Behind the Scenes at Katie & Erik’s Bright Citrus Wedding

Behind the Scenes at Katie & Erik’s Bright Citrus Wedding

This weekend as the weather shifted into full fledged summer heat, Katie & Erik celebrated their wedding with bold, bright, beautiful, summery colors. I was so excited to work with huge, gorgeous coral charm peonies, roses in oranges, pinks, and peach, along with fragrant feverfew, and lots of fresh foraged greenery. The heat presented us with quite a challenge- it’s hard to keep flowers happy when it’s 90 degrees in the shade. We kept everything as cool as possible until the last moment and then watched as the heat opened up every last peony into their full glory just in time for the wedding!

Katie’s bouquet was a stunner. Garden roses, orange ranunculus, green hypericum berries, white peonies, and solomon seal were nestled in around showstopping coral charm peonies. Her bridesmaid’s carried soft pink and white bouquets with roses, peonies, and delicate sweet peas.

DSCF4492 Pink and white Bridesmaid BouquetsThe ceremony site at Keswick Vineyards featured a wooden pergola with a back drop of grape vines and the Blue Ridge Mountains. We introduced a riot of color with two bold, colorful swags.

Bright citrus swag   DSCF4504DSCF4511 For the centerpieces, we used white lanterns surrounded by a wild garland of ivy and greenery with bright pops of color on either side. We strung tiny lights through the flowers and sprinkled lemons, limes, and kumquats throughout to complete the citrus theme.

Lantern centerpieceFor the head table we went all out with lanterns of all sizes and a garland of ivy and greenery wound throughout with bright florals and citrus fruits woven in.

Centerpiece with coral charm peonies

Lanterns with ivy and citrus Many thanks to the wonderful folks at Keswick Vineyards, and Harvest Moon Catering, and congratulations to Katie & Erik- it was such a pleasure to be part of your big day!

Behind the Scenes at Chris & Lauren’s Stunning Springtime Reception

Behind the Scenes at Chris & Lauren’s Stunning Springtime Reception

Last weekend I got to work on one of the most beautiful wedding receptions in recent memory. Lauren and Chris were married at the UVA Chapel and held their reception in a gorgeous private barn in Keswick. Their flowers were soft pinks and white with lots of fresh, springy elements. We used buckets of lush local peonies from Pharsalia and Blue Heron Farm, along with foraged viburnum and dogwood from our garden. Their centerpieces were a combination of low mercury glass compotes filled with lush garden roses, peonies, viburnum, dusty miller, sweet peas, and dogwood, alternating with striking, tall arrangements on glass pedestals with peonies, stock, larkspur, viburnum, and roses.

Spring centerpiece  Spring centerpiece with roses, peonies, dogwood

Tall centerpiece

Three long farm tables were decorated with garlands of eucalyptus, laurel, and bay, with garden roses and small arrangements of peonies, garden roses, and dogwood tucked in.

Head table garland Closeup table garland Closeup table garland Head table garland

Every last detail was simple, elegant, and beautiful. The tables were set with gorgeous embroidered napkins, each tied in silk ribbon with a single sprig of rosemary from our garden. Thanks to photographer David Schwartz for these lovely shots of the table details.

Photo by David Schwartz Photo by David Schwartz

The bouquets featured local peonies and dusty miller, along with soft garden roses, ranunculus, freesia, sweet peas, and eucalyptus. I was so busy with set up that I didn’t have a chance to photograph them, so many thanks to the amazing David Schwartz for capturing them so beautifully.

Bridesmaid Bouquet Photo by David Schwartz

Congrats to the lovely bride and groom and many thanks to Adam Donovan-Groves Events, David Schwartz Photography, and the wonderful folks at the C&O for making it such a fun event to be part of!

Behind the Scenes: Ashleigh & Phil’s Beer-Themed Wedding at Rodes Farm

Behind the Scenes: Ashleigh & Phil’s Beer-Themed Wedding at Rodes Farm

I had so much fun working on Phil & Ashleigh’s Beer-themed wedding at beautiful Rodes Farm this weekend. They are both serious lovers of craft beer and crafted a super fun wedding around it, complete with a chocolate stout wedding cake! Here are some fun photos from the prep and set up.

They brought us an enormous and impressive collection of growlers and beer bottles to use as vases. All I could think about was that they must have had the most fun and delicious wedding planning process ever! We used this eclectic mix of bottles for aisle decorations.

Beer bottle vases Beer bottle aisle decorations


They wanted the flowers to feature lots of wheat along with light pinks and purples for a romantic, natural look. We highlighted the last of the cafe au lait dahlias in the bouquets, along with lush garden roses, lisianthus, lavender freesias, and seeded eucalyptus for the bouquets.

Rodes-Farm-Centerpieces Rodes-Farm-Roses-Dahlias

For the table arrangements, we used their incredible collection of growlers from breweries all over Virginia and filled them with cafe au lait dahlias, wheat, pink snow berries, scabiosa seedpods, lavender freesias, lisianthus, and pom pom feverfew. The growlers looked amazing grouped together with vases of wheat and smaller flower arrangements for each table.



A few other fun touches to complete the beer theme included beer cap place cards, custom made beer glasses and coasters, and sweet little handmade signs. They also beers brewed special for them by friends at nearby breweries, an awesome sounding menu from Blue Ridge Pizza Co. and the SouthFork food truck, and the most delicious sounding chocolate stout cake made by the folks at Favorite Cakes. Thanks to the lovely ladies at Barb Wired Events, and the team from Blue Ridge Pizza Co. set up was a breeze. Many congratulations to Ashleigh & Phil and thanks for planning such a fun and unique wedding. Cheers!


Behind the Scenes: Meaghan & Michael at Pippin Hill

Behind the Scenes: Meaghan & Michael at Pippin Hill

Just wanted to share some behind the scenes photos of Meaghan & Micheal’s wedding that I worked on recently at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards. They lucked out with a beautifully grey day that brought out all the gorgeous fall colors and the blue of the mountains, and really made the flowers pop! Here’s a little window into some of our preparations and set up for their big day.

Rocky in front of doors

There are a million and one things that we do to be ready for a wedding, and one of the reasons why I love my job is that on any given day I could be painting, working in the garden, harvesting from the fields, woods, or wherever we find some fresh and beautiful foliage, arranging in the studio, or setting up at an event. This is why I carry at least two sets of clothes, and rubber boots with me at all times because I never know what we’ll be up to:)

For this wedding my first job was to get our vintage doors ready to be their arbor at the ceremony site. After all this rainy, muddy weather, they were in serious need of a fresh coat of paint. My assistant Rocky kept me company while I spruced them up!

Next I headed out to the garden to harvest some beautiful additions to their flowers. Their colors were whites and greens with a few lavenders and purples tucked in. While I was out harvesting heaps of adorable pom pom dahlias, anise, and lavender blooms, I found this perfect spider web, coated in dew. Rocky also came along for the harvest.

Dahlia harvest Anise harvest Lavender harvest Spider web in the garden Rocky in the garden

We worked in the studio to prepare the centerpieces and bouquets. Here is look at their beautiful bouquets with lots of lush garden roses and cafe au lait dahlias, with pops of lavender freesias for the bridesmaids.

Bouquets with roses, dahlias, and freesias Closeup of bouquets

When the big day came we brought four van loads of flowers, lanterns, arrangements, and the freshly painted doors. Once we’re at a site, it is go time, so we started right in with the arbor. The two doors get staked and connected across the top and we wire a foam garland to keep the flowers fresh and happy for the afternoon. And then Amy works her magic filling the garland with antique green hydrangeas, seeded eucalyptus, wild foliage, and brilliant red maple branches, and garden roses. It was really stunning, and half of the tasting room at Pippin came over to check it out while we worked!

Close up of doorway arbor Close up of doorway arbor Doorway arbor

To complete the ceremony site we hung sweet little aisle markers filled with lavender, anise, and dahlias from the garden, and placed the two big beautiful urns on wine barrels at the beginning of the aisle.

Aisle marker with lavender, dahlias, and anise Ceremony flowers on wine barrel Ceremony site at Pippin Hill

Inside the barn, we set the head table with a fresh garland of greens and flowers, with globe lanterns and votive candles sprinkled throughout. The other tables got large mercury glass centerpieces or sets of three arrangements in assorted mercury glass, with floating candles and votives. Each place setting got a fresh sprig of rosemary with their menu card. And last but not least, Margaret decorated the cake with ranunculus, lavender, and jasmine vine. Such a treat to work on such a stunning event. Congratulations Meaghan & Michael- you’re off to a beautiful start!

Head table with swag, flowers, and lanterns Head table flowers and magnolia swag Three part centerpiece

Centerpiece Cake decorated with dahlias, lavender, ranunculus, jasmine vine, and freesias


It’s Like Rain on Your Wedding Day…

It’s Like Rain on Your Wedding Day…

Nobody hopes for rain on their wedding day, but it happens. And it has happened to our wonderful brides and grooms for two weekends in a row! I feel their pain. I woke up on the morning of my wedding to the sound of my now-husband singing me this Alanis Morrisette classic. But although rain on your wedding day is not, in fact, ironic (despite the name and chorus of the song), it can feel like a big dark cloud of stress looming over your plans. My husband and I had no rain plan, so for us rain was the stuff of our nightmares…until the moment came, and it started to drizzle, and it suddenly wasn’t that big of a deal. A real deluge at that moment and I might have cried, but a little rain wasn’t stopping us. After all that worrying, the beautiful grey light and colorful umbrellas made for really sweet pictures, happy flowers, and a great story!

Most of the wedding ceremonies we decorate, with the exception of some truly gorgeous church weddings, are outside surrounded by the incredible natural beauty of this area. We have the privilege of working at some of the most stunning ceremony sites around, many of them surrounded by mountains, farms, and vineyards. Below are two of our favorite ceremony sites at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards and Veritas Vineyard & Winery.

Amy-Working-At-Pippin-Hilldownload (6)






But, should the weather head south for the big day, many of the venues we work with also have beautiful indoor spaces, or a big ole tent to accommodate wedding guests in a downpour. When we have to go with plan b, we can’t match the beauty of the mountains and grapevines, but we can work extra hard to beautify the indoor ceremony and give it a little extra something.

Occasionally a rainy day couple will get a break in the weather just long enough to chance it. This lucky couple got to sneak in their vows in between cloudbursts last week at Trump Winery. If the weather is up in the air, this often means that we wait until the very last moment for the couple to make the call and then set up in a whirlwind before the ceremony begins. A little added drama for the florists, caterers, and musicians!

Ceremony site at Trump WineryCeremony Flowers on wine barrel

Thanks to a steady downpour this past weekend, we decorated a beautiful indoor wedding at Keswick Hall. We hung two swags on the couple’s beautiful chuppah, each with garden roses, stock, and lisianthus radiating out from a huge cafe au lait dahlia. The bride’s bouquet also featured cafe au laits, with lush garden roses, fresia, and lisianthus.

Swag with dahlias, roses, stock, lisianthusChuppah at Keswick HallBridal bouquet featuring cafe au lait dahlias

Rain or shine, setting up for a wedding is always a big, beautiful, exciting blur. Besides, rain on your wedding day is good luck, or maybe that’s just what everyone told me!

Dahlia Rainbow for the Martha Jefferson Foundation

Dahlia Rainbow for the Martha Jefferson Foundation

Welcome to our first ever blog post! Hello, I’m Nina, a grower and designer at Blue Ridge Floral Design here in the beautiful mountains of Virginia.  I’m going to be sharing some of my musings and photos from the garden and the studio, and from some of the gorgeous weddings and events we get to design. I hope you’ll enjoy this little glimpse inside the workings here at Blue Ridge Floral Design.

September is prime dahlia season in Virginia and what better way to show them off in all their glory than a rainbow?

Dahlia bouquetDahlia BouquestDahlia Bouquet

Amy created a stunning rainbow of dahlias for the place card table welcoming folks to last week’s Martha Jefferson Foundation Capstone Society event at King Family Vineyards. She started with beautiful gladiolas from our friends at Blue Heron Farm as the backdrop, along with roses, calla lilies, and stock, berries, and greenery.  Then she filled out the rainbow with dahlias of all shapes, sizes, and colors. From deep purples and magentas to vibrant reds, warm oranges, all the way to brilliant yellows and creamy whites, dahlias brought to life this jaw-dropping rainbow.

Dahlias are our biggest crop on the farm and one of the most fun and versatile flowers for design work. They are so lush and romantic, so fresh and colorful, and so abundant. We grow over 20 different varieties from dinner plate cafe au laits as big as my head to tiny little pink pom poms the size of a quarter.

Here are some glamour shots of a few of our favorites in the garden:

Cafe Au Lait DahliaDahliaMaarn Dahlia

As you can imagine, the dahlia patch is the most beautiful place on the farm for most of the summer. It’s hard to capture the beauty of a full bed of dahlias bursting with blooms, but I don’t think I’ll ever stop trying!

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Like many cut flowers, the more you cut dahlias the more they bloom. It can be a bit of a scramble to stay on top of harvesting these super productive beauties, but we can’t get enough in our design work!

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Dahlia Harvest