Brides are all different. Some know what they want, others need a little more guidance, but some have a creative vision. Jessica was one of those brides. She and her mother came to me with the boldest theme I’ve encountered yet – burgundy, gold and deep purple. When they told me those colors, my eyes got big and I just said, “Oooooooh!”
I seriously contemplated putting on my wedding dress just to hold the bridal bouquet (the above photo is the toss bouquet).
Continue reading Alaska Weddings: Peter + Jessica
Some things I never get tired of. Foraging for wedding arrangements has to be at the top of the list. For Rebekah and Jason, it was important that a part of their state be incorporated into their wedding theme of teal, green and purple.
For the flowers they chose peach and fuchsia roses and purple Japanese asters as their palette to which I added wild yarrow, grass and ferns.
Finished off with a teal satin ribbon and presto – a lovely Alaska bouquet.
Continue reading Alaska Weddings: Jason + Rebekah
It’s been a busy summer of weddings and I’ve still got more to go. This week’s was one of my favorites. Bride Carrie asked for cheerful blooms mixed with Alaska foliage — just my style!
Pink, pink and pink. I love it. Spray roses, Japanese aster and salmon hypericum berry were the central blooms.
Continue reading Alaska Weddings: Carrie + Christopher
This has been one of the sunniest, hottest Alaska summers I can ever remember. When I woke up and saw low clouds on the Chugach mountains I was looking forward to a cooler day.
My mom and I wasted no time and drove up to Glen Alps to check on the blueberries. Due to the warm weather we were giddy to find the berries plentiful and pretty much ripe.
We picked about two quarts in less than an hour and also picked up a few prize boletes that must have popped up overnight.
After dropping off our loot we packed up our truck and headed toward Wasilla to Alaska Blooms Peony Farm. I had visited a few weeks prior when the peonies were mostly closed but today the sun decided to take center stage and the peonies were bursting with color and perfume. I shed a layer of clothing and set to work.
Sixteen students arrived for crown instructions, cookies and mimosas. It was a joy to incorporate peonies that were grown right where we were having the class.
My students ranged greatly in age, but everyone enjoyed themselves. Each crown was so lovely in its own way!
After the class the students took a tour of the farm. Farm owner, Rachel, brought out a bucket full of pink peonies in full bloom and students bought stems wrapped in newspaper.
My day came full circle by dining on my parents’ deck in the sun and digging into a big slice of blueberry pie.
Every wedding I make flowers for has a different style and Dianne and Matthew’s Wasilla wedding is one of the most unique this year.
Dianne wanted jewel tones of amethyst and peridot. She adores orchids, which I learned can be limited in color and style in Alaska. I packed her bouquet with fuchsia orchid, purple lisianthus, white roses, baby’s breath, trailing amaranthus, traipsing plumosa fern, sword fern and Italian ruscus.
Continue reading Alaska Weddings: Dianne + Matthew
A few months ago I received an e-mail from a bride in Kentucky who was planning a destination wedding in Alaska. She had found me in Alaska Bride & Groom Magazine and thought my style would be appropriate for her and her fiancé, Cam’s, wedding in Cooper Landing.
Sarah and Cam wanted a rustic, wild wedding to reflect their Kentucky roots. They gave me free reign to select wild flowers and greens to incorporate with garden roses and lavender button mums.
I harvested spruce, alder, alder cones, yarrow, clover, grass, and even a four-leaf clover for their special arrangements. Gathering wildflowers is one of my favorite activities. I headed out to my secret wild garden south of Anchorage to find everything I needed, including a special ingredient, which I’ll mention later. This is my happy place and it brought me so much joy to return there for the first time this summer.
This week I was graced with a new challenge: corner arrangements for an archway. I’ve made garlands before but not structured corner pieces. I decided to structure them with alder branches, Italian ruscus and seeded eucalyptus then layered in white wax flower, button mums, salal, white hypericum and finally, gorgeous, aromatic garden roses the color of butter.
Continue reading Alaska Weddings: Sarah + Cam
When my husband and I got married in July 2007 purchasing peonies wasn’t an option. They were out of season. But I remember gardens all over Anchorage with gorgeous peonies in July and August. I ended up using someone’s garden peonies for my own bouquet.
It wasn’t until August 2013 when I was leafing through an Alaska Airlines Magazine that I learned how unique Alaska peonies really are.
Peony farms have since sprouted up all over the state from Nenana to Homer to Wasilla and have cornered the global peony market from mid to late summer.
I recently had the opportunity to take a tour of Alaska Blooms Peony Farm and learn about these special flowers from owner Rachel Christy.
My son and I embarked on a rainy Sunday outside the city of Wasilla to a cabin where thousands of peony buds were growing in the front lot.
Continue reading Tour of Alaska Blooms Peony Farm
Many brides I work with are Alaskan through and through and ask to have bits of Alaska incorporated into their flowers. This makes my job even more fun because I get to forage from the forest. Today’s wedding was full of forest ferns.
Hannah and Dylan’s wedding had a vintage vibe. As I was dropping off the flowers Hannah’s aunt arrived in a black A-line with a fascinator that belonged to her grandmother.
Continue reading Alaska Weddings: Dylan + Hannah
I really believe Alaska is a big state with a small-town feel. When I first met bride Ali at our consultation I realized I had taught her French when she was in middle school.
After a few descriptions of her floral vision and some Pinterest photos I was pretty excited to work on her and her fiancé’s wedding.
Blush, cream, pink, pale blue — a soft palate with exquisite blooms from garden roses to peonies.
Continue reading Alaska Weddings: Ali + Tommy
Spring has sprung (hopefully) and nothing makes your home feel “spring fresh” more than a fresh flower arrangement. Recently I had a coffee meeting with Rachel Christy, owner of Alaska Blooms Peony Farms, and she pointed out that I’m a DIY bride’s florist. Indeed, many of the brides who hire me order the main floral pieces from me and then save money by creating centerpieces themselves. Since I’m a business of one person, I am completely fine with this arrangement. When a bride orders centerpieces I usually hire an assistant.
During a phone consultation with a Kentucky bride, she told me my floral business reminds her of small-batch whiskey makers. These are folks in Kentucky who make whiskey on the side of their normal jobs that are different from the standard whiskeys. I love that comparison.
Anyway, since Mother’s Day is the next floral holiday on the calendar (and often the busiest day for florists) I thought I would share a step-by-step tutorial on how you can make your own flower arrangement. Whether you’re a son, a daughter or a DIY bride, this should be helpful for anyone who is looking to be florally frugal.
If you’re in Anchorage, you can purchase beautiful greenery by the stem at Alaska Wholesale Flower Market. They range from $1.89-2.99 a stem. They also have gorgeous blooms there, but in an effort to save money I purchased grocery store flowers using a buy one, get one half off coupon.
Continue reading DIY Mother’s Day Arrangement – a step-by-step tutorial