Interview with Hudson Valley Floral Designer: Athabold
If you are anything like most of our couples, flowers are super important to you. It’s the one element of wedding design that can transform a space. It doesn’t matter if you are dreaming up a formal black-tie affair or something super low-key and fun, flowers can turn a blank canvas into any vibe you dream up. If flowers are a big part of your design, you are going to want to check out our interview with Hudson Valley Floral Designer, Shuheng of Athabold Floral.
Elite: Can you tell our followers a little bit about yourself and how you got started?
ATHABOLD: Flowers came to me at a later time in life. I was born and raised in China and moved to the United States to complete my master’s degree in Mathematics back in 2003. Over the next ten years after graduation, I worked as an actuary for major insurance companies and a consulting firm in Georgia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, before moving to New York. With an established career, my creative side and entrepreneur inner self-started calling. I picked up a camera and quickly found flowers became my focus. I then started taking floral arranging classes at the New York botanical garden, taking on small jobs from friends and neighbors. In 2017, I decided to leave my actuarial career to start my own business. The business started with a primary focus on bespoke wedding floral design. A year later, in 2018, we opened a retail shop in Germantown, where I could share my passion for flowers and design with our local customers.
ELITE: What are some things couples can do now to plan for when they are ready to hire a Hudson Valley floral designer?
ATHABOLD: I would say start gathering thoughts and collecting information before hiring a floral designer. Here are a few things to consider:
- It’s helpful to have an initial direction on the overall aesthetics for florals: classic, modern, boho, rustic, whimsical, edgy, etc. There could be overlap and cross between styles, and this could evolve as the planning goes on.
- Think about a general direction on the color palette for flowers, i.e., coordinating with wedding party dress/suits colors, table linen colors. It could evolve, but it’s helpful to have an initial starting point.
- An inventory of what the need might be: any ceremony flowers, flowers for the aisle, bouquets and boutonnieres, centerpieces, installations.
- Come up with a rough estimate on guest count and table count/layout of the reception space.
There are a lot more that goes into wedding flowers and planning, but this is a good start. A lot of the time, we work with our clients to figure out the details as we go.
Photo Credit: Bruce Platkin
ELITE: What colors or flowers are you seeing being trendy this year?
ATHABOLD: I’m seeing more brides embrace bold colors: bold color blocking with bright yellow and deep orange. The classic soft and romantic colors are still trendy: pale pink, peach, coral with classic white. Overall I love to see all our clients keep seasonality in mind. We can see the soft pastel colors in spring, the bold colors in summer, the deeper and moody colors in fall and winter. Reflecting on the season and the surroundings of your wedding is very much in line with our philosophy.
ELITE: What are some ways a couple can change up their floral designs to make them a bit unique?
ATHABOLD: Tap into their personalities and preferences, and don’t be afraid to show that through the color choices and designs. We all love a Pinterest perfect wedding, but mostly this is your wedding, so it should reflect your personality, your life, and love stories.
ELITE: What’s your favorite venue style to work at, and why?
ATHABOLD: I truly love all types of venues – there are so many you can do, and I love to see how florals can truly transform a space! You can go rustic with barns or completely turn it into a black-tie event by bringing the right lighting, linen, furniture, and flowers.
ELITE: What’s your favorite floral installation to create?
ATHABOLD: Installation is a piece that genuinely will transform a space. It’s the most magical part of all designs and something your guests will experience and remember. I love a dramatic ceremony backdrop, a hanging installation over the dance floor, or a climbing garden against a wall. In creating an installation, we challenge ourselves to be purposeful, as opposed to just creating something for the sake of building it. Think about using an installation to create the ‘wow’ moment. When you unveil a space, you want the installation to guide the flow of the event. You can use an installation to distract and redirect attention from a specific feature that is less appealing.
ELITE: We love working with you, and we know you work with a lot of planners, not just us. Why do you think it’s essential that brides work with a planner, and how does that make things easier on your end?
ATHABOLD: We love working with planners. They help organize all the information, help the client shape their aesthetics vision for the day, regularly communicate on changes, and manage the logistics leading up to the big day. There are so many moving pieces in a wedding, and planners know every single detail that goes into the day. They’ll make sure nothing is overlooked or missed, and not to mention they help manage and prioritize the budget.
ELITE: How can a couple get started working with you? What’s the first step and how does the process work?
ATHABOLD: View our work on Instagram (@athabold) and our website (www.athabold.com) to get a sense of our style and aesthetics and send us an email! Let us know the date and location of your event, and we’ll get back to you on our availability and send you a questionnaire to get started!
We hope you enjoyed reading our interview. When you are ready to hire your Hudson Valley Floral Designer, make sure to reach out to Shuheng. Make sure to also check out some of our wedding collaborations with Athabold in our portfolio here.