We are Sam + Bryt, wife and wife elopement photographers, business educators, and LGBTQ+ activitists! We are so freaking excited that you are here!
If you are ready to go on an adventure, feel empowered, or learn how to level up your business, we are your girls! So.. what are you waiting for? Let's do this thing!
We are so excited to launch a brand new series that features LGBTQ+ friendly elopement vendors! Today we have featured our very favorite faux floral LGBTQ+ friendly vendor, Alicia Hunneman of Amelia Marie Florals! Alicia and I met through a styled shoot and have worked together numerous times since! She has incredible talent and truly inspires the world with her ability to create dream florals for couples!
Below you will learn a little about her business, her inspiration, and why faux florals are the way to go for your elopement or wedding!
I’m a luxe silk floral designer. I create custom bridal party florals, centerpieces, arch décor and pretty much anything floral that relates to weddings and event décor. Not only do I provide custom pieces that can be purchased, I offer budget friendly luxe décor rentals as well.
I’m a former full-service event planner and Catering Director of 13 years from the Gulf Coast of Florida. Weddings specifically have always been a passion of mine. When I worked as a Catering Director at The Venetian Golf & River Club in Venice, we offered in-house live and faux florals as an added service feature. That venue is where I learned floral design and ultimately fell in love with it.
After we moved from Florida to Indiana three years ago, we decided that I take off two years from working fulltime to be a fulltime stay at home mom instead. Those who are in the wedding industry know that once you do weddings, it stays with you. So after a few months of being a stay at home mom, I found myself missing weddings…a lot. It was my husband’s idea for me to start a hobby, and of course that hobby had to be wedding related. So, that day I opened a storage tote I had in my garage with some faux florals and put together a bouquet. I posted the bouquet on Facebook and that one post changed everything. The requests started to pour in, and I’ve been working with Indy couples on their floral needs ever since!
My clients and nature are my muse! They send me inspiration photos of what they envision their wedding day to look like, and we work together to make that happen. My goal, when designing, is to create the most realistic looking arrangements possible. I typically only use florals, greenery, and colors that occur in nature. You typically will not find any neon colored or nonfloral based bouquets in my portfolio, because my inspiration comes from real live florals.
Oh wow there’s so many reasons, but I’ll do my best to narrow it down to the most important. First, if you plan on keeping your bridal bouquet as a keepsake or to place in a shadowbox it is much more cost effective to have your bouquet done in faux since it’s a once and done. With live flowers you pay for the cost of the bouquet and then an additional fee to have it preserved. You can find yourself paying on average upwards of $500 for one bridal bouquet with added preservation services.
Another reason to go faux, is there is no day of surprises. It doesn’t happen very often but there is a possibility that what you envision for your wedding day florals doesn’t actually happen. Meaning, as a former full-service event planner, I’ve had couples tell me they paid for a certain style bouquet or specific blooms, and what’s delivered on wedding day is not up to expectations.
So if you’re anything like me, and need to know what something is going to look like weeks before wedding day, faux takes all of the uncertainty out of the way! With faux, they’re designed and ready for pick up weeks to months in advance so no day of surprises. You can even take them with you to your final dress fitting!!
Lastly, one of the many benefits of going with faux florals, specifically on the rentals, is saving money!!! For example, if you selected large harlow stand arrangements for your wedding they typically will cost upwards of $300 each centerpiece in live flowers. With renting faux, you can get that same centerpiece as a rental for 1/3rd of the cost of live. You won’t have to worry about pawning off your live floral arrangements on guests at the end of the night, or even worse, throwing them in the trash.
Also many times, with faux florals, you can get everything as a package deal. Meaning you can get all your centerpieces, cocktail hour table arrangements, ceremony aisle décor, arch swags, head table décor and signage décor all for one set price. If you opt to set up and tear down the décor yourself, you’ll save even more money. As we all know budgeting for weddings can be hard. Especially under today’s circumstances while navigating wedding planning during Covid.
Absolutely! If you plan on flying anywhere to elope you can bring your faux florals with you! I’ve even started offering small elopement rental packages where you can rent everything needed to create an intimate ceremony pretty much anywhere. My elopement package includes bouquets, boutonnieres, arch swags, ceremony chair aisle markers and can be upgraded to add as many centerpieces that are needed for your intimate dinner at a restaurant, park or even your backyard!
Be open and honest with your florist. Especially when it pertains to pricing as we always try to be respectful of budgets. Inspiration photos are a necessity to help us better understand your style and setting the grounds for expectations up front is a must. Make sure to obtain a written agreement that shows those inspiration photos, estimated time frame for completion, and ask your faux florist if they send photos and videos while they’re assembling your order to ensure you’re absolutely loving what you see in progress.
I cannot stress this next part enough…make sure to check their reviews and their portfolio. You may find they have great reviews. Whether it be for budget friendliness, communication, or great service. However, when you look at their work it may not be what you envision or your preferred style. Like most trades silk floral designers are not all the same. Floristry is art, and what I find beautiful as a designer may not appeal to an inquiring couple.
Keep in mind if budget is most important you may find yourself gravitating towards an amateur designer. There may be amateur designers, like a previous couple that diy’d their own flowers, that do not have a professional background in weddings or in floristry. Selecting an amateur may heavily impact your final vision, as they may be limited to using florals from local craft stores and don’t have the knowledge of assembling complicated pieces.
With professional luxe faux floral designers like myself we typically have retailers we purchase our supplies directly from. This ensures that consistently high-quality products are being used for your orders, as well as adequate quantities needed. We also usually have an extensive background in events and/or floristry. Which makes us better suited for florals designed specifically for weddings.
Hiring a professional florist helps you receive what you actually envision. This is because we can identify the blooms and greenery used in your inspiration photos, along with the knowledge of comparable items available in faux to recreate that look. Not all live flowers and greenery are available in a faux option. So, don’t be afraid to ask your potential designer to not only identify the floral recipe used in your inspiration photos, but be sure to ask them to show you photos of the actual blooms they’d be using for your wedding. If they can’t identify the floral recipe and provide comparable items for you in faux, that’s a red flag.
There’s just something about bringing the outdoors inside that speaks to my soul. I love seeing industrial venues with brick walls, over the top chandeliers, exposed beams with ductwork, large wooden farmhouse tables, and greenery with blooms cascading from everywhere!!! My favorite color palette trend right now is dark teal, gold & burgundy. If you haven’t seen a wedding in this color palette yet…start looking now! It’s absolutely gorgeous!
I’d say that my interactive design process sets me apart from other florists. When I’m designing with a client, key word with and not for, I pull them into the design process with me. After all… the arrangements I’m designing are for their wedding, not mine. It’s their vision, so while I’m working with them I send them updates with photos and videos through out the entire process so they can see exact bloom placement, bouquet sizes, and detailed accents all the way down to the very last berry added to a boutonniere. In my opinion, what sets one wedding apart from all the others…is in the little personalized details.
There’s magic in it…weddings really are small miracles! I definitely enjoy working with my clients, and working alongside the incredibly talented wedding vendor family I’ve been blessed to work with since moving to Indy.
There’s nothing quite like seeing your artwork frozen in time, seeing it thru the lenses of other creative spirits. Your work…your art…perfectly staged in those professional images with a couple so in love, looking magazine worthy. You can almost feel the emotions in the photos, and how high they were running that day being surrounded by so much love and support. To be a small part of such a pivotal and memorable day in another family’s life is such an honor.
You know I mentioned that weddings are small miracles…because they truly are when you think about everything that must happen leading up to that ONE DAY! First, all of the stars align for that couple to begin their love story, then they come up with the concept of their dream wedding day. They carefully select wedding vendors that fit into their wedding concept puzzle perfectly… the family and vendors come together on wedding day and the magic…the miracle…that’s when it’s created.
That magic is what drives my passion…those who are wedding professionals know exactly what I’m talking about. The goosebumps you get in that very moment when they say I do! You can feel the energy in the air!! To be chosen to be a small part of such a tremendous moment, one of the most memorable days in someone’s life….well that’s pretty incredible in my book…and what I enjoy most about the wedding industry.
We hope you enjoyed reading about one of our most favorite LGBTQ friendly elopement vendors! Alicia’s amazing work can be found at her wbesite and instagram below! If you’d like to see more LGBTQ+ friendly elopement vendors, click here!
Website: Amelia Marie Florals
Sam + Bryt