Wedding Planning: Interview with Florist Holly Strudthoff of Avant Garden Floral

We are so excited to be featuring an interview with florist Holly Strudthoff of Avant Garden Floral! Not only is Holly incredibly talented at what she does, but she’s extremely passionate about her work and being able to create designs that leave her clients filled with joy. Her full-service floral boutique is located right inside her very own home, where she designs for weddings in the Omaha, Lincoln and surrounding areas. Her wedding floral services range from bridal bouquets to detailed ceremony and reception pieces (and a whole lot more!) All of her designs are custom and she specializes in using contemporary techniques to create styles from rustic to modern.

Image via: Iwen Exposures

What inspired you to become a florist?

One of the most memorable Christmas gifts I ever received (I think I was 9) was a floral design book from my grandmother. I never told her that I wanted to be a florist, but she had a way of listening and knowing things about us that we hadn’t yet discovered. I poured over that book night and day, and I always bemoaned the fact that I couldn’t use it for a book report.

After a lot of years of teaching elementary school, I decided that I wanted to explore my floral design dream, and my grandma was of course right; it is truly my passion.

What kind of floral services do you offer?

Avant Garden Floral is a full-service floral boutique with all of the flower vendors, equipment and coolers that a traditional floral shop would have. We offer everything from personal wedding flowers to reception and ceremony pieces. We have many quality, up-to-date rental items, and if we don’t have it we are probably able to find it. We also do all of the wedding flower set-up and are available for cleaning up as well.

Image via: Barbara Bles Photography

How would you describe the style of your boutique?

Our cozy boutique is located in my home, which allows a lot of flexibility and a space to truly be creative. I am a morning person, so I truly hop out of bed, grab a cup of coffee, and venture to my design area, excited to get my hands on all those pretty flowers.

Our designs are all custom, and I would say my style tends to focus on lots of detail in texture and color. I love little touches of the unexpected and strive to stay current with techniques in all sorts of styles ranging from modern to rustic.

Images via: Blue House Fotos

What do you love most about designing floral arrangements for weddings?

Working with the flowers, colors, textures, fragrances, really everything about that process is so fascinating to me. But quite honestly, we have met so many wonderful people in the process of designing for weddings. When you hand a beautiful bride her wedding bouquet and you get a squeal and a hug, that’s the best.

How does the wedding floral selection and design process work?

Flowers set the tone, emotion, and color palette for a wedding. So starting with an overall feeling of how you want your wedding to look and what you want to remember about your wedding is a great place to start. Pictures are an excellent way to convey that message. I want to see pictures of flowers that you like, but I also want to see the ones that you don’t like. It’s also extremely helpful to see pictures of non-floral items like dresses, rings, engagement photos, and any other little details that you can’t stop thinking about. That helps me get to know who you are, which is, after all, what you want your wedding flowers to be about.

Images via: Iwen Exposures

Which flowers would you suggest work best for weddings in the spring and summer?

There are so many gorgeous flowers that are available to us in the spring and summer months. Dreamy garden roses are at their peak, heavenly dahlias are starting to come into their season, and hydrangeas are full and lovely, as well as snap dragons, hosta leaves, orchids, scabiosa, and succulents. The list goes on and on. There are really only a few things that aren’t available in these months, and with the many growers from around the world that we have access to, there is a huge array of great product that we can get no matter what the season.

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Image via: Iwen Exposures

What advice do you have for brides and groom beginning to look for their wedding florist and arrangements?

Choose someone who really listens to what you want and can help you come up with a vision if you aren’t really sure what you have in mind. Of course not every detail is feasible, but if you are working with someone who is paying attention to your thoughts and understands what is important to you, you will be able to leave the design process in their hands and be assured that the end product will be a beautiful reflection of you.

To view more work and learn more about Holly and Avant Garden Floral click here!

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