feature story

The winners of our ninth annual contest, plus a taste of the nearly 150 entries we received.

by Kelsey E. Smith


  best wedding

Christina Averkin
A Bud & Beyond; Incline Village, Nev.

Date: Sept. 8, 2007
Ceremony and reception site: Hyatt Lake Tahoe; Incline Village, Nev.
Number in wedding party: 12
Number of guests: 255
Approximate retail floral bill: $7,400
Photos by Gina Munda Photography; Reno, Nev.

Selected as our overall winner for its creative flair, attention to detail and cohesion to the couple’s desired look, this late-summer wedding was approximately one year in the making. The bride booked the florist after attending a wedding in 2006 with her husband-to-be for which Ms. Averkin had arranged the florals. “Molly is a stylish young woman with very modern and elegant tastes,” Ms. Averkin says of the bride. “She was extremely organized and knew exactly what she wanted.”

The bride’s main desire was to make a statement with color—specifically, black and fuchsia. To help achieve an “upscale look with a funky twist,” the florist suggested including black ostrich feathers, which graced the arch décor as well as the centerpieces, the bridesmaids’ bouquets and the groomsmen’s boutonnieres. Pine cones from the Lake Tahoe area added another distinctive element to the event, giving a nod to the location on a grassy bluff overlooking rustic Lake Tahoe.

In addition to coordinating the flowers, the florist also rented vases and linens to the couple for the reception, which took place in the hotel’s Lakeside Ballroom. A Bud & Beyond exclusively handles events, creating florals for approximately 50 weddings and corporate functions each year.


  best ceremony setting

Judi Tsuchida
Fena Flowers, Inc.; Kirkland, Wash.

Date: Sept. 7, 2007
Ceremony and reception site: Woodmark Hotel; Kirkland, Wash.
Number in wedding party: 6
Number of guests: 165
Approximate retail floral bill: $38,000
Photos by Azzura Photography

Held inside a large tent on the grounds of the Woodmark Hotel, which overlooks Lake Washington, this ceremony was abundant with flowers, fulfilling the couple’s wishes for an elegant, spectacular “wedding-of-the-year” event. Luxurious drapings of fabric and a “floating altar” created from Hydrangeas, ‘Stargazer’ lilies, ‘Vendela’ and ‘Mocha Magic’ roses, Dendrobium orchids and snapdragons set the stage for the exchange of vows. The flowers were arranged into floral cages, which were secured onto the crossbar of a 6-foot-wide-by-8-foot-tall metal arbor. Eighteen 36-inch-tall candelabra, which the couple rented from the florist, were adorned with the same flower varieties and lined the aisle. Following the ceremony, the tent area was transformed into the reception site, with the candelabra moved to the tables as tall centerpieces around which smaller arrangements and votives were placed. reception.


  best bouquets

Loann Burke, AIFD
Furst Florist; Dayton, Ohio

Date: July 21, 2007
Ceremony site: St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church; Beavercreek, Ohio
Reception site: Schuster Center for the Performing Arts; Dayton, Ohio
Number in wedding party: 8
Number of guests: 225
Approximate retail floral bill: $5,700
Photos by Mark Garber Photography

The bride requested bright summery colors to complement her watermelon-hued bridesmaid dresses. In addition to the lime-hued bells-of-Ireland—a must for honoring the bride’s Irish heritage—the palette included callas and roses in orange, pink and coral hues. The neatly trimmed hand-tied bouquets were finished with wrappings of ribbon, in ivory for the bride and in lime-green for her three attendants.


  best reception decorations

Beth O’Reilly, AIFD, and Coby Neal, AIFD
The Flower Studio; Austin, Texas

Date: May 19, 2007
Ceremony and reception site: private residence outside Austin city limits
Number in wedding party: 10
Number of guests: 175
Approximate retail floral bill: $15,967
Photos by Suzi Q, Q Weddings

A tent with fabric draping, chandeliers and specialty lighting was the setting for this celebration, for which the couple wanted an “artistic, yet relevant” design melding traditional elements with modern appeal. The wedding party feasted beneath a canopy of wild smilax and suspended tealight candles. Head-table centerpieces reflected a European design concept of tilted, balanced bouquets, all composed of white stocks bound with silver aluminum wire. Candles and smaller cube vases holding smooth pebbles and white Hydrangeas filled the table as well. Guest tables centered around the same theme, with ‘Casablanca’ lilies joining the stocks in the tall vases.


  best cake decorations

Kaywin Kubesch, AIFD, TMF
Rhinestone Angel & The Flower Company; Flatonia, Texas

Date: Oct. 13, 2007
Ceremony site: Presbyterian Church;
La Grange, Texas
Reception site: Ellinger Hall;
Ellinger, Texas
Number in wedding party: 27
Number of guests: 550
Approximate retail floral bill: $5,900
Photo by Diane Mueller

The wedding cake and wrought-iron backdrop were the main focus of this “rustic elegance”-themed reception. To create the 5-inch-thick base, which was covered with flowers that complemented the bridal bouquet, the florist attached bricks of wet floral foam, cut in half horizontally, to sheets of plastic foam with wood picks, tape and wire. Carnations were used as the base flowers, then more delicate stems were added, including tulips, lilies, Fuji chrysanthemums and ‘Kermit’ spray chrysanthemums. A few Gladioli blossoms, Nerines and orchids joined the assortment at the corners of the cake, their stems taped and placed into the icing. A floral topper crowned the confection.

Watch for the kickoff of our 10th annual “Picture-Perfect Weddings” contest in the July issue of Florists’ Review.

thanks to our sponsors
The following companies contributed prizes for the 2007 “Picture-Perfect Weddings” contest:
B&C Mortensen Wood Products, Inc.
burton + BURTON
Fitz Design
Florigene Ltd.
The John Henry Company
Lion Ribbon Co.
The Sun Valley Group
Syndicate Sales, Inc.
Vacuum Orna-Metal Company, Inc.

the winners receive:

best wedding

Awarded for overall quality of design and craftsmanship, including flower quality, creativity and fulfillment of the couple’s wishes.

• a monthly shipment of premium fresh flowers from The Sun Valley Group from January 2008 through December 2008 (total prize value approx. $2,000)
• a $500 product package from Syndicate Sales, Inc.

best bouquets
• a $500 wedding product package from Smithers-Oasis
• a $250 product package from Fitz Design

best ceremony setting
• a $500 product package from Lion Ribbon Co.
• a $250 merchandise credit memo from B&C Mortensen Wood Products, Inc.

best reception decorations
• a $500 merchandise credit memo from burton + BURTON
• a $250 wedding product package from Vacuum Orna-Metal Company, Inc.

best cake
• $500 worth of ‘Moon’ series carnations from Florigene Ltd.
• a Wedding Flower Style book and CD set and a Wedding Flowers: Tips & Techniques book from The John Henry Company (a $160 value)

• To read and see more, Click here to purchase the current issue of Florist's Review.

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