Vendor Feature: Stonecrop Farm, Florist in Newport, Virginia

I first fell in love with Stonecrop Farm when I saw them at the Blacksburg Farmers Market.  Like the true creeper that I am, I secretly took photos of the beautiful organic flowers they grew in my outings to the market [those are the ones at the tippy top of this post].  Finally we ended up actually working some weddings together - Jordan and Justin’s Beliveau Estate Winery Wedding, Valerie + Brian's Smithfield Plantation Wedding, Ina + Alfred's Virginia Tech Wedding at Hahn Horticulture Garden, and I believe there might be a couple more that I haven’t yet blogged.  I loved working with Gwynn so much, she is so laid back, sweet, and easy to talk to so I asked if I could come by and visit Stonecrop Farm in person to take some photos and she obliged and was kind enough to also answer some questions for me that might help you in your wedding planning journey:

 

Please tell me about yourself and Stonecrop Farm?

Bert and I met this fabulous guy in 1997 that was about to quit his job and start a farm.  This was a crazy notion… that you could just “become” a farmer at age 30 especially if you didn’t grow up on a farm.  Shortly after that we moved so that I could go to graduate school and Bert got his first job on a farm.  Another farm job followed that one and the next.  After several moves he finally decided he knew enough to run his own show.  We moved to his parents land here in Giles County and I became his intern.  That was 2003.

 

When and how did you get started in the flower business?

That first farm job that Bert landed was on a flower farm and the knowledge and interest stayed with him.  We grew flowers alongside the vegetables to bring more beauty and beneficial insect.  Then we started making and selling bouquets.  The flower part of the business has just kept growing as demand continues to increase the competition in the vegetable business becomes more threatening.

 

What is your favorite part of floral design for weddings?

I love a new challenge.  This past July we needed to create something for the stone hearth at Chateau Morrisette and — based on a Pinterest photo — we invented the flower waterfall.  I love being given free reign and a large color palette.  I also love getting to know my clients and then creating something that feels like it’s a great match for the bride.  Yesterday’s wedding creations were for a chef and pastry chef.  This very food oriented wedding inspired Bert to add peppers to the arrangement for the arbor.  And we snuggled asparagus spears into the bridal bouquets. 

 

What are some of your favorite flowers?

There’s something so exciting in every new season.  I love ranunculus and tulips in the spring and dahlias in the summer and fall.  This year delphinium belladonna bellamossa won our hearts.  The color is absolutely stunning and it still flowered even though it was drowning in the weeds.  Then there are sweet little additions like scabiosa, gomphrena, and nigella that really set our flowers apart from a florist arrangement

 

Do you have any favorite trends for wedding flowers?

I love the loose garden style that’s gaining interest. 

 

How would someone go about booking you for their wedding?

A phone call or email will start the process.  We sit down with clients and start the conversation, learning about their celebration and the styles that catch their attention.  We’re getting a lot of requests for 2017 weddings already, which is wonderful, but really tricky to fit in because we still have plenty more weddings for the 2016 calendar year.

[Why yes, this blog post should have happened about 6 months ago!  I’m caught red handed at letting the blogging slide again]

 

Do you have any tips or advice for couples who are currently in the wedding planning process?

If you’re not hiring a coordinator, find someone that is willing to help you out that can be your flower point person.   You don’t want to hire us to come early and install your pieces and hand off your bouquets AND stay until grandma arrives to hand her that wrist corsage.  Get someone that knows your friends and family to take charge of a few last minute flower responsibilities.

 

Anything else you’d like to add?

Pinterest has been great for putting lots of great ideas out there for brides to consider as their designing their celebration.  Remember that flowers like — and need — to be in water.  Those blossoms scattered loosely here and there look wonderful for a twenty minute photo shoot.  Not an afternoon in the sun and a long evening of celebration. 

 

Thank you Gwynn and Bert for your hospitality and for taking the time to answer my questions!  Here’s where you can find more of Stonecrop Farm: Website, Facebook, and Instagram and you can go visit them in person at the Blacksburg Farmers Market!

Vendor Feature: CharMarie Salon in Christiansburg

I’m starting a new little project in 2015…  I will be featuring local wedding vendors that I know and love to work with.  First up is CharMarie Salon!

I first found CharMarie owner and beauty goddess Charmaine Edwards through Twitter’s “Who to Follow” recommendation.  You know who else follows her on Twitter?  Nicole Richie, I think that loosely qualifies as a celebrity endorsement.  After adoring her beautiful hair and makeup posts on social media for a few months, I finally worked up the courage to ask her to collaborate with me on photo shoots and I’ve adored working with her ever since!  Charmaine has been in the beauty biz for years and just a few months ago she opened up her own salon filled with a talented team of artists and lovely decor.

How would you describe your style?
I would describe my style as constantly changing.  I get bored easily and love to switch things up.  One day I want to look and feel edgy, the next day conservative, and you might catch me in western wear the next day.  I have a hard time nailing down one style.

How did you get started in this business?
I knew that I wanted to do hair from a very young age.  I went to high school at Carroll County High School and took Cosmetology my junior and senior years.  I was licensed a couple of days after I graduated and did hair throughout my years at Radford University.

What is your favorite thing about being a business owner so far?
I love that there is a direct correlation between how hard I work and the benefit to the salon.  I love that it provides an environment that I enjoy coming to every day.  I love that I'm responsible to my employees and I love seeing them all grow both in business principles and as stylists.

What were some of your biggest accomplishments of 2014?
2014 was a year of challenges and accomplishments.  It took almost a full ten months from writing my business plan to our doors opening.  I'm really proud of myself for how everything came together.  I successfully negotiated my first commercial lease, got a business loan, my boyfriend and I did a lot of the physical labor on the space ourselves, and I was fully staffed within two months of opening.  If 2015 is half as successful as 2014 was then I will be a super happy camper.

Have you noticed any trends in bridal beauty for 2015?
I think the trend is going to remain a bit more understated.  Deep slick side parts, pulled off the face is something that was very popular on the runway but soft romantic hair never goes out of style and I can see that sticking around for a while.

What advice do you have for brides when booking hair and makeup artists?
I recommend brides check out a stylist or makeup artists body of work.  We all have things that we enjoy doing or are better at, so finding someone who matches the style you're looking for is always a plus.  Personality plays into it as well.  You want someone who is easy to get along with, doesn't stress easily under pressure and that you'll enjoy having around on one of the most important days of your life.

How early should a bride book you?
Brides should book as soon as they set a date and know who they'd like to use.  It's December 2014 and we already have weddings booked through the end of next year so booking ahead is the best way to ensure that you get your first choice.

We have a tab on our website labeled Bridal FAQ that can be very helpful for our brides to be.  When someone inquires about our services we usually send them a Bridal Contract first thing.


Can't get enough?  Check out more CharMarie Salon online:

CharMarieSalon.com
CharMarie Salon on Facebook
@CharMarieSalon on Twitter
@CharMarieSalon on Instagram

Or set up an appointment and go see the salon in person at 75 Conston Ave, Christiansburg, Virginia 24073 by calling 540-251-3350.

Pink French Macarons from Mockingbird Cafe in Christiansburg

I never cook or bake (my oven was completely broken for almost 2 years and I got by just fine without it), but I was dying to try some food photography. Donna from Mockingbird Cafe in Christiansburg was so kind to whip up a batch of French macarons to photograph. Aren’t they gorgeous? They tasted just as heavenly as they look – I can neither confirm nor deny that I ate them all in one day. Styling and photographing food is a huge change of pace from portrait work (though I do get to practice a little of this at weddings), I would love to do more photos like this!