March 29, 2018
Today I am so excited to bring you one of my favorite Milwaukee florists, Liz Egan of Floral Alchemy! Make sure to check out some of Liz’s amazing wedding work for Morgan & Mike’s wedding this past September. I had the pleasure of hanging out with Liz for a bit in her Milwaukee studio (which by the way, that dark blue wall and how it photographs is everything!!) and do a quick branding shoot and interview. I LOVE her advice to brides on how to chose their florist, I think it’s something you can use universally with any wedding vendor!
What first inspired you to start designing flowers?
What first inspired me to start designing flowers was the need for more creativity and nature in my daily life while helping guide couples through a hectically exciting time period!
How did you develop the flower design look that you’re known for?
Initially, after design school I was making very formulaic, uninspired and non-intuitive designs. I realized the designs were missing authenticity and an artistic sensibility. After recognizing that I wasn’t the only person who enjoyed them, I found my way toward a bountiful, fresh from the garden look that I continue to evolve and challenge.
When it comes to flowers, where should a bride prioritize her budget?
I always recommend clients create a list of their top three priority items. Equally as important is establishing their three lowest priority items.
Aesthetically speaking, when we try to make everything a focal point, nothing is a focal point. There’s too much competition for the eye’s attention. It ends up overwhelmed, trying to find a place to rest and nothing resonates. Prioritizing also helps us allocate the floral budget appropriately and efficiently.
How did you come up with the name Floral Alchemy?
My husband, Matt, is the owner of that moment! I was telling him how I wanted to create a more thoughtful approach toward wedding flowers. I’d wanted to create enough space for a meaningful collaboration between client and vendor while embracing their personalities and using nature based art to reflect this celebratory moment in time. I believe his initial reaction was something along the lines of a very skeptical “oooo-kaaaay” But in the end, he gets me. Alchemy is the practice of combing two elements resulting in a third more complex and dynamic form. Thus, Floral Alchemy was born.
What is your current favorite color palette to work with?
Yikes, identifying my favorite color palette to work with is difficult because I’m fascinated by colors and their impact on mood, tone and feeling within a space. I guess I’m not drawn to any specific palette at the moment so much as I am to color complexity. In other words, I love drawing out the blue grey hue from eucalyptus greens or the purplish mauve from a blush colored rose. Muddy colors offer an endless array of color possibilities. I guess I’ve landed on Muddy Colors!
When in the planning process should you book your florist?
In my experience it is best to engage with a florist once you’ve established the date, the venue, the aesthetic and the colors you are gravitating toward. These tend to be important foundational elements from which we can build in with further details as they evolve.
What is your favorite part about being a florist?
My favorite part of being a floral designer is helping clients reframe the role of flowers in their minds eye from mere prop and decoration to meaningful symbol of people, memories, feelings from past, present and future.
What are your favorite floral wedding trends this year?
My favorite floral trends this year are pairing muted or washed out color palettes with one really vibrant tone, the use of former accent elements like Thistle, Scabiosa Pods or greenery as focal florals, botanically dyed anything and tropical leaves as chargers!
What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far?
Highlight of my career thus far has been making my own wedding bouquet from foraged and street stand flowers hours before getting married outside Rome. A close second was the opportunity to assist the florist I’ve known since I was a kid on one of my best friend’s wedding flowers… and finding out he swears like a sailor! It was magical.
What is the biggest piece of advice you’ve found yourself giving clients?
Plan your wedding so that you can shift the final responsibilities off your plate the week of your wedding. This way you can be mindful and present as momentum takes it course in the days leading up to and through your wedding. These are moments for the highlight reel of your lives, you won’t want to miss them!
What tips can you offer couples who want to find the right florist for them?
This happens to be something I am sure to address when speaking with potential clients.
Here’s the deal – as you engage with various florists you’ll want to assess whether or not they’ll be a good fit for you, your intended, and this beautiful moment in your lives.
Beyond the artistic style, a vendor who fits will be one with whom you feel comfortable giving your opinion, asking questions, requesting clarification and giving feedback.
Likewise, you’ll feel comfortable trusting their expertise and following their guidance.
Many wedding resources unnecessarily scare couples about the vendor process. Most vendors are extremely transparent and honest.
By the way, it’s smart to explore your options! Ensuring both parties feel a good fit is important in achieving a wedding vision befitting the unique love you two share!
Remember, it’s okay if a floral design firm doesn’t end up being the right fit for you. Just send a quick message to let us know that you’ve found your floral match. Feel free to copy and paste the following as your message, “Dear X, We wanted to let you know that we appreciate your willingness to share your services with us. At this time we’ve chosen to move forward with another vendor. Thank you for your time and all best in the future!”
What are two fun facts about you?
1. I’ll be participating in my 8th triathlon this summer.
2. I can be sitting in full shade and still get sunburnt off the reflection on a sidewalk. It’s a special kind of super power!
Liz, thank you so much for taking the time to let me interview you. I’m so glad we bonded over our names (#peoplenamedlizareawesome) and having the same super power, haha! Your couples are SO lucky to have you!
Make sure to check out Floral Alchemy: