By Lena Ellwanger
Photos by Arden Haley
A bouquet can be a beautiful, wild work of art with bright blooms and cascades of leaves — a lush garden you carry in your hand.
Or it can be tamed into a gorgeous orb — perhaps a bit more manicured, but just as lovely and elegant.
Priscilla Horne, owner of Twisted Vine Wedding & Event Florals, can pull off either look in fabulous fashion.
She does admit a preference for the “garden-y” style: “I like that looser look where the greenery is hanging out and things are bouncing around and there is a lot of movement in the flowers. … The greenery trend has been really nice to me because I like designing like that. Kind of wild and free.”
With her incredible knowledge and more than 20 years of experience in floral design, Priscilla is in high demand. She and her staff of talented designers will take on anywhere from 80 to 100 weddings annually, but most of her weekends must be booked a year in advance.
When you first come to her for a consultation, she prefers to work from a basic starting point — perhaps your overall theme or color scheme.
“I always have the most difficulty when I have a girl come in and say, ‘I have no idea what I want.’”
But beyond the basics, your knowledge of florals is of little concern.
“We sit down and I have a form that I go through and we step-by-step … We look at the color palette, I’ll go over flower choices with them and we use the internet a lot, Pinterest, pulling up flowers and different designs until we settle on what they like.”
Priscilla then goes through every aspect of the wedding where flowers might be used: the bouquets, personals (such as corsages and boutonnieres), ceremony flowers, then cocktail hour, escort and welcome tables, centerpieces and any special items (such as tossed bouquets).
She concludes the consultation by talking about delivery. With the help of a number of assistants, she will travel to weddings up to two hours away from her home base in North East.
Despite the lengthy list of details, Priscilla says the initial planning takes only about an hour.
She then creates a mood board for each couple, showcasing everything she will be using for their wedding so they have a clear picture of the look for their big day.
And she stays open to changes all the way up to the final days before the ceremony.
“As a matter of fact, none of the girls know how many tables they will have exactly until all the RSVPs come in, so I have to wait until two weeks before the event to even finalize their last numbers. It’s all part of the process.”
Priscilla is also refreshingly flexible when it comes to cost, which can range drastically.
“I have no minimums. ... I do weddings from $800 to $10,000. It’s all depending on their budget.”
She would never turn anyone away: “I try very hard to make sure, if a girl comes to me with a $1,000 budget, we’re going to put something on her table for her.”
Of course, a bigger budget will buy you more drama, like the show-stopping elevated centerpieces in towering vases.
“That’s the first thing you see when you walk in the door.”
To keep the price tag more manageable, many brides will choose to do a combination of “highs and lows” for their centerpieces, Priscilla says.
When creating her works of art, she strives to use locally grown plants and flowers when they are in season, such as peonies in spring and sunflowers in fall — even pulling willow branches from her own backyard — because they stay fresh longer and, she says, they’re simply prettier.
She also enjoys accentuating pieces with her own special touches, based on what is growing at that moment.
“If they’ve set the amount of flowers and what they’re going to get, and if they trust me, they will let me add in fun things.”
And why not? It’s that enhancement of detail that can transform your wedding into something truly enchanting.