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Wedding Flowers Featuring the Lovely Dahlia

Jan 7, 2014   //   by Shannon   //   Blog, Bouquets, Wedding Flowers, Wedding Trends  //  No Comments

Weddings with dahlias

Dahlias have become a favorite of mine and my brides over the past few years.  Especially the amazing Cafe’ au lait dahlia (above). I think the reason they are so popular is they have such a romantic feeling to the blooms.

Weddings with dahlias

I love designing with dahlias when they are at their peak growing season here in Northern California from July to October.  Dahlias are best when I use them straight from the growers.  Nothing is better than seeing buckets of fresh-from-the-field dahlias arriving in my workroom!

Weddings with dahlias

Dahlias can be a little delicate and difficult to work with at times.  But we have a few special ways of processing and handling them to get them to their very best before they are placed in bouquets and arrangements.

Weddings with dahlias

Weddings with dahlias

Photo by Trizza Gerhardt

Weddings with dahlias

Weddings with dahlias

Photo by Capture Photography

Weddings with dahlias

Photo by Allison Stahl

If you are planning a summer/fall wedding here in Sacramento I hope you will consider adding the dahlia to your list of possible blooms to use.  I love them and I am sure you will too!

Brianne and Kyriakos’ classically romantic wedding at The Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, Ca

Jul 16, 2013   //   by Shannon   //   Behind the scenes, Blog, Centerpieces, Wedding Flowers  //  No Comments 130

The Wedding of Brianne and Kyriakos helped me set many personal career records.  The shortest planning time period in which I planned full event flowers- a little under one month.  The most orchids I have ever used at a single event- over 1000 stems. The most kisses on the cheek I have ever received from family members at an event (They are Greek, I expected to get smooched a lot.  I moisturized.)- I lost count. The biggest set up crew I have ever brought with me for a delivery- 15 people.  The heaviest centerpieces we have ever made- each weighing about 35 lbs.  100

Brianne’s bouquet was a lovely mix of orchids, roses, sweet peas, hydrangeas and lily of the valley. 65

Kyriakos’ boutonniere was a simple cluster of lily of the valley. 75

Boutonniere of orchids, japonica and gilded ivy leaves.

The front the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church was all decked out in Springtime glory. 2

Large urns of hydrangea, roses, orchids and cherry blossom branches flanked the front door. 3

I love fresh flower wreaths!  The ones above the doors to the church boasted about 40 hydrangeas each! 6

The paper products were all designed by KME Paperie featured Brianne and Kyriakos’ custom monogram letter pressed with gold ink. 200

When the aisle was all draped with ivory taffeta fabric and clusters of fresh flowers it was turned into quite the romantic walkway. 8

My friend, Denise from Flowers by Denise came up from San Luis Obispo area to help me design this beautiful wedding.  All the aisle flowers were her handiwork.  Didn’t she do an amazing job? 12

The interior doors of the church also were decorated with fresh flower wreaths.



The altar arrangements of hydrangeas, roses, orchids, gilded manzanita branches and cherry blossom branches were total show stoppers. 13

I loved the way Kate of Kate Miller Events displayed the table assignments for the reception at The Crocker Art Museum.  These gilded frames were about 5 feet tall and lined the entrance hallway to the reception tent. 14


Cocktail hour was held in the new wing of the museum. 23

The bars were so beautiful.  I just loved the classic touch they add to the cocktail hour. 31

The reception tent, when it was all done, took my breath away.  It had been a HUGE undertaking but standing back and seeing it all come together made all the hard work totally worth it.  The approximately 9300 square foot reception tent was built from the ground up in the old courtyard at The Crocker Art Museum.



What can I say about the centerpieces?  They were each designed with 45-55 stems of orchids, grown in Watsonville and delivered to us two days before the event, plus hydrangea and gilded manzanita branches and ivy. 27

The menu cards were so romantic and classically designed.



Outside the tent, guests could relax and enjoy the warm spring weather under market lights.




www.flourishdesigns.com26 34 30  35 28 38 42

The cake was a marvel of hand made and gilded sugar flowers and lace.



www.flourishdesigns.com40  46

Thank you to everyone who helped Flourish produce a magical environment for Brianne and Kyriakos’ wedding.

Photos by:  Sarah Maren Photographers


Coordination, design and planning by: Kate Miller Events

Thoughts on why it is best to choose seasonal wedding flowers and price is not one of those thoughts.

Jul 9, 2013   //   by Shannon   //   Behind the scenes, Blog, Bouquets, Wedding Flowers  //  4 Comments 1

Your wedding flowers should look as though they belong and at home in the season in which they will be enjoyed.  Your flowers, much like fashion, should be seasonally appropriate.  You would never wear a parka during mid-summer and, I believe, you shouldn’t carry peonies down the aisle in the winter either.  It looks uncomfortable, out of place and doesn’t make sense. 2

When it is fall in Northern California it is spring in New Zealand.  Guess what?  In New Zealand in October, peonies are blooming and I can get them shipped directly to my studio door. 3

But then I have to ask myself these questions:  What shape will the peonies be in when they arrive?  What if the flowers are not suitable for use when they arrive?  What sort of impact will shipping flowers from across the world have on the environment?  What sort of conditions were the flowers grown under?  etc. etc. and on and on… 4

Some of the benefits of using flower when they are in season is they are more vibrant, longer lasting and larger in size and stem length than out of season blooms. 6

I do not want to seem hypocritical.  Do I use flowers that are not grown locally?  Yes.  Do I use flowers that are not seasonal for my area? Yes. 6

But I really think about my choices before I spend my dollars and my client’s dollars and I make best choices I can considering the  flowers I am using and the designs I am making. 7

Most of the time I buy Northern California grown flowers.  If what I need is not available in our region, then I buy California grown flowers, then West Coast grown flowers, then expanding outward.


Next time you see a picture of an amazing bridal bouquet, be flexible and be open to seasonal choices that will capture your vision.  We are incredibly lucky to live in the number one cut flower growing area of the Untied States.  Take advantage of that fact and choose some gorgeous blooms that will be sure to amaze you AND honor the season in which you were married.


I took all these pictures when I attended a class given by Sarah and Nicolette of The Little Flower School.

Amazing Sacramento Wedding at The Crocker Art Museum- Alchemy Weddings

Feb 19, 2013   //   by Shannon   //   Blog, Bouquets, Centerpieces, Wedding Flowers  //  No Comments

Crocker Art wedding Sacrament,

Alyson and Adam’s wedding was sooo much fun!  Just imagine:  a couple who have known each other since they were knee-high to a grasshopper decide to get married.  Friends and family rejoice and come together for a wedding filled with love and fun and embarrassing pictures from junior high (more on that later).  Magic!

Crocker Art Museum wedding,

Guess what?  Sarah Maren can take an amazing photo, or two.  I was thrilled to bring the pretty with my girls- Sarah Maren Photographers and Kate Miller Events.  The three of our businesses together form Alchemy (activate!).

Crocker Art Museum by

Cymbidium orchids, sahara roses, orange and ivory spray roses, and trachelium went into the creation of Alyson’s beautiful bridal bouquet.

Crocker Art Museum by

Crocker Art Museum by

Adam’s boutonniere consisted of seeded eucalyptus, green hypericum berries, a touch of trachelium and a single Sahara rose.

Crocker Art Museum by

Crocker Art Museum by

I just loved the sassy cocktail dresses the bridesmaids’ wore.  The dresses had pockets, people.  Pockets!

Crocker Art Museum by

When I walked into the hotel room to deliver the bouquets to the bridesmaids and the bride I was struck by the laughter and fun that filled the room.  All the ladies were sweet, hilarious and were clearly thrilled for Alyson and Adam on their big day.

Crocker Art Museum by

Ceremony was held in the Crocker Art Museum’s Ballroom.  The ballroom has amazing architectural details everywhere.

Crocker Art Museum by

We designed the ceremony altar to accent the amazingly detailed wooden doors.  Yes, those are battery operated candles.  No flame is allowed on the property, anywhere!  That is okay- we can work with the rules.  How can you say no to such a beautiful venue?

Crocker Art Museum by

These simple and sweet arrangements of stock, spray roses, dahlias, bluperum and bells of Ireland later became part of the head table decor. Reusing the aisle and ceremony decor as part of the reception decorations is a wonderful way to get full use of your flowers.

Crocker Art Museum by


Crocker Art Museum by


Crocker Art Museum by

The Reception was held in the court yard between the old building of the Crocker Art Museum and the new wing.

Crocker Art Museum by www.flourishdesigns.com2

The long, “king’s” table was placed in the center of the guest tables.  I love how Kate Miller Events mixed up the shape of the tables in the reception room.  It made for such an interesting flow to the reception.  Kate’s weddings are always impeccably planned and filled with perfect details.

Crocker Art Museum by 1

A very talented friend of the bride a groom painted little canvases for each place setting.  The paintings were of place that are important to the bride and groom and of California landmarks.  It was such a unique and meaningful detail.  What a wonderful keepsake for the guests!

Crocker Art Museum by

The centerpieces were of two different designs accented with our rental walnut-wood boxes.

Crocker Art Museum by

Crocker Art Museum by


The Best Man’s toast was complete with blown-up pictures of the bride and groom from junior high.  Best.Toast.Ever.

Crocker Art Museum,


Crocker Art Museum

The lighting after the sun went down was so romantic and beautiful.

Crocker Art Museum

Congratulations to Alyson and Adam.  I see many happy years in your beautiful future.

Old Sugar Mill Wedding, Northern California Wedding Flowers

Jan 29, 2013   //   by Shannon   //   Blog, Bouquets, Centerpieces, Wedding Flowers  //  2 Comments

Such a beauty!  I just loved working with Diana and Sergio to make their wedding a dream event.  Sometimes, when I am designing a bridal bouquet, I cannot help but “ooo” and “ahh” as the bouquet comes together in my hand.  This was one of those occasions.  Diana’s bouquet was a Showstopper!

Diana’s bouquet consisted of Blushing Bride protea, Cafe au Lait dahlias, Sahara roses, White Majolika spray roses, Tuberose, Lisianthus and seeded eucalyptus.  It smelled as good as it looked, too!






Sergio’s boutonniere was a jewel-box collection of Blushing Bride protea, Dusty Miller, Silver Brunia and Rice Flower.

Stephanie Teague Events did an amazing job planning Diana and Sergio’s wedding.  Thank you for referring this wonderful couple to Flourish.  Thank you Allison Stahl for the beautiful images of this wedding!

Blushing Bride Protea is the most amazing and complicated little flower.  It is one of those flowers that always makes me stop and marvel.

Simple and romantic bridesmaids’ bouquets of Hydrangea, Babies Breath and Seeded Eucalyptus.

Collection centerpieces are my very favorite style centerpiece to design.  A collection centerpiece consists of a collection of items and flowers that work together to make a varied and interesting design for the center of the guest table.




When I found out raspberries would be in season for Diana and Sergio’s wedding I was so excited.  The color and texture was perfect.  The raspberries looked so cute tucked into a few of the little vases.  I love using little seasonal surprises in the flowers at a wedding.







Their dessert bar was amazing and beautiful!


Congratulations to Sergio and Diana!

As with any well designed and well run wedding, there is a whole team behind the scenes working hard to make it happen.

Planning:  Stephanie Teague Events

Photography: Allison Stahl

Cake: Freeport Bakery

Reception Venue: The Old Sugar Mill

Real Weddings Magazine Cover Photo Shoot Sacramento, Ca

Jan 10, 2013   //   by Shannon   //   Behind the scenes, Blog, Bouquets, Wedding Flowers, Wedding Trends  //  1 Comment

I love designing bouquets for the Real Weddings Magazine cover photo shoots.  I get to be creative and have some fun with my favorite thing in the world, flowers!  Also, at the end of the day, I am given some amazing images of my pretties taken by some of the best photographers in Northern California.  The photographers for this shoot were my beloved Geoff and Lisa with The Goodness.  Wendy and her team from Real Weddings always provide the stunning models with amazing hair, make-up and fashions.  What is not to love?

Green bridal bouquet




Green and white bridal bouquet

This bouquet of green and white flowers featured the amazing garden rose variety called “Green Eye”, candy tuft, brezillia berries and passion vine.

Vintage lace and garden rose bridal bouquet


Peach rose and green berry bridal bouquet

The ruffled appearance of these roses, Peach Campanella, reminded me of lace.  So I added a cuff of vintage lace to the bouquet.  Hydrangea, hyacinth, brezillia berry and jasmine vine added texture and scent to the bouquet.

Green garden rose bridal bouquet


Pink garden roses bridal bouquet

Garden roses are all the rage right now.  This bouquet of hot pink and light pink garden roses was a stunner!

Orchid and garden rose cascade bridal bouquet


Passion vine cascading bridal bouquet

Cascading bridal bouquets have been a traditional choice for a bride to carry since the 1900′s.  I updated the traditional look of the bouquet by using interesting and unusual flowers in a fresh color palette.  Phalaenopsis orchids, “Paitence” garden roses, parrot tulips, stock and passion vine combined beautifully in this bridal bouquet.

The other vendors that made the magic happen for the photo shoot:






Hair and Make-up:,

Heirloom Inn Wedding

Nov 29, 2012   //   by Shannon   //   Blog, Bouquets, Centerpieces, Wedding Flowers  //  No Comments

Michelle and Seth were married at The Heirloom Inn in Ione , Ca.  Michelle called me from her home in Southern California months before the big day to start planning the flower for their wedding.  Seth and Michelle were coming back to Michelle’s home town of Jackson, Ca to get married.  Most of the planning was done via e-mail and phone calls.    Michelle and her Mom spent months planning and collecting all the little bottles and vases for the centerpieces.  Such care went into each detail.  It was lovely!



Thank you to Charleton Churchill for sharing the lovely images from Michelle and Seth’s wedding.


Sweetest story- Michelle’s parents were also married at The Heirloom Inn.  I just love this picture of them watching her come down the stairs.


The pictures below were captured on my trusty camera.

The arch was so romantic dripping with amaranthus, crystals and greenery.

Each centerpiece was different.  I love this look, it gives the tables a homey feeling.

Thank you Michelle and Seth for having Flourish be part of your wonderful wedding!

Wedding at The Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, Ca

Aug 14, 2012   //   by Shannon   //   Blog, Bouquets, Wedding Flowers, Wedding Trends  //  4 Comments

What can I say about the wedding of Kelsey and Lyle at The Crocker Art Museum that isn’t immediately obvious?  Lovely bride and Groom, beautiful color palette, sweet details and lots of love made their wedding one to remember!

I loved the colors used in Kelsey and Lyle’s wedding.  The colors really “popped” without overpowering.

The bridal bouquet featured Coral Charm peonies (my favorite!), Cafe au Lait dahlias, succulents, ivory peonies, garden roses, spray roses and phalaenopsis orchids.

The bridesmaids carried bouquets of hydrangea, garden roses, spray roses, succulents and Coral Charm peonies.

Aren’t Kelsey and Lyle a handsome couple?


The Groom’s boutonniere was a single miniature succulent and hypericum berries.



The arch for the wedding ceremony was SO.MUCH.FUN!  I had a blast making their arch.  I painted each of the tissue paper fans to match the color scheme of the wedding.

Kudos to Kelsey and Lyle for trusting me when I suggested the tissue paper fan arch for their wedding ceremony.  I think the exact conversation went something like this, “I have an idea, so bear with me.  What if I made an arch our of tissue paper decorations and gold mylar fringe? It will be amazing, I promise!”…pause…”Sounds wonderful!”  I love that they trusted me to make the arch happen for them.


Catrina Maria Designs pulled together all the cute details, linens, rentals and a pretty dessert station.  Catrina and her team are so wonderful to work with on any event.


Thanks to Allison Stahl for the wonderful images.  I have worked with Allison many time over the years.  She has a delightful and calm personality.  Exactly the type of personality you would want around you on your wedding day.


Location: The Crocker Art Museum

Planner and Event Design: Catrina Maria Design

Photographer: Allison Stahl

Lighting and DJ- Music and More

Cupcakes- Icing on the Cupcake



The Look of Love! Sacramento Wedding Florist

Jul 17, 2012   //   by Shannon   //   Behind the scenes, Blog, Bouquets, My so called Life  //  No Comments

One of my favorite moments of the wedding day is when the bride sees her bouquet we designed especially for her, for the first time.

Gasp!  (Kight Photographers)

Don’t ruin the make-up!  (True Love Photo)

I love it!  (Sarah Maren)

My bouquet!  (Sarah Maren)

I have the best job in the world! (Sarah Maren)



From Sketch to Reality, Sacramento Wedding Flowers

Jun 27, 2012   //   by Shannon   //   Behind the scenes, Blog, Bouquets  //  1 Comment



When I am meeting with a client, sometimes it can be difficult to illustrate the designs and the flowers I am envisioning for their event.  I find myself saying things like, “Garden style roses would lend a bit of a formal feeling to the yarrow, feverfew, rosemary and other herbs in your bouquet.”  Often times my flower-rants are met with confused glances. To better communicate with my clients,  I realized that I needed to sketch the arrangements floating around in my mind’s eye.


Alecia wanted a bridal bouquet of bright and exuberant blooms focusing on the gorgeous orange dahlia.  I think the reality of her bouquet far out shone my rudimentary sketch.

Alecia left us this Yelp review:

“Shannon made my wedding bouquet, the boutonnieres, the corsages for family members, and a special flower ring for a dear friend of mine. I was on a tight budget and Shannon totally worked with what I could spend.  I was thrilled with what she created! I still get compliments on how beautiful my bouquet was.  Also the flowers dried pretty well too, so I’ll always have my wedding bouquet displayed in our guest room:) Shannon is a great listener, but also full of ideas too.  I would definitely recommend using Shannon for your wedding flowers!  She’s worth every penny!”

Alecia and her husband, Josh are expecting the birth of their baby girl any minute now!  Congratulations you two and thanks Alecia for being so awesome!

Planning by: Kate Miller Events

Photography by: Vernon Wiley