Erica Hutchison had no idea that her company, Black Creek Flowers & Sweets, would become the go-to florist for Indian weddings when she opened the Mechanicsville shop in April. She had never even been to an Indian ceremony at the time. "A friend who is an Indian event designer at Le Reve Creations contacted me about doing all the floral work," she says. "The event designers didn't have any floral background. They wanted a florist to work alongside them."
Since then, her business with the event company has taken off nationally, with clients from Detroit to Raleigh, N.C., as well as Richmond and Northern Virginia. "We load the car with boxes of flowers and assemble them at the location," she says. "When we fly, we Fed-Ex flowers to the hotel and work on-site."
Indian weddings are typically large affairs, with six-figure budgets and hundreds of guests. Hutchison creates bouquets and centerpieces, plus garlands and large floral structures, often with lots of bright colors.
"The [brides] love vibrant purples and oranges as well as pink and teal. They like all the colors mixed together so it's very dramatic," Hutchison says. "Also, peacock features are huge."
Table arrangements follow similar themes. Hutchison mixes large candelabra arrangements with lower styles to add flair. "We've used 4-foot-long glass troughs and filled them with flowers," she says.
By contrast, bridal bouquets are kept simple with red and ivory roses. "It's the opposite of an American wedding where there is [emphasis] on the wedding dress and the bouquet," Hutchison says.