wedding couple

Summer Sunset Colors for a Romantic Valley View Wedding!

When Dana told me she wanted her wedding flowers to be the colors of a pale summer sunset, I knew exactly what she meant. At the peak of summer, days in New England are long, just the right amount of warm, and perfect. And summer sunsets give way to summer nights! (Cue up Summer Lovin’, Grease soundtrack). Tell me more…

Pale summer sunset. Yellows, pale pinks, peaches…a perfect color scheme to match what’s growing on the farm mid summer! Plus a few sunflowers, because: sunflowers!

All photos by Kelsey and Liam, Ke-Li Photography.
Location: Valley View Farm

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wedding flowers

Purples and pinks and the Seven Sisters in the background: a fall wedding in Amherst

We loved the flowers and received so many compliments from our guests!

Sophie and Dane got married in Sophie’s grandmother’s backyard, which sounds sweet, right? And when Grandma’s backyard abuts the Holyoke Range state park, you get a view for days – a perfect backdrop for their family and friend-filled wedding. Something doubly sweet: Sophie’s parents were married in that same backyard!

This wedding is a perfect example of a fall wedding with almost 100% seasonal blooms, but whose colors were anything but “seasonal.” September on my farm is full of all the colors, and I was thrilled that Sophie wanted purples and pinks and whites – I had plenty!

Photos of Sophie and Dan’s wedding: Nystedt Photography
Location: Sophie’s grandmother’s gorgeous backyard, South Amherst MA

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wedding arch

Black and White and Stylish All Over, The Boylston Rooms, Easthampton

Sometimes couples want all the colors, all the flowers, and all the decor, and sometimes they want something more understated. Classic, even. Rachelle and Eric’s wedding at The Boylston Rooms in Easthampton was a great example of simple, but gorgeous and effective styling. Keeping it simple allowed the industrial chic atmosphere of the venue to be front and center, or rather, front and center, but behind the bride and groom!

All photos are by Dan Piasecki Photography.
Location: The Boylston Rooms, Easthampton, MA

The Boylston Rooms is situated in the Keystone Building, one of Easthampton’s renovated (and in process) mill buildings. Funnily enough, my first connection to The Boylston Rooms was volunteering for my friend Stan’s goat yoga classes, which he holds for charity, and which Keystone hosts. Baby goats are really fun and cute but someone’s gotta clean up the pee!

Anyway, The Boylston Rooms’ rooms are twofold: one, smaller (though still plenty large) room with giant windows, tall ceilings, white walls, and an astonishingly beautiful highly finished old wooden floor, and a second larger room with possibly even higher ceilings (?) and an industrial chic feel. Both of these spaces have a lot of personality, but also serve as a blank slate, so couples can do as much decorating – or as little – as they want.

Rachelle and Eric’s choice was to go for simplicity…and it really worked.

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bride and groom

Fun + Feathers = A Bespoke Summer Wedding at Quonquont Farm

The photos that include Hilary and Ross’s flowers, courtesy of Lex and Jake, show a gorgeous couple enjoying an amazing, thoughtful, curated day, courtesy of Quonquont Farm in Whately, surrounded by family and friends…

…but the real story of this wedding (or at least the last half of it) was the bride’s Instagram feed, which showed an amazing PARTY that lasted all night long. When you get a text from the bride at 5 a.m. the next day thanking you for your amazing work you know a good time was had by all!

Photos of Hilary and Ross’s wedding: Lex and Jake
Location: Quonquont Farm

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Jewel-toned Florals for a Sultry Summer Evening at Montague Retreat Center

wedding party
Julia and her parents, approaching the ceremony space at the Montague Retreat Center.

When I arrived at Montague Retreat Center to drop off the flowers for Julia and Doug’s August wedding I was worried about rain. The forecast called for the kind of brief, but intense thunderstorms that happen a lot in New England in the hottest and most humid part of summer, and while I can set up an arch installation inside as well as out – there was no arch inside the venue.

A couple of texts and phone calls later and the call was made: we’re doing it outside.

Photos of Julia and Doug’s wedding: Kissick Weddings.
Location: Montague Retreat Center, Montague, Massachusetts.
Planner: Events by Pamela Joy.

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A Summer Meadow’s Worth of Flowers in a Day

 

My home and farm is a little less than 4 miles from Valley View, so it’s a real treat when I’m asked to flower a wedding there. I’ll travel, and I enjoy it, but staying close to home, incorporating my own flowers as well as those from other local growers and including thoughtfully chosen sourced flowers, and popping right up the road on wedding day – perfection.

For Charlotte and Ross’s midsummer wedding all of that happened. A perfect, slightly-warm-but-not-too-warm summer day, a floral color palette that was basically “all the colors,” and lots of fun, special floral touches throughout the ceremony and reception made this one of the favorite weddings I flowered this summer.

Location: Valley View Farm, Haydenville, MA.  July
All photos by Kelly F. Peterson.

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Each married their favorite person: an early summer wedding at the Boylston Rooms!

Jules and Rachel are adorable. Their instagram feeds (because yes, I’m a follower!) read like mini love letters to each other. So of course their wedding was equally as adorable and personal! I quite literally squealed when I saw the photo album West on Jade sent over – every single picture of them is ridiculously cute, just like they are.

Location: Boylston Rooms, Easthampton, MA. June.

All photographs by Juliet Cannici of West on Jade Photography.

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Spring Blooms in the Berkshires: a glorious wedding at Race Brook Lodge

Apparently the only way to get from where I live, Northampton, to Sheffield, is “the back way.” The roads were curvy, bendy, and forked, but the day was gorgeous! New England spring was on full display: the perfect backdrop for Jessica and Chris’s family and friend-filled wedding on the grounds of Race Brook Lodge.

A side note for all of the couples reading my blog posts and considering me for flowering your wedding: every single event I’ve done this year that’s been outside has had PERFECT weather. Including one where there was a hail warning – the hail skipped right over us. I’m good luck, obviously.

Anyway, back to Jessica and Chris! The couple wanted seasonal blooms in pinks and purples, so that’s what I did! Mid June this year was at the tail end of my peony season, which was good news for them because not only was I able to use my peonies, I basically used up ALL the peonies that were in bloom right then because I knew they wouldn’t last much longer.

Location: Race Brook Lodge, Sheffield, MA (The Berkshires), late spring.
All photos by Eric Limon Photography.

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No floral foam for me! An environmental and sustainable guarantee.

Floral garland made with no foam. Photo by me.

I started in this business as a home gardener. For years before I owned Passalongs Farm or made a single wedding bouquet, I tended large perennial gardens, tried to grow veggies, and worked at a farmers’ market, where I fell in love with farmers and farm culture. Personally, I’ve always recycled, cooked from scratch as much as possible, and tried to reduce waste. I’m thrifty, environmentally conscious – oh, and happen to be partnered up with a husband whose business is energy efficiency in all forms. We are not as green as some, but greener than most.

When I started creating floral designs beyond simple bouquets I was astonished at the amount of waste there is in this business. An example: if I buy 24 roses at our local wholesaler, not only have those roses traveled from who knows where (Central America or Colombia, likely) and have been refrigerated for who knows how long (3 weeks?) but they come wrapped in lots and lots of packaging. 24 roses from the wholesaler are wrapped in layers of paper, cardboard, and finally plastic, then my wholesaler wraps all the flowers up in more paper or puts them back in their waxed shipping boxes.

Contrast that with flowers I buy from local farms: unwrapped, maybe with a rubber band holding them in bunches, transferred from their buckets to my buckets.

Contrast that with flowers I grow myself in my permaculture beds: I simply walk out my door and cut them. Yes, there were costs and fossil fuels and shipping involved, depending what it is I’m cutting, but there’s no packaging to throw away or recycle.

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Flower Arranging workshop with Gardeners on the Green!

When Jill, the event coordinator for Gardeners on the Green in Longmeadow contacted me to see if I’d do a workshop for her group, I was really excited! March in Massachusetts is fairly dreary: still cold, despite the calendar saying it’s spring, and we have plenty of snow and ice. Usually there’s not a flower to be seen!

My version of the spring flower arrangement I demo’d for Gardeners on the Green.

Luckily there were plenty of flowers at the wholesaler and I chose a Rosie Posie vase for the gardeners to work with, since this shape vase is really great for a low, wide arrangement but can also be used for a rounder, taller arrangement as well.

First I told them a little bit about myself, and then we got to it. I’d foraged birch branches from my yard to add something of the woods to these bouquets (I’m going to make #woodsyboho a thing!) and brought in lots of spring blooms: daffodils and larkspur with some spray roses, wax flower, and eucalyptus. I also found acacia, which lends a wonderful textural contrast to the other flowers. After a brief demonstration I gave them free rein, and they got to work!

The Gardeners were able to choose whatever blooms they wanted from the buckets of flowers and greenery I brought.
I taught them how to add a little structure and greenery to the vase before adding flowers.
Almost done!
Showing off the finished product!
One great thing about a DIY workshop is everyone has something to take home at the end!