In early January I was contacted about providing floral designs for a September wedding at the Hotel Monaco. The clients went onto explain that it would be a same sex wedding and that they hoped to find designs that were not to flowery, but they did want pieces that offered lots of texture and interest. The clients also mentioned that they loved succulents and the color pallet of yellow and gray. I can tell you that they had me at Hello!!! As a designer my mind was a buzz and I knew I wanted this wedding but the typical insecurities we all suffer from kicked in and quite frankly my first thought was why would they want me? I know nothing about same sex weddings, I am just the mega mom, and for heaven’s sakes I am a country girl to boot. In my heart I knew that I just needed to be honest and loving and we would move on from there, so I confessed that I had not done a lot of gay weddings, and if we were to move forward together, I would need to be able to openly discuss options and ideas with them. It was tempting to pretend like I knew how to handle all of this and to not ask any questions but I base everything I do on honesty so I informed the boys of my lack of knowledge in this area. I remember laying in bed late that night with my husband at my side confessing to the boys via email that I wanted to work with them but I would want their guidance and acceptance. They agreed that they too were new at this, and that we could and would figure it out together along the way, from that moment on I was head over heels in love with Jeff & Ethan and they became “my boys.” Gay marriages became legal in DC just a little over a year ago and we as an industry are still learning about the ceremony structure. So essentially the idea is the same: provide excellent service, incredible designs, and put on your thinking cap for ideas and designs that embody the spirit of the couple.

Jeff and Ethan married under a chuppah which symbolizes the future home of the couple in the Jewish tradition. Our chuppah was made of birch branches, willow, succulents, billy balls, chrome balls, and Spanish moss. The look was amazing and we were so thrilled to be bringing this structure to life.

As Jeff and Ethan married they were surrounded by their parents and 200 guests. This wedding was such an incredibly loving and remarkable event.

Outside of the ballroom 20 tables were lined up down the hall. During the ceremony my team designed on these tables. As soon as the ceremony was over, family and friends went to enjoy the cocktail hour, and the hotel staff carried the prepared tables into the ballroom. During the cocktail hour we put the finishing touches on the 20 tables and placed 140 mini succulent plants on the place card table. Let’s just say we had our magic mojo going…

Large succulents, river rocks, votives, and chrome bud vases were used on the cocktail tables.

My husband Evan poured 140 mini concrete gray pots for our succulent plants. The plants doubled as a place card design/favor. This table and these designs turned out amazing. Half of the plants were succulents and half were air plants.

Succulents were displayed in the bookshelves along with family pictures.

Chrome lanterns, succulents and floral designs filled the windows.

We also decorated Prada purses for the sisters, which was oh so much fun!!!

Each table featured elements of the day: yellow billy balls, succulents, concrete containers, chrome vases and other chrome accents. My favorite find while purchasing for the boys were the chrome balls I used on the tables. They reflected light and were an amazing design element. I also really loved using the little air ferns.

Fun designs also flanked the entrance into the ballroom!! In general we decorated every spot of this ballroom and we even brought chrome trays and succulents for the desserts!! This wedding was truly some or our finest work. The boys literally told me I was a flower Mensa, which is so funny because I am far from a Mensa on any level, but what I can tell you is I am extremely passionate about bringing a vision to life, about fulfilling wishes. I was incredibly honored that this couple chose me; on so many levels the whole thing seems like a dream. I have never been so rewarded for the work I have done. To be able to appeal to all sexes and all ages and all design styles is truly a blessing.  Perhaps this ability is given to me because I can approach all of these events with love, and I can make all couples and families feel welcomed. With this event, I was the one rewarded ten fold. I learned so much about design, passion, responsibility and, yes, love. Wow, what a wedding; happy married life Ethan and Jeff!! You are my boys, and you will always be my dear friends! Thank you for having faith in me as a designer.

  • Trish Says: (09.07.2011 | 03:02)

    Oh my! I can’t even find the words for this. Stunning, incredible, gorgeous are just a few. You truly outdid yourself with this wedding and your heart shows in every detail!

  • isha | isha foss events Says: (09.07.2011 | 03:07)

    Holly, this is amazing. Your attention to detail is phenomenal.

  • Michelle Says: (09.07.2011 | 07:52)

    Holly, what I love about you is your passion for your craft and your love of your clients. Completely shows here. My wedding flowers were so tiny in the scheme of things but I felt as attended to and cared for as a “Full Blown Holly” wedding. Your work is amazing, and you are too. I think that is what makes you special.

  • Jeanette Says: (09.08.2011 | 03:04)

    Holly, I’m so touched by your words and your craftsmanship. It was through honest communication with your clients that you were able to truly get to the heart of who they were as a couple, and design for them what I’m sure was their dream-come-true. Every detail of this celebration was stunning and heart-felt!

  • carla Says: (09.08.2011 | 07:51)

    As a guest, and also a party designer myself, I want to tell you how absolutely gorgeous this wedding was!!!! Stunning …I can see why you also consider it some of your finest work, the wedding was awesome, in every sense!

  • Nancy R Gelber Says: (09.11.2011 | 11:01)

    Holly, I can’t tell you how amazing everthing was. I had seen photos along the way but words cannot truly describe my first impression when I walked into the room. I have sent this blog to everyone and all comments are the same-flowers are beautiful but no one had ever seen anything like this. They described you as simply amazing and over the top. You were a joy at the wedding and I know both Ethan and Jeff adore you. Thanks again for making this such a fabulous occassion.

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