Nothing beats fresh flowers

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Dorothy Reynolds watches along with guests to the Wedding Celebrations 2019, Wednesday as Hitomi Gilliam demonstrates the creation of a floral aid used in creating cascades for bridal bouquets at the Wedding Celebrations 2019 at the Hilton Garden Inn.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Hitomi Gilliam explains and demonstrates how the egg, a new floral design aid, tends toward a horizontal look in a traditional-look bridal bouquet, Wednesday night during the Wedding Celebrations 2019 presented by the Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association at the Hilton Garden Inn.

WAILUA — Hawaii could be marketed as a stronger wedding destination, said Hitomi Gilliam, a floral designer from Canada, during the recent Wedding Celebrations 2019 presented by the Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association at the Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay.

“When people look at their pictures with the palm trees in the background, they’re going to wish they had selected more locally available flowers instead of the traditional offerings,” Gilliam said.

“There are so many locally produced flowers that each island could develop its own unique stylings and offerings.”

Gilliam was joined by local designer Dorothy Yadao in presenting a unique wedding floral expo, discussing new equipment, techniques and materials for creating floral pieces with an emphasis on weddings, locally coordinated by Johnny Gordines with Eric Tanouye.

The clinic attended by nearly 60 people, including designers and growers, is part of a four-part series by the HFNA.

The series continues with a stop on Maui Aug. 8, and wraps up on the Big Island.

Gilliam focused her presentation utilizing local flora, enhancing the collection with additions from sponsoring nurseries like Green Point Nurseries on the Big Island, while Yadao created her offerings from items such as a floor lamp from a discount store.

“I drive around and see all of those gorgeous vines and greens,” Gilliam said.

“A lot of people don’t see this, but as an example, on Maui there must be a lot of money growing wild on the sides of the road.”

She said despite the toughness of the local product, flowers do not always stand the rigors of shipping.

Patrons were treated to a unique experience by having time to speak with Gilliam and Yadao one-on-one before breaking out into a hands-on session where they had an opportunity to work with the newest in floral-industry products by creating their own designs.


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or


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