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On the Floral Blog

Creative @ Heart: The Creative Process… Planning for a long distance event

Imagine my shock!

Opening my inbox to find an email from Kat Schmoyer on that cool March morning was the surprise of my year!  Not even a month prior, I sat soaking in the rich teachings at the IF: Gathering in Dallas, TX thinking, “I want to be that gal. I want to be that gal who creates the conference florals”.  The IF: Gathering boasted cozy living room sets and cocktail tables in the atrium. All around blooms welcome the ladies who will delve into the depths of their souls together. In that moment, I want to be part of creating that ambiance. To create spaces for women to open up, share, be vulnerable.

A fleeting thought turned prayer… And then…

Cue the expression of unbelief and wonder when Kat’s email pops into my inbox. She’s requesting floral design for Round 9 of her AMAZING Creative @ Heart conference and I’m floored!  This opportunity has all the elements of that fleeting thought: creating a welcoming atmosphere for women and a space for digging deep into the stuff of life.

The conference is held at the WinMock at Kinderton in Winston-Salem, North Carolina – four-and-a-half hour drive from our studio location in Yorktown, Virginia.

Parameters to Consider:

  • Heat on the drive down: glass windows magnifies the intensity of the sun blaring on the flowers
  • Space: fitting all the elements in one minivan for a full stage, 19 centerpieces, and 4 lounge areas
  • Longevity: these arrangements need to last 4 days, with some residing in an open tent reaching 90 degrees…. hydrangeas are NOT an option.  
  • Budget & Theme: vase and flower selections will need to come within a desired budget while meeting the color scheme of pink & lemon yellow.

The Design Process

Keeping these factors at the forefront channels my creative brain to design the following:

Two centerpiece styles: 10 low full compotes fill half of the van space, so the remaining 9 centerpieces must be concise on the packing front.  The concept of a breakfast-in-bed tray with dainty bud vases, lemons, and an encouraging quote card is born. The trays and vases all fit in one box to be assembled on location.

Onsite Stage design:  again limited space drove the concepts for the stage as well as the furniture being rented.  Utilizing plants brings life to the stage yet takes minimal space for travel. A large vase of magenta gladiolas arranged on location gives visual impact, yet again takes minimal real estate in the van….. similarly with a cylinder vase full of pink stock flower.  Cylinders of bright yellow lemons set atop rented white square stands give just the right pop of cheer.

Flower Choice: Use of hardy flowers such as gerbera daisy, roses, freesia, lisianthus, lemon leaf, ruscus, Italian Ruscus… in the wedding world flowers need to be at their peak open state on the day of the wedding, so they are often left to open outside of a cooler.  BUT for a conference lasting multiple days and travel in mid-summer for 4.5 hours all flowers need to be hardy/long lasting, and placed in a cooler immediately. This was a different brain space for our team to design with closed roses. We had to imagine how much space they would eventually take up as they opened in the summer sun.  

BUT we all had a blast designing with the bright colors in our Yorktown, VA studio.  A huge thanks goes out to the wonderful Tiffany Sigmon Photography for stopping by to catch our shenanigans!

What perfect timing! Kat just shared her Creative @ Heart Round 9 recap post! Check it out here. Thank you Kat for an incredible week!

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