Wedding Season in Review

It's been a LONG time since I've written a blog post. This is mostly because I had a busy spring/summer involving lots of exciting flower experiences. I participated in some more formal workshops (one right here in Toronto with one of my favourite designers, Becky from Blush & Bloom and a full weekend down in the US with designers from all over North America). Finally, I got a job working under one of my floral idols! Phew! What an amazing season!

First up: Flower Crowns with Becky from Blush & Bloom. Becky is an incredible designer with tons of flower knowledge. She's trained extensively, worked for tons of different businesses and has grown her own business to be a powerhouse in the Toronto wedding market. Becky also happens to be an astounding communicator and a kind and thoughtful knowledge sharer. Learning her flower crown technique was fabulous. I feel so much more confident knocking one of these big, flashy puppies out. Bam. 

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Next up: the AMAZING Team Flower workshop with Kelly Perry in North Carolina back in April. I will definitely have to write a whole blog post about that experience as well as the great community that Kelly has built. At the workshop we worked on centrepieces, bridal bouquets, sweet personal flowers and large scale designs. It was like floral design bootcamp! The best part of this experience (not including the spectacular food and wonderful company!) were the guest teachers Kelly brought in: Holly from Rosegolden (brilliant, down to earth and hilarious) and Ashley from Tinge (a no-nonsense, colour-obsessed visionary). All of these ladies (including the other workshop participants) were young, smart, visionary entrepreneurs who make beautiful things. Inspired much?

My mouth is watering looking at these beautiful Caramel Antike garden roses from Peterkort. Kelly pulled out all the stops and got us some amazing flowers to work with.

My mouth is watering looking at these beautiful Caramel Antike garden roses from Peterkort. Kelly pulled out all the stops and got us some amazing flowers to work with.

Coral charm peony. 'Nuff said. 

Coral charm peony. 'Nuff said. 

There were literally 3 more tables this size filled with flowers! I wish I could help you appreciate what that room looked like full of flowers!

There were literally 3 more tables this size filled with flowers! I wish I could help you appreciate what that room looked like full of flowers!

One night at dinner. The food was amazing and the table styling was impeccable. Marianne from Riveroaks Charleston expertly styled this table and talked us through her process. It was a pleasure sitting down to such good food, with good company, at a beautiful table. 

One night at dinner. The food was amazing and the table styling was impeccable. Marianne from Riveroaks Charleston expertly styled this table and talked us through her process. It was a pleasure sitting down to such good food, with good company, at a beautiful table. 

Bravo, Marianne!

Bravo, Marianne!

My centrepiece with different varieties of roses, pink pepper berry (omg!!) and fritillaria... look at that fritallaria!!!

My centrepiece with different varieties of roses, pink pepper berry (omg!!) and fritillaria... look at that fritallaria!!!

Holly Carlisle of Rosegolden giving us the whats-what of arbour designs. I don't even love the flowers she used, but i loved the finished product. It just goes to show you - you always need to step back and think big picture when you are designing. You might hate big, gaudy dark pink lilies, but they sure do look great when used thoughtfully!

Holly Carlisle of Rosegolden giving us the whats-what of arbour designs. I don't even love the flowers she used, but i loved the finished product. It just goes to show you - you always need to step back and think big picture when you are designing. You might hate big, gaudy dark pink lilies, but they sure do look great when used thoughtfully!

Finally, I spent most of the 2015 wedding season working for Lisa at Sweet Woodruff. Lisa has an incredible 45K Instagram followers... and for good reason. Her work is beautiful - fresh, organic, natural yet dripping with luxury. Usually when the word "luxury" is used in floral design it should be read as "rhinestones and phalaenopsis orchids". The way Sweet Woodruff interprets luxury is "less caviar and pate" and more "crusty baguette with hand churned rosemary butter". I would definitely consider the latter a luxury but with a provincial flare that makes you want to kick off your shoes, sit under a great oak tree and drink a nice bordeaux directly from the bottle. Sigh. Sweet Woodruff offers floral and full event design for weddings infused with this unique, fresh style. Working under Lisa was an incredible learning experience for me both on the micro-scale (individual arrangements) and the macro-scale (full wedding design). I wanted to share some snaps that I took over the course of the summer but need to highlight that these are images of work done at Sweet Woodruff under Lisa Collins, all the designs are creative property of the business. It was an amazing experience being part of the staff that executed these impeccable designs! 

Lisa, Owner and Creative Director of Sweet Woodruff, giving all of us new girls a quick tutorial in how to achieve the look of her loose but luxurious, garden-style arrangement. 

Lisa, Owner and Creative Director of Sweet Woodruff, giving all of us new girls a quick tutorial in how to achieve the look of her loose but luxurious, garden-style arrangement. 

Check out the minimalistic and elegant ceremony decor for this Sweet Woodruff wedding at Trinity Chapel on University of Toronto campus

Check out the minimalistic and elegant ceremony decor for this Sweet Woodruff wedding at Trinity Chapel on University of Toronto campus

Here's a close-up of one of the large urn arrangements that flanked the altar. Designed by Lisa but executed by me! 

Here's a close-up of one of the large urn arrangements that flanked the altar. Designed by Lisa but executed by me! 

The Sweet Woodruff studio - full of flowers, smelling delightful! 

The Sweet Woodruff studio - full of flowers, smelling delightful! 

This little lady is called "Wedding Expression" - super petal dense with a beautiful apricot to butter gradient with a light kiss of pink at the edges. They don't open up more than this but thats ok because they are gorgeous from the get-go. This variety is a Sweet Woodruff favourite. 

This little lady is called "Wedding Expression" - super petal dense with a beautiful apricot to butter gradient with a light kiss of pink at the edges. They don't open up more than this but thats ok because they are gorgeous from the get-go. This variety is a Sweet Woodruff favourite. 

Another gorgeous Sweet Woodruff wedding at Leon's Round House down by the waterfront in Toronto. This was a huge affair which required the full SW staff. Phew!!

Another gorgeous Sweet Woodruff wedding at Leon's Round House down by the waterfront in Toronto. This was a huge affair which required the full SW staff. Phew!!

Another quick shot from the wedding above that showcases the impeccable styling and event design. 

Another quick shot from the wedding above that showcases the impeccable styling and event design. 

This Sweet Woodruff wedding was EXTRA special given that it was that of the big boss herself, Lisa Collins!! Of course it was going to be spectacular and beautiful! This one was at Alton Mill out in Caledon, Ontario.

This Sweet Woodruff wedding was EXTRA special given that it was that of the big boss herself, Lisa Collins!! Of course it was going to be spectacular and beautiful! This one was at Alton Mill out in Caledon, Ontario.

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. I don't know which one of the team put that cute little arrangement together, but this picture was too lovely not to share. Who knows, it could have been me - I did so many of these sweet little guys!

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. I don't know which one of the team put that cute little arrangement together, but this picture was too lovely not to share. Who knows, it could have been me - I did so many of these sweet little guys!

These elegant, loose arrangements in earth tones and touches of purple made there way up to Auberge de Pommier in Toronto for a tiny but adorable wedding. With only 40 guests, this wedding was one of the most intimate Sweet Woodruff weddings of the season. 

These elegant, loose arrangements in earth tones and touches of purple made there way up to Auberge de Pommier in Toronto for a tiny but adorable wedding. With only 40 guests, this wedding was one of the most intimate Sweet Woodruff weddings of the season. 

Here's another arrangement for the above wedding. I love the white brick background in the SW studio. So cute!

Here's another arrangement for the above wedding. I love the white brick background in the SW studio. So cute!

This Sweet Woodruff wedding was at Earth to Table Farm in Hamilton, Ontario. I couldn't get over the beautiful wood: tables, floors, and an amazing exposed beam ceiling. Too bad I didn't get a shot of that too! 

This Sweet Woodruff wedding was at Earth to Table Farm in Hamilton, Ontario. I couldn't get over the beautiful wood: tables, floors, and an amazing exposed beam ceiling. Too bad I didn't get a shot of that too! 

Check out those sweet grape vines! Lisa foraged them off the farm property for a truly local, organic feel. 

Check out those sweet grape vines! Lisa foraged them off the farm property for a truly local, organic feel. 

This Sweet Woodruff wedding was executed entirely by me and this sweet lady above, my good friend, Jenny! Lisa and senior designer, Lauren, were away in Calgary turning out a HUGE wedding so Jenny and I were left in charge of this sweet green and white wedding. 

This Sweet Woodruff wedding was executed entirely by me and this sweet lady above, my good friend, Jenny! Lisa and senior designer, Lauren, were away in Calgary turning out a HUGE wedding so Jenny and I were left in charge of this sweet green and white wedding. 

I think we executed that signature Sweet Woodruff look with grace! 

I think we executed that signature Sweet Woodruff look with grace! 

This bride asked for something slightly more "roundy, moundy" and this is what I put together. I did my best to keep the signature Sweet Woodruff wide, organic shape that exemplifies the brand. 

This bride asked for something slightly more "roundy, moundy" and this is what I put together. I did my best to keep the signature Sweet Woodruff wide, organic shape that exemplifies the brand. 

This BRIGHT berry inspired arrangement was for a small Sweet Woodruff dinner party. Cute!

This BRIGHT berry inspired arrangement was for a small Sweet Woodruff dinner party. Cute!

One of the very exciting Sweet Woodruff projects this summer was the Club Monaco Flower Cart! Can you think of anything better than hanging out surrounded by beautiful blooms (and delightful treats courtesy of Bake Shoppe and amazing coffee from Boxcar Social) chatting with happy flower-loving folks on the street? I got to style this sweet little cart and sell these AMAZING local garden roses among other things...

The Sweet Woodruff Flower Cart at the Club Monaco Market, Avenue and Bloor Street W, Toronto.

The Sweet Woodruff Flower Cart at the Club Monaco Market, Avenue and Bloor Street W, Toronto.

The Sweet Woodruff Flower Cart at the Club Monaco Market, Avenue and Bloor Street W, Toronto.

The Sweet Woodruff Flower Cart at the Club Monaco Market, Avenue and Bloor Street W, Toronto.

Check out these locally grown garden roses at the Sweet Woodruff Flower Cart at the Club Monaco Market, Avenue and Bloor Street W, Toronto. They look pretty cute with my cowboy boots, don't you think?

Check out these locally grown garden roses at the Sweet Woodruff Flower Cart at the Club Monaco Market, Avenue and Bloor Street W, Toronto. They look pretty cute with my cowboy boots, don't you think?

I wish you could smell these! Beautiful garden roses at the Sweet Woodruff Flower Cart at the Club Monaco Market, Avenue and Bloor Street W, Toronto.

I wish you could smell these! Beautiful garden roses at the Sweet Woodruff Flower Cart at the Club Monaco Market, Avenue and Bloor Street W, Toronto.

While I wasn't at Sweet Woodruff studio helping them make gorgeous wedding arrangements or at that adorable Flower Cart, I was at home practicing my bouquet making. I had to buy some of those delightful garden roses from the cart to add to my bouquets at home! 

Three different kinds of roses means lots of texture, lovely fragrance and a super classy feel. 

Three different kinds of roses means lots of texture, lovely fragrance and a super classy feel. 

Crabapples!!! I love putting fruit in bouquets and arrangements! 

Crabapples!!! I love putting fruit in bouquets and arrangements! 

This bouquet was an experiment in using less expensive blooms to make a big show ... zinnias, alstroemeria, and dahlias add bulk and pizzazz. There are only a few pricey garden roses in here but they up the elegance for sure!

This bouquet was an experiment in using less expensive blooms to make a big show ... zinnias, alstroemeria, and dahlias add bulk and pizzazz. There are only a few pricey garden roses in here but they up the elegance for sure!

This early spring posey used local spirea to give a super loose, organic shape. I love how it trails and spills out. Swoon. 

This early spring posey used local spirea to give a super loose, organic shape. I love how it trails and spills out. Swoon. 

And how can I forget, a sweet little wedding for a friend of a friend. I love getting to work with brides on their vision. Maggie wanted bright pops of colour with lilac and navy blue... I so wish I had a shot of her with her big bright bouquet!

Are you drooling over that massive peony? I certainly hope my bride was!

Are you drooling over that massive peony? I certainly hope my bride was!

Phew! I'm tired just from thinking about all that excitement! Since school is back in session, I am hanging up my apron (for now) and breaking out my tutoring bag full of math and reading materials. This wedding season was a great reminder about how much I LOVE designing flowers for weddings. I am eagerly looking forward to more next year!