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.
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.
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.
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.
I love how small Alaska is even though it’s the largest state. When groom Lee told me he was from Unalakleet I was positive he would know our old family friends from there. Turns out Lee is their nephew. After making a couple of other personal revelations I felt an instant connection to this couple.
Chelsea and Lee wanted winter wedding themes without it looking like the Queen of Hearts. With burgundy, white and gold as their theme colors I knew I could provide them with festive florals on a budget.
Carnations get a bad rap. I love their ruffles and color versatility. They are excellent filler without making an arrangement look cheap. Thankfully Chelsea likes carnations because there aren’t many burgundy blooms available in Alaska in November.
A touch of gold ribbon with these dainty boutonnières was an elegant choice. Made with white and red spray roses, white statice, mini myrtle, white wax flower, eucalyptus and some natural feathers.