The King of Love and Orchids
Golf Srithamrong’s love of all things floral bloomed early in life and took root deep in his soul. As a child growing up in Thailand, his grandmother was often angry with him for never planting vegetables for them to eat.
Instead, his garden was filled with tropical flowers providing fascinating visuals and enticing fragrances. Coming to America at the age of 26, he was determined to absorb all he could about flowers and design and attended Parsons School of Design, The American School of Floral and Plant Design, and the American Floral Art School. His professor, Nancy Kitchen, AFID, offered him an internship and instilled the confidence he needed to eventually go out on his own. He took the leap and established the floral and event design company, Tantawan Bloom.
Now, from family to family and friend to friend, word of mouth has made him a sought after floral designer and event planner, featuring luxury high-end design and flawless service. Golf’s work has graced the halls of the New York Public Library, The Waldorf Astoria, The Plaza, the Mandarin Oriental, Cipriani and Gotham Hall, among others. Golf’s personal aesthetic reflects his Asian upbringing, favoring the clean lines and simplicity of modern design and sculpture, but his floral masterpieces are inspired by all that he sees.
“A tree, a single building in New York, color, shapes, cultures, my creative eye spots opportunity everywhere,” Golf explains. His signature modern style can stand on its own or blend seamlessly with sophisticated traditional, classic and elegant romantic offerings.
If there is one recurring theme in his work, it is the use of orchids, a flower that captured his heart as a boy in Southeast Asia. “It’s my favorite,” says Golf. “There is so much to like about this flower.” With endless varieties and colors, orchids look exotic and expensive, and because they are sturdy and long lasting, hold up well in any creative treatment. Golf and his crew have wired separate blooms to tree branches, suspended them from ceilings, draped them around wedding canopies, floated them in water and intermingled them with candles, crystals and all manner of other flowers.
He remembers ordering over three thousand orchids for just two events this past fall. Friend and mentor Kitchen says it is a given that anything Golf does will be beautiful, “but what sets him apart is the compellingly unique way he interprets it all. His orchid fantasies are profuse, extravagant and inspired,” she says.
When working with a bride and groom, his first order of business is to listen closely. He tries to discern not only what they are saying, but what they are not saying. “I ask about their wishes and dreams and from that I can crystalize their style,” says Golf. Over the years, these first meetings have changed significantly. “When I started, brides might come to me with one or two pictures, but now they arrive with an entire portfolio of ideas,” he says. Too much information can be helpful or confusing, but he knows how to discover the heart of his clients.
Recent bride MaryRose Cucinatti knew she wanted orchids for her wedding and stumbled across Golf’s website. “When you know, you know,” she says, “and I knew he could execute our vision.” The ideas in the hand-drawn sketches he prepared for them exceeded their every expectation. A custom flower wall suspended from the ceiling seemingly floated in the air and a tree full of orchids backed by a massive candle wall and two beds of roses were wow-inducing features at the reception. “For me, it’s all about making a bride’s dreams come true,” says Golf. “I want each client to be able to say that I’ve been essential in creating the best day of their life.”
> Written by Francine Kaplan
GRACE ORMONDE WEDDING STYLE