Andrea Halliday opened Table & Tulip in 2007 at Portobello Road, a home and fashion boutique in Chestnut Hill, MA. In 2010 the business expanded to its second and primary location in Boston’s South End. The studio immediately became a fixture for the neighborhood, a place where people could pop in for their daily dose of flowers, ask gardening questions, find home accessories, and check out Table & Tulip’s ever-rotating display of arrangements.
Today, Table & Tulip is revered as one of Boston’s best flower shops, with awards like Best Wedding Florist by Boston magazine to prove it. While it does events all over the world, the shop maintains its neighborhood charm, and Halliday is invested in each and every creation.
Q: You have so many wise one liners, we’re going to single out a few and ask you to elaborate:
Take Pinterest with a Grain of Salt Well, it can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it coaxes ideas from the couple and can trigger the creative process; on the other hand, it can lead to unoriginality. I look for patterns in a couple’s Pinterest board, I’ll notice, for example if they are pinning a lot of unexposed stems, and we can use this pattern as a jumping off point, but I never take the board literally – unless of course they give me specific direction to.
Remember it’s not about the Date, it’s about the Experience I understand the beauty of spring and summer weddings fully, but be open to different, perhaps unconventional wedding dates. In the end, it’s about the experience, not the month or season. If you think of the best dinner parties you went to, the time of year was irrelevant.
Be open to March! March is just the best for weddings! We also love to say, “October is the new May.” In these off-season months, you can go in so many directions with flowers, and you are not competing with as many weddings, which allows for everyone from your florist to your band to make you even more of a priority and give you tons of attention.
Let go of the Peony The peony is wonderful if it’s June 6th, but there are so many other flowers out there that are beautiful, more flexible in their season and less expensive.
Don’t underestimate the Tulip Ok my shop’s name gives this away, but I love tulips. They are so overlooked. I think perhaps because you see them in grocery stores, people have the wrong impression of them, but those are pedestrian tulips; there are so many other varieties! Tulips can be as strong as orchids, but with this unique ethereal character, especially tall French tulips. They open, they flutter, they embody what being a flower is all about! Tulips can be fringed or black at the center; they can be from Holland, Washington state or grown locally. You can arrange them in graphic groupings and be very geometric about it, or, you can be Dutch expressionistic and make them very mutable. They are also more cost-effective for the budget conscious.
Q: What makes Table & Tulip unique?
A: We are very hands-on and customized in our style. We have our own garden outside our showroom allowing us to go well beyond what is available at the flower market. We can cultivate anything – a topiary, climbing hydrangeas, or trellised roses.
My team is immensely creative and I love collaborating with them. There is not a day that goes by where we don’t ask one another for input, critique or feedback. Our communication is very open, strengthening our vision and keeping us inspired.
Q: What is the process of working with you like?
A: I often start a consultation by asking the bride, “If you were having your portrait painted, where would you be and what would you be wearing?” I want to know everything about my brides; I want a picture of the bride trying on her wedding dress, will she be wearing a family heirloom, where does the couple travel, what kind of music are they into, how tall they are, how tall are their venue’s ceilings, what do the drapes, silverware and tablecloths look like? By learning about the bride and groom’s personal style, the vision for their wedding day becomes clearer. Having this insight into the way the couple lives their day-to-day life together always makes for a more powerful event design.
Q: What are some of your favorite trends?
A: Flowers remind you to be open to change and to never say never. At the moment, I am loving:
The 1930s look with beautiful, long stemmed flowers
Mixing metallics in an organic setting
Oversized, colored vases with minimalist design
Tablescapes that tell a story using varying heights and still life displays
Andrea’s process is pretty eye-opening. Did your florist ask you such specific questions? And did he/she open you up to using tablescapes or flowers you never considered? Let us know in the comments section below!