Flowers for Dreams is the next in line in our continuing effort to highlight wonderful wedding vendors. We had a chance to sit down with Erika, the lead floral designer for weddings and events, to hear more about what she loves about her business and what makes her product so unique.
Adult beverage of choice? I like dark beers
Junk food of choice/guilty pleasure? Anything salty. Cheeps and deep or Doritos
Best trip you ever went on and why? Costa Rica. It was my first trip out of country on my own. First big bite of freedom. We had a lot of fun.
What music makes up your favorite playlist? OR Best concert you’ve ever been to? Lots of Indie for sure. I love classic rock like Beatles too. I went to see Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins at the Pabst theater. It was definitely my favorite concert.
Tell me about your family and friends – what do you like to do together?
I love going out an eating food. I also like bowling. And I like cosy nights in with my family members just hanging out playing games or watch a movie together. This year I felt a little nostalgic and I made my family to go with me to a pumpkin farm. We carved pumpkins (and we all are adults!) and it was a blast. We had tons of fun together.
How many people are on your team?
3 full time employees in Milwaukee. We also have a few part time stuff members here. In Chicago we are about a triple the size.
Why are couples drawn to your work? What style/type of weddings or couples are the best fit?
I think big part of it is our mission. We tend to draw a younger audience who is more socially conscious. They are interested in fact that we give back to the community. But then we also are very on trend, we have a lot of young designers who all have a little bit of their own flavor. We push the boundaries when it comes to weddings, trying to do things out of the box and more interesting.
When you sit down with a couple for the first time after they’ve hired you, how do you start the design process?
A lot of it is decided through the consultation process and then I put together a proposal, based on their needs, color palette that they want and budget. I usually leave the flower variety open to the season. I send over reference photos, to set expectations. I show them inspirational images or the things I’ve done in the past, that look like similar to what they are looking for. But also I try to leave it a little open to add super seasonal items or add my own twist on it. I think the couple is usually pretty sure of what they getting after they’ve gone through the consultation and proposal process.
What is your favorite venue in town to design for?
There is a lot. I like more modern and industrial kind of buildings for venues. South Second is one of my favorite, Turner Hall, Pritzlaff. There is definitely enough of character, but it’s a blank enough canvas that you can do a lot within.
What is the best thing about working with Flowers for Dreams?
For me personally, I have a lot of freedom to be creative. I get to do my own consultations with the brides. I get to go with the entire process with them from the beginning to the end and be actually the designer to put the wedding together. Being a part of that entire wedding process and to be allowed to have so much control while still working under the umbrella of the company is something I really enjoy.
What services does Flowers for Dreams offer in-house?
We do wedding and event design. We do daily pick ups or deliveries. We’ve done a few installations for corporate buildings. Just recently did a moss wall installation at one of the creative spaces downtown. It had some lettering on the wall with moss that we’ve constructed. We were adding plants on the weekly basis. So overtime it looked like a growing wall. I know they did a stop motion animation of that.
What question do couples forget to ask you that is important?
I have a checklist of things that I ask them through the booking process. So typically we cover everything that we need to.
What is your favorite trend you are seeing for weddings this year?
I think I’m liking the return of some reacher colors. I’ve seen a lot of jewel tones which is fun. I also have seen a lot of people interested of going totally unique direction. I have a bride who is interested in having a lot of greenery, which is popular, but also is having a really unique variety of greens, pots, textured items, air plants. I like that a lot.
What is your favorite season to design for?
I love late summer the best. Mostly for the varieties that are available. There is a lot of unique things especially from the local growers. Peonies season is one of my favorites too. But I tend to lean towards fall interesting grasses, dahlias.
What flowers do you think are underrated or do you think brides and grooms should consider?
I love carnations so much. There are so many different varieties these days that take on the whole new look from what people were used to seeing. There are so many cool ones.
If you are creating an arrangement or full room design and you have total creative license, where do you look for inspiration?
I go about each arrangement a little differently. All of the inspiration usually begins with the function of it. And then I decide if it’s about texture this time, or it’s about color this time. For me, interesting shapes is fun,
I have architectural background and I like sculptural nature of design. I don’t get to do too much of ikebana types arrangements or super minimalist types. But those are so much fun for me, because they push me find beauty in simplicity.
What is one thing every Flowers for Dreams bride and groom should know before their wedding?
One of the biggest challenges for florists is that we are at the end of spectrum when it comes to all the vendors they have already booked. A lot of times the couples have already spent a lot of money and they don’t have much budget left for floral. So I’d suggest they do a little research and set the budget before coming in.
For more information about Flowers for Dreams, please check out their website!
To see more of our work, please check out the rest of our wedding blog!