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Save Money on Wedding Flowers With These 3 Rules

Make your wedding a blooming success without blowing your budget.

By Jennifer Barger Holly Heider Chapple created this cheerful bouquet using daffodils and spirea from her own garden. Photograph by Jodi Miller Photography.

Blame a thousand peony-filled Pinterest boards and the trend toward wild, garden-style bridal arrangements: outfitting a wedding with beautiful blooms is not an inexpensive endeavor. Factor in seasonality, shipping costs, and durability, and totals can wind up far higher than what a couple is prepared to pay.

“Each couple has to make personal choices about their flower budget, and where they’ll save and splurge,” says Holly Heider Chapple, a Lucketts, Virginia-based floral designer. Here’s how to navigate those decisions and still get the style you want.

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DIY: Printed Napkins and Wrapped Utensils

Add a personal touch to your rustic table setting with these easy steps.

By Irina Grechko All photographs by Lauren Joseph.

Personalize each guest’s table setting with printed napkins and hand-wrapped utensils. Use the pretty napkins to feature the menu, or showcase your guest’s initials in place of seating cards; the wrapped knife and fork add a nice pop of color. Follow our easy steps to get the shabby-chic look, perfect for a rustic wedding.

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Pinteresting: A Bounty of Bunting

These garlands are an easy and delightful way to decorate a reception venue or delineate a ceremony area.

By Erin Keane Scott Bunting is a popular choice for wedding decor.

Whether you’re planning a rustic-chic, homespun affair, or a nautically oriented celebration, bunting is a festive way to turn any space into a great place to party. These colorful, relatively simple strung-up flags have become so prevalent, you can use them to decorate pretty much anything, from an old oak tree to the rafters of a barn; brides are even fashioning miniature versions into personalized wedding-day accessories. And every couple’s names somehow just look cuter when presented in bunting; there’s an “Aww” moment in seeing “Jane & John” hanging from the backs of chairs or blowing in the breeze over a table full of favors and place cards.

We pulled together the prettiest—and did we mention easy-to-DIY—bunting inspiration Pinterest has to offer.

Use it as signage.

Use it with your cake.

Try it from ceiling rafters for a bit of color against wooden beams.

Or create a sweet(er) ceremony.



Pinteresting: Floral Crowns

Whimsical wreaths aren’t just for flower girls anymore.

By Erin Keane Scott

We’re not sure where it started, but when we saw one of our fave fashion bloggers, Leandra Medine of Man Repeller, accessorize her Marchesa wedding gown with an oversize floral crown, we knew a trend would likely be sticking around for a while.

Country brides and city brides alike are turning to roses, baby’s breath, peonies, and ranunculuses to bedeck their manes and add a dash of “nature girl” to wedding style. The garlands are whimsical and uber-romantic, but they can also be glamorous and, with the right blooms, actually quite luxurious.

Pinterest is blooming with inspiration for these headpieces—and we went ahead and aggregated a few of our favorites.

Green and white:

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Flowers and Décor

Black, White, and Green Art Gallery Shoot

A team of talented Annapolis-area vendors stage a high-fashion photo shoot

By Kim Forrest

A gown with architectural details and greenery in lieu of flowers contributes to a contemporary feel. All photographs by David Hartcorn Photography

We love a good backyard, vintage-inspired wedding as much as the next gal, but we’re starting to think that clean, ultramodern events are what’s next in wedding style here in the DC area (we’re thinking a toned-down version of Kim Kardashian’s black-and-white wedding, perhaps).

So obviously we were delighted to see this photo shoot styled by the unique and chic Julie Savage of Strawberry Milk Events (whose blog we’ve admired for a while), and shot by David Hartcorn Photography. Several other Annapolis vendors (listed below) also contributed their creativity and talents to these photos, which were shot at a private residence in Annapolis.

According to Savage, the shoot was inspired by the phrase: “Love is the most beautiful art form.” With a color scheme of black, white, and kelly green, the vendors created lots of inspiring details (the mini champagne bottle save-the-date, the black dinnerware, the graphic menu), that are totally wedding-worthy.

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Flowers and Décor

DIY Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Whether you’re a mini Martha or a crafting novice, we’ve got a fun (and easy, we promise!) DIY tablescape project for you.

By Kim Forrest

The finished product. Photograph by Genevieve Leiper Photography

If you saw our fall centerpiece roundup and wondered, “How the heck am I going to make something like that?,” we’ve got the answer. We asked Lucketts, Virginia, florist Holly Heider Chapple of Holly Heider Chapple Flowers to show us how to create a fall-themed centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table. We swear it’s totally easy, and will absolutely impress your guests (even stuck-up Aunt Barbara). So put your arts-and-crafts hat on, and let’s get started.

Flowers and Décor

Fall Centerpiece Ideas

Looking for a tablescape that will look gorgeous on your Thanksgiving (or wedding) table? Local florists share their most inspiring ideas.

By Kim Forrest

Don’t tell our friends over at our Best Bites blog, but Thanksgiving isn’t just about the food. It’s also an opportunity to decorate your table (and home) with fall finery—and to totally impress even your most “seen it all” relatives. Whether you’re a DIY type (if so, stay tuned, as we’ll have a special project for you very soon) or a decorating novice, we thought we’d provide you with some Thanksgiving tablescape inspiration in the form of autumn-themed centerpieces created by area florists and decor pros. And for those of you planning a fall wedding, these arrangements would look gorgeous on reception tables, as well.


MOB Monday: Bouquet Brouhaha

Our resident wedding etiquette expert, Leslie Milk, Washingtonian lifestyle editor and author of It’s Her Wedding But I’ll Cry If I Want To: A Survival Guide for the Mother of the Bride, answers questions from and about MOBs (or MOGs!)

By Leslie Milk
Maybe this corsage wasn't such a good idea...

My daughter and I have been having a debate: Do mothers of the bride and groom typically carry a bouquet during a wedding ceremony? I think yes, my daughter says no.

In days of yore, the mother of the bride used to wear a dowdy dress, low heels, and a floral corsage. Most of us were thrilled to give up the corsage along with the rest of the outfit. Some mothers do carry a small nosegay or a single flower, but it tends to be awkward. You’re coming down the aisle on the arm of an usher or with your daughter. Which hand holds the flower? And what do you do with it while you are greeting your guests, let along balancing a celebratory drink during the cocktail hour? At least a corsage kept your hands free.

Let your daughter carry the bouquet, while you carry the pride in helping her pull off the wedding she wants.

Do you have a wedding etiquette question for Leslie? E-mail kforrest@washingtonian.com and we’ll get you the answer!

Flowers and Décor

Turn Your Bouquet Into Art

A Reston artist paints bridal bouquet portraits, creating a unique keepsake

By Kim Forrest

Eriksdotter's bright paintings make perfect wedding gifts. Photograph by Casey Collings

One of the perks of being a bride is carrying around a gorgeous floral arrangement all day. Unfortunately, unless you’re careful, the flowers will probably start wilting by the end of the night. Drying a bridal bouquet has long been the only way to preserve its memory, but a Reston artist has come up with a different solution.

Erica Eriksdotter, a native of Sweden, paints portraits of a bridal bouquet, a venture that combines her love of creating original art (her grandfather was a talented watercolorist) and flowers (her mother is a florist and she cites Georgia O’Keefe as a major inspiration).

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Flowers and Décor

Bouquet Add-Ons

Adorn your arrangement with a sentimental detail

A unique bouquet adornment—a hotel key. Photograph by Abby Jiu

When DC florist Sidra Forman sent us this photo (shot by Abby Jiu) of a bouquet she recently created, we loved the lush florals, but we were also intrigued by the charm attached to the stems.

Turns out the charm came from a Parisian hotel room key. According to Jiu, the bride spotted it at a flea market—the “715” on the charm matched the her wedding date, July 15.

This got us thinking about other charms or adornments one could attach to a bouquet. Of course, you could head to a flea market and scout out vintage ornaments, but Forman also recommends looking a little closer to home. “I’ve seen brides bring in brooches, lockets with photos of a deceased relative inside, fabric from a mother’s wedding dress, bracelets, and handkerchiefs,” she says.

Are you planning on attaching a unique adornment to your bouquet? Send a photo to realweddings@washingtonian.com and we’ll post it on the blog.

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