A FEW OF OUR 2014 FAVORITES!

It has been an amazing year for us here at The Floral Studio. As a small shop committed to working closely with each and every one of our brides to help them create the wedding day of their dreams, we have had to limit ourselves to only two weddings per weekend–and so I am amazed to look back and find that we still did nearly 60 weddings last year as well as a number of large parties and corporate events. We were BUSY! And we enjoyed every minute of it. I have one of the world’s best jobs and while I stress a bit over color and delivery and quality and all of those things my brides pay me to worry about, I am happy to say that we did an amazing job across the board and were lucky to have worked with great brides, great families and really terrific vendors in planning, catering, photography, venue management, and lighting. To follow are just a few of my favorites from this year. There are so many to choose from so I will definitely post more later, but I hate to think of 2014 slipping away before I got some of these beautiful photographs out there!

015-PaceTrott_00619-0133_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Grand-Historic-Venue-Baltimore-wedding_Baltimore-wedding-photographer_Baltimore-wedding-photography PaceTrott_02269-0515_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Grand-Historic-Venue-Baltimore-wedding_Baltimore-wedding-photographer_Baltimore-wedding-photography (1) 063-PaceTrott_02165-0497_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Grand-Historic-Venue-Baltimore-wedding_Baltimore-wedding-photographer_Baltimore-wedding-photography 065-PaceTrott_02246-0509_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Grand-Historic-Venue-Baltimore-wedding_Baltimore-wedding-photographer_Baltimore-wedding-photography unnamed-1 unnamed-3 The Wedding of Brittany and John The Wedding of Brittany and John View More: http://kristaajones.pass.us/slater View More: http://kristaajones.pass.us/slater wEIn-W1Xhd6Axe1jHQrcQYDnhmN4f8ARaMu357Lky9g 14528099460_440f9d6b67_z 14528109520_8bc08dccfc_z IMG_2189 42aleckellyceremony 78aleckellytogether 47aleckellydetails(1) 33aleckellybridalThe  last few are from my daughter’s wedding in October. THAT was a magical day. More of those to come in a later post. (I struggle with picking the best from over 750 photos by Chelsea Hudson Photography). I can do it–More later!

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MENTORING–DO IT FOR THE GIRLS!

Meet Ericka, a lovely young woman I met five years ago and had the pleasure of mentoring. She is now attends The Milton Hershey School in Pennsylvania and she is flourishing!

Meet Ericka, a lovely young woman I met five years ago and had the pleasure of mentoring. She is now a junior in High School at The Milton Hershey School in Pennsylvania and is making plans for college. Most importantly, she is flourishing. This picture was taken when I visited her recently at school and we enjoyed an afternoon visiting a local cave followed by a girls’ lunch. I am so proud of her!

In 2001, Enterprise Community Partners, in partnership with the Enterprise Women’s Network, established the first all-girls youth mentoring program in Baltimore City. The Girls Mentoring Program establishes a support system for girls while enriching their educational experience.

I am so very proud to be a mentor and that’s why I’m donating a percentage of my business profits to support this program that is so close to my heart.

I’m a small business. I can’t write a huge check every year, but I can allocate a small portion of my profits every month to this hands-on, sustainable program. Because this program is 100% staffed by volunteers, it doesn’t take much—that’s the thing about it. This is a program where I know that my donation isn’t going to pay marketing, administrative or management fees. My donation pays for tangible items that go right to the girls—a field trip to the country, lunch on a college visit or transportation to a museum.

In this very special mentoring program women from all backgrounds and ages are matched with girls from William Pinderhughes Elementary/Middle School. As mentors, we usually meet twice per month on a Thursday afternoon at the girls’ school in small groups. We work with the girls on various group projects or informal interactive presentations while we enjoy a snack, chat about family, school, friendships and current issues that have their attention. During the school year we also get together for at least three fun-filled excursions/field trips where we visit a college, spend a day outdoors or visit a museum. Our time spent with the girls helps build their self-esteem, encourages them to make healthy choices, develops their coping strategies and helps them achieve academic success. It is truly the most rewarding thing I do in my life.

I love this business. I love weddings and flowers and cake, and dancing and diamonds and I do’s, and most of all I love LOVE. Of all the things I could be doing with my life, being a part of the wedding industry has made me feel especially blessed. As a florist I am one of the very best parts of a wedding celebration (other than the betrothed). Weddings, by their very nature are a celebration and brides are celebrating in high style and to the tune of thousands of dollars—signature cocktails, five-course meals, French lace, Swarovski crystal beading, cover bands, brides in carriages, grooms on elephants, elegant couture, theatrical lighting, towering confections, award winning photography, and my favorite part—flowers, amazing beautiful flowers. And while I’m not complaining (really, I’m not), there are moments when it all feels just a little bit over the top. Maybe there’s just something not right about so much money being funneled into one beautiful day? But, oh my gosh—it’s such a big day and who doesn’t dream of that perfectly lovely, beautiful, and memorable wedding day?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have that gorgeous wedding AND still give something back to the world at the same time? Now my brides can be a part of something really special and still get the beautiful floral pieces they dream about for their wedding because 5% of the profit from each wedding I book goes directly to help support this important program.

If you’d like to become a mentor, meet some wonderful like-minded women and work with one very special girl who really needs you—really, she does—then please email me, call me, or visit the web site to get more information about how you can truly change a young girl’s life.

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If you don’t have the time to mentor a girl, consider making a donation of your own. Even small donations make a big difference. In the past, we’ve taken the girls on a golf outing, taken them to New York for a Broadway play and behind-the-scenes tour, been to a ball game, visited a nursing home, gone bowling, visited a farm, and so much more. Your donation might cover lunch, an event ticket or transportation to a meaningful activity.

Throughout the year I will update with news about these beautiful young girls and the amazing women who choose to spend valuable time with them. Please check my blog and facebook page from time to time to hear stories about making a difference!

Girls having fun on a field trip to The Visionary Arts Museum

Girls having fun on a field trip to The Visionary Arts Museum

 

BRITTANY AND JOHN AT HILLENDALE COUNTRY CLUB

The Wedding of Brittany and John

I knew as soon as Brittany walked into our first meeting that she was going to be a stunning bride and as you can see, I was right. But I also loved that she wanted something simple and elegant, romantic, soft, traditional with a twist.  We chatted for a while and she showed me pictures of pieces that she loved and it didn’t take long for me to see that that ethereal look that can only come from the once maligned Baby’s Breath was perfect for this bride.

The Wedding of Brittany and John

For the bride and her maids we went soft and traditional with blushing pink Bridal Akito roses, white Calla Lily, fluffy white Ranunculus, Dusty Miller foliage and just a few touches of Baby’s Breath. The bouquet was creamy-sweet and the maids’ smaller nosegay pieces were perfect against their charcoal grey dresses.

The Wedding of Brittany and John

The boutonnieres were the perfect complement to the bouquets–white Ranunculus set in sprigs of variegated Pittosporum and backed with textural soft Silver Brunia Berry. But the real show-stopper (other than the bride) had to be the Baby’s Breath centerpieces.

The Wedding of Brittany and John

 

Baby’s Breath, once known as the “filler flower,” is making a comeback, but this time it’s playing a lead role in some of our most beautiful weddings. This is not your mother’s Baby’s Breath! The new varieties of Gypsophilia are fluffier and thicker than the prom varieties I remember from days of old. For Brittany’s reception we created these centerpieces atop crystal stands for elegant high pieces on her tables. The overall look was stunning–like clouds floating throughout the room.

Since Brittany and John’s wedding we have used Baby’s Breath in other weddings–for wreaths, place card table pieces even maids’ bouquets, and I’ll be sure to post those pictures as they’re made available to us. It’s fun, an affordable choice for high pieces, and it just looks pretty!

Congratulations to Brittany and John and thank you for letting us be a part of your wedding day!

Special thanks to Eli Turner Photography for sharing these photos.

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LOREN AND SAM’S SEPTEMBER WEDDING

View More: http://kristaajones.pass.us/slater

I’m always asked if I have a favorite wedding and I am being completely honest when I tell you that I really don’t. Every wedding is unique–as it should be–and my job is to put the special touches on each celebration that make it a real reflection of the bride and groom and all the love and joy they are bringing to their own special day. But…if I had to pick just a few, Loren and Sam’s September wedding would definitely be at the top of the list! Not only were Loren and Sam a blast to work with, but I also had the added bonus of getting to work so closely with the groom’s mother, my good friend Dana Slater and–best part of all–I was also a guest!

View More: http://kristaajones.pass.us/slaterThe groom’s parents hosted the wedding reception at their home and it was a magical evening. The grounds were beautiful– a fairy tale setting of twinkling lights carved into the hillside, a chandelier-lit tent and rustic farm tables. The food was amazing. Beej Flamholz catered a unique wine-inspired farm-to-table dinner that featured local fare paired with the perfect wines. Kate Taylor of Kate Taylor Events (event planner extraordinaire) planned and orchestrated another flawless event. She’s amazing–really, best in the business.

View More: http://kristaajones.pass.us/slaterFor me, the florist, the best part is always the flowers and we were thrilled to be able to get our very favorite fall flower–those breathtaking local dahlias. They were everywhere and couldn’t have been a better complement to the evening’s decor. Bridesmaids carried them, we filled rustic boxes with them, they trailed from decor on the tent and the smallest of them were mixed with ranunculus and spray roses for some gorgeous bouts and corsages.

View More: http://kristaajones.pass.us/slaterThese amazing, spectacular, unbelievably gorgeous dahlias we get from a local grower made the perfect maids’ pieces. We placed two back-to-back and wrapped in champagne ribbon. So fun!

View More: http://kristaajones.pass.us/slaterLoren loves a rustic, organic look and succulents added to the bouts and some of the centerpieces made for  the just the right accent to a palette of soft pinks and peaches.

View More: http://kristaajones.pass.us/slater

It was a perfectly lovely evening, a wonderful celebration for Sam and Loren, and such a privilege for me to be a part of it in some small way. Special thanks to Krista Jones of Krista Jones Photography for allowing me to share these photos with you.

Huge congrats to Sam and Loren!

AUTUMN’S AMAZING PALETTE

Color, color, color–the autumn bride gets it all! The Autumn palettes is a smorgasbord of color choices. From the deepest, richest plums and burgundy, yummy blends of chocolates and dusky pinks, bright happy pops of red and orange, sunset oranges mixed with soft peach, earthy golds and butterscotch–the beautiful combinations of colors and fall textures means there’s something for every bride that celebrates the season and her special day with glorious flowers. Fall can be soft and romantic, earthy, fun, dazzling and bold. It’s all up to you! To follow is an array of some of our very favorites.

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OUR SIGNATURE CALLA LILY “TWIST” BOUQUET

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One of our signature pieces, this elegant twist of more than fifty pure white calla lily is simple but sophisticated, so bridal!

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Nothing says sophisticated like this monofloral, monochromatic design.

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Just add the perfect complementary calla lily bout…

READ’S AUTUMN WEDDING AT THE GREENSPRING VALLEY HUNT CLUB

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I love, love, love an autumn wedding. All those bold, bright colors! Read and John’s wedding  and their beautiful reception at The Greenspring Valley Hunt Club last September gave us a chance to pack a big punch of color with mango calla lily, yellow ranunculus, golden sunflowers, hypericum berry, peach dahlias, celosia, crespedia, yarrow, and gorgeous Free Spirit roses. They couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day–perfect for spending a few minutes on the golf course before heading into the reception.

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Centerpieces were enhanced with a few pieces of variegated kale and some touches of millet.

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I see a lot of beautiful wedding gowns, but Read’s was especially stunning. I just had to include a picture of the back of this gown.

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And who can resist a beaming bride photo!

KATIE AND SEAN’S JUNE WEDDING AT THE GEO. W. PEABODY LIBRARY

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This wedding combined some of my very favorite things–a pretty summer palette of yellow and grey, the magnificent Geo. W. Peabody Library, Jennifer McMenamin Photography (definitely one of my all-time favorite photographers–so talented!), and a couple very much in love who obviously cherished every moment of their wedding day.

Katie and Sean were married in June of 2013 and the palette she selected was perfect for a sweet summer wedding. the maids wore charcoal grey dresses and the soft yellows with a few pops of deeper yellow and the accents of grey-silver by way of velvety dusty miller and silver brunia were the perfect complement. Even the recently renovated Marikle Chapel at Notre Dame of Maryland University was dressed in Katie’s palette of buttercream yellow.

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Bouts and corsages were comprised of white ranunculus, yellow spray roses, calla lily, crespedia (better known as “billy balls”) and silver brunia.

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Katie was walked down the aisle by two distinguished gentlemen, her very proud grandfathers.

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Jennifer certainly captured the depth of feeling as they left their granddaughter at the alter with her waiting groom.

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Tables were set with an eclectic collection of books and clusters of flowers in delicate vases.

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Special thanks to Jennifer McMenamin for letting me share these beautiful pictures and congratulations to Katie and Sean!

 

LOOKING BACK AT 2013

Every year I vow to be more attentive to this blog and post in a timely fashion. But once again, a busy year has slipped by and so many beautiful weddings have come and gone without my getting around to posting. But I just can’t go right into 2014 making the same promises to stay up to date without at least going back and posting some pics from a few of our very favorite weddings and events. So you’re about to dive into a a photo-heavy post featuring some of the beautiful pieces we created this year!

We love a dinner party! It’s a great chance to get creative and do a lot of different but similar pieces. Our friend Russ had a birthday dinner party for his wife and we surprised her with some beautiful pieces that incorporated dahlias, autumn leaves and fruit.

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This stunning piece featured the magnificent dahlias we get from our favorite dahlia farmer. They are magical!

We love working at Maryvale Castle and Jenn’s wedding was definitely a favorite.

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The soft white bouquet with just a few touches of blue and the whimsical anemones with the distinctive blue-black centers made this bouquet a show-stopper. Image

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The maids were beautiful in their navy dresses and carrying white nosegays.

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And the cake was just a touch sweeter with floral decor!

Sometimes it’s fun to do some more contemporary pieces and white is the perfect palette. Especially for a modern, elegant and yet slightly rustic tavern wedding reception.

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Our awesome Blooming Topiaries.

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A really fun Place Card table piece.Image

Sometimes simple and traditional is the perfect look for a small summer wedding–especially when it’s a bouquet made in this delicious palette of peach,pink, white, and coral with a few pops of yellow.

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This year was full of “sister acts” and we did quite a few weddings for brides whose sisters we had worked with a few years earlier. We did Brigette’s wedding in 2011 and this year we had the pleasure of doing Jenny’s  wedding. The challenge in working with sisters is that they often have a similar aesthetic, but want their own wedding to be  special–and they certainly don’t want it to feel like a rerun of their sister’s celebration. Jenny’s decor included a mix of high and low pieces as well as rich touches of greenery that popped against the white flowers.

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Jenny and Rob’s wedding at Baltimore Country Club (one of our favorite places!), was so luscious–beautiful white florals.

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Centerpieces were a mix of high and low pieces that filled the space beautifully and were both elegant and simple at the same time.

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A touch of ivy in the calla lily bout.

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The bouquets were re-purposed on the mantle after the ceremony.

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Special thanks to Anne Sachs at Artful Weddings for taking these beautiful photos!

We created floral pieces for more than 65 weddings this year as well as many dinner parties, corporate events, fundraisers and special gatherings of all kinds. It was a fabulous year for us and we are happy to have worked with so many lovely brides and their families. I can’t possibly showcase everything in this post, but I promise to spend much of January reviewing 2013 and posting more of our favorites!

WATERFRONT ST. MICHAELS WEDDING

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If a picture is worth a thousand words–there is not a whole lot I can add when it comes to the stunningly beautiful wedding we worked on this past weekend in St. Michaels. The reception was held at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and it is an amazing waterfront venue. It was a hot and sticky day for set-up but the water was sparkling, the sky couldn’t have been more blue, and the breeze was perfectly lovely. While we don’t have the “official” photographs back from the wedding, I think our in-house shots were pretty darn good–and when the setting and the decor happen to be breathtaking, even an Iphone can take gorgeous shots.

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Liz’s bouquet was a romantic compilation of two varieties of David Austin garden roses, including-of course-the classic Juliette. We also incorporated white and cream peonies, poppy pods, ranunculus, peach hypericum, and fluffy blush astilbe.

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Bride and Groom’s chairs were decorated with wreaths of ruscus. And how about that chandelier over the dance floor?

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A mirrored bar was decorated with a ruscus garland, thick ribbons and vintage bottles of florals.Image

Gold chargers with appropriate scalloped detailing and napkins tied with nautical twine.

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Every centerpiece was unique but created in either stone urns or vintage compotes.

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The soft palette of cream, white, soft peach, and buttercream was a beautiful complement to the gold silverware and chargers.

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I am so lucky to work with an amazing team of people. Whether they’re processing flowers, creating original designs, following a formula, working on delivery and set-up details, or hauling flowers and decor in an oppressive heatwave (or rainstorm, sleet or wintry winds–whatever Mother Nature chooses to dish out on wedding day), they give their best every step of the way. With an amazing eye for detail, a commitment to producing quality work and uncompromising integrity they are the key to our outstanding reputation in this industry. In no particular order I am most grateful to Debbie Collins, Susie Curro, Chris Curro, Katie Kutil McDonough, Gary Godbey and Shannon Marshall. You guys are the best!