When Should You Meet With Your Wedding Florist?

posted by julianne

We are back with more wedding flower advice! (You can catch up yesterday’s kick off to wedding flower week!) This time we are talking planning details, as in when should you meet with your florist for the first time? Too early and you could get overwhelmed or the meeting could be unproductive, but meet too late and you’ll just be scrambling and flustered! So, when is that sweet spot? I asked the best wedding florists in the Washington DC area for their advice about when in the when in the wedding planning process should couples meet with their wedding florist. When do they like to meet with their clients? Here is what they had to say…


Photo Credit: Emily Clack Photography; Floral Design: Petal’s Edge Floral Design
From Sarah and Aaron’s wedding in DC

“If you have your heart set on a specific floral designer then the sooner the better! Clients can book up to a year in advance of the wedding to secure the date with their favorite designer. You don’t need to get into specifics right away, but you can at least hold the date with a deposit and good idea of the budget you will have for floral design. It is best to have the following information before booking a floral designer: date, location of ceremony and reception, number of guests and number of attendants in the bridal party.” – Alicia, owner of Alicia Jayne Florals

“When couples meet with a florist is less a matter of when in terms of time and more a matter of when you are ready. While it can be typical to meet anywhere from six to eight months out from the wedding at the outset to as close as two to four months when planning tightly, we tend to think the best time is when you are prepared to discuss flowers. You don’t need to know anything about flowers, but having a general idea of your color scheme, overall style of the wedding, and some sense of what you like and dislike will be useful to the discussion.” – Gerry and Rebecca, owners of Petal’s Edge Floral Design

“Anytime after you’ve booked your wedding venue(s) and know your wedding color palette. It’s also great to have your gown and/or bridesmaids dresses chosen as we love to see those details! Florists are one of the few vendors that touch every part of the wedding day, so we often can help solidify the overall look and design of the wedding, especially if you are including a wedding planner (which we highly recommend!).” – Christi, president of Bergerons Flowers


Floral Design: J. Morris Flowers

“Before going to a wedding florist, make sure you’ve booked your venue and determined the overall style. This will help narrow down floral ideas. If your wedding is during peak season (April-June, Sept-Oct) or the holidays (Christmas, Memorial Day, etc), make the appointment as soon as possible. Also, if you have a specific florist in mind, go in for a consultation early – chances are if you are determined on a florist, so are others.” – Liza, owner of Studio DBI

“Planning for floral designs for your wedding really depends on your budget and size of your event. If you are having a simple wedding with just a few wedding party designs along with centerpieces for 10 tables or less, you can wait until about three to six months prior. To be fair, please note that your favorite florist might not be available for your date that close to it. So, if you really have a favorite florist, don’t wait more than nine months prior to your wedding.  Some of our dates get filled up even a year in advance.”  – Katie, owner of Elegance & Simplicity

“Couples preparing for their wedding will need to make multiple decisions regarding their wedding day and the choices and options may seem overwhelming. We suggest an initial floral design consultation after your venue has been chosen and advise as early as a nine to twelve months in advance for busy months such as May, June, September and October; and six months in advance for any other time of the year.” - Lisa, owner of Petals and Promises

“It totally depends on the clients expectations of the florist. Some floral designers are also event designers, so in this instance it is crucial to get to them early in the process so they can help with the overall theme and look of the wedding. They will manage rentals and ensure that the entire wedding is cohesive. If your floral designer is highly sought after at the very least you will want to reserve the date. Our studio has a securing the date clause, which allows clients to reserve our services in advance and then they can get their details in order. If the floral designer is not doing the event design then it is wise to make your first visit to the florist after you have chosen dresses and colors of the wedding and after your wedding look is chosen so you can get down to the business of flowers. Your florist will also need to know the colors of linens and other rentals as they are chosen. If the floral designer is acting as an event designer it is his/her role to help with the selection of these items.” Holly, owner of Holly Chapple Flowers

“When to have your first meeting really depends, but if you have a popular date, like September, October, May or June, then you should meet at least a year in advance. ” – Jennifer, owner of J. Morris Flowers


Thank you so much for such great advice about when to have your first wedding floral meeting!! I hope you’ll stick with us for wedding floral week here on United With Love. Please check out each of these talented DC area wedding florists on their websites. And, remember to come back all week long because we have so much more coming at you; I can’t wait!

In the meantime, be sure to look through our DC area wedding idea galleries and find wedding advice from local DC, MD and VA wedding pros. If that isn’t enough, check out our collection of local DMV weddings from the real world and the best DC area wedding vendors who make it all happen.

Inspiration and Ideas: Red and Pink Bouquets + Boutonnières

posted by ally

As you know, all week long we are talking wedding day flowers: tips, advice, inspiration, you name it – we’ve got it! To kick off a colorful week of inspiration during our “wedding floral week,” I’ll be rounding up my favorite ideas for bridal bouquets and boutonnières… by color! (And don’t forget, we’ve covered wedding flowers in the DMV by season, too!) Of course, I’ll have to start off with some of my favs from local real weddings in reds and pinks! On that note, here we go…

Floral Design: Orys Custom Florals | Photo Credit: Duhon Photography from Outdoor Wedding in Maryland

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  • This warm bridal bouquet perfectly fits this rustic-meets-vintage-inspired wedding in Virginia - it is just too cute for words! Floral Design: Greenworks Photo Credit: Rebekah J. Murray Photography

    via Farm Wedding in Virginia

  • Timeless and oozing with elegance (and pops of pink!), every image of this classic DC wedding has a hold on me - especially this bright and modern bouquet! Floral Design: Sheila Moore Photo Credit: k. thompson photography

    via Traditional Wedding in Washington DC

  • I absolutely adore the simplicity of these pink bridesmaids' bouquets. These are perfect for an outdoor spring wedding! Photo Credit: Abby Jiu Photography

    via Elegance & Simplicity, Inc.

  • A deep red boutonnière creates the classic picture of wedding elegance, wouldn't you agree!? Floral Credit: Fleur de Lis Florist Photo Credit: Jennifer McMenamin Photography

    via Classic Wedding in Baltimore

  • This red and plum bridal bouquet is oozing with warm winter wedding romance! Floral Design: Honey Floral Design Photo Credit: Elle G. Photography

    via Best Flowers for Winter Weddings in the Washington DC Area

  • Loving how a simple calla lily bud can stunningly accent a groom's attire! Floral Design: DBI Events Photo Credit: Lauryn Galloway Photography

    via Modern Wedding in Washington DC

  • Loving the sweet romance of this bridal bouquet in different shades of pink! Photo Credit: Sweet Tea Photography

    via Studio DBI

  • This charming and intimate affair in Maryland paired bright red with Tiffany blue for a modern wedding color palette! Floral Design: DaVinci Florist Photography: Ethan Yang Photography

    via DIY Wedding in Maryland

  • With pops of pink, red and mint green, this mix of unexpected colors for Valentine's Day wedding ideas is exactly what you need for a sophisticated affair. Floral Design: Southern Blooms Photo Credit: Rachel May Photography

    via Sophisticated Valentine’s Day Wedding Ideas

Are you looking for more local wedding ideas? Be sure to look through our DC area wedding idea galleries and find wedding advice from local DC area pros. If that isn’t enough, check out our collection of local DMV weddings from the real world and the best DC area wedding vendors who make it all happen.

How to Find Your Wedding Floral Style?

posted by julianne

Welcome to the first post in what I’m calling “wedding floral week” here on United With Love. You know that I love giving practical wedding planning advice to help couples in the Washington DC area plan their local weddings, and, well, flowers is just one of those topics that we haven’t gotten too deep into…yet. (We have done wedding flowers in the DMV by season.) So, now is the time! I asked the top wedding florists in DC, MD and VA to lend their expertise, and we are going to be dishing out all week week long and then some! Flowers are gorgeous,  as we all know, and they have the magic to transform any wedding into a stunning affair. But, most of us aren’t florists and we have no idea where to start. Flowers can prove to be a costly wedding mistake, if you don’t do your research and team up with the right florist. I can’t wait to help you learn a little bit more about wedding planning and flowers. I know I’m going to be learning right along with you!


Photo Credit: Kristen Gardner Photography; Floral Design: Holly Chapple Flowers
From Megan and Chris’ wedding in Virginia

First up in the advice category, we are going to talk about wedding flowers and your style. Specifically, how can you find your wedding floral style? You’ve decided that you’d like flowers at your wedding, but what kinds, what types?! Where should you begin? Your Pinterest board is exploding with ideas and floral arrangements that you love, but you just don’t know where to start!? I went right to the experts and this is what the best wedding floral designers in the Washington DC area had to say about find a wedding floral style that works for you…


Floral Design: Studio DBI

“The best way to find your wedding floral style is to start looking at Pinterest and seeing styles that you like. Then narrow it down to colors and then to the time of year. Normally, start with a general pot of ideas you like, then add in your bridesmaids dresses, types of food, flowers you like and flowers you don’t like and then your budget. After that, your florist can help you determine the right style. This will only happen with an experienced floral designer that has worked in the space you are in.” – Katie, owner of Elegance & Simplicity

“One of the first questions that I ask is what is the style of the overall wedding and what atmosphere is the couple trying to create. Also, a couple’s attire usually does a good job of dictating the design direction. If their Pinterest boards all over the place, it usually has some underlying connections and it takes a trained eye to spot it.” – Liza, owner of Studio DBI

“There is no wrong style as long as you are choosing blooms you love in colors that will make your happy! Wedding magazines and Pinterest make choosing flowers and styles to show your designer quick and easy. Just be sure to show your floral designer clear photos within a theme, and keep the amount of photos anywhere between five to 10. A good designer will understand and pull together a custom look.” – Jennifer, owner of J. Morris Flowers

“The best tip to figuring out your wedding style is to look in your closet and your home. What colors do you favor? Do you like modern elements? Things that are classic? A blend of the two?” – Gerry and Rebecca, owners of Petal’s Edge Floral Design


Photo Credit: Stacey Windsor Photography; Floral Design: Alicia Jayne Florals

“Generally, after pouring over their images, I start to see a pattern of similar elements and we work to hone in on what those elements are to refine the style. I also like to give the couple a few options that will still stay within their style, but will allow our creativity to show through. No one wants a cookie-cutter wedding just like everyone else. I love to still add our touches to each design.” – Christi, president of Bergerons Flowers

“Pin pointing a couple’s style can be determined by allowing them to talk about their personal likes. Colors, seasons, the feeling and style of their wedding day whether it be romantic, chic, modern, country, southern, preppy, etc.” – Janice, owner of Serendipity Bridal & Events

“From years of experience, I can almost always find a common thread. For example, a particular flower or greenery will be consistently present in a client’s inspiration board or I will see a shape and a style from looking at a couple’s board. Clients that pull orchids, callas, and exotic flowers are typically more clean and contemporary. Clients that like wispy airy elements tend towards a more romantic vibe.” – Holly, owner of Holly Chapple Flowers

“Most of my clients have a Pinterest board or pictures of various wedding related items. Usually, there is a pattern or a common flower throughout the pictures and we build the designs off of that. I always suggest using Pinterest and just pinning what you like without thinking too much about what will go together and what will match. There will usually be a pattern and then your floral designer can help you pull together a cohesive design.” – Shelly, owner of B Floral and Event Design


Photo Credit: Katarina Price Photography: Floral Design: Elegance & Simplicity

“I always try to get an idea of the couple’s background, how they met, where they live, what types of activities they are into and why they chose their wedding venue. This helps me to determine what kind of wedding day they hope to share with their friends and family, which then helps me to determine what floral designs would best suit them. For example, if the couple has selected a formal, high-end hotel as their venue yet all of their Pinterest and inspiration images include burlap, mason jars and a rustic country look, then I would try to bring them back to why it was they selected the formal hotel venue. There must have been something about the space that they were drawn to and then I would make suggestions for containers and designs that would compliment that space, as opposed to the rustic decor that would fit better in a barn or outdoor setting. Sometimes couples need some direction, as most have never even thought about flowers for an event until they begin planning their wedding and they are looking for help and guidance to make their day beautiful and memorable.” – Alicia, owner of Alicia Jayne Florals


Thank you so much, ladies! This was such a great way to kick off wedding floral week here on United With Love. Please check out each of these talented DC area wedding florists on their websites. And, remember to come back all week long because we have so much more coming at you; I can’t wait!

In the meantime, be sure to look through our DC area wedding idea galleries and find wedding advice from local DC, MD and VA wedding pros. If that isn’t enough, check out our collection of local DMV weddings from the real world and the best DC area wedding vendors who make it all happen.

Sunday Brunch: Kendall’s Cakes

posted by kate

Pull up a chair, DC area wedding lovers with a sweet tooth! You have to check out our Sunday Brunch feature this week on one of our awesome sponsors, Kendall’s Cakes. Kendall’s Cakes is recognized at one of the DC area’s premier wedding cake designers. She creates confections that are so beautiful you almost don’t want to eat them! (I said almost!) Then you have a bite, and the rest is history! In addition to weddings all over the Washington DC area, Kendall’s Cakes has created delicious cakes and pastries for Tony Bennett, the Bush family, Condoleezza Rice, Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou – just to name a few. No matter your wedding sweet style, you can find more on Kendall’s Cakes on her website or check out all of her past features on United With Love.



Photography Credit: Stephen Bobb Photography

We hope that you’ll check out Kendall’s Cakes for your wedding cake and pastry needs in the Washington DC area. Join us again next weekend for Sunday brunch with another fantastic supporter of United With Love! We’ll see you back here bright and early Monday morning! If you are interested in joining us for brunch on United With Love, please send us an email.

Happy Friday!

posted by ally

How was your week? Were you able to enjoy this amazing weather we are (finally!) having here in DC!?  If you couldn’t tell, we are getting into the seasonal spirit around here! I hope you loved this week’s pumpkin spice granola wedding favors recipe. We’re also gearing up for “floral week” next week—so if you are looking for tips, advice and inspiration, then you don’t want to miss all the floral fun we will be having! Can’t wait! On that note, have a wonderful weekend and we’ll see you here on Sunday!

Maryland Hindu Wedding Rob Garland Photographers (23)

Some links for your weekend…

…and what you missed right here!

Photo Credit: Rob Garland Photographers

Southern Maryland Wedding Engagement Session: Marissa + Joe

posted by kate

Is there anything better than an engagement session featuring a beautiful couple and a breathtaking setting? I think not. Marissa and Joe’s wedding engagement session in Southern Maryland perfectly captures the cozy elegance of winter in the Washington DC area. I just can’t get enough of the adorable horse that joined them for their adorable snowy session captured by Birds of a Feather Photography.

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Congratulations Marissa and Joe!

Looking for more on engagements? Check out other local DC-area engagement photography sessions, or find out what to wear for your engagement and how to do your make-up for your engagement session!

Photo Credits: Birds of a Feather Photography

Free Printable Granola Wedding Favor Tags

posted by ally

We’re all about the pumpkin spice today! Remember our recipe for DIY granola wedding favors from this morning? Well, we are also sharing the cute favor stickers we used to package them! If you can use a printer, then you can do this DIY wedding project! With some kraft bag tin-tie coffee bags and a little ribbon (or maybe even baker’s twine!), you’ve got yourself a cute little wedding favor for your fall wedding. And, of course, make sure you check out our growing collection of free wedding printables, too!

DIY Granola Wedding Favor Tags


Large rectangle labels
Free “Fall in Love” pumpkin spice granola printable
(Optional) Paper trimmer or scissors
Ribbon or baker’s twine
Tin-tie coffee treat bags (I used these bags from Shop Sweet Lulu!)
Free heart printable
1 ¼ circle labels

To Make:

First, download the free printable pumpkin spice granola tags and free printable hearts onto the labels. Next, depending on the size of your bag, trim the granola tags to fit  accordingly. As a little something extra to make it pretty, tie with a ribbon or baker’s twine. Share with your wedding guests and enjoy!


Make sure you check out our growing collection of free wedding printables and other DIY wedding projects – we have some really great ones!

Are you looking for more local wedding ideas? If you are in the mood for more projects and printables, you can check out all of our Washington DC area DIY weddings right here! Be sure to look through our DC area wedding idea galleries and find wedding advice from local DC area pros.

DIY Pumpkin Spice Granola Wedding Favors

posted by ally

Welcome back to another installment in our DIY dessert recipe series! Today, we’re sharing some fall-inspired DIY treats with a seasonal favorite—pumpkin spice! Granola is a perfect favor idea for a fall, rustic or nature inspired wedding in the Washington DC area. Pack these little treats into favor bags for your wedding or your out-of-town guest bags! And, wedding treats aside, you will love our editor, Juli’s, recipe for homemade granola— they are one of the easiest (and yummiest!) fall snack! And come back later today to get these printable favor stickers!)

 DIY Granola Wedding Favor


Dry Ingredients

  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pumpkin Spice Granola Recipe DIY Fall Wedding Favor Granola

To Make
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl mix together dry ingredients. If using coconut oil, melt it in the microwave.
In a small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients over dry ingredients and toss to coat evenly.

Cover a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the granola mixture onto the baking sheet to make a thin layer.
Bake for 30-40 minutes. Toss with a spoon every 10 minutes to avoid burning. Remove from oven and cool completely. Store in airtight container until ready to package in favor bags.


Yum! My taste testers gave this their stamp of approval. Thank you to our editor Juli for sharing this yummy recipe!

If you are looking for more dessert inspiration, be sure to check out our DIY dessert series! We are having lots of fun with the sweet treats! Also, if you’re a bridesmaid looking for more ideas? Be sure to look at our ideas for local DC area bachelorette party ideas and unique ideas for bridal showers.

Elegant Indian Wedding Reception in Baltimore: Manisha + Narendra

posted by ally

If you haven’t had enough of this morning’s burst of cultural glam, then hold onto your seats because there’s more where that came from. Manisha and Narendra’s wedding in Maryland paid homage to their Indian heritage (Don’t miss out on their traditional Hindu wedding ceremony!) with cultural details and décor—a celebration of two families blending in the prettiest of ways! Rob Garland Photographers was on hand to capture all the love and we couldn’t be more excited to share every last photo!

Maryland Wedding Federal Hill Park Portraits (1)

Maryland Wedding Federal Hill Park Portraits (2)

Maryland Hindu Wedding Rob Garland Photographers (5)

Maryland Hindu Wedding Rob Garland Photographers (2) Maryland Hindu Wedding Rob Garland Photographers (3)

Maryland Hindu Wedding Rob Garland Photographers (4)

Maryland Wedding Luggage Tag Escort Cards

Maryland Hindu Wedding Rob Garland Photographers (1)

Maryland Wedding Lighting

Maryland Wedding Fist Dance (1)

Maryland Wedding Fist Dance (2) Maryland Wedding Cupcake Tiers (1)

Maryland Wedding Cake Top Tier

Maryland Wedding Wine Guest Book

Maryland Wedding Cupcake Tiers (2) Baltimore Indian Wedding Rob Garland Photographers

One of our favorite memories is when we briefly left the reception for some nighttime pictures at the Inner Harbor. We walked along the water and as we were posing, we heard “At Last” by Etta James playing on one of the boats, and we started dancing. It’s a song we were contemplating for our first dance, but ended up choosing another song–it made us feel like we had a private “first” dance.

Baltimore Indian Wedding Buffet Dinner

Manisha’s wedding planning advice for other DC-area couples:

Find ways to incorporate yourselves into various aspects of the day, because it’s more meaningful for the guests.

Maryland Wedding Candy Buffet

Thank you so much Manisha and Narendra for sharing your wedding reception with us! The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:

Venue: Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel
Officiant: Padmanabha S. Joshi
Photography: Rob Garland Photographers
Videography: Villatoro Productions
Bridal Attire: Custom made in India
Hair: Pure Image Hair and Nail Studio
Makeup: Perfect Skin Care by Priti Parikh
Groom’s Attire: Custom made in India
Groom’s Tuexedo: Calvin Klein
Music: BassKick Productions
Catering: Deewan Banquet
Dessert: Kupcakes & Co.

For more vendors, please visit our Washington DC area wedding vendor guide and for even more local ideas visit our wedding inspiration galleries or check out our other Washington DC area real wedding features.

Photo Credits: Rob Garland Photographers