You may have seen Madison‘s work on my site and blog quite a few times this year – its exquisite! She combines organic design with locally sourced supplies and the result is stunning. Today I asked her a few questions in regards to planning florals for a wedding day

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Why should you prioritize flowers at your wedding?

Flowers are more and more becoming the focal point at weddings. The past few years has been a lot about DIY projects and lots of extra table accessories. Now Im seeing a return to a more simple table that really allows for the flowers to speak for themselves. DIY projects always end up costing much more than expected. Try talking with a florist first and see where else you can put that money to create a more timeless event that is still completely gorgeous and personal.

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What should you look for in a florist?

When looking for a florist try and find someone who is excited about flowers! Seriously! That excitement brings knowledge of unique flower varieties and an attention to seasonality. Both are huge factors in making a really beautiful, timeless and high quality arrangement that will really set the tone for your entire event. About 85% of my flower orders are sourced right here in Oregon. This allows me to support Oregon farmers who have made it their dream to grow rare, hard to find flowers. The quality is out of this world and on top of that I get to create relationships with the people who grow my flowers. In the end the work becomes much more personal and beautiful which translates directly to your event

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Whats up with seasonality and the market how does that all work?

Generally I make a wish list of flowers. The market, just like the weather is completely wild and predictably unpredictable. I know what flowers should be available each month but im always accounting for the unplanned. A spout of no rain or too much heat can really change things when shopping the local market. A great florist will be ready to make necessary substitutions that will not forfeit beauty. Try to be flexible when wanting really specific varieties of flowers. Im looking at you peonies and Cafe Au Lait dahlias!

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Renting or buying vases?

Renting vases always will save you money! Try seeing what your florist has available and use that $300 your saving to make your flowers even more special.

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How much direction should I give my florist?

Each bride is completely different. Some know exactly what they are looking for. Some only know what colors they want. Wherever you fall on the spectrum try to trust your florist as much as you can. If you’ve done your homework you’ve found a real designer and artist. They’ve made their career out of beauty and they want to create something spectacular just for you.

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See more information on A Native Bloom’s website!

As a photographer I always want my clients to have a great experience during their family shoot but I know that things can get hectic and stressful when getting the entire family ready. Here are a few tips for the day:

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1. Have your outfits picked out ahead of time: washed, ironed and set aside at least a few days prior to the shoot. This will prevent having to dig through drawers for missing pieces and leave time for mom to do hair and make up.

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2. Don’t plan any big outings prior: while summer and fall weekends are usually busy with outdoor activities I would recommend making the shoot the main focus of the day. Take it easy beforehand, rest as much as you can and talk to the kids about being excited to have some photos with them.

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3. Don’t dress the kids too early: chances are you won’t want them to eat or do any messy activities. Get ready first and dress the kids as you are ready to head out, this way they won’t feel restricted. Also, don’t stress about an occasional stain or wrinkle, life happens.

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4. Ask the kids (if old enough) if there is anything special that they would like a photo with – maybe its a favorite toy or a blanket. This will give them a little task and something they can have a say in.

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5. Save the treats for after: while a promise of a little reward is a great way to prolong their attention I do not recommend handing out candy or gum during the time we are talking portraits (exceptions apply).

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Relax and have fun!