From floral jewelry made of hyacinth petals to bouquets cuffed in ostrich feathers, Nisha Kelen's floristry is contemporary, sophisticated...

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From floral jewelry made of hyacinth petals to bouquets cuffed in ostrich feathers, Nisha Kelen’s floristry is contemporary, sophisticated and original.

About half of her business is weddings, especially June to October when Fleurish, her Capitol Hill flower shop, does one or two weddings every weekend.

Kelen stole a few minutes from fashioning ribbons and roses to answer questions about what’s new and fresh in wedding flowers:

Q: Look at all these roses … what color flowers are brides asking for?

A: There’s quite a departure from traditional all-white flowers. People are seduced by saturated tones here because the weather can be so gloomy. Tone-on-tone white with celery-green hydrangea looks fresh for summer.

Q: What are the current trends in wedding flowers?

A: Floating flowers are cost effective and look great in shallow bowls. Sometimes we submerge flowers in water in tall glass cylinders to magnify each blossom. The vases are fitted with a box beneath that has a battery light. Orchids, calla lilies, proteas and bromeliads all look great all lit up under water.

Q: Any unexpected ways you like to use flowers?

A: We sometimes pin flowers so they appear tucked into the folds of the bride’s skirt. Or make a floral tiara of gardenias and stephanotis blossoms. Floral chokers and bracelets are fun instead of corsages; they don’t feel so much like a prom.

Sometimes we make bridal bouquets of 10 separate little posies, so the bride can undo a ribbon when she tosses her bouquet and it flies apart into 10 bouquets. Recently we made a canopy of bamboo painted black and swagged it with 40-foot strands of orchid garland, like a curtain of orchids.

Q: What colors are fresh for bridesmaid’s dresses?

A: Chocolate brown and really all shades of brown. People are stepping away from black.

Q: What flowers would you use with dark-brown dresses?

A: Blush-pink roses and smoke bush in that raisin-brown color. There’s something romantic about that combination.

Q: Where do you get most of your flowers?

A: Canada, California, South America, Holland, Hawaii, and we’re getting gorgeous, expensive calla lilies and orchids from New Zealand now.

Q: How much should people expect to spend on wedding flowers?

A: Probably 10-15 percent of the wedding budget. For some people flowers are one of the most important parts of the wedding, and for others, it’s about the last thing on their minds.

Q: Have you done any unusual weddings?

A: We did a Goth wedding around Halloween. We used plum-colored calla lilies and velvety, blood-red roses. Everything was very dark, no contrast. The aisle runner was deep-midnight blue and plum, and there was a smoke machine under the seats.

Q: What are your favorite wedding venues in Seattle?

A: The Olympic Sculpture Park, and I like the art deco quality of the Seattle Asian Art Museum. We did a wedding at the sculpture park last summer where we lined the path and steps with stones and orchids and made a canopy out of stones and driftwood. The bridesmaids wore tangerine dresses that popped against the rusty Richard Serra (“Wake”) sculpture.

Q: Where do you find inspiration?

A: I look at shops in Paris and other cities. I’m a huge Francophile. “Fleur” means flower in French, but the concept for Fleurish came from a shop in Kobe, Japan: the simplicity of it, with glass and concrete and white walls. Amsterdam is the Mecca, and they’re doing amazing things in Belgium.

Nisha Kelen can be reached at Fleurish, 1308 E. Union St., 206-322-1602,

Valerie Easton is a Seattle freelance writer and author of “A Pattern Garden.” Her e-mail address is Barry Wong is a Seattle-based freelance photographer. He can be reached at