Pocketful of Posies: Emily Rickard Creates Extraordinary Floral Designs | City and Dress

Emily Rickard created arrangements for 116 weddings last year. (Photo by Stephanie Walizer Photography)

From azaleas to zinnias and every genera and species in between, flowers have always appealed to Emily Rickard. She adores glorious textures, colors and scents. Pocketful of Posies, her one-woman floral business, allows her to work with exotic flowers on a daily basis.

“Weddings are my specialty,” says Rickard. “I’ve also hosted other events, like Pennsylvania State President Barron’s retirement dinner, alumni parties, football parties, and even a bat mitzvah, but I especially love helping out. brides find their vision. .”

Rickard grew up in Howard, where she still lives and works. From the age of eleven, she helped out in her aunt’s full-service flower shop in Lock Haven. This experience sparked her passion for creating wedding arrangements. “When Aunt Cheryl closed her shop, I was home raising my kids, but a few people asked me to do their wedding flowers. So it started slow, but when things picked up speed, I decided to get my license and open Pocketful of Posies. This was in 2016.

In 2021, Rickard provided flower arrangements for 116 weddings. She typically hosts four weddings per two-day weekend, but when Friday nuptials are added to the schedule, she has handled up to nine over a three-day period. Pocketful of Posies has been hired for weddings all over Pennsylvania and as far away as the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Rickard begins his design process by meeting the bride in a neutral setting such as Barnes & Noble’s coffeeshop. “We discuss it and I ask them to send me pictures of what they like, what inspires them. But I learned early on never to promise exact flowers,” she says. “Instead, I’m selling a look. So if for some reason I can’t get a particular flower, I’ll use another that has the same sentiment. That way no one is disappointed. »

Consultations usually take place on weekdays after 3:30 p.m. Until then, Rickard is babysitting his young grandsons, three-year-old Kade and one-year-old Beckett. Saturdays and Sundays (and an occasional Friday) are for delivery of arrangements to the wedding venue. Rickard typically prepares her meticulously crafted floral creations Wednesday through Friday. “I took over our garage,” she laughs. “It’s full of coolers, buckets and all my other tools and materials. The extra-long worktable was from my aunt’s shop. My grandfather did.

“Today you can get just about any flower in any season,” she continues. “I use local growers as much as possible and two wholesalers who get shipments from Holland, South America, California, Canada…everywhere. I spend hours on websites deciding what I want for each bouquet, headdress, boutonniere, corsage, centerpiece, and any other floral design that brides ask for. When the wholesalers deliver my orders on Wednesday, I cut the stems, put them in water and immediately put the flowers in the cooler. A few hours later, I pull out the still fresh flowers if necessary and, one by one, I assemble my creations for each of the weddings. When finished, they return to the cooler, ready for delivery. »

Rickard often combines fuller tropical flowers like freesia with orchids, O’Hara roses, lisianthus and greenery. “I use eucalyptus, agonis, parvifolia and lots of other greens for texture and to bring out the colors,” she says, adding that she’s “not a fan of carnations. and gypsophila.

Pocketful of Posies is a popular choice for wedding flowers. (Photo by Lindsay Eileen Photography)

“My favorite,” she continues, “is an all-white bouquet. Right now the laid-back boho look with pampas grass and palm fronds is all the rage, but within a year or two , I see a return to classic weddings with classic white flowers. Vintage is another style that comes and goes. For my brides, I go out of my way and order flowers that you don’t see every day. Weddings must be very special.

Rickard’s mother, Crystal Haagan, and cousin Jessica Galbraith help out as needed. Occasionally, so does Cheryl Myers, who owned the flower shop where Rickard trained. “My aunt Cheryl got her certification from the American Institute of Floral Design [AFID], at a time when it was not easy for her,” says Rickard. “Shortly after getting AFID certification, she traveled to Germany and the Netherlands, where she learned how to make European ties, and then taught me.”

(Rickard explains that she creates a hand-tied European bouquet by turning a hand while adding individual flowers and greenery. The design might start with roses, then two or three types of greenery, then freesias, stems and daisies, all evenly scattered in a spiral. The finished handle is tied in the middle with binding wire and the stems cut. The result is an hourglass-shaped bouquet which, if placed on a flat surface, will stand on its own.)

“It’s so much fun when family helps out,” Rickard continues. “And when my best friend, Susan Holden, comes over to deliver, we have a blast. Susan has no talent for design, but she’s a champion when it comes to placing centerpieces on tables ! “

Rickard’s husband, Matt, lends a hand whenever possible. Retired from his old job as a detective in Bellefonte, he now works as a police officer in Lock Haven. It’s also helpful, says Rickard, to get familiar with the personalities of his three daughters (Arimani, Alayni and Alexis) and his stepson’s wife, Kira. “They have very different personalities and preferences, which helps me understand my wives,” she says.

“God has given me the talent to help give these girls the weddings of their dreams,” Rickard continues, “and I’m doing my best to make it happen. I believe in the power of prayer and I pray for every couple with every flower that goes into every bouquet.

Looking to the future of Pocketful of Posies, Rickard has no desire to leave his garage and move into a display case. “By the grace of God,” she says, “I’m happy with things as they are.

For more information, contact Emily Rickard via Pocketful of Posies on Facebook, or call (814) 308-2708. T&G

Diane Johnston Leos is a freelance writer at State College.

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