This rock n roll love story styled shoot was to be my introduction to the world as a proud new "Chapel Designer" A prelude to the designer and stylist behind the Aspen Florist brand. In case you haven't heard of a Chapel Designer we are an international collective of wedding and event floral designers. Directed by our founder Holly Heider Chapple, the organization educates, supports, and mentors creatives, while encouraging each individual designer to be his or her most authentic self.
When I returned home from my first 3 day intensive workshop I felt like I had been awakened. Not only was my mind racing with inspiration, I knew I had found the other half of my true self again. The part of me that died the night I was hit head on by a drunk driver nearly 14 years prior. I won't bore you with all the details, but in a nutshell I was working as a floral designer in an assistant manager position which was a career that I had trained for while expecting my third son. On the night before my 30th birthday party, I ran out to the grocery store to pick up a few things before our company was expected to arrive and a very intoxicated drunk driver changed my life in an instant in a head on collision. It was a life changing traumatizing experience for my family and I, one that none of us will ever forget. I spent a year in physiotherapy and several more years going for tests and experimental procedures. I became deeply depressed when I was forced to give up the career that I loved so much. While I spent some of that time being angry and bitter about what I had lost, I eventually realized that I had gained the greatest gift a mom could ever receive and that was more time with my boys. I spent the most precious years of my sons lives at home with them and a bond was formed between us that I can't begin to put into words. My boys were in enrolled in music lessons when they were just 5, 7, and 9 (Drums, Guitar, Bass and eventually Band lessons). I was home to take them to every lesson which led to them becoming one of Canada's Youngest Rock Bands with one of their music school bandmates in less than 2 years. They were just 7,9 and12 at the time. I was there for the countless performances and tours throughout elementary school , we toured all over Ontario, NY & NJ. I was there for the transitioning period in high school when they parted ways with their singer and added vocal training to their own lesson mix. I was there when the unthinkable happened and our eldest son was accepted into the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Berklee is often referred to as the Harvard of Music, a dream music school where only the best of the best are accepted. Phil my eldest son, studied Song Writing as his major with Guitar as his principal instrument. The 3 boys remained steadfast never wavering from their career path, in fact they worked harder than ever to make it work long distance. Dalton my middle son, enrolled in Berklee's Online Music School to study Music Production and Engineering and Colin, my youngest studied vocal training over skype with a Los Angeles Vocal Coach throughout high school. They released their first single to radio in 2012, which was picked up on 55 US radio stations including Sirius XM and Puerto Rico. We toured all over as a family for the next two years before returning home to write and record their next EP. It was that year my beautiful niece got engaged and asked me to do her wedding florals. She was a wedding planner and lets just say one thing led to another and the rest as they say is history. The guys were grown now, so it made sense for me, they didn't need me in the same way they did when they were younger and after doing a little refresher in the world of florals , I found a way to rekindle my love for design with the chapel designers and their intensive wedding workshops. My husband built me my dream floral studio complete with walk in cooler right in our home so I could be comfortable knowing my hot bath was nearby if my old injuries became too much for me while working. My sons jumped in and helped me with every aspect of the business, from web design and marketing to event set ups and complicated floral installations. I've been very blessed. I have this incredible life with my four guys & my business has blossomed in ways I never could have imagined following that fateful night nearly 17 years ago.
So now that you know a little bit more about me, you can imagine how excited I was to burst onto the scene as a new chapel designer with my debut rock n' roll styled shoot. I loved the process of creating a story, where I not only styled it and designed the florals but I was sharing a part of my 'authentic self' with the world. Music and flowers were intertwined in my soul, so I had this crazy idea to combine two of my greatest loves. I met the fiercely talented Whitney Heard at my first CD Workshop and I knew without a doubt she had to be the photographer to bring my vision to life. I casted my oldest son Phil to play the groom, with the hottest rockin’ sweetheart I could find and my other two sons rocked the wedding band role. Whitney and I just clicked, from there the two of us combined our vision for the shoot with the insane talents of a dream team of wedding professionals. We have submitted this shoot to a few kick ass rockin' blogs and magazines, while everyone loves it, we just haven't found the perfect fit so maybe its kismet, that it finally debuts in it's entirety here.
A Rock N Roll Love Story, inspired by my life as a floral designing "bandmum"
Michelle and Michael will steal your hearts in this rock and roll fairytale. He marries his beautiful high school sweetheart at a very intimate little wedding chapel known as The Carvers Cottage in Pickering Ontario. Michelle wanted her florals to represent their personalities. She loves bright red and bold pink florals but she also loves crisp whites and flowing greens. Garden Roses and Dahlias were two of her favourite blooms, so in an ombre of her favourite colours we complimented the fun black and white striped linen while tipping our hat to their sleek ride, which was a very sexy vintage red corvette. Following their quiet ceremony, the two lovebirds spent the afternoon walking around the peaceful property, listening to some of their favourite music , while sipping on sweet sangria & delving into their scrumptious desserts. As the sun began to set, Michaels' band accompanies him as he serenades his hot new bride before their fun first dance.
I know I speak for all of my incredible team, we had a blast shooting this entire project together, we shot for over 10 hours but it was such a labour of love for all.
If you're newly engaged and planning your wedding, we hope this shoot inspires you to embrace your personalities, let them shine through the colour, texture and florals in your decor. When you allow your floral designer, planner or stylist in to truly capture your personality they can tell a story through your decor that will come to life in your photography. So don't be afraid to bring aspects of your own lives into your wedding decor because ultimately, It's the little details that make the entire event extraordinary.
We hope you love what you see! Thank you for checking out our story!
My Extraordinary Vendor Team is :
Venue: The Carvers Cottage (Luke & Sandy Andrews) www.thecarverscottage.com
Photography: Whitney Heard @whitneyheard www.whitneyheard.com
Florals, Decor & Styling: Aspen Florist (Lisa Radu) @aspenflorist www.aspenflorist.ca
Decor & Co-Styling: Token of Love Weddings (Courtney Allems) @tokenofloveweddings
Bride Model: Brittany Michaud @brittanym27
Groom Model: Phillip Radu @philradu - Beyond the Sun
Cake & Desserts: Cocoa Lane Sweeterie (Caron Philbert) @cocoalanesweeterie www.cocoalanesweeterie.com
Stationary: Splendid Invitations and Events @splendidinvitationsevents (Anna Slogg)
Gown: One Love One Dream Bridal Salon @oneloveonedreambridal
(Alison Showalter & Janet Goodall) www.onelovonedreambridal.ca
Hair Stylist: The Hairitage House (Christina LeBlanc) @thehairitagehouseoshawa
Make Up: Mia Kennedy @scotty.xo
Musicians: Beyond the Sun (Colin Radu, Phil Radu, Dalton Radu) @beyondthesun www.beyondthesunmusic.com
Jewellery: A Touch of Sparkle -Tocara Consultant (Amanda Thibault) www.tocaraplus.com/amandathibault
Vintage Corvette: Don Mosley
Sangria: Courtice Winexpert @winexpertcourtice (Sarah-Beth Radovini) www.winexpertcourtice.com
Groom & Band Wardrobe: All Saints Yorkdale @allsaintslive
Wood Carved Sign: Luke Andrews at www.thecarverscottage.com