WHY CEREMONY FLOWERS SHOULD BE A PRIORITY

bride and groom at wedding ceremony

If you were to guess that I love weddings, you would be correct. I love weddings. I mean I LOVE them. Both on a professional level, because I get to assist couples in bringing life and beauty to one of the biggest and best parties they will ever host, but also on a personal level, because as a guest (and at my own wedding as the bride) I have always felt the magic in the air – that wedding magic is a certain energy that can’t be felt in the same way anywhere else. And it’s amazing.

Weddings are everything positive, wonderful, and beautiful wrapped up into one epic day of celebration. And while the reception is considered by many to be the most enjoyable part (who doesn’t look forward to indulging in eating fantastic food and partaking in an open bar??), the ceremony is the true heart of a wedding.

As a Floral Architect you might not be surprised that I consider flowers to be one of the most important parts of wedding decor, if not THE most important part. And while a lot of emphasis is generally placed on things like the bridal bouquet and the table centerpieces, the most significant part of your wedding day, your ceremony, deserves intentional thought and design…and flowers.

Let’s take a look at the reasons why your ceremony flowers should really be a priority when thinking about your wedding flowers.

 

Symbolizes the Importance of the Occasion

The reason for your wedding is to legally and formally marry the love of your life. The reason that all your family and friends are there with you is to witness you marry the love of your life and to celebrate your union. And that’s a big deal. Not giving proper attention to the look and the feel of your ceremony area doesn’t give due credit to how monumental a union between two people is. Guests will travel many thousands of miles, spend lots of money, and whittle away at their vacation time for weddings because of just how very special it is to witness two people get married. Creating arrangements just for that time, place, and space signifies its magnitude.

Defines and Personalizes the Physical Space

Sometimes couples initially won’t feel the need to add any floral decor to their ceremony area because the location already 1) has a beautiful view 2) has some sort of permanent or built-in decor element or 3) their ceremony will only last a short amount of time. Yes, there are a lot of beautiful places to get married with spectacular backdrops, beautiful landscaping, and built in arbors, and the ceremony usually lasts only a fraction of the time as the reception, but when you add your own floral decor to the ceremony area you make that space your own. You might be at a venue that has a wedding every weekend and adding your own unique floral decor transforms that space into your wedding. Having personalized floral arrangement for your ceremony, whether that’s a lush floral arbor, a spray arrangement on an arch, or two floral urns to frame the space you and your partner are joining together in, will set it apart and will put your stamp on it.

Provides Aesthetic Delight

Decorating your ceremony space with personalized floral arrangements can really enhance the mood of a ceremony. Flowers have been proven to enhance well-being and make people happy. When you add flower arrangements to your ceremony space you automatically enhance the mood and lift people’s spirits. And most of this happens unconsciously! Ornamental horticulture can be a calming and soothing influence. And that can do wonders for when it’s time to read your vows!

Elevates the Gorgeousness of Your Photos

During your wedding you will take tons of pictures. And I mean TONS. The ceremony is one of the most photographed moments of a wedding and it is one of the best things to look back on afterwards. Whenever I see pictures from my own wedding ceremony pictures all those feels and emotions come rushing back. And the beautify of the day and of our ceremony setting almost takes my breath away again just as it did the day I became a wife. Pictures of you and your loved ones against a one-of-a-kind floral backdrop are worthy of being framed and displayed.

 

So hopefully I have convinced you of the value of investing in beautiful flowers for your wedding ceremony. Even if you are getting married on top of a mountain, in front of a waterfall, or in a botanic gardens, there is still reason to add your own personalized floral arrangements to your ceremony space.

You can get more ceremony floral inspiration on my CEREMONY gallery page.

Lastly, I took the lovely ceremony photo from above, taken by the talented Molly Blair Photography, and colored a version of that ceremony without any flowers. While the wooden arbor was lush with summer greens which is definitely pretty is its own right, I hope you agree with me that personalized floral decor makes it transformational.

wedding ceremony no flowers

 

“THE BEE’S KNEES” MINIMONY WEDDING FLOWERS

a colorful cascading wedding bouquet

With all the parallels that can be drawn between life in the 1920’s and life today in 2020, I have been thinking a lot about my relatives who were alive one hundred years ago and who went through similar hardships to the ones we are facing today.

My great-grandfather, Carl E. Mohs, was born in 1901. He was a young man when the Spanish Flu arrived 1918 and while he lived through it, his younger sister, Jane, did not. The story goes that she got together with her friends and subsequently got sick. Unfortunately, that small decision ended up costing her her life.

Doris, my great-grandmother, was born the year after Carl. I imagine the two met while they were both students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They got married immediately after graduating and started on a partnership together in both their personal lives, as well as their professional lives. Carl formed his own engineering and construction firm, Carl E. Mohs, Assoc., and it was not long before Doris was brought on board as a Designer. Doris had studied architecture at UW-Madison and appreciated that architecture equally combined her love for math with her love of art. After their first child was born, Carl handed Doris a sketch pad and told her to draw their dream home which he and his crew then completed in 1926.

house in Shorewood Hills, Madison, WI

When the stock market crashed in 1929 and the Great Depression followed, construction projects slowed down for Carl E. Mohs, Assoc. Stories of my grandparents were passed down because of their upstanding character, especially during times of hardship. I was told by my grandmother that Carl and Doris had construction projects done to their own house, so that they could give their employees work. The “back bedroom” originally was an open-air deck that my grandmother would ride her tricycle on, but was turned into an actual bedroom during the Great Depression by the Carl E. Mohs construction crew.

playhouse from the 1920'sThere was also the story of my grandmother’s playhouse during the Great Depression. This playhouse was constructed in the back yard out of the same material as Doris and Carl’s family home and was essentially a “tiny house”. For a while, probably in the early 1930’s sometime, Doris and Carl allowed a man to live in the playhouse. There has been speculation within my family that this person was one of Carl’s employees, but this detail remains unknown.

 

1920’s Shower Bouquets

With the anticipation of 2020 right around the corner, last fall I wanted to do a 1920’s themed styled shoot and re-create the wedding bouquet that my great-grandmother, Doris, held for her wedding in 1924, almost a hundred years earlier.

1920's wedding

While I didn’t get around to re-creating her bouquet before the new year, I made a mock-up recently. In the 1920’s the popular style of wedding bouquet was called a shower bouquet – large and loose with trails of hanging greenery. Shower bouquets had replaced the neat and tidy Victorian posies and became quite exaggerated in the 1920’s, reaching their peak into the 1930’s. Sometimes shower bouquets would be so large that they would almost conceal the bride.

bridal bouquet with hanging ribbons, flowers, and fernsIn my research of 1920’s style wedding flowers I noticed the heavy usage of fern. Plumosa fern, with its light and delicate leaves growing on cascading vines, was evident in many of 1920’s wedding bouquets that I came across, which you can see even in my great-grandmother’s bouquet. Trailing satin ribbons, which appeared to spill out the front of shower bridal bouquets, was also quite popular. Bits of ferns or small flowers would be tied to the ends of these ribbons. I think these style elements added to the appearance of a “shower”.

For the re-creation of a 1920’s shower bouquet I opted for colorful flowers. Subsequently, I discovered that most bridal bouquets were either one or two colors (besides green), usually white or pink. Carnations and roses were two of the most popular flowers for wedding bouquets in the 1920’s. The carnation was held in much higher regard than it is today. The availability and abundance in grocery stores and depreciated the perceived value of the carnation. A century ago there were over 40 varieties of carnations. Other popular flowers of the 1920’s included delphinium, Lily of the Valley, tulips, sweet peas, aster, and chrysanthemums.

Lily of the Valley and pink tulips

“The Bee’s Knees” Minimony Floral Packages

I love weddings. I mean LOVE them. Some of the moments in my life where things have felt magical, significant, and where I have been immensely grateful to be there in that moment were at weddings. Ever since COVID-19 blew up this past March all large gatherings, including weddings, have been banned. This just breaks my heart for everyone who had been planning and anticipating such a monumental celebration.

While my specialty is in designing for large celebrations with an emphasis on the conceptual design (sketching, drawing), I want to be there for those couples who will be holding minimonies in light of the coronavirus. If you have decided to hold a small, intimate commitment ceremony on your original wedding date, but are still planning for a full wedding celebration later on, I am offering smaller floral packages. These packages will be available any day of the week from June 1, 2020 – August 31, 2020. I have simplified the process by removing the conceptual design to be able to offer my services in package form. Inspired by great-grandma Doris’ shower bouquet these minimony arrangements will be made with the same excellent quality of craftsmanship with a 1920’s style and flair!

Click below to reserve your minimony floral package! #loveisnotcanceled #loveisnotcancelled

minimony flowers

Enjoy some more photos of the 1920’s inspired style floral arrangements!

colorful floral table centerpiece

 

HOW TO DIFFERENTIATE YOUR BRIDAL BOUQUET FROM YOUR BRIDESMAIDS

colorful bridal bouquet drawing

Bridal bouquets are one of my my absolute favorite things to conceptualize and create for weddings. Not only are they one of the most photographed floral arrangements at a wedding, but they are designed for and carried by some of the most important people – the bride(s)!

One of the questions my brides and I talk through when discussing their wedding flowers is whether they want their bridal bouquet to closely match their bridesmaids bouquets or to be significantly different. Some people prefer a very coordinated and matching bridal party look. Others folks are inspired by contrast and love the idea of their bridal bouquet being totally unique. Both schools of thought are correct and each bridal party floral style can look spectacular in its own way. Let’s explore the differences starting from the most cohesive to the ways we can create the most bouquet variation.

 

Bridal Bouquet vs. Bridesmaids’ Bouquets: SIZE

The most cohesive bridal party floral look is when all the bouquets have the same shape and the same color palette. Clients will ask me if their bridal bouquet should be different from their bridesmaids’ bouquets and I always tell them at a minimum it will be bigger, even if just slightly. The bride is the most important person in her bridal party and her bouquet should be representative of that, as well. Many times we will identify a variety of flower to use only in her bridal bouquet, but still within the palette of flower colors.

bridesmaids wearing blue dresses

Picture courtesy of Stolen Glimpses Photography

bridal party with pink dresses and pink bouquets

bridal party with lush blush wedding bouquets

Bridal Bouquet vs. Bridesmaids’ Bouquets: SIZE + SHAPE

Another way to differentiate the bridal bouquet is in both size and shape. You can still maintain a strong floral cohesiveness by using the same color palette throughout the bridal party bouquets, especially the same proportions of colors, but changing the shape of the bridal bouquet can make it that much more dramatic. This works well for brides, especially, who love cascading bouquets. Cascading bouquets are naturally lush and require a high level of craftsmanship. The amount of detail that goes into cascading bouquets makes them an excellent choice for brides who want that wow factor.

(To find out about the different wedding bouquet styles you can check out my blog post THE FIVE MOST POPULAR BRIDAL BOUQUET SHAPES).

bridal party wearing dusty blue and dusty green dresses with blush flowers

bridesmaids wearing burgundy dresses

Picture courtesy of Jessica Christie Photography

bridal party holding spring bouquets

Photo courtesy of Libbie Holmes Photography

Bridal Bouquet vs. Bridesmaids’ Bouquets: SIZE + COLOR

One of the easiest ways to emphasize the uniqueness of the bridal bouquet is with size and especially with color. Our eyes are naturally drawn to color – the cones within our eyes being physically stimulated when we see colors. And when contrasting colors or analogous colors are used within a bridal party floral palette, we definitely take notice. In the past I have worked with brides who have loved the idea of a bouquet for themselves with an emphasis on white to signify it as the bridal bouquet. Other times my clients have loved the idea of a colorful bouquet that really popped against their wedding gown.

Color is such an important factor when thinking about your flowers. If you are interested in learning more about how to pick your wedding floral color palette you can hop back to my post from the prior week: HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR WEDDING COLOR FLORAL PALETTE

bridal party with hot pink bouquets

Photo courtesy of Talia Kite Photography

a bride and her bridesmaid holding red and white bouquets

colorful bridal bouquet with eucalyptus

Bridal Bouquet vs. Bridesmaids’ Bouquets: SIZE, SHAPE, + COLOR

If you want your bridal bouquet to command the most attention, then you might choose a design different from your bridesmaids’ bouquets in terms of size, shape, and colors. While I love when things are cohesive, I also love brides who aren’t afraid to make a statement. Your dress is different from your bridesmaids’ dresses, your role is different from your bridesmaids, so why be afraid to make your flowers drastically different? Dare to be different!

bridal party with gorgeous bouquets

Picture courtesy of From the Hip Photo

bridesmaids in blue dresses with colorful bouquets

Picture courtesy of Libbie Holmes Photography

 

Whether you like a really cohesive bridal party floral style or if you aren’t afraid to have your bouquet stand alone, there are many options and even small, subtle tweaks for how we can make your bridal bouquet one-of-a-kind and truly a reflection of your taste. Want to explore the best floral style for your bridal bouquet and your bridal party? Let’s set up a CONSULTATION! I love making bridal bouquets and I would be honored to design yours!

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR WEDDING FLORAL COLOR PALETTE

 

rainbow color palette

One of the very first questions I ask during my wedding floral consultation process is about color palette. I have couples to tell me about their overall wedding color palette and then use that to narrow in on the best combination for their floral color palette. Sometimes, however, my clients do not have a defined wedding color palette or their wedding colors are a little bit broader. And that’s totally okay! There are specific components of your wedding that you can look to for guidance when navigating the world of color and deciding on the best palette for your wedding flowers.

First, though, let’s take a look at the basic principles of color theory. These principles are the guidelines often applied when choosing color palettes that ultimately are balanced and aesthetically appealing. Understanding color theory is crucial for great design. The color wheel, which was invented in 1706 by Sir Issac Newton, can be used as a compass for choosing colors that work well together.

color wheel

Three of the most fundamental color combination categories are: monochromatic, analogous, and complimentary. Here’s what each of them refers to and why each category works well in design:

Monochromatic

Monochromatic colors are variations of one color (hue) with different tints, tones, and shades. A monochromatic color palette is simple, yet sophisticated. Monochrome creates harmony and is calming.

red monochromatic colors
Analogous

Analogous colors live next to each other on the color wheel. Color combinations using hues with close proximity on the color wheel can create a sophisticated and pleasing harmony. Analogous colors are guaranteed to work great together.

analogous colors

Complimentary

Complimentary colors that are opposite from each other on the color wheel creating strong contrast. Complimentary colors are especially pleasing as play up each other’s intensity. Complimentary colors are often perceived as soothing as they stimulate different parts of the eye.

yellow and purple complimentary colors

 

With this basic understanding of color theory, here are things to consider when deciding on a great color palette for your wedding flowers. This list is especially helpful if you don’t have a set wedding color palette, but can be useful even if you do!

bridal party with light blue dresses

Picture courtesy of Pure Lee Photo

Color of Wedding Party Attire

Perhaps the biggest influence of your wedding floral color palette is the color of your wedding party attire, whether that includes just you and your significant other or if you have an abundance of bridesmaids and groomsmen. The wedding party is traditionally adorned with flowers, so making sure your personal floral pieces compliment your attire is key. Your wedding party is one of the main things that gets heavily photographed and we want those images to be beautiful, balanced, and colorfully cohesive!

I like to use a two-step process when helping couples choose colors that will work well with their wedding attire. When clients come to my Woodinville studio to review their floral proposals, I will pull out my stack of paint chips and will physically lay colors on top their wedding attire color(s). This allows them to get a feeling of all those colors together. I also ask my clients to send me pictures of their wedding attire so I can overlay a custom floral digital drawing. This has worked incredibly well in showing how a bouquet will look against a wedding gown or how a boutonniere will appear on a jacket. You can see some of my bouquet sketches for past clients on the ABOUT page.

floral garland along table with lavender napkins

Picture courtesy of Sara Lynn Photography

Linen, Table Runner, & Napkin Colors

Another factor I often take into consideration when advising my clients on their wedding floral color palette, is the color of their table linens, table runners, and dinner napkins. The reception is the second most important part of your wedding and creating a space that is harmonious can positively affect the dining experience. If you are going with a colored napkin or a colorful table runner, including that color or a complimentary color in your table centerpieces can create more dimension and visual interest. Color that is placed intentionally in design is a way to engineer a particular experience. Don’t be afraid to use colors that will delight your guests’ eye receptors!

modern wedding reception

Picture courtesy of Newell Jones & Jones

Venue Colors & Aesthetic

It can be easy to overlook your wedding venue when deciding on your floral color palette. Wedding venues that are neutral in color are more adaptable to a variety of wedding colors. Some wedding venues, especially hotel ballrooms, can have distinct accents of certain colors, either colors in the carpet or colors in the ceiling fixtures. It always perplexes me when couples choose a reception venue that has colors that clash with their chosen wedding colors.  It’s really, really hard to not notice the blue and orange patterned carpet when you’re sitting down for dinner. And while your soft pink floral centerpieces may be quite lovely on the white linen tables, they will look out of place next to that carpet.

pumpkin floral arrangements

Picture courtesy of Teresa Woodhull Photography

Season

Sometimes Mother Nature can be a guiding hand in choosing a great color palette for your wedding flowers. If you are getting married in the fall, for example, it can be advantageous to use a fall color palette – reds, oranges, and yellows. The changing season can often lend itself to certain colors that become abundant in nature that time of year. You have an already established harmonious color palette that just makes sense!

Floral centerpiece next to Christmas tree

Picture courtesy of Chris Loring Photography

Theme

Some of my favorite weddings to be a part of are themed weddings. True themes go beyond the standard wedding style terms of chic, rustic, vintage, modern, boho, etc. Themes are overarching concepts that allow for aesthetic definition, structure, and specific meanings. Many of the annual Holidays can work well as a wedding theme.

Themed events are even more popular in the corporate world. Check out some fun themed arrangements on my CORPORATE page!

bridesmaids holding pink bouquets

Picture courtesy of Talia Kite Photography

Personal Color or Flower Preferences

Sometimes I work with couples that just love a particular flower. While many flowers come in a multitude of colors, some flowers only grow naturally in one or two colors. You can use that flower color as a starting point for your wedding floral color palette. Other times I suggest that my couples use their favorite color to help define their wedding floral color palette. If you especially love pink and we create arrangements that are bursting with vibrant shades of pink, that will have a conscious (and subconscious) positive effect on you.

 

Floral arrangements are incredibly visual and because of that wedding flowers often can be a significant part of wedding decor. It’s no wonder that nailing your flower color palette is quite important and, rightfully so, commands a lot of thought, attention, and consideration. After-all an occasion that’s as special as a wedding should look and feel as significant as it is.

Do you need help solidifying a fantastic and cohesive floral color palette? Set up a CONSULTATION with me and let’s find your perfect palette!

 

CRATE&BARREL PRIVATE WEDDING REGISTRY EVENT – SEATTLE, WA

a lady teaching two people to make flower crowns

Back in February (which seems like a lifetime ago now!) I was part of the Private Registry Event at Crate&Barrel in Seattle at University Village. This event was an invitation-only event for engaged couples to set up their wedding registry at Crate&Barrel. The perks to being invited to this event were being able to register while the store was not open to the public and celebrating with food, activities, and giveaways provided by a select team of local wedding vendors.

The lovely and dynamic Rebecca of New Creations Weddings spearheaded the overall aesthetic and registry experience. The Seattle wedding vendor team she put together for this event included myself and:

Photography: Alante Photography
Paper and Invitations: Sablewood Paper Company
Catering: Navi’s Kitchen Catering
Cake: Blue Box Bakery
Paper Flowers: Pink and Posey

As the fresh flowers Floral Designer, I was tasked with creating a centerpiece display for one of the Crate&Barrel dining tables. I have a wedding this summer with a gorgeous color palette of rich berry colors – pinks, reds, and some purple, so colors were on the brain! Rebecca creatively named it “Summer Sorbet”.

dining table with colorful floral arrangementslush and colorful floral arrangements on a dining tablecolorfully set dining tabel

I also put together an interactive flower activity station under one of the Crate&Barrel arbors. Couples could choose to learn how to make a partial flower crown or a boutonniere. This mini flower workshop was such a joy to do! I have discovered that teaching others how to work with flowers is (in some ways) even more rewarding than making arrangements myself. After we are on the other side of COVID-19 I hope to start holding private flower arranging workshops at my Woodinville studio.

colorful pergolacolorful flower activity displaypeople doing a diy flower crown activitya lady holding up a ribbon bin for another lady

This was the visual design concept that I sketched out for the arbor. I always love looking back at the sketches I do and comparing them to what I create in real life. Often, they are quite similar. It’s fun to see how a design can be almost fully conceptualized before actually putting the pieces together.

inside display of a Crate&Barrel store

A big thank you to the staff of Crate&Barrel. They were foundation for a great event and they were lovely to work with.

group of people standing in front of a colorful arbor

Holly Yee

Hello and welcome! Thanks so much for taking time to stop by my part of the internet. I have been working with flowers for a long time and I just love helping people make their celebrations absolutely stunning. It is an honor and a priviledge to be a part of weddings and other special events. 

In addition to floral design my other loves are yoga, coffee, the outdoors, and my husband and all the amazing people in my life. 

Feel like talking flowers?

Recent Posts

OUR STUDIO IS OPEN BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

17708 134th Avenue NE, Suite 17708

Woodinville, WA 98027

Let's Be Floral Friends! Connect With Us Socially.

CONTACT US

Email: holly@hollyyee.com

Phone: 425.877.9287