Thursday, March 1, 2018

November Wedding 2017

Trying to come up with the "perfect" title for this blog post is difficult.  So I have opted to keep it simple and to the point. 

This wedding was large, elegant and I worked closely with some of the best wedding vendors in the Shenandoah Valley.  Most of whom I have worked with many, many times- even have enlisted their services for my own wedding in 2012. 

The setting for this wedding was at the gorgeous, historic George Washington Hotel in downtown Winchester, VA.   The Ballroom doubled as the Ceremony location with its focal point mantle decorated with candles and flowers in blush and ivory.   This mantle is one of the easiest (in my opinion) to decorate- it is large enough and wide enough to allow for a variety of design and decor options. 

The Bride requested a cascade in soft blush and ivories, touches of burgundy, and a accents of silver foliage. 

Dahlias were the focal point of the bouquet.  Dahlias are extremely popular in the fall, especially for weddings.  As a designer, I tend to handle dahlias with care.  I was so worried I was going to receive bent petals, popped off heads, or other dahlia-dilemmas...they can be really tricky to work with when you want every petal to be perfect.  Thankfully all shipments came in flawless and the 'Cafe Au Lait' dahlias were gorgeous- 

The Bridal party wore navy dresses in various styles with coordinating bouquets of blush, burgundy, and silver foliage.  Here is one of the bouquets in progress : 

I design almost every hand tied bouquet in the European style- meaning once I am finished it can literally stand on it's own because of the rotation of the stems. 

The Bridal party :


The Ceremony:

One of the personal touches this couple incorporated was their love of travel and all the places they have been.  On the place card table in the Lobby, luggage tags were used to send guests to a location themed table in the ballroom. 

The reception tables were decorated with similar elevated arrangements sitting on water filled pilsner shaped vases.  Due to the scale of the arrangements and weight, transportation and placement on the reception tables took place after the guests had exited the ballroom. 

The reception arrangements required a separate delivery trip and assembly in the staging area adjacent to the ballroom:

 This is called a room"flip".  By and far, the banquet staff and wedding coordinators made the transition seamless. The reception: 

It was a wonderful wedding and a huge shout out to all the vendors for the phenomenal work:
The George Washington Hotel, Amy VanMeter Events, Julie Napear Photography, 
The DJ Connection, An Affair To Remember Videography, The Lucky Cakery,
SAS Studio

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Ultra Violet and all the various shades I love

"Ultra Violet" is Pantone's 2018 color of the year, but let's face it- Purple and its various shades have been gaining popularity for some time.  It is a versatile color family and flattering to everyone.  Literally I have never seen a shade of purple I do not like.   So let's look at the all the pretty hues !

Purples + Green 
(Julie Napear Photography)

Purple + Lavender


Purple + Red

Teal is No problem where Purple is concerned!

(Photo credit Regan Mongold)

Purple+ Yellow for those who like bold combos

Orange + Purple in the same flower!  

Every Shade between Purple and Lavender yet two totally different bouquets


Shades of Purples + Plums for a Vineyard Wedding
Veramar Vineyards, Photo Credit: Rob Holley Productions

This wedding featured bridesmaids wearing all different hues of Purple.  The bouquets were the unifying factor. 

Pink+Purple+ Lavender + Blue = SPRING
Photo Credit : Amanda Gilley Photography
Rosemont Manor 

and THE incorporation of "Ultra Violet" + supporting colors: 
Photo Credit Sam Stroud Photography

I am really looking forward to seeing what gorgeous combinations happen in 2018 and beyond!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Gingerbread House Contest!

My family's annual tradition is a Gingerbread house decorating contest.  Strictly just for fun and bragging rights. Usually broken up in to two teams (boys vs girls), each team decorates the house and I post pictures on Facebook with numbers only, no team names. This year only the kids decorated and the decorator remains anonymous until the contest ends.   So feel free to join in and cast your vote in the comments for House #1 or House # 2- Enjoy!

House #1:

House #2: 

And the winner is #2!!! 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Hurricanes & Agriculture impacts

Between Irma and Harvey there will be great economic impact on us all.    It goes without saying of the devastation in Texas from #Harvey, and the soon to be seen impact of #Irma on all of Florida.
The immediate destruction will be obvious but the other, trickle-down-economics of a hurricane's impact may be felt for months.  

Per the article about some Florida farms Sugar and Hog farms brace for Irma    hurricane prepping is already in motion.  Moving livestock to higher ground and storing grain for possible transportation outages is just one example.

Orange trees may be completely destroyed, another huge crop for Florida and the US period.

For the floral industry, although what we do is not considered a necessity, we too will feel the impact. Florida is a major producer of greenery (leather leaf, lemon leaf, moss, etc) and green plants.  Green plants not only for decorative purposes but also for the production of fresh herbs, fruit and vegetables.   Expect the prices of even the modest leather leaf greenery, found in most floral arrangements to double in price.  Other countries that import Florida-grown greenery will also feel the price increase - and possibly a transportation disruption.

Florida boasts one of the busiest international airports for exporting and importing in the US- Miami International.   All products being imported from South America, Mexico and elsewhere come through this airport to be inspected and then loaded on trucks or connecting flights for distribution throughout the US.   As of today, American Airlines has canceled 2,000 flights scheduled for Miami.
Growers won't be able to ship flowers into Miami throughout much of this weekend.  Transporation could be further complicated by the damage after Irma leaves, as the roads may be impassable even if the product lands safely in Miami.   You may not see the price increases right away, but as supply and demand laws go into full effect, you will see steep increases on everything from gas, oranges, cotton,  pork and yes, even flowers.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

No Sun for Me!

Fresh Flowers that have been cut no longer need sunlight! In fact, sunlight can wilt those precious blooms if left out in the sunshine too long!  Flowers really only need sunshine during growth on the plant itself.  And the sunshine is absorbed by the flower leaves, not the bloom itself.

For an excellent detailed summary of the science of cut flowers, Check out the page on University of Minnesota's Extension :

Quick Tipsfor Fresh cut flowers :

Cool temps (36 degrees and up),
Fresh water daily!,
Recut stems often to encourage water intake.
Keep away from heat, sun and electronics

Monday, July 10, 2017

A bouquet divided

One of my weddings this past weekend had a unique request concerning the bridal bouquet-

The bride wanted to carry the bouquet down the aisle, but upon reaching the altar wanted to split it in half so each of the junior bridesmaids would hold it during the ceremony.

This is actually trickier than it sounds as I design the bouquet in my hand, european style, so each stem is rotated around the center.  Normally, this style will allow the bouquet to stand perfectly upright if  placed on a solid surface, only balancing on the stem ends:

I was able to design two seperate bouquets and combine them with a mostly seamless appearance.   I would not suggest this for every wedding due to the level of difficulty in making two bouquets appear as one.  Not all combinations of flowers will allow this "blending" of two bouquets.  This instance I was very pleased with the result: 
 Finished bouquet underside

Side one

 Side Two

Whole Bouquet :