Stop and smell the flowers

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Owners of A Floral Affair have adjusted to Lowcountry pace

A Floral Affair is a bride’s one-stop shop when it comes to making her wedding flower fantasies bloom true, mostly thanks to shop owner Dawn Kiritsy. She and her husband, Stephen, opened the shop in 1997 on Dillon Road a year after relocating to the Lowcountry from New Hampshire. They were sick of the North’s snow and were ready for warmer weather, so their favorite vacation spot — Hilton Head Island — soon became their home, and their new place of business.

Dawn has always been the creative kind, with an artistic background and a passion for making beautiful things. Her artistic flair came in handy when her husband wanted to open a flower shop shortly after moving to Hilton Head. Dawn had been a stay-at-home mother to her two children in New Hampshire, but the idea of starting a new business that would let her use her creative talents was an exciting challenge. A Floral Affair remained open at the Dillon Road location for 10 years, until the shop moved into a larger space at its current location on Cardinal Road.

A FLORAL AFFAIR2Dawn works her floral magic in the back part of her store, an open workspace where her creations come to life. It’s also where she takes care of all the elements that make each bride’s day picture-perfect — one recent afternoon, she and an employee spent the afternoon on the phone with a vendor, trying to locate a coral flower to match the colors on a bride’s save-the-date card.  The rest of her shop is filled with vases of every shape and color, plus fabric swatches, candles and everything else that brings a unique, personal touch to any event.

Carole Beyma, an longtime employee at A Floral Affair, says that she “has never seen the same wedding twice.” Every detail that goes into a bride’s bouquet or centerpiece arrangement is unique and special to Dawn’s clients. She doesn’t want to just re-create something off of Pinterest or an online blog.

“I don’t really care for Pinterest,” Dawn said; she would rather do the creating herself. “It’s helpful to look at pictures on Pinterest and see what kind of idea the bride has in mind for her flowers, but I am never going to copy exactly what she shows me.” One bride brought her a photo of a platter of succulents as a centerpiece idea, and Dawn adding sketches of different flowers to the photo to add a touch of color and originality to the concept, just to set her work apart from the rest.

“People know that when they come here, they are going to get unique,” Dawn said. A Floral Affair is about so much more than just bouquets and arrangements. Dawn will go above and beyond to make your floral ideas exceptional, even if it means adding in a few small props to accentuate the finished product. She has used baskets of oyster shells on floral wire, candle displays, and different fabrics attached to bridesmaids’ bouquets to help set the scene for her brides. At A Floral Affair, it’s about thinking big picture, not just picking a few different types of flowers that make a bouquet look nice. Dawn begins every job with the intent to bring a bride’s vision to life with an elegant and gorgeous display.

Dawn and her team can work with any budget, too. Whether you are in the market for a Mother’s Day bouquet or shopping for a prom boutonniere, her team of specialists always strives for customer satisfaction. “We’re here for people,” Dawn said. Her design team may stay busy on weekends and holidays, but that does not mean they are not there to assist walk-ins or new customers in their Cardinal Road retail space and showroom. A Floral Affair is open for daily deliveries and try to accommodate every customer’s requests as they come in. The store even offers a line of master retail tuxedos, a tried and true convenience to clients who want to make their wedding planning as simple as possible.

Dawn’s Top Picks for Beautiful Blooms in May

Dawn suggested the following flowers for a nice Mother’s Day bouquet — or any floral arrangement to show off the best blooms of the season:

LILACS

PEONIES

TULIPS

HELLEBORES

RANUNCULUS