Stone House Creative Turns 5!

I’ve been trying to think about what I would say in this post for a couple of months already. Somehow, Stone House Creative turns 5 this month! And I’m finding that I really can’t put into words…well, anything!

5 years is a long time, and it’s an impressive feat in small businesses. I’m so proud of how this company has grown over these years. When I launched my first website on June 24, 2014, I had no idea where it would go. I received such an incredible response from the wedding community, with the result that I crushed my year 1 goal of booking 2 weddings in that year, and booked 32 instead! In my year-end review blog post after that first full wedding season, I commented that I seemed to be working with the kindest, most excited clients - and in 5 years, that hasn’t changed at all!

Stone House Creative Turns 5 - Winnipeg Wedding Florist

When I started this biz, I was the ripe old age of 25. I was too cautious (I won’t say afraid) to actually tell anyone other than my husband and a couple of close friends that I was launching a business - I didn’t even tell my parents until after I had done it! I have always hated self-promotion and I think that’s what made me keep my lips shut - I really didn’t like the idea of shouting from the rooftops about what I was doing. But you know what? Looking back on that 25 year old young woman, going out on her own and starting a business, I’m pretty dang proud.

I had known for many years that I wanted to run my own business. I just didn’t know what it was going to be. For a while, I thought I wanted to be a wedding planner (thank goodness that didn’t happen…wedding planning is no joke. That is a HARD job). When I started SHC, I had already been working in weddings for 5+ years, in varied positions including banquet serving, writing for a local wedding publication, working as the wedding coordinator for a local floral shop, and doing ad sales and blog/social media writing for Once Wed. I came to the realization that maybe I just wasn’t the best employee. My personality is the type that wants to be integral, that wants to be recognized for my work, and that always wants to take on more. And when you’re not the owner of a business, taking on that kind of workload and responsibility is not necessary, and for me, it was too much. I was always burnt out and exhausted, while still saying YES to taking on more.

So it was a pretty natural fit for me to then open my own doors, so to speak. I had already been shouldering a workload and responsibility far greater than the average employee. One of the things that I love best about running my business is that it actually IS my responsibility. If something goes wrong, it’s MY fault. And if something goes really well and deserves praise, that all comes to me. That’s what my personality type thrives on!

That 25 year old Lauren was ready to take a leap and dive in. I didn’t know then that it was going to be a full-time career, but I did know that I WAS READY TO DO THE WORK. And work I have!

There’s so much that I love about my job. I love sitting down with prospective clients and hearing about their wedding plans, and then dreaming up a custom design for them. I love the recipe writing - I write recipes for every single piece that I design. I love to work with different types of flowers and varieties to create different combinations for each of my clients. I love cleaning the studio (except not on a Saturday afternoon…that’s too exhausting!). I obviously love the actual floral designing! I’d say the only thing I really don’t love about my job is the endless vase and bucket cleaning 🤪


So what’s planned for the next 5 years? That’s a good question! I have ideas and dreams, and some very concrete goals. One big project I have coming up that I’ll be letting you see sneak peeks of is a new brand and website, coming this winter. I’m excited to be working with one of my industry idols, Creme Brands - which is actually something that was on my goal list when I wrote my first biz plan 5 years ago! Now that I have a child, I’m learning to prioritize my time a little differently. I’m taking on fewer weddings that are even more exciting to me. I only take 1 wedding per day, so that I can spend as much time as I need to really make sure it’s perfect.

I won’t tell you too much about my other large goals quite yet, because they require some other big things to fall into place first and we’re a few years out. But you can be sure that in the next 5 years, you’re going to see a lot more flowers and I’ll be putting in a lot more work - and loving it almost every step of the way.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.” Colossians 3:23


If you’re interested in following along for more regular updates, I post on Instagram every few days with snippets of my summer wedding season and behind the scenes of my work!

The Winnipeg wedding industry is an amazing industry to be a part of. There are a lot of great people, working to make sure that all of your weddings come together wonderfully. There is also a lot of creativity and professionalism, a lot of knowledge and excellent service. It’s an honour to be a part of that. Thank you to all of my colleagues for making every wedding such a great work environment.

Burgundy and Gold Fall Wedding at Qualico Family Centre

I’m continuing on with sharing more or my fall weddings, even though what we’re all longing for right now are the lazy, hazy days of summer :) Those days will be here in a flash, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from working in weddings, it’s that time moves very quickly. One minute you’re engaged and getting married in a year and a half, and then next you suddenly find yourself collecting RSVPS and making your floor plan. So, those fall weddings are really just around the corner!

Jaclyn and Chad’s wedding was in September at the Qualico Family Centre, featuring a palette of burgundy and gold with a fairly formal feel and some really beautiful flowers.

Amanda Gundrum Photography (and some iphone photos from me!) ~ Amanda Douglas Events ~ Qualico Family Centre ~ Two Chicks and a Bag of Makeup ~ Planned Perfectly ~ C&T Rentals

Burgundy and Gold Fall Wedding - Wedding Flowers winnipeg
Fall Wedding Flowers - Winnipeg Wedding Florist

Oh, how I LOVED Jaclyn’s bouquet! It was lush and delicious with one special little ingredient: faux lily of the valley. I don’t normally use faux flowers, but Jaclyn’s grandma’s favourite flower was lily of the valley and since that’s only available for about 12 minutes in May, I suggested I track down a high quality silk and it worked beautifully. It tucked in really nicely!

Bridal Bouquet ingredients: burgundy dahlias, quicksand roses, sahara sensation spray roses, mauve astrantia, rice flower, and antique carnations with hasmine vine and nagi foliages. The spray roses were actually a sub for something else that I was hoping to get, but in the end, they were actually my favourite variety in the entire bouquet!

Burgundy and Blush Wedding Ideas - Garden Style Wedding Flowers in Winnipeg
Qualico Family Centre Wedding - Stone House Creative

I always like working at the Qualico Family Centre. Why? Because it’s so easy to make beautiful! It’s a nice, neutral space on its own with a warm and airy feel thanks to soaring ceilings and enormous windows, but with the right colour palette in there, the space really becomes something special. Personally, I love using warm neutrals with an accent of rich colour at Qualico. You can see how the gold and champagne tones are the perfect base, and the accents of burgundy are just delicious.

The focal point of the reception design was definitely the head table. Set in front of a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows, the long table was set apart with a contrasting sequinned linen and a full greenery and floral garland lining the front. On the guest tables, we alternated tall arrangements with low ones. The tall were designed on a baroque-style brass pedestal we sub-rented from Dream Day Decor, and the low arrangements were a lush combination of blooms from the bouquets in my ceramic brass urns.

Fall Weddings at the Qualico Family Centre - Wedding Florists in Winnipeg
Floral and Greenery Garland Centrepieces - Wedding Flowers in Winnipeg
Burgundy and Navy Wedding in Winnipeg - Stone House Creative

Looking for a Wedding Floral and Event Designer in Winnipeg?

I’m now booking 2020 wedding dates for both floral and event design!
I offer a limited number of dates for event design each year, in order to allow me to work closely with each couple. Combining event and floral design is the perfect option for couples who live out of town, or couples who feel they need a little extra help in creating the visual plan for their wedding day. Click this link to learn more!

Why It's Important to Me (and my business) that I'm Constantly Learning

Right from the start of my business, I knew that I wanted to invest in myself with continued education for many years to come. My first job in the wedding industry was working for a local wedding magazine, and I learned so much by observing the many small businesses in the wedding industry that we worked with. One of the main things I realized was that SO many people in this industry hit cruise control and then a few years later, watch in horror as their businesses start to crumble around them. I never wanted to see that happen in my business, and I knew that investing into education, inspiration, and relationships with other wedding professionals was one way to stay at the top of my game, while always keeping me searching for new ways to progress in my biz. As a result, I’ve attended floral design workshops, taken online courses in event design, business management and marketing, learned how to build a website, and attended conferences specifically for floral professionals.

Stone House Consulting - Wedding Business Coach

I recently attended the Team Flower Conference, and not only that, I was actually a featured keynote speaker as well! It was an incredible honour to be asked to speak and my presentation was all about the importance of client communication and how to truly do it well. As you can see, I talk with my hands a lot 😂

At the conference, my love for learning was reaffirmed, once again! There were sessions on design, flower farming, hiring a team, being a parent working in the floral industry, and more. One of my favourite sessions was presented by Natalie Gill of Native Poppy, a retail floral shop specializing in weddings in California. She said a lot of things that really stood out to me:

“Sweat builds you a job. Systems build you a business.”

“I think there’s a solution to everything.”

“For years I had been a student of flowers. Then I became a student of business.”

That last one really stuck out to me and has been inspiring me since. Why? Well, I’m pretty confident in my design style and I know how to take really good care of flowers. I, too, have been a student of flowers. What’s really firing me up right now is learning how to build the very best business that I can, so that YOU, my clients, can benefit! I want you to have the very best experience possible in planning your wedding, and I know that the way I serve you plays an enormous role in that. If your interactions with me suck, then you might just end up with a tinge of unhappiness that seeps into other aspects of your wedding planning. I don’t want that!

I also want to build the best business possible because of the plans that I have for Stone House Creative. This biz turns 5 years old this summer. The past 4 years have been about hustling and working hard and loving (almost) every minute of it. This year is the first wedding season when I’ll have a baby beside me (except not actually beside me, because we have childcare to take care of him while I work - thank goodness, because I’m a good multitasker but not that good!). It’s really important to me to show him that women in business are POWERFUL and can achieve a lot, and that working hard for something that you value is important. I want him to grow up knowing that hard work itself is valuable, whether you’re working your “dream job” or not. I also want my business to serve my life well, and that means allowing me flexibility to take off specific weekends in the summer so my family can go to the lake, or not working on my son’s birthday weekend so we can celebrate. And I have some pretty serious goals for the future, which aren’t even close to being unrolled yet but are going to be amazing down the line.


It should also be important to YOU to hire someone who is constantly learning and evaluating their business, making shifts to serve their clients and themselves well, rather than just building something that works alright and letting it lay stagnant for years. I’m not saying this to convince you to hire me - I’m saying this because I truly think that the best businesses, the best client experiences, the best wedding days come about when you hire people and businesses who are passionate and ENGAGED in what they do.

“True experts never stop learning and work relentlessly on pushing [themselves] to be better.” - Think Splendid


If you’ve made it this far, you get rewarded with a picture of the cutest baby of all time…mine! To close the Team Flower Conference, there was a dinner in which everyone needed to wear something floral. Being a new mom, I decided that my family had to match 😂BUT it’s very hard to find floral printed clothes for baby boys in February! I was pretty pumped to find these Pick Flowers Not Fights t-shirts so Jack and I could match. I couldn’t find one in time for my husband, but I thought a slightly floral printed white t would be good enough.

But seriously…isn’t he the cutest baby you’ve ever seen? He’s WAY huger now and he has slightly more hair (only slightly, lol!), is moving CONSTANTLY and he’s super chatty. Basically it’s just the most fun I’ve ever had.

team-flower-2019-488.JPG

Professional Photos by Hannah Haston Photography

How to Take the Best Care of Your Wedding Flowers

Once in a while, I’ll read complaints on a Facebook group or something of the like of wedding flowers not lasting throughout a wedding day. So, here are some tips on how to take the BEST care of your wedding flowers!

Before I get too far into this, it really comes down to using common sense: remember that flowers are live things, and treat them as such. If you throw your bouquet around, the delicate petals will be damaged. If you leave it out of water on a hot day, it will wilt. If you leave it in an unheated car when it’s below zero, it will freeze. Think of flowers like skin, except those petals are even more delicate and they don’t have the ability to regenerate themselves!

How to Take Care of your Wedding Flowers - Wedding Florists in Winnipeg

Keep The Flowers Hydrated

After delivery or pick up of flowers, it is the client’s responsibility to keep flowers hydrated throughout the day to maintain freshness. Place bouquets into their water sources throughout the day to allow for hydration (I always deliver my bouquets in vases to give them the best chance). In hot weather, flowers should be kept out of direct sunlight as much as possible, which will cause them to wilt. Some flower varieties are more prone to wilting than others, and if you’re getting married in the heat of summer, there’s just honestly very little that we can do to protect those fragile blooms. Generally, keeping them in water and out of heat will be your best bet!

Think About The Temperature

In cold temperatures, flowers should not be exposed to air below or around freezing. Flowers will be delivered with a plastic covering; keep this closed over the flowers any time they are outside. Do not leave flowers in an unheated vehicle. Flowers will freeze and brown when exposed to freezing air - and note that this includes air conditioners! Last year I had a photographer friend text me a photo of a bouquet (not one of mine) to ask what happened to it, so she could try to help the bride. The white flowers had completely browned and gone mushy. I asked where it was placed - the photographer told me that the couple had picked up the flowers from their florist the night previous to the wedding, and they had left them right in front of the air conditioner. As much as we do want to keep the flowers cool, the air coming out of an air conditioner is often too cold when it’s directly on the flowers, and that poor bouquet froze. Once a flower is frozen, there is no going back!

One bummer about temperature is that we can rarely control it. This includes your venue! The first week that the heat goes on in the fall often ends up with the venue being SUPER hot. I hate to say it, but there’s just nothing I can do to combat the inevitable wilt of some of your flowers under that blowing heat. A few years ago, I had a winter wedding where the ballroom must have been at least 26 degrees Celcius - in other words, it was smoking hot. I think their plan was to warm up the room quickly so that they could turn down the heat once guests arrived, but of course that plays a major impact on the flowers. I was running around the room making sure that every stem was in water and replacing some stems that had already started wilting, but there was nothing beyond that that I could do. Tent weddings often have a similar situation - I would recommend that if you’re having a tent wedding, ask your venue coordinator or wedding coordinator to open up the side panels to allow for as much air flow as possible. There’s nothing like a dank heat settling in a tent to create that oppressive greenhouse effect that cut flowers do not often thrive in.

Gorgeous Outdoor Wedding Flowers at Fort Gibraltar, Winnipeg - Stone House Creative

Travel Safely

One of the weirdest wedding mornings I’ve ever had was when the bride’s father came to pick up her bridal party flowers…with a full car. And it wasn’t just that there were dress bags or something in the backseat - it was full of PEOPLE. Like, there was literally no room in the car for the flowers. I asked him what his plan was, and he promptly popped the trunk. PEOPLE. Trunks are not air-conditioned, nor are they safe for something fragile to be bouncing around in. Please, please, please do not put your flowers in your trunk if you care about them at all! I told him there was no way he could do this and I suggested the people in the backseat hold the flowers on their laps (luckily, it was a very small order of just bridal party bouquets).

Now I know that on a wedding day, you’re rarely staying in one place all day long. You’re probably hopping into a limo to go off-site for photos at some point, and that’s perfectly fine! I deliver my bouquets in long cardboard boxes that are quite sturdy, and then packed really well with tons of paper in between the vases. The easiest thing you can do it just pop the bouquets back into their vases, have one person pick up each end of the box, and slide it into the vehicle. No trunks :) Do not leave flowers in a closed, un-air-conditioned vehicle.

Minimize The Flower Timeline

That’s a weird way of wording it, but if you’re facing a really hot day or you’re just worried about the longevity of the flowers, don’t have me deliver your bouquets at 8 am. If all of your pictures are taking place between the ceremony and reception, I can deliver your bouquets to you shortly before you leave for the ceremony location, which means that they’ll be able to stay in my cooler for longer! Most photographers don’t care to have the flowers in every photo, anyways, so you won’t need them all day long.

Similarly, opt to have the flowers picked up or delivered on the day of the wedding as much as possible, and not the day before. Rarely does this happen in my business, and usually only when the wedding is out of town so I understand that sometimes we need to make an exception and have the flowers picked up the day before. But generally, I do my very best to avoid this! Again, the longer they can stay in my cooler, the better for the flowers.

Organic Style Cascading Bouquet - Tips to Take Care of your Wedding Flowers

Keep Flowers Out Of Harm’s Way

What is in “harm’s way,” you might ask? Pets, curious little kids, overbearing mothers or wedding coordinators... Some pets will have a tendency to sniff a little too closely or even try to take a bite out of a bouquet. Little kids might tear through the getting ready space and knock a bouquet down, or get their hands right into the flowers and rip apart those fragile petals (though I will say, the ring bearer at one of my weddings this year tried to eat a flower out of his mom’s bouquet while she carried him down the aisle, and it was adorable). The occasional mom or wedding coordinator will think they know best and attempt to “perfect” the piece that’s already been perfected by your designer. At the shop I used to work at, we once had a wedding coordinator (truth be told, she was NOT a professional wedding coordinator, but someone the family knew who was a little overly bossy and wanted to be involved) who called us to re-make a bouquet 3 times on the morning of the wedding. Why? Because she thought that the petals weren’t perfect enough, and picked off all of the “damaged” petals - aka she made the bouquet bald, twice, before learning her lesson. Luckily, a retail shop often has enough leftovers to re-make a bouquet and we made it work for that bride but we had to tell the coordinator HANDS OFF!

The most important thing to me is that your flowers look beautiful on the day of the wedding. My job is to make sure each bloom is at it’s very peak on the day of, and in most flower varieties, they look their absolute best shortly before they die. Of course I would LOVE for your flowers to last a week after your wedding, and very often they do - but the after isn’t what matters the most.


Looking for a Wedding Floral and Event Designer in Winnipeg?

My 2020 waitlist has already been started, and couples interested in full event and floral design will be contacted first about their dates. I offer a limited number of dates for event design each year, in order to allow me to work closely with each couple. Combining event and floral design is the perfect option for couples who live out of town, or couples who feel they need a little extra help in creating the visual plan for their wedding day. Click this link to learn more!

All photos in this post by Charmaine Mallari Photography.

Luxurious Wine-Inspired Fall Wedding at Hawthorn Estates

I’ve been so looking forward to Ana and Sam’s luxurious, wine-inspired fall wedding at Hawthorn Estates because I have been so excited for the venue! Since seeing the plans for their re-build after the fire they experienced two winters ago, I knew that it was going to be a STUNNING venue for weddings. They made so many good decisions in terms of the structure’s design and finishings, and even better for me, they added in so many features that make it really easy for floral and event designers like me to have a LOT of flower fun :)

Sugar & Soul Photography ~ Amanda Douglas Events ~ Hawthorn Estates ~ Planned Perfectly ~ Bliss Bridal Boutique ~ High Tea Bakery ~ Urban Prairie Cuisine

Luxurious Fall Wedding at Hawthorn Estates - Winnipeg Wedding Florist
Luxurious Fall Wedding Bouquet - Stone House Creative

Okay, flower time! Ana wanted a pretty good sized bouquet with a slight cascading shape, but a modern take on it. I still designed this with a hand-tied method (meaning no floral foam - #yay for the environment!!), and layered in different blooms in shades of deep reds, light pinks, and creams with plenty of greenery.

Bridal Bouquet Ingredients: Secret garden roses, black beauty roses, white majolica spray roses, burgundy cymbidium orchids, burgundy dahlias, white waxflower, burgundy hypericum berries, burgundy astilbe, with several types of foliages.

Burgundy and Blush Bridal Bouquet - Wedding Florists in Winnipeg
Burgundy Fall Wedding Ideas - Weddings at Hawthorn Estates, Manitoba
Wine Inspired Fall Wedding at Hawthorn Estates - Winnipeg Wedding Florist
Fall Wedding Inspiration in Winnipeg - Winnipeg Wedding Photographers
Church Weddings in Winnipeg - Winnipeg Wedding Planning

For the church ceremony, the couple requested some flowers at the front of the church to define the altar space, garland-style aisle arrangements, and something for the back of the two chairs they’d sit in at the front. I chose to feature the cymbidium orchids throughout the ceremony florals.

Greenery Aisle Decor - Church Weddings in Winnipeg
Hawthorn Estates Weddings Winnipeg - Stone House Creative

Given how awesome Hawthorn Estates is and how well-built it is, I decided that we should take full advantage and create multiple floral focal points throughout the room: 1) the head table 2) the fireplace and 3) the entry way/staircase. Thanks to the couple’s planner, Amanda Douglas Events, for letting me do what I do here and just giving me full reign!

Hanging Flowers at Head Table - Hawthorn Estates Wedding by Stone House Creative

The Head Table
Hawthorn thoughtfully included a sturdy set of move-able arms that can extend from the wall behind the head table to allow for a hanging installation over the table. Whoop whoop! Love it. They also have a vintage ladder that typically hangs here, though I don’t believe that you have to use it if you don’t like that vibe. For Ana and Sam, it worked perfectly as a base for the full hanging arrangement that I was planning. I loved adding in the hanging orchid blooms - Ana’s mom had the idea of incorporating orchids, and I ended up with the MOST FULL stems of cymbidium orchids I’ve ever experienced so I had a ton of leftover blooms and was super excited to add them into this design. Pretty good for a last minute addition, eh?

I decided to add in mixed greenery and grapes lining the front of the head table, for colour and texture as well as to emphasize the wine theme. I also really loved the idea of creating a vine-like piece behind the head table, so I “grew up” some viney greenery on the beams on either side of the head table.

Garden Inspired Wedding Flowers - Wedding Flowers in Winnipeg

The Fireplace
First of all, don’t judge Mel from Sugar & Soul on the above photo. That was taken with my iphone and I just wanted to include it so you could see the full set up :) I know it’s nowhere near as good as what hers would have been!

The fireplace is built of beautiful, neutral stone with a gorgeous driftwood mantle. We kept this design fairly similar to the head table in terms of the elements included - greenery, grapes, and coordinating florals in cut glass stem vases. Since this wasn’t the main focal point in the room, I didn’t want to go over the top with the design - though I can envision some AMAZING things happening with this fireplace and florals if this were to be the backdrop for your head table! I have so many good ideas and will just keep them percolating for the right couple :)

Greenery and Floral Staircase at Wedding - Hawthorn EStates Wedding

THE ENTRANCE STAIRCASE
This piece came about through me wanting to find a really good way to incorporate both the ceremony aisle garlands, along with adding more vine-like greenery to the space. As you can see, I decided to “grow” greenery up the main post and the staircase, adding a luxurious component that certainly isn’t necessary in this beautiful of a space, but still adds a little something extra special!

For the guest tables, Amanda Douglas Events had helped the couple choose these beautiful, soft metallic table linens that looked really good with the colouring of the venue and with the chairs. We decided on a low centrepiece (truth be told, I’m often hesitant to do tall centrepieces in most spaces - something about them just so often feels off in my opinion), with florals and colours to coordinate with the rest of the wedding. Burgundy and light pink roses, touches of cream, and plenty of green in my bronze urn were perfect on the tables.

Wine-Inspired Wedding Centrepieces - Wedding Florists Winnipeg
Charcuterie Display at Wedding - CHEW Catering in Winnipeg

You guys can’t imagine how disappointed I was to be pregnant when I saw this unreal charcuterie display from CHEW. Invited guest or not, I would not have been able to resist stealing a few little bites had I been medically allowed! And the incredible dessert display below from High Tea Bakery was so tempting (in fact, I did take a tiny bite of gluten free brownie after helping to set up the whole table and it was DELISH).

Luxurious Wedding Flowers Winnipeg - Winnipeg Wedding Floral and Event Designer
Romantic Wedding at Hawthorn Estates - Wedding Flowers Winnipeg
Weddings at Hawthorn Estates - Stone House Creative Flowers

Thank you, Ana and Sam, for trusting me with your vision and letting me run with it! I loved being able to work in this new space. It was awesome to not feel restricted to what had been done in the space previously, because it was literally being built while we were planning their wedding! And by the way, if you’re a Hawthorn couple, I have SO many ideas for florals and design in here (including some really sweet ideas for a ceremony in their solarium area!) and I’d love to talk with you about your wedding!

And yes, it did snow on their wedding day. So much for a September wedding!

Fall Wedding Flowers Winnipeg - Wedding Flower Ideas in Winnipeg

Looking for a Wedding Floral and Event Designer in Winnipeg?

My 2020 waitlist has already been started, and couples interested in full event and floral design will be contacted first about their dates. I offer a limited number of dates for event design each year, in order to allow me to work closely with each couple. Combining event and floral design is the perfect option for couples who live out of town, or couples who feel they need a little extra help in creating the visual plan for their wedding day. Click this link to learn more!