Obviously I was floored when Marika from Rock Paper Square approached me and asked if we would help with a special staff party for a local software company. You know anything she is involved with is going to be unique and fun, and sure enough… The theme was a 1920s murder mystery! The party was held at the new Nourish location in the harbour downtown and took over the entire space–up and downstairs.

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Upstairs in the ‘library’ room at Nourish is a live-burning fireplace and we lined the mantle with a solid bank of taper candles in golds, mustard, caramel and brass in antique brass candle holders. To make the room look like an 1920s library we also filled the shelves with bones, antlers and books. View More: http://robcampbellphotography.pass.us/mediacoredinnertheatre View More: http://robcampbellphotography.pass.us/mediacoredinnertheatre

The best part was spelling ‘MURDER’ in foliage on the wall behind the our rustic wooden bar. Sarah cut out the letters in plywood and we wrapped it in moss and ferns, then took washi tape and taped individual pieces of fern all over the walls of the ‘conservatory room’.View More: http://robcampbellphotography.pass.us/mediacoredinnertheatre

Marika had a bunch of containers she had spray painted black for vases, and because it was right before Christmas we used lots of pepper berry, tallow berry, privet berry, japonica, skimmer and antique varieties of carnations. We also used long branches that we covered in moss and succulent heads.View More: http://robcampbellphotography.pass.us/mediacoredinnertheatre

We wanted to make sure we got some good shots of this, because it was so fun and different an event, so we had Ameris come down and shoot the details. Software companies…so cool.

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Katie and Ryan are so incredible, apart and together. Their vision for their west coast, intimate wedding was inspirational and we had a blast pulling lush garden flowers in their water-colour palette that perfectly suited their location in the Saanich Inlet. Delphiniums, english roses, peonies, and so much more overflowed to create a look of abundance, joy and romance. VANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHERVANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHERVANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHERThe ceremony was held on the Brentwood Lodge restaurant’s breathtaking patio. There’s nothing like it–and it has the added bonus of a very inconspicuous and attractive awning providing shade from the summer sun.

VANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHERLook at that lush backdrop… the water, mountains, forest and flowers. It’s such a joy to add our creative touches to this space.VANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHERVANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHERThis incredibly photographer, by the way, is courtesy of Rick CollinsAnd if you’re like me and love to see the “behind-the-scenes” shots and feel everyone’s anticipation:

VANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHER VANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHER VANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHER VANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHERAnd then it was party time in the Lodge’s restaurant! VANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHERGlamorous gold table runners from Bash Specialty and delicious pies and cakes from Ruth and Dean.VANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHERVANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHERVANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHER

Congrats, Katie and Ryan. All our love, Vanessa and the Verbena crew. XOXVANCOUVER_DOCUMENTARY_PHOTOGRAPHER

VJ-1345Vanessa and Jonathan go way back to their days at Shawnigan Lake School where they both attended. It was fitting they had their wedding at their alma mater– and get this: all their friends and family stayed in the dorms. How fun is that? The school’s grounds are unbelievable gorgeous and feature a chapel, where the ceremony was held.

Okay, but before we talk about anything else… that dress, right? Vanessa has incredible taste, and this dress was sent from heaven for her. And by heaven, I of course mean Klienfeld in New York. The Romona Keveza dress is a gray-blue raw silk confection. Un-flipping believable.

Of course everyone wants a beautiful, sunny day on their wedding, and in so much as this wedding was planned perfectly by the bride, the weather doesn’t always get the memo that it’s your wedding day. The weather threatened all day… in July… in a summer that saw almost no rain. We were protective of Vanessa’s raw silk dress in the rain and did what anyone would do: we wrapped her in garbage bags (and surrounded her with umbrellas). And were we glad we did because as Vanessa walked from the courtyard to the chapel the sky opened up and poured. Of course at that point she was so excited to see her husband-to-be that nothing was stopping her.

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We used shades white and green, but we worked in pale blue for the ceremony to highlight Vanessa’s dress. Those soft, subtle blue hydrangeas in the arrangements were a last minute addition. When I saw them (they came in randomly on the Thursday before the wedding to my floral supplier Mt Newton) I grabbed them because I thought if we put colour anywhere we will do it for the church flowers and highlight her dress.

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The day-of coordinator was Tammy of Blue Lily Event Planning, the photographer was Erin Wallis (who I’ve been wanting to work with for years, and it was a dream come true!) and hair and makeup was by Chelsea Dawn.

VJ-4379We used the Love balls in the courtyard between the chapel and dining hall… they came in handy for the groomsmens’ game of soccer.
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The larger arrangement on the head table are from the ceremony–we always move the ceremony flowers to the reception so they can be enjoyed for the entire event. VJ-1536VJ-1519 We made over 275 feet of garland with salal, eucalyptus, plumosa fern and ruscus. It tied the indoors to the lush outdoor surroundings and was striking on such a large scale.VJ-4817VJ-0492

The dining hall at Shawnigan (aka, Hogwarts) was transformed by simple, natural flowers and lots and lots of candles. Their massive fireplace helped set a romantic ambiance.VJ-1408VJ-1606

Shara from Bash Specialty chose some special pieces, including the bride and groom’s love seat (seriously, how perfect?) couches, side tables, pillows, and more to create a living room atmosphere in the dining hall.

…There is a tradition at Shawnigan: at breaks the school serves fresh cookies! So the couple, familiar with the cookies, requested their favourite flavours for the dessert table and paid homage to their school days together.

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 Vanessa is a family friend from Qualicum and it was a joy to take part in her and Jon’s special day. We wish you many years of health and happiness, Vanessa and Jon. XOX

We usually just post photos of the end result of our work , but do you want a little peek of what goes into getting all of those perfect petals? Weeks before the big day, we are meeting with our floral supplier Mt. Newton Floral about where to get the best… rose, hydrangea, peony, fibre optic grass, ferns, and on and on. We consider local versus imported, the current quality, quantities and colours of various growers’ products and more. Thankfully we have an awesome friendship with the team at Mt. Newton so it’s not too painful–they go the extra mile for us because that’s who they are… and we bring them absurd amounts of chocolate and goodies.

For the most part, Mt. Newton gets us almost everything we use in terms of floral supply because they have access to local and imported products: whether it’s a flower from their farm or another local grower or a fiddlehead fern imported from Hawaii. We not only love the people at Mt. Newton and think they are the best at what they do, but we are happy to be supporting a family-owned and operated business located on the Saanich Peninsula. Here’s a look at their operation and what goes into getting those perfect flowers.

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Vanessa going to check out what is coming into bloom on Mt. Newton’s flower farm with Ryan, who helps runs the family operation his father started in the 80s.DSC_2017 DSC_2001 DSC_2007 DSC_2010 DSC_2011Mt Newton100_0694100_0721

DSC_1942Some of the beautiful David Austen roses they brought in for us this week. Ryan and his dad, Michael, are up in the wee hours of the morning buying all kinds of product to the island from around BC, Washington, California and beyond.

DSC_1956Ryan inspecting Mt. Newton’s first sunflower of the season (they grow their own crops as well as bring in local and import products).

 If you’ve been following us for awhile, you might remember the pictures below from Ryan’s wedding–more than five years ago (we arranged the flowers). Funny story: Ryan and Britt came to our shop to talk about designs, and before Britt knew what was happening Ryan, Vanessa and Jenny were talking in flower lingo and had figured out exactly what she wanted for her bouquet (which–thankfully– turned out to be exactly what she wanted for her bouquet). Then for the big day, Ryan scooped up some good deals on beautiful flowers, threw Vanessa and Jenny in Britt’s parents’ garage for the day with the flowers and supplies and took off. We thought about walking out, but we like Britt too much so we set up the venue for her, cursed Ryan a lot, and then got over it when we saw how handsome he looked. (Kidding, Ryan is one of the nicest guys in the world). We were touched to be a part of their intimate wedding.  Here’s a look back:

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Still after all these years, one of our favourite weddings. It was so beautiful in its simplicity. Our favourite part was when just as they were saying their vows, the sun came streaming through the poplar trees that lined the property.
(All wedding pictures courtesy of the lovely Karen McNeil.)

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The bouquet was featured in WeddingBells and we still see these images in brides’ collections of inspiration.

brrec-015 brrec-020brrec-023brrec-009brrec-016 brrec-032 brrec-034brcer083Our silly, beautiful Jenny–and Vanessa’s arm…

DSC_1957And now there are these guys (Britt and Ryan’s twins), who love to “help” at the farm.

Now you know where all those beautiful petals come from!