A couple of weeks before our photo shoot for our long dress line, we were contacted by Melissa, a really cool wedding vendor. She creates these really amazing hand-made wedding bouquets that last a lifetime. She developed her company, AlternativeBoukay,
for the bride on a budget who loves unique details that will set her wedding day apart from the rest. Sounds like our kinda girl! She provided several bouquets for our photo shoot at Paris on Ponce
, she even came from Florida to attend and lend a much needed helping hand. We are pleased to be the first to show off some amazing photos of her work. Read the interview below to learn some more about her unique business:
Tell us about your service.
AlternativeBoukay provides brides on a budget an alternative option to traditional floral bouquets. The use of felt fabric, french beading, and seashells are some of the materials and techniques utilized in completing our timeless bouquets. My goal is to continue to offer savvy brides the opportunity to have a high quality designed bouquet without the high cost.
What inspired you to start your business?
With the economic instability in our country today, becoming a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) bride just happened. It truly wasn’t planned. But, after an exhaustive search to find my bouquet and other wedding elements to fulfill my vision, I literally found myself completing a majority of those elements and thru other small boutique handmade artisans. So, after discouragingly encountering really beautiful alternative bouquets to quickly realize that with my budget it could not be an option. I told myself to get over it. So, I did and then challenged myself to complete my own wedding bouquets. I found myself at out local fabric store requesting two yards of yellow felt fabric. I chose two yards because it sounded like a good number and thought it would be more than enough for my trial run. I would learn after three more trips my calculations were all wrong. While completing my bridesmaids bouquets and harassing them with numerous picture texts/emails, with their encouraging comments the idea was planted in my head of starting a bouquet business. Doing It Yourself projects a lot of times can save you a couple or a lot of dollars, but at the same time you do acquire an additional stress. So I figured why not help other savvy brides on a budget by eliminating the stress and giving them the opportunity to walk down the aisle with a special handmade heirloom bouquet
What was the inspiration for your collection?
Our premiere avant-garde collection, The Four Seasons, transpired thru my one year stint in Philadelphia where I consciously signed up to complete nursing school. This Miami girl wanted to experience living in the most magical season when it snows, winter. Ha! I quickly discovered it was very beautiful to look at from indoors but a pain in the ass to trudge in it and have to shovel your car out. But, it truly made me appreciate the seasons; the awestruck blooms I would encounter on my walks in spring, the busy summer with the city in full swing, and my favorite by far was fall. The variations of oranges and reds were unspeakable, and to see a tree emblazed by the sun and glow as if its on fire was amazing.
Do you take custom orders?
I do take custom orders. The bouquet packages are starting points and the option to customize a package that fits your wedding is welcomed. No two weddings are alike. The Four Seasons Collection is not a limiting factor as to say you have to pick one of those four bouquets. I decided to make bouquet collections so that I can selfishly release my creative juices and push the envelope. Which works great because now brides are able to see what kind of work I can do and I can openly create a brides bouquet vision without imposing mine.
Which one of your pieces is the most time consuming?
The Spring Bloom bouquet by far was the most time consuming as it is our only full beaded bouquet. Beading flowers has really taught me patience and once completed it is so worth it.
Tell us a little bit about some of your upcoming projects.
Right now I’m working on our spring bouquet collection called World Tour. I hope to take our brides on a cultural tour around the globe through our alternative bouquets. I’m also in collaboration with Therez Fleetwood of Therez Fleetwood Designer Doll Collection, known for expressing the melting pot of various cultures through her bridal gown line. I will be using some of her designer dolls as inspiration to complete the World Tour Collection. I truly look forward to collaborating with many other creative artisans in the wedding industry and meeting the needs of brides on a budget who are willing to walk off the beaten path.
Shoot location: Paris on Ponce
Photographer: Tress Ritter
Dresses: Knot Couture
Hair Pieces: Dixie Pinup
Hair: Whitney Huffman and Susan Osborne
Make up: Rachel Rackliffe
Models: Christina, Tori, and Dianne