Category Archives: Florist

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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Wedding: Rocio & Riza

From Riza: Rocio and I met on October 1st, 2010, Rocio proposed to me on October 1st, 2015, and we were married on Oct 1st, 2016. We both love the desert and decided to have an outdoor wedding at the Le Haute Desert Aerie in Pioneertown. We walked down the aisle to mariachis playing and we were married by our close friend Sara. For the reception we served ceviche and chorizo tostadas as an appetizer and tacos for dinner. My friend Sam, who I went college with was the DJ, and she kept everyone dancing the entire night. Having our closest friends and family all together and dancing in one place was an amazing experience. It was the happiest, and hands down, the best day of my life!

Photos courtesy of Westlund Photography.

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Event Credits

Catering: Soho TacoFlorist: Bloom BabesLocation: Pioneertown, CAMusic: DJ Sam EberhartPhotography: Westlund PhotographyPlanner or Event Designer: LB EventsStationery: Riza GVenue: Le Haute Desert Aerie
Also posted in Attire, California, Caterer, Credits, Dress + Dress, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Music, Other, Photography, Planner and Event Design, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Style, Two Dress Wedding, United States, Venue, Wedding Attire | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wedding: Maureen & Morgan

From Morgan: Maureen and I met on OKCupid over four years ago. Even though we lived on either side of Los Angeles, we found out on our first date that we grew up less than a mile from each other, worked next door to each other in high school, and have mutual friends, among other coincidences. We were destined to cross paths and are thankful every day that we found one another.

We were able to plan the wedding of our dreams at one of our favorite places, the Ojai Valley Inn. We are so grateful for all of the amazing professionals that made our wedding so special and uniquely us, especially our incredible planner Michel of Michel B. Events, our florist Bree of RockRose Florals, and photographer Daniele of Lavender and Twine.

Surrounded by 130 of our close family and friends, we said our “I do’s” in the historic Wallace Neff courtyard with the rolling hills of the Ojai Valley as our backdrop. The ceremony was followed by cocktail hour in the terraced herb garden. The Get Down Boys provided a fun bluegrass music backdrop and were a hit with our guests. The reception dinner was held on the Orchard lawn below and was set up with extra long tables and strung with twinkle lights. DJ Wes of RedShoe L.A. got everyone on the dance floor following our first dance and joint father/daughter dance. 

It was the most memorable weekend of our lives and we can’t wait to go back to relive it every year on our anniversary!

Photos courtesy of Lavender & Twine.

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Event Credits

Attire: Monique Lhuillier & CustomFlorist: Rockrose Floral DesignMusic: Red Shoe LA & The Get Down BoysPhotography: Lavender & Twine//http://www.lavenderandtwinebride.com/Stationery: Carmody & Co.Venue: Ojai Valley Inn
Also posted in Attire, Attire, California, Casual Elegance, Credits, Dress + Dress, Glamorous, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Music, Other, Photography, Planner and Event Design, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Style, United States, Venue | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Wedding: Rebecca & Katie

From Rebecca & Katie, #TheLuckyDucketts: The night before we got married our venue called to tell us they had just lost power. Our region was experiencing widespread flooding, wind damage and power outages due to Hurricane Matthew. We took a deep breath and tried to keep it in perspective because although we were running into challenges (delayed vendor arrivals, guests canceling) we knew there were others affected by the storm much more severely than we were.

The morning arrived quickly. Our bride tribe worked at lightning speed to set everything up in order to be ready for our scheduled three o’clock ceremony. We walked out to Patti Griffin’s “Heavenly Day” and as we said our vows, the sun began to come out. One of our good friends performed our first dance song, “Slow Pony Home” by the Weepies. We made the day our own by adding in a Chambong and jumping on stage with the band. At one point a bouquet landed in a chandelier during the bouquet toss (but that wasn’t intentional!).

Delicious food, lots of wood accents and flowers, and quite possibly the best 80’s cover band in the country made our wedding day a dream, but being surrounded by our loving friends and family made it perfect. We had spectacular vendors and people helping us, and we’re beyond grateful for all of the love and support we received. It was truly the most special day of our lives and we’re SO glad to be finally married!

Photos courtesy of Kirstyn Marie.

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Event Credits

Attire: Maggie Soterro and Calvin KleinCakes and Dessert: Lisa and MiMi WallaceCatering: Chef by DesignFlorist: The New LeafMusic: The DeloreansOfficiant: Reverend Julia-Dorsey Loomis and Reverend John RohrsOther: Makeup and Hair—Heather Michele Goodfield, Cierra Fremont, Samantha Jane RussellPhotography: Kirstyn Marie PhotoPlanner or Event Designer: Jessica TallettStationery: Wedding Paper DivasVenue: Woman's Club of Portsmouth
Also posted in Attire, Attire, Cakes and Dessert, Caterer, Classic, Credits, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Music, Officiant, Other, Pants + Dress, Photography, Planner and Event Design, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Style, United States, Venue, Virginia, Wedding Attire | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Wedding: Tina & Julie

From Holly Birch, the couple’s photographer: Tina and Julie planned a gorgeous event at the elegant Pear Tree Estate. They chose to seat their friends and family in a semi-circle for the ceremony, with the couple centered under a chandelier of greenery. Tina’s daughters were a large part of the day and ceremony, as well as the couple’s dog Peach.

Tina and Julie’s engagement session was featured on the blog last year. Congrats on a beautiful wedding!

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Event Credits

Attire: Maggie Sottero; Richard Bennett Custom TailorsCakes and Dessert: The Cake Artist's Studio; LA GourmetCatering: LA GourmetFlorist: Flowers by KristineLocation: Champaign, ILMusic: Elite EntertainmentOfficiant: Wedding Ceremonies by Scott F. RaperOther: Brittany Koroyanis Makeup ArtistryPhotography: Holly Birch PhotographyStationery: Wedding Paper DivasVenue: Pear Tree Estate
Also posted in Attire, Attire, Cakes and Dessert, Caterer, Classic, Credits, Illinois, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Music, Officiant, Other, Pants + Dress, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Style, United States, Venue, Wedding Attire | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Wedding: Jennifer & Lisa

From Jennifer & Lisa’s photographer: Oh these two ladies! I truly adore this wedding due to the fact both of their families had embraced them with all of their love! Even with the kids, you can see that love did win that day. There was not a dry face I can recall, and even I teared up! Not to mention their wedding portraits were right on the beach—who doesn’t love the beach?

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Event Credits

Attire: Aurora Bridal https://www.aurorabridal.com/ and Meradiths BridalCakes and Dessert: Just Cakes https://locu.com/places/just-cakes-melbourne-us/#menuCatering: Melbourne Oceanfront Crown PlazaFlorist: Brevard FloristLocation: Melbourne Beach, FloridaPhotography: A. Harris PhotographyPlanner or Event Designer: Melbourne Oceanfront Crown Plaza Event CoordinatorVenue: Melbourne Oceanfront Crown Plaza
Also posted in Attire, Attire, Beach, Beachy, Cakes and Dessert, Caterer, Credits, Dress + Dress, Florida, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Photography, Planner and Event Design, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Style, Two Dress Wedding, United States, Venue | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wedding: Amy & Amanda

From Amanda: Amy and I have lived all over the country and have friends and family everywhere. We chose to have our wedding in Illinois for a few different reasons: 1) we love Chicago 2) it was legal in Illinois when we started planning and 3) it’s centrally located for guests to fly /drive to. Since we don’t live in Chicago, we needed someone to help us chose vendors and help us through the planning process. Our wedding planner, Lisa Gordon, did a phenomenal job.

Once Amy and I started discussing wedding plans, we quickly came to the conclusion that we wanted something small with lots of charm, simple, and most of all fun. When Lisa sent us the information for Firehouse Chicago, we immediately fell in love with its charm and character. Amy has an outspoken love for spiral staircases and when we saw it lit up, we knew that this was the place for us. We wanted simple decorations and the Firehouse delivered that with their candle and light package. Another great thing about the Firehouse was that we used the courtyard for the ceremony then went directly inside to start kick off the reception. Having the ceremony and reception at the same place made the logistics a lot easier. We chose to have an open bar from the moment guests arrived until the end of the night, which made potentially socially awkward moments early in the night due to some of our guests never having met before less of an issue. The fact that Binny’s will take back any non-opened alcohol allowed us to over-purchase and not worry about running out of drinks.

Amy’s favorite part of the day (besides marrying me and the spiral staircase of course) was riding around downtown Chicago and stopping to take pictures with our bridal party and photographer Agnes Malorny. We have several favorite photos from the day, but our absolute favorite is the one of us standing on a ledge hanging out over the Lake Michigan with the skyline in the background. We had that one printed on 3ft x 1ft piece of metal which is now the focal point in our living room. My personal favorites were the matching converse shoes that we had made with our wedding date sewn into the side and the mini cupcakes that Dave’s Specialty Foods provided. They were SO good. I ate them the next morning and still talk about them today. We don’t have any wedding day horror stories because ALL of the vendors we chose to work with were wonderful. We didn’t have to worry about a single thing that day except enjoying the moment and sharing our love for each other with family and friends.

Photos courtesy of Agnes Malorny.

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Event Credits

Catering: Dave's Speciality Foods, Inc. & Binny's Beverage DepotFlorist: KED Design & Planner: Lisa Gordon//http://lisagordonevents.com/Location: Chicago, IllinoisMusic: Stitely EntertainmentOfficiant: Rev. Rebecca ArmstrongOther: Elite Chicago LimoPhotography: Agnes Malorny Photography//www.agnesmalorny.comVenue: Firehouse Chicago//http://www.firehousechicago.com/ & Hotel Blake for getting ready
Also posted in Attire, Caterer, Classic, Credits, Illinois, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Music, Officiant, Other, Pants + Dress, Photography, Planner and Event Design, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Style, suit, Uncategorized, United States, Venue, Wedding Attire | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
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