At Intertwine, a destination flower design company, founder Kelly Lenard takes her inspiration from Mother Nature, where clusters of blooms and natural shapes inform the way she brings ceremonies and parties to life. With an emphasis on seasonal arrangements, her work has been featured in VOGUE Weddings, Martha Stewart Weddings, and now, here, too. We talked to Kelly about what makes her floral designs so extraordinary.
Photography: Clark Brewer
How did you get started in the floral industry?
As a child, I was lucky to spend a lot of time in the woods, climbing trees, planting secret gardens, and building forts. I think it was that love and appreciation of the natural world early on that eventually led me to floral design. It was as though my hands already knew how to work with flowers because nature had always been a part of my life.
I studied art/design and photography in school, and I always wanted to be in an art related field, but wasn’t sure where I fit in. Still life photography was something that really furthered my interest in flowers. I was often creating small floral compositions to photograph. In doing this, I realized that flowers were just another medium like paint or clay. I felt a very natural kinship with them. Eventually, I started dabbling in weddings and doing flowers for friends. My business grew from there.
What is distinctive about the way you work with flowers?
I tend to let nature lead the way. The color and shape of my creations are often inspired by the environment of our surroundings as well as the style of the spaces we work within. Each location and venue is unique. I try to choose colors and flowers that complement the space. I think about the light, time of day, and whether we will be seeing more warm or cool tones in the landscape or interiors. We also forage different greens and textures from the area to help make our pieces feel like they belong. I like to source what we can locally. I always try to shop plant nurseries as well as farms to add unexpected touches to our arrangements. I love that my clients trust me to hunt down unique ingredients. I never know exactly what we will find, but mother nature always provides us with something magical.
I also think that my background in photography gave me a unique perspective when it comes to my creations. I’m always thinking about how they will photograph, where the light will be best, how I can communicate my ideas and thought process to the photographer. When I design arrangements I’m constantly finding little moments that make a piece special. I try to make capturing these vignettes a priority. I feel lucky to work with so many wonderful photographers that are happy to collaborate on styling images. Sometimes I even get to shoot a roll of film for fun!
How early in the wedding planning process should a couple hire a floral designer?
A year to nine months seems typical for me, but the sooner the better. Many designers only take a limited number of weddings per year. Securing dates early is the best way to work with a florist that you really love and trust to bring your vision to life.
When a bride comes to you for floral design, where do you start?
I typically start by getting to know a little bit about the client and their own personal style. It’s interesting to see how taste for fashion, art, or interiors can carry over into their event. Having this conversation really helps ideas to form organically. The wedding location, venue, and the season all play a big role in the design and color palette as well. The challenge is always to create pieces that capture the couple’s personality and also make sense visually in the space.
What floral trends are brides asking for the most this year?
A lot of my clients are asking for petite, chic bouquets composed of smaller or textured blooms, rather than larger focal flowers. What I like about this trend is that their pictures will always have a classic and timeless feel.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve adorned with flowers?
Adorning llamas with flowers was one of my favorite floral moments. We worked at a venue where llamas were an active part of cocktail hour. They were just hanging out and posing for selfies with guests. It’s always such fun when we get to interact with animals on the job!
What is the It flower of 2022?
This is a tough question! It’s really hard to say there is an It flower. For me, it’s less about variety and more about getting the perfect combination of color, shape, and texture. I feel like all flowers have a place in the right design.
What has you most excited about flowers these days?
Working with color! I have some clients with really bold styles this year. We will be working with a lot of funky blooms and unique palettes that I don’t get to play with often. It’s going to be great to step outside of the box and do something that challenges us to stretch our creativity.