Jessica and Mike wanted a turn of the century themed wedding, and what better location than Wisteriahurst, the historic mansion and cultural center in Holyoke. After the ceremony they and their guests traveled to the Roosevelt Room at Union Station in Northampton – more of the turn-of-the-century theme as it’s the great hall of the railway station in Northampton, built right before 1900.
Michele and Graham are what I like to call “planty people.” Both work in horticulture. Both love plants. And so when they asked me to do their personal flowers for their September wedding at Quonquont Farm in Whateley, but said they planned on creating their centerpieces themselves using buckets of DIY flowers, I was happy to oblige. And when they asked if they could create these centerpieces themselves in my shed…well, I wouldn’t have let just anyone do it! But I was happy to let these two do it! (And actually, I might let more people do it in the future because
we they had such a great time! Continue reading “Wedding flowers for two “planty people” at Quonquont Farm”
When I first met with Grace and Chris it was clear Grace had a vision for her wedding. She wanted her flowers to be unique – mainly orange, but not earthtones-of-fall-orange – orange and blue and white – with a very special element: balloons! Giant balloons! She showed me a picture of what she wanted and since I’m game for anything I said sure…but then was very relieved when she found a balloon specialist! All I needed to do was provide the flowers and foliage for the balloons, and voila – a super special tablescape was born.
Sam and Joe were married the end of September at Valley View Farm in Haydenville, MA. A perfect time of year in New England, a perfect time for flowers, and a perfect time for guests and family and loved ones to travel far and wide to our fair Pioneer Valley.
Unless it’s 2020. And we’re in the middle of a pandemic.
So plans had to change.
Some things stayed the same: September is still the perfect time of year to be married in western Massachusetts. Flowers are still at their peak. But hundreds of friends and family traveling from far and wide? Not so much.
Instead, a few friends and family. Instead, a more intimate – but still very special – celebration.
Kylie and Anthony were married on the only rainy day of my 2019 wedding flower season – but guess what? It didn’t matter a bit! The slight rain and cool overcast skies only complimented the moody floral hues they chose for their wedding – and they and their wedding party – not to mention the staff at Quonquont! – were such troopers that their day was perfect. Cloudy with a chance of…happily ever after!
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! This is one reason why people go the DIY route: to save a little money.
But 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”
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!
(Please note: starting in 2023, I am transitioning to only doing weddings within my growing season, May 1 – Oct. 15. To learn the “whys” behind this decision, click here.)
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 at email@example.com and we’ll make time to talk.
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!
We loved the flowers and received so many compliments from our guests!
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
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!
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.