Lisa + Philip

Well, it's been a while! Fall wedding season was absolutely jam PACKED. I feel like I am just now catching my breath. But, man, I couldn't have dreamed that I would be doing this many beautiful weddings this year. 

I met Lisa and her mom in 2016, and I hadn't even officially introduced my business to the world yet when they booked me. I will forever be grateful to these early couples who took a chance on me. They could've just as easily gone to someone who has been in business for much longer, and I so appreciate their trust! They were just the sweetest family ever, and I know I say that a lot but it's true. I don't know where these dream brides find me. I have yet to experience a bridezilla...there's always next year though, hah!

Lisa had the most unique vision for her wedding....jewel tones, lots of greenery, and potted herb centerpieces. I think it turned out beautifully! She also had some super special touches, like having her bridesmaids create their own bouquets. We got together the day before the wedding and had a little bouquet lesson, and they all did such a great job. She had a killer team of vendors, and it's always nice working with vendor friends. And also a big thanks to my floral sister, Tatiana, for partnering with me on this one. Full list of vendors below, along with some of my favorite shots. It was so hard to narrow down...they are just the cutest couple. Enjoy! And congrats to Lisa and Philip!

Photographer: W&E Photographie
Event Planner: Kathleen Bernal Events
Venue: Creekside Plantation
Invitations: Ledgewood Stationary
Catering: Ashley's Creative Catering
Dress: La Raine Bridal
Band: Utopia
Hair: Joy Williams of Mirror Image Salon
Makeup: Leslie Ware MUA
Wedding Cake: Mason Dixon Bakery
Ceremony Musician: Larry Mount

Styled Shoot

So excited to finally post a full set of photos from this shoot back in August. A super talented group of vendors came together to create this mauve and berry-toned fall wedding inspiration at Sacred Stone. If you haven't been to Sacred Stone yet you are missing out. It is absolutely beautiful, especially at sunset! I created a floral "nest" for the ceremony site and one of my favorite bouquets to date. The details in this shoot are to die for! And this fall color palette is getting me pumped for some of my upcoming weddings (wish I could have a redo on my wedding flowers--it would for sure be these colors!)

Thanks to all of the amazing vendors for contributing their talents. The full list is below, followed by a few of my favorite photos. Enjoy!

 

VENUE | SACRED STONE                                          

PHOTOGRAPHER | AIS PORTRAITS                          

STYLING | KATHLEEN BERNAL EVENTS                   

RENTALS | MULLINS SPECIAL OCCASIONS             

RENTALS | PROPS AND PALETTES                           

HAIR AND MAKEUP | OH DARLING HAIR AND MAKEUP  

FLORIST | OLD FROND                                         

BRIDAL SALON | WHITE DRESSES HUNTSVILLE        

CALLIGRAPHY | SEALED SHOP                             

CAKE | HAMLEY BAKE SHOPPE                           

DRESS DESIGNER | LEA-ANNE BELTER      

           

Floral Workshop

Earlier this month I hosted my first workshop. To say I was nervous is an understatement (hello public speaking anxiety!), but it was such a wonderful night. I am so grateful to all of the ladies who joined me, to the Lumberyard for hosting me, to my lovely assistant Becky, to my wonderful sister Katie of Linen & Leaf (www.linenandleaf.com) for making the place cards, and to the incredibly talented Abbie Bolton (www.abbieboltonphoto.com) for taking the photos. We used mostly seasonal ingredients and I guided my attendees through every step of creating a garden-style arrangement. They created some beautiful work, and it was so much fun to watch everyone dive right in and create something so reflective of their style and personalities.

Prepping for the workshop was a process. It forced me to take a step back and evaluate my design process, which I sorely needed. I can get stuck in design ruts, so figuring out the best way to explain my theories and processes to people who may know little to nothing about flower arranging was a perfect way for me to do some self reflection. I touched on shape, color palette, foraging, and flower types, then we went through every step of building the arrangement together. It was so much fun and I hope to host several more within the next year! Here's a few of my favorite photos from the class. Thanks again for such a fun night, ladies!

Arlee + Scott

I had the honor of doing flowers for Arlee and Scott's Mooresville wedding this spring. It was such a love-filled day, and an absolute family affair. Arlee's dad refinished the most beautiful old church pews for her ceremony and her mother's restaurant, The Freight House (in downtown Hartselle) catered.

There is nothing like a May wedding for a florist. I had such an amazing lineup of in-season flowers! We went for classic neutrals and earth tones, and I went wild creating a color palette of white, cream, taupe, and blush. I used garden roses, peonies, lisianthus, delphinium, hellebores, and spirea, and left the greenery natural, accenting with bay leaf, blackberry branches, and variegated tree ivy. We kept the bouquets simple to let her gorgeous dress and bridesmaids shine. 

Arlee put together a dream team of vendors, including her dress from Finery, videography from White Rabbit Studios, and photography by Sleepy Fox Photography (full list of vendors below). Thanks so much for your trust and kind heart, Arlee. You were my dream bride! And all of the kudos to my rockstar team for helping me pull this one off. Here are some of my favorite highlights.

Venue: Lyla’s Pecan Grove and Dance Hall
Backup Venue: Mooresville Brick Church
Catering: The Freight House Restaurant and Catering
Invitations: The Paper Chase
Photographer: SleepyFox Photography
Videographer: White Rabbit Studios
Dress: Finery
Hair and Makeup: Hali Gurley
Band: The Stephen McCullough Band
Bridesmaids Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids Birmingham
Tuxedoes: Mr. Burch Trussville
Wedding Cake: Rosena Chunn
Grooms Cakes: The Freight House
Violinist: Winslow Davis
Live Artists: Aynslee Moon
Chair Rental: Mullins Rentals

Humble Beginnings

A lot of people ask me how I got started on this flower journey. I would love to tell you about how I grew up on a farm and danced around in fields full of flowers, or how I used to watch my grandmother create floral masterpieces from her garden flowers, or some other beautiful story of loving flowers all of my life, but…I would be lying. My mom DID have an amazing garden, but…

I have never cared about flowers. Truly. Until about 3 years ago. So here is the backstory:

I have always been interested in creating art. I have tried just about every creative outlet there is, but I could never find something that stuck. Painting, watercolor, sketching, music, calligraphy, photography. Tried it all, but never felt drawn to any of them. I had such a yearning to CREATE, though. So much so, that I would find myself in a craft store picking up a $2 paint-by-number on a Saturday night. I wanted to create something, anything, but I couldn’t find my medium.

Fast forward to college. Lost and confused and feeling the mounting pressure to pick a life path, I decided to major in the first class I took that interested me – Psychology. It was interesting enough. I reassured myself it was slightly creative, yet still practical. I spent the next 3 years doing internships, trying different areas of Psychology, and sitting in research labs. Psychology turned out to be a lot of crunching numbers, reading research studies, and exercising every square inch of my left brain. I quickly got burnt out, but continued to convince myself it would be worth it, and graduated in 2013 with a bachelors in Psychology (which has turned out to be very useful in a customer service based industry, if I’m being honest!). (Also, props to anyone in a Psychology-related field…it takes so much patience and intelligence and I have so much respect for you!)

After graduation, I married my long time sweetie Luke, and we packed our bags and our two kitties and headed to Atlanta where he picked up his first English teaching gig. I had no idea what I was doing or where I was going at this point. I accepted a spot in my dream grad school program in California, but knew in my heart of hearts it wasn’t what I was meant to do, and I turned it down last minute. I spent the next few months reeling from the loss of working so hard for something and then giving it all up. I knew deep down it was the best decision, but it was tough. I had no idea what to do or where to go from that point. I laid in bed a lot, cried a lot, and watched a LOT of Gilmore Girls.

Back in my hometown of Huntsville, AL, my super talented and artistic sister was nurturing her new calligraphy and paper suite business, Linen & Leaf. Naturally, she found herself in the wedding industry. I started thinking of careers in that industry as well, and threw the idea of flowers over to her. They checked the top 2 things off of my dream job list – 1. Requires using my right brain, 2. Would be working with my hands on a simple, tangible thing. I am so thankful for how supportive she was from the beginning. She encouraged me to explore it. I started researching floral design and getting inspired. I started reading flower arranging books, wildflower guides, and learning the names of flowers. I was dying to get my hands on some pretty blooms and create. I did some research on floral designers in the Atlanta area and, on a whim, emailed one to see if I could work for or shadow her. I ended up interning for a super talented floral designer for the next 7 months, and I learned so much about flowers and pulling off weddings. Mostly, I learned how exhausting this work is. Until you’ve done it, you have no idea the physicality of this job. I cleaned a lot of buckets, processed a lot of flowers, was constantly itchy from foraging, and I stood on my feet for 12 hours at a time. It was exhausting but exhilarating. I definitely thought it would always be easy and pretty and fun. It’s not, AT ALL. It’s sweaty, gross, blue-collar, back-breaking work 90% of the time. This time it felt like the right kind of exhausting, though. Getting my hands dirty was refreshing.

I moved on to freelancing for a couple of different florists and flower shops in the area, and continued to learn a lot of the mechanics of this craft. I remember my shock that I was making actual money from something I enjoyed so much. We lived in a tiny apartment on the outskirts of Atlanta and I spent most of my weekends assisting weddings and then taking home the leftovers to create and explore my own design style. I will always cherish those days I spent alone, in the zone, experimenting with new flower varieties and arrangement shapes (although our apartment was fully carpeted and tiny, which was a STRUGGLE). I would make arrangements on the floor of my living room on my coffee table and I was constantly vacuuming stems and leaves and tracking them everywhere. After a year and a half in Atlanta, we were yearning to be near friends and family, and decided to make the move to Huntsville with the idea that I could start my own business here.

One of my first arrangements, made sitting in my apartment living room floor from farmer's market flowers and foraged bits. 

One of my first arrangements, made sitting in my apartment living room floor from farmer's market flowers and foraged bits. 

I launched in January of this year, and I am so happy to be in business here and thankful for the outpouring of support I have already received.  The vendor community has been incredibly welcoming, I have already more than doubled my wedding booking goal for the year (I said yes to anything and everything, which is GREAT but I'm gonna scale back next year...whew I'm tired!), and I am fulfilling my dream of opening a storefront. I am constantly learning how to adjust to this whole business-owner thing (work-life balance, anyone? howww? Any tips appreciated) and it’s not without its stress, but it’s absolutely worth it to have something that is mine and to have full creative and workload freedom. I am so, so happy doing what I do. I sometimes change my mind on that sentence when I’m up at 6am finishing bouts/corsages or when I’m washing 500 million buckets covered in rotted flower goop, but hey! This job means so much to me. I am lucky lucky lucky. 

 

Until next time.