Kelsey & Ryan…

It was a typical San Diego Spring day in April. That is to say, it was absolutely gorgeous weather! Stunningly clear, sparkling blue sky and just the right kind of “warm” for an outdoor ceremony.

Kelsey chose the Sycuan Resort in Harbison Canyon as her venue for it’s convenience to her Families home in Lakeside Just a few miles away. Harbison Canyon is also known for its lovely weather, a safe bet for a weekend in April!

Kelsey’s Wedding was unique in two respects; the first (and most important being, her Mother is a long time friend whom I’ve known from many years of School volunteer work. Secondly, Kelsey had many decor items that she had “picked up” over the year of Wedding planning.

As any Event Designer knows, incorporating decor items provided by a client is really becoming “de rigeur” these days with the trend towards a more personalized statement in Wedding decor and popular “Themed” Weddings. No matter what type of “treasure” the Bride has found be it, the lovely, antique scrolled birdcage from Great Grandma or,….. let’s just say,.. possibly something not quite as appropriate,…. Incorporating these items is ALWAYS a challenge! Of course, we all love a challenge,…. right?

Thankfully,… (oh yes, I MEAN it), the lovely Kelsey, (I MEAN that too)! happens to have great taste and had purchased a FAB collection of “garden’y” treasure’s that I, myself, would have bought,…. on clearance,…. of course! I had several large black outdoor lanterns to work with and a handful of GORGEOUS, crackle glass gazing balls,…LOVE!! The first vision I had was of soft candle lit lanterns reflecting off of the gazing balls,…hmmmm,…a lovely vision for sure, but,. where to use them?,…… down the aisle of course!!

Check the pic of the “mock-up aisle” in my garage/studio,…. excuse the mess please!

My Studio/garage :)

Hey,… sometimes ya just hafta see it in person ,.. right? lol.

I can say that I truly loved everything that Kelsey had chosen. From her garden’y theme, to her colors of apple green, gray, and black. She also had accents of black & white Damask in the table runners and some ribbon,…. just the right touch! Wait,…… did I say,.. everything? Well, I might take that back. I did NOT love the Manzanita tree’s that she, herself had painted black. Now, don’t get me wrong here,… I really DO like Manzanita tree’s,… honest! I just don’t like to TRANSPORT them!… Let’s just say that they MAY have lost a brittle branch or two in the process…. Shhhhh!!

Kelsey is a sweet and frugal DIY Bride (A girl after my own heart) who hadn’t originally planned to have me make her centerpiece’s but, she realized (with my help and affordable quote, of course), that she, in fact could afford to have professional, fresh flower centerpieces along with her DIY Manzanita tree’s. note; So many Brides have the misconception that they can’t afford to hire a florist,.. It vex’s me to no end! Please give suggestions in ways to “get the word out” that there ARE affordable Floral Designers out there! Fortunately, I had engaged extra help for event set-up since we had quite a lot of “turn around” (re-use) to do! I designed centerpieces that had an open space in the oasis foam for the smaller lanterns to be placed,…. very sweet! Another cost-saving strategy is to use greens as the primary accent in the designs. This lends a fresh “garden’y” feel to the whole wedding, making perfect use of Kelsey’s color’s, while, certainly keeping costs down for the Bride!

Something that can indeed, pose a challenge to any wedding floral budget is,…. the number of Bridesmaids. My lovely Bride Kelsey had chosen no less than, nine,.. yikes!, NINE Bridesmaids! Note; Within my local demographic made up of many large, middle/working class, Catholic families, large Wedding parties are common and less about “showing off” and much more reflective of tradition & necessity. That being said,… Nine Bridesmaids?…. that’s still a LOT! 

The girls In a suite at the Sycuan Resort.

Love the red Solo cup girl! but, sorry I cut her off with my phone camera!

Whew,…. that was a lot of flowers! Nine hand-tied bouquet’s of  green Hydrangea, Anemone, Vendela Rose’s and green “fuzzy ball” Dianthus, for nine gorgeous, radiant girls in tasteful, full length, black dresses with the perfect touch of gray trim.

Onto the most important flowers of all,… the Brides bouquet!……

Now,… I don’t know about other floral designers but,… for me,….I get a bit nervous when I start to make the Bride’s bouquet. So many girls have anticipated walking down the aisle holding the most beautiful flowers that have ever graced the planet,…. am I right? Of  ALL the other components of a Wedding, with the possible exception of the Bride’s dress,… and maybe the cake,…. The Bridal bouquet is photographed in close-up the most sooo,… it must be absolutely PERFECT!… see why I get a little “Bajigiddy”? This is also why I gather as much information as possible during the consultation. Getting to know the couples individual style and especially, what each Bride REALLY wants is absolutely crucial in Wedding design. I always encourage my Brides to email pictures of flowers that they are attracted to. Most girls have an idea of what they want, if not a clear vision of exactly what they dream of carrying down the aisle. I employ a few other strategies to avoid any bridal disappointment, one being; I always make sure I have extra flowers that the Bride requested,…just in case there are any mishaps along the way. As with all of my wedding/event work, I always go above and beyond expectations to provide “That something extra”. So far, I have yet to have a single disappointed Bride. Something I’ll never get used to (or take for granted) is,… I’m always taken a-back by how much Brides express their appreciation for my work! (They like it,… they really like it)! In fact, what’s really funny is this;.. it’s usually the bouquet’s that I’m least happy with (my work), that I get the most praise for,…. go figure!! (I know what you’re thinking,….. it’s hard NOT to love ANY bouquet of fresh flowers,…right)? No matter how prepared I am,…. I still get nervous!
In the end, with every exuberantly pleased Bride, gasping in wide eyed pleasure as I present them with their long anticipated Bridal bouquet (My absolute favorite part & yes, I like to make a bit of a “show” of it) I’m reminded of why,…. “I do, what I do”… (My therapist may have something to say here about my “need for validation” but,….. that’s an entirely different Blog all together)!

As for the actual construction, in addition to previously mentioned flowers, Kelsey had requested white Hydrangea (green Hydrangea for the Bridesmaids) in her hand tied bouquet of primarily white mixed flowers with apple green accents. OK,… here’s the thing,…. I live in East County, San Diego, yes, we are known for our gorgeous weather but, gorgeous weather and cut Hydrangea’s do NOT go together!! (Why are the most temperamental/expensive flowers always the most popular)? Of course, as usual my worries were all for naught and the white Hydrangea’s stayed hydrated and fresh looking throughout the ceremony…. Whew! As far as what happens to the flowers after that, I usually have no idea since I’m long gone by that time.

In case you haven’t met, let me introduce you to my new l’il friend, Mr. “Fuzzy ball” Green Dianthus.

green “Fuzzy ball” Dianthus

Dianthus?…What the hey?…..C’mon,….. it looks like an alien ball of moss on a stem to me,..from Mars.. right? This flower was also specifically requested by the Bride during our consultation.  At the time,.. I had absolutely nooo idea what she was talking about! (Very uncharacteristic of me, BTW). I won’t share the thought that went through my head as she showed me a picture of the oddity but, I will tell you that I did not let it show on my face!  Well, after I got used to the idea, I’ve since come to love this little green guy. It’s actually a funky lookin Cousin of the Carnation so,… like a Carnation, Mr. fuzzy ball is also a pleasure to work with! Not only is it consistent in its lovely apple green color but, it also “holds” beautifully in boutonnieres’.  Also, the “petals” grow as little “branches” (brachts) that can be separated and used in all kinds of creative ways! (as you’ll see, as soon as we get pics back from the photographer)

I’m going to leave off right here for now. I had fully expected to have pictures back from the photographer by now and it’s just killing me to talk about the “beautiful flowers” and “The lovely Kelsey” without having pictures to back it up. That’s just how I roll……

Bye for now but PLEASE check back soon. I promise it’ll be worth it!!


FINALLY,…. Here are Kelsey’s gorgeous pics!


Kelsey & Ryan, Kelsey bouquet 001



I’m so loving her bouquet!  The Vendela roses were extra beautiful and full.  I can’t remember what those gray balls are called but they are some type of pine…. sticky but cute!


Kelsey & Ryan, bouquet close 001



Yes,… Lots of Bridesmaids!


Kelsey & Ryan Bridesmaids bouquets 001




Pleased with the gardeny look :)


Floral Occasions by Kelli 001




Kelsey already knew what she wanted.  She had collected some sweet lanterns and gorgeous garden gazing balls that I loved!  We used them all down the aisle for an original look.


Floral Occasions by Kelli 001 (2)



Thank you Kelsey for being such a joy to work with and such an incredibly gorgeous Bride!

Related Images: