Rachael Lunghi is the brainchild, founder, and floral aficionado behind Siren Floral Co. As one of the most sought-after floral designers in California and beyond, Rachael has developed her unique, romantic style through years of practice. At 24, she started her own wedding planning business. After a few years of running a one-woman show, she pivoted to floral design as her true calling (and inspiration for her company name) couldn’t be ignored. “I named it that because of the way flowers draw you in. When I think of a siren, I think of the folklore that calls to people. I think flowers have that ability, and that’s probably what happened to me. I just didn’t want to do anything else.” she says. Over a decade later, she’s still just as obsessed.
We spoke to her about our recent wedding collaboration, what inspires her, and the process of creating a bouquet with artificial wedding flowers.
You recently made a stunning bouquet for us. What would you say was your favorite thing about working with faux florals?
The freedom of it! I’m not worried about anything dying, I can bend something one way and then another, and I don’t have to worry about it breaking. I don’t have to keep it hydrated, and it’s just really easy.
If a bride wanted to create her own bouquet, what advice would you give her?
Take a big breath, chill, and be gentle with yourself. Bouquet making can be hard, so enjoy yourself! It’s so freeing knowing that the florals aren’t going to die on you, and you can always remake it if you don’t love it the first time.
Where should she start?
Start thinking about colors. You can create a cart online, look at it for color, and cover all the floral bases. You’ll want a focal flower, foliage you like, a secondary bloom with a medium head size, and then a floaty. Floaties are light and delicate. Also, when working with florals, texture matters too. I’d suggest ordering a small order before, laying out all the products so you can see their color, and looking at the head sizes to make sure there is a variation, and then you can order the full order—also, good wire cutters and green floral tape.
Okay, she’s got her flowers. Then what?
1. First, process your florals. Bend and curve the stems, play with the shape a bit. Sometimes, you can trim some stems off at intersections, so you have smaller blooms or leaves when they feel too repetitive.
2. Next, lay everything out.
3. Make an okay symbol with your forefinger and thumb to start your design. Then use your three other fingers as helpers. They’re there to support, not interact, so don’t place stems in between them.
4. Start with the focal flower because it’ll take up the most space and provide structure or greenery to create shape and movement. Typically I place my focal flower in the center.
5. Next, you can add your medium blooms. I like to cluster a few flowers together, so each type of floral gets its moment in the sun.
6. Then you’ll want to finish things off with your floaties or more delicate stems.
7. Use tape along the way. This can help create nice levels, also, if your florals are being a bit flip-floppy.
What words would you say best describe your floral style?
I hope the way people receive my work is romantic, with a little bit of an edge or something unexpected.
Best way to get inspired?
Travel. Structures, color, texture. I try and go to botanical gardens or just anything outdoors—also fashion. I don’t dress particularly fashionable or shop a ton, but when I’m building boards or looking for color, I look to fashion as more of an art form.
Your favorite flower to work with?
A garden rose, an heirloom version. There are so many that I love, I could go on and on!
For more Rachael, follow her at @sirenfloralco or take her floral design courses. Photography by Stephanie Williams @thismodernromance
Videography by Jaime Sumulong @sumulongcinema
Gowns by Dress Theory San Diego @dresstheorysandiego