Get to Know: Ferrell Richardson of The Cottage Rose
A flair with florals runs in the family for Marydee and Ferrell Richardson, the mother-daughter duo behind The Cottage Rose. The Crossroads-based boutique floral and event design studio creates stunning arrangements for weddings and other events as well as full-service planning and day-of coordination. We talked to Ferrell, co-owner and creative director, about how she got her start in the family business, her favorite wedding experiences and floral trends to look out for.
Q. How did you get started with florals?
The Cottage Rose started years ago, back in 1996. My mom, the owner at the time, began helping out friends and family by doing the catering and floral design for their weddings. She began to grow quickly, so at 10 years old I started helping her out. I mostly chopped vegetables and put things out on tables while my mom focused on just about everything else. She ended up getting bigger than she anticipated and with four kids to raise had to put the biz on hold. For some reason though, she never got rid of the business and kept renewing the license every year. We are very grateful for that! We decided to start The Cottage Rose back up about four years ago and we have been going strong ever since!
Q. What do you enjoy about creating arrangements and event decor for weddings in particular?
I think the thing I love most is flowers. I love being able to create new and different arrangements with live product. Sometimes it’s hard working with something that is so volatile and fragile. But as I work with them more and get to know what they will and won’t do, it becomes easier. I try to think of each piece as a composition. There needs to be balance and contrast and a play of scale. Color palette is a big one as well. All of these things coming together make for a great arrangement.
The best thing about weddings and events is that they are usually quick projects that I focus on for a week or two at a time, and then I go on to the next one. I don’t get bogged down by creating the same thing over and over again. Each wedding and event is different, which makes it very fun. Also, making the couple happy makes every long day or sore foot worth it. I love being able to use my work and designs to enhance someone’s perfect day.
Q. Do you have a favorite story or two from a wedding or working with a couple?
Probably my absolute favorite wedding was from this last year—I have a little bias because they are my friends. But what they did for their wedding deserves to be shared. We tell couples all the time to think of things that they love to incorporate into their wedding day so that you can see their personalities, their favorite things, and why they love each other. No couple we have worked with has made their wedding day more “them” than Courtney and Naty. They met about 6 or 7 years ago on a softball field, so where else do you expect their ceremony to take place? We got to decorate the backstop with fabric, greenery and florals. It was the perfect backdrop for the ceremony and the first time we ever got to decorate a softball field!
Q. Are you seeing any trends in what couples are wanting for their wedding day arrangements and event design?
We’re seeing a big trend of more wild, unkempt bouquets, which just so happens to be our specialty! It’s more of a gathered, loose look, letting the blooms and greens create their own shape, instead of forcing them into a tight ball. Long, cascading ribbon tails attached to the bouquet for more drama are also big these days.
As far as reception decor, greenery still seems to be the trend in KC. Garlands, loose greens, tall branching arrangements, etc. We have a lot of brides who are wanting a mix of sizes and heights to their centerpieces. This creates a more dynamic look to the reception. Dessert bars are very trendy right now as well. Instead of having a big cake, couples are opting for a big display of bite sized desserts. This way guests can nibble on them all night, and you can make the dessert table a focal point in the space. We love styling a good dessert table!
What do you suggest people think about when they’re trying to pick a florist for their wedding?
Find someone that you trust and that gets your vision. You don’t want to show up on your wedding day expecting something that doesn’t live up to what you were dreaming up. Finally, you get what you pay for. Flowers are expensive, but it also takes a lot of time and labor to create the arrangements and set them up. We stand by our work and know that we give out a quality product. We can’t decrease our prices to accommodate any budget, but we can work with couples to figure out their priorities are and what will make an impact in the space.
For more information about The Cottage Rose, visit TheCottageRoseFlorals.com.