It was nearly impossible to choose which photos from Kina Wicks Photography to post from our Dutch Masters class this past April! Everything was absolutely gorgeous, we loved meeting so many wonderful and talented students! And the nosh from Boutique Bites was outstanding. A huge thank you to Workshop Chicago for the space!
May is one of our favorite time for flowers (Let's not lie, we love them all), but Chicago winters make spring flowers so well loved and anticipated. It was such a delight to work with Liven it Up Events at the Bridgeport Art Center on this stunning & lush event, partnering with Art of Imagination. We love these photos from Steve Koo Photography!
August. 9:36pm. Whenever I think of August the first thing that crosses my mind is the palette of late summer sunsets. The heat crosses the midwest, the grass dries to a golden shade, and wisteria colored clouds accented with gray float across the sky. August has always been one of my favorite months. It's also just about mid wedding season & shit is pretty real. Every weekend is truly so beautiful, filled with incredible clients and a cooler packed with seasonal beauty. And I become absolutely exhausted. This happens every year, it's nothing new and certainly nothing I dislike. Actually, I like when my seasonal energy low comes on strong, because it forces me to sit back for a moment and reflect. Regularly I try to give consideration to where I'm at in life. Why am I making the decisions that I am, where is the drive coming from? Is it ego or well meant behavior? Did I sleep well the night before or am I tired? I used to do this once a month or so, and now it's almost a daily practice typically in the mornings or evenings - once all the non stop of the boutique and weddings have slowed down. The last two years since moving the shop have not been easy. We doubled in size, staff grew, systems changed and not every path has been pleasant. But these days when I'm so tired and I sit back and think about the months gone by - not knowing exactly what's ahead, & it makes me realize how good things really are.
I used to write a lot more personal posts in the Fleur journal. Lately there hasn't really been any time. I've been running around so much that the thought of even writing anything at all was stressful, which is a shame because we have some really gorgeous photos to share. I'm bringing the behind the scenes post back. Because even though Fleur is becoming the brand I had always dreamt it would, it's nice to know the thoughts behind everything. There are still so many things I want to accomplish.
This past summer my husband and I tried to buy a tiny little lakeside cottage with lots of land for growing flowers. Flowers for FLEUR. It all started out so easy, we couldn't believe it. Turns out, there were a couple complications and after two months we withdrew our offer. Admittedly I was crushed (although I only became slightly teary eyed for a couple of minutes). I had an entire business plan written out, drawings of flowerbeds were made and the seed searching had begun. When something isn't meant to be, it just isn't. And what I really learned is that I had fallen in love with the thought of growing flowers. Reconnecting. And what I really saw was how much I needed to rediscover the mystery in the flowers that I work with every single day. I had lost my love for flora because I was always behind the computer, scanning papers and all that crap. What an incredible moment to realize I missed my medium and just wanted it back.
I don't know, this is a bit of a ramble. I can't wait for what's ahead. I am SO excited for all of the events booked, the plans we have to remodel the boutique (um.., tile). I mean, it's been 14.5 years of Fleur, and it's TRULY become the brand I have always dreamed of but never really thought could happen. Hell, I didn't even think it would be around this long! I'm running two businesses: A brick and mortar gift boutique that is growing quickly and an event design studio where are weddings are more and more beautiful. Managing and tasking and staffing these two elements that overlap but are completely different is insanely tricky. But I love it.
I'm traveling to New York for the second time this year to check out some of my favorite flower shops and attend a gift show so the boutique can expand it's gift lines. Every single wedding we are booking is more and more beautiful. Our clients are stylish, sincere and kind. Our boutique guests are fun, inquisitive & we learn so much from them. This October I'll be teaching at the Hope Flower Farm in Virginia alongside some designers whom I have admired for years (no, seriously, I am a fan girl of them). We're still searching for that little lakeside cabin with plenty of room for planting, and hope on offering a space for our friends and guests to visit and enjoy and relax. And in the meantime I learned all about gardening in our own little backyard in the city - learning about culinary floral and combining my two favorite things - flowering and making meals.
Really I want to thank August. For reminding me that it's okay to feel tired for a minute but then you just get back and own it all over again. Because it's all good, and Fleur is full of growth. Fleur has become a lifestyle for me, and hopefully inspiring for all of you. We want to keep things simple, full of curiosity, ready for entertaining those you love and slowing down a little. Thank you August, for reminding me to take that advice a little bit too. Great things and good vibes are all ahead.
We really lose our minds whenever Emilia Jane sends us some images that she has taken of our work, and these are no exception. They are moody, romantic, beautiful and fleeting. Her photography takes our flowers to a different level of experience. These images belong framed on your wall, made into wallpaper, bound in a book with a gorgeous, green velvet cover. Enjoy them for their lushness, stillness and allow yourself to be a little lost.
May is always bursting with some of our favorite flowers, which made for the truly perfect design backdrop when the theme is Monet's gardens. This lush and lovely wedding designed by one our our lead designers, Janessa, came straight out of a painting. The Redfield Estate couldn't have been a more perfect location, and we were thrilled to work with Clementine Events. Gerber & Scarpelli captured all these perfect images!
Just a week ago we had the pleasure of designing a tropical, Hawaiian themed baby shower for our wonderful and endlessly talented friend, Katie Jayne of Jayne Weddings! Pink flamingo, feathery peonies and tropical blooms & foliage were the backdrop for this super happy celebration. We even had our own 11 minute tropical rain storm, to leave us all refreshed! Amanda Megan Miller snapped some gorgeous photos, and Elysia Root made the most incredible cake!! We can't wait to meet Katie's little one!
This past May we celebrated so many weddings. This timeless and classic wedding with Bride + Joy Events at the Armour House was such a beautiful day with the most beautiful and sweet couple you can imagine. Add peonies with a staircase covered in greenery, candles galore and the softest palette, and you are set with a romantic evening that you'll never forget. Avery House captured these perfect images!
It's been a month since we've posted, & that's just a small indication of all the amazing designs we were working on throughout the month of May! The professional photos are beginning to roll in, and we're starting off the season with these romantic images from Sarah Postma Photography. This gorgeous wedding at the Union League Club was classic and filled with spring blooms. We couldn't have been happier with such a sweet kick off to the wedding season!
Last September we worked on the most beautiful wedding at the Chicago Botanical Gardens. Flawlessly organized by SQN Events, we could not have been happier with the elegance that included some of our favorite blooms and beautiful wispy foliages. The ceremony backdrop was an overgrown collection of seasonal greenery and grasses with fresh blooms. Centerpieces sported mercury glass and contrasting colors. And the hanging chandelier was whimsical and bright! Olivia Leigh Photographie captured all the beautiful details.
Aside from the Chicago Cultural Center being one of our favorite places to visit on our days off, it's also one of our favorite wedding venues in the city. The combination of incredible architecture, mosaics, its history, the rotating art exhibits, the location, the view.., it's just such a monument of class for this city. So when our couples come to us with this beautiful building as their backdrop, we are beyond thrilled. Elena and Robert's wedding was the perfect combination of class, beauty and romance - all so fitting of Preston Bradley Hall. And these photos from Lisa Diederich Photography are amazing. We want to go back to last November and do it all over again.
This past October we loved this wedding at the Saddle & Cycle Club with Greatest Expectations! So many beautiful and soft colors, and the loveliest and happiest sunflowers for the ceremony! We used cedar from the family's property to be included in the bridal party bouquets and boutonnieres. It could not have been sweeter!
Every year we are always so honored to be a part of the Martha Stewart Wedding Party, brought to Chicago by The Wedding Library and Lovebird Events. And each year we're thrilled to try new designs and showcase new items from our prop collection. The year was terribly exciting as we sponsored the show, adding our garden designs throughout the Ritz Carlton. It's such a fun show, filled with incredible vendors, and we are truly thrilled and humbled to a part of the day! Here are some photos from Amanda Megan Miller Photography of our work, and don't forget to take a look at Darcy's Diary for a little more! XO!
We are so thrilled to present to you our Dutch Masters floral design class on April 23rd! Held at Workshop Chicago, this open to all experience levels will be a true floral experience. Inspired by still life paintings (a nod to owner Kelly Marie Thompson's art history background), we will teach you all the basics of floral design to create your own painterly piece of floral art.
Featuring frittilaria, tweedia, parrot tulips, ranunculus, peonies and more, the beauty of these blooms will leave you inspired and excited for spring. We can't imagine a more fun Saturday afternoon than learning a new trade with friends, food & drink!
Sip on cocktails & delight in nosh from Boutique Bites, this event will be catered with delicious treats. Kina Wicks Photography will be there to document it all, and take home a Fleur tote filled with goodies, the sweetest apron & your own pair of pruners.
For more details, check out our GATHERINGS page, and we cannot wait to see you!
This past January we held our first watercolor and floral design class in the boutique! This unique session taught the basics of floral design by our lead designer, Janessa, followed up with the sweetest watercolor instruction by Cindy Phelan. Not only did you take home your arrangements of flowers, you had a life long version of them as well. We loved this class, because partnering with other creatives is beyond exciting, and passing on our tricks of the trade and meeting such brilliant students is rewarding to no end! Also, many hugs and thanks to the incredible Jennifer Kathryn Photography who took these photos. It was nearly impossible to choose which ones to post!
(PS Cindy takes custom orders, a beautiful way to remember your wedding bouquet!)
Have you signed up our Dutch Masters class yet? Read more about that floral experience HERE!
We don't even know where to begin with these beautiful photos from Kyle John Photography! This wedding at Morgan Manufacturing could not have been more beautiful and amazing. Teamed with Estera Events, it was pure delight. The soft blue gowns and linens, the fresh floral and candles and glow. It's truly a perfect setting.
Rachel and Andrew's wedding at Room 1520 this past November was a celebration of contrasting colors and creamy natural light. We were enamored with the bride's brazen embracing of texture, and the way she confidently advocated for her own sense of style. It's so fun to collaborate with couples on wedding floral design! (Remember, it is your wedding and you should love it from stem to petal and beyond!)
These brilliant photos from Made to Be Mine photography will give you a gorgeous glimpse into this stunning occasion. Cheers!
This past January 17th was truly the coldest day we've had in some time, although you would never know it based on this romantic and glowing wedding created by one of our lead designers, Janessa Knodt at the Northmoor Country Club. The color palette was so on point and the lanterns were perfect! We were thrilled that the photographer was Amanda Megan Miller, who captured the absolutely most perfect photos of the day! Mazel Tov Jamie & Brian!