Category Archives: Informative and Fun

10 Ways To Use Garlands At Your Central Illinois Wedding

Garlands are very popular with our brides getting married this year.  They add a beautiful touch of nature indoors and are wonderful for decorating the outdoor wedding also.  Here are our top 10 ways to use them at your wedding.

reception table garland
  1.  Reception tables

Wedding Aisle Garland

2.  Wedding Aisle

Garland Wedding Backdrop

3.  Wedding Backdrop decor

Wedding Chair Garland

4.  Chair back decor

Wedding Welcome Sign

5.  Embellish and decorate your wedding signs.

Wedding Entry Garland

6.  Wedding tent or doorway entry

Cocktail Table Garland

7.  Gather around cocktail tables.

Wedding Cake Greenery

8.  On the wedding cake and behind the wedding cake.

Wedding Garland Decor

9.  Hung from the ceiling or over a courtyard.

Get-Away car garland

10.  Get-Away Car

We  Fancy Florals By Nancy, a central Illinois wedding florist, custom create our own garlands using a mix of greens to create your vision for your Illinois wedding decor.  Call, text or email us today to receive your free consultation at 309-212-6570 or

Do you like these ideas?  Sign up  using the form at the top right to get an email when we publish our next blog.  Do you have more great ways to use garlands?  Send us your ideas!



5 Ways For Central Illinois Brides To Preserve Your Wedding Bouquet

You just paid a lot of money for your bridal bouquet and it has tremendous sentimental value to you.  How can you best preserve it?  We get asked this question quite often.  Here are five methods for preserving your flowers along with the pros and cons of each method.

1.  Air Dry

To air dry your bouquet, hang it upside down in a  warm, well ventilated room out of direct sunlight.  The flowers will shrink some as they dry and darken slightly in color.  After a few weeks, you will have a dried bouquet in vintage hues.  This method is easy and you can keep the bouquet assembled, but the flowers will  last  on average from 6 months – 2 years before fading and becoming brittle and eventually crumbling if bumped.  However you may get lucky – we just spoke to one of our central Illlinois brides who dried her bouquet with this method over four years ago and she said it still looks good!!

quicksand rose, black dahlia, blush bridal bouquet, blush wedding bouquet

2.  Microwave

You can dry your flowers in the microwave, but you will need to take your bouquet apart and dry each flower individually.  Place the flower in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with cat littler.  Microwave on high for 2 – 3 minutes.  When the cat littler is cooled, remove the flower and gently brush and shake off the litter.  This method takes more effort than air-drying but it is much quicker.  These dried flowers can be placed into a shadow box or sealed container to enjoy.  Over time they too will darken and become brittle, although they may last longer than the air dried flowers.

Yellow and Grey Wedding Bouquet

3.  Silica gel

Silica gel works best for sturdy flowers like roses.  Silica gel is available from craft stores and can also be ordered online from Walmart for $9.99 per 1.5 lbs.  You will need to bury the blooms completely in the sand-like gel for a week or more.  The larger the flower, the longer it takes to dry.  It would take a large amount of gel to completely cover an assembled bouquet, but again you could take the bouquet apart, cut the stem off and cover each individual bloom using a lot less gel.  Your flowers will be preserved looking fresh, not dried and will last much longer than air-dried or microwave-dried.  Over the years they will eventually fade and crumble.  To help them last as long as possible, keep them out of direct sunlight and in a covered container or shadow box.

 Coral Charm Peony bouquet

4.  Pressing

Another options to preserve the blooms is to press them using either a flower press, or putting the flowers between layers of paper towel and stacking between heavy books.  Smaller, more delicate blooms will dry faster and the larger sturdier blooms will take longer.  Make sure the bloom is completely dried before removing them from between the books.  These pressed blooms are ideal to have mounted into a frame and could even be placed around the wedding invitation and framed.  If you don’t have a lot of display room, this is a good way to keep your flowers.

sunflower bridal bouquet

5.  Freeze dried

If you are able to pay (prices start at $250) having your bouquet freeze dried will be your best option for looking like fresh and for longevity;  in fact they should still look good for your 50th Wedding Anniversary!   A google search provided two businesses within reasonable distance for central Illinois brides where your bouquet can be taken to have it preserved.  Austin Preservations in Buffalo Grove, IL which is north of Chicago and Beautiful Keepsake in Riverton, Illinois close to Springfield are two options.  You would need to contact them well ahead of your wedding date and make a reservation.  Beautiful Keepsake FAQ is a great resource for everything you want to know about this method.  Austin Preservation also has a FAQ page on their website with information about freeze drying.

white mini calla bouquet, coral rose bouquet,

If you plan to preserve your bouquet, order a separate toss bouquet to toss and keep your bouquet in a vase of water placing it in a refrigerator until ready to dry.  If you have any questions, you may email them to me at  For more information on wedding flowers, visit our website  If you liked this article, use the email sign up form at the top right to subscribe to our blog.

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The 8 Best Flower Girl Accessories

Trying to decide what to have your flower girl carry?

Perhaps you know exactly what you want for your bridal bouquet, ceremony decor and centerpiece arrangements, but just can’t quite decide when it comes to your sweet little flower girl ~

Here are our top eight suggestions for floral accessories for the flower girl – and it doesn’t have to be something to carry either!

Flower Girl Baskets
  1. Basket of petals is still the most popular choice our brides use for their flower girls, but sometimes the venue doesn’t want fresh petals on the aisle, or the bride doesn’t want to have to think about getting someone to pick up those petals ~  what to do then?
flower girl kissing balls, pomanders baby's breath pomander, flower girl pomander

2.  Floral pomanders or kissing balls, are becoming very popular and they can be as simple as baby’s breath, or made of colorful carnations, mums or roses.  The balls are available in small sizes for young and medium and large for older girls.

 flower girl garland

3.  Floral garland for something different!  Of course, this only works if you have two flower girls.  If you want something other than the traditional flower girl posy bouquet or basket of petals – think about trying this!

 Floral Wand  flower girl wand, floral wand

4. Floral wand – these are becoming increasingly popular also.  What flower girl wouldn’t love to carry one of these!!

flower girl basket flower girl basket ivy decorated basket, flower girl basket


5.  Decorated Basket – If you love the idea of a basket, but aren’t sure you will be throwing petals, how about a basket filled with flowers, or ivy greens wrapped around a basket handle?  No work involved for your little miss, just carry and look pretty!!

flower girl floral crown ff_facebook flower girl floral crown, baby's breath crown

6.  Floral Crowns are becoming very popular these days for both brides, bridesmaids & flower girls.  They can be as simple and sweet as a baby’s breath crown or more elaborate with roses & wax flowers, or other blooms of your choice.

 flower girl hair clip  Flower girl hair clip  floral headband, flower girl headband

7. Floral hair clips, combs & bands make an easy choice for an economical accessory for the little gal with enough hair to wear these.  Oh the possibilities are endless!

flower girl bouquets, small posy bouquets  flower girl posy

8. Posy bouquets are still a very popular choice for little” miss divas” who want to emulate the bride and are often miniature versions of the bridesmaids.  These will leave your sweet gal dreaming of her own wedding someday!

Fancy Florals By Nancy, a central Illinois wedding florist, will custom create any of these accessories for your flower girl.  Call, text or email today for your free consultation ~ 309-212-6570   or  to discuss your vision for your bridal flowers.

Which of these ideas would you like for your flower girl?  Leave a comment!!  Thanks ~  Nancy

8 Things To Remember When Choosing Your Wedding Florist

1. Don’t Book Your Florist Last

If flowers are important to you, don’t forget to budget for flowers and book early.  Many florists who specialize in weddings only do one or two weddings per weekend, and they book up early – 6 to 12 months out is not too early to book your florist.

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2.  Identify Your Style

Develop your style, theme and colors.  It is very helpful to have photos and fabric color swatches when you meet for your consultation with the florist.  Don’t make the mistake of just trying to match the flowers to the bridesmaid dresses, but think about how the flowers will look in the wedding photos  and show up against the dresses.

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3.  Ballpark your budget

Do try to have a budget figure in mind.  The average flower budget is 7% of the total wedding budget.  Be honest with your florist about your budget, it will save everyone time.  Ask your florist if your budget is reasonable for what you want and the look you are trying to achieve.  The florist can help you explore the best options and can help you get the most for your money if they know the amount you have budgeted.

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4.  Trust your florist

It’s a mistake to hire a florist you feel you cannot trust.  Ask to see the florist’s portfolio of real weddings they have done, take the time to research the reviews their past clients have left about their services.  Communicate and develop a rapport with them so that you feel comfortable and confident with them.  By asking for an overall look, feel & color scheme and being able to compromise (maybe that peony you had your heart set on in September would be possible to get, but not look it’s best and be outrageously expensive) – the florist can do a better job of using their talents and knowledge (a garden rose would give the look and be cheaper at this time) to create the look you are trying to achieve.


5.  Do re-use ceremony decor at the reception

Ask a family member or friend to transport the ceremony decor to the reception site so that it can serve double duty.  There are many areas where ceremony decor can be placed at the reception; an entry site, card/gift tables, etc


6.  Do see the big picture.

Think about how table linens along with the flowers will complete the look of the table.  It’s much more interesting to have a variety of centerpieces with some taller (should be tall enough to not obstruct guests view across the table) and some shorter to make a statement as you enter the room .  Don’t make the mistake of thinking that every centerpiece has to be the same height.

The headache is represented on the face of the beautiful bride in a wedding dress near a bed stressed-bride

7. Don’t take on too much DIY

It’s fun and permissible to have some DIY for your wedding day, but anything that has to be done on the last few days before your wedding should be left to the professionals to worry about.  You want to be able to relax, enjoy getting ready and not worry about anything going wrong on your special day.  The day itself will  be exhausting enough for you and your family without having to worry about wilting flowers or decorating tables last minute.  Many times the DIY projects end up costing more than hiring a florist in the first place.

8. Other helpful questions to ask before book your florist

  • Which flowers can be substituted to better fit my budget?
  •  Can you add flowers to my wedding cake?
  • What is the delivery and set up fee?
  • Will there be a charge to come back and tear down flowers and take back vases and rented equipment?
  • Determine the place and time of personal flower delivery.
  • How much time will you need to set up the reception and ceremony decor?
  • How much is the deposit and when is it due?
  • When is the final payment due?
  • Will I receive an itemized floral proposal along with prices?
  • What is your refund policy?

Call, text or email us today 309-212-6570 or to receive your free consultation.  We can help you find the best options for your wedding arrangements including bridal bouquets, boutonnire, corsages, reception centerpieces and more!


Was this blog helpful?  Leave a comment!!

Thanks, Nancy

Looking back on 2015 and ahead to 2016

2015 – Such A  Memorable Year For Us!!

2015 was a very exciting year for us here at Fancy Florals By Nancy.  It started out with us getting the news that we had won The Knot Best of Weddings as well as Wedding Wire’s Couples Choice Awards!! This was a huge achievement & honor for us and very humbling as we read through the many lovely reviews our 2014 brides had left for us. These awards are chosen by the number and quality of reviews left by clients; so –  many, many thanks to all our past brides who took the time to leave us a review!!

September 7, 2015 044p

Florists’ Review released the winners of the Picture Perfect Wedding Contest in their April 2015 issue.  We had submitted Derek and Molly Bachtold’s wedding photos (not really expecting to win – but someone has to, right?) and we were floored when we opened the April issue and saw that one of the photos we had submitted (photo by Fox & Hound) made the magazine!!  We certainly weren’t a winner, but we did get our  boutonniere photo and our name in a National Magazine! Wow…pretty exciting!!

September 7, 2015 039p

As we start our 5th year in business we marvel at how God has led us along this journey to where we are now.  We have met so many wonderful couples and their families and it has been a joy to work together with them creating their vision for their wedding flowers.  The challenges we have encountered were just what we needed to make us dive in and learn new things and to also prepare us to take the next step along this journey.

Wedding Show 2016 110p

Looking ahead to 2016

We started out the year by having a vendor booth at The Elegant Bridal Expo.  It was great fun and we had a good time meeting and talking with many newly engaged couples.  We had surprisingly good success,  much better than the Dream Bridal Show we did two years ago. We made nine appointments for consultations right at the show and we have had some additional contacts since.  The last two weeks have been very busy for us meeting with brides for consultations and figuring up their price proposals.  2016 is shaping up to be a very busy year for us!!


At the end of December we received notice that we had again won The Knot Best of Weddings for 2016 and then just a week ago came the notice from Wedding Wire that we had been chosen again for the Couples Choice Awards 2016!!  We are grateful and again humbled by our 2015 couples who took the time to leave us such lovely reviews and we want to sincerely thank each of you!!



Probably the single most profound impression from 2015 was our December trip to Casa Vida Y Esperanza in Magdalena, Mexico.  We had at least one new inquiry every day (sometimes 2) about wedding flowers while we were there.  It was amazing to us and reaffirmed our belief that this is what God is asking us to do – using some of the proceeds from Fancy Florals and go help and serve those at CVE in some small way.  It has been a privilege and blessing for us and we thank our brides for making it possible!!  “With God All Things Are Possible”  Mathew 19:26

Mexico from W's phone 059p Mexico from W's phone 002p

 Are you recently engaged and searching for the right florist to create your vision for your wedding bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, centerpieces and more?  Call, text or email today 309-212-6570 – – to receive your free consultation.

Sarah said…
Nancy is an amazing florist and person! She is organized, professional, creative, and one of the sweetest ladies you could ever hope to meet. My mom and and I drove to Fairbury to meet her and I could immediately tell she was not only talented, but someone I could count on to deliver the vision I had for my wedding flowers. She listened to my ideas and added her own creative style. Her attention to detail, excellent taste/style and dedication to her craft make her a true gem. The flowers could not have turned out more beautifully and I would recommend Fancy Florals by Nancy to anyone looking for truly magnificent floral creations. The pictures don’t lie – take a look and work with Nancy. You won’t be disappointed. She is the best!  Sarah Peters Hevner 2015

What Colors Are Trending For 2016?

A Softer Take On Color For 2016

For the first time, the blending of two shades are chosen as the Pantone color of the year.  It feels like deja vu for those of us old enough to remember the 80’s, with Pantone’s selection of Rose Quartz and Serenity Blue!  Actually the shades chosen for this year are a touch softer than the country blue and mauve which dominated the market three decades ago.


Rose quartz is a gentle tone that conveys compassion and Serenity blue is as weightless and airy as the sky above us.  Both colors offer feelings of calm and tranquility in the midst of turbulence around us. For the bride this brings a beautiful soft touch in fabrics as well as flowers for bridal bouquets, boutonniere and corsages.


Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue shade, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.  Blended with soft green and gray foliage, wedding bouquets created from flowers in these shades will present a calming balance to the ceremony.


Rose quartz and Serenity blue are appealing in all finishes, matte, metallic and glossy, the engaging combo joins easily with other mid-tones including greens and purples, rich browns, and all shades of yellow and pink. Add in silver or hot brights for more splash and sparkle.  Source: Pantone Color of The Year 2016


Hydrangeas and delphinium are two wonderful sources of the soft blue of serenity and there is a wonderful selection of rose shades found in roses, ranunculus and many others for wedding bouquets, boutonniere and  reception centerpiece arrangements.  These pastel shades would be perfect for a spring wedding!

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Fancy Florals By Nancy, a central Illinois wedding florist would be delighted to work with you to create your dream wedding.  For your free consultation call, text or email today 309-212-6570

What’s Trending In Wedding Style?

 “Lavish” – romantic garden gorgeous!!

IFD recently released it’s flower trend forecast.  Our favorite is Lavish….this is what it looks like.


Sophisticated garden style with rich textures.

Garden Style Bouquet


Vintage glass, gold metals wood with clean lines and pottery with gold accents.

Gold accented vases


Gold and brass accessories, lanterns, velvet & linen.

Gold accents with marsala bow


Wedding bouquets designed with sumptuous blooms of peonies & garden roses, hydrangea & dahlias in soft pinks & peaches contrasted with rich plums & crimson adding textured fillers like seeded eucalyptus and pepperberry give the “lavish” look.

Burgundy Bridesmaid Dresses

Does this look like a style you would love for your wedding?  Call, text or email Fancy Florals By Nancy today for your free consultation  309-212-6570 or to discuss your options for your wedding bouquets, reception centerpieces, and much more.