Lush Garden Wedding at Rock Creek Gardens

On a gorgeously sunny day last August, my team bustled down to Rock Creek Gardens in Puyallup for what would become one of our favorite weddings of the season. With a box truck and a van both loaded to the gills, and a setup crew of eight people, this one was a biggie. If you haven’t been to Rock Creek before, let me tell you, it is splendid. The grounds are vast, the ceremony arbor is about 5 times wider than most, the tent is generous, and the landscaping goes on for what feels like miles. (I made a mental note a few times that day to invest in walkie-talkies for the crew.)

Rebecca Grant of New Creations Weddings enlisted us to design a whole host of fun floral installations, including a floral wall which served as a photo backdrop. We filled it with smilax vine, ruscus foliage, blowsy hybrid tea roses in muted peach and ivory tones, delicate spray roses, hydrangea, and Creola dianthus — all without using floral foam. We also built a custom Frenchie, shabby-chic frame to encase the 5′ x 8′ wall. The pneumatic nail gun saw a lot of action at the studio that week! Seeing the beautiful bride, Joy, standing in front of the wall was the ultimate payoff. She and the flowers were at one!

We also loved working with a new (to us) material in the tall centerpieces. To get the right height and graceful reach to the elevated designs, we ordered rose canes from local grower Janet Foss and Oregon-based Crowley House. (Gotta love those fabulous farmers who just say “yes!”). I love the way they arch out of the arrangements and contrast against the white tent. (These, too, were floral foam free.)

Enjoy The O’Malleys gorgeous photography below…. I know when I’m in need of a dopamine hit, I will still take a peek now and then!

A whole host of other vendors brought this day to life, including Vintage Ambiance, The Sweetside, KLS Makeup Artistry, Pacific Grill, Nicole Spose, Bel Aire Bridal, and CORT Party Rental.

Floral Eclipse: Get Hitched Give Hope 2017

Did you watch the solar eclipse of 2017? Remember how the sky got so much darker for those strange, cold minutes? I never want to forget that particularly rich shade of periwinkle blue over the roof of our house as I sat out in the yard and marveled with my husband and two kids. And the golden crescents all over every surface — a sliver of the sun making that unusual shape.

When the fantastic charity auction Get Hitched Give Hope asked us to design the flowers for the main ballroom at the Four Seasons last November, and when we learned that the theme was “Under the Light of a Thousand Stars,” my team and I thought of the eclipse. We wanted to capture that lovely merging of night and day, of purple and caramel, fog and sun. We wanted the dreamy textures of the sky and all that passes through it.

And we wanted to build clouds! Designing for a group of wedding industry colleagues is always a fun challenge. I wanted to show my friends something different. With GHGH landing at the end of wedding season, everyone is ready for some unique visual candy. My team and I built cloud structures out of freestanding plywood panels, covered on the front with chicken wire and moss, and on the back with dark grey shantung silk (yay, no foam!). We filled the clouds with roses, miscanthus, carnations, football mums, dusty miller, pampas grass, and other materials that captured the colors and textures we were going for. These panels sat on the front edge of the stage where the live auction took place. And how AMAZING is that gorgeous backdrop created by Water and Chalk? Wow. Swoon.

It was a fabulous night for coming together in community — and for us, recapturing a little bit of that celestial magic from August 2017.

Huge thanks to La Vie Photography for being there to capture it all!

Citrus and Sage Shazam at Chihuly Garden and Glass

Events at Chihuly Garden and Glass present a designer with two paths: understatement or shazam. I’ve taken the understated approach before, with subdued, all-white floral designs that tried in no way to compete with the incredible glass installation hanging from the venue’s ceiling. But for Emily and Ken’s wedding in August 2016, we got to dive fully into the wow factor, with bold, bright, textural, joyful creations that reflected the spirit of the artwork.

Rebecca Grant of New Creations Weddings created a gorgeous overall design scheme that blended whimsy and formality, bright color with moments of subdued grace. Our floral designs pulled in large silver cardoon leaves, cheerful pops of craspedia, seasonal juicy dahlias, and the ever luscious “Juliet” David Austin rose. Tall centerpieces were poised on glass pedestals flanking the altar during the ceremony, then moved to tables for the reception. Curly willow reached upwards and mimicked the twisting, organic lines of the glass. Specialty linens and wood chargers by Pedersens and CORT  provided a gorgeous base for the tablescape.

One of my favorite elements of the day was the bridesmaids’ custom signs. Instead of bouquets, they carried the sweetest hand-lettered wooden signs down the aisle (created by Wonderstruck), festooned with floral across the top. Altogether, the maids carried a message: “I have found the one whom my soul loves” for the processional and during the ceremony, then flipped around to read “And they lived happily ever after” for the recessional. Also, how cool are the floral print bridesmaid dresses? We never see that!

The Manchiks were on hand to capture all the lovely moments seen below– and of course, the shazam.

Deep Summer at Chambers Bay Golf Club

Everyone in Seattle is WELL aware of the incessant rain we’ve been enduring. It’s the middle of May and things still feel soggy. Imagery is therapy. I’m throwing myself into the blistering heat of August 13, 2016, the day when Kate and Rhett got married at Chambers Bay Golf Club under a sun that knew absolutely nothing of rain.

Ryan Flynn took the juiciest pictures that day, showing off the vibrant orange, coral, pink, and green tones that perfectly reflected the peak of summer. Dahlias and zinnias popped from the centerpieces, while salal garlands made a refreshing green statement on the ceremony aisle. I loved Kate’s idea for simple hanging wreath forms at the altar. With 12 bridesmaids and 12 groomsmen, it didn’t make sense to do anything much larger. Plus, the view…. Pretty hard to compete with that vista!

I couldn’t get enough of the ringbearer’s in their seersucker shorts-suits. We on the setup crew were “glowing” (to use the ladylike term for sweating buckets) while we worked to set everything up. I couldn’t blame those little fellas for shedding a tear or two during the course of the afternoon. (I might have secretly cried while on the ladder, climbing ever closer to the sun.) And on the flip side, how did that enormous wedding party stay so beautiful all day? Kate, especially, was the picture of grace.

Tara Lee of Sugarcomb did a beautiful job of bringing all the elements together and coordinating such a memorable day — and we were happy to be a part of it!

Thinking Outside the Corsage Box

I’ve noticed something over 14 years of designing wedding floral…. When it comes time to talk about corsages, nobody gets very excited. Of course people want to honor their moms, their grandmas, all the special women in their lives. And these women are happy to be honored. But when it comes to wearing a corsage — be it pin-on or wrist — the response is often a little ho-hum. People get all nuts (in a good way) about the various blooms and textures that might make up a man’s boutonniére, but somehow this enthusiasm doesn’t translate to the corsage. Chalk it up to too many proms, too many poorly designed wristlets on pinching elastic bands, but women are ready for a change.

Floral bracelet featuring peach ranunculus and sumac.

So this winter I was beyond psyched to attend a fabulous workshop with Susan McLeary of Passionflower, put on by the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market and beautifully photographed by Cozbi Jean Photography. You might have seen Susan’s gorgeous work on Instagram (@passionflowersue), in her Etsy store, or her amazing floral art in editorial shoots. It was such a treat to have her here in Seattle, sharing her tips, tricks, and passion.

A couple weeks after the workshop, we designed the cuff at right, worn by a model for I Do Sodo 2017. (Thank you to Alante Photography for this lovely image!) In the images below, you’ll see a jewelry suite I created in the workshop, featuring rich burgundy, sage and blush flowers and foliages such as protea, scabiosa, succulents, pieris, and begonia. For contrast, I also created the slightly more traditional cuff of white spray roses. All the jewelry is built on brass bases. That it’s comfortable to wear is a bonus — but the real attraction is just how much it feels like real jewelry. Scroll to the end and you’ll see the bunch of us in our floral splendor! (The workshop took place in the Floressence studio, by the way.)

2017 is all about looking at what we do by rote and seeing how it could be done better. Corsages definitely fall into that category. We’re so excited to offer floral jewelry to our clients — and are so happy to see our clients respond with matched enthusiasm!


Floressence is located in Georgetown, the heart of Seattle’s floral district. Owner and Creative Director Anne Bradfield welcomes you to visit the studio and share her enthusiasm for enhancing your event through flowers.