Q&A with Rebecca Frazier-Smith, Texas Master Florist
Bella Fiori of Austin, TX
RWN: As a floral designer, what are some of the current trends you're finding popular with regard to florals for weddings and receptions?
Rebecca: Cascade bouquets are back in a big way! The trending favorite look is pretty wild, natural, fresh-picked-from-a-field, etc., with asymmetrical lines and lots of textures. Same feel for receptions: wild lines, looking like they were just picked and simply arranged in a footed bowl right before everyone turned up… Needless to say, the underlying mechanics that make it look so freshly-picked are anything but simple! Personally, I love the current trend. So different from the tight little round bouquets that were trending ten years ago!
RWN: What are some of your personal favorite florals or design styles to work with?
Rebecca: I do love starting with hydrangea as a bouquet base, and then adding other things to create the character of the piece. Hydrangea works so well with every other kind of cut flower, and even takes a light spray tint well. So versatile. And since I can’t grow them here in Austin, it makes me super happy when I get to work with them and be around them!
RWN: How did you get started as a floral designer?
Rebecca: I grew up on a family farm just outside Springfield, Missouri. I was the oldest of four kids, and was four years older than my nearest sibling, so my parents relied on me quite a lot to help out on the farm. I learned so much about gardening (the veg kind and the flower kind) and while I didn’t appreciate it as a kid, I do SO appreciate that knowledge now, and I have a deep love and respect for growing things. In college I took a design course and realized I had an aptitude for spatial relations and color harmony, so I continued to develop those gifts at the Benz School of Floral Design here in Texas and the Floral Design Institute in Seattle.
RWN: What inspires you with your work?
Rebecca: There are so many things I find inspiring in working with flowers; too many to name. Today, it is the magnificent sunshine coming through my studio window, making the colors of these coral snapdragons and blue cornflowers just POP so exquisitely. They don’t even look real.
RWN: How long have you and your husband been advocates for the LGBTQ community? Why?
Rebecca: Fairness and equality are big issues in our house. As humanists, we believe in the common moral decencies: altruism, integrity, honesty, responsibility. We strive to work for the common good of humanity and we attempt always to transcend divisive parochial loyalties based on race, religion, gender, class, orientation, ethnicity, etc. There is no “Other,” there is only us. Our LGBTQ family is no less deserving of the rights and protections afforded to legally married couples. We have fought for marriage equality since long before we were married.
RWN: Tell us about one or two of your favorite LGBTQ wedding experiences.
Rebecca: There was this darling couple who’d been together for over 30 years who could finally legally marry, and I took them a couple of surprise bouquets over to the courthouse on their wedding day. One of the ladies was an alto in my community choir; she was just the most darling lady, always a smile, always a kind word. I have to admit, watching the two of them say their vows to each other was SO powerful… To think these two darlings had been denied the right to marry for so long made my blood boil, and to see them wed was such an incredible joy… I admit I sobbed like a ninny! 😊
RWN: A favorite quote you’d like to share with our readers?
Rebecca: I have this on the back of my business cards and elsewhere in my marketing materials; if you think about it, it applies to so much in life, not just what we choose to do in our vocation but also how we conduct ourselves daily: ”Let the beauty we love be what we do,” - Rumi
Bella Fiori of Austin, TX
Rebecca Frazier-Smith, Texas Master Florist