The Number 1 Thing You Can Do To Get The Best Wedding Flowers Possible

Want to know the number 1 thing you can do to get the best wedding flowers possible? It’s actually really easy, and it has nothing to do with how much money you spend:

Give your floral designer some flexibility.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Maybe a little too easy to actually be the answer? It’s not - I promise.

Here’s the thing: when you work in the wedding industry, obviously you work a LOT of weddings. Depending on the year, I’ll take anywhere form 25 - 60 weddings. And the other thing about weddings is that they are very trend-focused, and trends are very cyclical. Thanks to wedding blogs and Pinterest, everyone getting married sees the exact same things and is inspired by them. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this - at the end of the day, when you’re happily married and loving life with your new spouse, all I want is for you to have loved your wedding day. But at the end of my day…I can get bored. 😬And I feel a little guilty for saying it out loud.

But hear me out: if I design florals for, say, 50 weddings a year, I can almost guarantee that about 1/2 of them will want basically the exact same things as each other - and that is the LAST thing that I want. I want you to love your flowers, and maybe you’d love pretty much anything that I give you! But I also want your flowers to be uniquely designed, for you. And when 50% of my clients bring in the exact same inspiration pictures, it gets pretty challenging for me to come up with unique combinations and ideas that will make your wedding flowers different than the rest.

So here’s what I’m suggesting: Give your floral designer some flexibility, and we’ll be in a much better position to design a gorgeous, creative, unique floral design for you. Bring us those inspiration pictures, yes, because we want to get a really good feel for what you like and what you’re drawn to (whether you’re aware of it or not! I love finding commonalities between a bride/groom’s inspiration pictures) - and then once we’ve looked at those together, say the magic words: “I’d love to hear your suggestions!”

We’ve always got ideas and things that we want to do. I keep a running “wish list” every year, of ideas I have and designs I have been dreaming up in my head and want to bring to life. Your wedding might just be the perfect place to create one of those floral designs, but if I don’t get the feeling that you’re open to ideas, I might not pitch it to you.

Here are some of my favourite things I’ve created when I felt like I had the client’s permission to be a little flexible:

These pictures are examples of designs that I had been dreaming about in my head and were on my “wish list" - so when those clients asked me for ideas, I was ready!

Somewhat coincidental that these were all at Cielo’s Garden…but not really. If you’re planning to open a venue, do your floral designers a favour and build a space that’s really easy to work and design in!
Left and middle photos by Ariana Tennyson, Right by my super iphone skills 😂

With this head table design at Pine Ridge Hollow, I had full creative control from the beginning. Meredith loved the idea of something over the head table, because she really wanted the wedding to feel as outdoors and garden-inspired as possible. She didn’t care what I did as long as it tied with the rest of the florals. I had so much fun coming up with this concept!
Photos by Camryn Elizabeth Weddings

These are all examples of playing with colour palette. I LOVE working with an interesting colour palette - whether it’s muted but layered, or vibrant and bold - I just feel like a great palette brings everything else to life.

First, you’ll see a fairly traditional white and blush bouquet - in weddings, we get asked for this palette a lot. I suggested that we add in the smallest caramel and raisin accents in the way of foliages. It’s still obviously a blush and white bouquet, and the accent colours don’t compete with that palette at all, but the additional touches add a little something extra.

Next up, this peach and coral number which I LOVED. This was a fall wedding, and I loved being able to compose this bouquet with a lot of peach hues, tucking in coral and orange. I also layered in some mauve and plum blooms deep into the bouquet, which provided unexpected depth and really set off the peach. Photo by Jaclyn Leskiw Photography.

Third, a more interesting take on neutrals. Why go all white when you can add in some very soft sandy tones for a little warmth? Depending on your overall wedding style, your venue, your dress - something like this could take your bouquet from just another white bouquet to a really well-designed statement. Photo by Almond Leaf Studios.

Finally, a delicious berry tone palette. I did a bit of colour blocking to make specific flowers and sections of the bouquet stand out. Any time a client asks me for something like this palette, I’m going to just eat it up :) Photo by Izabela Rachwal.

And I’ll wrap it up with two more colour palettes that I LOVED and that show you two very different ways of using colour. On the left, Lauda asked for a really vibrant palette that would fit with their late summer garden wedding. I used a lot of locally grown flowers and I loved the boldness of it. And on the right, Stephanie and I chose a more earth-tones palette of terracotta and sandy tones, with the accent of the lavender. Both of these are out-of-the-norm colour palettes that aren’t really muted AT ALL, and through comparing them you can see that you can go many, many different ways with colour.
Left by Sugar & Soul Photography; Right by Ariana Tennyson.

So bring your ideas to your floral designer, and then say those magic words: “I’d love to hear your suggestions!”


Looking for a Wedding Floral and Event Designer in Winnipeg?

Whether you’re planning a whimsical garden-inspired celebration or a formal ballroom fete, I think flowers are the best way to make a statement at your wedding. Maybe you already have a specific vision or you might want me to dream up something custom just for you - either way, reach out to Stone House Creative for stunning bridal bouquets, truly unique ceremony backdrops, and beautiful floral centrepieces to create the perfect ambiance for your wedding!

Now booking 2020 weddings. Limited dates are still available.

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.

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

Modern Greenery Wedding at Hut K

Kristin and Mike’s wedding was fairly simple as far as the florals go (in fact, I didn’t use a single flower throughout the entire wedding! Just greeneries!) but it was one of my favourites of 2018 nonetheless. Why? Because the clean, modern design perfectly reflected their cool style and in the end, their wedding was just exactly what they wanted: an intimate celebration of marriage with amazing food, good wine, and a phenomenal atmosphere.

Brittany Mahood Photography ~ Hut K ~ Amanda Douglas Events ~ Event Light ~ CHEW ~ Freshair ~ C&T Rentals

Modern Greenery Wedding in Winnipeg - Stone House Creative
Garden Inspired Wedding Flowers - Winnipeg Wedding Florists
Greenery Wedding Bouquet - Wedding Flowers Winnipeg

Like I said, this entire wedding didn’t contain a single flower. Everything I did was using foliages, and while I’m normally a flower devotee, I really loved how Kristin’s vision came together. Her bouquet was composed of olive, seeded eucalyptus, silver dollar eucalyptus, leather leaf fern, and plumosa fern. Her bridesmaids carried smaller versions, which brought a bit of freshness to their gorgeous dress palette of mixed pale pinks, taupes, and berry tones.

Textured Greenery Wedding Bouquet - Winnipeg Wedding Florists
Organic Wedding Flowers in Winnipeg - Stone House Creative
Modern Wedding in Winnipeg - Minimalist Bridal Makeup
Greenery Wedding Ceremony Backdrop - Weddings at Hut K

The ceremony and reception took place in the same space, and Hut K’s gallery isn’t a large space to begin with, so they had the majority of the guests seated at their dining tables, with a few family members up at the front (later, the head table would be placed in that space). We tossed around a few design ideas that I loved, and in the end Kristin chose to stick to her minimalist core, with a simple greenery wall installation to bring a bit of natural wildness into the modern, clean venue.

Modern Greenery Wedding at Hut K - Winnipeg Wedding Florists
Modern Wedding Winnipeg at Hut K - Stone House Creative

I love the way this reception is laid out, don’t you? I didn’t actually put anything on the tables as centrepieces! The couple knew all along that they wanted to have platter after platter of incredible food lining each of the tables, so they made the smart decision to keep them as empty as possible. There’s nothing more challenging at a wedding than trying to find space for platters of food served family-style when you’ve got a garland lining the table or flowers everywhere - and that is coming from a florist 😂All that to say, make decisions that actually make sense based on your wedding plans and what will make the best experience for your guests!

The one thing I did add to the tables was a sprig of locally grown organic rosemary at each place setting. The herb/greenery touch on plates is always popular, and I always suggest that we use a chemical-free sprig. I would hate to leave behind something that could potentially make someone ill - and the same goes for cake flowers!

Modern Greenery Wedding - Hut K Weddings in Winnipeg
Modern Greenery Wedding Designs - Winnipeg Wedding Florists
Wedding Planning in Winnipeg - Winnipeg's Best Wedding Florist

Looking for a Wedding Floral and Event Designer in Winnipeg?

I’m already booking appointments for 2020 wedding consultations! 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!

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.