A floral oasis in Chelsea

Utowa flowersMy fiance and I lucked out in our wedding planning. We managed to get everything set up within a few weeks. Venue, catering, photographer, invites – all done. The one thing we didn’t do right away was deal with a florist. I’m not much of a girly-girl and flowers weren’t really a priority for me, and I kept hearing that NYC florists were ridiculously expensive and had insane minimums that were way over our budget. After checking reviews on Yelp, though, I found one that sounded promising, and we decided to stop by.

Utowa is a busy flower and clothing shop in Chelsea on west 18th Street. When we walked in, we stepped into something out of a fantasy film- big branches winding overhead, with bunches of colorful flowers flowing around them. The staff was very friendly and helpful. We spoke with one of their flower designers, Katsuya, who told us he liked to do dark arrangements with lots of organic elements (like branches) in them, which is exactly what we were looking for. We also looked through their sample/portfolio book, which has examples of the organic-style arrangements along with more traditional ones. All were lovely. We told Katsuya our budget (small by NYC standards) and he didn’t miss a beat in assuring us that he could do our 15 table centerpieces and gigantic room centerpiece within our budget. Hooray!

Besides gorgeous flowers, they also have vases and other home decor items, jewelry, and clothing. It really is like a pleasant, fragrant oasis from the bustling street outside.

Utowa is located at 17 West 18th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues.

image from Utowa’s website

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