers get a fair amount of flowers from Colorado’s own Jordan’s Greenhouse, which grows a hefty portion of the tulips, dahlia, anemones, and ranunculus we buy. Colorado was actually home to many large flower growers back in the day, but those farms went by the wayside long ago. What we wouldn’t do for a Floret Flower Farm down the road! 🙂 We do try to patronize other fabulous growers like Swan Island Dahlias, out of Oregon, for example. But most of that road ends up being navigated by our wholesalers themselves–we don’t have a tremendous amount of experience working directly with growers. I’d love to get hooked up with more small-scale artisan flower farmers, so if you’re out there, let us know about you!

Ariella Chezar:
As much as possible I grow my own and use local growers. The balance comes to me from the San Francisco and the New York markets. I tell the local growers which flowers I am interested in, and they grown them. I am always after unusual varieties and colors but most especially, I am interested in flowers that have been grown responsibly and without pesticides.

Brandon from Epic Flowers:
We’ve been working with local farms for close to 15 years now. What we look for is product that you do not find in traditional designs. Local farms have played a big part of our success because they listen to what we want and they have made is possible for us to design with fun unique florals and greens. Some local farms compete against us florists. This is a turn off, as you might know and when it comes to who we buy tulips from this spring we will remember that. Local farms who want to work with local florists need to know competing against us is not sustainable. Our favorite locally grown flowers: Varieties of Coxcomb/Amaranth, veggies/fruit (ornamental peppers, artichokes, okra, raspberries) snow on the mountain, peony greens, canterbury bells, red shuttle flower, turtle flowers, bergamot, a variety of herbs (mint, Sage, rosemary)

Cori from Moss Fine Floral:
I do source flowers locally as well as from local and national floral wholesalers. I would love to support more independent farms but have only successfully worked with a few. I’ve found that the two farms I work with most are very casual which only works with a very casual client. My calls are sometimes not returned and email is sparse with these growers. This doesn’t stop me from chasing them as their product is always gorgeous and they do service with a smile. If there are farms out there that are reading this post and they can work with me in Chicago I’d love to hear from you!

My local faves are limited but extremely fresh: Zinnia, Cockscomb, Dahlia, Lisianthus, Peony, Limelight Hydrangea, Amaranthus, Tuberose, Sunflowers, Gomphrena, Ornamental Kale, Euphorbia, and Eucalyptus.

Cathy from Sprout Flowers:
My only experience working directly with local growers has been pretty limited. I don’t have time to get out of the shop to go hunting down growers and the few who are willing to deliver are rather scattershot and inconsistent.

Since I am relatively close to the Boston Flower Exchange, it’s my guess that it makes the most sense for local growers who have consistent product to sell directly to wholesalers and not sell a few bunches here and there to random small shops.

peach bridal bouquet

Designed by Erin of Floret Flower Farm

Expert Panel : The Creative Design Process

I would love to hear how other floral designers have been successful at encouraging their customers to embrace their creative design process rather than having to make a floral arrangement look like a picture.
Submitted by Brittany Flowers™

Erin of Floret Flower Farm:
The first few seasons working with flowers, I had a number of brides come to me with some really scary requests! Red roses with baby’s breath and badly done pave cubes were pretty common in their magazine tear outs.
My heart sank every time one of these gals came in but I was new, needed the money and went ahead with the events, no matter how badly our styles clashed.
Looking back, this was certainly not the way to build a business that I loved or to grow myself artistically!!!
After finally crashing into a giant heap of burn out, I shifted my approach and things have been fantastic ever since.
I started by making up a ton of gorgeous, seasonally inspired bouquets with material from own my garden. I focused on the kind of arrangements I wanted to be doing all of the time and photographed the heck out of them whenever there was a free moment. My portfolio grew rapidly with work that fed my soul and within a short time I began attracting a whole new type of client.
Now brides seek me out for this natural, romantic, slightly wild look.
It was by stepping out and demonstrating what I thought was beautiful, that transformed the entire thing!

Cori from Moss Fine Floral:
I am very visual in the planning process with my clients. However, I tell them from the first meeting that we will be pulling inspiration from places such as pinterest and wedding blogs but our goal is not to replicate images from a strangers wedding. I explain that we will be creating an inspiration board but telling a story unique to them. I also explain that there will be must have flower types and vessels that we’ve discussed but that I always leave room in the budget when pre-booking flowers so that I can incorporate little surprises that I find at market. This is more exciting for me as a designer and provides room for interesting elements to show face at the event. I find that when working with clients that are looking for locally grown product this is and easy sell. They tend to be more casual in their planning approach and understand that the crop varies from week to week with our unpredictable weather. I do think that building up your brand and your portfolio will bring you the clients that you want to work with and they are naturally more trusting when with a like minded creative.

Cathy from Sprout Flowers:
I think the biggest tool we use to get clients to accept a wider variety of flowers and appreciate innovative and creative design, is letting them watch us design.

My shop is set up so customers can watch us work, and it’s been set up that way since day one. They love seeing new and unusual blooms but are often intimidated by them. But once they see us working with them, or see a new or creative design in progress some of the fear goes away.

People instinctively want what’s safe, to go with the crowd. It’s the primitive response that has kept humans alive. But once they see that someone else is daring to venture out of their comfort zone, they are reassured that it’s safe for them too!

Brandon from Epic Flowers:
There is a famous saying, “build it and they will come” and I hate to sound cliche6, but at our shop this is what we’ve done. The floral gift giving industry has been so homogenized and blah. And a gift shouldn’t be this way. At our shop thinking outside the box and putting that extra zing allows our customers and others know exactly where that design came from. So we do nothing to encourage our customers to embrace our unique designs, they seek us out in a sea of boring shops because a gift should be unique and not a commodity.

Ariella Chezar:
Generally speaking, clients come in two categories; the ones with confidence, and the ones with less. The confident ones hire someone because they like what they’ve seen of their work, and they trust them. They don’t expect their designer to do something exactly like an inspiration picture. The less confident ones also, frequently seem to have less vision. This usually leads to micromanaging. Unfortunately, when a designer get’s micromanaged, it’s similar to clipping ones wings and it inhibits the designer’s freedom to really make something beautiful.

When dealing with the latter, I often will be very direct about it and tell them they just need to trust me. If they still can’t, I suggest we do a mockup (which they pay for!) of whichever item they are feeling anxious about. This is useful both for me and for the client.

Paula Pryke:
The internet has certainly provided the public with a lot more visual evidence and I agree that this in turn has made clients demand more specific designs. I have always had clients that would look through my portfolio and say that they did not see anything they liked! There have always been those who wanted to see something different and so I have had the opportunity to be creative. However I do agree that Bride’s now do often turn up with a picture or pin board of things they like. I think the trick is to look at all their visual evidence and then invite them to see something bespoke that you have made especially for them. Try to take the look that they like and move the design on so you make it your own. It is difficult when they want a Jam Jar of wild flowers or a dome of roses? Trends now are so world-wide that it is very difficult to present something original and different to people. I have always been surprised that despite the huge variety of options on offer in the wedding industry, Brides will often play safe. Presenting samples and ideas is the only way to talk them into a more adventurous design but this comes with added costs?

Robyn from Bare Root Flora:
This is a great question and an issue we face regularly. We work to communicate to our clients that we are in the business of creating original art and that we want to design something special and unique for their event rather than replicate someone else’s design. So we really try to steer our clients away from one particular picture and toward an overall design aesthetic. We use their photo(s) as a starting point for a discussion so that we know we’re achieving the look they want but then offer ways to take the design in a different direction or to the next level. That way the end result has our design stamp on it and, more importantly, truly reflects the client’s taste and story. In many ways, it boils down to establishing a real sense of trust with the client so they know we understand exactly the look they want and they have every confidence in us to achieve it.

pink peony bridal bouquet

Bouquet designed by Cori of Moss Fine Floral.