Mountain Elopement Styled Shoot with Rocky Mountain Bride

Last March I loaded up my car with boxes of greens, buckets of flowers, so many snacks and a tiny baby for a day playing with some friends and making something special for the 2019 Wyoming edition of Rocky Mountain Bride. The drive was foggy and a little scary but when I made it over the mountain - sunshine was waiting for me at Meadowlark Ski Lodge.

With a roaring fire keeping us warm inside the lodge we all got to work. Hair and makeup on our models by Bonita Beauty Studio and Gypsy Soul Salon, our editor Chelsea moving furniture and setting a magnificent table while Kayla from Foxtails Photography captured all the magic. I started off working on the fireplace to create a sweeping green piece made with huck, soft ferns and golden leucodendron.

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This amazing shoot was carried off by the following vendor team.

Bridal Boutique - BHLDN | Floral - Whirly Girl Flowers | Hair - Gypsy Soul Salon - Brittini | Hats - Stetson | Jewelry - Archetype Collective | Linens - La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Makeup - Bonita Beauty Makeup | Menswear - Banana Republic | Models - Bret & Haley Paper - Before Noon Paperie | Photography Foxtails Photography | RentalsYonder Floral + Decor House | Sweets - Red Velvet Bakery Venue Meadowlark Ski Lodge |

You can see the full feature in the 2019 Wyoming edition of Rocky Mountain Bride available now. Here are a few of my favorite shots of the day!

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The Problem Solver

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In my experience, most jobs require a certain amount of problem solving - no matter the field or area of expertise. Before jumping into floristry I worked in a variety of settings - jack of all trades here, master of none. These included a retail job slinging pre-made bouquets and flowers by the bunch at Wilson Farm in Lexington, MA, working the teller line at a credit union, waking up before the crack of dawn to brew coffee for commuters in California and finally as an administrator for my beloved community and church (Highrock) in Arlington, MA and at Volunteers of America Northern Rockies here in Sheridan, WY.

Some problems were easy - like adding ribbon to a bouquet or making a latte over to satisfy a picky (& never satisfied) customer. Others were hard - like finding a venue for 1,500 people in Metro Boston with parking + space for kids to play + the ability to serve coffee with breakfast for a reasonable price. Maybe it required figuring out complicated insurance problems. Or that one time I messed up payroll for 3 staff members - that one was awful. I’ve solved tricky finance situations, mopped up two gallons of sticky milk spilled in one epic fail and handled my fair share of flower related problems over the last 10 years.

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Making flower magic for events this year has been a test in problem solving. Not completely unexpected but has certainly required some creativity to pull things off without my clients worrying and delivering what’s promised. It’s why you hire a professional - to figure it out when none of the foliage arrives and the wedding is in 2 days. You’ve paid me to handle it, make it perfect and deliver the magic all while you’re carefree and soaking up the love with your friends and soon to be spouse. Chances are you’ll never know there was a problem at all.

Some of these tests simply come as a result human error. Lots of them come as a result of being in beautiful Sheridan, WY and far from pretty much any floral resource. The majority of my supplies and 98% all flowers are shipped here from great distances, pulled by a trusted provider and put into the hands of mostly reliable shipping agents. Sometimes the flowers on my wishlist aren’t available, or they don’t get put into my box or they get held up in customs in Maimi, FL for 2 extra days and never arrive. Sometimes they don’t survive the travel and go straight to the compost bin. On a few occasions special vases I ordered came in with one broken - oops, should have ordered an extra. Or that time I ordered the extra “just in case” and found two broken upon arrival at my studio. Ack! It never seems to end.

While my clients are traveling to WY and welcoming family and friends to celebrate their wedding, I’m hustling over the phone and email with my sources to get replacement product shipped if there’s time. Occasionally it means heading out with my clippers and a bucket to forage in a few known and trusted (I’ve asked for permission) spots for something that didn’t arrive - hello office park landscaping, and buying new plants at the local garden center. Sometimes it’s a last-ditch desperate trip to the grocery store and a hope that there will be just one bunch of perfect filler to make up for something that came in damaged or completely the wrong color.

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You’re trusting me with something beautiful and important on your wedding day and I’m so honored by that gift. I want you to know I’ll handle the the missing product, broken vases and anything else that comes up before I deliver your flowers. I’m good at solving problems and making the flower magic happen - no matter what comes my way.

All images captured by Lizbeth’s Lens.