Designs by Zara Miklenda | Photos by Olive Studio

I’m a second-generation floral designer who has been designing full-time for almost 10 years. I grew up in Oakville, Ontario, where my parents owned a high-end downtown flower shop. At age 19, after heading off to college to study gerontology, I realized that my heart was — and always will be — in floral design. So I gave up one dream to pursue another. I completed my certification at the Canadian Institute of Floral Design and then studied under master designers for several years until I felt comfortable and confident enough to spread my wings and take on the design world on my own terms.

I now live in Georgina, Ontario and am the head designer and manager of Keswick Flowers and Gifts. Here are some photos from a favourite wedding I did on June 16, 2017, at Langdon Hall in Cambridge, Ontario with the help of my mother, Suzy Caiger.

The bride and groom were looking for a vibrant array of flowers that really reflected the dynamic of their relationship. Both the bride (Josie) and the groom (Tim) love, adventure, excitement, and embracing all the beauty life has to offer. They wanted their flowers to stand out, to be different than your average white wedding. Both wanted the feeling that flowers were everywhere, without having too many greens.

The bridal bouquet was a cascade featuring deep, rich, pink phalaenopsis orchids, sweet ‘Juliet’ garden roses, soft blush peonies, orange spray roses and dark pink spray roses (to add a pop of colour), ‘Cool Water’ roses, and a few stems of white lisianthus. We included a touch of Italian ruscus to add movement without taking away from the overflow of orchids. We also added a wire cage and handle to give an extra level of texture.

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The centrepieces were two-tiered arrangements arranged on candelabras that were connected by a winding vine of Italian ruscus and phalaenopsis orchids. They featured both white and green hydrangeas, soft pink
peonies, ‘Juliet’ garden roses, orange and hot pink spray roses, hot pink dianthus, and ‘Cool Water’ roses. They were enhanced with New Zealand pittosporum and Italian ruscus.

We made the top part of the arrangement on Lomey dishes and the bottom part on wreath rings. At the end of the evening, we separated the tops and bottoms so two guests from each table got to take home a beautiful arrangement. (It was important to Josie and Tim that each person went home with more than just
a favour.) We also had a feature piece in the entryway of the reception that was not only a beautiful display, but also a great giveaway at the end of the night for a guest who didn’t get one of the two centrepieces.

The ceremony took place under an outdoor pergola that backed onto the beautiful gardens of Langdon Hall. We really wanted to create some depth at the altar that almost felt like a passageway into what would become the setting for the cocktail hour. The altar was dressed with varying levels of arrangements, two blossoming cherry trees, and two wrought iron gates that we installed right into the ground –those were decorated with Italian ruscus, roses, and orchids. We used thin gauge design wire that was strong enough to secure the floral
pieces but thin enough that it wasn’t visible to guests.

The head table was a delight to create! We did a half sweetheart, half king’s table to create a two-tiered t-shaped head table featuring a table runner centrepiece that flowed over the edge of the table. They were made in “Never Wilt” spray bars filled with hydrangeas, roses, garden roses, orchids, and peonies.

Katie Hendrick
Katie Hendrick is the editor-in-chief of Canadian Florist.

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