Poppy Wedding: Old Hollywood Glamour in Carmel, California
Photo Credit: Jonathan Young from Millay & Young for a Poppy wedding in Carmel, CA - October 2021.
Meet Poppy Bride Erin
Erin Kelleher, an Austin, Texas-based product manager, is an avid traveler. She wanted her late October 2021 wedding to be a destination for her Northern California family and fiance’s family from upstate New York. Choices narrowed by COVID-era travel restrictions, the couple chose Carmel.
The central coast of California is known for its Spanish-influenced architecture. Erin’s ceremony was at the iconic Carmel Mission, and the reception was at The Beach & Tennis Club at Pebble Beach.
“The wedding had an Old Hollywood glamour theme, and the classic California colors and the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean spoke for themselves,” Erin said. Terracotta, neutrals and blues guided the color palette, and her wedding party wore shades of navy to complement the sparkling ocean and red stone and tiles.
Floral Shops vs. a Virtual Florist
Before planning her own wedding, Erin had helped her best friend plan a microwedding of 20 guests during the pandemic. “This was when I first learned you didn’t have to go to a brick-and-mortar florist to order flowers,” Erin explained. She knew she wasn’t an expert on florals, but she was committed to her vision and had always imagined going into a floral shop to consult on her wedding flowers. When she reached out to florists in the Carmel area, she was taken aback by the order minimums and style of communication.
She shifted her thinking to ordering flowers online after seeing images of other Poppy weddings. “I remembered how much fun I had with my friend’s flowers and already had trust in doing this part of the planning virtually,” she said. Erin scheduled her consultation right after she got one estimate from a Carmel florist in the tens of thousands of dollars. “I didn’t know what to expect when I reached out to Poppy, but I was blown away by the friendliness and attention to detail,” she said. “From the initial 45-minute Zoom conversation, I knew that I’d be in good hands.”
Staying On Budget with the Vision
One important part of Erin’s floral vision was orchids. “I love how structural orchids are. I wanted a mix of contemporary, structural flowers with soft, traditional flowers around them,” she explained.
During her Poppy consultation, her wedding specialist helped her find a way to incorporate orchids into the bridal bouquet and some other important personals, like the groom’s boutonniere. The specialist recommended substitutions for other pieces to keep Erin on budget, and they planned to repurpose bridesmaids’ bouquets in vases for reception decor. “In addition to orchids, we went with a lot of greenery on the tables, wound in wreath form with candles throughout. I didn’t want anything that looked artificial – it had to be elegant in every sense, like a natural, coastal feel. Poppy really did that.”
More than a Bridal Bouquet – a Commemoration
During Erin’s wedding planning, her father was diagnosed with cancer. “Ever since you’re a little girl, you have this image in your head of someone walking you down the aisle. For me that was always my father – and suddenly I wasn’t sure he’d be able to physically walk with me,” Erin said.
She decided that her bouquet would represent her father, in case he couldn’t be there with her. She planned to tie his wedding ring around the stems. Then, her sister-in-law surprised her days before the wedding with a vintage-style locket that held a black-and-white photo of one-year-old Erin and her father. “It’s one of my favorite photos of the two of us,” she said. Erin included the locket on her bouquet, too, tied with the ring on a delicate, white, almost transparent ribbon.
Erin’s dad passed away a month and a half before the wedding day, and her bouquet served that significant purpose of commemorating him. “I wasn’t just grieving my dad; I was grieving the loss of his role in my wedding,” Erin said. She described the locket as the nicest gift she’d ever received. “My sister-in-law was thinking about how I might be feeling without my dad – and carrying the locket and ring with my bouquet really did help turn around what I was dreading and allowed me to honor my dad.”
The bouquet itself was exactly what Erin had imagined. “It was such a special moment to hug the florist, who brought me the bouquet in my bridal suite,” Erin said. The bouquet was blooming with orchids, and the baby’s breath added the traditional element and cascading effect Erin was seeking. With the flowers clutched against her lace wedding dress, “I felt very bridal. The size of it, the feel of it – I loved it, and it stood out from the bridesmaids’ bouquets in a really nice way.”
Poppy for You. Poppy for Other Brides?
Reflecting back on her wedding planning, Erin said she would recommend Poppy to other brides with full confidence.
“I loved how – when I was talking to my Poppy wedding specialist – it felt like I was talking to a friend,” she said. “With other florists I considered, I could tell they had a lot of talent, but what they said felt very technical and a little intimidating, to be honest.”
Erin described that after her initial Poppy consult, she received a presentation that connected some Poppy possibilities with her vision board. That presentation included pricing, which Erin called straightforward and transparent. Planning a destination wedding was enough of a challenge with the other local components, so using Poppy virtually simplified one major part of the to-dos.
“I got to be hands-on with the visual component, but it was so nice to hand off the logistics and execution to an expert,” she said. “There are so many parts of wedding planning that it was a relief with florals to say: ‘This is my inspiration. Can we make this happen?’ and be done with my part.”
Upcycling Her Poppy Flowers
One final part of Erin’s floral planning was donating her Poppy flowers. She arranged to have her flowers sent to a senior living home near the reception venue. “This was special to me because I’d spent a lot of time in hospitals recently,” Erin said. “I wanted people to have these flowers to brighten their days.”