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!

Stephanie and Andrew's Stylish, Organic Wedding at Cielo's Garden

Stephanie and Andrew were married mid-June in an incredibly stylish, organic wedding at Cielo's Garden. They live in Toronto, and it was clear to me from our first email exchanges that Steph has a gorgeous personal aesthetic so I was really excited to work with them. I think the biggest challenge was deciding on the colour palette - we started off with Steph telling me that she only wears black and gray, but wanting a bit more colour at the wedding. We thought about lots of terracotta accents (which were eventually removed from the plan), and ended up tucking in a bit of mauves to the loose palette of peaches, plum, apricot, dusty greens, and earth tones.

I worked on their event design along with their floral design, though we ended up doing a bit of a hybrid design package as a result of the features of the venue as it is. You don't need to bring in a lot to make Cielo's gorgeous!

Photos: Ariana Tennyson ~ Floral and Event Design: Stone House Creative ~ Venue: Cielo's Garden ~ Day of Coordination: Melanie Parent Events ~ Catering: Chef Ben Kramer ~ Stationery: Everly True ~ Hair: Mallory at Prep Hair ~ Makeup: Tina at Myuz Makeup ~ Officiant: Colleen Olafson

Stylish, Organic Wedding Flowers - Winnipeg Wedding Florist

Head's up: there are a LOT of really good flower photos from this wedding, and I'm just going to share them all. Sorrynotsorry.

Bridal Bouquet Ingredients: cappucino roses, amnesia roses, ranunculus, scabiosa, iris, flowering ninebark, freesia, magnolia, boxwood, and ruscus. I finished it with a touch of mocha toned  silk ribbon from Tono & Co.

Earth Toned Wedding Flowers - Stone House creative
Cappucino Rose wedding bouquet - Wedding Flowers winnipeg
Blush and Mocha Wedding - Stylish Wedding Flowers

The girls chose their bridesmaid dresses sort of at the last minute. The one thing Stephanie said at the beginning was that she didn't want them to wear blush 😂I absolutely love their choices - both dresses complemented Steph's so well and I love that they're obviously not "bridesmaid" dresses. They just look stylish.

Below is Stephanie's second dress of the night - see what great style she has?

Cielo's Garden Weddings - Wedding Photographers in Winnipeg
Cielo's Garden Wedding - Stone House Creative

They loved the hanging greenery pieces that I've done for other weddings, but asked that I sort of mimic the shape of the window. I really love how this one came together - we used several different types of greenery so it was really textured, and almost looked more like a living plant wall.

Cielo's Garden Weddings - Stem Vase Wedding Decor

Because of the features of the venue itself, Steph wanted to really load up the tables and make them look full, but also keep them really in keeping with the natural environment. With the clear walls and ceiling giving you 100% views of the woods around the tent, I think it's really important to suit the views with the design. Steph's personal preference was for nothing to look perfect, so I used several different types and cuts of glass vases (keeping them all in clear glass maintained the overall design integrity while bringing visual interest), and a mix of fuller arrangements, individual floral or greenery stems, and greenery arrangements.

Stephanie and Andrew dropped by the studio a couple days before the wedding and she saw my scraps jar, and really liked that - which I thought was hilarious. So, I made sure to add in lots of texture and dried "weedy" bits into the floral arrangements, and almost went a little haphazard with the greenery arrangements to keep them messy.

Winnipeg Event Designer - Stone House Creative
Garden Inspired Wedding Centrepieces - Wedding Florist in Winnipeg
Peach and Mauve Wedding Bouquet - Stone House Creative
Stylish Wedding at Cielo's Garden - Cielo's Garden Weddings

Looking for a wedding florist in Winnipeg?

Getting married in Manitoba? I might be biased, but flowers are the best way to make a statement at your wedding. Whether you already have a specific vision or want me to dream up something custom just for you, 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! 

Limited summer 2019 wedding dates remain available. Click below to check your date!

What Is Event Design?

I've been working in weddings for just about 9 years now, and trends and styles have come and gone. What hasn't is the way that I feel about weddings: "the best" weddings that I've seen or been a part of (aka my favourites) have been the best because of the ways that the wedding makes you feel. They're the best because of how I've been able to see how the couple comes out in the details. As a guest, you walk into the wedding and feel a sense of recognition - you're definitely at the right wedding.

That's why I love being a part of full event design so much. It's about so much more than just the details - yes, we start there, and they play a major role in communicating your style and vision to the guests - but it's more about the way that you want your wedding to feel.

Event design is about designing beyond the flowers. Developing your style, figuring out what it is that will make your wedding special, unique and personal, and then pulling together all of the vendors who will be a part of that - linens and decor rentals, lighting, stationery, cake design - is all part of the process.

To me, a beautiful event isn’t one that has every single little detail that Pinterest shows you, but rather a wedding where the design components are considerately planned, and thoughtfully styled and executed in a personal way. I love taking all of the bits and pieces that you’ve imagined and lend an experienced eye to bring it together into a cohesive, well-designed event...not a wedding that you've already seen on Pinterest, but a wedding that honestly reflects the two of you.

Looking for a wedding event designer in Winnipeg?

Getting married in Manitoba? I have the availability to accept 2-3 full event design commissions for 2019. This service is booked in tandem with wedding flowers, and really allows me to help you create a wedding experience that really and truly reflects you and will put your guests at ease.

(Popular 2019 wedding dates are already booking up!)

Sophisticated Ballroom Wedding with Garden Inspired Style

From winter to spring in a week! I can't believe that Stefanie and Jared's spring wedding at the Fairmont Hotel was almost a year ago already. Their wedding was at the end of May, and let me tell you: May sees the BEST combination of flowers. EVER. Of all the months (and if you've been around here for a while, then you'll remember me extolling all the virtues of a May wedding). So when it came time to plan all the florals and event design for Stefanie and Jared, we knew that a sophisticated, garden-inspired design would be perfect for them!

Fairmont Hotel ~ Dustin Leader Photography ~ Planned Perfectly

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Along with the florals, I was also hired to do full event design for Stefanie and Jared. These weddings always end up being some of my favourites, because I get to be so much more involved with all of the aesthetic decisions. Some couples need a guiding eye, some have a hectic schedule so the introductions to other vendors are invaluable and time saving, and others just want to hand off the process. Any of those is perfectly fine for me! 

We always start the event design process with an exercise that helps me to get a really clear picture of what's important to the couple as we plan their wedding. For Stefanie and Jared, the clear direction that we created was for an elegant wedding filled with thoughtful, sophisticated details and sentimental charm.

The Fairmont Hotel was a beautiful choice (and it also made it so easy for the guests!) but as it's definitely a classic ballroom, my challenge was creating an overall style that was also fitting with the garden-inspired florals that the couple sought after. The result is one of my favourite styles: sort of an elegant garden party. Because there's no reason why a ballroom wedding has to feel stuffy! Most of my weddings aren't quite this formal, so it was a nice chance to merge my style with theirs.

Peony Bridal Bouquet - Wedding Florists Winnipeg
Spring Wedding Bouquet - Winnipeg Wedding Flowers

I couldn't decide which angle of Stefanie's bridal bouquet that I liked best, so you get both ;) It was lush and organic, with a touch of trailing vine and the most delicious combo of fragrant blooms. 

Bridal Bouquet Ingredients: peonies, ranunculus (some of the most gorgeous I've ever seen!!), anemones, hyacinth, several varieties of roses, tulips, and finished with eucalyptus, italian ruscus, and the most perfect blooming jasmine vine (we literally NEVER get blooming jasmine).

For Jared and the guys, we just did a simple ranunculus boutonniere. It also bears mentioning that of this couple, Jared is the one who loves flowers, which made me laugh. He was more than willing to blow their wedding budget on massive centrepieces, ha!

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I loved the ambiance we created for the ceremony. For logistical ease, we decided on having the ceremony take place in the far end of the ballroom, with a double-sided panel of draping installed by the masters over at Planned Perfectly to separate the ceremony space from the other side of the ballroom, where the reception would be. Candles lined the aisle, and I designed a detailed altar with 4 large floral arrangements set atop thin gold stands. All of this was intelligently incorporated into the wedding's reception design, as well! Take a peek - I'm so proud of how well this all came together and in a way that really maximized their budget.

On the other side of the drapery, we set the head table. Planned Perfectly created a gorgeous design that the couple loved. We let them do their thing with just a touch of guidance as to what Stefanie was drawn to, and I really think that that's when the very best things happen! You can see that we re-purposed two of the tall gold stands from the ceremony to the head table, which just helped to anchor the couple in the large room. The other two were used as centrepieces on the parents' tables, and we also moved over all of the candles from the ceremony to the head table as well.

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One of my favourite days during the event design process is when we select linens. I usually have a pretty clear idea of what's going to look great based on the venue and the wedding's colour palette, and for Stefanie and Jared's wedding I knew we wanted to use something in the ivory/champagne/soft gold direction. I brought a few options with me to a walk-through with Stefanie at the Fairmont, which helped her to visualize the space a lot better (I also brought along a few chair cover and rental chair options - I love being able to do this for my clients!). She decided on this soft gold lace overlay, which perfectly toes the line between elegant sophistication and garden-inspired. 

We chose two centrepieces styles to bring dimension throughout the room, half tall and half low. The tall ones were my personal favourite! I loved adding the trailing fern to enhance that garden ambiance.

We worked with PSAV, the Fairmont's in-house audio/visual department, for the lighting. Whenever I'm working on event design, I think about a few key things: colour, lighting, and texture. We settled on a blushy amber tone, to create a romantic candlelit feeling.

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Looking for a wedding florist in Winnipeg?

Getting married in Manitoba? I might be biased, but flowers are the best way to make a statement at your wedding. Whether you already have a specific vision or want me to dream up something custom just for you, reach out to Stone House Creative for stunning bridal bouquets, truly unique ceremony backdrops, and beautiful floral centrepieces - along with full event design - to create the perfect ambiance for your wedding! 

(Popular 2019 wedding dates are already booking up!)

Intimate, Joyful Winter Wedding at Fort Gibraltar

Rachel and Matt's wedding was such a special one to me, because not only was I doing the florals for them, but I also worked with them on their full event design! I love being able to be a larger part of a wedding, because it allows me to get to know a couple better and then be able to create more purposeful designs for their wedding. 

When I get started with an event design client, my first task is to determine some theme words that will help us to communicate what the couple wants their wedding to look and feel like. For Rachel and Matt, words like "intimate," "joyful," and "approachable" kept coming up. They wanted their wedding to be a celebration,  and for the decor decisions that we made to create the opportunity for joyful, genuine moments that would be special to them throughout their lives. They chose Fort Gibraltar, which is one of my very favourite Winnipeg venues for a winter wedding.

Photo: Sugar & Soul Photography ~ Floral and Event Design: Stone House Creative ~ Venue: Fort Gibraltar ~ Stationery: Alley Cat Printing ~ Head Table Linen: Planned Perfectly

Winter Wedding in Winnipeg - Stone House Creative
Luxurious Winter Wedding Ideas - Winnipeg Wedding florist
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We used a LOT of jewel tones to add a richness to their winter wedding. We worked with a lot of deep reds and burgundies, plums, touches of rich pinks, and also added in a bit of blush to the bouquets to soften the look. Emerald green, my favourite colour, also played a large role. 

Bridal bouquet ingredients: ranunculus, peonies, scabiosa, amaryllis, and several varieties of roses and spray roses, with privet berries, italian ruscus, and nagi foliages.

Jewel-Tone-Bridesmaid-Bouquets - Winter Weddings in Winnipeg

For the guys, we chose simple greenery boutonnieres - textured, simple, and a little hardier against the cold temperatures...although on this December wedding day, it ended up being right around zero so they were able to keep their bouquets outside with them all day and have no issues at all! I also loved the rich tones of the bridesmaids' dresses. Slightly on the neutral side but still deep and rich, they really allowed the jewel tone flowers to pop.

Greenery Boutonnieres - Winnipeg Wedding Florists
Jewel Tone Bridesmaid Dresses - Winnipeg Wedding Designer
Winter Wedding Photos - Winnipeg Wedding Flowers
Hanging Greenery Installation - Winter Wedding Flowers

I loved every moment of designing this hanging greenery installation for the ceremony (which was in the loft at Fort Gibraltar). I did it entirely on site, based on a concept I came up with at a walk-through with the couple the previous winter. Knowing that we really wanted to focus on warmth and intimacy, and Rachel's desire to have dim lighting, we thought we'd keep it simple but rich by focusing on lots of greenery. For this big guy I used fragrant cedar, magnolia, nagi and salal, and then wound string lights through it.  We were hoping to use cafe lights, but due to heat restrictions, we ended up switching to these little twinkle lights. A burning ceremony would not have been ideal ;) Below is the original sketch that I put together for them! Nothing like this has been done in Fort Gibraltar before, so it was pretty fun to be the first to envision a different design for a well-loved space.

Winnipeg's Best Wedding Florist - Stone House Creative

The reception space is on the main floor, so the guests moved downstairs for dinner and dancing. I just love weddings at Fort Gibraltar - with the wood beams and that stone fireplace, it has so much built-in ambiance and if you play to the room's strengths, it's really easy to emphasize its beauty. We chose to keep the decor elegant but understated, focusing on candlelight everywhere and pops of rich jewel tones in the flowers and stationery.

Fort Gibraltar Wedding Reception - Winnipeg Wedding Venues
Jewel Tone Wedding Centrepieces - Winnipeg Wedding Florist

We alternated two centrepiece styles on the guest tables, giving some a fuller floral arrangement in those rich jewel tones with the addition of a few low tealights, and others a candlelight-focused design with three pillar candles and a few floating blooms with greenery tucked throughout. The linens were kept neutral (which is a good choice in Fort Gibraltar, as the walls are a kind of buttery tone), and we added these beautiful, rich emerald greens table numbers (all named with countries that Rachel and Matt have travelled to) and added more of that gorgeous green to all of the place settings with individual menus.

And of course, if your wedding venue has a gorgeous fireplace with a pretty mantle, then as far as I'm concerned, you are absolutely REQUIRED to make it a focal point in the room and do something lovely on it :)

Cost Effective Candle Wedding Centrepieces - Wedding Flowers Winnipeg
Candlelight Fireplace Mantle Wedding Decor - Fort Gibraltar Weddings
Rachel said, 
"Thank you so much for the most beautiful flowers I could have ever dreamed of!"

Looking for a wedding florist in Winnipeg?

Getting married in Manitoba? Winter or spring, summer or fall, I'd love to dream up some incredible ideas for your wedding flowers. Whether you already have a specific vision or want me to dream up something custom just for you, 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!