Poppy Belle Design is a Durham Florist. Feature photo by Casey Rose Photography.
2016 —woo hoo! I’ve hit the ground running! And I’m confident this is going to be the best year yet for PBD!
But before we jump ahead, I want to reflect on 2015. It was a great year in so many ways.
But first, my efforts in this industry couldn’t have been successful without the help of so many people. My family has been beyond supportive—my husband and two little girls – I live for you! Caterers, photographers, videographers, DJs – my army! None of us can do it alone and are so dependent on each other for success. And of course my wonderful couples. You all make each day, every hectic phone call, all the late nights and last-minute changes worth every minute. I can’t thank you enough!
For a peek into my year, here’s my top 10 moments of 2015:
- January NACE meeting
The National Association of Catering and Events holds a networking event each month for event vendors—planners, florists, photographers, DJs, caterers, the list goes on. Last year, they had a different planner organize and design each meeting so we could showcase our work.
On an icy night in January, I along with other great vendors, worked hard to create a memorable event for some of our favorite industry friends. I particularly enjoyed designing this event for several reasons. First, it was held in All Saints Chapel in downtown Raleigh, so I had a beautiful canvas! I was ecstatic with how my centerpieces turned out – they are still at the top of my list of favorite designs! So many people approached me to compliment my work, it made me teary-eyed! As a fairly new florist, it was like a dream to be able to introduce my work into such an amazing group of people and have them appreciate it!
- My first WOW piece of 2015
I offer to do a WOW piece for all of my floral clients – it’s my favorite piece for a wedding. Depending on their budget, they may or may not include one in their design plan. So I was over the moon that my first floral client of the year wanted one! What a way to start off the season! Ashley and Mark’s March wedding at Castle McCulloch’s Crystal Garden was immaculate. They had a gorgeous deep purple and white color scheme – and the bride had to have bling! Together, we came up with a combination of blooms and decor that we placed on her guest book table. So it was the first thing guests saw as they entered the reception. I also coordinated the wedding, so was able to enjoy the piece all evening long! 🙂
- My first open house at Barn at Valhalla
This was the start of a beautiful relationship with the manager, Barbara, and owners, Dillon & Carley. Barb and I hit off immediately upon meeting and just enjoy working with each other so much. We share a deep commitment to making sure our clients have an amazing event. I helped her plan and design both open houses last year, and they went beautifully. Both she and Dillon are just such wonderful people, and the Barn at Valhalla is by far my favorite rustic venue.
- Happiest couple when announced husband and wife
Katie and Ryan, my first official Hillsborough couple, were married in April. Every couple is happy when announced as husband and wife, but these two were just magical. I’ve never seen such joy like I saw on their faces and in their body language – Katie came out nearly dancing and hugging everyone in sight. It brought tears to my eyes! And these two are amazingly sweet, so deserve every bit of that joy!
- Playing MC
If you’re a regular PBD blog reader, you know how much I love Yvonne & Cash, one of my May clients. We laughed ourselves silly every time we talked! They’re loads of fun and their wedding was no different. One moment that will forever be imprinted on my mind is their grand introduction into the reception. Their DJ was shy, so a friend was doing the announcements. Either the music was too loud or she was too quiet, but no one could hear the bride and groom be announced. As a good wedding planner, I could see some intervention was needed. I raced to the mic and belted out “Let’s give it up for the new Mr. and Mrs. Cash!” And the crowd went wild. LOL While I had fun playing MC, I now confirm much in advance that the hired DJ will also MC. 😉
- Site visit to Duke Gardens
Lauren and Mike said I do in May at Duke Gardens, so I went for a venue walk-through a month earlier. The Gardens were beautiful in May, but April blew me away. It was like paradise! I’d been there so many times before, but never in April. Now I plan to visit every April, wedding or not, to drink in all that beauty.
- Moonlight Magnolia photo shoot
It’s always an honor to be asked by other professionals in the industry to design for them. Moonlight Magnolia is a vintage rental company with china and other decor items. She was building a new website this year, and she asked me to do the flowers. I was so happy to be able to help show off her beautiful inventory!
- A full dance floor for the song “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid – What?!
Kristen is American and Fanon is from Trinidad—and their big day in May was the first time their families had met! When the music started, it was just incredible the way they all came together on the dance floor. I mean, everybody. There wasn’t anybody sitting at the tables. When Kristen’s aunt approached and said, “You have to play ‘Under the Sea’ the DJ and I thought, “Wow, this could go so badly”. But we were so wrong! The crowd went wild! It was just incredible to see families from such different backgrounds come together. If only the whole world could dance it out to a fun song. 🙂
- Seeing my name in lights
Most wedding vendors know how important it is to get as much publicity as possible. Free publicity goes much farther than paid advertising at times! One of my goals for 2015 was to become known as a wedding planner & florist in my li’l town of Hillsborough. So when I won the Couples’ Choice award from WeddingWire, I took the opportunity to send the press release to the local paper, The News of Orange County. I was so appreciative that they took it one step further by interviewing me and featuring PBD in their business section. I love small towns. 🙂
The first time PBD was nationally acknowledged was on The Knot. Jessica Arden Photography submitted a wedding we did together and it was accepted! It was such a nice surprise for me! Finally, my year wrapped up with a styled shoot featured on the national wedding blog, Artfully Wed. It’s a gorgeous blog and I was so honored our shoot was featured!
- Becoming a Chapel Designer
Holly Chapple created the Chapel Designers. See what she did there? Clever, right?! This strong lady is not only clever but incredibly talented and gifted. She’s been growing and designing flowers for over 20 years. And she is internationally recognized as one of the best. She travels around the globe holding workshops to teach her techniques – and I wanted in on one! I couldn’t wait for her to make it back to DC for a workshop, so I could easily attend.
I’ve been following her for quite a while on social media and my current obsession, Instagram. IG is a florist paradise you guys, but I digress. One day I was looking through Holly’s feed liking nearly every one of her posts, and that must have caught her attention. She started following me on Instagram. Me? Little ol’ me?! I totally flipped out, of course. LOL It was then that I knew I had to make my dream a reality – I had to become a Chapel Designer!
So I said it out loud – yep, when I say something out loud, it makes me bound and determined to make it happen. Much to the amazement of those around me, I’ve never been one to say “Someday I’ll do this…” and never do it. If it comes out of my mouth, I find a way to accomplish it. Over the summer, Holly offered a workshop at her new flower farm, Hope. I jumped on the opportunity to sign up! I had to pass an “inspection” to make sure I qualified. How nerve wracking is that?! haha
The workshop was amazing. Ariel Dearie, a NYC designer, joined us to teach a class on centerpiece and bouquet design. Holly taught us techniques that are new to the floral industry, invented by her! I told you this lady is amazing. And at the end, as I walked away glowing and in awe, I joined the Chapel Designers. This group of international designers talk every day – we laugh, we complain, we share, we teach, we inspire. And Holly and her team do all they can to market each and every one of us through social media and the web.
So I could go on and on about that 2015 highlight – literally the best of the year – but I’ll stop now. In March, I’ll be attending the annual Chapel Designers workshop in NYC, so I’ll talk your ear off again on this subject in a couple of months. 😉
2016, I’m ready. Bring it!