Written by Ana Skidmore, Two Foot Creative.
Do you have a story to tell with your wedding day? You might want to sit down for a cup of coffee and a heart-to-heart with Bill Hamilton. After the many weddings we have worked on together, I truly agree with his statement that “I design from the heart. I design an event that is reflective around your life and dreams.”
Bill’s floral designs have graced a wide range of venues from some of the country’s top museums to elite private residences.
One of my favorite stories is how Bill got his big break.
“I remember one of the first things I ever did and it almost got me into trouble was for The Ritz Carlton in Atlanta, GA. At the time, I worked for a flower shop across the street from The Ritz. My job was to sell arrangements already made up by one of the shop’s designers. This particular evening The Ritz called for an arrangement for one of their hotel guest and we had no designs left and no designer available to make us one; what was I suppose to do? The Ritz Carlton was a large account and I couldn’t tell them the truth. My co-worker and I looked at one another each trying to get the other to design the arrangement but somehow I lost. I kept thinking that I was going to be in big trouble if the owners ever found out I was designing. None the less I sent the arrangement over and I hoped that was the end of that. The next day I received a call form one of owners asking me to come to her office before going into work. When I got there she asked me what happened last night. I played stupid. She said that she had received a call from a manager at The Ritz Carlton wanting to know who designed the arrangement that was sent over the night prior. I apologized, explaining that there were no arrangements left and that I did not want to disappoint her by telling them the truth. She reassured me that I wasn’t in trouble but that their guest – Helena Bonham Carter loved it and wanted me to know how grateful she was for the flowers. You can imagine my shock when I learned who the arrangement was for; she is one of my favorite actress! Needless to say that how I got my big break.”
Bill won’t begin by asking about your bridal party count or how many parents will need corsages, but rather questions such as “what’s your favorite store to shop in?” Believe it or not this one question tells him a lot about you; about your style and taste. “I want to know what your favorite childhood memory is. I want to hear how he proposed to you. I want you to tell me all about your dream wedding. I will find a way to take your dreams and turn them into a reality. You aren’t just another bride to me – but a new friend.”
Bill’s non-traditional approach to designing wedding floral and décor allows him to take the time to tailor the wedding around your life and what is important to you. And, what you want your guests to experience from the event. Bill Hamilton weddings just don’t end after “I do” – they are talked about and remembered for a lifetime.
One of Bill’s favorite recent weddings was on Mackinac Island. “Through many conversations, mostly from the mother of the bride, I learned that the family loves bicycling. In fact the bride and groom’s first date started out with her biking and he rollerblading along her side. Because biking was such a huge part of this family I designed the entire wedding around bikes!”
Bill learned that the mother of the bride buys her daughter (the bride) a charm every year for Christmas. As a surprise to the bride he inserted two charms into her bridal bouquet–a bicycle built for two and a roller blade – which brought her to tears when she saw them.
“Just days before traveling up north for the wedding, I mistakenly came across the bride’s very first bike. I asked the father of the bride if I could borrow it but not to say a word. I positioned that cute little cute bike at the entrance of the tent for all to see. When the bride came around the corner and saw her very first bike she stopped dead in her tracks and cried. From the table names to the favors, everything was designed around bicycles. We even hung bicycle wheels from the ceiling with votives hanging from the spokes. The bride’s comment at the end of the evening was, “I cannot believe that you nailed it… you captured us, and my family to perfection. Thank you!”