It has been my privilege to know Gabriela Salazar of La Musa De Las Flores for a couple of years, to have worked with her and to call her my friend. She built an international floral studio and established herself as world reference for floral design. We have a lot in common, and one of my favorite qualities of Gabriela is that, like me, she is always looking to grow and seek inspiration. She is a true inspiration for me and I was the most honored to work together on a real wedding on the Amalfi Coast just one month ago.
In fact, the images that you will scroll through have been shot during that amazing time at Villa Astor, where Gabriela designed the floral pieces for the wedding.
Without further ado, let’s dive into our interview. I hope you enjoy it!
"Flowers are not just beautiful to arrange but working with them teaches you how to be patient, kind, resilient, and graceful - offering immeasurable life lessons.” GABRIELA SALAZAR
J: Thank you Gabriella for accepting to be interviewed for my blog. It is a true honor to share a little insight into your artistic mind with my readers.
G: Jessica, I think you are truly one of the best photographers I know, Villa Astor wasn’t an easy venue to work at, the logistic conditions and everything was tough. Despite so, you made it look so effortless and soft and beautiful. You have a very strong vision and you work is incredibly committed and hard to make it happen. You have my absolute admiration for you and your work.
J: (blushing all the way down to her feet)
When I was studying architectural interiors in London, I realized how flowers and plants have the power to transform a space and change the way we feel about it. Then I decided to visit the flower market and I just fell in LOVE, I found the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen in my life 🙂 and I knew I needed to be surrounded by flowers and actually make flowers a way of life. That’s how La Musa De Las Flores was born.
I am always inspired by gardens, I love how nature works, it’s really everything out there in nature. Nature is a master designer of shapes, colors, textures, combinations… we just need to open our eyes and learn to see again.
I like to think of my work as romantic and soft. As mentioned, I am very inspired by nature and gardens and especially in my own process of growing flowers I always want to be kind to flowers, place them softly in my arrangements, give each bloom its own space to breath. That’s how I achieve very elevated and elegant looks.
The gardens of Villa Astor are just incredible, timeless elegance, they are a big source of inspiration. Everything there, feels as if it’s been there for ever. And it has, so … the question is how to create something that feels timeless too? Something timeless, romantic, old world, like the gardens at Villa Astor… The Amalfi cost is beautiful, and actually I discovered an area of growers and nurseries to die for. Most of our ceremony foliage comes from nurseries around the area. That’s what inspired me… I wanted my arrangements to be in harmony with the location. I love my job but I am never imposing it over the natural beauty of the surroundings.
Villa Astor is not an easy venue to work at, transportation and logistics are the hardest. Especially during the summer months when it is so hot and the Amalfi Coast is flooded with tourists. I had to ponderate and take careful decisions. I needed blooms that could endure the weather conditions and be resilient throughout transportation, composition and arrangement. I needed to be mindful of a variety of concerns regarding the territory too because it is way too easy to fall for the clique yellow lemon and blue/white color palette on the Amalfi Coast. It was challenging but I kept my focus on the goal of creating decadent and luxury pieces that also felt well inserted in the context, so I made sure to find as many of my floral choices directly on the territory of Amalfi. Personally attending the flower market. I also had an amazing team with me, and I was supported by Gionata Russo, the wedding planner all the way.
It’s not every day that you get to travel to the Amalfi Coast for a destination wedding, so one of my key focuses for this one was representing the true spirit of our couple. They are busy entrepreneurs and chose Italy for their wedding because they wanted a relaxed (yet luxury) experience, enjoying their children and the presence of their guests. I loved that our couple wanted an intimate gathering of under 100 people because that assigned a huge value to their priorities. For a wedding with a premium/luxury budget like this one, it is very easy to fall into the trap of “more is more” but sometimes paying attention to the smallest details rather than going extra-grand is the best approach. So, my vision for this wedding was to incorporate elegance and luxury vibes with the specific choices of floral, but keeping the arrangements understated and well-inserted in the context of the Villa without over indulging in extravaganza. I wanted to create something timeless, elegant and very romantic that could flow seamlessly with the architecture and the natural surroundings of the venue.
I always think that destination weddings are all about the team. You can only create amazing work if you can lean on each of the members of your wedding team. The support and the communal vision are powerful tools to accomplish incredible things. This wedding was the truest example of that!
The more I do weddings, the more I feel the urge of making them sustainable. We used for this wedding plants, real plants that didn’t go to waist and that makes me happy. There are so many things to be questioned about the industry and the environmental impact it creates. It is our responsibility to think about it and work in tune with Nature, always respectful and loving it.
Did you enjoy this interview? Then you may want to read this interview to one of my favorite planners!