Kelsey and Nick - 07/01/17

Kelsey has been a good friend of mine for almost 10 years and Nick is the perfect person for her to spend her life with. 

She gave me a lot of freedom when it came to her flowers. She knew she wanted white and Tiffany blue and picked out a few flowers that she liked. I don't think there is anyone else I would sprayed hundreds of flowers light blue for. All her flowers were roses, lisianthus and freesia.

Nick wore a boutonniere of a white rose and blue freesia. 

As a florist, I often get recruited for other jobs aside from flowers. Nick had a groomsman break his tux pants, and thanks to my tool kit, I was able to fix them. The process of me on the ground trying to fix pants was heavily photographed by both the photographer, other groomsmen, and both the fathers. They all found it hilarious. I liked this photo because it looks like we were having a moment. 

Their pew ends were white hydrangea with blue bows. The flower girls wore little corsages with long streamers and tossed petals. Sofia (pictured in front) was such a little helper. Because we were using hydrangea out of water on a hot day, I needed to spray them with a hydration and protection spray. Sofia was watching me and wanting to help so she was in charge of spraying all of the pew ends for me. She did a great job!

The altar had 3 arrangements on the altar and a unity candle. 

Kelsey said she knew Nick was "the one" the first night she met him. They met at a wedding and they talked all night. Even though it was late, he said he had to get up early for church the next morning. And with that one sentence, she knew he was a keeper. 

Kelsey and Nick both grew up on a farm so it only made sense to take some pictures out on Nick's farm! Ironically Nick's family farm backs up to farm land that belongs to my mom's cousin. 

The baker added the florals to the cake based on the photo Kelsey loved. But isn't this stunning?!?! It was delicious too!

The outdoor tables all had vases with blue hydrangea in them. The inside tables had centerpieces of a cylinder vase and a mixture of all their flowers (I don't have a picture of those) 

Kelsey's bouquet was wrapped with lace from her mother's wedding gown. I love when brides add a personal touch to their flowers!

Happy Anniversary (plus 1 day due to technological issues)! Thank you for including me in your special day, both as a vendor and as a friend. I wish you a blessed marriage and life together!

 
Live Love Flowers - Michele Signature (1).png

Shannan and Steve - 07/01/17

I absolutely loved Shannan and Steve's bright summer palate. I have had so many neutral weddings that this was a fun change.

Image by  PhotoFrog

Image by PhotoFrog

The girls wore pool blue dresses and carried coral and peach bouquets. The bouquets were coral charm peonies, white stock, light pink spray roses, coral spray roses, coral ranunculus, coral hypericum berry and white waxflower.  The bridal bouquet also had blush calla lilies. 

Image by  PhotoFrog

Image by PhotoFrog

Image by  PhotoFrog

Image by PhotoFrog

The flower girls carried bouquets of baby's breath and light pink spray roses 

Image by  PhotoFrog

Image by PhotoFrog

Steve wore a boutonniere of a blush calla lily and peach hypericum berry. The groomsmen wore boutonnieres of a light pink spray rose, coral spray rose and peach hypericum berry.  

Image by  PhotoFrog

Image by PhotoFrog

Shannan and Steve got married in the Christ the King Chapel at St. Ambrose University where they attended. That was my most popular ceremony location of 2017.

Image by  PhotoFrog

Image by PhotoFrog

The wood sign is made by CraftSavy and was my wedding gift to the Campbells.

Image by  PhotoFrog

Image by PhotoFrog

It's been almost a year, so instead of wishing you the best on your future, I'll wish the Campbells a Happy Anniversary :) 

Image by PhotoFrog

Image by PhotoFrog

 
Live Love Flowers - Michele Signature (1).png

Becca and Tommy - 06/24/17

Becca and Tommy were such a treat to work with for their summer wedding! We changed our plans several times to get the exact vision they were dreaming of, but I'll make as many revisions to our plan as you want to make sure you get everything you want. 

I didn't realize how many purple weddings I did this year until I sat down to blog this one and it was the 3rd in a row with purple! It's the pantone color of 2018 but I think my brides got a jump on things. Becca and Tommy got married at the chapel at St. Ambrose University, which was my most popular church of 2017 (I think I was there 4 or 5 time). Their reception was at University Club in Moline, which was my most popular reception venue of 2017 (I was there 7 times).

Becca carries a bouquet of lavender stock, lavender roses, white freesia and purple lisianthus. I LOVE doing a whole color palate instead of trying to match the exact shade of every flower.

The bridesmaids carried bouquets of lavender stock and white roses 

The groomsmen wore boutonnieres of a white rose and lavender freesia. Tommy wore a boutonniere of a white rose, lavender freesia and purple lisianthus. 

Flower crowns continue to be super popular for flower girls and thank goodness I have gotten faster at making them! This little one also carried her very own bouquet of baby's breath and purple statice. 

I created a large arrangement for the ceremony with white hydrangea, purple hydrangea, lavender stock, white roses, lavender roses and purple lisianthus. This was transported to the reception for their place card table. 

Image from my phone 

Image from my phone 

Becca provided the wood boxes for these centerpieces. I have them in grey but they preferred the whitewashed versions. This centerpiece has white hydrangea, white roses, purple alstroemeria and purple statice. The alternate version had purple hydrangea and lavender roses. Becca also provided the silver mercury glass votives around the outside. 

Image from my phone

Image from my phone

The other centerpieces were these very tall grey lanterns with eucalyptus, purple alstroemeria, purple lisianthus and white spray roses around the base. Becca provided the candle and gems inside as well as the purple mercury glass votives around the outside. 

Image from my phone

Image from my phone

Their head table was lined with a combination of eucalyptus and ruscus with the bridesmaids bouquets scattered for a pop of color. 

Thank you so much for being such a great couple to work with and having a great eye for what your wedding vision was! I wish you the best of luck on your future together, and a huge good luck to Tommy in med school! Thank you for including me in your special day!

 
Live Love Flowers - Michele Signature (1).png

Laura and Paul - 06/17/17

I have known Laura for our entire lives so I was honored when she asked me to be a part of her and Paul's special day! Thank you to JW Wedding Photography for all the gorgeous images!

Laura carried a bouquet of white hydrangea, white roses and just a hint of baby's breath. I am SO glad I experimented last year so I can provide hydrangea bouquets that live - especially in summer!

Image by JW Wedding Photography

Image by JW Wedding Photography

Laura and Paul got married at First Congregational Church in Moline. I may be biased since I went there my whole life, as has Laura, but I think it is the most gorgeous church in the area. I'm obsessed with the stained glass windows and how dark and moody it is. 

Her bouquet was wrapped in the lace from her mom's wedding dress. I always love when couples incorporate something special into their flowers. Part of mom's dress or veil and grandma's jewelry are the most popular items, but we can use anything that is special to you! 

I love the contrast of the dark purple dresses with the lavender flowers. Purple is the color of the year but its a hard color to match so I love when brides are open to doing a color palate instead of just a specific color.

The bridesmaids bouquets were white and purple alstroemeria, lavender stock, lavender roses and white roses.

We did pew ends of puffs of baby's breath with a purple bow on the church candelabra. We later transferred the puffs of baby's breath to be a part of the centerpieces at the reception.

Paul wore a boutonniere of a white rose and white altroemeria. The groomsmen wore boutonnieres of white and purple alstroemeria. Because alstroemeria is a type of lily and smashes easily, they decided to add on an extra boutonniere for Paul to wear for pictures. After you hug 200 of your closest friends and family, your boutonniere can look rough so adding on an extra is a cost effective way to make sure your wedding photos look perfect. 

I don't have photos of the centerpieces but one set was a variety of cylinder vases, two with baby's breath puffs and the other with a bouquet of alstroemeria. The other tables had lanterns with petals around the base. The reception was held at The Radisson in Davenport. 

Thank you so much to Laura and Paul for including me in your special day! I can't wait to watch your love to continue to grow in the future. Congratulations on your life together! 

 
Live Love Flowers - Michele Signature (1).png

Jennifer and Grant - 06/17/17

Jennifer and Grant were another one of my couples during my 4 wedding weekend this summer. Julie from J. Blu Design out of the Peoria area helped me out for that weekend to make sure everything ran smoothly. Thank you to Seneca Epley Photography for these gorgeous images! If there was ever a wedding that looked like a perfectly curated Pinterest board, it is this one. Every single detail was absolutely on point. 

Everything was very heavy on greenery, which is definitely the current trend! The ladies carried bouquets of white peonies, white garden roses and white ranunculus with silver dollar eucalyptus and laurel greens. 

Image by Seneca Epley Photography

Image by Seneca Epley Photography

This is a seriously stunning group of ladies! We are going to be seeing a lot of purples in 2018 so I hope to see this look more often. 

The paper products such as invites and programs all had touches of greenery on them to pull the look altogether. The men wore boutonnieres of white roses, white waxflower and laurel greenery. 

Here is an indoor view of her bouquet :) This was the first wedding that made me fall in love with a new bouquet technique that makes it easier for me to hold when I'm working on and lighter for the brides to hold. Often with this garden type bouquet, you can do minimal flowers on the back side of the bouquet, which also allows it to be less expensive than full flowers front and back. 

The reception was at the Stern Center in Rock Island. It featured several different styles of centerpieces. This is the head table, but we did a garland of greens down the center of some long tables as well. On the long guest tables, we included some flowers tucked into the greenery as well. These were garlands of silver dollar eucalyptus, Italian ruscus, and laurel greens. The cake featured laurel greens between the layers. 

On other tables there were a variety of different gold terrariums - one with a candle inside and one with flowers inside and greens around the base. All of the tables had gold mercury glass votives around the centerpieces - remember when I said total Pinterest wedding?!

The third centerpiece was a gold compote vase with greenery, white hydrangea, white garden roses, white spray roses, white snapdragons and white waxflower.

Congratulations again to Jennifer and Grant! If your wedding is half as picture perfect as your wedding, you're in for a great future together! I hope I get to do more weddings that are this stunning because I'm still obsessed with this one! Thanks again to Julie for her help :)

 
Live Love Flowers - Michele Signature (1).png

Amber and Kevin - 06/17/17

I feel like I met with Amber to book her wedding a lifetime ago. They were originally supposed to get married a week later but when they switched, it made for a quadruple wedding weekend for me! I called in to Julie from J. Blu Design in the Peoria area for help. She designed Amber's bouquets and I did the corsages, boutonnieres and aisle decor. 

I knew I had promised to use hydrangea in Amber's bouquet and I KNEW there was a way I could make it stay alive for more than a few hours. I did a bunch of experiments and found a way to combine a few different chemicals to ensure it doesn't wilt for almost 24 hours! I'm so excited by this because I have been adamantly opposed to hydrangea in bouquets until this year!

The bouquets were white hydrangea, white freesia, white lisianthus and blush spray roses. It smelled divine and was gorgeous! Great design, Julie!

This was a wedding with all of my favorite people! After meeting with me very early in her planning process, I gave Amber a list of recommended vendors and she booked with almost all of them! The wedding was at Duck Creek Park and Pavillion. 

Kevin's boutonniere was blush spray roses, white freesia and white lisianthus. The groomsmen's boutonnieres were blush spray roses and white freesia. 

Amber quickly became not only a part of the LLF family but also made herself at home with my Claire's girls. Many of my brides find it convenient to drop things off to me there so they don't have to schedule a time to meet up with me. When I wasn't there, Amber got to know my staff very well and drops by whenever she's in the area to say hello. 

Thanks for allowing me to be a part of your special day!

 
Live Love Flowers - Michele Signature (1).png

Lexi and Brian - 06/10/17

Where do I begin with Lexi and Brian? I remember the first time I met Lexi - I was interviewing her for my assistant at Claires. It was Halloween and I was dressed up as an angel. Despite that, she decided to not only work for me at Claires, but to become one of my best friends and now she works for me doing wedding setups! 

Avenue Studios Photography

Avenue Studios Photography

I don't remember the first time I met Brian, but he treated me like we have known each other for years. I was blessed enough to be the Maid of Honor AND the florist for their wedding! I'm not even sorry for how many pictures I'm going to share!

Brian wore a boutonniere of a wine colored mini calla, blush astilbe, white waxflower and a paper flower made from book pages.

I would just like it to be known that I am a regular sized person and I wasn't even wearing heels yet. All dresses were from Storybook Ending in DeWitt

Lexi carried a bouquet of blush peonies, wine mini calla lilies, burgundy garden roses, wine dahlias, white anemone, blush astilbe, white waxflower, book page paper flowers and silver dollar eucalyptus. A total pinterest worthy bouquet!

Their ceremony featured my new lighted backdrop with Italian ruscus draped from the top. I love how it softened up the dark room and made it look so romantic. Ceremony and Reception at River Center Davenport.

As bridesmaids, we carried smaller versions of the bridal bouquet but with white peonies. Lexi's were SO blush they almost looked white so it's hard to tell the difference. 

At the end of the aisle, were 2 arrangements of white hydrangea, wine snapdragons, blush stock, blush peonies, wine calla lilies, wine dahlias, burgundy garden roses, white waxflower and assorted greens. 

The front of her bouquet included an Origami Owl brooch with special charms inside. 

In between these 2 photos, the bottom of my dress got stuck on the bottom step and I took a tumble while throwing my bouquet across the room. I now have a pretty sweet scar on my elbow from the rug burn. I'm honestly disappointed that it wasn't caught on video or in photos because it was hilarious. 

My elbow rug burn became a conversation piece for the rest of the day and made it into my MOH speech. Bridal Party pictures at Hotel Blackhawk

I tried to do classic "Brian Duck Face and Point" but I turned my hand and now I look like I'm doing finger guns. 

Thank you both for letting me be a part of your special day in such a big way, and be a part of your life! You're stuck with me now!

 
Live Love Flowers - Michele Signature (1).png

Carrie and Nate - 05/06/17

I have known Carrie since high school and I was SO thrilled she chose me to be a part of her and Nate's special day! Their wedding was timeless and classic. 

Their flowers were all roses. Carrie carried a bouquet of all dusty rose colored roses, while the bridesmaids carried bouquets of all white roses. 

There was a lot of debate before the wedding on what color "dusty rose" is. There are so many varieties and I wanted to make sure it was going to match perfectly. I didn't want them to be too blush or too lavender. So, I sent her pictures of close to a dozen different roses for her to pick the perfect one. I think her pick was spot on - look how great they match the bridesmaids dresses!

The boutonnieres matched the girls' bouquets - dusty rose for Nate and white for the groomsmen. 

Nate and Carrie are super adorable together! I wish them the most amount of happiness in their future together. 

 
Live Love Flowers - Michele Signature (1).png

Ali and Chase - 06/03/17

Ali and Chase were another of my long distance planning couples. I met them a few weeks before their wedding to go over final details and enjoy a bottle of wine. I am SO obsessed with the vision we came up with, and I think you definitely will be too!

Ali carried a bouquet of white peonies, white roses, white anemone, blush roses, blush lisianthus, and succulents. 

The bridesmaids carried bouquets of white peonies, white roses, white spray roses and blush roses. It was a scorcher out but this bridal party totally rocked it!

The real star of the bridal party was their dog, Boomer. When I saw they were bringing Boomer up for pictures, I knew I needed to make sure he fit in with his parents. I sent Ali a picture of a dog collar of greens and asked if I could make that for him. Turns out, he loved it! And isn't he the cutest?!

We chose great pew ends of white roses, blush roses, blush lisianthus, white spray roses, white waxflower, dusty miller and silver dollar eucalyptus. The pew ends were later used as centerpieces at the reception. 

The other tables had tall centerpieces of white hydrangea, white roses, blush roses, blush lisianthus, white spray roses, and silver dollar eucalyptus. Huge shoutout to my mom, who came over and helped me make the tall centerpieces!

Their cake was covered in a collection of roses. I got to eat some of it as I was tearing down the reception late at night and it was as delicious as it was beautiful!

Ali found some really amazing lanterns that we used around the reception. The place card/guest book table had a large lantern and 4 small vases in the center. Ali has a great eye for design and we came up with so many cool pieces for the reception. 

A few months before the wedding, Ali sent me this incredible photo from Pinterest for something she wanted to do for the head table.

Image from Pinterest

Image from Pinterest

I quickly became obsessed with coming up with something totally awesome for their 38ft head table. There were a lot of (terrible) sketches and flower math. I seriously LOVE what we came up with! The table was covered in a wild garland with a variety of candles down the entire length. In the center, there was a large statement piece. There were a total of 7 arrangements down the table, getting smaller as it got further from the center. We used 2 sets of lanterns at the base of the table as well. I feel so blessed that she let me create something this magnificent.

Are you as obsessed as I am? I love being able to keep up to date with Ali and Chase via snapchat. One of my favorite weekend activities is now watching snaps of Boomer beg for pancakes. I would be a sucker for that face too!

Thank you SO much to Ali and Chase for trusting me with their gorgeous wedding! They were so wonderful to work with. I wish them all the best for their future!

 

Lindsey and Nick - 11/26/16

Lindsey and Nick got married Thanksgiving weekend. Most of you know that I work retail as well but I decided to take on this wedding anyway. I'm so glad I did because it was gorgeous!

The wedding was at Olde St. Anne's Church and Lindsey was walked down the aisle by her children. Is there anything cuter?

The Wednesday before the wedding, I participated in a Friends trivia night with some friends. I went over to the table that was our biggest competition and one of the girls recognized me and asked if I was a florist. She exclaimed that I was doing her brother's wedding that weekend. It was fun to get a chance to meet a lot of the people from the wedding in a casual setting beforehand. (BTW my team totally won trivia but they gave us a good run for our money!)

Images by  Fetography Portraits  

Lindsey carried a bouquet of baby's breath, white roses and white mini calla lilies. The bridesmaids wore mismatched champagne dresses and carried bouquets of baby's breath. The bride's daughter carries a smaller version of the bridal bouquet. 

The groomsman on the left is a good friend of mine and I provided flowers for his wedding this June!

I wish Lindsey and Nick (and the kids) such a long and wonderful life together! They were an absolute delight to work with! Congratulations on your marriage and new family!

 

Elly and Nathan - 11/04/16

Elly is one of my brides that I didn't meet before her wedding due to them living out of town. I actually didn't meet her until the day after the wedding but we clicked from the very first phone call. Elly worked in the hotel industry so she's been around a ton of weddings and has a great eye for design!

Even though they got married in November, the weather was absolutely perfect! The wedding and reception were at Isle of Capri in Bettendorf but I'm glad they got a chance to go outside for pictures. 

The bouquets were white peonies, white roses, blush spray roses, baby's breath and silver dollar eucalyptus. Peonies are really rare in November and they did not want to open for me, but they turned out so lovely and perfectly on trend. 

The reception featured greenery, gold terrariums and tons of candlelight. It was a really romantic and trendy vibe. 

On half of the tables, there were triangle terrariums with ruscus and baby's breath around the base. On the other half, there were hexagon terarriums with roses, spray roses and eucalyptus around the base. 

The real showstopper was the ceremony backdrop that Elly and I spent months deciding what to do. It was truly stunning and one of my favorite pieces I've created. 

The design featured a variety of sizes of cylinder vases with flowers and candles. From the top down, the flowers were dendrobium orchids, white hydrangea, white carnations, blush spray roses and the small gold vased arrangements double purposed as the centerpieces for the parents' tables. 

Top images -  Giraffe Photography  , Bottom images - pinterest photos from bride

Top images - Giraffe Photography , Bottom images - pinterest photos from bride

After many discussions and email threads, Elly sent me the photos on the bottom and asked to do something similar. I'm obsessed with what we came up with. Our biggest issue is what we were going to sit all the vases on. We wanted the candles to really dance and sparkle so we didn't want to just use a table. We considered huge mirrors, but one this size would have run hundreds of dollars and that was out of the budget. We landed on using the glass top from my entertainment center! Never underestimate the use of random objects around the house. 

Since the wedding, Elly has started a business of her own. Lattz Travel Group focuses on romantic vacations such as honeymoons and anniversary trips. Elly is a delight so if you need help planning a honeymoon, you should check her out!

I loved working with Elly and Nathan for their special day and have been lucky enough to keep in touch via FB. I hope they continue to live a blessed and happy life together!

 

Katie and Michael - 10/22/16

This wedding is extra special to me. You may be wondering why. The groom is one of my brothers and I FINALLY have a sister now! I'm also sharing this on my FOURTH business anniversary, so it is definitely going to be a ton of pictures :)


I can't remember the first time I met Katie many years ago. If I was going to give it a guess, it would probably have been on our family boat. She fit into our family from the very beginning so our first meeting doesn't stand out in my memory. 

Images by  The Bearded Studio

Katie's family has always been welcoming to me. They live about 2 blocks away from me so I see them when I'm out walking the dogs. I've texted Katie the morning of the Turkey Trot and ask to run with her family, they've invited me to family dinners - all around great people that I'm glad to be connected to forever. 

Images by  The Bearded Studio

I DO remember the day I found out they were engaged! I got a text early in the morning with a picture of the two of them showing off a gorgeous new ring. Michael's caption told me he "finally locked it down," After 5 years together, I'm sure they were getting nagged a lot about when they would finally tie the knot. A few weeks later, Katie texted me late on Thursday night asking if I wanted to run the Bix with her on Saturday morning because her partner backed out. 

Images by  The Bearded Studio

We were running along the course and we were talking about various wedding related things. I remember asking if she had thought about how many bridesmaids and who they would be. There was a long pause before she said, "well, you, hopefully." I was so thrilled, suddenly the last half of the race was a little easier. 

Images by  The Bearded Studio

I was lucky enough to be included in the planning process, even getting to visit their venue before they booked it. Because I was doing the flowers as well as being a bridesmaid, they wanted me to be able to ask any questions I may have about being able to use the space. The Iowa Events Center is a huge room that we added lounge furniture in part of the space.

Images by  The Bearded Studio

On Thanksgiving, Michael and Katie asked all of us to be a part of their wedding. Brothers Nick (middle) and David (left) got fun "socks to help me tie the knot" and were asked to be Best Man and Groomsman. I got a little bottle of champagne and a Michelle koozie officially asking me to be a bridesmaid. We were all so excited to be asked to join their special day. 

Images by  The Bearded Studio

Katie carried a bouquet of white roses, free spirit orange roses, orange asiatic lilies, mango calla lilies, and orange ranunculus. I'm kind of obsessed with the free spirit roses so I hope more brides choose to use them!

Images by  The Bearded Studio

The week of the wedding, my mom and I loaded up a fully packed SUV to head to Des Moines to work on the flowers. When I say fully packed, I mean my passenger seat was fully forward and there was a box in my lap. 

Images by  The Bearded Studio

The venue was gracious enough to give us a studio room right across from the reception hall to be able to work in. Having my mom there to help made everything run smoothly and quickly. We were both surprised that we didn't bicker or anything the whole weekend! Having an "assistant" who used to run her own floral shop was a HUGE blessing. Even though I was in the wedding and doing the flowers, I don't think I have ever felt so relaxed about a wedding weekend.

Images by  The Bearded Studio

When David flew in, we put him to work too. He even made the toss bouquet! The boys loved their duties of filling vases with water beads. If you've ever run your hands through a bucket of water beads, you know it is a weird feeling (and definitely something boys would love messing with). David even mad the toss bouquet - it took him almost an hour because he is such a perfectionist, but he did a great job! If the whole doctor thing doesn't work out for him, he has a job waiting for him at LLF.

Images by  The Bearded Studio

After the rehearsal dinner, we recruited the cousins to help us put all the centerpieces out. This is when the male cousins learned that holding a vase of lilies (that has bloomed after arranging) close to their bodies leads to pollen on their shirts. They weren't super happy to learn that info, but recruiting a big group of people saved us a ton of time setting up centerpieces on Saturday. 

Images by  The Bearded Studio

Friday night, after helping me set up centerpieces, we decided to go out for a couple drinks with all the cousins and my parents. It was a lot of fun to let loose with family for a little bit before the big day!

Images by  The Bearded Studio

Saturday morning, we had to be at the salon bright and early. Mom and I were first to get our hair and makeup done. From there, we left to put the finishing touches on the reception and then meet the rest of the bridal party at the church. 

Images by The Bearded Studio

Images by The Bearded Studio

When Michael and Katie asked the groomsmen, with fun socks, to be in the wedding, their intent was for the guys to wear them on their wedding day. Everyone understood that, except Adam. So Adam proudly rocked his Nike socks, while everyone else was wearing fun socks. 

Images by  The Bearded Studio

After the ceremony, the bridal party had a blast frolicking around downtown Des Moines for group pictures. 

Images by  The Bearded Studio

The bridesmaids had bouquets of free spirit roses, orange asiatic lilies and mango calla lilies. Who looks better with the bouquets? I think the boys rocked the bouquet shot!

Images by  The Bearded Studio

Of course, we had to recreate the classic Bridesmaids pose. It was harder than you might think to put your knee up and bend over awkwardly like that. The photographer, Alex, from The Bearded Studio had the movie cover out on his phone and made sure we were exactly right. That is some serious dedication!

Images by  The Bearded Studio

We were late for our Grand Entrance into the reception because we spent a ridiculous amount on time on these escalators. But it made for some pretty cool pictures!

Images by  The Bearded Studio

Our Grand Entrances were worth the wait. I wish I had seen my mom's face while I walked in with a grown man on my back, because I'm pretty sure it was a heart attack face. I didn't drop him and I didn't throw out my back!

Images by  The Bearded Studio

The whole weekend was a blast and I'm so happy to finally call Katie a member of our family! I feel extra blessed that I could be such a big part of their day on so many levels. 

Michael trying to dip was one of the funniest things I've ever seen! I hope they spend the rest of their life laughing as much as we all did on their wedding day.

Images by  The Bearded Studio

A little LLF update because it is my business anniversary! I gave up sweets for Lent so I'll be celebrating tonight with some wine and Texas Roadhouse takeout and wait to buy myself a cake until Sunday. 

My goal for the year was to book 30 weddings and I am proud to say that I have 32 on the books for the year! 3 of them I am a bridesmaid (or MOH) and a florist! It's going to be a wild year! I do still have some available dates for July - December if you're still looking for a florist. 

Many of your have met my assistant, Kelsey, over the years. LLF is both overjoyed and sad that she is going to be welcoming a new baby in June so that means she won't be around for the majority of wedding season. With that, I am training some newbies to help me out this year!!

Lexi helped me out at the Bridal Expo this year so some of you may have met her already. Jordan and Megan are former brides of mine that are also going to join the LLF team. All 3 new minions will not only be training to help with day of wedding set ups, but also will be learning how to make corsages and boutonnieres so they can help with some design work. They are the reason I am able to take on so many weddings this year! 

Year 4 is going to be full of new challenges, some really cool designs and a ton of amazing weddings! I've had one wedding in January of this year, but wedding season really kicks off the last week of April! If you don't have me on Snapchat, add me to see behind the scenes footage of weddings (and usually some cute dog pictures). I'll of course continue to post bouquet pics on wedding weekends and blog posts after I get images, but Snapchat is a great way to see the whole messy process. Snapchat name is liveloveflower (no S on the end because that was too many characters). 

I've been so blessed on this journey so far and I can't wait to see where the next year takes me!

 

Jordan and Kendal - 09/24/16

Jordan and Kendal were referred to me by a friend and past client of mine. I've always had a rule about not working on my birthday, but I broke it for them. I am so glad I did! They turned out to be perfect clients and Jordan has grown into a friend. I've even recruited her to help with weddings. Their pictures are to die for, so I'm not even sorry for how many I'm going to post. There were too many good ones to narrow down for this post, I don't know how they decided which ones to print/order!

Jordan carried a bouquet of baby's breath, white roses, blush garden roses, white mini gerberas and silver dollar eucalyptus and a last minute addition of white snapdragons. I usually have a vision when it comes to making bouquets. With this one, I started out hating what I was doing but then I started falling in love with it

I just love special moments - like a father walking his daughter down the aisle, when a groom sees his bride coming down the aisle, and a mother helping her son get ready.

The bridesmaids carried bouquets of baby's breath, white roses, white gerberas, and silver dollar eucalyptus

Her toss bouquet was baby's breath and silver dollar eucalyptus with blush streamers.

Her flower girl had a baby's breath flower crown with blush streamers. I love this picture where she is in the middle of all the girls. You can definitely tell she was in heaven being the center of attention.

This bridal party seems like a lot of fun! The girls wore dresses with convertible tops so they could wear whatever was comfortable for them. With a color scheme of blush and navy, they were perfectly on trend for 2016.

I'm not sure if it was the photographer or these girls have natural bouquet holding talent, but with a group so large, it is refreshing that none of them were holding them awkwardly or at a weird height.

I always love a shot with a groom holding the bouquet. I love the juxtaposition of the classiness of Kendal with the bouquet and the girls chugging a beer. 

I'm truly thankful I broke my "no work on my birthday rule" for this couple. I love following their married life on Facebook and Snapchat. Their dogs remind me SO much of my own. You'll find Jordan helping me with weddings in 2017 and I'm very excited to have her on my setup team! I'm so thankful they let me be a small part of their happily ever after :)

 

Jessica and Jeremy - 09/04/16

Jessica and Jeremy got married at Lavender Crest Winery on a perfect Labor Day Weekend. With colors of red, orange and brown, it was the perfect mix of summer and fall, just like the weather was that day. 

In 2016, I didn't do many double wedding weekends, but the Suits wedding was the 2nd of a double wedding weekend. I couldn't have asked for a better couple on a weekend like that. Jessica was so laid back during the whole planning process, So, when it was 11pm the night before the wedding, and I got a call from her, I was panicked about what it could be. They were using water beads in all their centerpieces and one of the tubs of water beads tipped over in the front yard. She was calling me to see if I had any or if I had any idea of where you could get some that late. They ended up staying up late to pick up water beads out of the grass and off the driveway. Even though they were up super late, Jessica still looked fantastic! I loved her burgundy hair with her color scheme!

Jessica carried a bouquet of red roses, orange roses, and sunset colored roses with sunset calla lilies. The bridesmaids carried bouquets of sunset calla lilies. She came to visit me at Claire's and I helped her pick out all of her wedding jewelry. Thank you so much for supporting me in all avenues of life.

With corn fields and a winery for a backdrop, Jessica and Jeremy's wedding was picture perfect. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to work with them. I wish them the best of luck on their future together! 

Bailey and Gavin - 07/09/16

I have known Bailey since 7th grade and although we kept in touch via Facebook after high school, it wasn't until the last 3 years that we reconnected. I have watched her love with Gavin grow from the beginning. He was there for her and her son in the time she needed it most. Truly her Prince Charming.             

Bailey chose a bouquet of cascading Phalaenopsis Orchids. It was extravagant, elegant and absolutely stunning. I mean, seriously, look at that thing :) She absolutely looked like the princess she deserved to feel like. 

The bridesmaids carried bouquets of white Casablanca lilies and the groomsmen wore boutonnieres of coral calla lilies. Both ceremony and reception were at the Elk's Lodge in Davenport. 

Bailey and Gavin had a huge bridal party full of family and friends. Bailey's son, Tanner, was the most adorable Best Man and both Bailey and Gavin had younger siblings as flower girl and ring bearers. 

Gavin is a Davenport Police Officer so of course they had to get a few pictures with his car.  Event though it was about a million degrees out, their wedding day was absolutely perfect. I love watching them be in love, but also be silly with each other. Marrying your best friend is truly a dream come true. 

I was lucky enough to not only do Bailey and Gavin's wedding flowers, but also to be able to attend their wedding as a guest! I'm excited to watch their love continue to grow for a long, long time. I wish them a lifetime of happiness together! 

 

Hailey and Nate - 06/11/16

I have known Hailey since middle school and I was lucky enough to meet Nate at their appointment last fall. I could definitely feel the love between the two of them, even in just an hour long appointment. 

Their wedding was very garden inspired and all the girls wore flower crowns that matched their dresses (pink, green, blue and purple) and Hailey's had all the colors as well as a few succulents. The flower girls also had all the colors as well as long streamers down the back. I'm kind of obsessed with the picture of the flower girl twirling. 

Images by  Photofrog

Images by Photofrog

Images by  Photofrog

Images by Photofrog

Hailey and Nate got married outside on one of the hottest and most humid days of the year! Thankfully, there was a good cloud cover because I almost melted setting up their arch. They got married at the Botanical Center with the reception at Renwick Mansion. They were very traditional and chose to not see each other before the ceremony. 

Images by  Photofrog

Images by Photofrog

Each of the bridesmaids carried a bouquet of different flowers and then Hailey carried a collection of all of them. The girls carried light pink spray roses, dried green hydrangea, light blue delphinium, and light purple stock. All the bouquets also contained baby's breath and white waxflower. Hailey's bouquet had succulents. 

Images by  Photofrog

Images by Photofrog

Images by  Photofrog  

Images by Photofrog 

 I didn't attend their ceremony but it looks like it was pretty emotional. Can we agree that Nate's reaction to seeing Hailey walk down their aisle is major relationship goals?

Images by  Photofrog

Images by Photofrog

I can't imagine how hot Nate was in that suit, but they looked great! And they are so cute together! 

Images by  Photofrog  

Images by Photofrog 

I went to middle school and high school with all of the bridesmaids as well. They are a great group of girls that have stuck together for life. The personal attendant in grey also joined in on a lot of pictures :)

Images by  Photofrog

Images by Photofrog

That's one good looking bridal party! I loved the pastel color scheme!

Images by  Photofrog

Images by Photofrog

I made all the bud vases and teacups for their centerpieces and they placed them on tables. 

Images by  Photofrog

Images by Photofrog

Since their wedding this summer, Hailey and Nate have announced they are expecting a baby boy! I can't wait to watch their little one grow up! I was hoping for a girl because I wanted to make little baby flower crowns, but I know this little boy is going to be adorable!

Congratulations again! I wish them all the best on their future :) Thank you for including me as a part of your special day! 

 

Samantha and Jake - 05/28/16

Samantha and Jake were a referral from my mom! Samantha is my mom's massage therapist and my mom suggested she reach out to me during her wedding planning process. One of her bridesmaids also used to work for me at Claire's. Our paths were destined to cross. 

When we first got together, Samantha pulled out pictures from my Facebook page and showed me a bouquet from a previous wedding that was exactly what she wanted. Ironically, they were getting married in the same church as well! 

Images by Kelly Cook Photography

Images by Kelly Cook Photography

Jake was one of the few grooms to attend a floral appointment (they are always welcome!). To incorporate Jake's personality into their wedding, the groomsmen had their boutonnieres in shotgun shells. He found pink shotgun shells so they would match the wedding!

Images by Kelly Cook Photography

Images by Kelly Cook Photography

Samantha and her bridesmaids carried bouquets of baby's breath with white and light pink ranunculus. Ranunculus is definitely a hot flower right now and I'm so glad, because it is gorgeous!

Images by Kelly Cook Photography 

Images by Kelly Cook Photography 

Samantha and Jake are super cute together and are some of the nicest people. They took pictures with their dogs on their wedding which is clearly the greatest thing. After their wedding, Samantha and Jake sent me a thank you note that used a photo of her bouquet as the background. Ironically the couple that inspired their wedding flowers did the same thing! I don't get a lot of thank you notes so it was a huge coincidence!

Images by Kelly Cook Photography

Images by Kelly Cook Photography

Thank you so much for choosing to work with me for your wedding! I hope your marriage together is as perfect as your wedding day was! 

 

Jenna and Jeff - 05/07/16

I met Jenna back in high school through a mutual friend. She did cross country and track with my friend Rachel from church (Rachel is now my running partner). When Jenna was a senior, I actually did her hair (and several of her bridesmaids' hair) for prom! I searched really hard for a picture but that box of pictures seems to be missing from my house and the girls have managed to keep prom pictures off Facebook. :) It meant so much to me that she chose to work with me for yet another milestone in her life! 

Jenna met Jeff when they were both coaching cross country. They soon clicked as running partners and now as life partners! It was only fitting for them to take pictures by the Augustana track, where they both ran in college. Jenna's love of running is only surpassed by her love of Jeff. 

Their wedding was "Starry, Starry Night" themed so we tried to incorporate that into the flowers. We selected white stock, white spray roses, yellow roses, yellow gerbera daisies and brought in stephanotis for the stars. Her bridesmaids carried baby's breath to simulate the stars in the night sky. Jenna made all her own boutonnieres! 

I love the simplistic look of all baby's breath for the bridesmaids. It makes the bridal bouquet really pop! 

When a girl named McAdam starts dating a boy named Adams, you know its destined to be forever (and full of jokes about hyphenation). 

I look forward to running in to (quite literally) Jenna and now Jeff at many more events in the near future! Be sure to look for the set of 3 girls pictured above every year during the Bix, because they create some incredible costumes to run in! 

Congratulations to Jenna and Jeff! Thank you so much for choosing to work with me for your wedding! I wish you all the best in your future together! 

 

Chloe and Blake - 05/06/16

Chloe emailed me in early February when she was frustrated with her selection of florists near her. Her wedding was fast approaching and she lives in the Waterloo area. We did all of our communication via email but I knew she was an awesome girl from our first few emails. She was completely prepared with everything she wanted (including flower names, quantities, and photos).

Due to Chloe living over an hour away, she wanted to come pick up her flowers a few days before. That provided me with a challenge for how to keep flowers fresh for several days without water. I learned about tupperware being able to keep boutonnieres and corsages fresh for quite some time. That has greatly made my life easier because now I can get started on all my weddings sooner (you're my hero Chloe)!

Left - centerpieces of milk glass and baby's breath, Right - Daisy bouquets for grandparent memorials  Images by  Alaytra Photography

Left - centerpieces of milk glass and baby's breath, Right - Daisy bouquets for grandparent memorials

Images by Alaytra Photography

Unfortunately, like a lot of brides, Chloe learned she had selected expensive flowers that didn't quite fit in her planned budget. I drew up another estimate for her substituting some of the flowers for less expensive ones. Chloe decided to splurge for the bouquet of her dreams and save some costs by choosing the less expensive corsages and boutonnieres. They opted to not have a bridal party to be able to invite more people to their celebration (50 tables worth!)

Ringshots - Images by  Alaytra Photography

Ringshots - Images by Alaytra Photography

Chloe carried a bouquet of blush garden roses, blush ranunculus, coral hypericum berry, coral carnations (mounded together for a peony look), white spray roses, baby's breath, succulents and dusty miller. It's one you would definitely want to "pin" on Pinterest. 

This wedding was amazing. Perfect weather, fabulous details (that dress and ring!!) and a couple (probably mostly bride) that knew what she wanted and where she was willing to splurge and save. I love the following picture, because weddings and the photos are so often all about the bride, but this is all about Blake. 

Since the wedding, Chloe has helped me on a project I'm working on about what people think flowers cost vs. what they actually cost. So many couples (again probably mostly brides) get swept up in Pinterest and have no idea the cost of what they desire. Stay tuned for that blogpost coming in the next few weeks!

I hope their future together is as perfect as their wedding day was! It brought so much joy to me, knowing that Chloe and her mom drove over an hour to come pick up her flowers, especially when she had never met me. Sometimes, you just click and those are my favorite weddings to be a part of. Thank you again for choosing to work with me!

 

Clare and Lucas - 04/30/16

I met Clare late 2015. She was a referral from my favorite group of people to work with: Diamond Wedding Services. I was SO excited by this because I know that Twisted Mic's would keep the party going all night and Mike from Fetography Portraits would capture my work beautifully. 

I was a little concerned when the roses came in and they were a little brighter than planned. They were supposed to be coral and blush but the blush came in more of a medium pink. When Clare saw her bouquet, she absolutely loved it! AND the brighter pink really popped with her blush colored dress. She seriously looked incredible!

Her bridesmaids were super sweet and many of them got a little teary when they saw Clare in her dress for the first time.  

Clare used medium pink and coral roses, white spray roses, navy thistle, white waxflower and eucalyptus. And can we talk about her blue eyes?!?! She seriously looked like a model! 

I found out Angelique from Laladoodles Boutiques would be doing her reception styling and rentals and knew her reception would be beautiful. I provided the flowers, Angelique provided and set up everything else. Her reception flowers were a white hydrangea and white waxflower in a mason jar. 

Images by  Fetography Portraits , Event Rentals and Styling by  Laladoodles Boutiques

Images by Fetography Portraits, Event Rentals and Styling by Laladoodles Boutiques

Mike always knows what I want for detail shots and I can always count on him for a new cover photo for Facebook. He did all of the photos for my website as well. So, when I say I recommend him as a photographer, it means I use him for myself as well. Its a real referral.  

Clare had my dream team working for her for her wedding. Every one of her vendors was on my preferred vendor list, that's how I knew her wedding would go off without a hitch. I saw photos of the reception from the DJ and the guests via their hashtag on Instagram. It looked like an absolute blast! I hope their marriage is as fun as their wedding!

I am so thankful she chose me to be a part of their special day. I wish Clare and Lucas a lifetime of happiness together.