Thursday, September 20, 2012

A late summer wedding

Flowers are incredibly symbolic and there's nothing more gratifying than sharing my love and adoration for them by creating something for an event that many will see and also remember for the rest of their lives.

During the first weekend of September, I was invited to my friend, Katharine's, wedding that took place at the scenic Washington coast and was asked if I was able to do the flowers for the event.

Normally, I would decline such requests as seasonal, informal bouquets from my garden and what's in season were one thing, but flowers for an event with a specific theme and color scheme were a whole other ball game. Hearing her ideas and offering some advice, I quickly began to see it coming together in my mind. With the help of her Pinterest page, it was obvious that she wanted to go a simple, almost country/rustic route that would be easy to pull off utilizing materials I had close at hand or could be sourced easily and locally!

Dahlia BucketAlready inspired by my early spring trips to Jello Mold Farm and the book "The 50 Mile Bouquet" by my friends Debra Prinzing and photographer, David Perry, I've been on such a roll putting together abundant bouquets freshly picked from my garden and I figured I would have the same approach. It came together very well!
Dahlias were the flower of choice by the bride and I couldn't have been more thrilled. It could have been a total excuse to visit Dan's Dahlias in Oakville to see his remarkable farm!

UntitledExcited, yet also nervous, I agreed to create her bouquet and the bridesmaid's bouquets. And always wanting to go above and beyond, I said I could pull off corsages and boutonnieres for the parents, centerpieces for the reception, and arrangements for others areas of the venues.

Long story short, it came together so well. I was able to raid the future mother-in-law's home garden for some fabulous material to put together other arrangements for the event.

Wedding Aisle
The aisle flanked with a pair of galvanized buckets filled with 'Limelight' Hydrangeas, Physocarpus, and plumes of Stipa gigantea. I bundled some fresh lavender, which the groom's family kindly helped me clean and prepare, to adorn the seats that defined the aisle.
Wedding Aisle 1
The bride's view as she walks down the aisle to her groom under a simple arbor draped in red silk and the dramatic ocean view in the background.

The completed bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages.


The bride's bouquet composed of hand-tied dahlias, chrysanthemums, lavender and surrounded by the sweet scent of Clethera and various ornamental grasses.

Bridemaids Bouquet

The bridesmaids had white dahlias hand-tied with silvery blue Echinops, lavender, rosemary, and various ornamental grasses for a wild, meadow look. I threw in Hypericum berries to compliment the bride's warmer tones in her bouquet.

Katharine and Scott kiss
Witnessing moments like this when two join together as partners in life is something truly special, but to see that you played a part in that union by seeing a bride holding something you created, from the heart, makes what I do working with plants and flowers, so extraordinary.

Riz and Katharine
So here I am with the bride during the reception after all the running around getting flowers and making sure everything looked beautiful.

I've known Katharine since middle school when we were in orchestra together! We both played violin and I think we were stand partners at one point. It was great to know that she continued with it and is now part of a band called Scarlett Virginia:


Congratulations, Katharine and Scott Houck!



  1. gorgeous wedding pics :-)
    Congratulations and best wishes to you guys!!

  2. I think you did a great job of above and beyond!!!Beautiful beautifulness!

  3. Riz, your flowers completely made the day! Words really can't do them justice. We have some more professional quality photos coming our way so I am planning on making a photo album or collage of all the arrangements soon. I remember searching online for sample bouquets but started panicking as I couldn't find examples of anything that I really loved. Riz played such a huge part in smoothing over my pre-wedding panic attacks about flowers and decor, and for that I am eternally grateful. Being the flower genius that he is, he was able to take what I told him and some photos that I had pinned on a Pinterest board, and somehow create what I had pictured in my head before my very eyes. No, actually what he created was better than anything that I had ever imagined, and much more beautiful than any photos of bouquets I had seen online. To this day I still have no idea how he managed to read my mind, considering I know very little about flowers and had only very limited flower vocabulary to express what I wanted. Thank you Riz, for making my wedding weekend so magical!

  4. Amazing arrangements, so fitting for the occasion.

  5. I’m sure you were happy with what you’ve done and how the flowers gave life to the venue. After all, it’s not good to refuse a bride-to-be’s request. ;D I love what you did with her bouquet – colorful, which is a good way to pronounce the coming of the bride, against the predominantly white setting. Nice one, Riz, nice one. :)