Now offering e-Design services

Published: Cover Story

A few weeks ago, I was asked to design the flowers and coordinate the prop styling for the main fashion story in the current issue of Portland Bride and Groom magazine. It just came out yesterday and I saw that one of my bouquets was on the cover! It’s such a beautiful magazine and I am thrilled to have taken part in the making of this issue. Stay tuned for more pictures and some behind the scenes shots of the two day shoot!

Finch & Thistle bridal bouquet on cover of Portland Bride & Groom magazine

Sneak Peek

Our first week back from Panama was a whirlwind of activity centered around two different photoshoots with two very different themes. While I can’t reveal too much now, in honor of this gorgeous Spring day, here’s a sneak peek from the second one…

pastel flowers boho chic weddingStay tuned for more in a few weeks!

Coming soon…

to a newsstand near you…

anemone and ranunculus bouquet

Bride’s Choice Awards 2011

I am thrilled to announce that Finch & Thistle has been awarded a 2011 Bride’s Choice award by!

Here’s the official press release:

Recognition for the Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011 is determined by recent reviews and extensive surveys from over 750,000 WeddingWire newlyweds. Our past clients are among those that shared their experiences on WeddingWire, the largest wedding review site in the nation.

Finch & Thistle Event Design stands among the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire community, representing quality and service excellence within the wedding industry. Awards were given to the top wedding professionals across 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, and were based on the overall professional achievements throughout the past year.

“WeddingWire is honored to celebrate the success of the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire community,” said Timothy Chi, WeddingWire’s Chief Executive Officer. “With the annual Bride’s Choice Awards™ program, WeddingWire has the unique opportunity to recognize the best wedding professionals across the US and Canada. We applaud Finch & Thistle Event Design for their professionalism and dedication to enhancing the wedding planning experience last year.”

We are happy to announce that Finch & Thistle Event Design is among the very best floral and event design companies within the WeddingWire Network, which includes leading wedding planning sites WeddingWire, Martha Stewart Weddings, Project Wedding and Weddingbee. We would like to thank our past clients for nominating us to receive the Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011.

Published: Nonpareil Magazine

Nonpareil Issue 7 Cover

I have been dying to show off the projects and pictures from the shoot I styled and designed for Nonpareil Magazine in October since well, October! Check out all the details of the 20(!) page article here – NP Issue 7: A Buzz Worthy Bride

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Kathleen Ullman of Twig and Thistle created the mood board that inspired the shoot. Her dream wedding would have a “Farm to Table” theme with handcrafted details, natural elements and pink and sage green florals.

I then designed and styled the shoot based on the mood board. Here are some behind-the-scenes pictures from that cold, wintery day out on Bainbridge Island…


Apart from the pink roses, all the flowers, herbs and rose hips in the bouquet and arrangements came from my own garden.


I used vintage marmalade pots found on Ebay for the two smaller centerpieces and the white metal vase came from a flea market. The Mr & Mrs runner project was inspired by the burlap runners one of my brides made this summer and the herb pot favors seemed a sweet and inexpensive take on the Farm to Table theme. Details and step-by-step instructions are available here – Mr & Mrs runner template and here –Herb pot favor template



Our baker fell through at the last minute, so I improvised and decorated simple white cakes from Bainbridge Island’s Town & Country supermarket! Some scattered Secal pears, Black Mission figs and olive branches kept the farm feel a bit more sophisticated.


It was such a pleasure to work on this shoot with Angela and Evan. Not only is their work stunning, but they are a lot of fun to hang out with!


Our hair and makeup artist, Teryl, was fantastic. After an hour with her, our already gorgeous model Kara was just stunning.


As the sun set, Kara posed for some shots under the trees and then we moved down to the water to catch the last of the light.


Dress designer Chrissy Wai-Ching stands by with some hot tea for our freezing model!


Published: Healdsburg Ranch Wedding

Jenny and Jeff’s gorgeous Healdsburg wedding is featured over on Love and Lavender! Check it out here

Sneak Peek: NonPareil Photo Shoot

I spent Sunday out on Bainbridge Island styling a photo shoot for NonPareil Magazine with Angela and Evan Photography. We got very lucky with the October weather and had a great time working with the “Farm to Table” theme concocted by Kathleen at Twig and Thistle.  If you haven’t had a chance to check out NonPareil yet, do so immediately! It’s an extremely stylish online magazine filled to the brim with DIY projects for weddings and events.  I was thrilled to be part of their invitation-only winter issue and can’t wait to share my behind-the-scenes pictures when the article is published in December.

Published: Styling Willi

Monday was one of the hottest days to-date in our bizarre Seattle summer so when I got a chance to style my friend Willi’s book cover shoot over on cooler Bainbridge Island, I jumped at the chance. Willi is a master gardener and expert cook who hosts the website She has a weekly gardening show on KUOW (Tuesdays, 10am) and is the West Coast editor for Organic Gardening magazine. The shoot would be the for the cover of her new book, coming out sometime in 2012.

We rode over on the ferry laden down with props and outfits galore – vintage baskets, buckets, wire racks, crates and piles and piles of gorgeous produce – the temperature dropping steadily as we got further and further from the city.
grow, cook, eat book shoot
After a quick pit stop at the Winslow market to meet our photographer, Jim Henkens, we headed to the southwest tip of the island to our shoot location, Octavia Chambliss’ beautiful garden.  Octavia is a garden designer based on Bainbridge and she had kindly offered up her garden for the shoot even though she herself would be away on vacation.  It was a stunning location. Imagine an immaculate perennial garden with a large vegetable garden tucked inside, a weathered picket fence and cottage gate leading to a tiny, vintage soccer field and public beach. The Bremerton ferry made hourly passes through the landscape and the sun dropped gently down behind some trees. It couldn’t have been more idyllic, or more Pacific Northwest, if it tried (although a surfacing Orca would have made for an awesome shot!)

I got busy unpacking the props while Jim and Willi scouted out the best spots in the garden. Then it was time to get to work. Here are some “behind the scenes” shots from that afternoon…

grow, cook, eat book shoot tomatoesPutting my prop styling (and photography) skills to the test. Conclusion: kind of like flowers, just tastier.
seattle prop stylist

seattle prop stylist finch and thistleWith Jim’s reflective light panels all set up, it was time to begin!seattle prop stylist grow, cook, eat

A close up of that fabulous blue table was enough to make anyone hungry.

Willi Galloway book styling

Grow, cook, eat shoot

We picked these herbs and peaches fresh from Octavia’s garden. grow, cook, eat book shoot

sweet peas image

A few head shots for publicity…
Willi Galloway grow, cook, eat

And my personal favorite shot – earwigs in the peaches!
Willi Galloway peach

Finch & Thistle and Angela & Evan

Seattle photographers Angela and Evan have posted a lovely write-up of F&T over on their blog. While you’re over there taking a peek, be sure and check out some of their latest work featured on the blog. The husband and wife photography team have such a fresh, fashion-forward approach to wedding photography – perfect for the savvy Seattle bride.
angela & evan photo logo 

in love / Finch & Thistle Event Design

Monday, April 26, 2010
I would call it love at first sight.
While browsing through Seattle’s florists, designers, and other wedding vendors I came upon Rachel’s website Finch & Thistle.  Wow- talk about beautiful, sophisticated, and innovative work!  After meeting with Rachel I was even more impressed…she is absolutely darling and really has a passion for her work.

From custom floral design to event decor, Finch & Thistle does it all.  Rachel’s work is also in this month’s Metropolitan Bride & Groom.  Pick up a magazine and check her out! 

For all my brides-to-be, I truly recommend Rachel & know what a work of love it is for her.  Don’t hesitate to contact her for more information. Thank you Rachel for creating such unique work that is inspiration for us all!

Here’s a little sampling of their gorgeous work…

And while these two pictures are the work of Amy Soper and Adam Conway, I think they’ll give you a little bit of insight into the fabulous couple behind the lens….on their own wedding day.

Interview: Ryan Flynn, Photographer

clip_image002One of the biggest challenges I face as an event designer is the photography. I try my best to capture the flowers and event décor to properly show the mood and feel of an event and let me tell you – it’s hard. Partially, the beauty of flowers is in their transience – a reminder that we must truly appreciate the occasion and the moments around us. Delicate objects of beauty that invoke all senses, yet after a few short days, a memory and a photograph is all that remains.
Ryan Flynn would be the first to tell you that photography is all about capturing the ephemeral – emotion, beauty and joy.

I had the good fortune to meet Ryan when we worked together on a wedding last summer. A young, tall, bald guy with a light bulb grin, he seemed as laid back as they come (a trait I always appreciate in wedding vendors). I went home and checked out his website and was completely blown away. The tall, bald guy happened to take some of the most beautiful pictures that I’ve ever seen. His style is both journalistic and romantic -unique, poetic almost- but what struck me initially was the raw emotion in all Ryan’s photographs. I promptly sent his site link to everyone I knew getting married and informed them that he was worth every penny.

Fast forward a couple of months to the wedding day and as per usual, I took some pictures of the flowers when I delivered them to the gorgeous bride. Then in the chaos of setting up the ceremony site with an arch that wouldn’t stand up a mere fifteen minutes before the ceremony was due to start, I promptly forgot about them. Days later I anxiously waited to see some of Ryan’s photographs of the day and I wasn’t disappointed. They were stunning. Magical. I turned to the pictures I had taken. They were ok – the flowers looked pretty and the lighting was good but they lacked everything in comparison. Emotion.

I hope this interview will give you some insight into Ryan and his work and help you decide upon a photographer as you plan your own event.

clip_image004F&T: What is your favorite part of wedding photography?
RF: The people.  I love being around so many emotions, relationships, and stories. There’s so much to see, and so many moments to witness.

F&T: Why do you primarily photograph weddings rather than other events, stills, portraits etc?
RF: Wedding photography sort of combines all those things.  I like landscape photography, and other sorts … but at the risk of sounding overly metaphysical, people are an infinitely varied landscape.  I just find them much more interesting; and building relationships and connections is vital to me.

F&T: How did you get started in the business?
RF: I got started by second shooting for other photographers, before venturing out on my own.

F&T: What kind of training have you had?
RF: No formal schooling.  I learned by asking a lot of questions, making mistakes, and taking a lot (a LOT) of photos.  I looked to other super talented photographers for inspiration, too.

F&T: What have been your biggest challenges in starting your own business?
RF: Finding my style and vision has been a challenging process, one that never really ends.  Other than that, the mundane organizational and administrative tasks are vexing to me.  That and the amount of computer work (shooting is about 10% of what I do).

F&T: What was the craziest thing that has happened at a wedding you worked?
RF: I’ve been incredibly lucky, in that I haven’t seen any major drama or disasters.  Probably because I have great clients!  Although I wish I had some funny tales to tell…

F&T: Which wedding most stands out over the last year and why?
RF: It’s so hard to pick just one.  I was honored to shoot the wedding of one of my closest friends and his new wife.  The venue was great, the weather perfect, attractive couple, etc.  What made it stand out to me was how it felt to watch them commit their hearts to each other.  It was one of those times where the love and joy were totally palpable.  That and her father-daughter dance … I might have had tears in my eyes.  That day reminded me why I’m a photographer.

F&T: What kind of design details most stand out to you when you photograph a wedding?
RF: When all the aspects of the wedding design flow together in a cohesive style/theme, it really stands out.  The flowers, the colors, lighting design … they can all come together to really affect and set the mood for the day.  One doesn’t dominate another, rather it supports the others.  You can tell when it was thought out and planned from a holistic standpoint like that. That said, a great pair of shoes and perfect flowers are always a good call.
clip_image006 F&T: What do brides need to consider when hiring a photographer and preparing for their wedding photographs on the day?
RF: You should be comfortable with your photographer, and really be able to connect with them as a person.  That trust and comfort make everything easier.  The photographs are an investment you’ll be looking at for decades to come … if they’re important to you, make a talented photographer a top priority.  Also, think about the light!  Good light is your best friend.  If possible, allow some free time to make portraits when the light is best.  Beyond that …just be yourself.  Be happy.  Enjoy yourself and the beginning of this adventure!

F&T: How would you describe your photography style?
RF: I tell stories with photographs.  I want my photographs to move and immerse people.  I document moments and emotions, along with shooting some stylish portraits.

F&T: What are your favorite shoot locations in the Seattle area?
RF: I really like Herban Feast Sodo, and Pravda Studios.  Around Seattle is some amazing scenery, and there are some resorts and venues that put you right in the middle of that… Alderbrook Resort comes to mind.

F&T: If you could get paid to go anywhere in the world, where would you most like to shoot a destination wedding?
RF: Shooting in Italy would be a dream come true.  I wouldn’t mind going back to Ireland to shoot, either!

F&T: What makes a great photograph?
RF: Emotional impact.  There’s a lot that goes into that.  Or it can be dead simple.  But a great photograph makes you feel something … the more powerful, the better.
To view more of Ryan’s work check out his website at and his blog at