Rebecca Grant, Seattle Wedding Planner, smiling

As I drove to meet Rebecca to find out more about her expertise in Hawaiian weddings, I chuckled at the humor at my wishful thinking in being able to garner the warmth of the islands with some tropical floral arrangements. They sat in the back seat eagerly awaiting to be showcased, their yellows and oranges attempting to cut through the grey sky. In the days leading up, my biggest worry was that our photoshoot would occur in frigid Seattle winter rain. So in preparation, I had brought with me two large umbrellas, one for Rebecca and one for me and my camera, a waterproof camera bag, and my new winter coat, in case the Hawaiian-style dress that Rebecca would be wearing proved to be insufficient for retaining any amount of warmth. It was a chilly 32 degrees that morning, but the skies, at least thus far, were holding out on releasing any precipitation.

I pulled up to Twin Willow Gardens, the wedding venue that Rebecca has owned with her husband, Brian, since 2019. Twin Willow Gardens is one of my favorite venues here in Washington. While it doesn’t have the palm trees and sandy beaches of Hawai’i, it does have an abundance of flora and fauna. In the summer the main grounds are filled with an array of flowering plants. It’s a big, beautiful, and colorful garden. Tucked off to the side is the ceremony area, which is enclosed by towering pacific northwest trees and lush ferns. Like that of the Hawaiian islands, the venue exudes aloha – an unseen, but very much felt sense of welcoming, harmony, and peace. Part of that comes from the beauty of the venue itself and part of that comes from the warmth radiated by its owners. As I followed Rebecca along the path through the gardens, I noticed small bits of ice in the garden beds. “Oh, yes,” Rebecca turned back with a look indicating she, too, had been worried about the weather for our photoshoot. “It hailed here yesterday.”

As we both got situated in the bridal suite where we planned to chat, Rebecca took a seat in one of the beauty chairs. Brooke of Onsite Beauty by Brooke, who was doing Rebecca’s hair and make-up, had also just arrived and was getting her make-up tools ready. I pulled out the Hawaiian inspired mood board document I had put together and asked Brooke to make Rebecca look like a glowing Hawaiian princess who had just come from the beach. In this case, a Hawaiian princess who just executed a flawless beach wedding in Hawai’i. 

Rebecca Grant holding a Hawaiian bridal bouquet at Twin Willow Gardens



Rebecca is no stranger to coordinating weddings in Hawai’i. In 2003 she moved to Oahu to go to school for Travel Industry Management at the University of Hawai’i. While in school and living on the island, Rebecca answered a job posting with a local wedding planner. Rebecca and Sandra Williams, the owner of Finishing Touch Hawaii, hit it off immediately and Rebecca ended up working for Sandra for 4 1/2 years. “I worked with her [Sandra] first as her Day of Assistant before taking my own weddings under her company. She’s Burmese and Chinese, so I got thrown into Asian & Pacific Islander wedding customs pretty fast. One, because she attracted a lot of Asian clientele, because she’s fluent in Cantonese, but also the geography of Hawai’i attracts a lot of Asian & Pacific Islander couples to it.”

Those first few years as a wedding planner was a lot of learning for Rebecca. Never having planned a wedding prior to working with Sandra, Rebecca was trying to soak everything in, retain all the information she was learning, and execute her weddings well under Sandra’s company. “Overall I really looked up to her [Sandra]. She had a very successful business and I was honored that she trusted me to represent her business.”

Rebecca laughs as she remembers something Sandra said to her in those early years. “I was putting out candles on a head table and Sandra came over – ‘Rebecca, you’re too symmetrical! Asymmetry is fine! You can move things around!’ So she [Sandra] would always come behind me and cluster the candles together.”

Amused, I ask Rebecca if she still finds herself placing candles symmetrically on tables. “Ha – not as much! I’ve moved on. She’s broken me of that.”

woman holding a Hawaiian style bouquet

“Number one best thing I learned from working with Sandra was the total submersion into Asian & Pacific Islander wedding customs. I would have not learned that as rapidly as I did with anyone else. Hands-down that has been the most beneficial thing of my career.”

When Rebecca launched her own wedding planning business in Washington after moving back to the mainland in 2008, she spoke at a Wedding Network Seattle event about Asian weddings, which essentially launched her career here in Seattle. “I got several bookings off of just meeting people at that event and talking about Asian wedding customs. So many venue reps came up to me [after that presentation] and said they had no one who does Asian weddings,” she remarked. Venues continued to send their Asian couples to Rebecca. They were looking for wedding professionals familiar with Asian wedding customs to help support both the venue in what they needed to do for their couples, as well as support the couples themselves, without the couples having to educate their vendors. Rebecca also spoke on a panel at NACE event about Asian & Pacific Islander wedding customs, along side other wedding professionals who discussed Jewish weddings, African American weddings, and LGBTQ weddings. 

I ask Rebecca about the flower image in her logo and if that has any connecting to her time in Hawai’i. “Yes,” she says. “I wanted to do a subtle nod to my background, where my roots are, and how I got my start. So I felt like it was a very fitting logo for me.”



Most of the weddings Rebecca planned when she lived on Oah’u were true destination weddings. The bulk of her clientele were from China, Japan, the Philippines, Samoa, the US, and Australia. She has coordinated weddings on the big island, Oah’u, Mau’i, Moloka’i, and Kaua’i. Often, her couples wanted to feature the flavor of the islands by incorporating Hawaiian customs and traditions into their celebrations. The most common of these was the giving and exchanging of leis. “We did a ton of welcome parties and had arms full of leis being ready to hand out upon guest arrival,” Rebecca remembers.

Leis were worn by ancient Hawaiians to beautify and distinguish themselves from others. With the rise of tourism to Hawai’i, the lei became the symbol of the islands. Nowadays, leis are meant to represent love, friendship, celebration, or honor. In a Hawaiian ceremony the couple will honor their family members by giving them a lei as part of the ceremony. This almost always includes the parents, but can also extend to the grandparents. The lei exchange between the couple themselves is meant to symbolize their affection for one another and their giving of themselves to one another. Traditionally, the bride will get a pikake lei, a very delicate, white, very fragrant flower that is worn in multiple strands. And the groom will get a maile lei, a green leaf lei that is open-ended when the ceremony starts. 

As she describes the lei exchange, Rebecca looks over with a knowing smile, “You know the term ‘tie the knot’? That’s where that came from. The bride will reach over and close the open end of the maile lei and tie the knot.”

She then she gestures in the direction of the contain I brought with the two haku leis I made. “And then, of course, as you’ll be featuring today, the bride can sometimes wear a haku lei in addition to the pikake lei.”

Rebecca Grant wears two haku flower leis

The haku lei was one of the first flower creations I learned to make in my floral design journey. Like Rebecca, I also have ties to Hawai’i. When I was 9 years old my family moved to the island of Kaua’i. That next year I enrolled in a lei-making workshop at the local community center and we were taught the art of making haku leis. Even though that was many years ago, I vividly remember taking my first haku lei home and feeling quite proud that I had made something so beautiful. To this day, I still get that warm glow of accomplishment whenever I make a beautiful personal floral piece, like bridal bouquet or a flower crown.  

Another Hawaiian tradition popular at weddings, one that I had also first-hand experience with while living on Kaua’i, is the hula dance. While all the 5th graders on the mainland were probably learning gymnastics and how to play the clarinet, I was on an island in the middle of the ocean learning hula dance and how to play the ukulele. Many of Rebecca’s Hawaiian brides are in halaus, which are formal hula groups. Sometimes her brides will work with their halau instructors on a specific choreographed hula dance to perform at their wedding. Hawaiian Wedding Song is a popular choice for the performance, but any song can be danced to. “The bride will typically perform a hula for the groom, which I think is incredibly intimidating. You’re doing this in front of all of your guests and you’re out there solo dancing for your groom,” Rebecca explains. Generally the groom will have a seat on the dance floor while the bride performs her hula dance.

I ask Rebecca if the groom ever dances for the bride. “Nope,” she replies. “The bride starts off doing most of the work from the get-go.”

We both break out into laughter.

Rebecca Grant wearing a yellow flower crown

Incorporating Hawaiian food is also popular at Hawaiian weddings. The guava cake is most prominent, which a lot of Hawaiian couples will seek out for their weddings. It’s a coconut flavored cake with guava frosting. The sides of the cake are covered in sliced almonds and the top is bright red gelatin. Around the edge is a piped in, cream-filled frosting. Other Hawaiian foods include the haupia coconut cake, roasted pig (kalua pork), poke, and Mai Tais. “And poi,” Rebecca muses. “Which no one really eats at weddings, but is there mostly to feature for the tourists.”

As someone who has never liked poi, even fried, I nod my head in agreement.



Rebecca moved back to Washington in 2008, but she still plans weddings in Hawai’i, often with Washington couples that want to have a Hawaiian island destination wedding. Her process for working with a couple getting married in Hawai’i is the same for full planning weddings here in the Seattle area. Rebecca will begin by reaching out to vendors (mostly those on-island) to check availability and to check pricing. She is diligent in making sure the vendors align with her couples’ expectations, which she then submits to her couples for review. “I have them pick their top one or two [vendors] that they like. They either want to set up an interview or we’re ready to have the vendors go ahead and send us a contract.”

Rebecca Grant holding Hawaiian flowers and standing at Twin Willow Gardens

Prior to their wedding, Rebecca recommends that her couples visit the islands at least twice to do their venue walk-through, tasting, hair and make-up trial, and potentially see a floral mock-up. “All those pieces that you do want to be in person for,” she comments. Rebecca will line up all the on-island vendor meetings for her couples, and then either zoom into those meetings or get filled in afterwards. Sometimes she will schedule a virtual debrief specifically about the tasting, so she can be up to speed on her clients’ bar menu, what their final entrée selections were, or if there are any questions the catering sales manager had. 

When doing on-island weddings, Rebecca requires that her couples have her there a minimum of 4 days. During that time she will meet with the venue manager and do a walk-through, to make sure she is familiar with the space. She then connects with her couples one last time to make sure they are good to go. In addition to managing the wedding day, Rebecca also runs the wedding rehearsal the day before. And she is on-island least the day after the wedding, so she doesn’t have to fly out that night. 

“I still really do try and maintain relationships with people on the islands. I know who is relevant, what price-point they are in, and if there are any new up-and-comers.”

Rebecca Grant sitting next to a tropical floral arrangement

When planning a wedding in Hawai’i you have to be very aware of both the bugs and the weather. “I’ve seen a cake that looked alive, because it has so many ants crawling on it. They’ll climb up the skirting of the tables. And of course you have to be aware of the cockroaches. Even in the cleanest of hotels, you can’t get rid of them. It’s just a part of island life,” Rebecca muses. Most of the time Hawai’i is 82 and sunny, but every once in awhile you get the trade winds that come through, or a monsoon that comes through, or the 40 days of rain that happened in 2006. Rebecca’s advice: “Just be ready for Plan B.”

Worse than inclement weather, there is no doubt that coronavirus pandemic wrecked havoc on the wedding and event industry in 2020, but Rebecca thinks the that first year of the pandemic was a turning point for planning destination weddings. “I really think 2020 has changed the way vendors in general go about setting up interviews, and talking and interacting with our couples,” Rebecca explains. “Before couples [in Washington] would wish they could meet [on-island] vendors in person, but now meeting virtually has just become the norm. It’s actually made it easier to move forward with booking vendors.” 



Having a Hawaiian wedding doesn’t have to be restricted to the Hawaiian islands. The important cultural elements of Hawai’i can be found on and brought to the mainland. This wedding season Rebecca is working with a couple where the bride is Hawaiian. This couple is getting married in Washington, but they are incorporating the leis, the hula, and the Hawaiian cake into their celebration.

woman wearing a Hawaiian haku lei

Rebecca’s top recommendation for having a Hawaiian themed wedding in Washington (or anywhere) is to hire a halau to come and perform. I learn there is a huge Hawaiian contingent in the Seattle area, especially the south sound, where most of a halaus in Washington state are based: Federal Way, Auburn, Enumclaw, and Tacoma. Much of the Pacific islander food is in the south end, as well. The Hawaiian bakery in Wallingford is Rebecca’s go-to for Hawaiian cakes. And while she will often source the family and guest leis directly from Hawai’i, there are a few local Seattle florists that Rebecca will work with for the specialty pikake and maile leis.

A Hawaiian bride holding a tropical bouquet

Rebecca and her husband celebrated their 10 year anniversary in 2020. I ask Rebecca if she were to have a 20 year vow renewal with her husband on their property and it was Hawaiian-themed, what tropical flowers would she choose? “So I really like textural flowers,” she says. “The pincushion flower, the coxcomb, and certainly some orchids in there, as well. And then mixing it up with some textural ti leaves. I like them when they are looped, so it’s not like a giant ti leaf that’s sticking out. And the flowers that smell so good, like the ginger flowers. Certainly the pikake flower and the plumeria, although I know plumeria is hard to put into an arrangement.”

I silently give myself kudos for for looping some of the ti leaves in Rebecca’s bouquet. 



Rebecca Grant shares her expertise on Hawaiian weddingsRebecca says that her favorite Hawaiian island is Oah’u, mostly because she is familiar with it. She still has quite a few friends that live on Oah’u, so it’s nice for her to still feel part of the culture.

Her favorite wedding in Hawai’i was for Matt McBriar, a retired Dallas Cowboy punter, and his wife, Erin. Held at Rebecca’s favorite Hawaiian wedding venue, Lanikuhunoa, Matt and Erin’s wedding was incredibly intimate with only about 60 people. Matt is Australian and Erin is American, so they paid homage to both countries at their wedding with an ice sculpture that had a kangaroo body and an eagle head.

In relatively recent times, Rebecca noticed that in Asian & Pacific Islander weddings, a decline in couples embracing their culture. “It’s really sad to me, because there are so many amazing [cultural] things,” Rebecca laments. “But I feel like this year, even just with the lunar new year, I saw so much celebration around Chinese and Asian cultures than I have seen in a really long time. I don’t know if people are finally starting to embrace it or if there is just more awareness of the beauty of diversity.”

Either way, this wedding florist also hopes that trend continues.



On May 21, 2021 Kaytlyn and Ben were married at one of my favorite venues here in Washington: Twin Willow Gardens in Snohomish. Not only is TWG absolutely gorgeous – it’s a mix between a flower garden and enchanted forest – but it is owned by a fabulous wedding planner, Rebecca Grant of New Creations Weddings, who coordinated Kaytlyn and Ben’s big day.

Kaytlyn and Ben wanted a romantic wedding with a woodsy, fairytale feel. And that is exactly what their wedding was. They had a style in mind, but they were also open to new floral ideas. As a designer, I love when clients have great taste, but there is room for creative input! We choose a palette of neutrals with pops of color. Kaytlyn carried a lush, cascading bouquet with roses, poppies, ranunculus, lilac, geum, and ferns, Ben wore a ranunculus boutonniere, and their ceremony arch was adorned with two colors of sheer fabric, a lush side floral spray, and hanging glass terrariums with one of my favorite decor accents: fairy lights!

A big shout out to Jamie of Jamie Buckley Photography for these gorgeous images. Jamie is incredibly talented at photography and just a delight to chat with. Jamie, thanks taking such beautiful imagery of the flowers. And kudos to the other awesome vendors: Catering: Act 3 Catering, Music: Magnolia Rhapsody, Cake: The Sweet Side, Photobooth: Shutterbus Co.

Congratulations Kaytlyn and Ben! It was an honor to be a part of your beautiful enchanted spring wedding filled with so much beauty and so much joy.

groom boutonnierebride walking up to groom for first lookbride and groom with colorful bridal bouquetbridesmaids with a bride and groomsmen with a groombride walking down the aislebride and groom at wedding ceremonybride and groom just marriedbride and groom kissingbride and groom seated at wedding receptionbride and groom dancing at receptionsparkler exit at wedding with bride and groom




My first wedding of 2021 (my first wedding since the pandemic started), was with a wonderful couple named Catharin and Eric. They were married on May 8th at Block 41 in Seattle.

Now wedding planning is a lot to take on in normal times, but during a pandemic it requires even more. Catharin and Eric started planning their wedding back in 2020, and despite the lockdowns, the ever changing rules, and all the uncertainty, Catharin and Eric were wedding planning rockstars. Throughout the entire process they remained positive and optimistic, but they alway had different plans of execution in their back pocket. Those game plans corresponded to each of the reopening phases, as Washington state’s timeline for reopening always seemed to be a moving target. Catharin and Eric were hopeful, yet pragmatic, which are pretty much two qualities that apply to anything in life in order to be successful.

Catharin and Eric chose a warm color palette of reds, whites, blues, grey, and greens, with pops of copper. They wanted to incorporate carnations in honor of Eric’s mom and dark red roses in honor of Catharin’s grandmother, both who had passed on.

With a high level of planning and preparation, all the thought given to sentimental details, a team of uber-talented vendors, and a couple who maintained a strong tenacity and a positive attitude throughout, May 8, 2021 was not only beautiful, but was a very successful wedding day. Congratulations Catharin and Eric! You were such a joy to work with!

Venue: Block 41 / Planner: Clutch Events / Caterer: Pyramid Catering / Photographer: Chris Harth Photography / DJ: Seattle Parties / Videographer: Married Livestream / Hair & Make-Up: Salon Maison / Baker: Danielle Matison / Transportation: Sabra Limo Service / Games: Off the Block Games

groom boutonnieregift table at weddingbride and groom smiling at each otherbride and groom outsidered rose bridal bouquetbride and groom crouching downbride and groom by the Seattle space needlewedding party walking by the Seattle space needleindoor wedding ceremony bride walking down the aislebride and groom getting married in front of a floral circle archindoor industrial wedding ceremonya bride and groom get marriedred rose lantern centerpiecewedding party head tablebride and groom dancing




clay bud vase with white flowers

As I became more cognizant of how a vessel could impact the look and feel of a floral arrangement, my awareness started to expand into stoneware, ceramics, and other styles of clay pottery. Handmade pottery has been making more of an appearance in the wedding world in general and it’s oh-so-pretty. My husband and I have a couple of friends who make pottery, so clay vessels had been on my radar for some time now.

With floral design, the visual aspect of the arrangement is always noticed first – it looks beautiful. But how a floral arrangement feels, both visually and tactically, also holds a tremendous amount of importance. Clay vessels are wonderful options to consider when choosing your floral arrangement vases. Not only do they look beautiful, but they feel rich, weighted, and gloriously palpable.



Garnering this appreciation of handmade clay vases, my interest was immediately peaked when I learned that Shelby of Shelby Bond Ceramics created an inventory of rental vases for weddings and events. Shelby gets her clay from Vashon Island, so the material is local to Washington, which is awesome. When I got married back in 2017 in Colorado, my husband and I incorporated many design elements that were local to the area. Our wedding was unique to us, but also served as a salute to the local region.

With some flowers from my yard and some leftover stems from a wedding mock-up, I made these cute arrangements with Shelby’s beautiful clay vases.

Small Dish

blue hydrangea in a small vase

Bud Vase

white flowers and ferns in a white bud vasewhite ceramic bud vase

Betty Vase

flowers in a blue ceramic vase

Kelly Vase

light green ceramic vase with flowerscolorful flowers in a ceramic vase

Midnight Bowl

black ceramic vase with flowersblack ceramic bowl with flowers



In a recent collaboration with Pacific Place on a Tabletop Floral Virtual Workshop, I created a delicious flower + food arrangement in a beautiful salad bowl from Anthropologie. I had gifted one of these bowls to a friend who got married last year and I knew I needed one of my own. It’s a gorgeous light blue color with a lovely speckled pattern around the rim. It might be one of the most beautiful salad bowls that I have ever owned.

A vase is really just a water-tight vessels, so anything that is water-tight can be a potential vase. Mixing different mediums is quite fun in the world of floral design. Floral arrangements don’t have to use just flowers! A salad bow, while perfect for salads, can also be great for floral arrangements…well, floral salad arrangements, really!

blue ceramic salad bowl with flowersfloral arrangement in a salad bowl


My goal for these blog posts about vessels is to inspire more consideration with regard the non-flower elements of floral arrangements. In design, all elements of the creation must work together in a balanced and pleasing harmony. And when they do the results can be tremendous.

Let me know what you think about ceramics and stoneware vessels! Do you love them as much as I do? I would love to hear from you!


flowers and food in a salad bowl


Being alive in the year 2020 has been challenging to say the least. Sometimes, when there is so much negativity in the world, we forget that beautiful things still exist. And we can forget to look for those beautiful things and grab a hold of them. With spending more time in our homes these days, it’s more important, especially now, to bring beauty inside. And while I might be biased, I think everyone would agree that flowers are definitely beautiful. Flowers embody beauty, life, and joy – all things we could use a little more of right now.

I recently collaborated with Pacific Place on a virtual workshop all about stylish and creative ways to add flowers to your dining table. Each year Pacific Place hosts a Film Meets Fashion event celebrating Seattle’s fall fashion. While COVID-19 disrupted their plans for an in-person affair, Pacific Place still wanted to share the spirit of Film Meets Fashion. They created a lineup of uplifting and inspiring virtual workshops, by showcasing fashion inside the home.

Sharing these different tabletop flower ideas was so much fun! I hope this virtual workshop inspires you to create something beautiful for your dining table. Check out the full workshop in the video below. You can find more images of the four different floral styles I present further down on this blog post. Enjoy!

Flowers in Kitchenware Vessels

Vases come in all shapes and sizes, but at its core a vase is really just a water-tight container. So if you go into your kitchen and look around you’ll probably see a bunch of water-tight containers. And just like that you have an inventory of flower vases!

For this arrangement I chose to design in a cute little tea pot that had been a gift for my mom some time ago. I didn’t use any mechanics inside the teapot, as I didn’t want to scratch the inside finish. Isn’t this arrangement just the sweetest?!

floral arrangement in a tea potzinnias in a tea pot

Flowers in Food Containers

Another source of water-tight containers are food containers! Anything from a spaghetti jar to a yogurt container could be used as a vase. Before you throw that tomato can into the recycling bin why not give it yet another life, even temporarily, by putting flowers in it??

In this demonstration I made savory Italian-inspired floral arrangements in two spaghetti jars and one tomato can. The local dahlias I included were the perfect richness for these arrangements. Delicious!

colorful dahlias in spaghetti jarsflowers in food containers

Flower + Food Arrangements

Confession – I was most excited about creating a flower and food arrangement for the tabletop workshop. I had been dreaming about designing in a salad bowl for some time now, after gifting a beautiful salad bowl to a friend in honor of her marriage. And I’ve been on a fresh kale kick for several months and was admiring the shape and texture of the kale leaves, and thought how lovely they would be in a floral arrangement. So, creating a flower + food arrangement was perfect for this salad bowl!

flowers and leafy greens in a salad bowlcolorful flowers in a salad bowl

Elevated Flowers

The final design idea I shared was elevating flowers off of the dining table. This is done all the time in the wedding and events world, but deciding on mechanics that would be relatively accessible and easy to replicate for the non professional Florist was something I had to really think through. I searched around and finally settled on some ceiling command hooks that I found on Amazon. They don’t take a lot of weight, but just enough to make a visual impact. Have fun with this one!

flowers hanging over a dining tableflowers hanging from the ceiling


If you are inspired to try any of these arrangement styles I would love to see what you create. I will add your photo to this blog post and share on my Instagram account. You can contact me via email: holly@hollyyee.com or send me a DM to @hollyyeefloralarchitecture

I can’t wait to see what beautiful things YOU create!


sunflower and woman

The other day I traveled up to Mount Vernon, which is about an hour north of Seattle, and spent the afternoon with Jesalyn of Mossy Gate Flower Farm. I was on the hunt for aster flowers and was told by another Flower Farmer to check with Jesalyn. The aster flower is one of September’s birth flowers. This year I have been spending a lot of time photographing flowers in order to practice my photography skills. I have learned over the years that as a small business owner it’s imperative that you photograph your own work. In an effort to push myself to produce better images I have been gifting some of my flower photos to friends and family members for their birthdays. With a handful of September birthdays marked on my calendar, finding beautiful aster flowers was on my to-do list.

Jesalyn started Mossy Gate Flower Farm in 2015. The name for her flower business came about one day while staring at the old farm fence at the rental home where Jesalyn’s flower journey started. The need for a unique name, paired with her love for moss and cottage gardens, was realized upon seeing that gate. Her mountain man boyfriend, as she refers to, then crafted (initially as inspiration) THE Mossy Gate Flower Farm gate – the image you now see depicted in the Mossy Gate logo and in all of Jesalyn’s branding.

Mossy Gate Flower Farm currently covers two acres of land, which is divided up among three different plots. In Jesalyn’s front yard, where she grows some of her flowers, is the Mossy Gate roadside flower stand where you can grab a bunch of home-grown fresh flowers. This flower stand was crafted out of an old vintage truck bed with a custom wood canopy, also built by her mountain man boyfriend.

When she first moved into her house, Jesalyn said her front yard was covered entirely in thick blackberry bushes. The pictures she showed me of the blackberry removal didn’t lie – those were some gnarly bushes. The land today, though, is a a gently sloping grass hill with her flower stand and growing blooms at the bottom. The feverfew that Jesalyn cut while we chatted were some of the tallest stems I have seen.

Back behind her house stand a structure where Jesalyn propagates flower plants from seeds. She watered her plants while I snapped some more photos.

Jesalyn’s yard used to have more of her flower crops planted there. Last year, however, she found another piece of land and decided to expand her flower farm, which included moving some of her flower varieties to this new space. A big sunflower still remained in her home-base plot, however, and I watched in amazement as Jesalyn made a smiley face by pulling out the seed heads. So of course I snapped more photos – how fun! Her two geese, Moxie and Pippin, also though so, too. Although, in retrospect, I think they were actually more suspicious of this new person with a camera.

After walking around her home-base property, Jesalyn rounded up her two adorable sons and I followed them to the most recently acquired Mossy Gate Flower Farm plot (plot number 3). This was a flat piece of land in the Mount Vernon valley. Super straight rows of flower crops were dotted by pops of colorful zinnias.

Our final stop for the afternoon was Jesalyn’s second plot where she grows a big majority of her flowers. The Bonita and Masumoto asters were in full bloom – pink, purple, and white ones. There were also big, beautiful dahlias. I loved buying dahlias locally back in Colorado, which made me happy to find such a wonderful farm here in Washington. Jesalyn also had a variety of flower that I have never actually used in any of my design work – dianthus or ‘Sweet William’. The color of these burgundy blooms was so rich and the fragrance was incredible! I will definitely use dianthus in the future. Move over peonies!

Jesalyn rounded up my requested aster flowers, but she also threw in a big bunch of other beautiful blooms for me to play around with. Can I just say how fun it is to design with a heaping full of locally grown super colorful flowers??

I visited Mossy Gate Flower Farm in search of aster flowers and not only did I find what I was looking for, but I left with a bucket full of beautiful flowers, some cute cards which Jesalyn sells on her website, and a heart full of gratitude. It was an afternoon spent with great company in beautiful surroundings. Jesalyn has grown her flower farm in the five years since she started. Her ideal size of land to farm on is five acres and she is well on her way to getting there. I can’t wait to see what she grows next!

Jesalyn sells her flowers at her roadside flower stand and at Northwest Wholesale (for Florists), but you can also pre-order buckets of flowers or opt in to a CSA floral subscription. To find out what Jesalyn is currently up to you can follow her on Instagram at mossygateflowerfarm.


blue hydrangea in a blue vase

For a long time I held tight to a belief about floral arrangements – that the flowers were much more important than the vases they were designed in. Dreaming about the varieties of flowers I would use for wedding centerpieces could take up the better half of the day. Their colors and shapes would paint vivid pictures in my head as I used my imagination to create beautiful displays for the dinner tables. But the vases? Well, the vases were needed, for sure, but they always came secondary to the flowers. After-all, flowers were the true star of the show (after the couple, of course!).

Last year, however, I came to fully understand and appreciate the magnitude of the vase. I was making a floral arrangement to be given away as a door prize at a networking event. The design turned out lovely, but something felt…off. And at first I had a hard time putting my finger on it, until I finally realized it was the vase that was bothering me. So I swapped out the light brown compote I had used for a rich, dark wooden container. Ta-dah! It was a small change, but it made all the difference. With a simple change of vessel the floral arrangement went from good to great.

So I thought it would be fun and useful to take a look at different styles of vases to see how they impact the overall look and feel of the floral arrangement. In this analysis I used all blue/purple hydrangea from my back yard and simply swapped out the vase without taking out any stems or adding any additional flowers. There are four main characteristics of vases that seem to affect the aesthetic of an arrangement the most: color, shape, material, and prominence.



While many vases used in floral design are neutral in color – clear, white, or brown – the color of a vase (even a neutral color) can change the aesthetic of the arrangement. In this example I started with a blue vase, which was essentially a continuation of the monochromatic color palette of the hydrangea. I then tried yellow vase for contrast.

When I look at the arrangement with the blue vase these words come to mind: rich, striking, bold. When I look at the arrangement with the yellow vase I get a different feeling: cheerful, lighthearted, sweet.

blue hydrangea in a blue vase and a yellow vase


Vases come in an abundance of shapes. From cylindrical to compote to urn to trumpet – the list goes on and on! The shape of a vase directly affects how the flowers will sit, which can play a big part in determining the overall shape of the arrangement. But even if you can create a similar arrangement shape with different shaped vases, the shape of the vase itself also infuses a feeling into the arrangement. In this example I decided to go with a round bowl vase and then I used a square cube vase.

When I look at the arrangement with the round vase these words come to mind: bulbous, lush, romantic. When I look at the arrangement in the square vase I get a different feeling: modern, different, contrast.

blue hydrangea in glass vases


Material is another vase characteristic that impacts the arrangements aesthetic. The material of a vase will determine not only the color sometimes, but also the texture. Texture can be felt directly with your hands, of course, but texture can be felt visually, as well. In this comparison I opted for a metal container and then a wooden container.

When I look at the arrangement with the metal vase these words come to mind: geometric, modern, contemporary. When I look at the arrangement in the wooden container I get a different feeling: rustic, rich, solid.

blue and purple hydrangea in vases


The final quality of a vase that can influence the style of the floral arrangement is the size of the vase in regard to its prominence. Some vases are low and discrete, while others cannot help but demand attention. Here I used a shallow ceramic bowl and then countered that with a tall vase with a bold, contrasting design.

When I look at the arrangement with the shallow vase these words come to mind: fluffy, full, luxurious. When I look at the arrangement in the tall vase with the ornate design I get a different feeling: unusual, impressive, fascinating.

blue and purple hydrangea flower arrangements


What are your thoughts? Do you agree with me on these comparisons? Even if different words came to you when viewing these arrangements, hopefully you took away an understanding of just how much a vase can impact the overall look and feel of a flower arrangement. Crazy, right?!

As I continue to evolve and grow as a Wedding and Event Floral Architect, my appreciation for different vessels continues to grow. I plan to highlight more vessels in up-coming blog posts. Stay tuned!


wedding flowers questionnaire with pen

Every Seattle Wedding Florist you meet with will have a different of way of guiding you through the world of flowers in order to arrive at the best floral designs for your wedding. The beginning of the wedding floral journey is one of the parts that I actually like most. Imagination, artistry, and creativity are at the forefront in this stage and it always feels so exciting to dream about all the floral possibilities. I often find myself saying that the conceptual design is even more invigorating than when I get my hands on the actual flowers. And I really, really love the flowers themselves (just look at my camera – all the photos are of flowers)! But I could dream about gorgeous, unique floral designs all day. Yes, my head is in the clouds! And the clouds are filled with flowers!

Here at Holly Yee Floral Architecture my PROCESS always starts with an Introductory Floral Consultation. Most couples I talk with have never been through the wedding planning process before, let alone the process of deciding on the perfect floral decor for the biggest party they’ll probably ever host. Needless to say, the experience of talking with a Wedding Floral Designer is often uncharted territory, so coming into the meeting prepared will always produce a better outcome.

In preparation for your Introductory Floral Consultation I want to go through the topics we will cover to get you thinking (and feeling!) about the big picture of your wedding, as well as all the smaller elements. Understanding your vision, your goals, and your heart in depth will enable me to build a floral proposal that embodies an aesthetic that is unique to you as a couple. Collaboration is key, with all of your vendors really, and knowing what to expect during your wedding floral consultation will allow us to make the most of our time together. Let’s get started!


Overall Wedding Ambiance/Feel

One of the first things I want to know about is your desired wedding ambiance. Understanding the big picture of your wedding with regard to the atmosphere you want to create for you and your guests will help guide my floral recommendations and suggestions. Design styles can be romantic, artistic, elegant, whimsical, modern, or rustic. Flowers themselves also sometimes can have a “style” to them. Some are very soft and romantic, both visually and tactically. Some are sleek and elegant while others are fun and whimsical. Florals play a big part in setting the mood of a space, which I go into some detail on my INVESTMENT page. When I was a bride back in 2017 I was able to find the words to describe the goal of my wedding atmosphere by closing my eyes and imagining what it felt like to be there – inviting, beautiful, and warm. Give it a try!


Color Palette

One of the most important elements in any type of design is the use of color. Colors can evoke mood and feelings, and can be a way to curate a specific atmosphere. Flowers are often a large part of a wedding’s decor, so making sure the colors of the flowers work in harmony with the other colors of your wedding is very important. I wrote a blog post a couple months ago on How To Choose Your Wedding Floral Color Palette, which highlights the key elements that determine wedding colors: venue, attire, season, and theme.

color wheel


Floral Preferences

Understanding what your floral preferences are both with regard to floral style and specific flowers is one of the most important pieces. Are you someone who likes very textural arrangements or do you prefer structured, clean arrangements? Are you draw to symmetry or asymmetry? Do you like a wispy, whimsical look or do you prefer pieces that are full and lush? Pinterest has been a very useful tool for looking at different floral styles, but you can also do a general internet search and see what images come up or you can get some wedding magazines to peruse through. And don’t just keep your eyes on the internet. The natural world has so much to say, too! When you are outside and out and about, do you find yourself taking a long look at your neighbor’s pink peonies, the deep blue hydrangea bush by the park, or are you drawn to the carefree daisies crowding around a fire hydrant?

pink peony


Personal Elements

Finding out more about you as a couple and what personal elements you might be incorporating into your wedding is one my favorite parts of our first conversation. These are the gold nuggets of information that often spark my most creative side. Perhaps you have Irish heritage that you want to include in the feel of your wedding, so we decide to use lots of ferns and moss in your arrangements. Maybe your partner loves to fly fish, so I incorporate fly fishing feathers in his boutonniere. Or maybe the two of you are avid bicyclists, so we create a floral installation built out of old bicycle wheels. One of the most unique bridal bouquets I ever made was for a bride who was going to school for Mycology, the study of fungi. To her field of study into the floral arrangements, I wired in to her bouquet two ceramic mushrooms and one carved wooden mushroom. How fun is that? Can you spot the ceramic mushrooms in the photo below? Don’t be afraid to play with the idea of incorporating elements of your individuality into the florals. The outcome can be incredibly original!
woodland style bridal bouquet with ferns


Quantities and Categories of Floral Arrangements

Getting a little more practical and detailed, another important topic we’ll discuss is quantities. This information is especially useful in determining the overall cost of your wedding flowers, but sometimes I do suggest certain flowers that may lend themselves better to specific arrangements. Smaller flowers work best for small, intricate pieces like boutonnieres, corsages, and crowns. Larger flowers like sunflowers, hydrangea, and large calla lilies or versatile, hardly flowers like roses and carnations can be perfect for installations or large arrangements.

A bridal party with sunflower bouquets on a runway

I hope this helps get you prepared and excited for your wedding floral consultation. You can also watch the video down below. Talking about flowers for your wedding should be fun and the goal in sharing this knowledge with you is to prepare you for the things we will discuss so our partnership can produce the most beautiful arrangements for one of the most beautiful events. Ready to chat about your wedding flowers? Join me in the clouds – there’s lots of fabulous floral arrangements up here!



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



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!

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?



17708 134th Avenue NE,

Woodinville, WA 98072




Email: holly@hollyyee.com

Phone: 425.877.9287