My New Method

Hi all! It’s been a minute since I’ve had time to check into the blog and let you all know what’s going on. This summer has been AMAZING and full of some of the most enjoyable weddings I’ve been a part of (speaking of which, you can always find sneak peeks of what I’m working on over on Instagram!). I’ve got a lot of awesome posts planned for the coming months on the blog - I just need a little time to actually spend here :)

I wanted to let you all in a little something I’ve been working on - a new consultation method! I have had no problems at all with my previous method BUT I was listening to a podcast the other day and the guest mentioned that she liked to have a little more creative control over her designs. That got me to chatting to with my flower friend/associate designer, Deanna, and that brought about this idea for a new method.

One of the aspects of my job that can be challenging is balancing the inspiration photos I receive from clients with my own creative thoughts and ideas. Sometimes, it’s just really hard to know what the line is between simply copying the inspiration picture and knowing when I can interject with my ideas! I often feel like I can do my very BEST work — coming up with my favourite flower combinations, planning interesting installations, and generally creating something more unique than the inspiration pics that float around on 1 million pinterest boards — when I know that I have creative freedom from the client. So, my new method is designed to incorporate the client’s inspiration while also giving me the opportunity to offer up my creativity better.

For the most part, if you sit down in a consultation with me in the future, you’ll already have shared with me your inspiration and thoughts about colour and style. I’m going to ask for this in advance so that I have time to digest your ideas, and then see where my mind takes me. Then, when we sit down in person, I’ll be able to present you with my ideas for how I would do your wedding. You’ll get a fuller picture of what I’d like to do for you, and rather than simply going down the checklist of the items you need, we’ll be able to talk more about the overall design, and how you want the wedding to FEEL.

I’m really excited about this new method, and I hope that it works as well for you as it does for me!

2020 wedding dates are booking very quickly with few Saturdays left July-October. May and June are fully booked, and I have a few Fridays still available for July-October!

I’m also about to start booking 2021 weddings early this winter so if you’d like to be placed on my waiting list in the meantime, fill out the contact form HERE and I’ll get you on the list!

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.


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!