We are so excited to have Andrea from Andrea Layne Floral Design, floral extraordinaire, take over the ADP blog for our weekly “friendor Friday!”
How and when did you get started in the floral industry?
I started my professional career in 1999 leading multi-million dollar projects to help companies either improve
their processes or to help them to most effectively report their earnings. It was a stress-filled job that didn’t
allow me to fulfill my passion for art and design. So in 2010, after 11 years of working as an IT Project
Manager, I worked with a career coach to figure out how to turn my love of interior design, my need to have a
more balanced life, and my interest in weddings into a business. I received technical training at the South
Florida Center for Floral Studies and took online classes offered by the American Institute of Floral Designers
(AIFD). Then I found an amazing internship with one of the largest, and best, event design shops in Tampa,
which turned into a freelance job for a little while. My love of flowers and weddings deepened, as did my
confidence…and in February of 2011, I took the plunge and created Andrea Layne Floral Design.
What attracted you to the wedding industry?
I was always obsessed with watching wedding shows on TV….such as David Tutera’s My Fair Weddings,
which was my favorite. I loved how they could take a blank space and turn it into a fantasy world. It was such a
cool mixture of artistry, engineering, and logistical design.
Do you remember the first wedding you ever did?
The first wedding I ever did was when I was working as an intern. It was a huge elegant affair at the A La Carte
Event Pavilion. I just remember being told to create 20 of these low white centerpieces, built on these wrapped
oasis cubes. I couldn’t believe we weren’t using vases! And the whole install being such a blur! The first
wedding I did out on my own was much more memorable! It was my little brother’s wedding at the Clearwater
Yacht Club. I feel so lucky to have been able to do that for him and his lovely bride.
How did you develop your signature style?
I think a signature style is ever evolving. I am a design chameleon, in that I adapt my personal creativity to
meet each of my clients’ unique theme, venue, and color scheme. I love variety and texture, and ensure these
are present in all aspects of my designs, from the linens, to the containers, to the types of flowers and foliage I
select. As I add each layer to the creation it reinforces the theme and style for each individual event. I like
mixing premium flowers, such as orchids, garden roses, and ranunculus with more humble flowers such as
waxflower, spray roses, and mums to create a design blend that is unique for each of my customers. Out-of-
the box creativity defines me best.
To date, what’s been your career highlight?
In October of 2014, I opened up a design studio outside of my home. It was such a huge deal because I was
committing to a 3 year lease that definitely impacted by operating expenses. But I knew I couldn’t keep
producing the larger events out of my guest bedroom turned floral design studio. I was running out of room for
storage and creation. Anyway, the new studio has opened up so many things that I never dreamt of…. More
solid vendor relationships, a secure place to meet with my brides and show of my extensive inventory and
portfolio of work, and best of all created a clean break between work and home life. I am more balanced and I
think my work shows it.
What’s the biggest challenge in your field of work?
Ordering flowers and vases!!! The supply chain has been such a puzzle for me. I want to work with the highest
quality product. When I order flowers, I don’t want them to substitute out the very specific flowers I have
ordered without checking with me first. I care a lot about the specific colors and head sizes….so if my supplier
substitutes one white rose with another without giving me choices, I get really frustrated. And for vases and
other décor items, we use them multiple times. So I am always trying to find ones that are classic and durable.
I know I have the right suppliers now, but it took 3 years or more to get to this place!
I love the looser more natural style that is so popular right now. Letting the natural curvature of the stems and
head lead us to the most elegant placement. And adding a fair amount of greenery to the arrangements. I also
love the curated look of centerpieces….mixing and matching styles of containers and votives. Having more
than 2 different centerpiece designs.
A trend you wouldn’t mind seeing left behind?
I know a lot of people are tired of the mason jars and burlap. But I am always trying to think of a new way to
use them….tint or paint the jars, put them in boxes, cluster them in various sizes, use little ones for candles. I
think this is not a trend, but a staple of design that will be around for a while because it is economical and has
a very homespun feel.
Cliché, but, favorite flower? And, favorite flower to work with?
My favorite flower is currently in my studio! Lol. I am a fair weather flower fan! That said…. I work with a lot of garden roses,
dahlias, berries and foliages, especially seeded eucalyptus and italian ruscus. Oh and my logo has a cherry
blossom on it….because I love how it represents the fragility and beauty of life. It’s a reminder to me to be
thankful for every day and to live in the present.
What flowers are in your favorite budget-friendly bouquet?
You can’t go wrong with a few hydrangea, some waxflower, a few roses, and some seeded eucalyptus!
Where do you look for inspiration?
I like to start with a color palette. Design Seeds is a tremendous online resource for this. I love how they draw
the colors straight out of a photograph. I have gotten so in this way of looking at color, that I sometimes create
my own palettes from photographs I find online that also speak to the style of the wedding or event. Here’s one
I create recently for the upcoming King’s Ball for the Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla:
A bride’s Pinterest board…does it help or hurt?
I love Pinterest Boards. They give us a great sense of the bride’s style and preferences. They can also tell us
how well thought out, or not, her design already is. I take them as a starting point, then we add a few more
pictures from google images of designs we think would fit the theme and color scheme. Then we have the
consultation, and whittle down the images to just a few that become the overall inspiration for the whole
I have to ask, do you always have fresh flowers at home?
Never, lol! It’s funny, but I just don’t seem to have the time to put together an arrangement for myself any more.
Every now and then I will bring home flowers from an event. But this too is few and far between, because we
turn over all of the flowers from 99% of our weddings and events to Random Acts of Flowers Pinellas, who
repurposes them into smaller vases and delivers them to hospitals, hospice, and cancer centers. And get this,
our brides get a tax write-off because Random Acts is a 501c3 non-profit, so their flower donations are tax
Any big future plans?
Oh boy…I am always thinking about the next big thing. But right now, I am so happy right where I am. I want to
enjoy this for a few years!
Any tips for brides in the design process?
Be open with your designer. Let us know your budget range right away that way we can be sure to propose the
appropriate flowers and scale for your design. Share with us your own ideas….this is your wedding after all.
Don’t be afraid to incorporate something that makes your wedding represent you and your fiancé….even if that
interested is space….we can spray paint some rocket ships and add them to the table décor! And NEVER tell
us you don’t even like flowers!!!
What do you like to do outside of work? Tell us who YOU are!
First and foremost I am a wife and mom. I love my job because it affords me the flexibility to be there for my
husband and my girls. I am a foodie….I like to cook and explore new recipes and new restaurants. We love
boating. You will find me out on the intercoastal on days when I don’t have weddings. And I am a proud
member of the Junior League of Tampa…going on 10 years! This year I will be serving on the Executive
Board. I am very passionate about the work we do not only for the women and children in Tampa, but also
developing servant leaders.
We always love working with Andrea, she is perfect at brining our brides’ visions to life! Here is a recent Tampa wedding showcasing her talents!