Bed of Roses: Inspiring Bridal Arrangements and Bouquets
Renewing our affection for Portland's favorite flower
Portland has long had a love affair with roses. From Washington Park’s International Rose Test Garden to the flower’s namesake festival to our “City of Roses” nickname, it’s safe to say our town is in love with the bold bloom. And while roses are a traditional wedding flower, they’re anything but boring. We tasked local florists to create their best rose-studded bouquets, showcasing the depth, versatility, and beauty of this family of blooms.
Amanda Karam, owner of Amanda Karam Floral Co, designed two distinctive white bunches flush with Vendela, Playa Blanca, and Wendy spray roses, and rich green camellia leaves. “For me, it doesn’t get better than white roses,” Karam says. “They are so pure, chic, and timeless that keeping it simple sometimes makes a louder statement.” Elizabeth Dye gown (from The English Dept), circular ear jacket (from nataliejoyjewelry.com), supermoon necklace (from seaworthypdx.com)
Roses don’t all have to be soft and subtle. For her arrangement, Kim Dodrill, owner and creative director of Swoon Floral Design, took a moodier, gothic approach, nestling a mix of standard, spray, and garden roses, chocolate cosmos, and dahlias among weigela and begonia foliage, viburnum berry, and black scabiosa. Claire Pettibone gown (from The English Dept), lucid necklace (from akstudio.co)
“Roses come in so many colors, shapes, sizes, and textures and can complement so many styles and color palettes,” Dodrill says.
“Roses are such romantic flowers,” says Kailla Platt, owner and lead designer of Kailla Platt Flowers. Incorporating warm hues of tawny and gold, Platt’s bridal bouquet includes Caramel Antike roses, Rosa glauca foliage and hips, ninebark and Japanese maple foliage, Cherry Caramel phlox, Sahara rudbeckia, Rosanne lisianthus, and Sweet Autumn clematis.
A brass cuff bracelet topped with another Caramel Antike rose, nigella pods, ninebark seed heads, smokebush, and yellow viburnum berries offer a modern take on the classic corsage. “I wanted my pieces to feel informal and like the roses had been just picked out of the garden,” Platt says. Claire La Faye gown (from The English Dept), gold half-moon drop earrings (from Fuchsia)
For his lush tabletop arrangement and textural hairpiece, Josef Reiter, owner of Botanica Floral Design, drew from an assortment of seven varieties of garden and spray roses, all in a soft palette of neutrals and pinks. “I love roses being the focal point,” says Reiter. “Often when I ask couples, they’ll say they don’t like roses, referring to the standard red rose you find at the grocery store,” he says, “but when I show them garden roses or those same kinds of roses opened up, they are like ‘Wow, I have never seen them like that!’” Anna Campbell gown (from The English Dept), upside-down post earrings (from nataliejoyjewelry.com)
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Leach Botanical Garden has captivated plant-loving Portlanders since it was bequeathed to the city’s parks department nearly 50 years ago. The former personal gardens of award-winning botanist Lilla Leach and her husband John (they purchased the former pig farm in 1931), today the woodland estate can host up to 100 guests between its charming Manor House and globe light-strung, cobblestoned terrace.