Tips From the Pros: Wedding Florals with Leah Meeks of The Putnam Market
As we venture into 2018, we’re excited to share blog posts with professionals from all across the wedding industry as part of our “Tips from the Pros” series. These professionals come from a variety of different backgrounds, but their expertise in the wedding field is second to none!
Today we’re excited to feature Leah Meeks, owner of The Putnam Market and expert floral designer. Leah is a magician when it comes to designing beautiful floral arrangements, and we’re excited to share her expertise in the field of all things wedding florals.
Rock Paper Sisters: Leah, thanks for joining us! Tell us a little bit about you. How did you get started as a floral designer, and what do you love most about your job?
Leah Meeks: I graduated with a B.B.A. (with a focus in Marketing) from Marshall University in 2013, and after working for a a couple of years in the field, I then went on to get my Masters’s Degree in Merchandising (with a focus in Fashion) at LIM College in New York City. Upon graduating, getting married (to my husband, Thor), and moving back to Hurricane, my sister and I turned our collaborative Instagram/blog, TwoFineWays (TFW for short), into a business - in 2016, TFW officially transitioned from being an inspirational outlet to an event/wedding planning & styling business. Fast forward to the fall of 2017, when Thor and I decided to make our dream of opening up a one-stop-shop marketplace for flowers & fine goods in our hometown of Hurricane, a reality - hence, The Putnam Market. The PM and TFW go hand-in-hand, because we are now able to offer our clients on both sides floral design/planning services.
I don’t know if there was an actual moment within the past couple of years when I transformed into a “floral designer”. I’ve always loved flowers and the joy they bring to my life and others; living in NYC where I had access to them on every street corner, to making arrangements for the parties & weddings we plan, and now to having a market where I get to interact with and arrange with them on a daily basis, over time, flowers have become so much apart of my life both personally & professionally - and I love it!
What I love most about my job is meeting with clients and working together to make all of their floral dreams come true. Every client’s tastes/needs are different, and it’s been super fun getting to work with them while also expanding my horizons.
RPS: How long did it take you to perfect your craft as a floral designer? Did you attend trainings and workshops to hone your skills?
LM: To be perfectly honest, I don’t know if i’ll ever get to a point in my career where I’ve "perfected the craft of floral design". I’m always learning, experimenting, and finding new ways of doing things. With floral design, there is no limit on what you can do! I have not received any formal training or education with regard to floral design. However, I’m constantly reading books/magazines, and I follow some incredibly talented floral designers & creatives that have taught me a thing or two along the way. One thing I will say is - there’s no better training than practicing over and over again. Some days when I’m at the PM, I will grab some flowers, a vase, and start creating an arrangement - it’s truly the best way to learn.
RPS: What are some trends that you see emerging for florals in 2018?
LM: Some emerging floral trends I’m predicting for 2018 are:
Lots of peachy pink and blush toned florals
Going the route of using urns, pots, and more non-traditional containers for arrangements over clear, glass vases
Suspended, unique floral decorations - ex. hanging flowers from the ceiling and decorating walls, lanterns, and bars with vine & greenery
Multiple bud vase arrangements scattered throughout the center of tables as opposed to doing a single arrangement
Pops of color (bright pinks, golden-hues, soft-blues, etc.)
RPS: How do you see people incorporating florals into their wedding day? Bouquets, centerpieces, other areas?
LM: For our wedding clients, we do a lot of bouquets, boutonnieres, and reception table centerpieces. Some of our 2018 brides are interested in incorporating a combination of centerpieces and garland, as well as wreaths on doors and large, statement arrangements on surfaces throughout the ceremony/reception venues.
RPS: Are there other unique ways that couples can incorporate florals into their wedding day?
LM: Unique ways to incorporate florals into your wedding:
See *suspended, unique floral decorations* trend above^
Don’t forget about the stairs! Most ceremony/reception venues have stairs where guests will be walking up & down throughout the wedding - take advantage of this opportunity to line candles and place cascading greenery throughout, or clustered arrangements on certain stairs to really make a statement
Floral wreaths are a beautiful, unique way to dress-up doors, gates, or entry ways at ceremony/reception venues - this detail won’t go unnoticed by your guests
RPS: What should couples expect to budget for florals for their big day?
LM: Budgeting for wedding florals is so important. Of course, everyone’s needs are different, however, I typically tell all of our brides that are unsure of what to budget for florals that it will be dependent upon two main factors: 1) the size of the wedding (in terms of your bridal party and total guest count) - this will determine how many reception tables you will have, which will determine how many centerpieces and/or garland swags, and bouquets/boutonnieres you will need 2) the type of flowers & greenery you’re wanting (ex. peonies & garden roses cost a lot more than greenery & hydrangeas!).
RPS: What are one or two pro tips that you want every couple to know when it comes to incorporating floral design into their wedding day?
LM: Have fun with florals! They are such a wonderful way to add life, creativity, personality, and beauty to your wedding. Also, don’t be afraid of going with more unique, non-traditional flowers, greenery, branches, and/or berries for your wedding florals. In my opinion, some of the most beautiful, seasonal florals to work with are those that people wouldn’t normally use for weddings. Always think outside the box, and don’t feel like you need to follow trends - set your own trends!