Creating for a Pro: Michael & Charlotte's Paperversary
Late last year I got a submission through my "Challenge Me" form for a particularly interesting flower that came with a fun little intro from the sender. Charlotte and her sister had started a company doing wedding florals, and have always wanted to grow the Himalayan Poppy, but can't in their climate. I then realized that their flower shop, Blossom + Vine, is in Gaithersburg, Maryland—the same town that my college roommate lives in and where I occasionally visit. Never missing the opportunity to make friends with other flower people, we exchanged a few more emails back and forth, and I promised to connect the next time I was in the area.
Fast-forward months later when I'm setting up the order for a new Paperversary project, and I notice the Maryland shipping address. That's when the "my wife Charlotte is a big fan of your work" clicked, and I realized who I had been talking to this entire time. Once I pointed out my boneheadedness to Michael, it also dawned on me that I was making a replica bouquet for someone who really knows her flowers—no pressure!
Given just how jam-packed full of goodies the original arrangements were, Michael and I strategically picked out the key pieces for a more manageable project. I centered on capturing the gorgeous glow and crispness of the coral and pink dahlias, the soft billowing peach roses, the detailed centers of the anemone, and the little textural details like berries, miniature roses, and stock. These pieces include a lot of hand-coloring with inks and paint to get their hues right and to add the depth needed to make them feel as realistic as possible.
To finish this piece we also opted to do a loosely tied bouquet that Charlotte could easily disassemble. I wanted her to be able to enjoy the replica in bouquet form, but also to be able to mix and arrange the flowers just as she would with flowers in her shop.
Since these were gifted on Valentine's Day, I've heard from both Micahel and Charlotte letting me know how happy they were with the results.
Michael's note mirrors many comments I receive:
"It took me (and her) right back to our wedding day with that beautiful bouquet she now has forever as a reminder!"
I love hearing this—especially from the groom's perspective! What a wonderful compliment. And what a relief!