DIY wedding flowers @ Passalongs Farm

My husband and I met while working at a hotel that did assembly-line weddings. I was a banquet waitress and he was a bartender and most weekends we’d work at least 1 or 2 or even 3 wedding receptions. This was not a nice, historic hotel, mind you. It was a chain hotel with bad food and tired decor. It was the era of the Electric Slide and the Macarena!  Needless to say, when we decided to tie the knot a few years later we knew what we didn’t want: a wedding that in any way resembled our former place of employment.

So we got married under a tent in a local park, hired a natural foods chef caterer, served up craft beer and special wine, and a local farmer who my future mother-in-law knew from church did our flowers!  We were before our time! To be honest, we went this route because we hated the pre-planned package wedding places, but also because we had NO MONEY. I was a public school teacher in North Carolina at the time. My husband worked in a photo lab. We were pretty poor. Our parents helped us a little, but there were limits to their generosity. Our wedding was done on a serious budget.

I tell you this story because I understand and empathize with the folks who are budget conscious about their wedding. I really do.

Not everyone chooses the DIY option because of finances. Flowers are something people think they can DIY – unlike the venue or the catering or the cake or the dress. DIYing flowers is fun! Plus, it makes things a little more personal. If you have the time, energy, and enough people, it can be a special experience. Continue reading “DIY wedding flowers @ Passalongs Farm”

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Wedding consultations – How it works!

I thought it would be useful to write out a little outline of how the consultation and booking process goes when asking me about flowering your wedding. For most of my clients, this is their only experience planning a wedding! And for whatever reason, the process of figuring out the florals can be daunting. Maybe you don’t know anything at all about flowers, or what’s in season when (Totally fine! That’s quite literally my job.) Maybe you’ve heard that flowers are crazy expensive and wedding florists are out to steal your money! (Ouch.) Or maybe you know what you don’t like, but you don’t know what you do!

So – here’s how it works:

One, a phone call or an in-person meeting. I get lots of emails that are like: I want a bouquet, 3 bridesmaids’ bouquets, 4 boutonnieres and 15 centerpieces. My colors are white and pink. How much will that cost?

My reply is always the same: I would love to help you with this. Do you have time to talk?

The truth is I could probably guesstimate prices (or a range of prices) based on a list of what a couple wants for their wedding, but I consider what I do to be a little more (actually, a lot more) than filling a laundry list of what you need for wedding flowers. Not only do I ask what you need, but I ask what you want for wedding flowers. What’s your vision? What’s your dream? What do you love? Hate? What are some words to describe the look? What’s the vibe? Are you stressed about your budget? Do you have no idea about flowers and really want guidance? Do you know what you like but don’t know if it’s in season?

NO PROBLEM. I can help you with all of it.

Two. I write a proposal. The proposal includes every item you’ve told me you need, some of the inspiration pictures you’ve sent me, and pictures I’ve found as well. Everything is listed a la carte. When you get it, realize it can be a bit of a rough draft.

Why? I base the proposal on what you’ve said you wanted. Sometimes it is higher in price than you expected it would be. Sometimes we don’t have the total numbers. Sometimes I give you several options at different price points because you don’t know yet if what you want is in your budget. All of which I understand, and I hope you understand as well. You’ve never priced out wedding flowers before! If it’s too high – let me know! I can usually think of ways to get a great look at a lower price point. I have many tricks up my sleeve and I’ve worked at most of the local venues, so can offer suggestions based on my experience. We can revise and revisit the proposal until it’s where you need it to be. We can actually revise and revisit the proposal even after the contract is signed (see #3) – no problem. The proposal is a working document and the only time it’s set in stone is a month before your event (see #4.)

Three. The next step is to book me! If you liked talking to me, if you’ve looked at my other work, you’ve heard good things about me and you think I’ll do a good job – let’s get it in the calendar! To book, I send you a contract via DocuSign, you sign it, and then you send me a nonrefundable deposit. The deposit goes towards the wedding flowers, and it essentially saves your day. I rarely will do more than one wedding a weekend, and it’s even more rare that I do more than one wedding in a day. Because of this I will not hold days unless I have the contract and deposit in hand!

Four. Final details. Once I’m booked then you can ignore me until about 6 weeks before the wedding. If you want to contact me, please do – I’d love to talk to you or see new pictures or ideas! But we don’t really need to talk until 6 weeks out. I’ll send you an email with the current version of the proposal and make sure that everything is as it should be. I’ll get your final numbers (12 tables or 13? an extra flower girl? one less groomsman? ) and make any tweaks or changes we need to make. At 4 weeks from your wedding the remainder of the payment is due and after that point you can add to the flowers, but you cannot take away. That’s because I’ve likely purchased or ordered anything I need to source out, and I’ve gotten my staffing in line, should I need staffing.

And that’s it! About a week or two before the event I’ll get your timeline, if you or your coordinator hasn’t already sent it, and we’ll work out where I’m taking the bouts and where you’ll be when you need your hair flowers, and then we’ll all look forward to your amazing big day!

Sound good? Let’s get started! Email me and we’ll make time to talk!

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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

Continue reading “Summer Sunset Colors for a Romantic Valley View Wedding!”

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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

Continue reading “Purples and pinks and the Seven Sisters in the background: a fall wedding in Amherst”

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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.

Continue reading “Black and White and Stylish All Over, The Boylston Rooms, Easthampton”

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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

Continue reading “Fun + Feathers = A Bespoke Summer Wedding at 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.

Continue reading “Jewel-toned Florals for a Sultry Summer Evening at Montague Retreat Center”

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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.

Continue reading “A Summer Meadow’s Worth of Flowers in a Day”

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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.

Continue reading “Each married their favorite person: an early summer wedding at the Boylston Rooms!”

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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.

Continue reading “Spring Blooms in the Berkshires: a glorious wedding at Race Brook Lodge”

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