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!

From Sketches to Reality - How Wedding Design Comes Together

Sketching isn’t something that I do for every client, but it serves many purposes in my job. I love being able to provide my clients with superior customer service, and sometimes, sketches are needed to do just that. So, I wanted to show you all a little behind the scenes - from sketches to reality, how a wedding design comes together!

Most of the time when I sketch, it’s either to communicate a vision that isn’t clearly understood or shared, or it’s for an event design client who receives more detailed design plans as a part of working with me. I love being able to sketch out different elements for my event design clients, especially when they happen to live out of town. It helps them to make sure that I understand the features and limitations of the venues they’ve chosen, and above all, shows them that I have great ideas for how we can personalize their wedding and make sure that theirs will be a celebration that is really and truly custom to them.

This combination was one of my most popular posts on Instagram this year - and it’s what made me realize that you all like to see the behind the scenes a little more! Lise came to me inspired by maypoles and dreaming of a whimsical garden party. For her head table at Cielo’s Garden, I came up with the idea of a maypole-inspired floral chandelier but felt like my words were doing a poor job of describing what I was picturing - enter the sketch!
Photo by Ariana Tennyson

For Jessica and Liam’s wedding at the Rustic Wedding Barn, we wanted to do something a little fuller and more special for their head table and I wanted to give her and her wedding planner a visual to make sure we were on the same page. Sometimes when there are multiple heads involved in the design process, things can get a little muddy so it’s best to be as clear as possible!
Photo by Sugar & Soul Photography

Celia and Cam’s fall wedding at The Kitchen Sync was so lovely and intimate! They were planning from long distance, which can make it extra tricky to communicate a vision well. In this case, I did up two side-by-side sketches of a table garland option to communicate two budget options, showing differing amounts of greenery, floral spotlights, and candles. While this doesn’t always show the exact scale, I tried really hard to make this as close to accurate as possible and then allowed them to choose what budget point they were most comfortable with!
Photo by Sugar & Soul Photography

Heather (and her mom, who was very involved in the planning) wanted a feminine, garden-inspired wedding with lots of florals. The ballroom at St Charles Country Club is somewhat strangely U shaped, with low ceilings, so we felt that it would be really important to create a major focal point for the head table and I wanted to use these gold stands that were a new rental item for me. Mid-way through the planning, Heather’s mom was unsure if she liked the idea of a differently shaped head table, if it should have floral on it, etc. Sketching it out helped her to visualize the overall design, and also helped to calm her nerves about how it would look.
Photo by Joel Ross

I love being able to create a new vision for a space that’s been used a lot before. The loft space at Fort Gibraltar is used for a lot of wedding ceremonies (especially winter ones!) and I knew I wanted to do something different, that hadn’t been done there before. Rachel and Matt loved the idea of a hanging installation, and given that they were having a December wedding, I wanted it to be fragrant and seasonal. We wanted to incorporate lights (originally, we were planning on using cafe lights but on the day of, the venue told us we had to use the little Christmas lights to avoid the bulbs getting too hot, which was a bummer but it still worked out!).
Photo by Sugar & Soul Photography


And of course, sometimes sketching things out makes it obvious that it’s not the right design for a particular wedding. Here are a few of my favourite sketches that didn’t come to fruition, but would still be gorgeous options for a wedding!

Eclectic Wedding Flower Ideas - Sketches of Wedding Flowers

Above and below were original design plans for Stephanie and Andrew, for whom I provided event design as well as floral design. While the overall plan stayed relatively the same, some things were edited or eliminated - like the potted fern table numbers.
Photo at bottom right by Ariana Tennyson

Fireplace Mantle Wedding Flower Ideas - Winnipeg's Top Wedding Florist

The sketches above and below are based on a wedding that I dreamed up at Whitetail Meadow for a competition I was a part of at the Team Flower Conference in 2018 (I ended up receiving the top award for this portion, “Mastery in Communication”). If you want me to make this a reality for you, I will do so VERY gladly!

Fall Wedding Ceremony Flower Ideas - Outdoor Weddings in Winnipeg
Wedding Ceremony Arch Flowers - Wedding Flowers Winnipeg

This arch and head table sketch served very useful for my communication for a bride who spoke English, but not comfortably, and who also did most of her planning from China. I could tell she was worried that I wouldn’t understand her because of the language barrier, so putting these sketches together helped her to feel more comfortable and know that I shared her vision and understood what she was looking for!

From Sketch to Reality - Hanging Greenery Garland over Head Table

The sketches below actually did come mostly to life for another event design client in 2017 (we ended up changing the ceremony design), but I never received the professional photos to share with you. I was so pleased on the day of the wedding - these sketches truly became reality and were just what I had promised to the clients. This was another case of a couple who lived out of town and were planning from another province, and I wanted to make the entire event and floral design process as simple as possible for them. Providing them with detailed ideas and sketches made them feel extra comfortable, despite the long distance.


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!

Cassy and Matt's Jewel Tone Wedding at the Fort Garry Hotel

I can't believe that it's January and Cassy and Matt's fun jewel tone wedding at the Fort Garry Hotel was in July! It feels like it was just weeks ago. I loved the opportunity to work with so much colour for an otherwise fairly traditional wedding - Cassy wanted rich jewel tones, and I was more than happy to oblige! Rich pinks, peaches, vibrant greens, berries, and a hint of light blue made for a delicious palette. I also got to work with Amanda Douglas Events (I love working with wedding planners!), who did a great job of tying together different aspects of Cassy and Matt's individual styles and dreams for the wedding - for example, Matt really wanted his favourite colour (lime green) to play a role, and Cassy's love for Disney needed to find a place as well (which was incorporated into cute sketches on the guest table numbers).


Amanda Douglas Events ~ Luckygirl Photography ~ Planned Perfectly ~ Two Chicks and a Bag of Makeup ~ Niakwa Golf Course ~ Fort Garry Hotel ~ Platinum Productions ~ Buttercream by Alareen

Jewel Tone Wedding Flowers - Fort Garry Hotel Wedding
Jewel Tone Bridal Bouquet - Stone House Creative

GUYS. I love love loved Cassy's bouquet, and making it. And holding it. And I may or may not have wanted to keep it! I loved this combination of jewel tones and textures, rich greens and unique touches. 

Bridal bouquet ingredients: garden roses (several varieties), standard roses, spray roses, delphinium, sweet pea, and dahlias with several types of greenery.

Fuschia Bridesmaid Dresses - Winnipeg wedding Florist
Wedding Florists Winnipeg - Outdoor Wedding Ceremony

The ceremony was held at Niakwa Country Club (which they normally only do when they have receptions at the club, so this worked out really well for Cassy and Matt!), and in the summertime, it is so vibrant and lush there that we didn't need to add any flowers. But, Cassy had this cute idea to add some light, airy floral garlands onto the sides of the wagon that the little kids were pulled down the aisle on. It was so cute and worked out so well!

Vibrant Wedding Flowers - Bold Wedding Colours
Elegant Winnipeg Wedding - Fort Garry Hotel Wedding
Fort Garry Hotel Wedding - Stone House Creative

Amanda from Amanda Douglas Events came up with a really beautiful, unique floor plan in the Provencher Room at the Fort Garry Hotel (for the record, it's my favourite ballroom in the city!). She combined both wide, rectangular tables with round tables to create an elegant space that was also effective at directing guests around the room. They chose these gorgeous cross-back chairs and lace overlays from Planned Perfectly, which formed the right kind of neutral base for the space - especially since Cassy wanted me to go vibrant with the flowers! For the long tables, the floral centrepieces were in a long wood box, and for the round tables, I used a short stone urn.

Fort Garry Hotel Provencher Room - Elegant Ballroom Wedding Winnipeg
Dessert Table - Wedding Ideas

We re-purposed the floral garlands onto the sweets table and I love the way it turned out!

Jewel Tone Wedding Bouquet - Winnipeg Wedding Florist
C&M 0577.jpg

Ashley and Bobby's Elegant Garden Wedding at the Fort Garry Hotel

Talk about a dream wedding. No, seriously. Ashley and Bobby's elegant garden wedding at the Fort Garry Hotel is one that I'd be happy to re-do every single weekend of the year. Ashley requested a refined design with classic style, and for roses to take centre stage. You know, there was a time in my life when I thought I didn't like roses. What on earth was I thinking?

PS Sorry in advance for a looooong post. The photos from Brittany Mahood are just WAY too good.

Brittany Mahood Photography ~ Melanie Parent Events ~ Sarah SevenPlanned Perfectly ~ Grace Hill Salon ~ Myuz Artistry ~ Rhyme and Rhythm ~ Charleston & Harlow Candle Co ~ High Tea Bakery

Elegant Fort Garry Hotel Wedding - Winnipeg Wedding Florist
Classic Wedding in Winnipeg - Fort Garry Hotel Wedding
Sarah Seven Wedding Gown - Weddings in Winnipeg
Blush and Berry Wedding Bouquet - Stone House Creative
Mocha Bridesmaid Dresses - Neutral Wedding Ideas
Rose Wedding Bouquets - Wedding Florists in Winnipeg
Elegant Winnipeg Wedding - Wedding Flowers Winnipeg
Blush and Berry Wedding Bouquet - Wedding Florists Winnipeg
Elegant Bridal Party - Winnipeg Wedding Flowers
Rose and Dahlia Bouquet - Wedding Florist in Winnipeg
Fort Garry Hotel Wedding - Winnipeg Wedding Flowers
Fort Garry Hotel Concert Ballroom - Concert Ballroom Wedding
Fort Garry Hotel Wedding - Stone House Creative
Floral Arch for Wedding - Wedding Florist in Winnipeg
Provencher Room Fort Garry Hotel - Provencher Room Wedding

The Provencher Room is my favourite formal ballroom setting in the city, because it has this incredible sense of elegance with a neutral palette. Some of the other ballrooms have a more distinct colour palette (other ballrooms at the Fort Garry feature navy or emerald drapery, for example), while the Provencher Room is more of a timeless setting, in my opinion

Guest Book Table Decor - Winnipeg Weddings
Elegant Wedding Centrepiece - Stone House Creative
Classic Rose Centrepiece - Elegant Wedding Flowers Winnipeg
Fort Garry Hotel Wedding - Winnipeg Wedding Florist

And for a little something extra, Kayla from Rhyme and Rhythm did an amazing job with their video!