Top 3 Things to Know About Donating Your Wedding Flowers

As we become ever more mindful about the environment and the toll our modern existence is taking on it, more and more couples are looking for ways to repurpose or reuse their wedding flowers after the big day. Here are the top three things you will want to keep in mind when asking your florist this question.

Photo by Emily Alyssa Photography

Photo by Emily Alyssa Photography

1) Your flowers will probably not live longer than a day or two after your event.

From a young age, we are taught to value longevity in flowers over their ephemeral beauty. This leads to some confusion when it comes to the process of event flowers.

Unlike retail flowers, where the goal is to sell the blooms as soon as they come in the door to maximize enjoyment, event flowers are timed so that each blossom will be at its absolute peak perfection for the day of your wedding. For most florists, this means that roses on average will start arriving the Tuesday before a Saturday wedding with the remainder trickling in on Wednesday and Thursday.

After being transported to the venue and surviving untold abuses from your guests and those hot little tea lights that get nestled so close (seriously I see at least one charred centerpiece at every pick up), your flowers are tired and thirsty!

By Sunday, they are almost a week old and really have very little left to give.

Photo By Emily Alyssa Photography

Photo By Emily Alyssa Photography

2) Delivering and re-delivering costs time and money.

Most clients don’t know (and don’t need to know) how much time, people power, and money it takes to get flowers from point A to point B and that’s ok. Unless of course you want them to redeliver your leftover flowers to a charity after the event.

Can it be done? Of course, but this is what is involved. Before anything can happen prior coordination needs to take place. This usually involves an email chain of no fewer than eight back and fourths discussing what is to be donated, getting permission from higher-ups and scheduling a time when delivery is convenient.

I have yet to find anywhere that will accept a delivery at 12am on a Sunday morning. This means that the next available time is probably Monday morning and that in order to keep the flowers alive, they will have to be unloaded from the truck, re-cut, re-watered, re-worked and babied until Monday morning.

They will then need to be re-loaded onto the truck and un-loaded again at the final destination. By this time, they are a full week old and holding on for dear life. All of this will take between 5 and 10 hours and your florist will need to charge you for the time and van rental. At a minimum if you ask your florist to provide this service you are looking at between $600 and $1,500.

Photo by  Tracey Salazar

3) You have options.

Ok, so you have read this far but you’re not feeling great - please don’t fret you still have some good options.

A) Flowers are meant to be enjoyed, so encourage your guests to take them home. Most florists use rental vases with plastic dishes nestled inside that lift up so they are easy to transport. Now your family can enjoy the moment just a little longer every time they glance at your centerpiece.

B) Ask your florist what happens to your flowers afterwards if the guests don’t take them.

Personally, I will play flower fairy on my way home from a late night pickup, leaving random centerpieces at my neighbor’s doors. When they wake up in the morning they get a fun surprise! I have also been known to display them outside my front door for everyone to enjoy while out walking their dogs or taking a jog.

Maybe you can take some comfort in knowing that your wedding has brought some unexpected joy and pleasure to people you don’t even know. Call it a pay-it-forward moment.

C) There are companies designed to help you with just this quandary - they can transform your flowers into bouquets for hospitals or other charities. Repeat Roses made headlines when Meghan Markle did just that for her New York baby shower. Just like any business they will need to charge you a fee for their service, but since they have infrastructure and relationships already in place it is likely going to be less than your florist will charge. Here are a few to consider:

Repeat Roses

Random Acts of Flowers

Petals with Purpose - Florida Based

Floranthopy - Texas Based

4) Hire someone (possibly your florist) to make a keepsake potpourri. Again this is going to take some coordination, time and money, but wouldn’t it be fun to send little sachets to your parents and bridal party as a way of saying thank you!







Happy First Anniversary Elizabeth and Danny. Elegant Blue and White Wedding in Chevy Chase at The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament and Columbia County Club

I met Elizabeth and Danny in the best possible way - through a referral from another wedding client (thank you Megan and Coult)! Elizabeth and Danny turned out to be just as wonderful and I am so happy to wish them a Happy First Anniversary together. The year flew by and I just had a chance to see their photos by Natalie Nadozirny of Borrowed Blue Photography. Take a look at #sMIttenwiththeSmiths on their special day at the beautiful Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament and historic Columbia Country Club.

Atelier Ashley Flowers + Dusty Blue + Borrowed and Blue Photography + Congressional Country Club + DC wedding +  bridesmaids + round bouquets

I love seeing a bride surrounded by her closest family and friends. Elizabeth was elegant in all white and her bridesmaids were the perfect complement in ice blue with bouquets of blue hydrangea and garden roses.

Atelier Ashley Flowers + Dusty Blue + Borrowed and Blue Photography + Congressional Country Club + DC wedding +  wedding shoes
Atelier Ashley Flowers + Dusty Blue + Borrowed and Blue Photography + Congressional Country Club + DC wedding +  walking down the aisle

Elizabeth’s Dad wore a boutonnière of blue thistle backed with simple greenery.

Atelier Ashley Flowers + Dusty Blue + Borrowed and Blue Photography + Congressional Country Club + DC wedding +  wedding portrait

Elizabeth carried a classic all white rounded bouquet of garden roses and Danny wore a white rose boutonnière with a touch of blue thistle.

Atelier Ashley Flowers + Dusty Blue + Borrowed and Blue Photography + Congressional Country Club + DC wedding +  yay
Atelier Ashley Flowers + Dusty Blue + Borrowed and Blue Photography + Congressional Country Club + DC wedding +  kiss

A few more shots at their beautiful wedding venues: The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament and Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Happy First Anniversary Erin and Ryan. Elegant July Wedding at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C.

It’s no secret that The Mandarin Oriental Hotel is one of my favorite venues in Washington. I love the hotel and working with their pro staff (read: Michael Deltette). Last July, I had the pleasure of designing for a beautiful couple, Erin Loomis and Ryan Moore, who made my job easy. And receiving this email from Erin after the wedding was icing on the cake: “Thank you so much for all the amazing flowers for my wedding this weekend. They were even better than what I was picturing in my head.” Happy First Anniversary Erin and Ryan! All photos by Michael Connor of Connor Studios.

Atelier Ashley Flowers +Erin and Ryan + Mandarin Oriental + Connor Studios + Ivory and Blush + Wedding Flowers + Arch + Greenery Arch

I get a lot of requests for floral arches which can be designed in a variety of shapes and sizes. It all depends on your venue and set-up. Erin and Ryan had a medium-sized arch of greenery accented with garden roses in blush and pink. The arch photographed beautifully and looked so romantic in the Mandarin’s garden.

Atelier Ashley Flowers +Erin and Ryan + Mandarin Oriental + Connor Studios + Ivory and Blush + Wedding Flowers + Roses + July Wedding + Arch + Floral Arch + Greenery Arch
Atelier Ashley Flowers +Erin and Ryan + Mandarin Oriental + Connor Studios + Ivory and Blush + Wedding Flowers + Arch + Roses + Arch Detail

The bouquets and boutonnieres featured all the best summer blooms in pinks and blush - from garden roses and hydrangea to ranunculus and dahlias.

Atelier Ashley Flowers +Erin and Ryan + Mandarin Oriental + Connor Studios + Ivory and Blush + Wedding Flowers + monument photos + dc wedding photos
Atelier Ashley Flowers +Erin and Ryan + Mandarin Oriental + Connor Studios + Ivory and Blush + Wedding Flowers + dc wedding + dc wedding florist

You can’t beat these classic photos on the steps of The Jefferson Memorial by Connor Studios. The blush and blues really pop against the white stone monument.

Atelier Ashley Flowers +Erin and Ryan + Mandarin Oriental + Connor Studios + Ivory and Blush + Wedding Flowers + bridesmaids + bouquets
Atelier Ashley Flowers +Erin and Ryan + Mandarin Oriental + Connor Studios + Ivory and Blush + Wedding Flowers + dc wedding photos + wedding bouquet
Atelier Ashley Flowers +Erin and Ryan + Mandarin Oriental + Connor Studios + Ivory and Blush + Wedding Flowers + wedding portrait ideas

For a more modern look, Connor Studios took advantage of the great waterfront views at The Wharf - just down the street from The Mandarin.

Erin and Ryan chose a tall centerpiece and a low candle design for their reception which created an elegant setting for the dinner. We also designed a signature escort arrangement and added fresh blooms to their beautiful wedding cake by Buttercream Bakeshop.

Atelier Ashley Flowers +Erin and Ryan + Mandarin Oriental + Connor Studios + Ivory and Blush + Wedding Flowers + wedding portrait in dc
Atelier Ashley Flowers +Erin and Ryan + Mandarin Oriental + Connor Studios + Ivory and Blush + Wedding Flowers + wedding kiss photo

Happy First Anniversary Kearney and Brent. D.C. Wedding at 101 Constitution and Charlie Palmer

It’s a special joy to celebrate the first anniversaries of the couples I’ve designed for over the past year. I love being able to look back at the photos with fresh eyes - you see new details, expressions and colors. I wonder if the couple feels that way too following their first year of marriage?. Kearney and Brent were married on the rooftop of 101 Constitution followed by dinner downstairs at Charlie Palmer. Flowers in burgundy, lavender and plum provided a vibrant contrast to the stone white backdrop of the U.S. Capitol and Washington Monument. Although I blogged about the wedding back in September (read it here), I wanted to post a few more pictures and congratulate Kearney and Brent on their first anniversary together. All photos by Amy Wu Photography. Wedding planning by Janice Carnevale of Bellwether Events.

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Happy First Anniversary Sam and Damion. June Wedding at District Winery.

Back in December, Washingtonian Weddings Magazine released their Winter/Spring issue which featured Sam and Damion’s beautiful June 8th wedding at District Winery. I was honored to have my work appear alongside so many great vendors and photographed by the talented Liz Fogarty. So even though you may have already seen this spread in the Washingtonian or on my previous blog, I wanted to give everyone another look and wish Sam @samanthanmmoss and Damion @dmossfitness a very Happy First Anniversary!

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Washington, D.C. Historic Wedding Venues and Happy First Anniversary to Danielle and Michael. May Wedding at Woodlawn Estate

Washington, D.C. is full of historic venues that make for beautiful weddings, including this one just down the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Alexandria, Virginia. The history of Woodlawn Estate started with a wedding which makes it an even more perfect venue for your nuptials. In 1799, the one and only George Washington gave Woodlawn to his step-grand-daughter, Eleanor "Nelly" Parke Custis and his nephew, Lawrence Lewis. Today, Woodlawn offers an outdoor setting with tented areas surrounded by beautiful gardens and landscaping. Not to mention, the mansion makes a gorgeous backdrop for any event. Also located on the property is the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Pope-Leighey House which is available to rent as well. Both are listed as National Trust for Historic Preservation sites.

Atelier Ashley Flowers + Woodlawn + Pope Leighhey House + Anna Reynal Photography + DC Weddings + DC Florist  + Mansion Wedding

Woodlawn Estate is beautiful in springtime and this bride and groom did it justice. Danielle and Michael were wonderful to work with and look stunning in their pictures. Photographer Anna Reynal shot so many beautiful images, it’s hard to choose just one - so forgive me while I share them all (not really).

Beautiful Bride Danielle in her  Essence of Australia  wedding gown from  Wren Bridal  in Annapolis. Make-up by  Georgetown Bride .

Beautiful Bride Danielle in her Essence of Australia wedding gown from Wren Bridal in Annapolis. Make-up by Georgetown Bride.

So much love and emotion in this shot.

So much love and emotion in this shot.

Groom Michael in Hugo Boss.

Groom Michael in Hugo Boss.

Danielle’s bouquet was a wild and organic spring mix of roses, blue delphinium, hyacinth, white stock, orchids and a variety of greenery. Her bouquet was finished with blue and white streaming ribbons.

Danielle’s bouquet was a wild and organic spring mix of roses, blue delphinium, hyacinth, white stock, orchids and a variety of greenery. Her bouquet was finished with blue and white streaming ribbons.

The bridesmaids carried smaller versions of the bride’s bouquet, also finished with streaming ribbons.

The bridesmaids carried smaller versions of the bride’s bouquet, also finished with streaming ribbons.

Two gold urns full of hydrangea, roses and greenery and placed on pedestals flanked the couple during their ceremony.

Two gold urns full of hydrangea, roses and greenery and placed on pedestals flanked the couple during their ceremony.

Atelier Ashley Flowers + Woodlawn + Pope Leighhey House + Anna Reynal Photography + DC Weddings + DC Florist  + bridesmaids-76.jpg
Atelier Ashley Flowers + Woodlawn + Pope Leighhey House + Anna Reynal Photography + DC Weddings + DC Florist  + bridal bouquet + bridesmaids + floral bridesmaids dresses + dusty blue + blue and white-67.jpg
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Happy First Anniversary Danielle and Michael. Wishing you many more happy years to come.

Happy First Anniversary Vanessa and Dave - Pretty in Pink at Washington Golf & Country Club

Before we close out the month of April, I wanted to wish a Happy First Anniversary to a special couple and share a few more cherry blossom photos. Today, I’m looking back at the April 28, 2018 wedding of Vanessa and Dave who were married at the beautiful Washington Golf & Country Club in Arlington. As always, Martina Kavanova was wonderful to work with at WGCC. Sam Hurd Photography did a great job of capturing the day. I hope you enjoy his pictures!

Atelier Ashley Flowers + Sam Hurd Photography + Washington Golf and Country Club + Diamond and Pearl Wedding +  Cherry Blossom Wedding + Cherry blossom wedding Portrait + boutonniere

Vanessa and Dave under a beautiful double cherry blossom tree. Trish Clarke Schechtman @squaregirl68 served as Vanessa and Dave’s day of coordinator.

Atelier Ashley Flowers + Sam Hurd Photography + Washington Golf and Country Club + Diamond and Pearl Wedding + pink and white + pink and white flowers + bouquet with pearls + bouquet with diamonds + white peonies + pink peonies

Vanessa carried a classic, rounded bouquet of garden roses, peonies, and ranunculus accented with pearls and crystals which gave it a very feminine look.

Atelier Ashley Flowers + Sam Hurd Photography + Washington Golf and Country Club + Diamond and Pearl Wedding + round bouquets + pink and white bouquet = wedding portraits + blush bridesmaids dresses + sweetheart wedding gown + flower girl

The eight bridesmaids carried smaller versions of the bridal bouquet and the sweet flower girl carried a pomander of pink roses and white hydrangea.

Atelier Ashley Flowers + Sam Hurd Photography + Washington Golf and Country Club + Diamond and Pearl Wedding + round ceremony arrangements + pink and white flowers + pink roses + white roses

The classic, rounded shape of Vanessa’s bouquet was carried throughout the ceremony and reception. Two large urns of pink and white roses and hydrangea were designed in a pavé style - which means the stems are cut short and the flower heads are placed close together.

Atelier Ashley Flowers + Sam Hurd Photography + Washington Golf and Country Club + Diamond and Pearl Wedding + pink and white flowers + ceremony arrangements
Atelier Ashley Flowers + Sam Hurd Photography + Washington Golf and Country Club + Diamond and Pearl Wedding + outdoor ceremony

The covered terrace overlooking the golf course is a beautiful setting for ceremonies and is mostly rain proof (but not necessarily wind proof).

Atelier Ashley Flowers + Sam Hurd Photography + Washington Golf and Country Club + Diamond and Pearl Wedding + aisle flowers + aisle decor  + bridal bouquet

Happy cheers for the newly married couple.

Atelier Ashley Flowers + Sam Hurd Photography + Washington Golf and Country Club + Diamond and Pearl Wedding + flower girl flowers + flower girl ideas + flower girl dress
Atelier Ashley Flowers + Sam Hurd Photography + Washington Golf and Country Club + Diamond and Pearl Wedding + sweetheart table + bridal bouquet + floating candles

Vanessa and Dave chose a combination of high, low, and floating candle centerpieces for their tables.

Atelier Ashley Flowers + Sam Hurd Photography + Washington Golf and Country Club + Diamond and Pearl Wedding + pink and white flowers + low centerpiece + white hydrangea + round centerpiece

The low style was designed in classic clear glass compotes and placed on top of mirrors.

Atelier Ashley Flowers + Sam Hurd Photography + Washington Golf and Country Club + Diamond and Pearl Wedding + round centerpiece  + white hydrangea + pink and white flowers + reception photo

The tall style was designed in a clear glass trumpet vase.

Atelier Ashley Flowers + Sam Hurd Photography + Washington Golf and Country Club + Diamond and Pearl Wedding + night photography

Happy First Anniversary Vanessa and Dave!

Happy First Anniversary Caroline and John - Classic Washington Wedding at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Church and The National Press Club

It’s been awhile since you’ve seen me design a classic, all white Washington wedding. Despite all the bright blooms and Design Master color on my Instagram feed, classic all white is something I adore. So on this occasion of Caroline Gunther and John Ismay’s first anniversary, I thought it would be a good time to share some pictures of their beautiful and timeless wedding at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Church and The National Press Club. All photos by Erin Tetterton Photography.

Atelier Ashley Flowers + Erin Tetterton Photography  + Press Club + All Peony Bouquet
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Caroline hired Jewel Hair Design and Blend Makeup Artistry for her hair and make-up.

Atelie Ashley Flowers + Erin Tetterton Photography + DC Wedding Florist  + National Press Club +  Father Daughter

A beautiful picture of Caroline and her Father - I love how her kind and thoughtful personality comes through in all the photos.

Atelier ASHLEY Flowers + Erin Tetterton Photography + All peony bouquet + All white bouquet  + round bouquet + National Press Club

Caroline chose an all white, rounded peony bouquet - classic and always in style.

Atelier Ashley Flowers + Erin Tetterton Photography + White Ranunculus Boutineer + Grey  Brunia Berries

John wore a detailed white ranunculus boutonniere accented by grey brasilia berry and finished with a coordinating satin ribbon.

Atelier Ashley Flowers + Erin Tetterton Photography + Flower Girl + Flowers crown + Corsage + National Press Club

A sweet and petite flower crown of spray roses was made for the flower girl who carried a basket of petals finished with a dusty pink ribbon.

Atelier Ashley Flowers + Erin Tetterton Photography +  Flat Lay + Stationary + ribbon + Wedding Invitation

Details… details. Erin Tetterton did a lovely job of capturing all the little things that made Caroline and John’s day so elegant.

Atelier Ashley Flowers + Erin Tetterton Photography  + Bridal bouquet + bridesmaids bouquets + dusty blue + dusty mauve + all rose bouquet + National  Press Club + Gonzaga

The bridesmaids also carried all white bouquets which were slightly smaller and made of polo roses nestled in hydrangea.

Atelier Ashley Flowers + Erin Tetterton Photography + Bridal Bouquet + flower girl + Gonzaga church + all white wedding

Great moment captured outside St. Aloysius Gonzaga Catholic Church.

Atelier Ashley Flowers + Erin Tetterton Photography + pomander +church wedding + gonzaga

I love this portrait and am so happy to see the aisle flowers went home with him.

Atelier Ashley Flowers + Erin Tetterton Photography + bridal portrait + bridesmaids bouquetsc + dusty blue + dusty pink
Atelier Ashley Flowers + Erin Tetterton Photography + All white phony bouquet + Gonzaga Church
Atelier Ashley Flowers + Erin Tetterton Photography
Atelier Ashley Flowers + Erin Tetterton Photography + Gonzaga Church
Atelier Ashley Flowers + Erin Tetterton Photography + black and white bridal portrait + all peony bouquet
Atelier Ashley Flowers + Erin Tetterton Photography + low centerpiece

For their reception at The National Press Club, Caroline and John carried the dusty blue, pink and grey colors to their centerpieces made of hydrangea and roses.

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The wedding cake by Edibles Incredible accented with a simple spray of flowers.

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Happy anniversary Caroline and John! Wishing you many years of happiness.

Cherry Blossom Photos in Washington D.C. at the Jefferson Memorial

As a collector of experiences, I wanted to see what it felt like to wake up at 5:30 a.m. and arrive in D.C. an hour later to experience a cherry blossom photo session. It actually felt pretty good! I am not a morning person by any means, but it was thrilling to join the other photo seekers at the Jefferson Memorial. Luckily for me, I was joined by Brittany Branson, Nika Smirnoff, and our photographer Casey Marie Windsor. After seeing these photos, I think the early wake up call was worth it!

Cherry Blossom + Jefferson Memorial + Atelier Ashley Flowers + By Brittany Branson + Marie Windsor Photography + Calligraphette & Co + Cherry Blossom Bouquet
Cherry Blossom + Jefferson Memorial + Atelier Ashley Flowers + By Brittany Branson + Marie Windsor Photography + Calligraphette & Co + Cherry Blossom Bouquet
Cherry Blossom + Jefferson Memorial + Atelier Ashley Flowers + By Brittany Branson + Marie Windsor Photography + Calligraphette & Co + Cherry Blossom Bouquet
Cherry Blossom + Jefferson Memorial + Atelier Ashley Flowers + By Brittany Branson + Marie Windsor Photography + Calligraphette & Co + Cherry Blossom Bouquet
Cherry Blossom + Jefferson Memorial + Atelier Ashley Flowers + By Brittany Branson + Marie Windsor Photography + Calligraphette & Co + Cherry Blossom Bouquet
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Cherry Blossom + Jefferson Memorial + Atelier Ashley Flowers + By Brittany Branson + Marie Windsor Photography + Calligraphette & Co + Cherry Blossom Bouquet
Cherry Blossom + Jefferson Memorial + Atelier Ashley Flowers + By Brittany Branson + Marie Windsor Photography + Calligraphette & Co + Cherry Blossom Bouquet
Cherry Blossom + Jefferson Memorial + Atelier Ashley Flowers + By Brittany Branson + Marie Windsor Photography + Calligraphette & Co + Cherry Blossom Bouquet
Cherry Blossom + Jefferson Memorial + Atelier Ashley Flowers + By Brittany Branson + Marie Windsor Photography + Calligraphette & Co + Cherry Blossom Bouquet
Cherry Blossom + Jefferson Memorial + Atelier Ashley Flowers + By Brittany Branson + Marie Windsor Photography + Calligraphette & Co + Cherry Blossom Bouquet

J.Crew Fashion Night with Erica Natal and Leigh Heiserman

Have you seen @ericalnatal on Instagram lately? She is hustling - and making some real headway - by generating creative and compelling content. Recently, she partnered with J.Crew in Georgetown for a spring shopping party and asked me to design some flowers for the event. Her buddy Leigh Heiserman from Lauryn Prattes Styling and Events stopped by to share in the fun which made for great photos.

Erica Natal + J Crew + Atelier Ashley Flowers + Solely In Focus + LPE_Leigh + Buttercream Bakeshop + cherry blossoms

All photos by Erica’s company, Solely In Focus. Daisy macaroons by Buttercream Bakeshop.

Erica Natal + J Crew + Atelier Ashley Flowers + Solely In Focus + LPE_Leigh + Buttercream Bakeshop + cherry blossoms
Erica Natal + J Crew + Atelier Ashley Flowers + Solely In Focus + LPE_Leigh + Buttercream Bakeshop + cherry blossoms
Erica Natal + J Crew + Atelier Ashley Flowers + Solely In Focus + LPE_Leigh + Buttercream Bakeshop + cherry blossoms

Erica and Leigh

Erica Natal + J Crew + Atelier Ashley Flowers + Solely In Focus + LPE_Leigh + Buttercream Bakeshop + cherry blossoms
Erica Natal + J Crew + Atelier Ashley Flowers + Solely In Focus + LPE_Leigh + Buttercream Bakeshop + cherry blossoms

My Wedding at Oxon Hill Manor

Truly, I have so much to say about my wedding at Oxon Hill Manor, but mostly I just wanted to share the pictures with you. So here are a few of my favorites from our wedding almost 7 years ago. Yes, I did the flowers myself (with generous support from my friends Antje Wood, Tricia Siudet and The Enchanted Florist, VA). All photos are by Lisa Boggs Photography, day of coordination by Kelly Cannon Events. The motorcycle is a Paul Smart Ducati and the cake is by Maggie Austin Cake.

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Atelier Ashley Wedding at Oxon Hill by Lisa Boggs
Atelier Ashley Wedding at Oxon Hill by Lisa Boggs
Atelier Ashley Wedding at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs
Atelier Ashley Wedding at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs
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Atelier Ashley Wedding at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs
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Atelier Ashley Wedding at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs
Atelier Ashley Wedding at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs
Atelier Ashley Wedding at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs
Atelier Ashley Wedding at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs
Atelier Ashley Wedding at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs
Atelier Ashley Wedding at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs
Atelier Ashley Wedding at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs
Maggie Austin Cake, her first glorious lily
Atelier Ashley Flowers at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs.
Atelier Ashley Flowers at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs.
Atelier Ashley Flowers at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs.
Atelier Ashley Flowers at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs.
Atelier Ashley Flowers at Oxon Hill Manor by Lisa Boggs.

Cherry Blossom Photos Washington DC a DIY Guide - Parking and Photography

While notorious for meticulous planning when it involves my clients, when it comes to fun projects just for me, “Spontaneous” is probably the nicest word that could be used to describe me.

When I heard peak Cherry time had been moved up a couple of days, I wanted in on the action, and I wanted in now. My first thought was to ping a couple of my professional photographer friends to see if they had any “Cherry Blossom Sessions” left, but most were completely booked or couldn’t work within my last minuet time frame. Most professional photographers only guarantee a handful of time slots because of the unpredictability of the Cherry Trees blossoming.

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Following so many #igdc photographers I realized that I could probably get some great photos with just my iPhone and good lighting. So next I tapped a few people I identify as “creative hustlers” who would probably be down for an early morning if it meant some good content. I also put a flyer up on my Instagram Stories asking if anyone wanted to join me in the joy of waking up at 5:30.

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Within a few hours, By Brittany Branson, Calligraphette & Co, and even a real photographer, Marie Windsor Photography were all on board! Now technically there are rules to taking photos at the monuments, and if you are working with a professional photographer they need to apply for a permit. Since we were going as friends, and working mostly with our iphones we thought we were probably ok. Just no props and no tripods, I have haerd that fines can be issued in the thousands of dollars range.

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Never having been part of a Cherry Blossom session myself, I really didn’t know what to expect. Would there be parking, how early do we really need to get there?

I have heard that the best time to be there is before sunrise, so since sunrise was at 6:59 am we decided to meet at 6:30am. This was a good idea, and meeting at 6:15am might have been an even better idea, but really that is just way too early!

Coming from Alexandria, VA I took the parkway over Memorial Bridge, bore to the right and then turned left to follow the road along the water towards the Jefferson Memorial. My idea was to park in the lot closest in front to the memorial but it was closed. I continued to follow the road closet to the Jefferson and eventually saw a sign for Public Parking. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was doing, but decided to trust the signage and turned left. Just a little down that road there was a parking lot with lots of spaces at 6:28am. It is pay parking and I used my Park Moblie App, zone 5811 and was on my way. The walk from the lot to the steps of the Jefferson is about 10 minuets.

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Brittany had been the first to arrive and remarked that waiting alone at 6:25 in the morning had been kind of creepy, but that in the time she had gone in to use the ladies room (so yes there are some restrooms) and come back out, 2 couples were already in the midst of their engagement sessions.

Having been admiring Connor Studios portraits, for a year, I wanted to try and get the same angle so we walked clockwise around the water from the memorial. By 6:55 another photographer and family, were in the spot I had spied on our walk in. Trust me, jockeying for position gets real, which is why you may want to come even earlier than 6:30. I guess it’s just human nature, but sometimes I forget to be all zen and polite.

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By 7:05 the sun was making its way up, and the sky was showing signs of brilliant yellow and red. We took turns posing in pairs of two and as a group. We captured the cherries with the Washington Monument, and the Jefferson and then took a few through the blooms themselves.

We photographed until about 7:30am which by then the place was drawing with couples, families, photographers, instagram models, joggers and bikers!

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Brittany and Nika had appointments to head off too and Casey Marie and I wandered a little further down the path. Eventually we were tired and felt we had enough photos, by 8:00 I was back in my car and heading home.

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The Cherry Trees were not quite a peak, and something about being up and in the presence of such powerful elegance is intoxicating, so I may just have to do this again!

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Historic Meridian House Wedding

Last October, I had the pleasure of designing for a special couple who were married at the historic Meridian House designed by architect John Russell Pope. This weekend is Megan and Coult’s first anniversary and I wanted to take a moment to celebrate them. Looking back through the photos by Djenno Bacvic, it’s hard to find a frame where they aren’t smiling or laughing — and not just little smiles, we’re talking big smiles that go ear to ear.

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Megan and Coult’s outdoor ceremony was full of white and peach flowers, including an all white chuppah accented with greenery.

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What an entrance! The gardens at Meridian House are in bloom from April to October and provide the perfect setting for a wedding. Maria Canellis, Director of Events, is an expert at making private events and weddings magical.

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There’s that big smile again.

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Wedding Planner Molly Radigan was hard at work on all the details behind the scenes.

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I like this bird’s eye view of the party in the linden grove. Catering by Natalie Walker, Event Coordinator for Well Dunn Catering.

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Sparklers and one more big smile for the road.

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Happy memories of a happy couple. Congratulations on your first anniversary!

Cherry Blossom Photos Washington DC a DIY Guide - Parking and Photography

While notorious for meticulous planning when it involves my clients, when it comes to fun projects just for me, “Spontaneous” is probably the nicest word that could be used to describe me.

When I heard peak Cherry time had been moved up a couple of days, I wanted in on the action, and I wanted in now. My first thought was to ping a couple of my professional photographer friends to see if they had any “Cherry Blossom Sessions” left, but most were completely booked or couldn’t work within my last minuet time frame. Most professional photographers only guarantee a handful of time slots because of the unpredictability of the Cherry Trees blossoming.

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Following so many #igdc photographers I realized that I could probably get some great photos with just my iPhone and good lighting. So next I tapped a few people I identify as “creative hustlers” who would probably be down for an early morning if it meant some good content. I also put a flyer up on my Instagram Stories asking if anyone wanted to join me in the joy of waking up at 5:30.

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Within a few hours, By Brittany Branson, Calligraphette & Co, and even a real photographer, Marie Windsor Photography were all on board! Now technically there are rules to taking photos at the monuments, and if you are working with a professional photographer they need to apply for a permit. Since we were going as friends, and working mostly with our iphones we thought we were probably ok. Just no props and no tripods, I have haerd that fines can be issued in the thousands of dollars range.

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Never having been part of a Cherry Blossom session myself, I really didn’t know what to expect. Would there be parking, how early do we really need to get there?

I have heard that the best time to be there is before sunrise, so since sunrise was at 6:59 am we decided to meet at 6:30am. This was a good idea, and meeting at 6:15am might have been an even better idea, but really that is just way too early!

Coming from Alexandria, VA I took the parkway over Memorial Bridge, bore to the right and then turned left to follow the road along the water towards the Jefferson Memorial. My idea was to park in the lot closest in front to the memorial but it was closed. I continued to follow the road closet to the Jefferson and eventually saw a sign for Public Parking. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was doing, but decided to trust the signage and turned left. Just a little down that road there was a parking lot with lots of spaces at 6:28am. It is pay parking and I used my Park Moblie App, zone 5811 and was on my way. The walk from the lot to the steps of the Jefferson is about 10 minuets.

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Brittany had been the first to arrive and remarked that waiting alone at 6:25 in the morning had been kind of creepy, but that in the time she had gone in to use the ladies room (so yes there are some restrooms) and come back out, 2 couples were already in the midst of their engagement sessions.

Having been admiring Connor Studios portraits, for a year, I wanted to try and get the same angle so we walked clockwise around the water from the memorial. By 6:55 another photographer and family, were in the spot I had spied on our walk in. Trust me, jockeying for position gets real, which is why you may want to come even earlier than 6:30. I guess it’s just human nature, but sometimes I forget to be all zen and polite.

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By 7:05 the sun was making its way up, and the sky was showing signs of brilliant yellow and red. We took turns posing in pairs of two and as a group. We captured the cherries with the Washington Monument, and the Jefferson and then took a few through the blooms themselves.

We photographed until about 7:30am which by then the place was drawing with couples, families, photographers, instagram models, joggers and bikers!

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Brittany and Nika had appointments to head off too and Casey Marie and I wandered a little further down the path. Eventually we were tired and felt we had enough photos, by 8:00 I was back in my car and heading home.

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The Cherry Trees were not quite a peak, and something about being up and in the presence of such powerful elegance is intoxicating, so I may just have to do this again!

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Happy First Anniversary Claire and Brendan! All White Spring Wedding at the Sagamore Pendry in Baltimore

March is here and that means it’s time to wish Claire and Brendan a happy first anniversary. Their wedding was truly a dream - they are a gorgeous couple that complements each other in every way.

The Sagamore Pendry Hotel provided the perfect backdrop for this beautiful all white wedding planned by Tiffany Rivera of Simply Breathe Events. I also had the chance to work with the fabulous Maren White; Maren is now back in town as the Director of Catering and Special Events at The Conrad Washington, D.C.

I love designing a show-stopping arrangement for the escort table. Claire and Brendan’s tall arrangement included white garden roses, hydrangea, orchids and white pear blossoms.

Claire and Brendan’s soundtrack for the night was created by DJ Kelton Higgins. Check him out - he’s wonderful to work with and is getting married himself in just a few months.

Claire carried a classic, all white rounded bouquet of David Austin Patience garden roses and peonies with just a hint of greenery. About half of my brides choose a classic style like this for their bouquet; the other half opt for something organic, wild and free flowing.

Claire and Brendan were married under an all white floral chuppah.

The couple chose tall, dramatic centerpieces to highlight the architecture of the ballroom at the Sagamore Pendry. As you can see, the centerpieces were on double duty for the wedding day - we used them for both the ceremony and the reception which is a great way to get more out of your wedding flowers.

Pear blossoms and these little blue bird ornaments gave this late March wedding a unique spring feel. Happy March, Happy Spring! And Congratulations Claire and Brendan.

Inbal and Bryan's October Wedding In and Around D.C., Old Town, and Mount Vernon

She wore flowers in her hair and carried magic secrets in her eyes.
— Arundhati Roy
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Some pictures are so simple and breathtaking that they capture a whole day in one frame. Inbal was a stunning October bride and I’m so happy to have a chance to share these beautiful images by Genevieve Leiper with you.

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Dress by Grace Loves Lace and make-up by Alisa Venglinskaya @venglinskaya_makeup.

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Bride and Groom dressed and ready to go at The Alexandrian in Old Town. The wedding was held just down the road at the beautiful and historic Mount Vernon.

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A great shot of Inbal and Bryan at Mount Vernon framed perfectly by their chuppah made of greenery. I love the emotion on their faces.

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Five pretty bridesmaids, each with their own style. Don’t they look like fun?

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Inbal’s color palette of cream, peach and dark red made for a stunning bridal bouquet and flower crown. Wedding flowers were a mix of Garden and Spray Roses, Lisianthus, and Ranunculus accented with greenery of Italian Ruscus, Seeded Eucalyptus, and Salal.

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You can’t beat this Tidal Basin backdrop. Congratulations Inbal and Bryan!

DIY Cranberry Topiary - Perfect for Your Last Minute Holiday Decor

Down from DC we are spending this week in sunny Sarasota, Florida. Without access to my normal flower suppliers it had me thinking about what was easy and festive to create. Having just had an opportunity to visit the White House, I was inspired by their long tradition of cranberry topiaries and thought this would be just perfect! If you didn’t have a chance to tune into Suncoast View, ABC 7 here is everything you need to DIY your own holiday topiary.

Step 1: Gather together all of your materials. You are going to need:

Styrofoam Shape

Spanish moss or Tinsel

Scissors

Spray Glue

Toothpicks

Cranberries

Step 2: Coat your shape with spray glue

Hint: It is easier to cover if you cut the moss/tinsel into smaller pieces.

Double Hint: You can make a spray booth out of an Amazon Box by just cutting one side. This helps to contain the mess and makes clean up easy!

Step 3: Re-apply one more coat and roll your shape over the moss/tinsel one more time.

Hint: If you are using Spanish Moss you might want to use Design Master Just for Flowers Spray paint to coat the moss red and create a richer texture.

Step 4: Cut your toothpicks in half

Step 5: Insert your toothpick into the bottom of your shape half way. Pop cranberry on!

Note: It is much easier to put the toothpick in first, rather then putting the toothpick on the cranberry and then trying to push it in. Trust me! Or try it for yourself:)

Note: It is much easier to put the toothpick in first, rather then putting the toothpick on the cranberry and then trying to push it in. Trust me! Or try it for yourself:)

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Step 6: Repeat! Repeat! Repeat!

Place your next toothpick half about 1/3 an inch to the left of your first cranberry.

Note: It looks best if you place the second row in-between the cranberries of the first row, this helps to keep it natural looking.

Note: It looks best if you place the second row in-between the cranberries of the first row, this helps to keep it natural looking.

Step 7: Garnish with a few touches of peppery berry and pepper berry leaves tucked in.

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If you still want more cranberry decor, check out my DIY Cranberry Candle!

What Flowers Work Best at District Winery?

Featured in 2018-2019 Washingtonian Weddings Magazine!

Ceremony space photographed by  Liz Fogarty

Ceremony space photographed by Liz Fogarty

I think we can all agree that District Winery is one of the top five hottest wedding venues for 2019!  With gorgeous views (and an even better event staff) I feel so lucky to have been invited by my bride Sam and her groom Damion to design for them at their June 8th, 2018 wedding. If you are into fitness, especially with the New Year approaching, you can follow them on instagram at @sammossfit and @dmossfitness

First look captured by  Liz Fogarty

First look captured by Liz Fogarty

Originally, Sam was considering an asymmetrical hanging greenery installation for her ceremony, but ultimately decided to use the District Winery wine barrels.  The wine barrels are great because they are sturdy platforms that support large arrangements with no surprises or worries about wind interference.  For those of us working on rooftops, wind can be a really big deal and often spoils best laid designs.  In addition, we lined the chair rows with boxes of greenery and delicate white flowers to help soften the modern ascetic and add a little romance.  Looking at the photos by Liz Fogarty Photography you almost can't tell you are in the middle of downtown D.C.!

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District Winery has your guests enter from the ground level, so it is helpful to have signs directing the way upstairs.

Invitations and paper goods by  The Dandelion Patch

Invitations and paper goods by The Dandelion Patch

Part of the charm and appeal of District Winery is the modern industrial vibe complete with exposed steel beams and boards.  From a floral perspective, the exposed beams and boards are fabulous because they make it easy to hang lightweight installations.  Working with Natalie from Designed Perfectly Events, we hung two abstract greenery and flower focal pieces over each of the bars.

Ivy, plums and white roses was all it took to make something special and dramatic. Photo by  Liz Fogarty

Ivy, plums and white roses was all it took to make something special and dramatic. Photo by Liz Fogarty

When District Winery opened, they had custom tables built to accommodate as many guests as possible and maintain the chic urban vibe.  All the food is served family style and the tables are extremely narrow.  As a result, fat centerpieces are out of the question unless they are tall with a very small footprint.  

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Broken garland is a popular choice among clients, but we opted for something a little more romantic.  On each of the tables, we placed four groupings of tall stemmed glass floating candles with petite arrangements nestled to the sides.

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Personally, I was treated so well at District Winery that I am excited to design for them anytime I can!  Now enjoy a few more of Liz Fogarty's photos from Sam and Damion's wedding because they are too gorgeous not to share!

Let's just say it, HOT! HOT! HOT! thanks to  Susan Lim Hair  and Makeup

Let's just say it, HOT! HOT! HOT! thanks to Susan Lim Hair and Makeup

The best part about designing the aisle greenery in a box was that they were easy to move and reuse for the reception. I didn't even have to stay to do this, Natalie and the venue took care of it!

The best part about designing the aisle greenery in a box was that they were easy to move and reuse for the reception. I didn't even have to stay to do this, Natalie and the venue took care of it!

A collaboration with  Buttercream Bakery ,  Designed Perfectly Events  and Moi, and, of course, photographed by  Liz Fogarty Photos  With music/entertainment by John Howard, A2Z Music Factory

A collaboration with Buttercream Bakery, Designed Perfectly Events and Moi, and, of course, photographed by Liz Fogarty Photos With music/entertainment by John Howard, A2Z Music Factory