The Reality of DIY Wedding Flowers

posted by julianne

Hello and welcome back to wedding flower week where we are talking all things flowers and all things weddings! We are mid-way through our second week where we are taking the time to hell you learn more about having flowers at your wedding and all that goes into it. Today, we are focusing on DIY flowers. By this, I mean procuring and arranging the flowers for your wedding yourself, or having someone, like a mother or friend, who isn’t a professional florist do the floral work. You know we love a good DIY wedding project here on the blog. After all, DIY is fun and can save you money (not always though!). However, when it comes to DIY wedding flowers, I’ve heard mixed reviews. Some couples have great experiences and some couples have total disasters. I checked in with some of the best wedding florists in the DC area. What are their thoughts on DIY wedding flowers? What are the pros and cons? Most importantly, what should a couple know about DIY wedding flowers before deciding to do this route?

white-bridal-bouquet-Alicia-Jayne-Florals

Floral Design: Alicia Jayne Florals

“I have seen some major successes and some major fails when it comes to DIY flowers. Again, it all goes back to expectations. If you don’t have the facilities, the group expertise, or adequate time, you will most likely not be able to achieve an over-the-top hotel ballroom wedding. However, if you’re looking at flowers to simply accent, and not steal the show, then DIY could be a good route to go – bud vases filled with wild flowers lining kings’ tables can go a long way. Without the right knowledge, there’s a lot of room for disaster, so select heartier flowers – mums, stemmed roses (avoid white roses, which tend to brown easily), and greenery – to guarantee that everything looks fresh on the day of the wedding. The other major issue is timing – flowers will need to be picked up (or delivered) the day or two before the wedding, which is right in the middle of rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, finalizing details such as seating charts, and tying up loose ends.” -  Liza, owner of Studio DBI

“Creating floral designs for a wedding is a lot of work, even for the simplest of designs. There is picking them up, conditioning them, prepping the containers, storing them at the proper temperature, and delivering them.  The only pro of doing your own flowers is cost, however you always run the risk of spending more if things don’t go exactly as planned. Twice we have had last minute calls (one was at 4:00am on the day of the wedding!) with panicked requests for centerpieces because the DIY had gone wrong. We were able to do the centerpieces, but the couple ended up paying for the DIY arrangements AND the centerpieces we supplied. I suggest picking a few DIY projects that can be done well before the wedding week and working with a florist that can offer options within your budget.” – Shelly, owner of B Floral and Event Design

“I have seen many DIY’s gone wrong through the years!? You may love designing and/or playing with flowers for your house or to give to a friend, but you really need to think twice before jumping into floral DIY for your wedding. If you want to DIY some part of the decor, speak with your florist ahead of time to see if they will be able to incorporate the touches that you want be a part of. Here are a few positives: 1) If you are going to do this yourself and you’re confident in the outcome, this can be very rewarding (not just for the pocketbook!). 2) A laid-back, simple wedding with other elements such as candles are great if you just want to add a few fresh flowers to them. 3) If you are extremely creative, have had experience with designing with flowers, this might be for you! Carve out enough time to enjoy it! Here are a few realities: You need refrigeration. If you are ordering all of these beautiful flowers, how are you going to keep them fresh before and after you design them? You definitely need to process them; i.e. clean their stems of foliage, put them in flower food, cut their stems to hydrate if they are coming boxed. What are you going to do if they start to wilt? Do you know how to care for them and possibly get them to come back How and who are going to transport to the venue and set them up? How much time have you allowed prior to the wedding to design everything? Lastly, do NOT assume that your bridesmaids want to do this too! This doesn’t always make for a ‘fun’ project just before the wedding.” – Christi, president of Bergerons Flowers

pink-bridal-party-flowers-Serendipity-Events

Floral Design: Serendipity Bridal & Events

“If you elect to DIY your flowers, a simple arrangement should be your goal. Planning, ordering and putting together your own floral designs is for the couple who are comfortable with a low key style toward their wedding planning. Please be aware that you will be doing these arrangement the day before the wedding, which may impact on your time spent with family and guests. Be aware that global conditions such as political issues, as well as adverse weather conditions can affect the availability of some floral product, so plan according!” -  – Lisa, owner of Petals and Promises

“A DIY bride or groom is typically full of creative ideas, which often snowballs into an over-stressed and over-worked bride or groom, family and friends. These creative brides and grooms realize, in the end, that hiring a professional for portions of their wedding while still creating and having their input would have been the ultimate experience.” - Janice, owner of Serendipity Bridal & Events

“DIY really means ‘Dangerously- Involved…YIKES!’ We have had many brides and grooms come into our shop stressed out or crying because they have over taxed themselves with trying to do it all!  This is YOUR day, you should be sitting on a cloud for the few months leading up to your wedding not wiring 100 pew ribbons or squeezing in time to pick-up buckets of sunflowers to make bridesmaid flowers and centerpieces. Leave the heavy lifting to the professionals! If you absolutely must DIY your wedding flowers, we suggest keeping things simple. For example, try going with bouquets of all one flower for your bridesmaids, or even centerpieces that are less involved with flowers.” – Jennifer, owner of J. Morris Flowers

“For couples who’s budget might not allow for a big floral expense, then DIY wedding flowers may be an option for them as long as the couple has friends or family that are willing to take on the responsibility of assisting with this DIY project in the days leading up to the wedding. The couple should have realistic expectations in that they are not hiring a professional to provide a service and should be willing to roll with whatever hiccups might happen along the way such as wilting flowers, limited selection of product, etc. The pros in DIY flowers would be the cost savings and the fun of doing something with your friends and family the days before your wedding. One of the cons would be the stress of having to deal with the flowers when you should be enjoying your time with your partner, friends and family who are there to celebrate in your marriage.” – Alicia, owner of Alicia Jayne Florals

“When it comes to DIYing your wedding flowers the pros are saving money, and doing for love of doing something on your own and creating it, plus you are spending more time with your wedding party or mom. On the downside, you will only save money if you own all your own vases already, you already have the supplies needed and you know what you are doing.  In the end you might even end up spending more if you end up with a disaster on your hands. If you DIY your flowers, you have to think of all the logistics. Do you have a space to design everything? Do you have refrigeration? Do you know which flowers need refrigeration? Do you have a vehicle to transport everything? Do you know which flowers react with certain fruits if you are infusing fruits. Also, you want to spend more time with your wedding party – but you also want to enjoy and not stress out the day before your wedding. Why would you want to do that?” – Katie, owner of Elegance & Simplicity

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So, what about you? Will you DIY your wedding flowers or will you opt for something else? We want to hear from you about your DIY wedding experiences.

We are plugging along with wedding floral week here on United With Love and I hope that you are enjoying it! 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!

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.

Hey, Mr. DJ!

Want to keep that dance floor packed at your wedding? Use United With Love’s vendor guide to find the right DJ for your big day!

Inspiration and Ideas: Purple Bouquets + Boutonnières

posted by ally

We are back with even more pretty wedding floral week ideas and inspiration! As we make our way through the color spectrum, today we’re sharing some of our favorite ideas from real, local weddings for purple wedding flowers. Man, oh man do I love a good pop of color! (Make sure you check out our red wedding flower ideas,orange wedding flower ideasyellow wedding flower ideas, green wedding flower ideas and blue wedding flower ideas, too!)

Photo Credit: Rebecca Watkins Photography | Floral Design: Affordable Arrangements 

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  • When the bride is a Baltimore Ravens fan, of course there's going to be a little purple! This simple yet classic purple wedding bouquet is simply stunning! Floral Design: Lauren Jackson Photo Credit: Stephen Gosling Photography

    via Classic Wedding in Virginia

  • I really love the use of a bold and vibrant wedding hue, and this orchid boutonniere is a perfect example. Floral Design: Brookhill Florist Photo Credit: Katelyn James

    via Irish Inspired Wedding

  • Jessica and Jason celebrated with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”-inspired wedding, and this elegant purple bouquet was a perfect pop of color! Floral Design: Buttercups Floral Design Photo Credit: Jessica Schmitt Photography

    via Elegant Garden Wedding in Virginia

  • Fitting with the slightly rustic theme and outdoor setting, this purple boutonniere is perfect for a farm wedding! Floral Design: Ellen of Local Color Flowers Photo Credit: Readyluck

    via Farm Wedding Ideas

  • Talk about a pop of color! For their traditional DC wedding, this couple used purple as a pop of color against their neutral settings! Floral Design: Philippa Tarrant Floral Design Photo Credit: The Observatory

    via Traditional Wedding in Washington DC

  • I can't get enough of the simplicitiy of this gorgeous purple hydrangea bridal bouquet. It was a perfect fit for this intimate DIY wedding in Washington DC! Floral Credit: Photo Credit: Sarah Culver Photography

    via Intimate Outdoor Wedding in Washington DC

  • Classic and stunning, this purple and white bridal bouquet is simply breathtaking! Floral Design: To The 9′s Photo Credit: Inspired Photography by Susie & Becky

    via Country Club Wedding in Maryland

  • I am head over heels for this purple ombre bridal bouquet. So fun and unique! Floral Design: EightTreeStreet Photo Credit: Teresa Wood Photography

    via Best Flowers for Winter Weddings in the Washington DC Area

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.

All About The Dress

There are so many beautiful wedding dress choices, and many local bridal boutiques in the Washington DC area to help you find your dream dress!

How To Save Money On Your Wedding Flowers

posted by julianne

Good morning! I hope you are ready for another dose of wedding floral education with wedding floral week part deux. Yesterday we talked the cost of wedding flowers and now we are talking about how to save money on your wedding flowers. There are little things that you can do to control the costs of your wedding flowers, but I don’t know what those little things are, so I went to the best wedding florists in the DC area and got their advice. How do they help their clients save money? From what I’ve learned it is more about making smart flower choices and getting the most out of your wedding floral budget vs. just getting a deal on flowers because as we learned yesterday, flowers are expensive. There is no getting around that fact! However, there are things that you can do to have beautiful blooms for your wedding and have them fit within your budget.

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Floral Design: Studio DBI

BOUQUETS + CENTERPIECES

“Bridesmaid bouquets and table centerpieces are two places where people’s flower budgets typically skyrocket, as both of these are iterative costs, so having fewer of each of these can save you money. You can also think out of the box and have your bridesmaids’ carry something other than flowers. For tables, seating tables of 10 or 12 can save you on centerpieces vs. committing to eight people per table.” – Gerry and Rebecca, owners of Petal’s Edge Floral Design

“We all like to see a variety of designs at a reception as opposed to a space full of the same centerpieces on every table. While elevated designs certainly offer drama, height and variation to the space they come with a higher price tag. They take more flowers to construct and typically the pedestal or base that supports them is heavier and more expensive to rent than a small vase or container. Consider using fewer of the elevated arrangements in the reception space or going with all low arrangements in a variety of containers to mix things up and make the tables different.” – Alicia, owner of Alicia Jayne Florals

REPURPOSE + REUSE

“Repurposing your flowers throughout the day is a cost effective way of maximizing your budget. Ceremony flowers can be moved from the church to the venue (if permitted), bridesmaids bouquets can be placed around the cake or on the place card table or you can elect to feature your beautiful bridal bouquet on your the sweet heart table. Flowers such as hydrangeas provide a lot of ‘bang for the buck’ and are my favorite ‘go to’ flower for any time of year. I often advise couples to focus their budget on the areas where their guests will be spending the most amount of time.” – Lisa, owner of Petals and Promises

“Getting the best bang out of your buck would be to repurpose your large arrangements. For example, if you use altar and/or aisle pieces, reuse them at your reception for the king table or to add pizzaz to an entry way. Another idea would be to scale back on your bridesmaids bouquets.” – Jennifer, owner of J. Morris Flowers

“Smarter value shopping with your floral designs in mind means includes finding a florist that can handle all of your design needs. You can also go with bigger and taller blooms for centerpieces like hydrangea, snapdragons, orchids and delphinium. Lastly, you can find ways to reuse flowers such as using your bridal bouquet for your sweetheart table and your bridesmaids’ bouquets as mantel centerpieces.” – Katie, owner of Elegance & Simplicity

THE FLOWERS

“Flower selections are the primary cost drivers. Anemones, peonies, garden roses, and orchids are all budget-busters. Hydrangeas are a great cost-saving flowers – they take up a ton of space and are available year round (with local seasonalities, of course). Beautiful greenery such as salal, viburnum foliage, and ferns all can help keep price down, while still creating a dramatic effect. However, there is a myth that only because a flower is in season, does not mean it is cost-effective. In reality, peonies, when in season, are still running $3 a stem wholesale as compared to a $.35 carnation.” - Liza, owner of Studio DBI

“When a proposal comes in higher than desired, the designer can recommend changing the design in various ways.  They can reduce the number of arrangements included in the design, change out some of the more expensive flowers for carnations, greenery and filler, or design smaller arrangements and then mix in other elements to complete the design.” - Janice, owner of Serendipity Bridal & Events

“The best way to save money on your wedding flowers is to truly use what flowers are in season and be open to a variety of flowers, foliage, berries, etc. Set parameters with your designer as to the color palette you would like and let them use their expertise to purchase blooms that are in season and maybe even available locally. Be flexible with the types of flowers. Trust the designer to produce beautiful designs and know that they will not want to put their name on something that is not of top quality and style.” – Alicia, owner of Alicia Jayne Florals

“We tend to look at what the couple is showing us for their overall idea and compare it to their budget. We’d like to offer them the best that we can and stay within the budget, but it needs to be realistic. I love white hydrangeas and I’m sure that many other florists do too! But if you have a palette that doesn’t include white hydrangeas, I’m not a lover to dyeing them or spray painting them to get the color. Not all hydrangeas are a great price and the deeper richer colors are much more expensive and mostly procured through Holland. I still feel that roses offer one of the best values and color ranges for the wedding decor. That being said, everything else I love to pair with it, comes with a price too, but who doesn’t love a beautiful anemone bloom or cluster of bouvardia? Orchids, especially cymbidiums are a wonderful price by the bloom. Even though they aren’t a large bloom, their longevity and beautiful colors are spectacular and we love to work with them!” – Christi, president of Bergerons Flowers

“One of the best ‘inexpensive’ flowers is baby’s breath.  Massed on its own it can make a dramatic and cost effective look.  Carnations can similarly have big effect at low cost.  We prefer not to mix these flowers with other flowers, though, as that can cheapen the look.” – Gerry and Rebecca, owners of Petal’s Edge Floral Design

FOCUS ON THE RECEPTION

“Saving money on flowers is like saving money on anything else – you have to be realistic with your expectations and be willing to compromise. When you have a tight floral budget, forget the ceremony. Your guests are focusing all of their attention on the two of you saying your vows. Reception is where your guests will be spending majority of their time, therefore more bang for your buck.” - Liza, owner of Studio DBI

 BE CREATIVE

“Delivery/setup/breakdown can impact the overall cost. If your order is on the smaller side and you have a responsible friend or family willing to pickup the items and bring them to their appropriate venue, do it. This will save a good chunk of change. And, there’s always talk of rented containers versus purchase: with today’s weddings, we usually assume all containers are rented unless the couple specifies otherwise. If you’d like your guests to take the flowers home at the end of the night, consider providing your own containers. This will save on the probable upmarking you’ll encounter with a florist, if the florist was to purchase these containers for you (ordering and tracking the shipment is time and time is money.” - Liza, owner of Studio DBI

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Thank you so much, ladies! We are having so much fun with wedding floral week here on United With Love and I hope that you are too! 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.

DMV’s Best Wedding Pros

Let’s the best wedding professionals in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia help to plan your big day!

Inspiration and Ideas: Blue Bouquets + Boutonnières

posted by ally

Since we’re continuing the wedding floral week fun, why not a little wedding inspiration for bouquets and boutonnieres to kick off the week!? Last time we started our colorful journey over the rainbow for bright and vibrant floral design ideas, and today we’re sharing our favorite ideas for blue wedding flowers. (Don’t forget to take a look at our red wedding flower ideas,orange wedding flower ideas, yellow wedding flower ideas, and green wedding flower ideas, too!)

Photo Credit: Documentary Associates | Floral Design: Philippa Tarrant

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  • I simply can't get enough of this rustic and romantic bridal bouquet with its sky-popping blue! Floral Design: Kelley Truxel, Event Studio Photo Credit: Marvelous Things Photography

    via Virginia Farm Wedding

  • A pop of color isn't just for the ladies! Grooms can also have a "something blue," to add some color to the day! Floral Design: Romance of Flowers Photo Credit: Timmester Photography

    via Garden Wedding in Maryland

  • Simple and sweet, this blue and white bridal bouquet was a perfect addition to this laid-back wedding in Baltimore. Floral Design: O’Donnell Florist Photo Credit: tPoz Photography

    via Simple Wedding in Baltimore

  • Boutonnières are a favorite wedding detail of mine, especially when they are fun and unique like one. Floral Design: Holly Heider Chapple Flowers Photo Credit: Kate Headley Photography

    via Bold and Bright Boutonnieres

  • A blue floral design scheme is perfect for winter weddings! Depending on the color palette, a particular favorite is berries – like dark blue privet or viburnum berries! Floral Design: Petal’s Edge Floral Design Photo Credit: Eli Turner Studios

    via Best Flowers for Winter Weddings in the Washington DC Area

  • For their modern wedding in Washington DC, this couple chose fun and vibrant colors! I just love the bold look of this blue and green bridal bouquet! Floral Design: Elegance & Simplicity Photo Credit: Documentary Associates

    via Modern Washington DC Wedding

  • For her "something blue," this DC bride carried a bouquet in her favorite shade of blue. Floral Design: Flowers on Fourteenth Photo Credit: Deb Lindsey

    via Washington DC Elopement

  • Who says the DC-area can't get a little tropical? I am loving this fun and vibrant bridal bouquet! Photo Credit: Genevieve Leiper

    via Baltimore Aquarium Wedding

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.

DMV’s Best Wedding Pros

Let’s the best wedding professionals in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia help to plan your big day!

Why Are Wedding Flowers So Expensive?

posted by julianne

Remember when I promised that I’d be back with wedding flower week round two!? Well, it is here all this week! I hope that you have already learned a lot about flowers and weddings here in the Washington DC area. (If you missed anything or want to catch up, check all of the posts out right here.) There is so much great info, so I planned a whole second round of wedding floral amazingness and education! To kick things off this week, we are getting down to dollars and talking wedding floral budgets. Specifically, why do wedding flowers cost what they cost? Why are they so expensive? Yes, there is the cost of the flowers themselves, but then you have to factor in travel and shipping and the floral designer’s time and the list goes on and on. Maybe if we understand all that goes into producing a truly spectacular wedding bouquet or centerpiece, then we can understand and appreciate the cost a little bit more. I went to the best wedding floral designers in the Washington DC area for their perspective. Here is what they had to say about wedding flowers and cost…

simple-white-wedding-bouquet-B-Floral-and-Event-Design-Lisa-Boggs-Photography

Photo Credit: Lisa Boggs Photography; Floral Design by B Floral and Event Design

“Wedding flowers are very costly, imagine a precious bloom being planted in the ground months and months before your wedding. Someone is tending to that bloom for months nurturing its growth and development. It takes many hands in the field to care for these flowers. The cutting of the flowers and the shipping of the flowers is also another costly process. In actuality, each stem is being sold for considerably less than the time that went into growing them. The increase in demand due to the Internet/social media has also caused many issues. Engaged couples are now aware of very specific types and or shades of flowers and this has caused an incredible demand on unique blooms that are typically not mass produced. For instance garden roses vs. carnations. In addition to flowers, it takes countless hours to write contracts, write floral ‘recipes,’ source flowers, and then ultimately design the flowers. A good wedding and event designer will have to search for hours to fulfill a flower buy. There will be several days of designing associated with a wedding and many pairs of hands. The delivery of the flowers and the many hands it will take to get the wedding set up in a timely fashion is also another cost. The clean up the event also takes an incredible amount of work. We also must not forget the administrative work that goes into the many contract changes that some couples require due to design changes or guest count changes.” – Holly, owner of Holly Chapple Flowers

“At our studio each item on a wedding proposal is priced to include flowers, materials and labor for that item. Day-of services like delivery, set-up and break down are listed separately. There is so much that goes into wedding floral design, including time for consultations, proposal revision, ordering flowers, ‘recipe’ creation for each custom design, flower processing, packaging, and clean-up.” – Jennifer, owner of J. Morris Flowers

“The cost of your flowers includes a great deal more than simply the cost of the flowers. Included in the fancy price tag at the bottom of your floral contract are the following: Design time, coming up with the types of flowers and how many for each arrangement, bouquet, aisle marker, and so on. It includes procurement of all items including flowers, containers, ribbons, etc. It also includes transportation, because it takes a great deal of effort to get all of the materials in excellent condition to our studio and then to the final venue. Lastly, it includes the labor that goes into designing the arrangements and the labor it takes to get the designs from point A to point B and sometimes point C and D.” – Shelly, owner of B Floral and Event Design

“Our costs included in a proposal are determined by containers, flower selections, quantity of flowers used, time involved in producing the product, supplies required, delivery and pickup and can include special details that make each design unique.” - Janice, owner of Serendipity Bridal & Events

“It’s not just the flower itself that you are purchasing. You are paying for our creativity, time and labor. From the moment you walk into our studio, we customize each part of your special day. The process starts with our estimation of each itemized piece; bouquet, boutonniere, etc. They each get their own ‘recipe.’ Once the wedding is upon us, we are procuring each item of the recipe from our purveyors. On any given wedding, we are ordering from over 5-10 different purveyors to acquire the best for you. This takes generally about three days as we go back and forth finding out which purveyors have the availability to supply the product we need. I personally love this process and enjoy when we can go direct to farms and suppliers all over the world as well as locally to get the blooms and hard-goods needed to create a wedding. The week of the wedding, when all the items start to arrive, they are labeled and processed; glassware cleaned, candles unwrapped, accoutrements added. Structures designed and created are put into action as we prepare for the special day. Normally, the last couple of days before the wedding, all hands are ‘on-deck’ to get the freshest designs created. Our event coordinator is reaching out the week before to solidify the timelines needed for each venue and staff is assigned their respective duties for the day. Then, the magic happens – the day of the wedding is filled with packaging each design for delivery and loading the vehicle(s) for safe transport. Once on-site, making sure the details are taken care of is the most important task. It’s filled with excitement mixed with adrenalin. I love it!”  – Christi, president of Bergerons Flowers

“There are so many elements that go into the cost of flowers. One that people don’t think of is gas prices, as flowers are often flown and driven from many different places before they even get to the florist. Flowers are also perishable, but unlike food, you can’t simply freeze them to increase ‘shelf life,’ so there is a simple life span element to their cost. Some flowers bloom infrequently, adding a simply supply/demand aspect to their cost. And of course, there is the florist’s time to receive and process the flowers, care for them, build your arrangements (whether ahead of time or on-site on the day of the event), and overhead covering the cost of the work space, vehicles, gas, and staff.” – Gerry and Rebecca, owners of Petal’s Edge Floral Design

“Just like other consumer staples you purchase, there is a cost of goods and labor involved in wedding flowers. Some cost of goods related to wedding flowers include: cut flowers, materials such as tape, pins, wire, flower food, water, buckets, foam, and vases. Overhead is also factored in to the cost, such as rent on the studio space, utilities to include the power to run the cooler and insurance. Then we have the labor factor because labor is involved in processing all the flowers once they arrive at your studio – everything must be unwrapped and processed before going into the cooler. There is the labor involved in making the arrangements and then the labor involved in delivering, setting up and breaking down at the wedding.”– Alicia, owner of Alicia Jayne Florals

“First off, flowers are expensive period. I think clients see low flower prices at grocery stories and think that florists get the same prices. This is false. These stores are able to guarantee high volume purchases, allowing for significant price reductions. Secondly, most people don’t understand what goes into floral design and how long the actual execution takes, not to mention, perishable products require extra maintenance/care. Without even including the time it takes to send out a detailed proposal – from placing the correct flower orders, to receiving and conditioning the flowers, to dealing with whole sellers sending you bad product needing replacement, to arranging, staffing, transport, and overhead (flower food, floral foam, various tapes, glues, etc), you’re looking at a week’s worth of work! This doesn’t happen overnight! We’ve had all sorts of vendors either assist us with events or come shadow us – every single one has left saying ‘Wow – I had no idea this much prep went into flowers!’ Not only is the price driven by the high product cost, but also by the time it takes to produce one wedding.”  – Liza, owner of Studio DBI

“The cost of providing wedding flowers in the DC area is pretty high. Flowers have to be shipped in from all over the world. Then they have to be processed to make sure the right quantities have arrived, the right colors and that none of them are dying or dead or missing quantities in the bunches ordered. Then the flowers have to be conditioned. Most need floral food and then many flowers have to be stripped of their leaves or thorns. Then there is the design element of making the arrangement. Then they are housed in refrigeration. The day of the wedding, an appropriate vehicle needs to be used to transport them. Delicate blooms require extra care. Many tall arrangements have to be arranged onsite and then the unloading, onsite design and sometimes multiple delivery locations make for a very extensive logistical process that does not end there. After all is delivered and installed, florists have to come back at the end of the wedding to break down any rentals. This is only the weekend of the wedding! You also have to keep in mind the time of the designer and their creativity for coming up with designs that will work within your price range, venue, style and color scheme for your particular time of year. An experienced designer is going to know all of these things off the top of their head. You pay for more experience and expertise to make sure everything is done right. If not – you will be upset the day of the wedding for mediocrity and lack of experience.”  – Katie, owner of Elegance & Simplicity

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I’m tired just reading all that goes into produce floral design pieces for a wedding! Thank you so much for such great advice! I hope you’ll stick with us again for wedding floral week part two 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.

Hey, Mr. DJ!

Want to keep that dance floor packed at your wedding? Use United With Love’s vendor guide to find the right DJ for your big day!

Sunday Brunch: J. Morris Flowers

posted by kate

Good morning DC area wedding lovers! Are you ready to spend another Sunday morning with one of our great sponsors? J. Morris Flowers specializes in interesting and unique blooms, luxurious design and local inspiration for one-of-a-kind designs. Each bouquet and arrangement is meticulously designed to create thoughtful, breathtaking flowers. Fresh flowers from J. Morris come from all over the world and locally in Loudoun County, Virginia. J. Morris recently celebrated 12 years in business, so big congratulations to them! For more from J. Morris Flowers, be sure to visit their website or check out all of their past features on United With Love.

sunday-brunch

washington-dc-wedding-florist-j-morris-flowers-cassidy-duhon-wedding-photography

 Photography Credit: Cassidy Duhon Wedding Photography

We hope that you’ll check out J. Morris Flowers for your wedding floral 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.

DMV’s Best Wedding Pros

Let’s the best wedding professionals in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia help to plan your big day!

Baltimore Wedding Engagement Session: Hannah + Eileen

posted by kate

We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Let’s continue the coziness and relaxation of the holiday season with some dreamy autumnal inspiration from Bombs Over Betty Photography. This wedding engagement in Maryland immediately caught my eye because sunflowers are my favorite! Not to mention, how cute are Hannah and Eileen?! So grab your turkey leftovers and spend the afternoon soaking up the beauty of these gorgeous brides-to-be.

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Congratulations Hannah and Eileen!

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: Bombs Over Betty Photography

DMV’s Best Wedding Pros

Let’s the best wedding professionals in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia help to plan your big day!

Happy Thanksgiving!

posted by ally

We hope you’re getting ready for a day spent with loved ones and, of course, a yummy meal! But before you run off to roast the turkey and bake the pumpkin pie, we wanted to take a minute to let you know all that we are thankful for. Behind the scenes of the blog, we’re so grateful for the opportunity to soak up gorgeous DC area wedding inspiration daily. Thank you to the readers who come back each day and spend your time browsing around. Thank you to all of the local Washington DC area wedding professionals who support the blog and share their talent and creativity each day. And, thank you to the local real Washington DC area brides and grooms who let us share their love stories.

Photo Credit: Lauryn Galloway Photography from Modern Washington DC Wedding

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

If you have some time today, 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.

DMV’s Best Wedding Pros

Let’s the best wedding professionals in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia help to plan your big day!

Inspiration and Ideas: Wedding Thank You Cards

posted by ally

Before we send you off to celebrate Thanksgiving with your loved ones, we’re sharing a few ideas for how to show your wedding guests your gratitude!  No wedding gift or celebration is complete without a proper thank you, so we have gathered some of our favorite wedding ideas for cards and signs.

Photo Credits: Spence Photographics from Country Club Wedding in Maryland

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  • Use a cute (and possibly DIY!) thank you banner or sign in some of your wedding day portraits and print as your thank you posrcards! Photo Credit: Meaghan Elliott Photography

    via Chesapeake Bay Wedding

  • In lieu of menu cards, this couple used thank you cards as table setting decor! Photo Credit: Taylor Lord Photography

    via Style Me Pretty

  • These retro-inspired wedding thank you cards are simple and fun! Photo Credit: Amber Reinink Photography

    via Retro Wedding in Virginia

  • With Paper Source paper products in hand, this crafty couple created all their fun DIY wedding stationery, including their thank you signs! Photo Credit: Vness Photography

    via Small Washington DC Wedding

  • I love fun wedding details like this! This DC couple incorporated rocks into their wedding table decor, so it was only fiting that their thank you cards were just as fun! Photo Credit: 5 Rings Photography

    via DIY Wedding in Washington DC

  • Megan and Chris upped the drama and glamour for their purple wedding, and used these elegant cards to thank their guests! Photo Credit: Kristen Gardner Photography

    via Purple Wedding in Virginia

  • Can you ever go wrong with navy blue and stripes for a preppy wedding? I think not! Photo Credit: Laurie Bracewell Photography

    via Preppy Virginia Wedding

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.

Hey, Mr. DJ!

Want to keep that dance floor packed at your wedding? Use United With Love’s vendor guide to find the right DJ for your big day!