Creating your dream Rocky Mountain wedding experience often means having a vision that is really hard to articulate but that you can see perfectly in your mind’s eye. That means putting your trust in lots of different vendors to understand and deliver that vision for you. Your Banff wedding flowers are an important detail that can help to bring all the different elements of your wedding concept together.
When looking for the perfect floral designer for your Banff wedding flowers, look no further than Flowers by Janie. This boutique floral studio provides the perfect combination of artistic vision with impeccable customer service, dedicated to exceeding your expectations.
Janelle Gerestein is the brains behind it all. Having lived and done wedding flowers in New Zealand, Mexico, and Bolivia, she eventually returned to the Canadian Rockies to bring her worldly expertise to Banff wedding flowers and floral designs.
We spoke with Janelle (or Janie, she answers to both!), to learn more about the inspiration behind her beautiful designs and the services offered by Flowers by Janie.
Tell us a little about yourself!
I grew up in Brooks, Alberta where I started working at the age of 13 in my dad’s retail clothing store. I guess I developed my love for customer service and small business ownership from him. During my last year of high school, I started working at a local flower shop and loved it. I’ve been doing flowers ever since!
After graduating with distinction from my Bachelor of Management degree from the University of Lethbridge, I studied floral design at Olds College under a master Swedish designer. I graduated top of my class and was class president, too!
In my early twenties, I worked on a peony farm in New Zealand for 6 months. Then, in 2019, I actually had a bride who grew up in the same small town where I had lived during my time on the peony farm! It was such a weird coincidence. I even had photo albums from my time there filled with her family members and friends and got to reconnect with some of them at her wedding!
We started Flowers by Janie in 2011 in La Paz, Bolivia. I had previously been doing volunteer work in Bolivia, then met my husband, got married and started Flowers by Janie. I lived in Bolivia for almost 3 years.
We moved to Calgary and started Flowers by Janie in Canada in the summer of 2012. But first, we were married in La Paz (I did my own wedding flowers!) which has an altitude of 3650m (11,975ft) above sea level. That’s why we love spending time in the Rockies, especially around our anniversary, because it reminds us of the mountain city where met and married. I have 5 nieces and nephews between the ages of 7 and 2 so when I’m not working on wedding flowers or answering emails you can find me spending quality time with them.
I love traveling. After each wedding season, we try to take a trip somewhere. Portugal and Spain are next on my list! I speak Spanish and English, but I’d love to learn French and Italian, too! I’ve taken floral workshops abroad in England and the USA with a number of renowned floral designers.
My only allergy happens to be a floral allergy! I get cold symptoms around Craspedia/billy balls so rarely use them in my designs. I also have a strong aversion to baby’s breath, I think it smells like dirty feet. So please don’t ask me to use baby’s breath or any dyed flowers in arrangements!
How did you get started in floral design for weddings?
When I started working at a local flower shop in my hometown during high school, I knew pretty much immediately that I wanted to specialize in wedding flowers. Flowers bring so much joy and beauty to people’s lives and I wanted to create a dream floral experience for one of life’s most important events- weddings!
At Flowers by Janie, I work with a small but dedicated team of floral designers. Our designs have been featured in numerous print magazines such as Wedding Bells, Rocky Mountain Bride Magazine, Florists Review, Southern Weddings, Blush Magazine as well as popular online wedding blogs like Style Me Pretty, Green Wedding Shoes, Junebug weddings, 100 layer cake, brides.com, and more.
What wedding services/packages do you offer?
We offer everything you could think of when it comes to florals – bouquets, boutonnieres, crowns, centerpieces, ceremony flowers.
All wedding orders are customized and we include full delivery and set up. We work with one of the planners in the Rocky Mountain Wedding Collective (Moments by Madeleine) to offer a combined elopement package.
If you book with our sister company, Castano Films, you’ll receive a discount off your video package.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
I consider my floral style as very garden inspired, with a natural design aesthetic. I love texture and variety in my designs and rarely will use only one flower or foliage. When designing arrangements, I go for looks that are more organic as well as romantic and lush.
Do trends in wedding floral design change a lot?
They can change a lot depending on the latest celebrity wedding. Trends are usually cyclical so some 70s and 80s floral styles coming back with more baby’s breath and dried flowers. I much prefer dried flowers!
What is the biggest up and coming floral design trend right now?
Pampas grass and dried flowers are popular. I prefer a mixture of fresh and dried but dried works well for winter weddings as there is no need to worry about wilting.
How would you describe your philosophy when it comes to working with couples to organize their Banff wedding flowers?
Our team strives to provide the best customer service experience along with the highest quality blooms and designs to our clients. That way, their wedding day florals will be unforgettable and a very happy memory that will live on in photos and video.
When you work with us, you can trust that my team and I can translate your vision into floral reality. We work best when given creative freedom, and we ask that our clients be open to using seasonal flowers and substitutions. Put your confidence in us and you’ll end up with a floral design beyond your wildest dreams!
How do the seasons affect potential choices for Banff wedding flowers?
Certain flowers are simply unavailable in different seasons. Peonies for example are a spring flower and more plentiful between May and June. They can be available in April and until mid-July, but at higher prices. They can be sourced from New Zealand in December and January but the price is much higher as they need to travel so far.
Many other flowers also have a very seasonal availability such as zinnias, cosmos, sweet peas, snow berries, fresh pampas grass, hellebores, amaryllis, spirea, privet berries, viburnum, berries, clematis, dahlias and skimmia – the list goes on.
Flowers also tend to look best in season and grown locally. In the summer months, we try to buy from local Calgary flower farmers and from growers/farmers in British Columbia.
What are the most frequently asked questions you hear from couples?
Are you available for our wedding date?
Try to order your wedding flowers between 7-12 months prior to the wedding day to ensure availability as we have a limited number of weddings and events that can be covered in one weekend.
How much should I budget on wedding flowers?
General advice is to budget somewhere around 10-15% of your overall wedding budget for your flowers. If you’re looking for high-end and lush designs, you should allocate around 20-25%. The majority of our couples spend between $3,500-$8,500, but it’s possible to spend less and more than that.
What are your prices?
Although we’ve worked with floral budgets from $1,000 (with our Designers Choice Package), we have also worked with up to $20,000.
Pricing is based on size, style, flower varieties used and complexity of the design. We use local and imported high-quality fresh flowers so that your floral design is nothing less than perfect.
What is the most important advice you would give to couples when it comes to their wedding floral design?
If the couple values flowers, hire a professional florist who has experience (i.e. they’ve taken numerous workshops or studied floral design somewhere and have a solid portfolio of consistent work).
The cost will be a little more but you will have quality flowers and a quality end product. Your bouquet won’t fall apart mid wedding and you, your family and friends won’t have to worry about making bouquets or keeping the flowers alive until the wedding day.
Do you have a favourite flower or combination to work with?
I have different favourite flower combinations for different seasons. My favorite flowers are peonies, hyacinth, roses, ranunculus, and snowberries but I have so many more favorites. Spring and early summer are my favorite because of peony season! I also like the rich colours of fall weddings. It’s probably easier to tell you what I don’t like!
What positive feedback do you hear most frequently from couples after their wedding?
Our clients often tell us that their wedding flowers were better than they could have ever imagined. They tell us that we brought their floral dream to life, they are so happy they chose to hire us, and their family and friends are still talking about their wedding flowers!
Frequently, brides will tell us that we put them at ease and helped keep the wedding day stress-free due to our professionalism and good communication with each couple.
Is there anything else you would like to mention about your services, venue, or brand?
I love weddings and being a wedding florist is my passion in life. I’m a die-hard romantic and would remarry my husband every year if I could! But I’ll settle for a vow renewal in the mountains every five years.
“Where do I even BEGIN!!!!!! Janie created the MOST BEAUTIFUL arrangement of flowers I could have ever asked for at our wedding! To be frank, I’m not a flower connoisseur at all. I can barely tell the difference between a rose and a daisy – yes, I’m that bad. So when it came time to pick the flowers for my wedding, I panicked.
Thankfully, our amazing wedding planner – Moments by Madeleine – suggested I work with Janie. Our initial consultation was – EXCITING. Janie invited myself and my parents into her space, and showed us vases, inspiration photos, and served us cookies and refreshments to put us at ease. Janie, alongside my mother and our planner, built us a budget that made it possible for our dream wedding to come to life. A vision I could only begin to guess at. Flowers have NEVER made me speechless before. Janie’s did. Janie’s flowers made me cry. The bouquets in mine and our bridesmaid hands, the masculine thistles adorning my new husband and groomsmen lapels, and the MAGICAL staircase that was draped in beautiful greenery, took my breath away. Janie literally gave me a fairytale wedding.
The team of her and Madeleine created a wedding that NO ONE will be soon to forget, and Janie went ABOVE AND BEYOND anything we could have imagined. Me, the ‘what are flowers’ woman, ended up getting my bouquet professional pressed because I want to keep it forever. THANK YOU JANIE FOR EVERYTHING! You are seriously remarkable!“
If you’re looking for dream Banff wedding flowers for your Rocky Mountain celebration, schedule a complimentary consultation with Flowers by Janie.
Visit their website here.
Check out their work on social media: