We met Diane from Rural Roots Flower Co. through our clients Jamey and Gord this past summer. I was amazed at the floral decor at their wedding, it totally meshed & enhanced the decor of the venue and the colours of their day.   Also, the flowers looked as good at the end of the day as in they had in the beginning. Which was amazing as it was quite a hot day and the reception was air conditioned, you would think the temperature changes would make the flowers wilt.

Jamey & Gord’s Wedding Florals & Decor


Diane has such a gift and a great personality which makes her a joy to work with.  A couple of months ago, I met up with her to photograph a few designs and see where & how she works.  It was a great to be there and see her in action, it helped me understand her process of bringing arrangements together.  Here is more about her and her business Rural Roots Design co based out of Craighurst, Ontario. {We Love her business name!}


1) How did you get into floral design?

A) I got into floral design in 2004 after taking a course through Georgian College.  I was lucky enough that my employer allowed me to take time off one day a week for several weeks and this allowed me to submerse myself into the world of nomenclature, basic design skills and color theory.  Following my course I then proceeded to both volunteer and/or work part-time in various floral shops in the surrounding area to help build on my newly acquired skills while continuing to work in dental administration.

2)  What makes you different from other floral designers?

A)  What makes me different is that right now I am concentrating only on wedding/event design which allows me to solely focus on the individual event.  I also am constantly updating my skills by attending as many seminars and floral design shows as possible as well as I do a lot of reading and subscribe to many floral related publications.
I also have a strict policy regarding conditioning floral product once in arrives to the studio.  This is an important step which is often overlooked; but I take the time and the expense to do it right.  I make sure everything in the design space including knives, scissors and water buckets are sterilized before use.

3)  How do help brides create designs for their wedding?

A)  I help couples decide by having them fill out a questionnaire.  Gathering as much information about what they have already chosen; usually by the time they have come to me for a consultation they have already decided upon dresses, color and location.  Then we reflect on the couple as individuals, their relationship, their careers, hobbies, childhood memories; basically what makes them tick. What they like and don’t like.  Sometimes I’m given a list of flowers they don’t like which is really helpful.


4)  Some of us aren’t aware of the amount of work you do as a floral designer.  What is the typical process for you when you design a wedding?

A)  Well it starts by figuring on the number of stems needed and ordering from our supplier.  Source out containers and product.  Looking for the perfect embellishments such as ribbon and the bling that might be used.  Closer to the event the flowers are picked up, brought to the studio where they are checked over again, given a fresh cut and correctly conditioned in water and flower nutrients.  Containers are rechecked and cleaned, and then foamed and greened.  Then the design process begins.  I keep a large worksheet and my design inspiration board that I have put together after my consultation with the couple which contains colors, pictures, and phrases to keep in mind while designing and when something is finished it is stroked off the list.  Key factors are to-do lists and communication.


5)  What do you say when a bride asks, “How much do you cost”?

A) My reply is that there are many different considerations and variables to consider that go into the floral budget; different flowers require different techniques and may need to be taped and wired, delivery service and set up etc.  That’s why a consultation is always important to sort out all the details first and then a price can be drawn up.


6)  It is common for brides to be overwhelmed at the cost of their wedding.  How do you work with brides who want to cut costs?

-Think seasonal, be open-minded about flower types and using single flower types.
-Consider using or incorporating family heirlooms into centerpieces to add elements of nostalgia
-Mix old and new
-Branches offer a lot of drama and they can be used in conjunction with fewer flowers and or used to add a lighting element.
-Larger tropical leaves can be used as statement pieces in various ways.
-A lot of couples are also buying their first home at the same time as planning their wedding and I also suggest using potted plants/shrubs and then they can be replanted into the landscape if possible.
-Think about dual purpose and rental items

7)  What are the best flowers for each season?

Spring –     Calla lily, tulips, ranunculus, peony, lisianthus, freesia, agapanthus, muscari, flowering branches

Summer – Liatris, celosia, astilbe, protea, aster, hydrangea, chrysanthemum, berries, Sunflowers

Fall –       Sedum, snowberry, millet, dahlia, trachelium, scabiosa, branches, ornamental cabbages, brunia

Winter –  Skimmia, leucandendron, amaryllis, ginger, glads, Peruvian cedar

Year-Round Flowers –  Roses, gerbera, lilies, freesia, mums, carnations, berries, anthurium, orchids and countless grasses and leaves of  various shapes and sizes


8)  What advice would you give a bride and groom before they pick a florist?

A)  Ask questions about experience and schooling.   Make sure they show a serious interest in your wedding.  Look at websites and of course word of mouth.

Diane’s Design studio

9)  Do you enjoy what you do?

A)  Yes, I absolutely love it.  As it says in my promotional material “We Love Flowers – We Love The Possibilities” pretty much sums it up.  I feel privileged to be able to work with this incredible product that mother nature provides.  I always remember reading a quote by Wayne Gretzky that read “I don’t thank God for the Ability to play hockey, I thank God for the Passion to play hockey”.

I have lived in the area my whole life; growing up with my parents and one brother on a farm just outside of Elmvale.  We showed and raised Clydesdale’s so there was always lots of foals, shows, and poop to contend with.  My mom always had a large vegetable garden but  it was my dad that was more into flowers and trees.    I love flower gardening and I admit that I’m a wee bit obsessed with  plants and flowers.  I will always be thankful that my parents made the decision to purchase a farm and move from the city before I came into the picture; hence the name RURAL ROOTS.
I have always worked in dental/medical administration and enjoy the personal contact with patients.  I am happily married to my husband Stephen and we have one cat that rules the roost both at home here in Craighurst and while visiting the family farm on weekends.

My style can be described as lush bundles of color and rich textures.  I like to add a whimsical touch to everything I design.  I’m always on the look out for interesting flora or dried material to incorporate and taking “old school” stems and presenting them in a fresh new and creative way, never working from a kit.
My design inspiration comes from various sources.  It can be the container chosen, theme and the flowers themselves while walking about the flower cooler at the wholesalers and starting with a focal flower and building on that.  New ideas unfold as I am designing and I keep these ideas in mind for future use.
It’s one of the great things about this creative process it is always evolving and ever changing, the possibilities are limitless!

Cheers  Diane


Diane really not wanting her picture taken! Beautiful just like her designs.

You can contact Diane through the following :

Rural Roots Design Studio is located
3232 Penetanguishene Rd.
Barrie, ON Canada
Contact Diane at ruralrootsdesign@hotmail.com, 705-321-7791
By Appointment Only.



I hope to photograph with Diane this summer again.


Kate & Andrew


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Kate Gass & Andrew Essig
705.361.3270-Tiny, Ontario, Canada

Outdoor, fun-loving wedding & portrait photographers
Modern & Unique photos in nature and studio. Capturing, exploring & photographing, Collingwood, Muskoka, Georgian Bay, Gravenhurst, Huntsville, Wasaga Beach, Midland, Ontario & Canada.