One of my favorite aspects of this job has been working with so many talented artists and falling in love with their interpretations of what a wedding can look like. Sure, we are all pretty familiar with the bigger names in the industry, but I love stumbling upon an artist who's new to me and being completely blown away by their talent. I've decided to round up a few of my insider favorites for a (hopefully) recurring blog series called Not The Knot. Beyond the favored vendors of wedding blogs, beyond the Instagram darlings, who can set your wedding apart with their artistry and skills? Let me help you discover some fresh talent!
Because flowers are my fave, I'm kicking this off with a round-up of my favorite florals from the past year or so, for your planning consideration. In no particular order, I present:
1. Kerry at Fabufloras
Brooke + Simon's flowers completely slayed me. It was the first time I'd ever taken notice of king protea, and the palette was completely spot-on for their style. I adore the hanging aramanthus (the drape-y fuchsia pieces) and the way that it added an element of romance to the modern mix. These flowers left such an impression on me that I've used them in my marketing pieces ever since. Beyond the palette, I love how well Kerry capture Brooke's chic style in her work. Brooke is basically my fashion guru, she is always looking fresh to death and on-trend, but never too trendy. Basically these flowers were exactly that.
Andie May + Ron had the raddest wedding ever. One of the MANY talented vendors that made it such an eye candy fest was We Are Wildflowers. The pretty peach palette they put together complemented the bride's blush dress but also the day's Rockabilly vibe. I feel like if Quentin Tarantino took flowers to Elvis's grave, he'd take these. While ranunculus will always be a favorite of mine, there are a lot of ways to work with them. I love that Jess + Veronica let the ranunculus do it's thang and be sort of loose and free. They have a good eye for natural beauty and it shines through in their work. And it's another winning appearance by the hanging aramanthus, this time with a hanging bullhorn installation...I mean, WHAT?! Who does that?? This team is just perfect!
Where do I even begin with Q/A?? I call this gang my vendor bae, because we have collaborated so frequently and because they leave my heart fluttering every.single.time. The first time I worked with owner and creative director Kendall LeToux was at a wedding in Colorado, of all places! Both of us had flown in for Megan + Drew's Red Feather Lake wedding and were meeting for the first time. Next, Kendall invited me to collaborate on a shoot at Welkinweir, and ever since there have been many more weddings, and many more shoots. And every time I am so impressed not only with her amazing style and execution, but work ethic and knack for making work FUNNNNN. I see her clients hug her and praise her more than any other vendor I've worked with. Her clients love her, and so do I!
I adore the entire Q/A team and I encourage you to catch them now because their star is on the rise!! They've recently added former Anthropologie installation designer Anne to their team full-time so, it's only getting better from here.
4. Long Stems
I have to put Long Stems in a different category than the rest (and don't worry LS team, it's a good one to be in). Chelsea + Seth are super stylish with a discriminating eye, and I love that their confidence in their judgment and taste pushed them to choose vendors outside of The Cool Kids Club. I get that the trendy, Insta-famous vendors feel safe in delivering 'cool wedding' work, but it gets kind of old to see the same 6 names over and over again.
When I heard they were using Long Stems, my first reaction was "huh...interesting"-- I realized I must not know the full range of what Long Stems was capable of. And that's exactly why I put them in a class of their own. There are many traditional wedding vendors who can really only DO traditional wedding things. And then there are vendors like Long Stems, who can not only please the most traditional clients, but someone visionary and with a keen eye, like Chelsea + Seth.
I also have to admit that Chelsea's fresh vision for contrasting bouquets (the bridesmaids' bouquets looked NOTHING like hers) as well as the oversized cutting garden bridal bouquet shape didn't immediately grab me. It's like my eyes had to get used to seeing something like that because it was so different from what I'm used to. And I think that's the mark of some of my most cherished and beloved pieces of art: they weren't immediate favorites, but they snuck up on me and changed the way I looked at everything after them. Now, in imagining my own wedding design, I can feel this idea really influencing what I see for myself, I just LOVE it. I call that a good job!
Let me say this up front: Fresh Designs Florist is not exactly a 'deep cut' of a florist. If there are B-side florists and Top 40 florists, they're basically Maroon 5. However, Rachel + Steve brought me to their work for the first time, and I'm embarrassed to say I'd never heard of them prior, so I felt like I was discovering Philly's best kept secret.
<< LOL at me, that's cute, go back to your bubble, Sarah. I also thought I personally discovered The Smiths, and ran to show all my friends their sweet new indie sound....in 2006. So. Yea. >>
This team is established AF and there's a reason: they're great at what they do! I especially loved the wearable florals they included for the family and bridal party, as well as the ceremony backdrop (one of their biggest hits and signature pieces).
6. Flowers By Liz (for my Brooklyn peeps)
And because half of my clients don't live in the Philadelphia area, I wanted to share this NY treasure with yall, too. Flowers by Liz is based on Long Island, and provided the flowers for one of my weddings in the Catskills. Maggie + Ryan are family friends of hers, so they transported the flowers themselves. Ryan handmade the wood planter boxes for their centerpieces (I was fortunate enough to snag one for our home, we love it!). Every single guest I overheard, was making a comment about the flowers. They were a perfect blend for a late autumn Catskills affair.
So that's my round up.
I hope it's been helpful to you, and that you'll share with your friends as they plan! Each of these vendors is not only extremely talented, but extremely fun to work with-- I don't deal with attitudes, not even from the most talented people on earth. Be kind, work hard, stay humble.
Thanks for reading, and feel free to share any feedback in the comments, including what you want to see more of next!