This past weekend our studio provided flowers for four beautiful and full service weddings. Our studio created all of the designs and carefully and lovingly delivered each wedding completely setting up each table or design. Each of these events was very detail oriented and each of them mattered to me very much. I have had a slew of really great brides, the kind of bride you bend over backwards for. This Saturday morning as I left the shop for my first delivery, I closed my eyes and prayed. Prayed that we would make our brides happy, prayed that we would get there safe, and prayed we had remembered and captured every last detail or wish.  Being as dedicated as I expect us to be is really hard and honestly its frightening. We seriously go over and over, and over everything.

At 8:30 in the morning our day began with one of our grooms picking up the bouquets, bouts, and corsages. The wedding party would be spending the day in DC doing photos at the monuments. Because of this, we made this couple two bridal bouquets and an additional grooms bout. All other flowers were delivered much later in the day.

I then headed to Murray Hill to start the preliminary set up on a candy bar/popcorn stand. These tables may seem easy to design but they require an unknown amount of vases, props, and gadgets and gizmos. I never know exactly how much space the candy will need until we get the candy out of the packaging, and I never know exactly what type of table set up I will have, or what props I will want to use until I start playing. Because of this I loaded up the car with some fun stuff and headed out to design without the stress of having the flowers with me or any other set up going on. I got to Murray Hill about 9:30 in the morning.

Here is a picture of our finished candy bar. Of course I added the candy and the popcorn and the flowers later in the day when returned to do the real set up. After finishing the layout of this table I raced home. Back in the studio the other designers had arrived and we began the process of wrapping the bouquets. This is a huge task, and it requires lots of time. The bouquets must be dried,  stems cleaned, and then the ribbon is added to the bouquets. Since many of our designs feature very expensive vintage or high-end ribbons we put these on last minute. Let me tell you last weekend we were sporting some ribbon. While we were doing roundup and bow up the men went to drop off crystal stands, and our chuppah structure at Lansdowne.

Once all the flowers were ready we started the loading process. We used 4 rental cargo vans, the 2 Holly Chapple Cargo vans, and my regular mini van. 7 vans in total. The vans have to be tagged and marked with the name of the client and we have to be very careful that we put the flowers into the correct van. Imagine 6 big white vans all looking exactly the same. On many occasions I have been known to ask “is this my van, do I own this van?” I can’t tell the rentals from my own new cargo van. This always gets a big laugh out of everyone.

Once the weddings were loaded up I headed to Lansdowne to see my bride Megan. Because I was not doing the setup of her wedding and reception, I got to deliver her bridal flowers. This gave me an opportunity to see her on her wedding day. Megan was the most lovely and remarkable bride. Her trust in me was so very powerful. She literally told me ” even if you change the colors of my flowers, I will still love what you do” After a comment like that you can bet I was super stressing on her, she had been so generous, kind, and she had given me so much freedom,  I was absolutely dying to please her. Because Megan was marrying under our new chuppah she needed men on her team, real men, so she got Evan and Peter. They built the chuppah, while designer Myriam set up and fluffed and touched all of the designs in the ballroom.

Knowing that all was under control at Lansdowne. I headed to Murray Hill, to set up for another VIM, a very important Megan. I took two vans and two people with me to set up this wedding.This Megan was super cute and sweet and she had a serious vision for a very custom wedding. Seriously, everything was custom made for her. The brides dress, the flower girl dresses, the children’s bow ties and suspenders, custom table runners, custom made burlap balls, and even custom banners. All of this was created by one of my past MOB’s Kim, and thankfully she has come back into my life.  So with the help of the amazing Kim of Kims Kreations, Megan had one of the most perfectly and totally unique events I have seen in a very long time. I am so thankfully I got the brides I was given last weekend. My brides are the best!!

She is super cute, right????

Because I wanted her bouquet to be unique and custom as well, we added a burlap ribbon into her bouquet. I bought this ribbon in Holland and because I am hording it, I can barely stand to use it, but this Megan was so worth it!!!

Simply gorgeous!!

I forgot Kim made custom napkins as well. Kim Trombly is amazing and she is helping us with Alex’s wedding. We love Kim and we super loved Megan. This wedding also featured hours worth of draping and lighting done by Evan. Thankfully we had two back to back weddings at Murray Hill so our brides were able to share the draping and lights.

While we handled this wedding two other teams were went out into the world to deliver two more extremely amazing weddings.

These are the wedding flowers for Mary and John. This couple was so super sweet and in this instance I got to know the groom as much as the bride. I love when the grooms participate in the flower orders. I always say if they show up to help with the flower selections, they will help with the dishes, and the babies. I love a man that cares about the flowers. Again I would call this couple gentle, loving, and kind. They worked together to create the most beautiful color palette. They made their own table numbers and several other details with a really pretty fabric. In fact I was so in love with the fabric they used, that we are using it to make Grace’s flower girl dress. I find my inspiration in the most remarkable places.

Our final team headed deep into hunt country, way past Middleburg, where they set up a 90 foot long king table. This table featured 7 elevated designs and 38 other fabulous centerpieces. I had just purchased some new to me vintage vases for this table, so I was super excited about this design.

This wedding also featured a seriously sexy bouquet of hot pink and deep blues. Many thanks to photographer Genevieve Leiper who tempted me with these very early images. This stunning event was designed and planned by Lisa Schulz The Posh Planner.

Once all of the weddings were in place, I headed to the grocery store for the kids. With groceries in the car I went back to Lansdowne to see my bride one more time and to help with the clean up of  the chuppah. Once that ceremony was cleaned up, we went to Murray Hill to clean up the other Megan’s ceremony. Removing shepherds hooks and big structures in the dark is simply no fun. At 11:00pm, three teams went back out into the night to clean up the days festivities. I of course was one of those teams. On Sunday morning the final wedding was cleaned up and we spent all day Sunday and Monday cleaning up the shop. All the props are now back in the studio and we are ready to do it all over again. I thought it would be fun to share this post because people often don’t realize how much goes into the setup of a wedding. People also forget that we have to clean up these events.

I am so thankful that we were successful, I am sure that my big prayer and plea had something to do with it. That and I have one heck of an amazing team. It took ten – seven people working for 5.5 days to make these events happen. That does not include the time spent on lighting and drapes!! Are you tired, I sure am?


  • lisa Says: (09.25.2012 | 02:45)

    What a whirlwind weekend for you and your team. Thanks for sharing. It’s nice to see it all come together and making people happy is what it’s all about.

  • Clare Says: (09.25.2012 | 04:13)

    Amazing! I can’t imagine (yet) doing more than one event per day. You are an inspiration!

  • Donna Graham Says: (09.25.2012 | 05:08)

    I always enjoy seeing how beautiful your flowers are. I think I would of calapsed after the 1st wedding. Beautiful, Beautiful work. My daughter is getting married this December and we are doing all the flowers. I get so inspired by your blog and photo’s. Thank you for sharing:)

  • Margaret Says: (09.25.2012 | 11:50)

    I love following your blog. I never thought I would say that about any blog! You put on some more amazing weddings this weekend! Go Holly!!

  • Margaret Says: (09.25.2012 | 11:55)

    Holly, I love following your blog. I never thought I would say that about any blog! You put on some more amazing weddings this weekend! Go Holly!

  • Pam Morris Says: (09.26.2012 | 12:52)

    You and your team are beyond amazing. I am exhausted just reading about your weekend. I just do not see how you all do it and do it so well. Keep up the good work. Holly brides are lucky ladies!

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