Last week I had the pleasure of helping a friend out with her Prom Flower orders. Since I’ve never really done bouquets and boutonnieres in the traditional sense I wanted to see how they’re created firsthand, and so Valerie let me observe (and play a little) in exchange for some pictures of her designs, which we hope someday grace her glorious website.
Valerie McLaughlin is a freelance floral designer working out of her home in Wallingford, PA, where she lives with her five sons and husband. The flower business suits her, adding a bit of femininity to an otherwise masculine household. Even Rudy the dog is a boy. Her home is a friendly, warm place, where neighbors and friends constantly stop by, and everyone knows each other. And when it comes to pricing, there really is no such thing as a ‘stranger rate’ with her.
Valerie creates custom arrangements within a budget. Sometimes the only direction given is the color of the dress the bouquet is to match, and that can be a challenge. Her designs reflect her own joy and passion for living.
When the kids start stopping by to pick up their flowers for the big night, that’s when Valerie really shines, instructing them on floral details and cautioning them to have a good time but to ‘be careful.’
Boys get special instruction on how to present flowers to their dates.
Valerie is also preparing for her AIFD test this summer in Miami. The American Institute of Floral Designers is a “non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the art of floral design as a professional career,” and once you’re a member, you belong to an elite group of talented people who are devoted to the industry (membership also costs a pretty penny.) Lucky for Valerie, she knows AIFD members like Jane Godshalk and Tim Farrell, of Farrell’s Florist, who are willing to judge her test designs and coach her for the big day. I wish her all the best of luck this July as she heads to Miami to spend 4 hours creating 5 designs. You can do it, Val!
Valerie did the floral arrangements for my mother’s 80th birthday party, and we couldn’t have been more thrilled with her beautiful arrangements! She’s got such an amazing personality and gifted eye for the perfect designs. THANK YOU!!! You’re the BEST!!! 🙂
VALERIE IS THE BEST IN THE WORLD! WE ALL LOVE HER!!! So talented and wonderful to work with!! THANK YOU THANK YOU for all you have done for my family and me! 🙂
I love her work. She is a true gift, her infectious enthusiasm is contagious. She did some amazing arrangements for me and my family and she is a true rare beauty! More precious than any flower i have ever had the pleasure to see!
For years Valerie has brightened my mood and my home by decorating my staircase and mantle at Christmas time. She uses the the most beautiful magnolia leaves that she makes into a stunning garland. I always get compliments on it!! She loves what she does and it shows in her gorgeous work.
I had the very good fortune to have Valerie as the floral designer for my wedding almost 15 years ago. Her work was AMAZING! Relatives and friends STILL compliment and comment about the flowers from my ceremony and the reception…how often does that happen?
Her work is beautiful and so is she! One of the most wonderful people I know who happens to be gifted beyond belief. Love all the bouquets she has made for my boys over the years. Never fails that people ask me where I got the boys flowers because they are beautiful and different from all the rest.
I think of Valerie as a “flower” artist who makes incredible floral designs. Her positive spirit and her love of life shines through in each of her beautiful creations. Valerie’s creative and original imagination is apparent whether she is designing a small boutonniere or one of her grand, award-winning entries in the Philadelphia Flower Show. Valerie is a gifted floral designer and a true and precious friend!
Judging by the arrangements pictured here, she is good to go for her test in Miami! They are
I think Valerie is a GEM. Just like the ones she uses in her flowers Small but beautiful. She designed my daughters wrist corsage and it was goergous. Everyone asked was I got it from. I told them it was a friend from Wallingford. Thank you Val for the most wonderful flower arrangement ever. Ashely loved it. And she had a great time at her prom. I will send a picture later.
This is awesome! Your creativity and passion come through beautifully in work. Thank you so much for gifting us with your beautiful creations!!!
This is awesome! Your creativity and passion come through beautifully in your work. Thank you so much for gifting us with your beautiful creations!!!