There are plenty of lovely flowers available even in the coldest time of the year in Maine, thanks to the New England Flower Exchange. The centerpiece in the photo above was created exclusively with blooms from the flower market. Spectacular Italian ranunculus, garden roses, lisianthus, stock, astrantia, parrot tulips, veronica, queen Anne's lace, sea holly, tuberose and more. Sustainable domestic growers are part of this mix, along with a few more exotic locales.
Our studio favors seasonal and local blooms, so this list will concentrate on what is more typical this time of year. These days, even peonies are becoming available for a price during times of the year when they are out of "season." If you are planning a winter wedding in Maine, here are some great choices for you!
Amaryllis, Calla Lily, Lily-Asiatic, Lily-Oriental, Narcissus, Orchid, Rose, Stock, Hellebore, Tuberose, Astrantia, Lisianthus, Tulip, Queen Anne's Lace, Veronica, Ranunculus, Anemone, Sea Holly, Bulbs, Quince, Pussy Willow, Forsythia, Plum, Witch Hazel, Ferns, Winterberry, Holly, Magnolia, Camellia, Clematis, Cyclamen, Iris, Acacia Fernleaf and many more interesting greens.
Your wedding flowers say so much about you. Captured in photographs, they define a moment in time that endures for the ages. Choosing flowers that speak your heart is very personal. With hundreds of choices available it can feel overwhelming! So where do you begin?
Start with colors- Before you do anything else, decide which colors will be part of your wedding design. Consider pairing flowers with same colors to create an elegant tone on tone effect or make a statement with a vibrant mix of opposite colors. With your color palette now in hand, the flower adventure begins.
Select your focus flower- This often will be a flower that is a personal favorite or nostalgic. The choices are many but a few standouts include peonies, garden roses, dahlias, tulips, anemones, ranunculus, sweetpeas, sunflowers and hydrangeas. This starting point will help guide future decisions. Remain flexible at this point. Some flowers may not be available at certain times of the year. Your florist will be your best resource for alternative ideas.
Embrace Seasonal and Local- For the most variety and freshest blooms, choosing seasonal flowers is a great way to go. Taking this idea one step further and embracing flowers grown locally offers unparalleled fragrance, texture and possibilities. When you travel to a destination such as Maine for it's natural beauty, the flowers growing in that region offer the ideal compliment. The slow flower movement has nurtured flower farms across the country making it possible to find gorgeous domestic blooms most of the year.
Define your style- Elegant, Romantic, Classic, Boho, Woodsy, Eclectic, Vintage, Modern, Country, Fine Art, Whimsical and many more. Gather photos that capture this feeling. Start putting together your own personal mood board. Pinterest is amazing for capturing images and putting them together to share. Please note that sometimes inspiration photos are altered with filters for artistic expression. The flower colors in some photos are not really in nature but they look incredible! Just keep this in mind when you begin talking with your floral designer.
Find your floral designer/florist- Begin your search to find a flower soul mate with a person that resonates with you and understands your vision. There are many options. Be sure to explore the many floral designers now creating from home studios rather than traditional brick and mortar shops. This new breed of floral designers often specialize in wedding and event floral design and can provide a custom approach.
Relax and enjoy the process- Flowers are unpredictable by nature. Sometimes there is a crop failure or a late bloom. Adapting a relaxed approach that embraces the unexpected will allow your floral designer to gather the most incredible blooms for you. This flexibility is essential and will reward you with less stress and more time to enjoy the process of planning your wedding. Enjoy!
New Ventures Maine is an incredible organization. I'd like to say how grateful I am to this organization whose sole mission is "helping Maine people succeed in the changing economy and achieve economic security."
I first started working with micro business specialist, Jenn Dobransky for business planning during the first stages of starting my business. Her early input was invaluable. When she reached out this fall and encouraged me to compete in the New Ventures Marketing Mini-Grant Pitch, I was excited to present our marketing project. When I learned we had won the Midcoast award, I was overjoyed!
There were many other people that shared their time and energy with New Ventures Maine for this generous grant. A partial list includes the panel of judges: Karry Kane- Norway Savings, Jamie Logan- Department of Economic & Community, State of Maine, David Hill- Maine Small Business Development Center & Coastal Enterprise, Inc. and Alyra Donisvitch-New Ventures Maine. And of course, Jenn Dobransky-New Ventures Maine.
This month, Ione Floral Design will be fulfilling a marketing dream, collaborating with other wedding vendors on an inspiration timeless wedding photo shoot. We will be sharing more details about the project as we get closer to the event. We just wanted to say thank you to New Ventures Maine for believing in our little flower studio!
Photo Credit: Christophe Zydek|Model: Izzi Mickunas
Garden Roses at The New England Flower Exchange in Chelsea, Massachusetts
With the first snow in Maine this past week-end, I was feeling the need to see flowers. Lots of flowers! Taking a road trip to Chelsea, Massachusetts, to visit The New England Flower Exchange felt like the remedy.
Waking up in the dark at 4 a.m. to arrive outside of Boston before traffic seemed like a good plan. I was surprised to be in a little traffic jam right outside of the city at 6:15! Next time, I'll leave at 3 to arrive just when the doors open at 5.
Pulling into the parking lot, I could see that I was already late! Dolly after dolly rolled down the ramp and filled the vans of local florists and floral designers. Hoping they had left a few flowers for me, I entered the building and could see they had barely made a dent. With 10 vendors selling gorgeous flowers, there were plenty for everyone.
Strolling through the heady blooms was lifting my spirit. Aromatherapy to the max! As I snapped a few pictures to bring home for inspiration for a January photo shoot, I was met by equally lovely vendors at the market. So many friendly people. One gentleman told me that he has worked the market for 37 years! I would imagine it's a wonderful job.
Returning to Maine, I am filled with ideas and feel so fortunate to live close enough to travel to this wonderful resource during the winter months when our local flower farms are enjoying a winter's rest!
Sometimes there is magic in the air. On a foggy day in July, a group of artists gathered with Ione Floral Design for an inspiration fine art wedding shoot at a seaside location in Maine. The atmosphere alone was special that day. After delivering the bouquets to our three models, Gabriella Rai'anne, Anora Morton and Izzi Mickunas, I enjoyed watching from the sidelines.
Model and stylist for this shoot, Izzi Mickunas started off with the idea of expressing the mood of the Renaissance with a Goddess kind of feeling. From this inspiration the bouquets would play off the painting, "Birth of Venus." Our three models seemed to embody the spirit of that painting. When the photographers, Hank Caiazzo, Christophe Zydek and Bridget Conlogue started snapping photos, I could see that everyone was really enjoying the collaboration. The resulting photos captured the moment.
This week, Real Maine Wedding Magazine shared with us that one of the photo images by Christophe Zydek, (pictured above with Gabriella) would be published in the January 2018 issue. This came as a wonderful surprise to us all. We are excited other brides will have a chance to enjoy the photo in the magazine and perhaps inspire ideas for their own wedding!
I am grateful to have met some wonderfully creative people that day and made some new friends. Thank you Izzi for bringing us all together!
Photo Credits: (Top) Christophe Zydek, (Middle) Hank Caiazzo (Bottom) Christophe Zydek
That special dinner party you are planning this holiday season, company celebration or romantic wedding around the corner. All these beautiful moments are what we call Events at Ione Floral Design!
Perhaps a spectacular centerpiece is all you need. Then again, perhaps you need twenty! Every floral design is given the same attention to detail, fresh inspiration and flowers sourced just for your event.
With Thanksgiving centerpieces fresh in our mind this week, here's a few we created for our clients seeking something out of the ordinary.
My greatest pleasure as a floral designer, aside from smelling the most fragrant garden roses, is creating your wedding bouquet. It's an honor to be part of someone's wedding. To know the flowers held in your hand on your wedding day will become part of your memories. Every bride is unique. Your flowers should match your style and personality.
When you begin a conversation about your wedding with me, be prepared to tell me a little bit about yourself. I will need to know what you love in this world, besides your partner! It could be a color that you adore. Or classic movie like, "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Maybe that you ride horses or collect vintage motorcycles. Something that helps me get a little picture of you and your life. With this knowledge, the flower adventure begins.
Since most of us don't design our wedding flowers everyday, I'll let you in on the process. Once you share your personality, style, flower and color preferences with me, I'll put together some different ideas for your consideration. It's really just a conversation. No stress. Chatting back and forth until we find flowers that speak your language.
Your bouquet inspiration will be created just for you. Original. Memorable. Just like you.
I Love Flowers in every color, shape and size. When I'm asked to declare my favorite, I'm unable to say just one. It's the same with colors. Why would I ever want to limit my choices! To arrive at the place where color, flower and mood meet and throw a party, I usually start with a simple question. What is the feeling that we are expressing. From there, the flower choices and colors become clear.
This week I was asked to create a special bouquet for a client wishing to congratulate her friends on becoming Innkeepers, a long time dream. As she described her friend's passion for cooking, the color orange came to mind. It's the color that makes me feel warm and hungry. And it always feels like a celebration when orange is around.
Gathering seasonal blooms from the potted fuchsia and begonia still blooming here on Ione's doorstep. Adding local tiny green cabbage, seeded eucalyptus, twigs of bittersweet, sea holly and delphinium along with orange roses and parrot tulips from a slightly warmer clime, the bouquet came together.
As I waited for the door to open, I could not resist snapping a photo of the bouquet outside the door of the 1774 Inn, located in Phippsburg, The leaves felt like party confetti. Cheery pumpkin greeting guests. Now a bouquet to say congratulations to a very happy couple!
When in Rome...enjoy all the local offerings, including local flowers pictured here at Campo de' Fiori during our recent trip to Italy. Interesting to discover Maine and Italy both have dahlias and hydrangeas in season right now.
Wherever we find ourselves, on the coast of Maine or the coast of Italy, we seek out the local treasures. On this particular day, we visited the festive farmer's market, Campo de' Fiori in Rome, Italy. This is where all the locals and travelers alike meet up in the mornings and gather fresh produce, cheese, pasta, kitchen goods and lovely flowers.
It's a lively place with vendors quickly selling the best offerings early in the morning. Sleep in too late after a night of prosecco and limoncello and you'll find only the remains of the day, discarded bits of cabbage leaves and bruised tomatoes being swept away. On my first trip to Rome, I missed out on all this fun so made sure to set the alarm!
My traveling companion, Izzi came to the market with a mission and she quickly amassed armloads of pasta and clever gifts to bring back home. The flowers were spectacular and surprised us by mirroring our current blooms back home. The Dahlias and hydrangeas were stealing the show, as they were in Maine this time of year.
Flower vendors were skillfully fashioning tiny bouquets for taking home. They were also filling little gourds and pumpkins with blooms for seasonal decorations. We learned that the slow flower movement was just getting started in Italy. The lush garden style that we enjoy so much here in America, was not really in evidence. Floral Design in Italy is currently very traditional or very modern.