SESMA Dog Dayz of Summer at The Anderson House catered by Susan Gage and Photographed by Luck and Love Photography

We might be in the Dog Days of Fall, but that doesn’t mean I can’t reminisce about this summer’s doggy happy hour SESMA party organized by Glenn Hennessey and Joanie Rylander at The Anderson House!

Thank goodness someone hired Megan from Luck & Love Photography or all this fun might have been forgotten. (All the photos are taken by Luck & Love Photography.

 Glenn and Husband Steve with their two treasured pooches!

Glenn and Husband Steve with their two treasured pooches!

The best part about the party was that everyone brought their dogs, and a local rescue, Lucky Dog, even brought some of their adorable adoptables.

LOL, I have to say it is kind of true - the pets matched their owners.

When there was a quick worry that the dogs would not be allowed on the grass, Sugar Plum Tents stepped in to not only provide a tent entrance, but a fence as well!

SESMA Dog Dayz of Summer-Dog Dayz of Summer-0027.jpg

You might have already seen this tipsy puppy I created for the event, but here he is again in all his mossy glory.

Susan Gage Caterers knocked it out of the park with all of their on theme drinks and nibbles, not to mention my favorite - the avocado bar. Ann Ashley really knows what she is doing!

 In case you didn’t know where you were going, UniqueDC came up with this Napolianic Hound portrait.

In case you didn’t know where you were going, UniqueDC came up with this Napolianic Hound portrait.

Last but not least our people party guests with their pets, Alison Golt, Katie Ryan, and RJ Whyte

Thank you again to Glenn and Joanie, it really was a blast!

Happy First Anniversary Sarah and Keith!

Slainte! Cheers to Sarah and Keith who are celebrating their first wedding anniversary this weekend.  The photos of their classic Old Town, Alexandria wedding are so beautiful and full of happiness that I thought they deserved another look.

 Sarah+Keith on the grounds of historic   Christ Church   in Old Town, Alexandria.  The church opened its doors to parishioners in 1773 - including the future president George Washington - just before the start of the American Revolution.

Sarah+Keith on the grounds of historic Christ Church in Old Town, Alexandria.  The church opened its doors to parishioners in 1773 - including the future president George Washington - just before the start of the American Revolution.

 Sarah's airy bouquet in greens and whites was a perfect match to Keith's tartan kilt.  The bouquet included white roses and orchids, blooming clematis vine and greenery.

Sarah's airy bouquet in greens and whites was a perfect match to Keith's tartan kilt.  The bouquet included white roses and orchids, blooming clematis vine and greenery.

 All smiles behind the scenes with the talented Sara Pete of   Sincerely Pete Events  . Sara and her team have more than 16 years of experience planning weddings and more.

All smiles behind the scenes with the talented Sara Pete of Sincerely Pete Events. Sara and her team have more than 16 years of experience planning weddings and more.

 The charming wee lad and lassie.

The charming wee lad and lassie.

 Elegant bride and groom cakes accented with fresh flowers by   Morgan Phillips Cakes  .

Elegant bride and groom cakes accented with fresh flowers by Morgan Phillips Cakes.

 Another shot of the groom's cake adorned with fresh Scottish Thistle and tartan ribbon.

Another shot of the groom's cake adorned with fresh Scottish Thistle and tartan ribbon.

 More classic greens and whites for the table arrangements.  

More classic greens and whites for the table arrangements.  

 Not just any wedding invitation - custom artwork and a pop of color on these unique invitations by  Artisan Matchmaker .

Not just any wedding invitation - custom artwork and a pop of color on these unique invitations by Artisan Matchmaker.

 Love this shot of Sarah+Keith celebrating at   Eammon's   in Old Town.

Love this shot of Sarah+Keith celebrating at Eammon's in Old Town.

Happy First Anniversary and Cheers! 

A Look Back at Summer - June Wedding at 101 Constitution

Ever heard the quote, “August is the Sunday of summer” ?

Well, it’s Labor Day weekend and here we are.  Welcome to September.

On that note, let’s take a look back at a summer wedding I designed for in June. With the help of Janice Carnevale from Bellwether Events, Bride and Groom Kearney and Brent planned a very D.C. wedding with their rooftop ceremony at 101 Constitution (oh the views!) followed by dinner downstairs at Charlie Palmer’s.   Here’s a closer look at Kearney and Brent’s special day.  I’m missing summer already! 

Read More

Engagement Bouquet for Luck & Love Photography in Annapolis

The wedding engagement. Such a sweet and romantic time that can be fleeting once planning and preparations for the big day get underway. I love how photographer Meg Lucks of Luck & Love Photography captured this special season for a bride and groom-to-be in Annapolis, Maryland.  And I am honored that the bouquet I designed is featured in their engagement photos.

 The bouquet. Phalaenopsis in pale pink and white, Delphinium, Thistle, Pennycress, Eucalyptus and local greenery.  

The bouquet. Phalaenopsis in pale pink and white, Delphinium, Thistle, Pennycress, Eucalyptus and local greenery.  

 The bride-to-be.  

The bride-to-be.  

 The happy couple along the waterfront in Annapolis. A sneak peak before their walk down the aisle. 

The happy couple along the waterfront in Annapolis. A sneak peak before their walk down the aisle. 

 Beautiful lighting captured at the  United States Naval Academy .

Beautiful lighting captured at the United States Naval Academy.

 A close-up of the bouquet's colors and textures.

A close-up of the bouquet's colors and textures.

 A sweet photo on its own but the bouquet adds a little something extra.

A sweet photo on its own but the bouquet adds a little something extra.

 The lovely Wisteria mural on the corner of  East  and  Fleet Street  s  in downtown Annapolis.    

The lovely Wisteria mural on the corner of East and Fleet Streets in downtown Annapolis.    

Interested in adding flowers to your engagement photos?  Contact me! I'd love to work with you.

Flower Consultations and Frequently asked Wedding Flower Questions

Do you remember in class when the teacher said "there is no such thing as a stupid question" and "if you are wondering that then chances are so are your classmates?"  Well, the same applies when it comes to wedding flowers.  I have so many brides emailing and calling wondering what the next steps are, apologizing for their lack of knowledge and feeling completely overwhelmed.

Read More

Washington, D.C. Wedding Style: What Do Boutonnieres and Corsages Look Like?

I have so many photos of bouquets, but when it comes to boutonnieres and corsages I actually have very few images.  So here are a few I have pulled together. Some taken by professionals and some just taken by me! Enjoy and feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

Read More

The Flowers of the First Lady's Luncheon 2018, Presented by the Congressional Club and Certified American Grown

Impressed would be an understatement! For the last several days, I have had the honor of being a volunteer freelance designer for the First Lady's Luncheon - an event that hosts the First Lady, Congressional spouses and family members and a few other privileged guests.

Read More

My Time Freelancing at the White House with Laura Dowling

In Washington, there is no greater honor than having an opportunity to design for the White House (regardless of who is president or what political party you belong to).  Pretty much since its formation under the Kennedy Administration, the White House flower shop has had a closed door policy with only a few people ever getting a glimpse of its inner workings.  

Read More

What You Should Know about Planning a Cherry Blossom Wedding!

As a florist living in the D.C. area, I am no stranger to the request for a Cherry Blossom wedding.  I get it; they are beautiful, romantic and iconic, but I would also be lying if I said I didn't cringe every time those two little words are uttered.  

Read More

When Should I Book My Florist?

I know the temptation to rush out and choose every vendor for your day is real.  Instead, consider relaxing just a beat and make a few key decisions first.

1. Do you need full wedding coordination or just month-of or day-of?

Read More

Mindful Foraging

Last week I found myself outside walking around looking for goodies to cut. Living in a city, not the countryside, has taught me to be very mindful of what I cut and how I cut it.  

As I was snipping away, I was inspired to share my thoughts about the subject of foraging on my Insta Stories.  Here is a quick recap in case you missed it.

Read More

Why are Wedding Flowers so Expensive? The Top Five Reasons.

"Why are wedding flowers so expensive?" This is a question I get a lot, and I wanted to take a quick moment to break down the different factors that contribute to a $$$$$ flower proposal.

5) The venue is over an hour away. When you choose an amazing location like a vineyard, chateau, or private estate, the extra costs of transportation, work space and on-site labor just add up.  

Read More

What's All This About The Rising Tide, Community over Competition and Tuesday's Together?

If you are reading this, then you probably already know that I am a floral designer who launched her own business in January 2017.  (If you don't know me, scroll down to the "About Me" blog just before this one.)

Read More

About Me

Family. Flowers. Sweets... And if I'm being totally honest, reality TV.

Hi, I'm Atelier Ashley, at least that's what my friends have been calling me lately. But that's ok, I like it. I also like desserts, emails and a hundred other things I could tell you about.  Instead, I am going to try to focus on why I decided to open my own shop.

 This is me on my wedding day outside of  The   Alexandrian Hotel

This is me on my wedding day outside of The Alexandrian Hotel

My son Finnley will be a one year old on June 21.  I insist that he is a Gemini (like his mama) even though it could be argued that he is technically a Cancer.

To say that life has changed would be cliche, to say that having a baby rocked my world in ways that I couldn't have imagined would be an understatement.  Recently, I learned that the brain literally changes after childbirth. Hmm, good to know.

 Finnley and me at the Yayoi Kusuma exhibit at the   Hirshorn Museum

Finnley and me at the Yayoi Kusuma exhibit at the Hirshorn Museum

For the last 10 years, I have been perfectly happy being a lead designer in other people's shops.  Life was easy. Go to work, make beautiful things, go home, paint and craft.  No real responsibility, no real reward.

I had planned to take a year off to just be Finnley's mommy.  But about three weeks in, I knew that without flowers and a creative outlet, I was not my best self.  So I started scrambling.

I tried this, then that.  Planned for this, then planned for that, but nothing was really coming together.  Floundering, it soon became clear to me that the time had come to take a chance and go all in on starting a studio of my own.

 Glorious slow grown flowers

Glorious slow grown flowers

That was in January and it has been full steam ahead.  If I'm being 100% honest, I will tell you that it has not been entirely easy to find clients.  I spend a good part of my days reaching out to wedding planners, venues, photographers and other wedding professionals to let them know I have gone out on my own and would love an opportunity to collaborate with them.

 I got this great packing tape from   Sticker Mule

I got this great packing tape from Sticker Mule

Surprisingly, or not surprisingly, it has been the love from other established florists (shout out to Lisa Sommer of Petals and Promises in particular) that has sent brides my way and helped me to start filling dates on my 2017 calendar.  I couldn't be more grateful.

The autonomy of being my own boss is motivating, but the ability to offer designs, creative ideas and budget friendly solutions is even more empowering.  

It feels good to say "yes" and know that I can deliver what I have promised.  

Local Flowers and Meeting Ariella Chezar

In Boston, I took a Saturday afternoon Master Class with Ariella Chezar in which we were bestowed with some stunning flowers.  Green and salmon tulips, fragrant hyasinths, bulbous ranunculous, apple green hellebore and the most delicate peach centered daffadils I have ever encountered.

Read More