Since moving to Houston a year and half ago I have been blessed to make some new friends in the wedding industry. Today I’d like to introduce you to one of them. Phuong Nguyen is the talented boss lady behind Mibellarosa, a floral and event design studio here in Houston. Not only is she crazy talented, but she loves good sushi, The Golden Girls and isn’t afraid to throw around a little sarcasm when appropriate. Needless to say, we became fast friends. Born in Vietnam, she moved here when she was three years old. After dabbling in event planning in college she started “moonlighting” (her words, not mine) as a wedding planner on the side while working her 9-5. This quickly grew into a passion and with some retail floral design experience under her belt she eventually left the firm she was working for and opened Mibellarosa studios. That was five years ago.
So it was the Monday after her five year anniversary bash that I paid a little visit to her home studio as she was breaking down some flowers and making a quick arrangement. With shiny party streamers gathered on the floor and petals all over the tables, I watched her work while we gabbed about life, weddings and the sort. I even got to snack on some of the leftover cake from the party. YUM! I had my one year old daughter with me that day so after photographing Phuong work her magic somehow it turned into a baby photo shoot, complete with custom, baby sized flower crown. Phuong has dubbed this #babiesformibellarosa. Big things are coming…stay tuned on that front.
You can read more about her business on her website, but here are some fun questions I asked her during our time together.
So you’ve been in business for five years now. How does that make you feel?
Proud. Really proud and grateful. Relieved, but always worrying still. It feels like I’ve raised a real life baby who is now entering elementary school. There were years of sleepless nights at first–constant worrying, checking to see if she’s still breathing and viable, making sure no one hurts her, nurturing her. My life revolved around her existence for the first five years, and now she’s walking, running, capable of so much and she’s growing right in front of my eyes. I can let go a bit more and trust people more with her now.
What do you love most about wedding design and planning? Least?
I love the creation process as every minute detail is added. I love the amount of trust I receive from my clients. I love watching them laugh and cry together on their wedding day because I know how much went into their wedding behind the scenes. They become family to me during the year of planning their wedding. We email, call and text so often for a year, then a week after their wedding when everything has come and gone but business is still happening as usual, I still feel this silent void–basically, empty nest syndrome.
What do you see in the next five years of your business?
Hopefully, if I’m on the right track, she would have outgrown this small studio by then and is ready for some bigger wings. I’m sorry to confuse anyone by referring to the business as “her,” but she’s my baby so that’s the only way I talk about her.
I’m not a fan of wedding day hours. Many of our wedding days begin at 7 AM, which means I have to be up by 5 AM to get the ball rolling and I’m normally up until 3 AM the night before. By the time the wedding wraps up and I’m back home, it’s 2 AM and I’m lucky if I don’t fall asleep inside my car once it’s parked in the garage. That’s 19 hours on 2 hours of sleep. It’s rough.
What is your favorite color palette when designing for weddings?
This is such a difficult question because I don’t think I have a favorite palette but I’m sure if you look through my work, you’d probably see a pattern that I don’t. I just love colors and I love mixing them in all sorts of combinations. I don’t like to stick with just two colors unless they’re white and green.
I’m in love with white. White will always be my trusty best friend, who comforts me and makes me smile no matter what. However, I also harbor this fascinating obsession for hot pink. Hot pink is that crazy bff I want to get insane in the membrane with.
If you could plan a wedding for anyone in the world, who would it be and where?
Brangelina!! We would have six different weddings (preferably French countryside, Bali, Mallorca, Florence, Chiang Mai, and South Africa) because this is a dream and they can afford it.
Do you have any day-after-wedding rituals?
If it’s a full wedding plan, then I block out the day after for 24 hours of sleep or vegetating in bed. If it involves florals, then we’re normally in clean up mode to prep the studio for the upcoming week. You don’t want to deal with flowers sitting in stale water over the weekend. It’s a glamorous life.
Do you have any thoughts on what is going to be the next big thing for weddings? What are your trend predictions? Or do you hate trends all together? Be honest! 😉
I like trends when they are used as inspiration motivating your creativity to transform something out of it. I don’t like trends when they’re regarded as the rules to follow. Isn’t it better to have something that is truly and uniquely you versus what’s “in” at the moment?
Thank you, Phuong, for welcoming me in your studio for the morning. It was inspirational to watch you work and I can’t wait to do it again! For those of you reading this who might be planning a wedding in the future, make sure this talented woman is on your list. Her work is impeccable and you will not be disappointed. You can see more of her portfolio here.