Courtesy of Bailey Sparks
A betrothed walks down an aisle in white on their wedding day. In their hands is a bouquet: not of flowers, but of wood.
This is exactly how Bailey Sparks will look on her wedding day, walking down the aisle toward her fiancé, Alec Bryan, and this is how they hope other people will look on their wedding day too.
After searching for affordable floral arrangement options for their upcoming wedding, Sparks and Bryan decided they wanted something more long-lasting and reliable during COVID times. As a woodworker and recent App State industrial design graduate, Byran put his skills to work and made Spark’s bouquet out of wood scraps.
“It didn’t make sense to buy really expensive flowers that die within a few days after the wedding,” Sparks said. “We wanted something that we could treasure and keep forever.”
The couple posted their creation on social media and began receiving positive feedback and requests from others who wanted wood bouquets of their own. Bryan and Sparks decided to start their business, Redefine Wood Flowers, selling their wood flowers and offering couples a reliable and environmentally-friendly option for their weddings.
“Part of the reason why we decided to start this business is because there was a direct need due to COVID,” Sparks said. “At the beginning of COVID, a lot of the floral shops, especially for brides looking for flowers, were shutting down. Or, they would place an order, but they wouldn’t know in a few months if that the shop would be opened to continue to send their flowers on the big day, and so brides were looking for something a little more stable.”
Customers can choose from several different options of bouquets on the couple’s Etsy, or customize their own, choosing from different wood types, accents and flower colors.
“This was our (second) gift purchase of this UNIQUE arrangement. Both recipients RAVED about the quality and appreciate that they’re both one-of-a-kind. These are my first purchases ever on Etsy, and the RedefineWoodFlowers company has been phenomenal to work with,” wrote a customer for a review on Etsy.
Bryan makes the wood bouquets from wood scraps that would otherwise be burned or thrown away.
“I have a bunch of scrap wood from over the years of woodworking, and for me, it’s hard to throw away a nice piece of wood like that,” Bryan said.
After a customer places an order, Bryan uses old hand planes to shape wood shavings. He then rolls it up and glues it together with maple wooden dowels and arranges it however the customer would like. He then uses other materials for structure and design, and when finished, Bryan packages the bouquets himself so the shipping process does not ruin the bouquet.
“I typically love designing with purpose, and the fact that I get to use really awesome tools that I just love to use and then make something to change somebody’s wedding day or bring a new aspect of that big day for them is really nice for me,” Bryan said.
Both Sparks and Bryan said opening their business has brought them closer together as a couple, and they want to continue to help give others a unique wedding experience like their own.
“We’re passionate about helping other people have that unique experience that we’ve had with our wedding and to have some stability and some peace in knowing that they’re going to have something unique and special on their big day that they can keep forever,” Sparks said.