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Inspirational & Intimate Garden Elopement: An Interview With The Bride and Her Team

Kailee Palileo 02 Jun 2023
groom sitting on couch while bride stands behind couch around flowers in the forest

On a warm and sunny day in September, Melissa and Isa Carnegie joyfully exclaimed “I Do!” Like many other couples with original plans to marry in 2020, this ceremony was not as originally planned, but absolutely perfect nonetheless. Melissa is the creativity behind Kicks & Fros, runs her own blog, and is an all-around never-ending source of inspiration. A few days after her wedding, while managing the FiftyFlowers Instagram page, I found the first glimpses of her wedding. I called my coworkers over to show off the amazing designs that were made with our flowers.  In the midst of a global pandemic, Melissa and her creative counterpart, Brandy at Bees Vintage Rental, put together one of the most stunning, chic, and dazzling weddings that I had seen come out of 2020. This creative duo showed us how easy it is to have the wedding of your dreams, never sacrificing personal style, all while keeping it COVID friendly. 

I had the opportunity to catch up with Mellissa and Brandy about how that day came to be and what was next for the Carnegies as the world begins to open back up to the way we once were able to celebrate. 

Keep reading to learn how they were able to have an intimate ceremony and see the awesome shots from the wedding of Melissa and Isa Carnegie.

Mariah: Can you tell me your FiftyFlowers story? How did you hear about FiftyFlowers?  

Brandy (Bees Vintage Rental): I first used FiftyFlowers for my wedding in 2015 and I have used them for a few smaller projects that I have been involved in. 


Mariah: Why do you continue to use FiftyFlowers? 

Brandy: I have had nothing but great experiences with FF. Although they are an online wholesaler, I get the customer service and attention I would receive from a local flower shop  


Mariah: What do you look for in vendors you work with? 

Brandy: I love working with vendors that are honest, dependable, and who are not afraid to think outside the box. 


Mariah: What was the recipe for the floral design you made for Melissa and Isa? 

Brandy: We decided to stick to Melissa’s original vision Simple but Elegant. I chose the white bulk centerpiece from the ready to go collection. I made a few minor changes to pull everything together for Melissa and Isa’s “big day”. 


Mariah: Can you talk about your process as a florist during COVID and how you assure your clients feel secure?  

Brandy: My client’s safety is of the utmost importance, pre COVID-19 I would meet my clients face to face to get to know them and to get a better understanding of what they expect from me. Now, it's mainly facetime and zoom calls. I want to assure them that even though I do not have all the answers, I am here for support and to listen. On the day of the event, I make sure that everything is properly sanitized, prepped, and ready before I arrive on-site to minimize my exposure to other vendors. I am usually the first one in and one of the last ones out. 


Mariah: Can you share with us your relationship with FiftyFlowers as a florist and what perks the company can offer couples? 

Brandy: I have used FF for the past 5 years and I am excited to see where this relationship is headed in the future. 


Mariah: Can you talk about what the moments around shifting your wedding were like? When did you realize you couldn’t have your original planned wedding and how did you pivot and come up with the idea of the elopement? 

Melissa (Bride): We knew by the end of the summer that we would have to switch plans. At that point, we made the decision to still get married on our wedding day in a small intimate ceremony. I remember going on a date night at McGill Rose Garden and thought it would be the perfect spot for Isa and I to say “I Do” in a safe way. 


Mariah: In your own blog back in March, you spoke about some very beautiful and large wedding plans. 

You spoke about your venue, guest count, the works! What elements (flowers? food?) did you decide to keep in your elopement that was originally planned for your larger ceremony?

What features were still important for you to keep in your smaller celebration?  

Melissa: We kept the white and greenery and chair that you see us photographed in and the food. We had a small gathering at our home that acted as our “reception” where our caterer provided the food and it was a HIT! We’re planning a bigger reception for 2021 and wanted everything to connect. 


Mariah: How did you find your wedding color palette? What was your inspiration for your wedding style? How did you and Brandy(Bees Vintage Rental) work together to create your inspiration? 

Melissa: My husband loves things very chic and minimal so with that in mind I knew I didn’t want to go over the top with extras. I wanted to keep the focus on us and let the venue be the décor! We kept our clothing very simple as well and decided to bring in some of our personality with our sneakers. The colors were me in a white dress and Isa in a navy suit with white accents (shirt and shoes). Pinterest came in handy when it came to inspo.

Brandy and I worked together through a Pinterest board. I let her know my thoughts and vision through images and she recommended adding the flowers which were a HIT! 


Mariah: What advice would you give other couples trying to find their way in converting their wedding from a larger celebration to a smaller celebration? What are the pros and cons of changing your special day from a large event to a smaller, intimate event? Is there anything you would have done differently?

Melissa: I would say do what makes you happy as a couple and cancel the outside noise. This special day is about you and your new spouse the memories you create together. A smaller celebration is definitely cheaper for sure and less stressful I would say! The only con would be cutting your guest list down because of course, we wanted to celebrate with all our family and friends. That was hard. 


Mariah: What was your experience using FiftyFlowers? What was your first impression of seeing the flowers that were created by Brandy? 

Melissa: FiftyFlowers is now my #1 go-to when it comes to needing flowers for special life events. I had access to someone from FiftyFlowers via text that gave me updates on when the flowers would be delivered! My mouth dropped. It’s crazy how someone can just bring a vision inside your head to life. Brandy is super creative and I’m so glad we were able to work together! 


Mariah: Could you share a glimpse of what your original flower vision was? What can we find from that original plan in your smaller elopement? 

Brandy (Bees Vintage Rental): We decided to stick with Melissa’s original plan of lots of greenery and shades of white so even though the reception is taking place a year later everything will come together seamlessly. 

Melissa: Here’s the Pinterest board I shared with Brandy. This is what I shared with her as inspo. You’ll find a lot of greenery and white flowers. I love how effortless it looks and wanted to make sure we kept that for the elopement. I wanted our smaller wedding to have the same vibe as our 2021 reception. 


Mariah: Can you both share about what is to come with the future reception in 2021? 

Brandy: Melissa and I have talked about keeping the same design but adding a few modern touches like neon lights and a unique set up for guests to take photos. 

Melissa: We’re keeping the same design and adding pops of fun like a neon light and a cool photo opportunity because I wouldn’t be a content creator if I didn’t have those special WOW moments. Excited to plan with Brandy! 


Vendor Dream Team:

Bride: Mel C | Sneaker Lover 

Venue: McGill Rose Garden

Photography: Brandon Grate

Décor: Bees Vintage Rental 

Bouquet: Nectar Flower Boutique 

Grooms attire: Indochino and Nike 

Bride’s attire: Missguided and Nike

Rings: Helzberg and Cartier

Videographer: Loyd Visuals

Originally written by Mariah Hebbeln.


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