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


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. 

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