Last month, I had the absolute honor of photographing my own wedding floral designer, Anna. Her Nashville studio branding session sent me over the moon, and I’m so excited to share her and her breathtaking work with you today.
Before we dive into this gorgeous studio branding session, there’s an important distinction I must make. In the world of wedding florals, there are florists and floral designers. You know the florist kind—mom and pop shops using run-of-the-mill grocery store blooms arranged in your standard spherical shape. Typically, these designs aren’t really designs at all. They’re rinse and repeat, order from a catalog and call it a day kind of services.
Floral designers, on the other hand, are a bit of magic—artists who choose florals as their medium. Their designs are full of depth, unique shape, and movement. Each design tells a story and evokes immense feeling. For my own wedding, I was after a floral designer.
Enter Anna of Old Frond Floral Co.
A friend had told me of this girl from Alabama, a wizard with flowers, a rising star. One look at Anna’s work and I knew I needed to inquire with her. Often times with weddings, a lot of the offerings from various vendors look the same. But Anna’s work was different. To me, there was an inexplicably captivating quality to how she concocted color stories (learn more about those here!) and fashioned the architecture of her arrangements, bouquets, and installations. I still can’t quite put it into words, but when you see her work, it’s obvious. She’s a true artist.
Nearly four years after my own wedding, Anna and I met in Nashville for her studio branding session. She had dreamt up a moody palette—my favorite kind—complete with her signature mantle design and a stunning tablescape. We chose two outfits, one that showcased her more relaxed, classic aesthetic and another that alluded to a more feminine, romantic feel. Each selection mimicked not only her personal style, but also so many characteristics that can be found in her work. Elegantly undone hair and a simple, fresh makeup look by Amanda Gros amplified Anna’s natural beauty while giving a slightly upscale edge to her branding photos.
Below, you’ll have the opportunity to hear directly from the artist herself on what inspires her, how she handles motherhood and business ownership, and her experience in the wedding industry. Thank you for sharing your vision and art with the world, Anna. We are better for it.
Tell us a little bit about your journey as a floral designer. Are you self-taught? Did you always envision yourself in the wedding industry?
I got started in flowers when I lived in Atlanta right after graduating from college. I had just gotten a psychology degree and had a bit of a crisis not knowing what direction I wanted to take in life. I knew I wanted to work with my hands and do something creative, but I had already tried a ton of different art mediums and failed miserably at all of them. My sister was a very talented invitation designer in the wedding industry, and she peaked my interest. I reached out to an ATL floral designer knowing absolutely nothing. She let me work with her for six months and I never looked back! Bopped around freelancing for several florists there, and worked a stint in a retail flower shop. I took home leftovers from all of those jobs and practiced constantly in my apartment, and started experimenting and photographing my work. All of that experience was crucial. When I started my business, I already felt like I had an arsenal of experience and knowledge!
What drew you to the color palette and flower selection for your studio branding session?
I have always been drawn to layered, rich, earthy tones in flowers. They are those magical nuanced colors that I pull into almost all of my color palettes to bridge the colors together. For my branding session, I really wanted a reflection of my personal style and the way I decorate my home, so I drew inspiration from all of the vintage art and decor I’ve been collecting lately and went full old-world, Dutch-masters inspired.
Where do you draw inspiration from when designing florals?
I draw inspiration from stuff outside of the wedding industry mainly. Art, interior design, travel, landscape design, fashion. I will see a color palette used in another industry and try to figure out a way to make it happen with flowers! It is my favorite way to gather inspiration.
How do you find balance in being a mother and a business owner?
I truly don’t think that exists, I always feel like I’m dropping the ball somewhere! But becoming a mother has made hard boundaries in my business so much easier. If it’s not a hell yes then it’s a no. My daughter and my time with her comes first, and I work to live (definitely don’t live to work). Every decision I make comes with her in mind and trying to inch closer to the life I want to live. I try to be done by 4pm on wedding weeks, and I hire enough freelancers to make that happen. I take December,January, and July off so I know I have those months to spend summer and the holidays fully present with her.
Where do you see the wedding floral industry heading in the next five years?
I’m seeing an emphasis on sustainability, which I love. I think we all have to start working on to make this industry longer-lasting. I’m seeing a shift towards more color which I love! I’m simultaneously seeing a shift towards larger focal pieces (massive statement arches and installations) and simpler tablescapes (more ikebana, bud vase style). I am here for all of it!
If you could bring one floral dream to life tomorrow, what would it be?
An all yellow floral palette with a full arch right at the peak of forsythia season!
What do you wish more people understood about being a wedding floral designer?
How physically demanding this job is, and how many people and hours it actually takes to do flowers for a single wedding. It is incredibly unglamorous work for the most part! The end result is always beautiful, but it takes so many man hours of washing buckets, cleaning candleware, getting mechanics in place to design, loading/unloading and processing flowers, flattening boxes, loading vans, etc etc. Not to mention all of the emailing, design meetings, flower ordering/spreadsheeting, and general admin work that comes with owning the business. The designing is the easy part. It’s the rest of the stuff that takes forever. Oh also—the mentally draining fact that this is every client’s most important day and you’re working with an incredibly perishable and unpredictable product! It can be a lot! It has taken me 6+ years to figure out a way to not be absolutely wiped out mentally and physically for a solid week after every wedding.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Just that I’m so grateful for you and for the beautiful images you captured for my branding session. You are the best and I feel so lucky!