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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Florist Remembers...

I met florist extraordinaire, Anne Ryan, in the cry room at the back of church. Our sons were the same age and we spent many Sunday mornings together. Afterwards, we'd head downstairs to have donuts, the treat for good behavior. The kids, not ours!

As I got to know Anne, I discovered she was a florist (and an amazing one at that!) Whenever you read anything about flowers in one of my books, it's Anne who's helped me out. You'll even find her name in the acknowledgment section of SOS Marry Me! A couple years ago, she decided to write a book and showcase her unique floral creations. The result is Design on a Lime and it's fabulous. You should take a peek!

Writer, florist. How could I not ask her to blog for us her at The Wedding Planners?

Here is the question I posed to Anne:


Do you have a ‘most memorable’ wedding or wedding incident to share? What’s the most unusual, beautiful, or interesting place or floral arrangement you’ve ever done?

The most memorable wedding I did was one where I was given total creative license. The bride wanted everything to be red and, unlike most weddings, wanted the “wow factor” to be at the ceremony instead of the reception. The ceremony area was in a room in an old barn that had been converted to a party/wedding venue. It was a small room and it looked like it held about eighty guests. She wanted people to walk in and be “blown away” by the beauty of this old barn room.

The bride made it clear that she wanted cutting edge designs and preferred things that were unusual, modern and elegant. The bride and her mother trusted me and were open to any and all ideas. It is so much more fun to work with people who truly trust you and have an open mind. It also allows the vendor (florist, cake, photographer, etc.!) to do their best work. I came up with the idea of tall floral towers to define the ceremony space and frame the bride and groom. The towers, made of red amaryllis, red tulips, red roses and red poinsettia, were over five feet tall and approximately ten inches wide. The red floral towers sat atop a perfect 20” x 20” square of pomegranates. The display appeared to defy gravity and certainly had the “wow” factor she was looking for to be the focal point for the décor. The room was dark and we wanted to light it with soft romantic light. I strung tiny white Christmas lights along the ceiling and hung votives in the large window (behind the bride & groom). I placed enormous hurricanes, filled with large three wick candles and cranberries, along the sides of the room toward the front. I had the bride purchase a custom red velvet runner for the aisle.

The bride and bridesmaids carried giant amaryllis bouquets (the bride carried red against her white dress and the bridesmaids carried white against their red dresses) with unusually long and dramatic stems. The stems were bound with simple red velvet bands and antique silver buttons.

The flowers were unique, yet elegant. It wasn’t a style for everyone but that was part of what made it fun. Every wedding I take photos with a semi-professional camera and bring an instant camera as back-up. That day my good camera had a dead battery and my little camera was on an ultra low-resolution setting (something I discovered right when I was leaving before the guests arrived). I managed to run back and snap one photo but that was it. The professional photographer took all black and white photos. It was a huge disappointment but I have the look of that wedding etched in my mind forever.

All of my favorite weddings were weddings where the brides gave the green light to be creative. In turning the reins over to a vendor you are taking a risk but, more often than not, that risk will reward you.

Anne Ryan lives near Portland, Oregon with her husband, her two boisterous school age "assistants" and their toddler brother. She caters to a diverse clientele, ranging from local brides to international customers, including Vancouver, British Columbia’s famed Butchart Gardens. You can find more information on her book Design on a Lime at her website

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17 Comments:

Blogger Linda Goodnight said...

I love hearing about unique weddings such as this one. Thank you, Anne, for sharing such a cool story.

June 10, 2008 at 6:38 AM  
Blogger CrystalGB said...

Sounds like a beautiful wedding. :)

June 10, 2008 at 7:42 AM  
Blogger kimmyl said...

Nice post

June 10, 2008 at 8:04 AM  
Blogger Brandy said...

So sorry to hear you weren't able to capture a better photo of the gorgeous arrangements. The wedding sounded beautiful and above all interesting. *G*

June 10, 2008 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger Julie Hilton Steele said...

My mother was a florist who only did speciality weddings. I spent a lot of my childhood and teenaged years in our basement helping make her creations. Have some marvelous memories, including my own wedding!

I have to get this book!

Peace, Julie

June 10, 2008 at 1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One wedding I attended one of the groomsman was allergic to the flowers at the altar. He started sneezing and finally had to leave. They had checked to see if any of the bridesmaids were allergic but I guess they forgot to check on the groomsmen.
\JOYE

June 10, 2008 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger catslady said...

Sounds lovely. My daughter pretty much is giving her florist a lot of freedom. They want earthy colors with pale pink accents. I think the centerpieces are going to be different sized glass containers with different flowers submerged in water. Sounds interesting.

June 10, 2008 at 5:16 PM  
Blogger Cheri2628 said...

What a shame about your cameras! As I was reading your blog, I was wishing I could see pictures. I cannot believe that the bride only wanted B & W pictures of all the colors in the arrangements!

June 10, 2008 at 6:26 PM  
Blogger Linda Goodnight said...

Cheri, I must agree. Why would anyone choose those striking colors and then do black and white? I would have loved a photo, too.

June 10, 2008 at 7:05 PM  
Blogger Myrna said...

Thank you for sharing. And what a great title and cover for a book!

June 10, 2008 at 8:59 PM  
Blogger Shirley Jump said...

Those flowers sound so cool!!! Makes me wish now that I did a red and white wedding instead of what was in when I got married -- emerald green and white. No cool floral contrasts then ;-)

June 11, 2008 at 5:38 AM  
Blogger Dru said...

Thanks for sharing.

June 11, 2008 at 6:23 AM  
Blogger Ellen said...

Sounds beautiful. Letting the vendor have the green light takes a real leap of faith. Unfortunately there are vendors who can not be trusted to do a beautiful job.

June 11, 2008 at 2:43 PM  
Blogger Nathalie said...

Flowers are such an important part of a wedding... Thanks for blogging!

June 12, 2008 at 9:25 PM  
Blogger Lily said...

That sounded creative. I have tp say flowers give so much ambiance to a wedding :)

June 12, 2008 at 9:30 PM  
Blogger robynl said...

I, too, must agree that colored photos would have been nice besides the B&W ones.

June 15, 2008 at 2:43 PM  
Anonymous JoLynn Backes said...

Wow! Sounds like the flowers were breathtaking alright!!

June 17, 2008 at 1:11 PM  

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