Meridian Industrial


5/1/2024 | KEITH O'CONNOR


As the old saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers.”

If that holds true, then there should be an abundance of flowers available for the wedding season which begins in late spring and runs until early fall.

Couples planning for that special day have an endless list to prepare for their dream wedding from setting the date to finding a venue, and from considering the number of guests to what they will be fed and so much more, including choosing the flowers.

According to, flowers tend to play a big role in setting a celebratory mood by emphasizing a wedding’s color palette and style, but many couples are actually
exploring alternatives to fresh blooms, with sustainability being one of the main reasons.

Rustic and barn weddings continue to be popular along with choosing rustic flowers to set the appropriate tone. And when it comes to rustic, the folks at Feather & Bloom - Floral Studio and Marketplace in Suffield can help promote that rustic feeling with the right floral choices.

“People want organic today … flowing almost wildflower types of bouquets and arrangements. We call it rustic elegance,” said Owner Kristen Carty, whose shop has gained a reputation over the years for excelling in bringing rustic to life alongside helping customers with more traditional weddings as well.

“Our number one goal, whatever type of wedding you are planning is to make it special for you.

We want to make the wedding and reception beautiful, something the couple will feel happy with while sticking to their budget, and that is important,” she shared.

Carty went on to say, “We are making some bouquets entirely of greens from ferns to lemon leaves and grasses, which offer a variety of textures and add a beautiful touch to the bouquet. Typically, the bride will have some flowers added to her bouquet, such as garden roses or orchids and ranunculus. Greens can be used anywhere, not just in bouquets that are carried down the aisle by the bride and wedding party. They can be used on tables along with candles or cascading down the sweetheart table onto the floor almost like a puddle on the ground. They are so very earthy, almost minimalist, but really beautiful in texture.”

On the flip side, another trend is to use lots and lots of baby’s breath which have come back in style full force, Carty noted about the popular flower for weddings due to their delicate appearance and affordability.

“There are so many ways to use baby’s breath. You can create a cloud-like installation that hangs from the ceiling at the reception or use them to line the floor as the couple walks down the wedding aisle. We have used those cloud-like installations of baby’s breath for receptions held at the New England Air Museum, which are popular because they lend to the theme of the museum,” Carty said.

“Yet another trend is the pocket boutonniere that looks like a mini garden that sits in the groom’s jacket pocket made with the same flowers as the bride’s bouquet, as opposed to the traditional boutonniere that is pinned to the lapel,” she added.

And it is not just about the bouquets — Feather & Bloom provides flowers for the entire wedding from the ceremony to the reception.

“We can create an arch of flowers under which the couple is married, arrangements that go on the guest tables, seating chart table, cake, serving trays and just about anywhere you want inside and outside. Sometimes couples include their dog in the ceremony as a ring bearer, and we can create a collar of stems we used in the bridal party bouquets. And for the flower girl, you might want to consider a petite bouquet or a floral crown, which some brides also want as part of their attire,” Carty said.

“We can also help with the budget by repurposing the ceremony flowers and bringing them into the reception in many different ways. We can use ceremony arrangements to adorn the sweetheart table or around the dance floor depending on its size,” she added.

To help the floral artists at Feather & Bloom design bouquets and displays from traditional to wild and whimsical, there is an online questionnaire that can be filled out before an initial meeting with them. There are many questions to answer, such as your color palette or theme, your favorite flowers, how many people will need flowers, and how you want to incorporate flowers into the wedding from bouquets and boutonnieres, reception décor, cake flowers, sweetheart and wedding party head tables, along with many more questions.

“Some couples come in already knowing what they want and their theme for the wedding. Others come in without a clue, so we have a slide show to present to them as a way to narrow down what they like or don’t like,” Carty said.

In addition to filling out the wedding form provided on their website, Carty noted one of the biggest things a couple should consider before coming in for a consultation is their budget.

“Sometimes couples don’t want to give us a budget because they believe it will hinder the process. Actually, if they share their budget with us, then we are much more able to tell them what we can offer in their price range, then show them the flowers they can choose from. I think that is a better situation for the couple than presenting them with ideas that may go beyond their desired spending. Our specialty is to work with the couple and their parents to create a look that is acceptable to them and conforms to their budget,” she said, noting Feather & Bloom offers
packages suited to all budgets and needs, from small scale design to full design and full set-up or pick-up at their studio.

Innovation abounds at Feather & Bloom where Carty said, “We can offer almost anything the bride wants.”

“We work with every couple on different visuals to create the look they want. One of the most unusual requests we had was from a couple who wanted to pay tribute to their Native American ancestry. We had to get really creative for them. One of the things they wanted us to make was a boutonniere for the men that incorporated a real bird skull. It was more complicated than we anticipated, but we were able to add florals like thistle and wax flower as well as turquoise to create the look they were going for,” Carty said.

She continued, “We have a great team and we love the challenge of bringing the bride and groom’s vision to life for their special day. We strive to meet the wishes of the bride and groom as well as their loved ones, so they have the day they have always dreamed of.”

Innovations come in many forms at Feather & Bloom, including something they call “DIY Weddings.”

“We create a fun and customizable experience with bubbles included and teach the bride and her bridal party how to create their own bouquets. This can happen at any point before the wedding – think of it as a fun bachelorette experience. Then, Thursday or Friday before the wedding, we deliver all the supplies necessary and stems needed for the girls to create their own bouquets and wrap them with satin ribbon. This is not for every bride, but for those who do partake in this offering, they thoroughly enjoy it,” Carty said.

Beyond weddings, Feather & Bloom is a full-service florist offering everyday flowers and blooms for all occasion from proms to funerals and from birthday to anniversary flowers or arrangements to just say, “I love you.” They also offer premade arrangements in their store, flower subscriptions and create gift baskets such as their Birthday Bash Box, Student Snack Attack Gift Basket, Feather & Bloom Care Package and others, all for delivery or pickup.

In addition to specializing in unique blooms, they sell locally sourced handcrafted goods, sustainable eco-friendly products and lovely houseplants. Carty is in partnership with Jen Horn and they pride themselves on being women in business, supporting local women, local makers, and supporting community events.

“Building a business with other women, in order to support women and help our community in little ways as well as being a mentor and role model in business for others, brings us so much satisfaction. We love seeing our friends in a variety of small businesses work hard to achieve their goals and be successful and cheer each other on. Jen and I are lucky to have found one another, we have a great balance in the shop and outside of it,” Carty said.

The marketplace subtitle to the Feather & Bloom moniker refers to the many gifts sold in their shop.

“We have everything from handcrafted ceramics, jewelry, cards, woodcrafts, candles, soaps and more. Every time you come in you will see something new,” Carty said.

On the wedding side of things, the marketplace is filled with a variety of gifts for the couple or to present to the wedding party, parents and others. Some of the more popular items to choose from include frames etched with the words “Mr. and Mrs.,” as well as champagne glasses and silk pajamas. If it rains on the wedding day, there are clear umbrellas, mostly for the wedding party and bride and groom, that you can see through with “Mr. and Mrs.” printed on them, and handmade charcuterie boards bearing their names and wedding date. For something special with extra meaning, there is a selection of book-like journals which they can fill out with memories about their engagement, shower, rehearsal dinner, wedding day and honeymoon. Feather & Bloom also offers locally made teas, wellness treatments, and sweets — an assortment of gifts that can be geared towards wellness, fun or thoughtful tokens that say, “You are loved.”


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