Now offering e-Design services

finch and thistleGwyn and John’s Gatsby inspired wedding was a labor of love for a large team of Seattle wedding vendors. I started working on the design of their wedding a full 18 months prior to the big day last September. The bride and groom wanted to celebrate the Pacific Northwest island location but still give guests the feeling of being inside a 1920’s ballroom. We set up three separate tents for the ceremony, cocktail reception and dinner reception each decorated in a different but coordinated fashion.

For the ceremony, antique English iron gates backing onto the Puget Sound were draped with antique hydrangea, hops, stock and quicksand roses while guests walked an aisle filled with plums, garden roses and herbs. We worked with Sally Balt at la Happy to create a custom “kissing tree” die cut motif for the invitations and programs in an elegant eggplant and cream package. In the cocktail tent we set up two soft seating areas of vintage sofas and coffee tables decorated with flowers in McCoy pottery and candles on vintage silver trays. An antique typewriter on a blue desk invited guests to leave messages for the couple while an antique sideboard displayed skeleton keys with hand lettered key fobs to direct guests to their seats.

Moving into the reception tent guests were greeted by long banquet tables covered in taupe and purple linens, silver candelabras and lush floral arrangements in silver urns. These were offset by square tables with towering glass vases topped with large arrangements of dahlias, phalaenopsis orchids, blackberries and garden roses. The bride collected antique silver pieces on Ebay and made candles for each one that guests were invited to take with them as favors.

Glass chandeliers provided the lighting while the back wall of the tent was draped in custom burlap panels and hung with vintage mirrors reflecting the Puget Sound and Seattle across the water. We decorated custom cedar bars with antique liquor bottles and offered micro brewed NW beers while guests reclined on more Gatsby style soft seating and a wedding painter documented the scene.

lahappy_gwyn+john_8 g_j_wedding_edit1061 g_j_wedding_edit1209 g_j_wedding_edit1168 Gwyn_John_Bainbridge_Island_8 finch-thistle-sean-flanigan-gwyn-john g_j_wedding_edit1376 g_j_wedding_edit1256

g_j_wedding_edit1276 IMG_7535 g_j_wedding_edit1452 g_j_wedding_edit1278 g_j_wedding_edit1404 g_j_wedding_edit1439 Gwyn_John_Bainbridge_Island_5 Gwyn_John_Bainbridge_Island_6

Gwyn_John_Bainbridge_Island_7 IMG_7418 IMG_7426 IMG_7430 IMG_7444 IMG_7434finch-thistle-sean-flanigan-gwyn-john-2g_j_wedding_edit1628 (1) g_j_wedding_edit1623 g_j_wedding_edit1618 IMG_7726 IMG_7779 g_j_wedding_edit1661 g_j_wedding_edit1617 g_j_wedding_edit1708 gwyn_john_finch_thistleg_j_wedding_edit1720Photography by Sean Flanigan
Location: Country Club of Seattle on Bainbridge Island
Event Design and Floral: Finch & Thistle Event Design
Event Planning: Eventwise
Stationery, Calligraphy and Invitations: la Happy
Hair and Makeup: Erin Skipley
Bride’s Dress: Modern Trousseau
Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew
Suits: J Hilburn
Favors: handmade candles in vintage silver pieces
Desserts: coconut cake and pies by North Hill Bakery
Catering: Herban Feast
Linens: BBJ
Vintage Furniture and Prop Rentals: Vintage Ambiance
Custom Cedar Bars and Burlap Draping: Prop Gallery
Tent and furniture rentals: AA Party

I am so thrilled to have two features in the new Summer/Fall issue of Seattle Met Bride & Groom. Gwyn and John‘s Gatsby inspired Bainbridge Island wedding is featured in the Real Weddings section and a fiesta themed tabletop I helped design alongside Megan Keller of A Kurant Event is featured in the Variations on a Theme section. Pick up a copy today and check them out!

In the new Seattle Bride, images from Alissa and Alan’s backyard wedding is featured in the “Ask the Experts” section with a quote from photographer Julie Harmsen.

finch and thistle press

Gwyn and John

photography by Sean Flanigan and images of magazine by Julie Harmsen.

Seattle floral wedding designer, sean flanigan, rachel bowes, finch and thistle Seattle floral wedding designer, sean flanigan, rachel bowes, finch and thistle Seattle floral wedding designer, sean flanigan, rachel bowes, finch and thistle Seattle wedding designer, floral designer, high end wedding

Painted Desert Pastiche

images by Dennis Wise for Seattle Met Bride & Groom and images of magazine by Julie Harmsen.

dennis wise, seattle met bride and groom, finch and thistle, mexican tabletop, southwest tabletop painted desert tabletop finch and thistle 2painted desert tabletop finch and thistle 3painted desert tabletop finch and thistle 4painted desert tabletop finch and thistle 5

Seattle Bride – Ask the Experts

photography by Julie Harmsenfinch and thistle, Seattle Bride

Have you seen the newest issues of Seattle Met Bride & Groom and Seattle Bride magazines? We just got a copy of each and were thrilled to see several mentions of our work. Jennifer and Jerry’s August Palace Ballroom wedding is featured in the real weddings section of Seattle Met with lots of space devoted to the design and floral elements and I am also quoted in the Destination Weddings section about my own wedding at Alderbrook Resort.finch and thistle in seattle met bride and groom
As if that wasn’t enough, Seattle Bride features the fabulous apple “tattoo” escort cards from Jamie and Chelsea’s Orcas Island wedding in their local weddings inspiration section.

finch & thistle in Seattle bride


Have you seen the new issue of Seattle Metropolitan Bride and Groom? Our bouquet is on the cover!

bouquet on cover of Seattle Met Bride and GroomThe gorgeous image was taken by Ryan McVay of Studio Lucile and you can see other details from the shoot here and here.

So many people and so much preparation goes into putting together an editorial for a magazine like Seattle Met Bride & Groom.  From a design and styling standpoint, there are usually weeks of preparations – sourcing props, planning the design, ordering flowers, putting together the arrangements and lots of running around picking everything up. Then the shoot itself is a hive of activity with editors, art directors, photographers, fashion stylists, and hair and makeup stylists. As promised, here are a few behind-the-scenes images from the latest issue of SMBG…

hair and makeup stylists, photographers and fashion editors at Seattle Met Bride & Groom shoot

Jewelry Closeups…This shoot was my first time styling jewelry and accessories and it was so fun but very twiddly work. It took about an hour to style each scene. Ever wondered how they get the closeup shots of jewelry and details that SMBG is known for?

bridal jewelry and details Prop Styling…I bought or borrowed all the props from vintage stores, friends, Ebay and Etsy. The larger items (tables) and vases were from my personal collections.  I am obsessed with antique dress trimmings and a family friend has a huge collection. I also loved the Charles and Diana souvenir wedding biscuit tin that a friend of my mum’s dug out of storage!

books, teacups and biscuit tinsFlowers...It was the perfect time of year (March) for Spring blooms in royal hues – jasmine, anemones, ranunculus, hellebore, mock orange and Amnesia roses. I got to use all my favorite flowers in this shoot!ranunculus, jasmine and anemone bouquet from cover of Seattle Met Bride & Groom

flower details from Seattle Metropolitan Bride & Groom Royal ShootAnd perhaps my most favorite part…the jewelry and accessories!

jewelry from Seattle Met Royal Shoot Be sure and check out all the hats and details in the Summer/Fall issue of Seattle Met Bride & Groom!

A couple of months ago I designed and styled a Royal Wedding inspired shoot for Seattle Met Bride & Groom. You might remember the sneak peek I posted here. My copy just arrived in the mail and it is so fun to see the final product.

Seattle Metropolitan Bride and Groom Royal Wedding

I designed the flowers with a modern princess in mind. Two different bouquets – one more formal in faded pastels and one more loose, organic and playful made up of Amnesia and Quicksand roses, hellebore, anemones, pink jasmine and ranunculus in royal shades of burgundy, purple and faded pink. I wrapped the bridal bouquet with antique seed pearl beading and incorporated vintage silk velvet leaves in the boutonniere.

Seattle Metropolitan Bride and Groom Royal Wedding

I have shared some additional pictures with Notes on a Wedding (the newest Northwest focused wedding blog) so hop on over there to check them out. Also, check back tomorrow for some exclusive behind the scenes shots of how a big fashion shoot comes together…

All pictures courtesy of the brilliant Ryan McVay for Studio Lucile