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It’s Spring in Seattle. Flowers are popping up everywhere. Every morning I check on the sweet green fans unfurling from our vine maple trees that go out as rentals. Wedding season is just about to explode, and I want to be prepared. Paperwork, staffing, inventory — sure. But the real preparation I’m looking for is in the form of inspiration. I want to see people working with flowers in ways that spark my creativity, that teach me new ways of building and designing. Stuff that keeps me fresh as I enter my 15th wedding season.

This yearning for learning happens every Spring. Last year I found inspiration in a daylong workshop taught by Berkeley designer Max Gill, hosted by the Seattle Wholesale Growers’ Market. That guy. Wow. I found a new floral hero that day! Beyond his brilliant approach of relating floral design to theater arts, and his way with color and texture, he is a most generous, kind, and funny teacher. All the things you want in a day of inspiration.

Drawing from a ridiculously abundant selection of locally grown flowers, we spent the morning making a compote arrangement in lovely ceramic vessels. After lunch on the loading dock (how florists do), we each made a bridal bouquet. The greatest gift that day was time. Time to work slowly, to really look at the materials and let the shapes and colors speak to me. That luxury doesn’t come our way during the summer months, but the lessons learned from it do.

I’ll be taking another workshop with Max up at Jello Mold Farm this June (also hosted by the Market). I’m looking forward to another day of artistic recharge and regeneration, and to sharing what I learned. In the meantime, here are my finished products from that lovely day, photographed by Jenn Tai and styled by Gather Design Company.

Other Players:

Hair & Makeup: Yessie Libby

Gown: Alexandra Grecco from The Dress Theory

Bride: @mckenziedrew of Seattle Models Guild

Rentals: Cort Party Rental

Jewelry: Nordstrom