Floral workshop in England!

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” - Leonardo Da Vinci

I think at any time in your career, there is absolutely learning to be had. There is nothing more inspiring than meeting like-minded people, learning new techniques and using florals you haven’t used before. Via Instagram, I learned about Litha, an England workshop organized by Jo from Jo Flowers and Madison from Hart Floral (two amazing designers). I love England, have always wanted to meet florists from other countries and the “syllabus” sounded amazing, so I reserved my spot without hesitation. What resulted were several “pinch me” moments over four days!

The workshop took place at gorgeous Bylaugh Hall in Norfolk, about 2 hours by train from London. Bylaugh Hall is a mansion designed by the same architect who created the Houses of Parliament and Downton Abbey’s Highclere Castle.

All our meals were excellent and made by Bylaugh Hall’s French chef, Ronnie Cockett. The Bylaugh staff made us feel cared for during our entire stay.

The highlight for me were these two large, floral installations we did as a group. Large scale work are intimidating at times, so it was priceless to learn how Madison approach these floral creations. She is so creative and uses her background as fine art painter often in her floral design work.

Jo and Madison also demonstrated how they create centerpieces and bouquets. We then made ours and had photoshoots. Like I said, workshops allow you to use some flowers you may not have used before. With England being a country of gardeners (like Jo), we used the most beautiful blooms and had access to amazing local roses, cosmos, phlox, etc. For the first time ever, I used corncockle (aka agrostemma).

Lastly, one of the great things about workshops is making flower friends. It was an international group, so I met florists from several countries, including Finland, Malaysia and Australia. Hope to visit them all one day!

For more info about this year’s Litha workshop, go here. If you have any questions, let me know. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

The above photos were taken by the amazing Gillian Stevens.

I’m currently seeking my learning opportunity this year. Any ideas?

Repurposing wedding bouquets for your reception

Ever wonder what to do with your and the bridesmaids' bouquets after the ceremony? I definitely recommend that they serve double-duty as reception decor. Besides being an earth-friendly and budget-conscious idea, it's easy! May Floral delivers our bouquets in vases that match your wedding design, so it's stress-free to execute this idea. Here are my go-to ideas: 

1. Put the bouquets in vases and add some candles and a runner of greenery and voilà, the head table is decorated!

2. Wedding cakes look amazing on their own, but a touch of flowers and a few candles can add a little extra to the tablescape. 

Photo by  Katie Ricard

Photo by Katie Ricard

3. Some flowers and candles add a beautiful, welcoming touch to the card and gift table.

Photo by  Elle Rose Photo

4. The sweets table is my favorite! Desserts + flowers = winning combination! 

Photo by  Anna Guziak

Photo by Anna Guziak

5. Jill and Scott's bar at Salvage One was spruced up with one of the bouquets, candles and this sign that speaks the truth!

Photo by  Furla Studio

Photo by Furla Studio

Hope this helps! If you're planning a wedding and need flowers, say hey here!

Wedding day portraits in Evanston, Wilmette and the North Shore

If your wedding will be in Evanston, Wilmette or other North Shore towns, check out this list of nearby locations that provide the most beautiful backdrop for your wedding day portraits. I got married in Evanston and included the spot where we took our photos. Other ideas are courtesy of couples I've worked with and their talented photographers. Also, ask your photographer for location ideas. They will likely have locations not mentioned here.

My husband and I at the Lighthouse Beach | Photo by  Jeremy Lawson

My husband and I at the Lighthouse Beach | Photo by Jeremy Lawson

Haley and Jonathan at the Charles Gates Dawes House | Photo by  Ed and Aileen

Haley and Jonathan at the Charles Gates Dawes House | Photo by Ed and Aileen

Denae and Brendon at Shakespeare Garden | Photo by  Christian Wilson

Denae and Brendon at Shakespeare Garden | Photo by Christian Wilson

Ronit and Jonathan by Lake Michigan | Photo by  Becky Brown

Ronit and Jonathan by Lake Michigan | Photo by Becky Brown

Natasha and Derrick at Northwestern University | Photo by  Cassie Anna

Natasha and Derrick at Northwestern University | Photo by Cassie Anna

Dawn and Mark at Bahá'í House of Worship | Photo by  Oh So Lovely Photography

Dawn and Mark at Bahá'í House of Worship | Photo by Oh So Lovely Photography