Your wedding floral design is like the cherry on top of your bridal couture, your centerpieces, your bridesmaids’ dresses… and anywhere else you want to go floral crazy for your big day! They can inspire a summery warmth or a winter wonderland aesthetic, timeless elegance or fun and quirky energy. Basically, just like the rest of your wedding design, they should be a reflection of you as a couple and the way you want to celebrate your special moment.
So if you’re planning a Rocky Mountain wedding in the Bow Valley, you need a floral designer who understands bridal flowers, but who will also take the time to understand you. That’s where Alpine Blooms comes in.
In 2017 a wonderfully talented floral designer named Fawna decided to leave the retail flower game behind and provide a much more personalized and individual customer experience to brides in the Bow Valley. And so, Alpine Blooms was born! Since then, Fawna’s business has grown from strength to strength as she receives one rave review after another on her stunning work.
We had a chat with Fawna to find out more about Alpine Blooms has to offer!
Tell us a little about yourself!
I grew up in Rocky Mountain House in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. As a kid, I never really understood how special it was to be just a 30-minute drive from the Rockies. We spent almost every summer in the mountains. Places like Abraham Lake and Kootenay Plains that are just now starting to become popular are the site of some of my fondest childhood memories.
After high school, I moved to Edmonton for university and met my husband – or rather re-met since we’d gone to the same high school – and got married at the ripe old age of 21. I still wonder what our parents were thinking… but here we are 12 years later still going strong.
I don’t think anyone is surprised that we finally managed to get back to living just minutes from the mountains. We were married in Banff (so that we could go snowboarding the day after!), spent our honeymoon slope side in Montana, and have spent as much time as we can exploring everything this amazing area has to offer ever since. Our kids were on snowboards as soon as they could walk and have already hiked more kilometers than a lot of adults will in a lifetime. As a family, we’re happiest when we’re outside.
How did you get started in floral design for weddings?
I am all about that work/life balance. In 2017 I saw a post on Facebook about how you only really have 18 summers with your kids before they grow up and move on. I did the math (had a good cry) and realized that I only had 9 summers left with my oldest. I’d already burned through half our summers together.
After that, everything changed.
My husband and I took a good hard look at our priorities and decided that we needed to make some big (scary!) changes.
At that time I was the owner of Lilac & Lace in Innisfail, AB – a full-service retail flower shop. As any entrepreneur knows, if you let it, it will consume you. It wasn’t uncommon (especially around big holidays) for me to work 14 hour days. My kids spent every afternoon at the store and ate way too much take out for dinner. Business was great but life… life was not.
We made the (so right, but so terrifying) decision to move our lives to the mountains. I sold my shop, we sold our house and downsized into a live/work townhouse in Cochrane. I walked away from the retail life and now focus only on weddings. By being selective about the dates I book, I’m able to spend more time with my kids and give my clients the one-on-one attention they deserve.
What wedding services/packages do you offer?
The Alpine Blooms experience is completely customized to each couples specific needs. Whether it’s an epic mountain top elopement or a sit-down reception for 250 guests!
Do trends in wedding floral design change a lot?
There are basic fundamentals of design that will never change like color theory, balance, the use of negative space… But things like popular bouquet shapes and specific flower varieties change all the time. A few years ago, no one had even heard of an Anemone (outside of Finding Nemo!) but through social media like Pinterest and Instagram, they’re now widely recognized.
What is the biggest up and coming floral design trend right now, in your opinion?
Bleached greenery is really trendy right now!
How would you describe your philosophy when it comes to working with couples to organize their wedding floral design?
I want to create something that suits your tastes perfectly! So I try to get a feel for what speaks to each couple and custom design the perfect florals for their big day.
I also have a firm belief that everyone deserves beautiful florals, regardless of their budget (remember how I was still in Uni when I got married??). At Alpine Blooms, I don’t require a minimum spend because the bride with a $500 budget is no less deserving than the bride with $5000.
How do the seasons affect potential choices for wedding florals?
It’s an exciting time to be in the floral industry. Growers all over the world are starting to pick up on trends and offer new varieties accordingly. Anemone and Ranunculus are now being grown in South America making them available almost year-round and there are peony farms in Alaska that have blooms available into the fall thanks to the crazy amount of daylight they get in the summer.
And new farms seem to be popping up all over Alberta – the growing season is a lot shorter but they offer so many unique varieties!
I work with a network of suppliers to make sure that I can offer the best product regardless of the time of year. And if the specific variety you’re after isn’t available or is just too expensive to be feasible at that time of year, I’ll always offer up alternatives.
What are the most frequently asked questions you hear from couples?
“How much will flowers cost?“
It’s always best to get a proper quote because there are so many factors that can play a part in the price of a design – size, shape, specific flower varieties – but a good starting point would be $250-$300 for a bridal bouquet and $150-$200 for a bridesmaids bouquet.
What is the most important advice you would give to couples when it comes to their wedding floral design?
Take a deep dive into your florists’ portfolio. Do you like what you see? Do you see things similar to that Pinterest photo you’re so in love with?
Floral Design is an art and each artist has their own unique style. It’s important to pick an artist whose style and tastes match yours.
Do you have a favourite flower or combination to work with?
It changes almost daily but right now I’m really excited about some of the more unique varieties of rose that are becoming popular like Coffee and Distant Drums.
What positive feedback do you hear most frequently from couples after their wedding?
I’m always happy to hear that my bouquets last well past the wedding day. I don’t have to worry that a bouquet is going to wilt before you even make it to your photos!
Any parting words?
In my world, there’s no such thing as “good enough”, everything needs to be perfect. I’ll drive to the wholesaler at five in the morning before I’ll send out a spotty rose or wilted greens.
“Fawna truly outdid herself for our wedding! We gave her ideas of what we wanted for our wedding and she gave us that and then some! Her floral arrangements we beautiful and I got so many compliments on my bouquets and centerpieces.
She is so so talented and works very hard at what she does. She was moving to Cochrane during the week of my wedding and still managed to make everything SO beautiful!
Thank you so much!”
–Hayley & Brendan
Visit the website here.
Check out Fawna’s work on social media:
All photographs in this piece are by Twenty Twenty Photography.