Not only have the fabulous florists of Alexandria, VA based Petal's Edge been fantastic to work with, they've also been voted one of the DC area's Best Florists by Washingtonian magazine 6 years in a row, have appeared on the Grace Ormonde Wedding Style Platinum List 2007 - 2009 and made The Knot's 2007 Best of Weddings. They also just nabbed a 2011 Brides Washington magazine Editor's Choice Award! We recently got a moment with Gerry Rogers and Rebecca Henry to discuss inspiration, working your wedding magic and, of course, their favorite topic of all - flowers!
How did you get started in the wedding business? Gerry: I worked in art museums for many years, and then - quite spontaneously - while working on my doctorate, decided to start a business instead of write my dissertation (talk about procrastinating!). Rebecca, who has a horticulture and landscape architecture background, joined me shortly thereafter. We didn't even know each other!
What do you do when you are not working? We both have children and spend time with our families when not working. Gerry: I love to knit, cook, entertain and have a lake house in western Maryland where I like to get away and pretend I know how to snowboard when it's cold.
How would you describe your approach to weddings? Rebecca: We like to take a personal approach, and really talk to the couple about what is important to them in the look of the wedding. While we have our own design opinions, we like to think that it is our job to understand the tastes and style of the bride, rather than impose our own taste and style on them. Our job is to help steer them towards a good, cohesive design that represents the look they want.
What inspires you in your work? Gerry: Anything and everything, but most of all, just seeing flowers and imagining how they can go together to create different looks.
What do you find the most rewarding about your job? Rebecca: The most rewarding part is when we bring a bouquet into a bride on her wedding day, and she gets excited and happy. I love being a part of that.
What's the one thing you wish everyone knew about you or your business? Gerry: Just how complicated flowers are! Flowers are a global industry, bought at auction, flown all over the world, but first and foremost a natural thing. Flowers have an unequaled beauty, but it comes from nature, pure and simple. It is not the result of a manufacturing process, dye lots or other kinds of man-made manipulation. Most of all, flowers die, which makes that beauty that much more precious.
What do you think sets your company apart from other florists? Rebecca: We like to take a professional approach in all aspects of dealing with our clients - from our comprehensive, protective contract to the way all of our staff dresses on the day of the wedding, our clients will always get a high level of professionalism in dealing with us. Gerry: We are also a small business, and we focus almost exclusively on weddings. This allows us to really be on the same page as our clients and their concerns and give them personal attention. Each client has the same contact throughout the process, and the person you meet with is also the person who is building the arrangements and setting up on-site. We also have two owners, rather than one, so there are even more things at play to a bride's advantage there.
What do you love about weddings? What we love about weddings is also what we hate about them - we love all of the really cool little personal details that the couple bring into the celebration, particularly when they want us to incorporate them into the flowers.
What is the coolest thing you've ever seen at a wedding? Mmmmm....raw bar for cocktail hour. It's all about the food. And the drink! We've also had a couple of brides and grooms that really did the whole cocktail party thing right - one had a cocktail hour before the reception, which itself was a totally tricked out cocktail party (including lounge furniture and seated bars), and then wrapped up the whole night with an after party. Oh, wait, you probably mean flowers....well, there was the time we did a Washington Monument built out of flowers.
What's the best piece of advice you can give to couples planning a wedding? Take deep breaths and don't make it any more complicated than it has to be.
Who is your favorite artist or band? Rebecca: Indigo Girls Gerry: Anything with a beat that I can dance to.
What is the worst song of all time? Rebecca: The Macarena Gerry: I'd put the chicken dance in there...
Thanks, Gerry and Rebecca, for taking time out of your busy schedules to put down the petals and give us your perspective on things - we really enjoyed your input!