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    Tell Your Story with Flowers

    Weddings 12.15.16By Chelsea Bowman Wonnell

    “The earth laughs in flowers.”

    —Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Laughter is needed at every wedding celebration … and so are flowers!

    The floral decor sets the scene and mood for a wedding. Bright yellow sunflowers will emanate a different mood than blush peonies. Having thoughtfully placed floral decor lets your guests know they have arrived at a celebration and welcomes them even before their first glass of bubbly.

    While important, flowers do not have to cost more than a down payment on a home (especially in the SF market). When I work with clients we start with their budget, because let’s face it, most couples are on a budget. To get you started in planning your celebration decor, here are a few tips from the Chelsea Events & Floral Design team. These tips will help you stay in budget and also stay away from gray hairs along the way!


    Tip Number One: Hire a professional. 

    DIY projects can be fun but also may add stress to a time that should be festive. Couples who try to do their own flowers or who have friends handle these details often call us at the last minute for help. Your wedding is one day; don’t spend it exhausted because the night before you were putting together centerpieces. Many couples don’t take into account the day-of set-up and take-down of their decor as well. Time is money and supplies add up.

    Tip Number Two: Trust us.

    We want your flowers to be absolutely breathtaking! We make helpful suggestions and select the freshest flowers for you. We are detailed and diligent over stems of dahlias, treat hydrangeas as if they were egg shells, and fluff roses to perfection. We’d pay off mother nature to deliver off-season flowers and treat every wedding as if it were our own.

    Tip Number Three: Don’t feel stressed or pressed to pick wedding colors or a theme. 

    I’ve witnessed couples select expensive, out of season flowers just to stay within their color scheme. In my opinion, the best weddings don’t have a color palette or follow a magazine layout. Select flowers that make you smile, invitations that you’re drawn to, and choose a cake that makes you forget about the calories. I then take your selections and tell your story. I make it all come together. What we then see is your unique and personal style emerge. Your guests will leave your wedding knowing they attended your wedding and not one on Pinterest or contrived to fit the look.

    Tip Number Four: Recycle and reuse. 

    This works with bottles and cans … and flowers too! Altar pieces can be moved to anchor your sweetheart or head table. Bridesmaid bouquets can be placed in vases to spice up your dessert table. Centerpieces can be given as gifts to guests with birthdays closest to your wedding date.

    In the days, months, and years following your perfectly planned epic wedding celebration, please remember to still bring home flowers as a surprise for your sweetheart because, as John Lennon wrote, “Love is the flower you’ve got to let grow.”

    Chelsea Bowman Wonnell is the owner of Chelsea Events & Floral Design, one of San Francisco’s premier wedding and event planning companies. Chelsea is a specialist who has planned and coordinated hundreds of weddings over the past decade that are enhanced with her over 20 years of floral design experience. She can handle all of your details, from the planning to the petals! You can contact her at 415-310-4430 or


    1-PHOTO Fred and Jaime (1)Frederick Sullivan and Jaime Botello, who oversee the Weddings & Occasions page for the San Francisco Bay Times, are the talented wizards behind Sullivan-Botello Events ( and SnB Party Rentals (650 -877 – 0840 , Both are Certified Wedding Planners with extensive experience in creating memorable, personalized events for special occasions. Their rental service is incredible, offering everything from beautiful gold Chiavari chairs to LED dance floors, and all at competitive prices. They are the creators of the Gay Vanity Wedding Show and are longstanding members of the Golden Gate Business Association, which is the nation’s first LGBT Chamber of Commerce.