Angela Rohr's Englewood-based small business, Bella Lu Floral and Event Design, is approaching its tenth anniversary. Her celebration will no doubt include flowers.
“I love flowers, and people know I love flowers,” says Rohr. “For the people who come to me, flowers are important. Flowers bring people joy, and that’s a big part of what’s reflected in what I get to do.”
The florist has an “everything’s coming up roses” disposition, yet her work comes with inherent stressors. Part of the pressure of her job stems from customers’ high expectations for red-letter days and also the fact that fresh flowers are always changing. Even after a decade, Rohr upholds her hands-on involvement in every step of her design process. Whenever possible, she selects her flowers primarily from Colorado growers.
“I personally want to buy first from Colorado farms. I try very hard to use Colorado flowers, and I walk the farms and handpick flowers. Not a lot of florists do that, because it takes extra time. When flowers are locally grown, I can pick them up at the last minute so they have a longer shelf life. Our Colorado farmers grow incredible flowers,” she says
“In almost every case, I use flowers from the U.S. and try hard not to order outside of the country.”
Rohr, especially fond of farm snapdragons, also lists as favorites showy Colorado-grown heirloom dahlias, lisianthus, ranunculus, anemones and foxgloves. But beyond her selection of stems, Rohr’s style renders her arrangements extraordinary.
“My pieces look organic and lush.
I really love when flowers get to do what they do best. If there’s one with a crooked, bent head, I put her in front so when somebody looks, she really gets to stand out, that one flower, so we can admire the way Mother Nature made her,” Rohr says.
She cultivates a spiritual relationship with flowers. The self-taught flower-whisperer admits she does engage in one-sided conversations with the blossoms.
“I talk to the flowers. Flowers have souls. Flowers have personalities,” Rohr says. “I talk to them all the time. My family laughs at me. When I’m making bouquets, I ask the flowers if they’re where they should be, next to who they want to be next to. It comes down to my love for letting flowers do what they do best. I often say, ‘She’s my new favorite but don’t tell the other ones I said so.’ ”
Rohr’s process incorporates both intuition and practicality. Every arrangement, every wreath, every garland is singular and yet true to her style.
“My pieces look like a romantic garden that sits in front of you,” Rohr says, “I do pieces that are big and wild, but people want to visit at a table and see one another across a table, so I’m strategic in how designs come together to maximize the warmth of conversation. My pieces make people feel comfortable and welcome at the table.”
In a word, Rohr’s designs are romantic. She says, “To be quite honest, I’m a big romantic. I love love.”
Consequently, while Rohr designs a variety of events, she specializes in weddings.
“I do other events and corporate events, but weddings and the relationships I build through planning them give me the most joy,” she says.
“A wedding is the beginning of somebody’s story together. Some people say, ‘Oh, it’s just one day,’ but what you learn over time is that the wedding is the first day of marriage, and it’s a day couples can look back on when having a hard time in marriage.”
For Rohr, designing for a wedding involves emotion. “I cry at almost every wedding,” she says. “I become a sap because to be united, when a person finds the person to have their forever with, I’m so excited for the people.”
She’s not the only one excited by wedding flowers.
“When I pull in for the wedding day, mothers scream with excitement, and grandmas and aunts and best friends come out to peek inside the van to see what I’ve brought. Flowers make the day complete,” Rohr says.
“At the end of the night when brides and grooms tell me ‘I had no idea you could make this day complete in the way you did’—those are my moments, knowing when they look back, my flowers are part of what they will remember.”
Rohr designs not only wedding flowers, but also the overall decor for the milestone event.
“I really love to get to know clients and build a wedding around who they are,” she says. “I understand what my brides and grooms want. I ask them what they want their day to look and feel like. Fun? Elegant? Romantic? What I do with event design is make all of those words become what they see and feel when they enter. Not just floral, but dressing the tables, linen selections, flatware, glassware, place settings, candlelight. I find a style to really fit their personalities—something that feels very unique to them and their personality and the kind of day they want for their families,” she says.
“I stand with every bride to teach her how to hold the bouquet. I pin on every boutonniere and tie on every corsage,” she says. “I have a lot of love for what the flowers get to be and the relationships I get to have.”
Bella Lu Floral
Bella Lu Floral delivers in Denver and along the Front Range, as well as in Vail, Beaver Creek, Aspen, Steamboat Springs and beyond. Owner Angela Rohr says she typically serves clients with a $5,000 to $15,000 floral budget, but also creates bouquets and boutonnieres for couples eloping.
Colleen Smith, a longtime gardener and garden writer, considers flowers one of life’s most magnificent joys.
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