Our second day of class began with lots of pink, and lots of romance. Garden roses were provided in 6 different shades of pink. I spared no expense for my students, we had it all!!!

After a light breakfast and a heavy duty business meeting, I showed the students how I make my bridal bouquets. Once my design was complete, students had free range to choose the blossoms that they most desired.

Even the piles of flowers the students chose were beautiful.

While the ladies worked, my son Sam and our cat Marcie kept us entertained.

Once the bouquets were created they were bound with ribbon and placed in the cooler. Each design would be photographed at our big photo shoot and students will get the images for their portfolio.

Next we worked on compotes, hair pieces, corsages, bouts, and the BIGS. My friend Isha Foss (also a Chapel Designer) calls elevated pieces the Bigs. We call them elevators.

Designer Mary Coombs from A Garden Party designed back to back with me on these whopper designs.

Simply gorgeous pieces were created all day long. We rocked it out on this day.

Each design created on Tuesday had a purpose and a place in our big shoot.

One of my most favorite pieces of the week was Alicia’s compote. I think she plucked 30 persimmon’s from my tree.  Note she was also the designer that over stole the berries from my daddies house. This design was truly edible!!

On our final day together we set up a huge photo shoot thanks to photographer Genevieve Leiper.  The shoots were designed by using all of the flowers we had created throughout the week. We were able to create two totally different looks for Genevieve to photograph.

Many thanks to make up artist Deshae Mayrand who prepped our gorgeous models, Rachel Mackay and Andrew Dolan. A huge round of applause to Miriam from Soliloquy Bridal.  Miriam supplied amazing gowns for us to use. The fabulous linens, china, and glassware were provided by DC Rental. The images from this shoot will be stunning and they will be submitted for publication.

A huge thanks to Rachel Merkle of Miss Merkle Design, who spent Wednesday morning with the students discussing branding, websites, and social media.

Our students had the pleasure of staying at Lansdowne Resort, Idyll Time Farm, and Faith Like A Mustard Seed Farm. Our fabulous meals were catered by South Street Under, and they even baked us a gorgeous wedding cake for our shoot.

The designers from A Garden Party stayed at Idyll Time Farm. The cabin holds five people and it was so much fun to see this bed and breakfast located right here in my little village of Lucketts.

Designer Melissa Stewart stayed at Faith Like A Mustard Seed Farm which is operated by the Glaeser family. Guests got their own wing of the house with a kitchen, sitting room, and an upstairs bedroom.

Patricia Glaeser showed Melissa, Alicia, and I the farm.

Patricia was happy to show us her new walk in freezer. She has no idea how we florists can totally relate to her cooler joy!! We love our coolers.

I had a blast feeding the calves and playing with the babies.

Back in Patricia’s house we delighted in seeing her beautiful home and her eggs were mighty impressive as well.

This week was a complete and total success and it was fulfilling on so many levels.  I adored sharing and teaching and growing our Chapel Designers clan, that of course was no big surprise, we all know how I love that. My desire and need to help other designers is something I simply can’t resist doing. After 21 years of designing and creating weddings, my life has a new and exciting purpose. In addition to the teaching, I got to share our home and our family with our guests. Evan’s beautiful gardens were put to incredible use as well, not only did we cut from our gardens we were able to stage two gorgeous shoots here in our yard. In addition to that, I was able to contribute to tourism and as a past board member for the Dept. of Tourism for the County of Loudoun, this was an honor and clearly a new goal. To think that guests visited in Loudoun and stayed at 3 different facilities, dined on local foods and designed with Loudoun County flowers makes me really proud. I would like to thank Loudoun County employee Kellie Boles for helping me achieve this next level. It was Kellie who helped us change our business to an agricultural business so that I could begin to host workshops and sell our local flowers.

I am thankful, thankful, thankful, that things are growing and developing for our studio. One last thanks and shout out to designer Alicia Schwede. Alicia and I started our friendship about 5 years ago on twitter. We have designed together, in VA, California, and NYC. Having my friend here with me was wonderful. I am so grateful for the people we are meeting and falling in love with!! I have a whole new list of friends from this weeks adventure. This was awesome!!!



  • Anna Says: (07.26.2013 | 08:23)

    Oh Holly!!! Everything about this workshop looks truly amazing!! I am so thankful for the time you take to invest in all of us as designers. I know my life will never be the same because of you!! You are one amazing lady!!!!!

  • Janet Nash Says: (07.28.2013 | 07:49)

    You do amazing work and far outshine others in the field.

  • Floraqueen Says: (07.29.2013 | 09:35)

    I love the way you made the geraniums bowl! It’s wnoderful!

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