Meet Meadow Floral Studio!
Through a chance meeting over email, our paths crossed with McKenzie from Meadow Floral Studio. We immediately loved her expressive, free-spirited self – not to mention her talented eye for design – and so we excitedly asked her to come on as our next industry vendor feature to learn more about her inspiration, business endeavors, and passions.
Based in Amarillo, Texas (but open to traveling if the project is a good fit), McKenzie and her team at Meadow Floral Studio specialize in fine art floral design for weddings and events. “I love to marry the wild beauty of nature with the grace and discipline of fine art,” she says. “Natural beauty calls to me deeply, but I hope my floral work contains a trace of all my artistic interests– art, literature, dance, music, fashion, interiors, and so much more.”
Treating every project like a blank canvas with the design intent of tailoring to each client, the team behind Meadow Floral Studio constantly finds different ways to introduce new designs and concepts. The thought process behind the work is so incredibly insightful and dedicated – read on to see what McKenzie has to share, and you just might find yourself immensely inspired.
What are three words that describe you personally?
Sensitive, disciplined, romantic.
When was the first moment you knew you wanted to do this for your career?
As a little girl, I was just instinctually drawn to flowers. I remember feeling compelled to pick every flower I saw— I just had to have them. I was always a little forager! Summer evenings, I would spend countless hours making daisy and clover chains—I still have little diaries and journals with these ‘antique’ clover chains pressed between the pages. In my work today, I’m kind of always drawing from childhood memories—returning to those feelings of innocence, safety, love, freedom, and wonder.
I’ve always been on an artistic path, and that’s taken many different forms. I grew up a dancer and later a figure skater, and while I wasn’t destined for greatness, I trained and took the discipline of it very seriously. Artistry and discipline became the two defining characteristics of my personality, and I’m drawn to things that offer me both. In college, I studied English and eventually began blogging. This was when wedding blogs—especially Style Me Pretty— were new, and I was so enamored. I never knew weddings could be so artistic, so elevating. I felt such a pull to the beautiful, editorial images and writing in those wedding blogs. Maybe I had some kind of inner knowing—some sense that I belonged there. Regardless, I graduated and decided shortly after that I would pursue a floral career. I’m an autodidact and learn best by experience, so I just gave myself over to flowers and the pursuit and study of them.
What’s your favorite wedding film?
If I can be a little unconventional, I would choose the wedding scene from the Victoria series with Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes. Oh my gosh. The ‘Hallelujah’ chorus. The chapel. The candles in various stages of melt. Victoria’s crown of jasmine and mockorange blossoms. The candelabras with a profusion of white flowers. Lord Melbourne standing there, looking so serious and devastatingly handsome– lookin’ like a 19th century snack. :). I’m really difficult to please, as far as weddings are concerned, and this one made me pretty much fall off the couch.
Who or what is your spirit animal?
Hummingbird– full of nervous energy, and can’t stay away from flowers.
Favorite song lyric?
Oh, I love this question! I love the simplicity of Norah Jones’s “I wanna walk with you / On a cloudy day / In fields where the yellow grass grows knee-high / So won’t you try to come / Come away with me and we’ll kiss…”
If I could pick one image to explain love, it would be this. Walking the fields hand-in-hand with the one you love. At dusk. It’s intimate, it’s simple, it’s profound. The lyrics are so quiet, so stripped down, and yet they capture the desire of all lovers—to steal away, to be alone, to experience this sacred feeling that only they understand. It reminds me of some of my favorite poems– Marlowe’s “Come live with me and be my love” and Rilke’s “Understand, I’ll slip quietly / away from the noisy crowd / when I see the pale / stars rising, blooming over the oaks. / I’ll pursue solitary pathways, / through pale twilit meadows, / with only this one dream: / You come too.”
I named Meadow after this feeling.
What do you do to understand a couple’s vision and bring it to life?
As someone who loves writing and literature, I can’t help but approach flowers in a narrative way. I am always interested in understanding a couple’s story, and interpreting that through flowers. For me, beautiful design is nothing if it doesn’t transcend ‘pretty’ and have purpose—if it doesn’t tell a story. So, I try my best to be a good listener, and understand not only the story of how my couples met but what they love in life, what makes them special, what gives them their vibe. The design work should always reflect and express their story in an artful, uncontrived way.
I’ve always felt so burdened by the need to design and deliver a ‘perfect’ wedding, and my perfectionism has often been crippling. It wasn’t until recently that I realized—on a really deep level– that I’m not here to perform: I’m here to serve. When I shift my focus from my performance to my service, it transforms the entire experience. The flowers always end up being more beautiful, and I feel more connected with my calling. My hope is that I’m able to give each client an encounter with beauty and grace, however brief. I have to remind myself daily that that’s what I’m here for, because it’s so easy to give into performance pressures. The more I take myself out of the equation, the better it is for everyone involved.
What is your go-to drink of choice?
Prosecco. But honestly, sparkling water. I’m all about sparkles & bubbles!
What wedding tradition should be brought back?
Marrying in a church. I love nontraditional spaces and especially those with lots of natural beauty– but there will always be something sweet and sacred about marrying in a little chapel.
Why do you love what you do?
I think the simplest answer is, because it’s beautiful. I’ve always want to create and surround myself with art and beauty, and sometimes, when I look around my studio—regardless of the struggles and shortcomings I face every day—I find it surreal. I’ll see all of these flowers and think, who am I to deserve this? It is a gift beyond comprehension to be constantly surrounded by beauty, and capable of giving it. It’s easy, in this line of work, to be a person who sees the beauty in the ordinary, to be generous, to be grateful, to be dazzled.
What was the last vacation you went on?
Vail. I used to live there, and part of my heart is always there. I like to go back each summer (summers in Vail are Edenic), take so many nature and meadow walks, and attend the Vail Dance Festival.
What’s one thing in your closet you can’t live without?
Artisan bohemian dresses by Blue Bohème and Nizhoni. They’re my dream dresses—full of freedom of movement, romance, and femininity, with their beautiful embroidery and gypsy vibe. My dream is to live in the South of France, and these dresses are all about channeling that. In them, I can picture myself going to markets, gathering up fresh produce, foraging seasonal flora, making easy conversation in French. Dress for the life you want, you know!
What is the biggest misconception about vendors in your category and/or what you do?
The biggest misconception is that florists ‘play all day with pretty flowers.’ Floristry is very physical work, and most of what we do is far from glamorous. There’s so much bucket- washing and general cleanup and stress over delayed flower orders and event particulars. Wedding productions can be, frankly, harrowing. There’s so much added stress on florals because we’re working with a highly sensitive, perishable medium. We’re often placed at the mercy of event locations and situations that aren’t in any way conducive to keeping flowers alive—and yet we must. Event work in floristry is very physical, but it’s also requires so much emotional and mental output.
However, sometimes I think we floral designers protest a little too vigorously about how tough and plain the work is. It IS a grind, it’s extremely gritty, and the event pace is intense—but we all secretly love it and live for it. And we really do experience moments of uncommon beauty and magic.
Follow @meadowfloralstudio on Instagram now to see more of her beautiful work!