Category Archives: Florist

Wedding: Lisa & Marina

Today we’re thrilled to bring you an award-winning LBTQ wedding! Lisa and Marina’s wedding recently won a Belief Award, a prestigious international award for wedding planners. The Belief Award team reached out to us to share the couple’s story:

This was the wedding of two Muscovites. In Russia, same-sex marriage is not allowed; however, it was very important for the brides to be registered and recognized officially. Lisa and Marina chose to be married in Portugal.

Lisa and Marina met occasionally in Berlin, and this city marked their lives forever. Traveling is one of the favorite activities of the couple. So, one day they came to Portugal, the country of great travelers, to make the most important decision of their relationship.

The main idea for the decor came from rustic chic. One of the most important and even crucial elements turned out to be the wedding bouquet. The objective in some ways was to reproduce the old master paintings using David Austin roses. 

It was quite emotional to make this alliance happen. Overall, they had a cozy party for 15 people who enjoyed incredibly tasty catering.

Photos courtesy of Dima Kornilov.

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Event Credits

Catering: Casa da Comida http://www.casadacomida.pt/Florist: Flowers and decor: Decorelle http://decorelle.eu/Location: Quinta Guia, Mafra, PortugalPhotography: Dima KornilovPlanner or Event Designer: Studiovictorias www.studiovictorias.com and Gay Wedding Portugal www.gayweddingportugal.net
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Wedding: Jenna & RJ

From Jessica, Jenna & RJ’s photographer: Two brides, Jenna and RJ, got hitched at this beautiful family backyard wedding.

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Event Credits

Florist: Rebecca's Flower Shoppe, Fairhaven, WALocation: Blaine, WashingtonPhotography: Jessica Drake Photography // http://www.jessicadrakephotography.com/
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Wedding: Erin & Yolanda

From Erin and Yolanda’s wedding planner: Erin and Yolanda had an enchanted forest theme wedding located at the beautiful Prado ballroom in Balboa Park.

Photos courtesy of Acqua Photo.

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Event Credits

Florist: Blush BotanicalsLocation: Prado Ballroom in Balboa ParkOfficiant: Walter Gray IVOther: Cinema: Quixotic Weddings // Entertainment: Tidal Wave Photo Booths // Beauty: Nancy Jones & Alicia Kiel // Rentals & Decor: Concepts Event DesignPhotography: Acqua Photo
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Wedding: Aleah & Hannah

From Hannah and Aleah: The inspiration and preparation for our wedding started in April of 2014, a few months before we would get engaged on a freezing cold evening in the woods behind Hannah’s house. That Spring, Hannah’s parents purchased a plot of land up the hill from her childhood home in Readfield, Maine that held the remnants of a dairy farm dating back to the 1800s. The field where we would hold our ceremony two years later was full of rubble: rusted plows, heavy hand-carved beams, and scraps of old milk receipts. Hannah’s father, Steve, with the vision of an eternal optimist, looked at that pile of debris and saw our wedding.

The theme of our ceremony and our day was, without a question, that of community. In the year that followed our engagement, our community—friends from our alma mater, Colby College, colleagues from Boston and New York, and the fine people of Readfield, Maine—threw on their work gloves and rallied behind the cause of building a wedding venue from the ground up. They came in droves to haul wood and sheet metal, de-nail boards, and move rocks to build stone walls.

On August 6th, we celebrated our wedding on the completely rehabilitated farm that so many of our guests had been a part of transforming. Everything about the day from the literal ground up was DIY; our families collectively built the birch tree chuppah and all of the tables, neighbors planted flowers, made centerpieces, strung lights, and two of our friends arranged and played cello and fiddle music for the processional. Aleah’s mother even made a beautiful quilt for the ceremony to replace the traditional Jewish prayer shawl, a tallit, under which the couple traditionally stands with their parents. Figuring out which traditions of Judaism, Aleah’s faith, were important to both of us was a part of planning our ceremony with our dear friend and officiant. Using the quilt in the ceremony, as well as stepping on a glass and listening to our friends read the seven Jewish wedding blessings, were some of the ways we combined Aleah’s faith with Hannah’s personal beliefs.

One of our favorite memories of the day was our “first family dance.” We chose to dance to the Talking Heads “This Must be the Place” with all of our immediate family members. While we started the dance with both our fathers, we were quickly joined on the dance floor by our mothers, brothers and sister. Throughout the dance we kept switching partners, and a highlight was watching our fathers dance together!

Our advice to future bride(s) is to find intentional time to talk about the why behind the wedding. Every time we sat down to talk about the nitty gritty details (napkin colors, number of tables, porta-potties!) we would start our conversation with “reasons.” These were little reminders not only of why we were getting married, but why we had fallen in love in the first place.

From Gretchen, Aleah and Hannah’s photographer: Looking through the photos to select images to submit I was struck by how much laughter and love I captured this day. I loved the way both Aleah and Hannah were able to incorporate important parts of their lives into the day’s celebration and made sure that their family and friends knew how much they appreciated their help with the venue and celebrations as well as their love and support of their union.

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Event Credits

Attire: Hannah's Dress: BHLDN // Aleah's dress: Jenny YooFlorist: handpicked from Elvin's Farm // jewelry: Alexis Russell, Wedding Band: D. Cole JewelersLocation: Readfield, MaineMusic: Justin Gilbert DJ // Cake: Silly's Portland // Caterer: White Flour CateringPhotography: Gretchen Powers Film and Photo
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Wedding: Kayla & Lauren

From Kayla & Lauren: We shared our engagement photos a while back & wanted to share our wedding photos too! Our day was everything we could have wanted. We felt so lucky to be surrounded by our friends and family with so much love.

Photos courtesy of Michelle VanTine Photography.

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Event Credits

Attire: New York Bride and GroomCakes and Dessert: Fancy Cakes by LeslieCatering: The Tabard InnFlorist: Park FloristLocation: The Tabard Inn - Washington DCPhotography: Michelle VanTine Photography
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Wedding: Emma & Katie

Emma and Katie’s Georgia wedding was our kind of day: featuring some top-notch dancing, donuts, AND cake. Watch their video here, and be prepared to cry. Their vows are pretty amazing. As for their message on the blog, they kept it simple.

From the bride & broom: It was the best day of our lives and the most fun we’ve ever had (and we have a lot of fun)! 

Photos courtesy of Cassie Xie Photography.

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Event Credits

Attire: suit: Bindle and Keep; dress: Mikaella Bridal; Katie's shoes: Cole Haan; Emma's shoes: BHLDNCakes and Dessert: Revolution DonutsCatering: Bold American EventsFlorist: Bold American EventsLocation: Marietta, GeorgiaOfficiant: Rabbi Steve LebowOther: hair/makeup: Veronica Sitterding; videography: JP FrameworkPhotography: Cassie Xie PhotographyPlanner or Event Designer: day-of coordinator: Grace Freeman, Lionhearted EventsVenue: The Brickyard, Marietta
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Sponsored Post: Sweet Delilah Farm

As spring arrives for those us here in the Northern Hemisphere, we’re thinking about flowers—and so, we’re thrilled to feature Sweet Delilah Farm, an amazing queer-woman-owned business in Portland, Oregon. Chelsea Willis, the owner/farmer offers flowers and floral design for weddings, events, and area businesses, as well teaching classes and running a CSA-style flower subscription. She’s passionate about gorgeous flowers and lovely weddings as well as LGBTQ couples, sustainability, and social service—and we’re excited to share her story with all of you today!

If you live in Portland, contact Chelsea for all your flower-related needs, and let her know you found her through A Bicycle Built for Two—we’re so grateful for her support of our community.

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Tell us your story! How did Sweet Delilah get started?

Sweet Delilah Farm was a dream I didn’t entirely realize I had. Growing up, I always knew I wanted land, but I didn’t ever foresee how it would manifest itself. After I met my wife and began spending more time on her farm, I realized that working on the land feeds me, and as luck would have it, a piece of property in the same neighborhood came available. I didn’t even think twice—I signed a lease and began the trial-by-error process of learning how to farm. I love what I do and I love finding ways to give back to the community. The flower design came as a natural partnership. My favorite thing to do is have couples come out to the farm a few weeks before their wedding so they can see what’s growing. They get to see the plants that their flowers will be cut from. It’s a true farm-to-bouquet experience.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Such a hard question! I have so many. Right now my favorite part is watching all the seeds I’ve spent hours and hours planting begin to grow. It’s such a cool experience and some much needed color after the intense winter we’ve had here in Portland. I also absolutely love teaching classes and watching people get excited about getting dirty, playing with the flowers, and creating something they didn’t know they could.

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Tell us about the classes you teach!

I love making learning accessible to everyone. I do everything from floral crowns and Ikebana [the Japanese art of flower arrangement] to flower essence and herbalism classes. One of my favorite recent projects was an Ikebana arrangement for a luncheon for some Japanese tourists. I took Ikebana courses while I was in school and fell in love with the form.

My all-time favorite kind of event is probably our bridal luncheons. We invite the bridal party out to learn how to make whatever kind of flower arrangements they want, and then they get to experience a farm-to-table lunch right there at the farm.

What is your favorite flower for a bridal bouquet?

My favorite flower right now is either ranunculus or sweet peas. They both bring very different shapes into a bouquet. Ranunculus are round, but they come in the most amazing colors and textures, and the sweet peas are long and tall and airy. They can bring a dynamic to a bouquet that no other flower can achieve—plus, they smell outrageously good!

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What are three questions couples should ask about flowers? What’s something you wish more people knew about flowers or floral design?

  • Ask where your flowers are sourced from, I don’t think a lot of people realize that most of the flowers their choosing are not in season and are flown in from other countries. Sourcing locally, while it can be a bit pricier, uses less resources. And there is something really beautiful about the authenticity of honoring the climate you’re getting married in.
  • Ask your florist to do a site walk-through with you. Most florists will do this—and it is really important to get in the space together.
  • Ask your florist what’s in season. There could be things growing in your backyard that could be exactly what you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to step out of the box.

Sweet Delilah provides flowers for couples wanting to take the DIY approach—what advice would you give to couples who want to do their own flowers?

First, I would ask them if they are really sure. I love the DIY idea, and my mom and close friend did the flowers for my wedding; however, it’s A LOT of work. Flowers can be finicky and have lots of different needs. If you decide you do want to go the DIY route, my best advice would be to take a couple floral design classes (a great idea for a date night!) beforehand to get an idea of just how much work it will be. Another option is to do some DIY and get some things from a florist, i.e. have your bouquet, corsages, boutonnieres, and big pieces done by a florist, but make your small centerpieces. It’s important to have time to relax and connect with your friends, family, and partner before the big day, and doing any big DIY projects can interfere with your downtime before the wedding.

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Tell us about your proposal/partner/wedding day! What were your favorite moments?

My now-wife and I met just about a year ago, when I walked up the driveway to her farm to volunteer. It was love a love-at-first-sight situation. She followed me around asking questions while I weeded and 6 months later we got on a plane to Denver (where I’m from) and got married with 10 of our closest friends and family.

My favorite moment of my wedding day was the moment I got all the way down the aisle and we grabbed each other’s hands. It was such a surreal moment filled with emotion. I’ll never forget it. I didn’t think about it then but I guess you could say we eloped. This year on the same the date we’re having the big wedding in Portland for all our friends and family. It’s been a wild year but also a magical one.

Since you’re in the midst of wedding planning yourself… what are your tips?

Take moments away from wedding planning to breathe and reconnect with your partner. It can be a lot of work, and it can get overwhelming. Find the humor in all of it and keep laughing with each other.

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What’s your favorite song to dance to at a wedding?

“At Last” by Etta James. I’m a sucker for a good slow dance.

Why do you love working with LBTQ couples?

The obvious answer would be because I’m queer, and the truth is that I think it’s important to feel like you can connect with your vendors. A wedding is an intimate experience whether it’s big or small. It’s a huge life experience and you want to feel completely comfortable with the people who are making your big day happen. I want my couples to feel like I really “get it.” LGBTQ couples have had to fight harder for the right to have their marriages legally recognized, and that’s a fight you can only understand if you’ve gone through it yourself. It makes something about getting married even more special.

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What else would you like readers to know about you?

The flower farm is just the beginning of my dream. My ultimate goal is to have a bigger piece of land where I can facilitate retreats and have programs for youth who have aged out of the system but have nowhere to go. My background is in psychology and social services, specifically with youth, and my life’s work won’t feel complete until I am serving that demographic.

Besides working on the farm, how do you like to spend your time?

I teach yoga, hang out with my 2 mini dachshunds and drink tea. Lots of tea.

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We’d like to thank Chelsea of Sweet Delilah Farm for sharing her story and her images—and for her sponsorship of A Bicycle Built for Two. We love her, and we know you will too!

If you’re a photographer, planner, or other wedding vendor interested in being featured in a sponsored post, drop us a line! We’d love to talk to you.

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