Star of the Show

Star is definitely the star of the show right now. Fluffy, white blooms puffing out all along her outstretched branches signal warmer temperatures; Spring has arrived; more sun will be coming….Promise! At least that’s how I take her message! She is light and beauty and fragrance and she’s bloomed in our yard for probably over twenty five years or more. She is Star Magnolia.

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My Star Magnolia in bloom April 3, 2017

Star’s blooms are the inspiration for our photo shoot this coming weekend. A new photographer to the area, Laurie Jean Photography, approached us with the idea of doing something different in the way of a wedding shoot combining elements from the beach, vintage dress (which she found and purchased at Phoenix Exchange, here in downtown Tillamook; it’s gorgeous and was in excellent condition) and vintage men’s wear. Laurie wanted a unique look for the bouquet as well. Her vision was something more horizontal (as opposed to roundy-roundy)—which is definitely a new trend. I don’t know if it will catch on here this year as sometimes it takes awhile —-but we will also be using grey and white tones, more muted shades with draping greenery and different textures in ribbon and maybe a surprise or two just because I can’t resist with what I like! The draping greenery seems to be catching on. I don’t know if it’s because the Pantone Color of the Year is green, but brides are trending more towards greenery this year it seems.

Intrigued with a new challenge as far as the bridal bouquet and getting to create something that appealed to me, had me hooked on wanting to collaborate with Laurie. Plus, it would be good practice to actually put one together to experience the challenge and have the practice before I actually needed to do one for a real bride. Patti (one of our designers), had designed a horizontal bouquet with an armature (a structure that gives the flowers and greens support) for her niece’s wedding years ago, and I remember that being a challenge. But, I loved how Patti’s turned out because I loved the colors, and that it was so different than anything we had done.

horizontal bouquet

Patti’s horizontal bouquet designed 10+ years ago for her niece, Jen.

I knew Laurie’s bouquet vision could be accomplished, so I started thinking about what I might use as the armature for this focal piece for the wedding shoot. Star was the answer!!!!

I decided I wanted to have some of the blooms still in buds and probably some of them just starting to crack out of their soft, velvety gray cocoons, while others will be fully popped from their cocoons. Since it’s warming up and the rain continues, I also knew I needed to slow down the process of all of the blooms being full-blown so I cut a bucket full of branches, and placed them in a bucket of water in the cooler at the store to hold them until I start putting the bouquet together. Star’s branches are somewhat flat with many laterals down a branch. I’m thinking this will work well as the base of the bouquet structure, and will give good support to the greens and flowers that I will add to form the bouquet. They seem to have just the right amount of curvature to add interest and texture against the softness of the blooms I will add.

I’ll keep you posted here on how it all comes together!

Shipwreck Wedding on the Oregon Coast-Oregon Coast Florist-Oceanside-Wedding Inspiration

Months ago, Xiomara of Imago Dei Photography, approached us with the idea of participating in a Shipwreck on the Oregon Coast themed photo shoot.  Along with three other photographers, Xiomara saw the opportunity to attract destination brides to our area of the Oregon Coast.  Basically, we would be staging a fantasy wedding. That meant securing all of the props, services, bride, groom, make-up, hair, dresses, shoes jewelry, cake, tuxedo and FLOWERS of course!

Were we interested?  Of course!  Even though we’ve designed flowers for hundreds of weddings over the past twelve years, brides usually have their own ideas about what they want in the way of flowers.  Xiomara sent us an inspiration board knowing she could trust us to see the vision, but also gave us complete creative freedom within the vision.  All she said was, “I want to see something I haven’t seen before.”  This is like a florist’s dream come true!  And this kind of challenge keeps me awake at night pondering how I will combine a certain flower and a certain succulent.  And what would set off the Gatsby era dresses?  And how about something for their hair that uses an element from the bouquet?  How can I tie in the setting, the sand, the surf, the sea life and shipwreck?

Since there were two brides, we decided that one would have a more traditional bouquet using David Austin Patience roses (they look like peonies and are phenomenally fragrant) paired with foilage, succulents and pods.  The combinations of the varying textures – the softness of the roses against the sponginess of the succulents all reminded me of the texture found at the ocean.  A silver thread tied all of the elements together and drew you to the dress as well.

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The second (and more out of the box) bouquet was crafted from pele hair and dried seaweed, which formed the base and was the inspiration for the design.  I loved the way it flowed, it’s more rugged texture, and the color against the softness of the elegant feather backed cymbidium orchids.  Tillandria formed the bodice of the bouquet with cascading succulents.  We decided this bouquet would only be for the most confident of brides.

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Photo shoot day required many support people.  There were three of us from Sunflower Flats, and several other vendors, photographers & helpers out there.  We all acted as pack horses to lug all of the props for each of the sets:  tables, trunks, our curly willow arch (in pieces) flowers, greens, nets, glass balls, vases & cake and then had to lug it all back!  We literally walked miles!

Shipwreck setup

Xiomara envisioned shooting on the OTHER side of the tunnel at Oceanside, meaning the tide had to be out enough to get through and out to the other side.  All of us began the trek with our loads in the gale force wind and rain.  We emerged from the far side of the tunnel to waves still crashing over the exit.  No beach to be seen yet, and with an angry surf, we knew it was going to be awhile until it receded.

**Keep in mind, this is NOVEMBER, not a typical month for an outdoor/beach wedding here on the Oregon Coast.  But when you are gathering wedding vendors, this is one of the only months wedding vendors are available!  The inclement weather just added to the adventure!

So, Plan B (modify and adapt) back to where we began (on the Oceanside beach) with all the props and we set up what we could do with the guest book table, sweetheart table, curly willow arch and cake table.  The challenge was to have someone hold all the pieces together, bracing it all from the wind, until the second before the shot.

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We were bouquet sitters – protecting and harboring the bouquets while the models got into place and then giving them the bouquet at the last minute for the shot.  If you thought being a florist was glamorous, here is a picture of us to prove otherwise!

Shipwreck

Eventually, the surf receded so we could venture to the other side of the tunnel with the stunning rock backdrop.  The cloud formations even cooperated with the swirling, floating foam around the craggy pools.  Nature’s elements and it’s many textures and light came together for a truly phenomenal experience for us as florists.

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All photos courtesy:  Imago Dei Photography

To see more amazing images from this day and for a complete list of vendors & contributors, please visit Imago Dei Photography’s blog.