When I first decided to return to floral design, I found myself one early morning in a snow covered field, under a 100 year old curly willow looking up at the sky and watching a white barn owl fly by. It was 10 degrees outside. I was in heaven.
This early experience has continued to inform the way I create wedding floral. The wedding flora I design with are wild, they are seasonal, many of them were grown in the same type of soil on which you stand and a series of adventures procuring them inevitably culminates in something simultaneously familiar and altogether new.
From early mornings foraging by the river to an afternoon at the flower farm, every single wedding is a wild adventure ending in a vision as unique as the people for which it was made.
I was lucky enough to have Melese Miller, a fabulously gifted photographer (in both digital and film) follow me for a few days as I put together foraged greens, wild grasses and the most exquisite locally grown flowers for a local wedding.
Step 1: Forage
My very first step in gathering what I need for any event is to go outside and to take a look at what the season has brought us. Although certain things are available by predictable seasons, I find every year brings me new surprises. One year the bronze cast of fall foraged Oak might rule my dreams while another will bring seas of tufted golden Reed on a blue lit skyline. I begin with foraging because it’s the piece that informs everything else I will create for a single event. I find one or two key ingredients, and I gather buckets full.
Step 2: Garden
It took a year or two for Salt Lake City to catch up to my dreams of seas of locally grown flowers, so I began by growing my own. With my background (and original passion) in Horticulture, it seemed like I was getting away with something while writing hundreds of dollars worth of cut flower seeds off as a business expense. These days, I recommend every florist make themselves a cutting garden, no matter how small. Because every bouquet feels like a unique gift from me, there’s nothing more special than cutting something I’ve nurtured from seed since the dead of winter to add the finishing touch.
Alternatively, many a wildflower bouquet is made unique by featuring fresh cuttings from something special I just found at a local nursery.
Step 3: Farm
Thanks to Erin Benzakein of Floret Flowers, the floral industry has seen a boom of local flower farms worldwide, many of whom are committed to sustainable growing practices. Because far less fuel is used to procure flowers grown just ten to fifteen miles from my studio than those shipped in from South America, I always opt for local before anything else. Every year there is more to be had and local wholesalers Esprit Raw Flowers are even considering creating a locally grown flowers section in their cooler for the coming season. Pretty exciting stuff.
For this day, Melese and I paid a visit to Laura Pittard of Poppin’ Blossoms, the most incredible flower farm in Orem, Utah.
Laura grows everything under the sun from Lisianthus to Strawflower, but my very favorites are her Dahlia, available September thru October and so otherworldly that I now won’t buy my Dahlia anywhere else any other time of year.
Sometimes I’m lucky enough to roam the fields with Laura and a pair of clippers, selecting all my favorite blooms in every color imaginable.
Step 4: Gather
With all my finds back at the studio and in buckets, I’ll take a moment to breathe in the spirit of this event. After months (and sometimes years) of planning, no amount of color wheels, inspiration images or detailed proposals can define what we will end up with more than what has been offered us by the abundance of this moment.
Being a florist is a practice in surrender.
100% Locally Grown.
Foraged and local flora.
NEW for the 2019 wedding season, opt for a completely locally sourced wedding including foraged seasonal greenery and local sustainably grown flowers and get 10% off your wedding floral package. Or opt for a Wild Bouquet add-on to your traditional floral package.
Seasonally foraged and locally sourced for just $175.
*With purchase of $500 or more in wedding flora.