Winter Wedding – Peoria Trailside – Fancy Florals By Nancy

With spring upon us it’s hard to imagine the blistering cold day it was for this winter wedding last January 26. As we headed out with two fully packed delivery vans the thermometer registered – 18 degrees below zero. All the wedding flowers were carefully covered with plastic but we still breathed a huge sigh of relief when we got them all safely inside Trailside Event Center.

Katelynn chose a beautiful mix of evergreen, ruscus, eucalyptus and plumosa greens for her wedding bouquet and to create a base for the beautiful garden roses “White Ohara” and dark red “Tess.” She also chose “Quicksand” a sandy mauve colored rose which has been our most popular rose for wedding bouquets over the last couple of years. To add texture and movement we used hanging amaranthus, leucadendron, pine-cones and chocolate lace flower.

What a special tribe of girlfriends!! They all looked fabulous in their hunter green bridesmaid dresses which set off the burgundy and blush bridal bouquets perfectly. The old wood candelabras were from Old Oaks Vintage Rentals and the gold chairs were from Spruce Wedding Rentals.

And can we talk about our vintage wooden ladder which we hung from the ceiling beams? When covered in ruscus and dripping with hanging burgundy amaranthus it made a sturdy base to hang the floral sprays from each side and created a perfect focal point above the ceremony site to frame the bride and groom. It’s one of our favorite hanging installations for weddings!!

Katelynn looking absolutely beautiful, braved the blistering cold and headed out in this fabulous white fur cape to pose for some photos which turned out perfect – thanks to Sarah Peterson Photography!

The entryway at Trailside was decorated with mixed greens, Hearts & Quicksand roses, carnations and amaranthus. A large welcome sign was also decorated with a floral spray. What a beautiful way to welcome guests to your wedding ceremony!

The old brick walls and original hardwood floor are so warm and inviting and created a perfect setting for our vintage antique gold stands topped with a lush menagerie of blooms and cascading greens for the showy table centerpiece arrangements.

The table seating chart was posted on this moss covered frame which we embellished with a floral spray. Katelynn and her family had so many unique ideas for wedding decor.

These plaid wraps were well appreciated and necessary to keep these gals warm and oh so fun!! Brrrrrrr…!!

Trailside has a special magic feel about the place and with Trefzgers Bakery located just one floor below, wonderful smells enveloped us as we set up and decorated the space. How perfectly handy to deliver the beautiful and tasty cakes – just a ride up the elevator.

Are you looking for wedding flowers?

We would love to work together with you to decorate your wedding with beautiful fresh floral arrangements, bouquets and wedding floral decor. Call, text or email for your free consultation with Nancy at 309-212-6570 or

Nancy was so easy to work with from the very beginning. She had so many amazing ideas for our venue and thing I would have never even thought of! One thing that really stuck out was all the beautiful different vases and candelabras she had that we used for all of our center pieces. The day of our wedding once I walked into the Venue As Nancy was finishing setting up I instantly starting crying from how beautiful it turned out. Her flower arrangements transformed the entire venue! During the entire process I never worried once about the flowers because I knew I was in good Hands with Nancy. I would highly recommend Fancy Florals By Nancy!!!

Illinois Beautiful Fall Wedding – Robert & Amy – Fancy Florals By Nancy

The beautiful Illinois fall landscape made a perfect backdrop for Robert & Amy’s wedding photos by Brooke Alaina Photography. The dark reds & golds of the leaves blended into a lovely tapestry with the burgundy bridesmaid dresses and burgundy & blush wedding flowers.

Robert and Amy first met when they were both math majors at Eastern Illlinois University. They had several classes together and were friends throughout their college years. They connected a couple years after college and started dating.

Later they moved to Arizona and on a trip back home to Illinois, Amy’s mom planned a party for friends & family to come and see them. By this time they had been together for five years and Amy felt Robert was close to proposing but she never dreamed he would do so in a room full of people!

Sure enough, Robert started telling everyone a story about one of their first dates when he told Amy he was going to marry her one day and he was going to put the ring in a bowl of beans (they were at a Mexican Restaurant) and make her eat the beans to find the ring.

And then he did it!! Robert pulled out a can of beans and got down on one knee – Amy was so thankful that he had the ring in his pocket and she didn’t have to eat a bowl of beans to find it!!

The thing that Amy enjoyed most about wedding planning was having Robert help her make decisions; she explained that she is a very indecisive person and she really appreciated Robert’s input and knowing that it was not just going to be a day about her, but a day that they had both planned for and would enjoy together.

Amy found all the decisions to be the most difficult part of wedding planning. For her the more time she spent searching Pinterest and social media the more overwhelmed she felt with all the choices.

For her bridal bouquets, Amy chose dark red garden roses accented with a deep shade of calla lily, delicate blush roses and astilbe for contrast, mauve astrantia, burgudy agonis, seeded eucalyputs and cream hypericum berries for a delightful mix of color and textures for her wedding flowers


Amy’s advice to newly engaged couples is to start planning a year or so in advance. “Decide on your vision/theme before you start searching online to prevent wasting time looking at endless options. Also, make a timeline for what needs to be done each month to help with not feeling stressed out.”

The wedding reception was held at Bloomington DoubleTree where the tables were decorated with vases of burgundy and blush flowers to coordinate with the bridal bouquets and our mercury votive candle holders added a soft glow. The chair covers, draping and table linens by Palace Events complete the elegant look.

Are you recently engaged? Are flowers an important part of the over-all ambiance for your wedding day? Call or text us 309-212-6570 or direct email us to receive your free consultation.

Peoria Wedding – Lucas & Lauren – Fancy Florals By Nancy

Lucas and Lauren were married last November 3rd which turned out to be a gorgeous fall day! Kinard Photography documented their day with images taken along the Peoria riverfront, at the gorgeous Cathedral of St. Mary where the ceremony took place and the historic Trailside Event Center where the reception was held.

wedding day photo, bride and groom photo, wedding bouquet, bridal bouquet, Peoria riverfront
wedding party photo, Peoria IL riverfront, lavender bridesmaid dresses

Luc and Lauren met the summer after their high-school freshman year at a local waterpark where they were both working, but it took two summers of incredibly sophisticated teenage flirting before Luc asked Lauren out. He took her to a game of put-put golf and later for ice-cream. They found that their competitive natures were well matched – You would think that he would have let her win – Nope!!

Luc had planned to propose to Lauren on Christmas Eve when his whole family stops by before mass to take a photo in front of the Christmas tree. He invited Lauren to come early and gave her explicit instructions to come in through the garage where she would walk into the family room and find him down on one knee with his I-phone set up in place to video the big event! Lauren arrived with an armful of gifts and wasn’t able to get the garage door open so she went to the front door and rang the doorbell. A flustered Luc answered the door and led her to the family room to where he thought the spot was for the camera to capture the proposal. The proposal went off fine, but later when they watched the video, the placement was off and Luc’s head blocked the whole event. His family came downstairs and they all celebrated the happy event with champagne!!

Lucas and Lauren were living on the east coast so we did the planning for their wedding flowers through “go to meeting” chats and exchanging photos by email. As soon as we saw a sample of the bridesmaid dress fabric, we knew that the Amnesia rose’s lovely vintage lavender color would be the perfect shade. Lauren wanted lush, organic bouquets with a lot of cascading greens. We used silver $ and seeded eucalyptus along with nandina which is kissed with a bronze/burgundy cast in the fall and was a perfect complement to the purple astrantia and burgundy scabiosa blooms. The beautiful mauve Quicksand rose and the lavender & magenta shades of stock flower rounded out the bridal bouquets, and table centerpiece arrangements that Luc and Lauren loved!

Lauren found that the most difficult aspect of planning their wedding was staying in budget. She had big dreams, thanks to Pinterest but quickly realized when they started adding everything up they needed to prioritize. They each sat down and made a list of what the five most important things were to each of them. Thankfully their lists mostly matched and that is where the majority of their budget was spent.

They enjoyed the cake testing the most of all the wedding planning! Trafzger’s Bakery was chosen to bake the cake and is located on the bottom floor of Trailside Event Center.

Luc and Lauren have so many fond memories of their special day that it’s hard for them to pinpoint just one, but remembering their first look stands out in their minds! Luc was facing the river at The Gateway Building and Lauren was walking slowly in her high heels toward him when it hit her and she started crying thinking of how lucky she was to get to spend her life with him. As she reached him and he turned around, she will never forget the look he gave her in that moment…that memory will stay with her for the rest of her life.

Here is their advice to couples just planning their weddings: The priority list is the key! Figure out what is most important to you – it will make budgeting decisions so much easier. She would tell future brides this: Don’t sweat the small stuff – at the end of the day you will be married to your best friend and this day will be magical! Don’t let the color of napkins or chair choices bog you down. Over the years we have heard so many brides give this advice – Don’t sweat the small stuff!! It must be true so relax and enjoy this special time!!

Are you recently engaged and have decided that having beautiful flowers is on your priority list? Call, text 309-212-6570 or email us Beautiful flowers are our specialty!!!



Will Wedding Trends Follow Pantone 2019 “Color Of The Year” – Coral?

Pantone, worldwide color authority for the design industries, has selected Living Coral as its “Color of the Year” for 2019. Living Coral is an energizing, nourishing and life-affirming shade of orange with a golden undertone.

“We get energy from nature,” Pantone states. “Just as coral reefs are a source of sustenance and shelter to sea life, vibrant-yet-mellow Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.”

Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity, symbolizes our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, and embodies our desire for playful expression.

coral flowers, wedding floral arch, wedding decor

We looked back a few years ago to 2015 and 2016 and found we had a smattering of coral weddings tucked in between other color palettes. It was fun to look at these colorful photos because in the last couple of years the wildly popular burgundy and blush color palettes have pretty much ruled!

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Barn Wedding
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Aisle Decor

The wedding floral arch, bridal bouquet and aisle decor from this wedding would certainly fit “Living Coral’s” description of lighthearted, joyful, optimistic and playful.

coral bridesmaids, coral roses, coral bridal bouquets, coral wedding bouquets

We do wonder if we will see a swing back to more colorful weddings again. The shades of coral will continue to present a challenge for the floral designer just as the shade of blush has! Some brides envision blush as a very pale pink while other brides envision it as a pale peach/pink. It will be important to have our bride get a swatch/sample of the shade she is envisioning for her bridesmaid dresses and/or bridal bouquets and wedding floral decor. When she says coral, is she envisioning orange coral or pink coral?

Looking back through photos of weddings we have done, it is interesting to see how the bouquet design style has changed in popularity also! Five years ago, the round ball of flowers (pictured above) were still being requested by brides for a more formal look.

The round ball has given way to a more natural garden style bouquet with lots of greens and textures for wedding and bridal bouquets and other wedding decor such as table centerpieces. As a designer this is a style that I especially enjoy doing. Anyone can put together a round ball style of flowers for bridal bouquets and wedding flower decor, but it takes a little more skill to create the lush garden style bouquets that have become so popular.

coral bridal bouquet, coral roses, coral wedding bouquet

You can see how the coral shade is a lighthearted and fun look as shown here in these coral wedding photos!!

Looking at our 2019 weddings we already have booked, we can see that burgundy and blush are still going to be very popular shades (as well as the classic white.) It is nice for us to do a variety of wedding color palettes and also a variety of bridal bouquet styles as it keeps our job interesting and as they say, “variety is the spice of life!!”

“Representing the fusion of modern life, Living Coral is a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and, at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media.” – Pantone

There are many choices for shades of coral in roses including garden, standard and spray. Gerber daisies are another choice for getting some coral color into the floral palette and my personal favorite for coral color is the Coral Charm Peony.

Are you recently engaged? We would love to meet together with you for your free consultation to find the perfect wedding flowers to create your vision for your wedding day.

Use the “Book A Consultation” button at the top right or simply call, text or email us direct at 309-212-6570 or

xoxo, Nancy

2018 Highlights for Central Illinois Wedding Florist – Fancy Florals By Nancy

As the year draws to a close, we look back over the months and realize how amazing this year has been for us. We had the privilege of creating wedding floral bouquets and wedding ceremony and reception decor for many wonderful couples – many of those weddings have already been featured in our blog posts.

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bridal bouquet, garden style bridal bouquet
bride and groom, wedding photo, bridal bouquet

In addition to creating wedding floral designs, we have had several highlights that made this past year so memorable.

1 – The Knot Best of Wedding “Hall of Fame!” – After receiving The Knot Best of Weddings 4 years in a row you are inducted into the Hall of Fame. We can only thank our sweet couples who took the time to leave us a review and help us win this honor.

2 – A Winter Styled Shoot – We have done styled shoots before, but never in the winter. In the middle of January we collaborated with a couple of other vendors (Old Oaks Vintage Rentals and Personal Touch Sewing) to plan several vignettes which were photographed by Lynne Peters. Part of that planning was making preparations for typical winter weather in the middle of January as we did hope for snow. We were blessed with a beautiful mild day and no sign of snow, but hey we’ll take it!! Several of the photos have not been published yet as they are being submitted to wedding blogs for publication.

Dessert buffet for wedding reception with cake and cupcakes and also flowers and greens spilling out of the buffet drawer.
Bohemian wedding decor using vintage buffet for desserts with flowers and greens spilling out of the buffet drawer.

3 – Another exciting highlight that happened in January was a trip to Hope Flower Farm in Virginia where I had a 2-day floral intensive with the famous Holly Heider Chapel. I learned so much from Holly. We had so much fun foraging together on her farm and creating in new and exciting ways. My favorite arrangement is pictured below – my first attempt at a Hogarth Curve which will be published in a Floral “How To” book by Florist’s Review.

Hogarth curve floral arrangement in garden style with mauve roses.
bridal bouquet

4 – We were absolutely thrilled to be chosen again to be among the volunteers designing for the Congressional Club’s First Lady’s Luncheon in Washington D.C. We were privileged to not only help design all the floral decor but to also get to attend the luncheon this year. Even though it was disappointing that First Lady Melania Trump was hospitalized and couldn’t attend and be the key speaker, Vice President’s wife Karen Pence filled in and gave a wonderful speech and tribute to our First Lady.

2018 First Lady's Luncheon Karen Pence speaker.

5 – In May we took part in our first styled shoot/tasting at Pear Tree Estate which put us on their preferred vendor list. We tried out the new “pillow” mechanics (which I learned at Hope Flower Farm) for our 36″ tall trumpet vases as well as the low compote vases on the tables. It worked well and more importantly made delivery easy. We have some of these tall designs booked for the 2019 wedding season.

Wedding reception decor using tall clarinet vase arrangements spilling over with greens and pastel blooms.

6 – This past summer I entered my first design contest (not counting my college ISFA entry). The contest was sponsored by Alexandra Garden Rose Farm along with Florist’s Review Magazine. I was blessed to be among the first 100 entries and for that received a free box of beautiful pink Constance garden roses to use in my design submission. I didn’t imagine winning… but much to my delight and surprise I found that my entry won not only 2nd place but also the Reader’s Choice Award!!! The winning photo was taken by Racheal Schirano.

The prize for winning 2nd place is 1,000 stems of garden roses … the prize for winning the Reader’s Choice Award is 1,000 stems of garden roses!!!! I feel like I am in a beautiful dream as the boxes of fragrant beauties keep arriving. Thank you Alexandra Rose Farm!! I am loving this magical experience and hope to try each and every one of the varieties they grow!

Garden rose constest prize roses from Alexandra Garden Rose Farm.

7 – A few months ago, I was contacted by J. Keith White, AIFD and asked if he could use my winning bouquet photo (in a cropped format) for the Florist’s Review magazine’s January issue – American Trends Forecast article. It is a surreal feeling to have one’s photo right alongside these famous designers…Laura Dowling is a former White House florist. I am completely humbled that my creation was chosen for this honor even if it was only for a very small part of the article .

Alexandra Farm Garden Rose Contest - 2nd place winner Nancy Zimmerman.

8 – We were invited to participate in another styled shoot just a couple weeks ago. I love the opportunity to have creative freedom to design something to enhance the vision. We received some beautiful photos of our work by Brooke Zitnik. (see below) The styled shoot will soon be featured in “CHI thee WED”, a Chicago wedding blog.

bridal bouquet, garden style bouquet, bespoke bouquet

9 – And last but not least we received notice that for the 5th year in a row we have been selected a “Knot Best of Wedding Vendor.” Again it is only possible by the many couples who take the time to leave us reviews.

From the bottom of our hearts we sincerely thank each one of our couples for entrusting us with the opportunity to help make your special day beautiful!!

We are so excited for 2019 and are looking forward to some new floral adventures which we will be posting about soon. If you have recently become engaged, we would love to have the opportunity to hear about your vision and prepare a floral proposal for you.

Call, text 309-212-6570 or email us direct at

XOXOX, Nancy

Blush and Navy Fall Wedding At Kickapoo Creek Winery: Fancy Florals By Nancy Peoria Weddings

Cody and Megan were married the end of September at  the charming Kickapoo Creek Winery located close to Peoria, Illinois.  While in high school  Cody was a good friend of Megan’s neighbor (Tyler) and because she was very close with Tyler and his family, his house was the hang-out spot and was actually where Cody and Megan first met.

Wedding photo, bride and groom, wedding day, wedding bouquet

They dated four years while in high school and college, but because they were separated by college, the distance started to tear them apart and they eventually broke up and dated others.  Their family still thought they would get back together but neither of them thought that would happen.

At a total random time in both of their lives, they connected just to talk and see how each other was doing.  They soon found they still had feelings for each other and realized that they had just needed time apart to grow up and know what it was they wanted in life.  Getting back together was the best decision they both have ever made, but they feel the time apart actually helped them grow into a deeper relationship and they now realize they were “meant to be!”

Cafe Au Late dahlia, wedding bouquet, peach bridal bouquetBride and groom photo, wedding photography

On a frigid December day a year before they were engaged, they were at Navy Pier helping their best friend’s proposal happen.  Cody told Megan, if I ever propose it will be in the summer when it’s not so cold.  But a year later on a cold beautiful snowy day at Brookfield Zoo – Winter Light Festival, Cody asked for their photo to be taken in front of the big Christmas tree and after the photo, Megan turned and there was Cody down on one knee!!!

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Megan wanted Cody to be a big part of the wedding planning but found that Cody didn’t like the same colors she had thought about for the wedding color palette.  Cody came up with navy blue and Megan found that she really liked it paired with light gray tuxes and soft colors for the wedding flowers in peach, blush and light pink.  Megan knew she wanted some sparkle, and the theme really came together when they added the touches of gold.

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What Megan enjoyed most about wedding planning was including Cody in all the major decisions, and having almost a year to make the plans.  A lot of people told Megan that the bride usually makes the decisions, but she knew she wanted to make most of them together as a couple.  Seeing Cody get so excited and having his support was her most favorite part.

just married, bride and groom photo, wedding decor, floral arbor, wedding backdrop decor

The guest list turned out to be the hardest part of wedding planning for them.  It was difficult standing up to their parents and reminding them that it was their day!!  Once everyone was on the same page, it became a lot easier.  We have actually had many couples tell us this –  that the guest list and working it out with their parents was the most difficult part of wedding planning.

Head table decor, Mr. and Mrs.,, groom chair, bride and groom chairHead table decor, bridesmaid bouquets on head table

For her wedding bouquets Megan chose the beautiful Cafe Au Late dahlia, blush, peach and light pink roses, stock, wax flowers and blushing bride protea along with a mix of eucalyptus types.  The table centerpiece arrangements and the wedding arbor backdrop were created with those same blooms also adding in some hydrangeas, larkspur, snapdragons and carnations with other assorted greens.

navy bridesmaid dresses, blush bridal bouquets

Denise Petersen, the day of coordinator/decorator supplied the gold vases, candles and other wedding decor and we created large and lush floral arrangements to decorate the wine barrels used to decorate at the winery.

winery wedding, wine barrel decortall centerpiece arrangement, wedding decor, wedding reception decor

Megan’s favorite memory of her wedding day was their “first look.”  She remembers standing at the end of the vineyard looking at Cody while he was turned around and just waiting to be able to start walking toward him and finally giving him a big hug.  She also fondly remembers their first kiss when the officiant said, “you may kiss your bride.”  She felt like there was nobody else in the room – just her and Cody!!

wedding decor, floral arbor, wedding backdrop

Wedding planning advice from Megan includes:  “Never forget the reason why you are doing all the planning!  There are times it definitely gets stressful, but try to keep in mind that everything will go by so fast; everyone told me that.  During our engagement when I started to get overwhelmed with all the planning, Cody was the one I leaned on and that made it easier.  On the actual day there are so many little things you won’t even be thinking about – you will be in the moment with your family and friends and that is when you get to enjoy every single moment.  We were so thankful to have a day of coordinator/decorator so that we didn’t have to worry about a thing!wedding photography, bride and groom, wedding flowers,
Are you looking for beautiful and lush wedding bouquets, reception table centerpieces and other decor?  Call, text or email us at 309-212-6570 or

Photography by McConnville Studio   


Bryan and Erin – Bloomington, IL Wedding – Fancy Florals By Nancy

Bryan and Erin were married September 22, 2018 at St. Patrick’s Church of Merna in Bloomington, IL.  The weather was gorgeous for the early fall Illinois wedding and the carefully planned details came together beautifully!!  Racheal Schirano Photography captured these outstanding images.

Bryan and Erin first met through mutual friend groups and enjoyed a long friendship together before taking their relationship to the next stage.  While on a trip to the Grand Canyon with friends, Bryon proposed to Erin by getting down on one knee at the edge of the canyon which made for a most beautiful photo backdrop as well as a trip to always remember!

fall wedding bouquet, burgundy dahlia, tess garden rose, bridal bouquetboutonneire, spray rose bout, bout, groom's boutonniere

Burgundy is one of Erin’s absolute favorite fall colors so as soon as they decided on a fall wedding she knew she wanted to include it in her wedding color palette.  By combining the burgundy with blush and gold it created a rich and romantic palette at the same time.

bridesmaids, burgundy bridesmaid dresses

Erin chose a lush and luxurious blend of flowers for her bridal bouquets.  We used gorgeous black dahlias, burgundy Tess garden roses, pink O’hara garden roses, blush astilbe, white lisianthus, burgundy scabiosa and ranunculus,  wax flower, assorted eucalyptus, grevilla and dusty miller.

ring bearer, flower girl, flower girl crownaisle decor

Erin especially enjoyed planning all the wedding details with her mom which she is super close with.  Because they live seven hours apart they ended up talking on the phone and Skyping more than they would have if they were not planning a wedding which ended up being a special time for both of them.  Erin and her mom thought of every little detail and were a joy to work with!  Sign by The Ritzy Rose.

Altar arrangement, tall centerpieceAltar decor, memory vase arrangement

Of course living seven hours away from the ceremony location made the planning more difficult for Erin.  Every trip home was filled with meetings and for the meetings that didn’t work out when they were home, being able to make up via Skype was extremely helpful.

reception decor, tall centerpiece arrangement

The reception was held at Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in uptown Normal, IL.  Wedding decor included elegant draping, linens, chairs and lighting was done by Palace Events.  Three centerpiece styles were used; tall centerpiece arrangements on gold stands, low centerpiece arrangements in gold compote bowls and gold lanterns surrounded by eucalyptus and garden roses.

head table decorWedding cake decor

The head table was covered with a eucalyptus garland full of luxurious blooms to coordinate.  Trefzgar’s Bakery created the four layer cake with ribbon band accents, icing petals and gold gilding.

table centerpiece decor, compote vase arrangement, wedding decor, reception decor

Erin’s favorite memory of the day was having a first look with Bryan.  They both found it calming before they were put on display in front of all their family and friends and it helped them relax and be able to enjoy and take in their entire ceremony.

wedding bouquet, bridal bouquet, wedding flowers

Erin’s advice to newly engaged couples is to not stress over the small details, but take your ideas from Pinterest and use them but don’t get lost in them.  Everything will turn out as beautiful as you imagine to make your special day unique!

wedding stationary

Invitations by The Copy Shop.

We love to work with couples who are looking for lush romantic floral design for their wedding.  Call, text 309-212-6570 or email to get your free consultation.

Ashton and Jessica – Milford, IL Pampas Grass Wedding

Ashton and Jessica’s wedding will always be memorable for all the thought and details they put into their special day as well as Jessica’s delightful excitement and enthusiam over her wedding flowers which was infectious!!  They were married in September at the lovely venue “Town and Country Events” in Milford, IL.  It was our first time to deliver there and we found it to be charming and thoughtfully arranged with a very helpful staff.

bridal bouquet, burgundy and blush wedding

How did you come up with the theme for your wedding decor?

We wanted something that was simple, gorgeous, would photograph beautifully and also be so different it would be breathtaking.  We wanted a WOW factor for the florals which is why we chose to incorporate Pampas grass.  So many brides are doing blush and burgundy palettes these days, we decided to mix in magenta blooms to the bridal bouquets and ceremony floral decor to make it different and bring everything together for a beautiful pre-fall wedding color palette.  We followed suit with our color/brushstroke theme with a trendy new cake design we saw on Pinterest and we also found a calligrapher who hand painted paper goods which tied everything together simply but gorgeously.

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What did you enjoy most about wedding planning?

All the details!  Anyone can plan a wedding, but it’s the details that make it so special!  We had our dogs included – they are our  fur babies and part of our family.  We did voice-overs for our first dances and kept our parents included through the whole night.  We wanted to share with the people who have been with us through every aspect of our lives and who have shaped us to be the people we are today.  We used lace from my mom’s wedding gown on my wedding bouquet handle along with my great aunt’s pearls.  I used the remaining lace on handkerchiefs for my mom and grandmother along with a message from me.  Having a part of my mom’s wedding passed down through my wedding to the women who mean the most to me was so special!  We displayed family photos, some dating back to 1903, helping to remember those who had passed before but knowing they were with us.  I created priceless moments with my mother-in-law as we made the hand-lettered signs, shirts and personalized details for our wedding.  The details are what meant the most to me and I will always cherish the memories!

blush burgundy champagne wedding palette, bridesmaid dresses, bridesmaid bouquet

What part of wedding planning did you find most difficult?

I found making and organizing the crafts the hardest as it was so time consuming.  Every weekend we had a project; between staining boards, making shirts and gifts, I was one busy bride!  My in-laws can make anything and they helped make our unity board.  It was a story itself with staining the boards, gluing them together, and getting them stuck to the board we laid it on.  I am happy to have those memories and every time I look at the board, I smile and remember how hard it was to make but love what it symbolizes.

welcome sign wedding decorhand lettered wedding signs, wedding decor, garlands

Do you have a favorite memory from your wedding day?

A memory that stands out the most to me is hearing Ashton’s vows.  Neither of us knew what our hand written vows entailed, however when he shared them with me on the big day, it baffled me how similar they were to mine.  Like I had shared in mine, God had been writing our love story for 20 years.  He had always allowed us to share the same childhood memories, at the same places and experience the same things even though we had never met but there were so many times that we could have!  I had drove by his parents house every time I went to Bourbonnais and never knew how much that house would now mean to me.  Back then, it just wasn’t our time – then one random night God knew it was our time and it has been history since.  God has put us through many tests in those 3 1/2 years, but he has always answered our prayers every step of the way.

Pmapas grass bridal bouquet

What advice would you give newly engaged couples just starting to plan their wedding?

My advice would be to start planning right away – the engagement goes so fast!  We were engaged 1 1/2 years and it flew by.  The BEST vendors get booked up so do your research and get those vendors booked – don’t settle for second best and think outside the box!  We had a dream of a team of vendors and it  made the process so easy!  We knew what was most important to us as far as what we wanted to splurge on.  We knew gorgeous photos and flowers were a must.  With beautiful photos, you will forever have those memories and we are so happy with Kara Evans Photography as she captured everything.  The wedding flowers really make the venue space come to life.  We re-used everything from the ceremony for the reception which is something to keep in mind with the decor.  All the ceremony garlands were placed on the reception tables and the floral sprays were moved to decorate the head table.  Nothing was used only once.  Happy Wedding Planning!!

grooms boutonniere, bullet casing boutonniereflower girl hair crown, floral crown, flower girl, groomsmen

What did Jessica say about her experience with Fancy Florals By Nancy?

I found Nancy through The Knot. I didn’t know many florists back home. I met with Nancy and we discussed the vision for this wedding. My colors were burgundy and dusty rose, but we didn’t want to do the typical burgundy and blush flowers. She had me so excited when I sneaked out to see the wedding flowers and bridal bouquets when she was setting up for the wedding. She had fuscia and magenta, dusty rose and burgundy flowers with greenery and pampas grass! So beyond gorgeous! She did garland and floral sprays for our ceremony that were just breath taking! She also did flower crowns for our flower girls and a flower collar for our dog. The bouts were made out of shot gun shells my husband and groomsman shot. We kept everything so unique and simple at the same time and she blew me away with how gorgeous everything was. To the ribbons on the bouquets, and using my mother’s wedding dress and Great aunt’s pearls as well. I couldn’t imagine anyone else making our wedding so gorgeous! Thank you so much Nancy!

head table decor

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Peoria, Illinois Summer Wedding – Kate and Austin

Kate and Austin met through mutual friends at the local watering hole “The Vault Bar & Grill” while he was at ISU and she was prepping for grad school.  They enjoyed hanging out and studying together and were regulars at The Vault Monday night’s bacon pizza and $ beers.  As their friendship grew, Austin asked her on their first official “date” where they went to Granite City in East Peoria and stopped for ice-cream on the way home.  Stopping for ice-cream became a ritual during the course of their courtship.

wedding day, bride and groom, wedding party photo

How did Austin propose?

Austin followed the family tradition of asking the bride’s father for her hand in marriage to which her father responded, “I guess…as long as it’s just her hand!”  Kate was unaware that Austin had been shopping for and  had found the perfect ring, or that he had asked her father for her hand in marriage.  As Christmas arrived, Kate wondered if she would receive a ring, but Austin presented her with a DSLR camera telling her she could “capture their memories.”  She did check inside the case, but alas, no ring.  A few days later Austin announced he had planned a “date day” in Peoria which included a trip to Bass Pro and lunch.  On the way home Kate kept asking to stop for ice-cream but Austin had bigger plans than ice-cream.  He took her to Granite City for a drink where they had enjoyed their first date but when they pulled into the parking lot, Austin asked Kate to take a walk along the riverfront.  It was too dark to take the walk on their first date, but this evening was beautiful with chunks of melting ice flowing down the river against a gorgeous sunset.  As they reached a historical bridge monument, he gave Kate a big hug and confessed that he didn’t only buy her a camera for Christmas.  He got down on one knee and popped the question to which Kate responded “Of course!”


bridal bouquet, garden style bridal bouquetSucculent Bridal bouquet

How did you decide on a theme for your wedding decor?

This came really natural – we didn’t want anything that wasn’t “us” when it came to our big day.  We both love outdoors, we farm and we like to keep things simple (but wanted a classy, elegant touch) so we went with the things we love – lots of greens, garlands, candlelight, some beautiful floral arrangements and mercury glass accessories for that elegant touch!  A unique touch was the table signs that each had the name of a tree which went perfectly with the wedding decor theme of outdoors and natural.

garlands, table garland decorhead table garland

What did you enjoy most about wedding planning?

I enjoyed doing the wedding flowers the most since I come from a horticulture background and have a degree in horticulture.  Kate wanted a lot of mixed greens in her wedding flowers, wedding decor and bridal bouquets to give a garden feel and look.  We used silver $ eucalyptus, rosemary, Italian ruscus, nagi and tree fern to achieve that garden feel.   We also incorporated succulents along with garden roses, lavender, wax flower, orlaya and veronica for the blooms in the bridal bouquets and table centerpieces.

garden style bridal bouquet, succulent bridal bouquet

What did you find most difficult about wedding planning?

I am very organized and like things done ahead of time – so that turned out to be the most difficult thing as we were finished with everything by April for our June wedding.  It was a stressful time for Austin and me to complete everything.  Later I kept thinking I should be doing something but my wedding coordinator, Katie Gerber of Perfect Glow, was amazing and assured me in reality I had it all done!!

wedding cake decor, cake topperCandlelight decor, reception table garlands

Would you change anything if you could?

No.  I wouldn’t even change the weather (it was 95 degrees and very humid)!  Everyone thinks they want a perfect wedding, but in reality it’s the things that go array (like the weather which we couldn’t control) that make your day memorable!!  Our wedding day was the most perfect day of our lives and I am so excited to get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend.

mint bridesmaid dresses, wedding flowers, bridesmaid bouquets

Do you have any wedding planning advice for newly engaged couples?

At the end of the day it’s about the love you share with your partner and the vows and promises you make to each other during your ceremony.  It’s about the love that will radiate off of you, your partner and your guests that day which you will want to carry on with you for the rest of your life!  Don’t focus on the little things – focus on each other and what makes your love and your relationship unique!  Focus on what a wedding truly is supposed to be about – LOVE!!

bride, bridal dress, bridal bouquetgroom, groom's boutonniere, wedding day

What did Kate think about the wedding floral decor, bridal bouquets, bouts and centerpieces we did for her?

Nancy is the epitome of floral art and talent. Nancy took my vision and made it happen. The flowers were gorgeous even after hours in 92 degree weather! Nancy is patient, kind, and very easy to work with. Her husband, Wayne is pretty talented as well with the garland. You will not be disappointed by booking with Fancy Florals by Nancy!wedding photography, wedding day,


Wedding photos by Katelyn Turner Photography.

Are you recently engaged and looking for a wedding florist who will give you highly personalized service as well as gorgeous fresh flower bouquets and centerpieces?  Call, text or email us today to receive your free consultation for your wedding flowers at 309-212-6570 or or click on the “Book a Consultation” button at the top right of our blog ”

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Volunteering For First Lady’s Luncheon In Washington D.C.

It has been an honor and surely one of the most memorable events of our career in being invited as a freelance designer for the First Lady’s Luncheon in 2017 and again this year  in 2018.  My husband and business partner also volunteered as part of a back up staff to the designers.   The Congressional Club hosts the fundraiser luncheon for the First Lady’s choice of charity and the luncheon is attended by spouses and family members of congress as well as other distinguished guests.  I am pleased to publish this blog during July which is Certified American Grown Flowers Month!

American Grown Flowers, First Lady Luncheon 2018Volunteer for First Lady's Luncheon 2018


Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore and Mary Kate Kinanne of The Local Bouquet were selected as head designers and worked with the Congressional Club’s Luncheon Chair, Mrs. Pat O’Halleran to come up with a theme. The theme chosen was a Sedona Sunset because that area is represented by her husband.  Drawing on the colors of the southwest,  bright vivid blooms along with copper accents were used.  Joining Kelly and Mary Kate in the photo below is Casey Kronquist the CEO of the American Grown Flower Association.  Photo credit Kirsten Smith Photography

American grown flowers, First Lady's Luncheon 2018

Nature Supply Company donated  t-shirts which proclaimed “Support American Flower Farmers” for all the volunteers to wear as we were setting up.

American Grown ProteasAmerican Grown Flowers, coral tulips, yellow roses

The most amazing thing about being a part of this event is experiencing and working with the more than 17,000 stems of gorgeous American grown flowers and greens all donated by Certified American Grown Flower Farms.  American Flower Farms that donated include Mellano, Gallup & Stribling, Westland Orchids, Resendiz Brothers, Kendall Farms, Ocean View Flowers, CallaCo, Holland American Flowers, Sun Valley, Eufloria, Dramm & Echter, Myriad, Green Valley, Fern Trust, Texas Specialty Cut Flowers, Harmony Harvest, Protea USA, Oregon Flowers, Len Busch and Star Valley Flowers.

American Grown Flower Shipment, American Grown Flowers

All the flowers and greens arrived by truck in pallets of flat flower boxes at the loading dock.  The boxes were moved up to the design rooms using the freight elevator where the flowers were unboxed and  processed by  stripping the lower leaves,  giving the stems a fresh cut and placing into prepared flower buckets with floral food.  The stems were also counted  as we  processed them so that we would know  exactly how many stems of each variety we had to work with.  My husband Wayne was in charge of keeping tabs on all the counts and checking them against what was ordered to make sure everything was shipped.

Processing flowers, purple stock

There is much excitement and a spirit of camaraderie among the volunteers.  Kelly and Mary Kate had everything well organized with recipes for each type of centerpiece and arrangement we created.  Accent Decor donated all the containers and each of these had to be unboxed and unwrapped. Oasis also donated supplies and Delaware Valley Floral donated as well as provided the trucking of the flowers.

American Grown FlowersAmerican grown peonies, American Grown Flowers

Our design workroom was packed with buckets of flowers surrounding the  room in a stupendous array of color, scent and textures.  We had already prepared the work room by covering the floor with plastic,  setting up the design tables and getting supplies organized first before the flowers arrived.  This year we had two additional work rooms on each side of the main design room where containers, vases and votive holders were unwrapped from the many boxes they came in. These extra rooms were also used to hold the finished arrangements  until set up time.

Volunteer designer for First Lady's Luncheon, flower arrangementFloral centerpiece, bright colored floral centerpiece

A total of 172 table centerpieces were completed as well as a flower wall, small cocktail arrangements, head table arrangements and long flower box arrangements to line both sides of the promenade.  The flower wall was designed on rolling carts covered with floral mesh and covered with a variety of greens placed into the mesh.  Next trays of Oasis wet foam were secured onto the shelves and the flower stems were inserted through the greens into the wet foam to form waves of color representing a Sedona sunset.   Volunteers were behind the wall helping guide the stems into the foam as volunteers in front  inserted the stems into the foam from the front.  Creating a flower wall was a new experience for me and so exciting to see the mechanics used to create it.  It was a bonding experience as we worked together inserting the stems.   The whole weekend  was a great experience of bonding by working together and finishing each item as a team!

creating flower wall, flower wall, floral wallFlower wall, floral wall

This year we were able to move the flowers into the ballroom the day before the luncheon which saved us from having to get up at 3 a.m.  on the morning of the event.  Each table held a centerpiece and the promenade was lined with flower boxes in beautiful bright colors.  On the head table shorter boxes of flowers were placed between each long flower box to give a bright and colorful display across the front of the tables.

Floral arrangement for promenade, bright colored blooms

Copper votive candle holders donated from Accent Decor were set out on all the tables with candles placed inside.  Certified American Grown cards were arranged around the flowers to bring awareness of the beautiful flower choices we have right here in America and supporting the American Flower Farmers.

Event set up, First Lady Luncheon 2018

Here is the whole gang of volunteers pictured below.  There were 22 designers and 5 back-up volunteers to the designers.  I enjoyed meeting and working with so many talented individuals, trading stories, learning from each other and making new friends.  It was a lot of hard work but  still  such an honor and so much fun to be a part of something on this grand of scale!!

Volunteer group First Lady Luncheon 2018

This year brought me the most awesome opportunity to actually be invited to attend the First Lady Luncheon in exchange for working the boutonniere bar and helping clean up afterwards.  The day was so busy and it all moved so quickly it seemed surreal.  There was a moment of disappointment when we realized that First Lady Melania Trump would not be able to attend as she was suddenly hospitalized.  It was still an amazing and grand experience!   I enjoyed hearing Second Lady Karen Spence’s speech in which she gave a very nice tribute to the First Lady.

Boutonniere bar

The boutonniere bar was located at the entrance to the ballroom.  All 600 boutonnieres were selected by delighted guests and pinned on for them.  The flower wall was also at this location as a photo backdrop and both were a huge hit with such long lines that not everyone got their photo taken before the luncheon but could return after the luncheon for another opportunity to have their photo taken.

The photo below shows how big and massive the ballroom is.  The promenade is in the center of the room which you can see in the background of this photo.  All the distinguished guests entered in and walked down the promenade to reach the head table.  As they were introduced the President’s own  United States Marine Band played.  Entertainment was also provided by Lee Greenwood and Billy Dean.  Each guest received a gift bag  placed on their chair with products donated by Caravana, Preservation House, Glitzy Bella and MM.LaFleur.  Silk shawls by Peach Couture were tied around each chair to give a bright pop of color and were for the guests to take home.  Photo credit  below  Marion Meaken Photography

The menu was chosen around the Southwest theme and started off with an appetizer of  Coctel de Camarones, Gazpacho with Shrimp and Zesty Lime (pictured below).  The entree was Roasted Marinated Pork with Home-Style Carnitas with Jicama-Infused Salsa de Arbol, Roasted Baby Vegetables and Jalapeno Cornbread.  For dessert we were served Tres Leches with Ancho Chocolate Ganache and Churro.  Wine was  WillaKenzie Estate Pinot Gris 2016.  Korbel California Champagne was served to the guests invited to the VIP Reception ahead of the luncheon.

My assigned seat was at a table sponsored by Mary Beth Bos and was attended by her along with her lovely daughters and granddaughters.  The two ladies seated to my left reminded me that I had pinned their boutonnieres on for them.  It was a wonderful non partisan spirit and so refreshing to have a unified!!  I kept thinking to myself, “Is this real?”

Second Lady Karen Spence gave the speech in the First Lady’s absence.  She described what a very caring and kind person First Lady Melania is and gave many instances of her kindness and caring  that she had witnessed first hand of the First Lady in action reaching out to others.  She also described the charity Mrs. Trump had selected which was Lily’s Place.  Lily’s Place provides care to infants prenatally exposed to drugs while offering support, education and training to families.

Second Lady Karen SpenceFirst Lady Luncheon Invitation

Attending the luncheon has been an incredible experience for me and my husband.  It was worth every minute of work,  preparation and clean up to be able to experience this once in a lifetime opportunity!!

Pictured above is the group who volunteered last year as well as this year and were able to attend the luncheon.  Missing from the photo is Rose, my partner who worked the boutonniere bar with me.  Thank you again to the Certified American Grown Flower Farmers for donating all the beautiful flowers!!   Photo credit Kirsten Smith Photography,

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