3.07.2017

Deanna & Alex


This wedding. There are many reasons why a designer would love a wedding like this, but when it's your own family, weddings like this are so much more.

It's no secret that Alex holds a special place in my heart. He is hard working, determined, kind, humble, and loving. All of these characteristics, I know, were set in place by another man who holds the deepest spot in my heart: Johnny. Alex walks like him. He smiles the same mega watt smile that crinkles his eyes, like him. He laughs like Johnny. And he loves Deanna in the same way Johnny loved Dottie.

Designing a wedding for Alex and his dearest Deanna was everything I could have hoped for for them (outside of the 95 degree weather that day). In determining where the wedding reception would take place, we tossed around the idea of local venues, but none of them fit Deanna and Alex. Then, it clicked. Deanna and Alex had just purchased a farm with a long gravel road, complete with an old wooden bridge and a lot of prairie. It was the perfect location, and although there was a ton of work to be done to the farm, Alex and Deanna knew it was exactly where they wanted to celebrate with their family and friends. They mowed and painted and planted and cleaned. It was all a labor of love.

We designed the day with every element of their lives included in it. From children feeding Alex's goats, to wildflowers that Deanna loved and vintage plates collected by family, to amazing food made by the families to dancing under the stars, it was perfect in every detail.

And even though Johnny wasn't there, he was.

He was in every way.







 






 







 
A single peony from Johnny's garden.



 

















 




 
 
Design/Flowers: Johnny & Dottie | Photography: Shay Photography  | Stationary Suites: Ivory Isle Designs | Ceremony: St. Edwards Church | Reception: Lessman Farm

2.23.2017

Seattle with Sinclair & Moore


It's been some time, hasn't it? Welcome back and I am so happy to be here blogging again. It feels like forever, but I promise that while in the lapse of things on here, life has been very busy professionally and personally and I can't wait to share some of those things with all of you.

I wanted to share a beautiful moment that happened for me late last Spring as we are now venturing into 2017 and we are starting a new season of lovely weddings here in the Midwest. If you did not follow our venture on Instagram, you are in for a really great read below.

Last Spring I was blessed to attend Sinclair and Moore's Workshop in Seattle. It was a workshop that I had longed to attend as a Wedding Designer and Florist, but as many mom-trepreneurs I could not justify to myself why I should invest in my business creatively, much less outside of basic (and boring) business classes. Typing that I realize that is THE most idiotic thing you could actually do as a creative- not to invest in your creative soul. On a prayer, I decided to apply for a scholarship to attend the workshop. It was a shot in the dark. I knew that. But I also knew that if I never put my application in, I would never know what might have been. So I filled out the application for the scholarship and waited.  I did not tell my family or friends. The evening the winners were announced I was sitting at my living room table, enjoying conversation and wine with a dear friend and received a text from a florist friend congratulating me. I responded "What for?" and she said "YOU WON IT!!". I flipped open my laptop, saw my name and instant screams and tears ensued. I was selected, along with five others, to attend the workshop on a scholarship. (I still have that text message, by the way.)

I packed my bags and for the first time, I was doing something creative, just for Johnny and Dottie and for my heart. It was a rush of excitement, yet I had no idea just how much it would change things for me.

When I met up with the other attendees, we decided to walk to Steven's studio together. While we all nervously chatted, my mind was a constant race.

How did I get here.
What if I am not GOOD ENOUGH.
What if Steven realizes he made a mistake in choosing me.
I hope this sweater is warm enough.
Man, Seattle is not good for my hair.

Steve greeted us all at the door, we sat our belongings into the meeting studio, and we were able to wander into the design space. This is what I walked into:








I walked into the space, filled with natural light, very quiet, and filled with a smell that I can only imagine could be what heaven actually smells like. I walked in and my heart warmed and every hair on my body inched up. I could feel that Johnny was there with me. A huge wave of comfort and love came into my heart, and in a moment, it was so evident, I had to walk out of the room. It was truly that incredible and overwhelming, and in all the best ways. In that moment, I knew He was blessing me. I knew I belonged. I was enough. I deserved this.

When I returned to the room, I met Steve. I walked over and hugged him. I have been cheering on Steve and his career for the past four years, always liking an image or leaving (dorky) messages on his Instagram and Facebook feeds long before he became a world-sought designer. Watching him grow as a person and a business inspired me in ways I had only hoped for for myself. So to actually meet him and see the beauty he is creating in his life felt very, very full. The one thing I always tell people in meeting him is that he is incredibly genuine, he is very present in his time with you, and your growth is his growth. When he engages in conversation with you, he looks you in the eye and means everything he says to you. When I hugged him, he grabbed my hand and looked me in the eye and said "I am so glad you are here, Lisa. I've waited a long time to finally meet you."


We dug into introductions and were gifted beautifully packaged personalized gifts of journals and aprons, clippers, shears, chocolates, champagne, and seeds from Floret Farm. We talked business basics that have served Sinclair & Moore well, and we then headed back into the design studio to begin our first arrangements.







Steve brought in the best of the best when it came to flowers. Literally anything that we could have dreamt for was at our fingertips. The first arrangements were hues of peaches, apricots, whites, greens, and various depths of pinks. Steve educated us on his process to arranging and then let us get to work.





Steve was silent when he walked past me arranging my compote. He didn't touch a single stem. He didn't say anything. Not a single word. He made his way back to my compote after assisting others and said "It's good. It feels Dutch. Do you like it? I like it. It feels Dutch."

To me, it felt like Spring. Vibrant. Glorious. Heaven. And it reminded me of sunrise in the fields with Johnny in the mornings. It felt like all of him.







Day two looked just like this:






This is Steve's wife, Jaime. Not only is she THE amazing Lead Wedding Planner of Sinclair & Moore, she also took care of ensuring we had the best coffee, doughnuts, lunches, and laughter throughout our time there. The loveliest.

Day two brought us to arranging a new compote and I fell madly in love with the tones and textures.




In the afternoon we began bouquet creation. The approach was new to me and honestly at first my fingers were telling my brain they were not having it. Steve noticed it as well and said (mid-creation) "You look serious. What are you thinking. Do you need champagne? We have plenty of champagne for stuff like this. Unlock your fingers. I will hold it and you look."  I wove my hands out to release it and there it was.




On our last day of the workshop was devoted to designing urns. I took my time finding the right branches to curve and flowers to tuck in. I knew once I was done completing the urn, we would be walking out of the space and the design portion of the workshop would be completed. I stayed as long as I could until I was the last person in the design studio. My heart was so incredibly full.


Steve's massive arrangement was incredible.





The next morning I met with Steve for a one on one, just the two of us, for me to ask anything I wanted. A lot of great things came out of that conversation. It was what I needed to prepare myself for the hustle of that season. We also talked about the future and allowing ourselves to move past grief to find joy. There are things I am still working on from that conversation, things that will grow me as a Designer but more importantly as a person. I came to Seattle on what some might say was luck, but I choose to believe that it was part of a plan that is still being played out. Steve brought me into a space to find myself and my heart again; a place I honestly didn't know if I could find again, but it was renewed. He helped me find mending through creating, and all practices I brought to each wedding last season, and well into my seasons going forward. He brought women into my life that allowed me to be vulnerable and to learn with them. He brought me back to me.

Today marks three years since Johnny went home. I replay this day, and the days that lead up to his homecoming over and over. But I have gotten to a point where, although hard, I am able to find comfort in knowing what he brought to me in the midst of losing him. To create through it, versus getting lost in it. To be reminded of love and loving what I do and create. That he continues to bring people into my life and to love fiercely those that stand around me. Today I woke up, feeling the need to honor him in a way that he and I would smile about. I thought of Seattle and flowers and the Moore's.

Life awakening. That is what this was.


Thank you, Steve. Thank you.







Photography: Scott O'Malley | Location: Sinclair and Moore Studio, Seattle