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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 .
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.
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.
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.
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!”
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!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
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 email@example.com
Photography by McConnville Studio
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to get your free consultation.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!!
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!
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If you are engaged and searching for a wedding florist, call text or email us today to receive your free consultation at 309-212-6570 or email@example.com
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.
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!”
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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!!
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the “Book a Consultation” button at the top right of our blog ”
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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!
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
Nature Supply Company donated t-shirts which proclaimed “Support American Flower Farmers” for all the volunteers to wear as we were setting up.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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,
When you are planning your wedding for the last weekend in March and the temperature has been in the 50’s all week, the last thing you are anticipating is a spring snow storm!! For Ryan and Brittany, that is exactly what happened on their March 24, 2018 wedding with a mix of sleet, heavy snow and freezing rain which also prevented some out of town guests from attending.
All in all everything about the day was perfect…except for the weather; however they did not let it ruin their happiness and said it made for a few great “but brief” outdoor photos and was certainly memorable!!
Although they were missing the spring weather, inside it was all spring with sage green bridesmaid dresses and bridal bouquets, table centerpieces and church decor in soft blush and peach blooms – perfect colors for a spring wedding!!
Brittany found inspiration on Pinterest for her wedding color palette after seeing photos of light green bridesmaid dresses. She then incorporated the soft pink and blush for the wedding flowers and groomsmen vests & ties. Because her dress was ivory, she chose ivory linens and accent flowers with silver embellishments to make things pop.
Even though she had a full year to plan, Brittany said there were still not enough hours in the day with working full-time and and just encountering life’s obstacles! Therefore every open weekend was dedicated to wedding planning which paid off in the end. She also felt fortunate that a lot of what she wanted worked in her favor and she didn’t have any problems booking vendors, so she felt like she had an overall easy wedding planning process!!
They were married at Second Presbyterian Church in Bloomington which contains a gorgeous pipe organ and has beautiful stained windows. We decorated the pew ends with blooms and mixed greens and tied them to the pew with tulle. A friend crafted their welcome sign which we adorned with a floral spray.
Brittany did a lot of planning on her own, but when she felt indecisive she could count on her mom and bridesmaids to help and be supportive and encouraging. She especially enjoyed the quality time she spent with them planning and it was not only fun and made it more stress-free, but they were a big help which made her life so much easier!!
Brittany’s vision for her flowers were for soft colors with a garden feel. We used a mix of blush and peach garden roses, peach stock, blush astilbe, white ranunculus and mixed greens of assorted eucalyptus and limonium filler.
Brittany thought of all the little details including a floral hairpiece which she wore in her hair at the reception and sweet little flower girl crowns with darling little spray roses for them to wear in their hair!!
Love these ruffly, blush flower girl dresses with their sparkly shoes and so sweetly wearing their floral crowns!! These gorgeous photos were by Dani Lang Photography.
We love this pose of Brittany in her gorgeous ivory lace dress holding her wedding bouquet!! One of our favorite parts of being a wedding florist is handing off the wedding bouquet to the bride and seeing her reaction. Brittany was overwhelmed with tears of joy at seeing her bouquet and her support system (mother & bridesmaids) quickly admonished her not to ruin her make-up!!!
The reception was held at the Marriott in uptown Normal, IL. All the tables had silver lanterns which we surrounded with mixed green garlands and inserted blush and pink roses into the garlands. The head table had a full mixed green garland running it’s length and to the floor with blooms interspersed as well as candles.
Brittany’s best advice to newly engaged couples planning their wedding is to relax and enjoy the process!! She feels that investing in a planner is a life-saver as it does get stressful at times, but staying organized, not trying to do it all at once and leaning on your support system for help will pay off when you see it all come together on your big day!! It also helps to drink lots of wine and keep smiling!!!
Are you wondering how the snowstorm affected the flower delivery? Well, we played it safe and brought all the flowers to the Marriott ballroom on Friday evening, then checked in ourselves and spent the night so that we found ourselves and the flowers safe from the brutal road conditions Saturday morning!!! We would love to work with you to create your vision for your wedding flowers – call or text 309-212-6570 or email us at email@example.com to receive your free consultation!!
We so enjoyed the wedding planning for Ryan and Jenna who were married last November and were thankful we were able to keep the surprise and not let it slip!! When Jenna’s mom Shelly got married, her mother ordered a special floral backdrop as a surprise and it meant so much to her that she wanted to do something similar for her daughter!! As Jenna had already chosen a floral pergola as a backdrop for her wedding, Shelly came up with an idea to create a floral surprise over the dance floor which was in a tent connected to the Bloomington Country Club. A suspended decorated ladder with hanging lanterns and covering the tent poles with greens, curly willow and white blooms created a beautiful focal for their first dance! A second surprise was a special backdrop behind the wedding party table (described below)!!
When Jenna came for her consultation she knew exactly what she wanted and was organized with inspiration photos of each item. Since her sister was just married a year earlier, she had learned a lot from that experience. They asked Ryan’s carpenter cousin to build them a pergola which would be something they could keep and also personalize their wedding day with. They used the pergola backdrop as their inspiration and built their day around the pergola decor for simple elegance with touches of deep family importance. This beautiful pergola traveled all the way from Colorado where Ryan’s cousin lives. We covered it with curly willow and greens, then hung white blooms to create the look based off of her inspiration photo.
Because she asked her best friend from nursing school, Joe, to be in her wedding party, she had each of her attendants choose a style of dress they were comfortable in and was in the blue, silver & charcoal color palette so her guy friend wouldn’t totally stand out among the gals!! Her vision was to have lots of white blooms, candles and soft colors to keep the focus on her and Ryan.
Jenna’s favorite part of wedding planning was how it brought their families together. Her mother, sister, future mother-in-law and aunt (all who have been great role models and support to Jenna) went dress shopping with her and which she describes as a day she will never forget. She confesses she never thought she would enjoy the flower part as that has always been her mom’s “thing” but …”After I met with Nancy, I realized how the decor sets the tone for the day. Nancy really listened to what I wanted and she worked with us and made it happen!”
If she could change anything about the wedding planning process, it would have been to have her sister, who lives in Florida, closer. “Kaitlyn made an insane effort to be involved but I know that she missed out on things we would have loved to have done together.”
Jenna’s least favorite part of wedding planning was all the decision making. “There are so many choices and different aspects involved that it can be overwhelming. I was happy that at the end, Ryan and I could sit back and enjoy the time and effort everyone put in the planning and we could just be in the moment with those we loved!”
Jenna’s mom worked closely with us to plan the special surprises which also included the head table backdrop where we hung their engagement photo framed in an old window, lanterns and the letters “LOVE” mounted to a plexi-glass board which we hung over the window frame. When we asked Jenna how she felt when she saw these special suprises, she responded: “My parents are some of the most thoughtful people and I am beyond lucky to be their daughter. They went above and beyond to make sure every detail and dream was accomplished! Most importantly they have been there to support me every step of my way. When I saw the vintage window frame with our engagement photo and the LOVE sign, I was completely speechless!! It made our bridal party table stand out while also giving us a beautiful piece to cherish forever. I was teary-eyed knowing the effort and lengths my mom went to – to add such a personal touch which is most important to me.”
My favorite memories from the day include, my mom and sister helping me with my dress, the first look with my dad, seeing Ryan smile at me as I walked down the aisle and dancing with friends and family who mean the most to us. I will always remember that we felt completely surrounded by love as we made a commitment to each other before God (and in front of our families) and of which we will always honor – that was the most memorable part of our day!
Jenna’s advice to future brides is to not let the details, decision making and being caught up in wanting to have everything perfect overshadow what the day is all about – marrying the person you love and being surrounded by family and friends.
Photo credit – Christi Chambers Photography
Let us help you plan your dream wedding!! Call or text 209-212-6570 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive your free consultation.
Andy and Paige were married last November in Bloomington, Illinois. The autumn leaves were late to turn so they were still very beautiful at Miller Park Pavilion on the first weekend of November for their central Illinois wedding as revealed in these gorgeous photos by Melanie Anderson Photography.
Us – Do you have a favorite memory from your wedding day?
Paige – (Not being able to narrow it down to one, she shared five!)
Driving up to Miller Park Pavilion and getting my first look at Andy; then watching his reaction when he first saw me!
Walking down the aisle with my dad, staring at my future husband, and seeing for the first time just how many people (nearly 200) were there to share in our special day!
The Maid-of-Honor (my sister) and Best Man (Andy’s brother) speeches; everyone said there were some of the best they’ve ever heard, and I agree!
Dancing with friends, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandmas and grandpas – all night long!
Walking through the sparkler tunnel on our way to our limo. It was the most perfect way to end the night!
Us – How did Andy propose?
Paige – All my family was gathered at my grandparents’ house to celebrate my grandmother’s birthday. It was an unseasonably warm and beautiful fall day and because it was so pretty and the leaves were so colorful, I asked my sister to take our photo on the dock. (I had no idea that Andy had a ring in his pocket!) She took a couple of great photos, and then Andy insisted she take one more. My sister hesitated just a bit, but as she took another photo, Andy dropped down on one knee and asked me to marry him!! I turned to my sister in shock and we both started crying. Hearing all the commotion the rest of my family came running from the house. We celebrated with champagne and of course – a lot more photos!
Us – Your father was very involved in planning your wedding which as you know is unusual for most bride’s fathers.
Paige – My dad is a very organized, hardworking person who loves to help others. He knows how to bring a vision to life, so Andy and I were thrilled that he wanted to help with the planning and preparation for our big day.
Paige’s color palette was burgundy and blush so we chose the deep red Hearts rose and black mini callas along with the beautiful blush Quicksand rose, light pink astilbe, mauve astrantia, navy privet berries and seeded eucalyptus for texture and a mix of greens/dusty miller for her bridal bouquet. Paige’s mother surprised her and had us attach her late grandmother’s (as well as her own) wedding bands to Paige’s bouquet handle wrap.
For the bridesmaid bouquets, Paige wanted mostly white, blush and mauve blooms along with the textures and greens so the bridesmaid bouquets would show up against their berry colored dresses.
Us – Is there any detail that you would change if you could do it over again?
Paige – No, everything turned out better than I could have ever imagined! I would not change one detail!!
The reception decor featured mixed green garlands hung along the banisters with coordinating floral sprays. For the table centerpiece decor we used silver $ eucalyptus stems, burgundy, blush and white roses and lots of candlelight for simple but beautiful look. (This last photo – by Nancy)
Paige said – “Nancy’s work is beautiful, and she is lovely to work with! She has great insight and recommendations and knows how to make a vision come to life.”