What could be better than a trip to Hawai’i to experience floral design with luscious, local tropical flowers that concludes with those gorgeous arrangements as part of a vow-renewal ceremony? That’s exactly what the Hawai’i Floriculture & Nursery Association (HFNA) created with their four-part “Wedding Celebrations 2019” workshop series this past summer. The workshops began on June 26-27 in Oahu, then traveled to Kauai on July 17-18, Maui on Aug. 8, and finished at the Nani Mau Gardens in Hilo on Sept. 7-9.

Dorothy Yadao

Tour of Pacific Floral Exchange

Hitomi Gilliam, AIFD

One of three vow renewal sites in Lili’uokalani Park & Gardens designed by workshop attendees

Each workshop was led by world-renowned floral designer and educator Hitomi Gilliam, AIFD, with local designers from each of the islands. The last workshop in Hilo, featured the floral artistry of Gilliam, Alison Higgins; Lois Hiranaga, AIFD; and Sue Tabbal-Yamaguchi, AIFD, EMC – all owners of successful wedding businesses in the state. Sponsors Pacific Floral Exchange and Green Point Nurseries provided an abundance of beautiful tropical botanicals specific to the islands.
Featured co-presenter and local florist Higgins, of Grace Flowers Hawaii, sourced many locally grown flowers to showcase the varieties of temperate blooms grown on the islands, including Queen Anne’s lace, Dahlia and Hydrangea. Higgins also foraged island foliage, such as Eucalyptus, Podocarpus and pepperberry.
During the first day of the workshop, Gilliam demonstrated a variety of arrangement styles from table pieces to bouquets to flower wearables – all of which were made available to the couples to include in their vow renewal ceremonies that were to be held at three locations at the Lili’uokalani Park & Gardens. Workshop attendees also participated in an extensive hands-on segment where they created beautiful tropical wedding designs that were also available to be used in the ceremonies.
On the second day in Hilo, teams were formed and installation at the three ceremony sites began in the early morning. On hand to assist with any engineering of structure anchoring and suspending were locals Galyn Williams and Eric Tanouye of Green Point Nurseries, and K.T. Cannon-Eger and other seasoned helpers of the gardens and events that take place at the venue.
The array of product created vibrant display of colors, textures and fragrances. The visual appeal was obvious, but the notes of perfume
emanating from the boutique garden roses sent by Alexandra Farms added to the sweet smell of romance in the air.
It was a magical experience for all!