A Sunflower Wedding at Cooper Spur Mountain Resort on Mount Hood

sunflower wedding

It’s summer and I’m reflecting with gratitude on all the beautiful summer weddings I’ve designed flowers for in the past 18 years!  Typically, my summers are booked solid with weekend weddings, sometimes multiple weddings each weekend.  This year’s wedding season is different for all of us during the covid-19 pandemic. Between the small intimate weddings and elopements I’m designing flowers for this summer, I’m taking time to enjoy summer with my family and taking advantage of fun summertime activities I usually miss like berry picking and camping!

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In reminiscing of previous summer weddings, I’m remembering a classic summer wedding I designed last year on Cooper Spur Mountain Resort on Mount Hood, an hour and a half outside of Portland, Oregon. This beautiful summer wedding featured sunflowers, one of the most iconic of summertime flowers.  Sunflowers symbolize adoration, loyalty, longevity, unconditional love, and remind us of bright, warm sunshine, what a perfect theme for summer and fall weddings! Their bright and cheerful nature will bring joy, happiness, and warmth to your love-filled wedding day!

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Cooper Spur Mountain Resort in the Mount Hood National Forest is a charming mountain resort with a rustic lodge, log cabins and condos nestled in the woods, where you and your wedding guests will be surrounded by pine trees, beautiful meadows and epic views of the top of Mount Hood.  Its perfect for a mountain getaway anytime of year, and a wonderful outdoor wedding venue for nature loving couples to tie the knot!  This sunflower wedding at Cooper Spur was photographed by Crystal Genes Photography, a wonderful wedding photographer I’ve had to honor and pleasure to work beside on weddings as well as multiple styled shoot projects for the NW Wedding Underground.  We were recently featured in the Oregonian together for our Wedding on Wheels elopement packages with Oregon Teardrop Rentals!

The bride and bridesmaids of this sunflower mountain resort wedding carried classic, cluster bouquets of sunflowers, babies breath, Solidaster solidago, and Italian ruscus greenery.  Boutonnieres were made with small sunflowers, and Flowers by Alana also designed pale yellow and cream colored silk floral hair pieces and floral crowns for the bride, bridesmaids, and flower girls.

The ceremony was on a grassy lawn outside the lodge, surrounded by forest, and flanked by a beautiful view of the majestic Mount Hood.  Three floral installations with white hydrangea, large sunflowers, yellow roses, Italian ruscus and various types of eucalyptus were designed and installed on a simple wooden arbor structure owned by Cooper Spur Mountain Resort.  Beside the flower girl crowns, the flower girls also carried baskets decorated with sunflowers and yellow solidaster flowers and filled with yellow rose petals.

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After the ceremony, the reception took place within a large white reception tent.  Each guest table was decorated beautifully and simply with classic white chairs, white linens, dark brown napkins, and sunflower centerpieces.  Fishbowl vases containing decorative rock and water floated three large sunflower heads for a clean, simple sunflower centerpiece.

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To see more photographs of this sunflower mountain resort wedding, check out Crysal Gene Photography’s blog post.

VENDORS~

Venue: Cooper Spur Mountain Resort

Photographer: Crystal Genes Photography

DJ: Mr. Elive Productions

Hair + Makeup: Olivia Cooke

Cake: Lori Daily

Flowers: Flowers by Alana

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Are you having a small intimate gathering or eloping in 2020 and in need of a wedding florist?  Or newly engaged and planning a 2021 or 2022 wedding?  Flowers by Alana has availability and would love to do your wedding flowers! Contact us to book a virtual consultation or phone call this week!

 

 

How to be Anti-Racist in the Wedding Industry

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This is an apology letter and my plan to do better as a business owner, a wedding professional, and a white woman.  George Floyd’s senseless death at the hands of four police officers enraged and saddened me.  I was both sad and mad to the fact that another life was taken by a racist system, and equally sad and mad when I began to self-reflect and realize my own part in that racist system.  I am taking a stand now and am embarrassed that this stand wasn’t outspoken years ago.  I am sorry for my years of silence, hidden behind white privilege.  I am doing the work now to dismantle my own white privilege and see where I can do better to be anti-racist, and the many ways I can take action and loudly make known that Black Lives Matter.

At the core of my wedding floral business’ mission has been environmental ethics.  Its been important to me to support local flower growers, purchase eco-friendly, low or no pesticide blooms, and implement sustainable design methods that have a low environmental footprint.  I am realizing that this mission sadly falls short.   I am now developing my company’s mission to include diversity and inclusion, and to be anti-racist at its core.  Over the past few weeks, I have began a journey of self-reflection to see where I can do better and the concrete steps I can take in my wedding business to be anti-racist.

Step 1: Self-reflection and education

I am reading books, watching movies, listening to podcasts, and taking online training to learn the history of racism and see where it shows up in our culture, self-reflect on my own actions and where I could have done better, and learn what steps I can take to dismantle racism and further racial justice.  Click here to see a great starting place for books to read, podcasts to listen to, and movies to watch to dismantle racism. 

Step 2: Diversify my vendor network

Engaged couples often ask for my recommendations for other wedding professionals to hire for their wedding.  I am realizing my current vendor referral list lacks many professionals of color, so I am currently rebuilding my vendor list to be more diverse.  I will put in the effort to connect with more black, indigenous, and people of color in the wedding industry, and I will encourage couples to hire a diverse team of vendors for their wedding day.

Step 3: Representation in photos

This one has been on my mind for weeks. I want to diversify my photos on social media and my website to include more people of color, but I don’t want the action to be perceived as token statements.  I also recognize that I have been a part of many styled shoots where models were not compensated.  Going forward, whenever a person of color models or contributes their creative work, I am going to make sure they are compensated, so that I am not exploiting people of color for my own capital gain.  I have a styled shoot coming up that includes a bi-racial couple and I am asking all vendors to contribute to paying the models for their work.  The photos I use going forward with past styled shoots of people of color, I am reaching out and paying them in reparations, and apologizing that I hadn’t even thought to pay them previously.  This is somewhere that can be radically changed in the industry, as models often aren’t paid in styled shoots, yet there are model calls for same-sex couples or people of color in order to diversify our portfolios and social network photos. We can do better, wedding pros.

Step 4: Diversify my company

Flowers by Alana is primarily a one-woman show, but I have big plans to expand and hire a diverse team in the coming years.  I am committed to including people of color in my team, and creating a safe, equitable space where everyone is treated and paid fairly.  I also am committed to holding equity and diversity trainings for my future team.

Step 5: Support anti-racist companies

These past few weeks have given me the opportunity to look to the companies I directly support with my dollar, and whether they are staying silent or also doing the work to dismantle racism.  I am proud that my neighborhood credit union OnPoint that I use for business banking has made statements standing with the black community.  I have also recently switched to Honeybook for organizing my templates, contracts and invoicing.  I choose them over other organizing systems because they were quick to stand with the black community.  I am also a proud paying member of the MOB Nation, a mom owned business network who have done incredible work at educating their members on dismantling racism, and taking a stand the Black Lives Matter.  Going forward, I will continually research companies I am supporting and choosing anti-racist companies over silent ones.

Step 6: Boycott racist locations

I take a stand and boycott plantations or other historically racist locations for weddings or styled shoots.  I was admittedly ignorant that this was an issue in the wedding industry, but am grateful to become aware.  I have been asked over the years to travel and design wedding flowers in other states and going forward, I will make sure the locations aren’t ones with racist pasts.

Step 7: Donate to the cause to fight for racial justice

I am donating a percentage of my profits this year and going forward to organizations committed to dismantling racism, including the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation and the NAACP.

Step 7:  Support and stand for love in all forms

As a wedding florist, I am honored to be directly a part of the celebration of love between two people.  I am committed to supporting and standing for love in all its forms with absolutely no judgement or prejudice.  I celebrate and embrace interracial couples, couples of color, and same-sex marriages.  Black Lives Matter.  Black Love Matters.  Love is Love.

 

Oregon Teardrop Trailer Camper Pop-up Elopement Wedding
Flowers by Alana is a wedding florist in the Pacific Northwest

Are you a wedding professional who has other ideas on how we can dismantle racism in the wedding community? Please leave a comment below!  Are you a BIPOC (black, indigenous, person of color) wedding professional local to the Pacific Northwest who would like to be a part of my wedding vendor referral list?  Let’s be in touch!

 

Wedding on Wheels, an adventure elopement package in the Pacific Northwest

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bride and groom elope in the woods

Are you an outdoors adventure loving couple who dreams of getting married in the woods, a lake, or another favorite nature destination in the beautiful Pacific Northwest?  I’m so thrilled to announce that I’ve partnered with Oregon Teardrop Rentals and some of the best wedding professionals in our region to bring you an all-inclusive elopement package called Wedding on Wheels, complete with wedding flowers, wedding cake, champagne, an on-site photographer, and a Teardrop trailer, all delivered to the outdoor destination site of your choice!

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Wedding on Wheels professional collaborators:

Oregon Teardrop Rentals offers two different Lightweight Aero Teardrop trailers for rent on their own or as a part of the Wedding on Wheels elopement package.  You may choose between a cheerful, bright yellow Teardrop named Margot or a forest green Teardrop named Aspynn.  Both teardrop camper trailers include a galley kitchen with storage and kitchen essentials, Bluetooth stereo, USB ports, an awning for shade, a comfy bed for two, and overhead lights.  Each trailer has additional add-on amenities you can choose as upgrades, and can be delivered to your destination as part of the elopement package, or you can tow it to your elopement adventure.

Oregon Teardrop Trailer Camper Pop-up Elopement Wedding

Your Wedding on Wheels elopement package includes two different options for on-site elopement photography by Crystal Genes Photography, a talented wedding photographer in the Portland area and the founder of the Northwest Wedding Underground, a collective of the best wedding venues and professional wedding vendors in the Pacific Northwest region.  Options depend on the length of time you wish to have a photographer on-site and the venue distance from Portland.

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Your wedding cake by Cakes by Laura LLC, who specializes in sugar flowers, beautiful decorative designs and incredible flavors, has options of two or three-tiered wedding cakes for your elopement package. Laura hand-made each petal and intricate detail of these sugar flowers on this gorgeous cake, check it out!

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Your floral options with Wedding on Wheels are a basic elopement floral package of your bride bouquet and your groom’s boutonniere, or an upgraded floral package, which includes a bridal bouquet, groom’s boutonniere, one additional vase arrangement, and a garland to decorate the Teardrop trailer.  Additional add-ons may be requested such as a floral crown, additional boutonnieres or corsages for the officiant and any special guests, or other floral additions your unique wedding may require.  When you book your package, you may provide a wedding color palette and an inspiration board or photos you would like me to consider when creating your flowers.  You may also request a consultation with Flowers by Alana at no additional charge.

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Our Wedding on Wheels elopement shoot was recently featured by the OregonianClick here to see the feature!  You may also see more photos from the shoot on Crystal Genes Photography blog post!

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Wedding on Wheels Styled Shoot credits:

Teardrop Trailers: Oregon Teardrop Rentals

Photography: Crystal Genes Photography

Cake: Cakes by Laura, LLC.

Florals: Flowers by Alana

Dress boutique: Anna’s Bridal

Dress Designer: Rita Vinieris

Makeup: Shelby Renee

Models: Shelby Renee and Dylen 

Oregon Teardrop Trailer Camper Pop-up Elopement Wedding
I look forward to being a part of your Wedding on Wheels adventure elopement!! ~ Alana of          Flowers by Alana

 

 

 

6 Favorite Summer Wedding Bouquets

Cream Photo Collage Homemakers Pinterest Graphic

Summer is on the horizon during the weirdest year of our lives!  The covid-19 pandemic has certainly changed the summer landscape of many industries, especially weddings! We don’t yet know when we’ll be allowed to gather in groups again for Pacific Northwest weddings, but many couples are still choosing to get married! One thing I’ve noticed as a wedding florist is whether couples get married surrounded by all their loved ones and friends, or they elope just the two of them, a beautiful bridal bouquet is essential to almost every summer wedding.  Let’s look at some of my favorite summer bouquets Flowers by Alana designed over the last few summers to inspire you for your summer wedding.

1.) Lush and Wild Summer Boho Bouquet

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Summer is naturally lush and abundant and this extra large, wild, boho (bohemian)  bridal bouquet mirrors that abundance.  Lush with overflowing eucalyptus greenery in several varieties, strands of wheat, cream colored spray roses, pops of coral roses, and slightly dried pink ice protea, this gorgeous summer bouquet for a styled shoot with talented photographer Natalie Kristeen Photography at Cooper Mountain remains one of my faves from 2018!

2.) Beach Wedding Bouquet in Creams and Pale Greenery

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To date, this may be one of my favorite bride’s bouquets ever, photographed by one of my favorite wedding photographers Rebecca Rizzo Photographics. It has been featured several times on the Oregon Bride Magazine‘s blog as well as their Instagram stories as one of their favorite summer bouquets, too! It was perfect for a beach elopement at Hug Point State Recreation Site near Manzanita, OR.  The soft, pale green color of silver dollar eucalyptus and an extra large Tillandsia xerographica air plant, white hydrangea, a large pale pink king protea, and creamy ivory vendella roses created the perfect soft, beachy palette for a this beach summer wedding bouquet.

3. Summer Sunflower Bride Bouquet

Cooper Spur Mountain Resort Wedding

Few things represent Summer more than warm sunshine and sunflowers!  This classic, round, sunflower bouquet was designed with several large sunflowers, babies breath, yellow Solidaster solidago, eucalyptus, and Italian ruscus greenery for a beautiful Summer wedding at Cooper’s Spur Mountain Resort on Mt. Hood in Oregon, photographed by artistic wedding and portrait photographer Crystal Genes.

4. Romantic and Classic White Wedding Bouquet

Art + Rachel

One of the most memorable wedding I designed for last summer was this classic and romantic wedding in lush greenery and creams at Rock Creek Country Club, photographed by the talented wedding photographer Lauren Zavaletta. Click here to see the wedding blog post and see more details from this gorgeous summer wedding! This romantic wedding bouquet contained creamy vendella roses, white ranunculus, white dahlia, and seeded eucalyptus.

5. Romantic Summer Bouquet in Blush and Ivory

Christine + Alex

This romantic style summer bridal bouquet in blush Keira by David Austin garden roses, white dahlias and ranunculus, creamy Ivory vendella roses, and lush seeded eucalyptus was perfect for a summer wedding at the Aerie at Eagle’s Landing, photographed by the adventurous team of Between the Pine and coordinated by Portland wedding planner Krystle Clear Events.

6. Summer Wedding Bouquet in Coral, Sage green, and Ivory 

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Bright colors like Coral go great in the summer months, because they remind us of tropical sunsets, popsicles, and fruity drinks of the season.  The Pantone color of the year in 2019 was Living Coral and was incorporated beautiful at this stunning Summer wedding at Jacquot Farm in Brush Prairie, Washington, photographed by Karina Tobin.  This lush wedding bouquet contained ivory Patience by David Austin garden roses, blush ranunculus, pale apricot colored stock flowers, pink astilbe, coral colored Ecoroses, seeded and silver dollar eucalyptus, and Italian ruscus.

Stay healthy and safe, friends!  Contact us if you are considering booking Flowers by Alana for your wedding flowers!  2020 and 2021 dates are filling quickly!

 

A Classic Blue Celestial Wedding at Urban Studios in Portland, Oregon

A classic blue celestialwedding at urban studios in portland

Earlier this year, as in before the coronavirus pandemic when life was normal and we were all hopeful for an epic wedding season in 2020, I was asked to be a part of an incredible styled shoot and be featured on NW Wedding Underground, or NWWU for short.  NWWU publishes video interviews and venue tours on their wedding blog showcasing different Portland area wedding professionals.  Click on Episode 5 to see the full episode of our styled shoot on NW Wedding Underground!  Click here to see Flowers by Alana’s specific feature on the NWWU blog as one of their recommended wedding florists.  All photos were taken by Crystal Genes Photography, and all videos were filmed by Dane Casperson of Casperson Productions.

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Urban Studio is a gorgeous wedding venue in the Pearl District of Portland, OR

A month before the shoot, I met with the photographer Crystal Genes, the wedding planner Ashley Lachney of Alston Mayger Events and Natalia, the event director of Urban Studio to discuss color and theme ideas for our upcoming featured shoot.  I was thrilled that we decided upon a celestial themed wedding shoot in classic blue, the Pantone color of the year.  The walls of Urban Studio are painted a dusty blue gray, and they have these neat movable white walls that set the ceremony altar space in various ways.  I was excited to get to work designing a celestial altar installation that would use one of the white movable walls.  At first I was envisioning a metallic crescent moon using gold painted PVC pipe, but opted for a babies breath installation in the shape of a crescent moon instead.  I formed the crescent moon using 1-in hex chicken wire, filled it with babies breath, and suspended it on the movable wall backdrop by strong fishing line.  Along the top of the altar installation above the babies breath moon, I suspended greenery vines called Southern Smilax, which brought in a hint of being in a moonlit garden setting within the urban venue.  A wooden sign in the words of “To the Stars,” laser-cut by sign designer Modern Birch Co was the perfect touch to complete the celestial altar installation.

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The flowers I used for the classic blue wedding palette included blue delphinium, blue thistle eryngium, pale blue hydrangea, white anemone with dark blue, almost black centers, white mink protea with deep purple centers, white escimo roses, soft silvery dusty miller, various varieties of eucalyptus, dark burgundy scabiosa, and Ligustrum berries (also known as Japanese privet.)  We wanted a palette that spanned the entire blue spectrum from very soft pale blue to very rich, dark berry tones.  I was most excited to score the white and deep purple mink protea at the wholesale flower market to complete the classic blue palette!

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There were so many magical elements to this celestial shoot.  Our bride models were married in real life, which I believe makes for the best wedding shoot when the models are authentically in love!  Kristen donned a gorgeous metallic head crown fit for a goddess, and wore a stunning wedding gown designed by Hayley Paige, (a bridal designer who’s recently been in the news for making masks for medical workers out of wedding dresses!  See the story here.) The Hayley Paige “Yoko” gown was acquired from the Portland Bridal shop Brides For a Cause, and was a strapless, Ivory colored, fit to flare, mermaid style gown with a silver beaded bodice in geometric art deco designs, perfect for our celestial themed wedding shoot.  April wore her own blue wedding suit, and hair and makeup on both brides were done by the talented Mandy Harlan of Glamology.

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The extremely talented high-end wedding cake designer Catherine Sewell of Sewell Sweets designed a luxuriant, celestially painted, four-tiered blue wedding cake complete with an edible gold crescent moon and sun design.  Catherine is known for her incredible artistic skills in creating realistic looking sugar flowers and painted cakes, and has been featured multiple times by Martha Stewart!  Beneath the stellar cake, we added a wreath made of loose greenery plus crystals and stones by Forest Stone and Sea.

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The wedding planner, Ashley of Alston Mayger Events styled an incredible reception tablescape complete with gold chargers, various metallic candle holders and geometric shapes, crystals from Forest Stone and Sea, gorgeous crystal drink ware, and stunning deep blue linens.  Most of the tablescape rentals came from The Party Place.  Atop each place setting were round, moon-like menus adorned with constellations, designed by Black Thistle Co. I can imagine the ethereal feelings that would be invoked by guests at an night wedding with these celestial elements.

Audiovisual production company, DThree Productions brought gorgeous lighting elements to the celestial styled shoot. They illuminated the walls with blue lights in several places, and cast fun, playful lights in star shapes down the aisle.  How cool are the star lights on her dress?!!

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Yoko gown by Hayley Paige from Brides for a Cause

I’d love to know what you think of the Classic Blue Celestial Wedding ideas of this shoot!  Comment below this blog or share comments on my Instagram or Facebook posts!  Contact Flowers by Alana if you’re interested in a virtual wedding flower consultation to discuss your 2020 or 2021 wedding flowers!

~Stay safe and healthy, flower lovers! 

Love, Alana

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Gorgeous celestial invitations by Black Thistle Co.