Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Shake it up, shake it off! Bits 14!

It's been quite the year. What can I say? The greatest year of my life is an understatement. We're so blessed and so grateful. Our families and our friends continue to amaze us with their love and support. I'm looking forward to the year ahead. Today I picked up the keys to Coriander Girl's new home across the street. A larger space with a backyard and a full basement. 2012 is looking pretty exciting so far. I have many goals, resolutions aren't really my style so I'll keep it simple.

In no particular order,
1. Shake it up, shake it off.
2. Shake it up, shake it off.
3. Shake it up, shake it off.

That'll do.

Let's make waves people! Shake it up!
If you're actions come from a place of love, you can't go wrong. Surround yourself with loving, supportive people and let go of the painful relationships that stifle your joyful heart. Shake off the negative experiences that drag you down and lighten your heavy heart with a good dance break. Take bigger risks because life is too short to sit back and watch other people live their dreams.
Happy New Year my darlings! Wishing you a year filled with good things and triumphs o' plenty!
Now dance with me!
Alison xo

Florence and the Machines~ Shake it up, shake it off

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Toronto Life Wedding Guide 2012!

photos of the wedding and of the magazine by Joseph + Jaime

Our wedding is featured in the 2012 Toronto Life Wedding Guide! Harry is famous! Thank you Toronto Life Magazine! Thank you darling Joseph and Jaime, our incredible photographers and a big congratulations to you both for having a second wedding in the album. Coriander Girl did the flowers for three out of the seven weddings featured! What?! Congratulations to Gwendolyn and Joshua (July 3rd wedding) and to Kelly and Murray (August 21st wedding).
We are beside ourselves with glee. Shock!!! Amazement!!
What a year! I am so blessed and endlessly grateful for the press Coriander Girl has received and then to see our wedding included in the magazine, well it's all just so lovely! Thanks again to Bonnie of BE Catering, Edward and Amy of The Merrill Inn(Dessert Table), Janis from Elm Hill Cookies(gift bag cookies), Shira Leuchter, Maybelle, and Momento Design for their beautiful work on the invites, Brandon Corke(DJ), Rachel Smith(hair and makeup), Willow Rutherford and Kelsey McNulty (musicians), Erin Candela(art for gift bags), Thompson Tents, Jaime Dobbs (The Sassy Lamb), Aly and John Barber(MC's), Brittany Smith(my maid of honour), our families for their generosity, love and support and our amazing friends who rocked it! What a blast. I'd do it all again tomorrow.

Alison xo

Friday, December 2, 2011

Honest Gut

Marion and Dave's wedding, shot by Elizabeth In Love Photography

Honest Gut is a phrase coined lovingly by my bf's mom, Heather. She would corner us during a weak moment and say, "okay girls, honest gut, how do you really feel?" And, you'd have to face your inner truth because it's the deepest part of your being, there is no where left for the truth to hide. So here's my 'honest gut.' This blog has only ever been about my life(guts and all) with the business, so why change now? Here goes.

Honest gut, I can't believe we reached the end of another wedding season... and we're still alive. It was an emotional roller coaster to say the least. I laughed, I cried, I suffered minor melt downs. Coriander dad gave many pep talks, picture me (Rocky) Dad (Mickey). Kerriander was also a major rock, picture me (Danielson) her (Mr. Miyagi). There was a few days where I questioned if this business was even what I wanted. I opened a tiny little boutique with the idea to make the occasional bouquet, sell a hand crafted trinket here and there and pursue my real passion for antique collecting. I had no idea the flowers would become the thing to put Coriander Girl on the map. Honest Gut, I wasn't going to do wedding flowers. I thought it might be too stressful. It is the most stressful work I've ever done, trying to design flowers for a couples wedding day, the expectations are grand. It's also been the most rewarding work I've ever done. I know it's not brain surgery and I'm not saving lives or anything but when a bride sees her flowers for the first time and tears spill down her freshly powdered face and she mouths "oh my gosh Alison", drawing out 'Alisssooonnnn' you can't help but feel real satisfaction. It's the same scene again and again, a montage of summer wedding moments, me hugging brides and mothers, exiting hotel rooms, family homes and reception halls. I take a moment for myself in the elevator mirror, 'way to go kid, you got through this one' I nod, and it's on to the next nail biter. It was the school of hard knocks and anything I didn't know, I learned it fast. I came out the other side of this wedding cycle with a genuine respect for the floral business and florists everywhere who are busy making arrangements for other peoples triumphs and rarely having the opportunity to celebrate their own. I can't believe we found a little time for ourselves to get married. With that, I missed many birthdays, many new babies have come that I've yet to meet and endless brunch dates are long over due. I miss my friends. I miss getting a latte and walking down the street with absolutely nothing on my agenda for the day but to browse window displays. I miss being bored(Jaime:>) I miss falling asleep without a thought in my head. I miss an empty inbox, I miss sewing. I miss Nia, I miss having the time to dress up and look pretty. I miss sun on my face and I miss riding bikes with Tyler down to the lake and feeding the ducks. For all that I've missed there have been great rewards and being so busy has taught me how important balance is and that it's okay to take on a little less. I'm learning to close my computer. And, I did have fun this summer despite being so busy, I made a ton of new friends and I'm certain that I'll be staying in touch with many of my lovely wedding couples. You know who you are! We had something special. It has been a pleasure working with people who have allowed me the freedom to create for them in my wacky, non traditional organic way. I feel the flowers, it has to flow and if it's not... flowing, I've got to walk away~dance or something and then come back to it. At the end of the day, I've reconciled that my business, like a baby, is growing up, taking off the training wheels and now the braces and has started dating. She's winning awards and scoring magazine features! Like a proud mom, I tell my friends about her, I blog about her and maybe I brag too much about her but I just can't believe she's mine. I can't believe this wee little seed has grown into such a beautiful thing. A thing that I would never abandon for anything in the world no matter how much sleep I'm losing. She has bewitched me and filled my life with beauty. 'They' say the true test of whether or not you're happy in your life is to imagine winning the lottery, would you still be doing what you're doing? I can honestly say, I love what I do and would want to keep doing it. That doesn't mean I can't hire 15 people to help me!! An army! The Coriander Cadets! Coriander's Comrads, The Coriander Crew!! And maybe I'd be booking spring wedding consults from our Italian villa; >
So, there it is, my honest gut(Thanks Heather). I pinch my self every day for my good fortune. I know how lucky I am to be so busy and I also know that in a blink it can all be taken away. I'm realizing it's important for me to celebrate the good stuff out loud because it makes the reality of how hard I'm working so much more bearable. I'm thankful beyond words and very much looking forward to the next wedding season. And with a rock like Tyler, he helps me reach greater heights, take bigger risks, and the restful moments are absolute bliss. Picture me (Batman) Tyler (Batman) ;>

Karen and Peter's wedding shot by Garrison MacArthur Photographers.

Juli and Jon's wedding kicked off wedding season shot by Danijela Pruginic

one of the last and most favourite weddings this year, Marni and Jason shot by Joseph + Jaime

Alison xo