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!