Flowers: Language of Love

Make a gorgeous statement with botanicals that are rich with symbolism and history

0712-perfect-purple-flowersPresent Perfect

The high-low mix of budget-friendly carnations and delicate, exotic Mokara orchids in FIORI FLORAL DESIGN (206-329-3944, owner Miles Johnson’s bouquet yields a look that is both familiar and formal. The inky varieties and uncommon pairings give the round arrangement a sense of polished playfulness.


The first carnations were light pink in color, and the name can be traced back to Old World terms for the human body. Blush-colored carnations have been a symbol of Mother’s Day since the 1900s, so it’s no wonder this sometimes-underappreciated bloom often has family ties.

Locally made silk chiffon and tulle dress with glass beading ($2,400), Rebecca Cairelli. Jeweled bangles ($35 each) and amethyst and pearl chandelier earrings by Seattle’s Abloom Design ($98), Luly Yang Couture. 14K white gold, garnet, and diamond ring ($1,195), Alana Antique and Estate Jewelry. See Resource Guide for vendor information.



0712-local-colorLocal Color

Tulips, poppies, and ranunculus are accented by foxglove, geum, and scented geranium in this naturalistic yet highly designed single-shade bouquet by McKENZIE POWELL FLORAL AND EVENT DESIGN (360-815-4031, Some of the blooms are from the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, which is now open to the public for a few hours on some Fridays. For a five dollar fee, DIY types and flower lovers can score last-minute deals.


Signifying “consuming love” and “happy years,” tulips first came to Europe in 1559 via Turkey; in fact, the flower’s name was derived from the Turkish word for turban. Soon after, “tulipomania” took over and fortunes were made and destroyed in the bulb trade. Nowadays these blooms are typically quite affordable, thanks in large part to Skagit Valley growers.

Amy Kuschel’s lace and pleated netting sheath dress, made in San Francisco ($2,300), Belltown Bride. Satin heels ($198), Luly Yang Couture. Vintage Whiting and Davis cuff ($100) and 15K yellow gold chandelier earrings with seed pearls ($995), Alana Antique and Estate Jewelry.

Luly Yang’s fit-and-flare scallop-patterned textured lace gown ($3,200), Luly Yang Couture. 18K white gold ring with bead-set center diamond and alternating rows of pavé-set clear and yellow diamonds ($4,495), Alana Antique and Estate Jewelery



0712-in-rare-formIn Rare Form

Showcasing five types of orchids—Phalaenopsis, oncidium, cattleya, Miltoniopsis, vanda—bright fuzzy pops of dianthus, and lily and steel grass, Pradit Kan from KAN ORCHIDS AND FLOWERS (206-402-5696, called on childhood memories of his family farm in Thailand as well as training in Japan, Hong Kong, and the UK when he crafted this cascading structural homage to modern design and natural beauty.


There’s just something so otherworldy—and then again earthy—about this ancient and prolific family of flowering plants. Throughout history, sensual side effects have been attributed to ingesting various orchid parts, which is no surprise when you consider that these sultry blossoms epitomize ecstasy, love, and beauty.

Luly Yang’s fit-and-flare scallop-patterned textured lace gown ($3,200), Luly Yang Couture. 14K white gold, garnet, and diamond ring ($1,195) and 18K gold and diamond earrings ($2,395), Alana Antique and Estate Jewelry


0712-field-notes-and-boutouinersTucked In

Pinned to the buttonhole of his jacket’s left lapel, boutonnieres were once worn daily to signify a gentleman’s upper-crust social status. An old-fashioned wedding tradition was for the groom to pick his boutonniere flower directly from his bride’s bouquet and have it pinned on during the ceremony. In the modern version, his accessory is premade and tucked within her posy for much easier plucking. For your celebration, choose spare combinations of colors or key blossoms that coordinate with the showpiece bouquet.


1) Black-and-white striped ribbon adds charm to this red coxcomb bout by Maxine’s Floral and Gift 2) McKenzie Powell chose a just-ripe ranunculus bud for the focus of this buttonhole piece 3) Brilliant dupioni silk sets off the muted tones in Fiori’s boutonniere 4) Kan Orchids’ graphic, signature grass treatment is as striking as the orchid itself



0712-bright-ideaBright Idea

Round, luxurious peonies, star-shaped clematis, Opus roses, textural coxcomb, and blue Portuguese squill provide strong slices of bold color in this stylish bouquet by Maxine Nicklos of MAXINE’S FLORAL AND GIFT (206-523-4200,


The bridal bouquet originated in ancient Greece, where brides carried a cluster of herbs to ward off evil spirits. Once she was safely in the arms of her beloved, she’d share her good fortune by handing off the herbs to a lady in waiting—a precursor of today’s bouquet toss.

Luly Yang silk wool gown with draped organza tiers ($4,500), Luly Yang Couture. 14K gold and jade earrings ($595), Alana Antique and Estate Jewelry.



Photographs by Kyle Johnson | Shot on location at Hollywood Schoolhouse 

Model: Candace Fisser / Heffner Management | Hair and Makeup: Tiffany Colors | Assistant Stylist: Amanda Zurita