Indie Wed Recap v2

Pollen was lucky enough to be selected to display at Indie Wed not just once, but twice!  I have described last year’s display as “showing off.”  I created a bouquet, centerpiece, and boutonniere for three different looks, showing the range of styles Pollen can do.  Intimidated by a sophomore effort, and no longer feeling the need to be all things to all people, I took a different approach this time around.

This year, I kept it simple, and focused on the direction Pollen is heading, both in style and philosophy.  The style we’re honing is one that is naturalistic, a little gardeny, and seasonal.  And we’re making the transition to working only on weddings where sustainability is a focus, which was the original idea behind Pollen.

When I tell people that I started Pollen to be an eco-friendly option for couples planning weddings, I’m often asked, “What does that mean?”  This year, Pollen’s Indie Wed display answered that question.

Sustainable floral design means…

Designing in water, not floral foam. Floral foam (that green spongy stuff) is a petroleum-based product that is not biodegradable.  And it contains formaldehyde.

Working with sustainably grown flowers. Locally grown flowers are Pollen’s first choice, but in winter, we need to look to warmer climates for our flower supply.  We seek out flowers that have been certified as sustainably grown by a third-party certification program, such as Veriflora.  Or flowers that have been grown in the Netherlands, which leads the way in the cut flower industry with technology, conservation, and labor rights.  Our sourcing decisions are based on a thoughtful hierarchy of the least harmful impact of the cut flower options available, while fitting the budget and color scheme of the wedding.

Working with the seasons. What is seasonally available typically also is more affordable.  A display of forced spring bulbs (in recycled glass containers with vintage marbles) as a centerpiece demonstrated a seasonal option.

Considering the life of the centerpiece after the event. By using plants (such as the forced bulbs) as centerpieces, guests can take them home to enjoy for long after the wedding.  Alternatively, flowers can be donated to a retirement home or shelter.  Pollen can arrange to have your wedding flowers reused after the big day.

Supporting the community. Our display featured votive candles from Bright Endeavors, a local social enterprise working to break the cycle of poverty.

Working to reduce, reuse, and recycle.  We try not to buy more stuff if we don’t have to.

  • Pollen participates in Bright Endeavors’ votive refill program, in which they refill votive holders with soy wax for reuse.
  • Pollen will rent out containers for larger weddings, and otherwise offers a vase return program, in which clients (with prior agreement) can return unwanted vases from their wedding for a partial refund.
  • Pollen looks for alternatives to buying new.  The bridal bouquet in the display was wrapped with a vintage necktie, instead the usual satin ribbon.  Oh, and our table cover was upcycled from curtains and linens.

Special thanks to Kelly and Shannon for organizing Indie Wed; to Sarah (pictured below, on the right), who braved the crowds with me to be the face of Pollen; to Julie, who lent me her marbles (no joke); to Carla, who cut and folded paper for the display signage and handouts; and to Jessica and Peter of Matushek Photography, who took the photos!

Naturalistic Wedding in White, Brown and Navy {Fall Wedding}

I love texture.  And unusual, non-floral elements.  So I had a blast working on Erin and Dan’s wedding at the end of November.  Erin wanted her flowers to be a little unexpected, while still soft and natural.  Her color scheme of white, browns, sage green, and navy was tastefully understated.   Incorporating herbs, fiddleheads, berries and kale was a nod to the couple’s shared love of cooking.

Erin’s bouquet was mostly white, with navy berries, brown fiddleheads, and green herbs.

Fall Wedding Bridal Bouquet

The boutonnieres picked up the more interesting elements from the bouquets.

Fall Wedding Groom's Boutonniere

For the centerpieces, each one was a little different from the other, but still coordinated–a look I often refer to as “cousins”.  Check out the fantastic city views from the Wolf Point Ballroom at the LEED-certified Holiday Inn Mart Plaza.  (Oh, and that has to be some of the best ballroom carpet I’ve seen yet.)

Fall Wedding Centerpiece

This wedding was definitely one of my favorites from 2010!  Thanks, Erin and Dan!

Check Out Indie Wed!

IndieWed Banner

“On January 30th 2010, Chicago will be the location for a unique wedding event. The event, called Indie Wed will be the first of its kind in the Midwest, bringing together local vendors with a twist. Indie Wed caters to unconventional couples who are taking a more modern, edgy, or eco-friendly approach to their special day as well as the more conservative couples who simply want to add some special touches. The event will highlight the work of local independent designers specializing in various wedding related fields including stationery, cakes & pastries, fashion, catering, floral design and photography.”   (From IndieWed.com)

And Pollen will be there!  I’m looking forward to meeting like-minded vendors and couples!

  • When:  Saturday, January 30, 2010 from 11AM – 5PM
  • Where:  Ravenswood Event Center, 4025 N. Ravenswood, Chicago, IL
  • How:  Purchase tickets for Indie Wed here!  Buy them before December 19th and they’re a steal at just $10 per person or $15 per couple.