Vendor Feature: Bloom Magic Weddings | Chicago Wedding Florist
Kirsten Gordon, founder and lead floral designer at Bloom Magic Weddings, has been a friend and colleague for years now. We recently collaborated on an editorial shoot at the Lehmann Mansion in Lake Villa, IL that has been featured by Brides and Weddings Magazine and CHI thee WED. Kirsten is one of my favorite Chicago wedding florists, and she has a very unique perspective on wedding floral design. I’m so excited to share her story and philosophy in this next installment of my small business spotlight series!
Please introduce yourself and BMW.
Hello! I’m Kirsten Gordon, and I have been involved in growing flowers, horticulture, and flower arranging since I was four or five. I helped my mom in her garden and business. As an adult, I have worked in theater, education, and finance. I came to a point in my life where I really needed to find professional fulfillment at a greater level than where I was as a financial advisor. So, I went back to school at the Chicago Botanic Garden and I got a degree in horticulture. During that time, I realized that the arranging of flowers was really the ultimate expression for me; what started as a horticulture exploration landed me back in arranging flowers. It’s just been a real gift for me to have that opportunity to make that sort of career change and shape this little company that’s called Bloom Magic Weddings according to my vision and beliefs. chicago wedding florist
How did you start BMW, and what does it mean to be a “green” Chicago wedding florist? (Let me know if you’d like me to phrase this one differently.)
I started Bloom Magic Weddings because as a floral artist and an arranger of flowers, I discovered a crossover between horticulture and with the whole “slow flowers” movement. This is a movement toward local sourcing, supporting small business owners, preferring flowers that are “grown not flown…” For me, that meant looking at all of these things coming together in the expression of this work at a wedding, party, or home subscription situation. I found that I was looking at something I’m very passionate about — working with sustainability. That means we’re very purposeful and thoughtful about how we use our resources. We don’t like to waste things and don’t do things that are bad for the environment.
I realized that this is a place in the wedding world that is just starting to emerge. I have been fortunate to connect with clients and projects that really believe in sustainability and beauty at the same time. That’s really what our goal is. And because I take a boutique, one wedding at a time approach, I am your flower slave for the day. I am able to help couples really put their imprint on the wedding through the florals. We are really trying to tell their story through the flowers and the ideas they bring — this could be a color, or a memory, or a place that they’ve been together, or even the first flowers that he gave her.
We work really hard not to put ideas out in front of people. We really try to explore to pull the inspiration out of the couples, so that they have a real sense of ownership as they experience their wedding.
What sorts of custom products do you make, and what inspires you? (Wedding, other life events, etc…)
We are full-service florists, offering the bride and bridesmaid bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces. As we grow and take on more challenging projects, we are doing hanging installations for wedding receptions. We’re also developing Custom touches as we did for our Blue and Blush styled shoot at the Lehmann Mansion: things like decorating the chairs, and offering different ways of interpreting the corsage idea, like a clutch purse filled with flowers.
Tell us a little about your design process. How do you work with customers?
We always start out with the 10,000-foot view. In our first conversation, we ask “What do you want people to remember about your wedding?” If our couples have participated in other weddings before, then they usually have some pretty strong likes and dislikes, and that’s often a good starting point. Moving from there, we work our way into talk about colors, the venue, and the season. I think that Pinterest often will fuel some of the conversation. We talk very early on about how Pinterest is a starting point. If you are working with a designer for a unique one-of-a-kind wedding that expresses your personalities and your love for each other, you don’t want me to simply replicate a picture from Pinterest.
After going through that process of exploring ideas and blending styles, we usually come up with some kind of direction or concept by the end of the consultation. chicago wedding florist
Then it’s my job to give a sense of where we are in terms of realizing the vision on budget, or I might suggest making priority choices to make it work.
We always prepare a detailed proposal that comes to them with a list of the items we’ll create for the wedding and also with inspirational pictures that support that proposal.
Once we decided to formally work together, we typically have one meeting to clarify and focus all of the elements of the wedding vision and bring all the pieces together. We keep asking the question — what is this wedding really about? For example, does the orange glitter pumpkin belong in this wedding? Why or why not?
We will typically do a site visit and walk-through with the couple and/or their wedding planner and venue coordinator we’ll look at exactly how we want things to go inside the space, and sometimes we’ll discover things we forgot or want to change.
As we get closer to the wedding, I prepare a spreadsheet for the flower order. 30 days before the wedding, we have a call, we go through the proposal and all items we intended to create and square that up with the RSVPs. It’s a great sense of relief for the couple that we build a proposal and we recognize that there may be changes, especially in light COVID. So, someone is not obligated 12 months before the wedding to purchase centerpieces for 15 tables. This gives couples a sense of reassurance they don’t have to pay for things they don’t need and won’t be able to use. And it helps me with sustainability because I want to get the order right with as little waste as possible. I always order just a little extra in case things get smashed or bruised in transit, however.
I’m supported by a team of as many as five people who assist with on-site installation and production right before the wedding. I have trained all of my team members from scratch!
What do you love most about BMW? A favorite product or design activity?
Working as a Chicago wedding florist, making the bridal bouquet is always an amazing, meditative, and sentimental experience for me. It’s almost like giving away a child! I’m also finding that doing the design work and realizing a tablescape where we are bringing people together and showing them familiar and also different textures, colors and types of flowers in concert is something that I’ve become really passionate about as well.
What’s the best way for someone to contact you?
Send me an email or whatever works for you! Text or call me! I’m also seeing a lot of messages coming through on Instagram now, too! chicago wedding florist