Founder, Amy Osaba Events
When you look at Amy Osaba’s floral work at a wedding or event, you see a decidedly West Coast feel: organic and foraged happenstance, succulents mixed with ranunculus or unusual blushing brides with traditional peonies. But Osaba is Georgian through and through and has helped bring a new wave of weddings to her native Atlanta, as well as across the Southeast,. Brides seek her out for her use of natural elements, unstructured bouquets and touches of artistic whimsy.
Like many businesses, Osaba’s began about 10 years ago when the economy was in turmoil, and she was looking to pick up extra work. “I began with the woman who did my wedding, and then a friend asked me to do the flowers for her wedding. I didn’t really set out to do this!” she says.
No matter her intentions, Osaba has a real talent not only for floral design but creative direction for the 65-plus weddings she coordinates a year. She’s been a pioneer like many of her peers in this newer, looser style that formerly formal Atlanta brides are craving, and she and her team can make just about anything happen by approaching it in a very modern way.
“A lot of times I’ll come up with these ideas, and my team will be unsure,” she says. “Recently, we did creative direction for a couple, and they wanted to do something really unique. So I came up with the idea of a 12-foot marble wall that would have cost a million dollars. But we ended up getting a high-resolution photo and printing it to look exactly like a marble slab. We’re always trying to figure out how to rig stuff from the ceiling, how to build walls where there are none. One bride wanted to use those LED wristbands like Taylor Swift had at her concert [last year], so that was a challenge coordinating that for the first time, but it went off without a hitch.”
Osaba has also long been a proponent of farm-to-floral design. “We do a lot of foraging for each season,” she says. “We’ll cut things locally—greens and such—and I think that has set us apart. We forage wherever we’re working. We look for all those small farms, too, that have the most unique things or that sell to only a few designers.”
Success seems to have come easily for Osaba, who is regularly featured on popular wedding sites like Design Sponge, Martha Stewart Weddings and 100 Layer Cake and who has been featured in many magazines as well as on HGTV, but she insists that she’s had some help along the way. “In the beginning, there was a really good group of wedding people in Atlanta that were doing this new wave, independent, artistic take on weddings,” she says. “We all started in the industry together and worked and developed our own style together. There are a lot of really amazing wedding artists in Atlanta, and since we were all niche vendors, and people weren’t really doing [our style] in the South previously, we’ve all kind of helped each other’s careers take off. We have a great wedding community—everyone is nice and generous, very Southern.”
Her humility is admirable, but make no mistake: Osaba is a creative force whose seemingly effortless work is a carefully orchestrated performance, a trait she culled in her days as a professional ballerina. “The cool part of what I do,” she says, “is that it’s still a production; there is still movement, balance and shape that spread over my medium. For a ballet, you spend months perfecting the technique to make sure that opening night is going to be perfect, and that’s how a wedding is. And then there’s that moment when the curtain goes up.”
Check out Amy’s work at amyosaba.com, and follow her on Instagram at @amyosabaevents
STORY: Lauren Finney
PHOTOS: Sara Hanna