A few months ago I was offered a unique chance to take my floral skills out of state. A family friend’s daughter, Kate, was getting married in Marin County, a paradise in the Bay Area. This was not only an opportunity to work with flowers I can’t get up in Alaska but it also meant I could reunite with my old floral partner, Evan Falconer of Paper Peony.
Evan was instrumental in the planning process. The bride and groom are from New York City so many things had to be planned remotely. Evan made special trips to the San Francisco Flower Mart to research vases and flower types. She would text me photos of every possibility and detail based on Kate’s specifications. She was amazing.
Kate and Jeremy went to high school together in California and 17 years later happened to meet on OKCupid. It’s a classic love story in modern times. Truly romantic. Their florals needed to not only reflect that romance but also to have the sophistication and luxury of Marin County and New York. It wasn’t a difficult task since we had the San Francisco Flower Mart at our fingertips.
Having never driven outside of Alaska, my first adventure was navigating to the flower market. I had no idea how thrilling it would be to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a perfectly foggy day with minimal traffic (thankfully).
Due to one of the market shops closing early, my parents, who were staying in the city, picked up the garland for me. They got to tour the flower mart before I did and were so impressed they sent me a photo essay of the experience. Here’s one photo of my mom:
The flowers we’d ordered from Delirio were incredible. Peachy white roses, lavender pink spray roses, spray roses with just a hint of blush, ruffly stock, perfect football mums and of course, the ever-desired cafe au lait dahlia. It was the softest, most romantic palette I’ve ever worked with.
We packed the flowers into our rental SUV and trekked over to Larkspur, another breathtaking community in Marin. The house where we set up camp was literally in a redwood forest.
I’ve never seen anything like it. The road accommodated every tree and the house itself had a redwood jutting through the deck. It smelled strongly of evergreens and was extremely shady and cool. What luck, as my biggest concern for the weekend was having our flowers wilt in the sun.
On Saturday morning we set to work. Forty centerpieces, one bridal bouquet, a gigantic table arrangement and four boutonnieres. On paper it seemed like a big job, and seeing it all in person was pretty much how I expected it. Evan and I spent all day on the arrangements and it felt like old times. We both work best in silence – we were in the zone, knocking out one centerpiece after another.
Sunday morning we completed the gazebo garland. We wired delicate garden roses throughout and the blooms were in water tubes so they wouldn’t wilt while hung for several hours.
The wedding was at the Marin Art and Garden Center, which was a veritable palace of flowers and plants. After setting up all the flowers I felt like donning some puffed sleeves and jumping right into “Anne of Green Gables.”
The bride was a classic beauty. She wore a satin tea-length dress and a vintage fascinator. She wanted a small, British-style nosegay bouquet. She was a petite gal and her bouquet was perfectly proportionate. White garden roses, peachy white roses, white spray roses and baby’s breath was all that was needed.
The centerpieces were to die for. Giant cafe au lait dahlias leaned over the sides of the faceted ceramic vases. Big football mums and smaller mums were the framework and white roses with the most unique peach hue were added with blush spray roses and white stock. Dusty miller and seeded eucalyptus draped and wove through the arrangement, which softened the look even more.
The boutonnieres were a combination of the bridal bouquet and the centerpieces. They were simple and elegant.
The wild card was a large arrangement for a lemonade stand. It measured about 30 inches and was brimming with larkspur, stock and limonium. Green amaranthus spilled from the sides. It was one of the most unique arrangements I’ve ever worked on.
And lastly was the gazebo garland. Since it was a team of two, we didn’t have the womanpower to create the garland on our own. I preordered a salal and plumosa fern garland from the flower market knowing that these greens do extremely well out of water (I know this because I don’t always clean up my workspace in a timely manner and both of these greens remain intact on my garage floor for several days). The garland looked perfectly fresh after three days unrefrigerated. Evan and I wired in garden roses, spray roses and baby’s breath.
We also got my older sister, Farra, to help out.
It was a lot of work, but what was unique is the family included us in all the celebrations. Evan and I got to attend the rehearsal dinner at the bride’s family ranch home, which put Pinterest to shame. I didn’t get any photos because I was having too much fun!
This was an experience I will remember forever. And I’m so grateful my parents and older sister were able to attend the wedding. Without their spur-of-the-moment assistance I wouldn’t have been able to pull it off.
This wedding was absolute perfection. I am so happy to have been a part of Kate and Jeremy’s celebratory weekend.