My creative workbook

Christine de Beer Floral Lifestyle Design

Creative Expectations

My article and floral parasol design featured in
DIY Weddings Magazine

We all have a vision, creative expectations, for our wedding design elements. We also all have to contend with all those realities. It might be your budget, time, a venue with restrictions, an inherited colour or anything else that feels overwhelming or at odds with our creative vision. Disappointment usually stems from the difference between expectation and reality, so it is worth finding a way to manage that difference. We are creative DIY brides, after all!

Creative Expectations floral art design

Fortunately, there is a design technique for crafting your wedding details to meet creative expectations while dealing with the constraints and realities of real life.

Willow weaving a parasol

The secret is to think, talk and even write about our expectations as a series of preference statements, such as “I prefer a light Spring blossom parasol over a formal posy.” The statement does not have a firm decision, which means we can respond to realities without feeling overwhelmed. It takes a bit of practice, but it is truly liberating once you get the hang of it.

A few more examples may help. I prefer:

  • plant over man-made material,
  • creativity over functionality,
  • sturdy over collapsable,
  • white over green,
  • green over brown,
  • comfort over effort,
  • hand crafted over mass produced.

Willow parasol

This does not mean we don't like the items on the right, it just means we like the ones on the left more.

Moth orchids

Create a list like this for yourself before actually starting to craft your wedding, so that you can start the design process armed with a guide on how best to balance your creative expectations with reality.

Phalaenopsis orchid

Sticking to the parasol theme: I may decide to weave one from plant material rather than buying one

Phalaenopsis orchid and willow parasol

I would have preferred it to be all white, but can accept a predominantly brown stem parasol with green and white detailing.

Phalaenopsis orchid hydrangea and willow parasol

It should be wild and natural almost as if it grew this way, even if it provides less shade, leaving "gaps" and "imperfections" that enhance the woodland feel of the design not only acceptable but desirable.

Woven willow parasol

The tutorial below is an example of what this process can lead to, and remember, you can use the same preferences to apply your creative expectations to every design element of your wedding.

DIY Weddings Magazine Parasol design

Thank you DIY Weddings Magazine for inviting me to contribute.

Every week I add a new design with related tutorials. Be sure to subscribe to receive an email notification with design inspiration.

Christine de Beer

This is my ongoing creative workbook to research and capture design projects and techniques. You will mostly find ideas for floral art but I will also include some other projects such as gift packaging, cards and even cake decorating with a few lifestyle projects arranged in between.

Everything you see in this workbook was designed, made and photographed by me, unless specific credit is given to another designer.




Phalaenopsis, Moth orchid

Salix matsudana "Tortuosa"

Curly Willow, Chinese Willow, Tortured Willow, Globe Willow, Dragon's Claw, Hankow Willow