Mainline Florist: Floral Hats and Fascinators

Today, the ladies of the Devon Horse Show model their one-of-a-kind hats in the annual Ladies Day Hat Contest. So, here are some of my favorite floral hats and fascinators that Floral Designs by Jessi has created. I also threw some gorgeous floral jewelry into the mix!

I took it to a different level with creating a hat, purse, and necklace out of fresh flowers and greens for the Ladies Day Hat Contest.

Floral Hat and Purse

Photo: Floral Designs by Jessi

One of the highlights of the Ladies Day Hat Contest is guest judge, Carson Kressley. You may remember him from Queer Eye for a Straight Guy. Loved that show!

Floral Hat & Necklace with Carson Kressley

Photo: Floral Designs by Jessi

According to the traditions of the Kentucky Derby, hats are supposed to bring good luck. The Kentucky Derby may be on of the biggest horse races in the United States, but it is not the only one.  The triple crown consists of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes.  There are also local horse races and events including Winterthur Point-to-Point, the Willowdale Steeplechase, Radnor Hunt Races, and the Devon Horse Show & Country Fair.

Floral Fascinator

Photo: Floral Designs by Jessi

I have attended Point-to-Point at Winterthur for about 10 years.  I love getting dressed up and wearing a fun hat!  Why not stand out among all the ladies with floral accessories created out of fresh flowers and greens?!

Floral Fascinator & Necklace

Photo: Floral Designs by Jessi

Floral Designs by Jessi creates stylist and unique floral hats and fascinators that are personalized for your attire. Go above and beyond anyone else at the event with a fashion forward floral necklace. Do you have the confidence to rock these?!

Philadelphia Wedding Florist: Halloween Masquerade

Happy Halloween! Last year, I participated in an Intrigued Experience Tour workshop at Fresh Designs Flora & Events. I enjoy expanding my knowledge and learning new techniques when it comes to floral design. During this workshop, we created hand-tied spiral bouquets and boutonnieres and how to style a table. Have you ever considered a Halloween masquerade themed wedding?

Halloween Masquerade Wedding Tablescape

Photo: Carly Fuller Photography

This workshop was full of great vendors! Shannon Wellington Weddings and Events designed and styled this gorgeous tablescape. The decadent desserts were created by the talented Clara’s Groovy Deliciousness. Carly Fuller Photography captured all of the stunning photos! I especially love the behind the scenes pictures. Custom stationary including invitations, menus, and place cards created by Paper Rock Scissors. Sue of Fresh Designs Flora & Events provided her fun studio space for the workshop. I loved working with these ladies!

Intrigued Experience - Halloween Masquerade

Photo: Carly Fuller Photography

So, the theme of this styled shoot was a Halloween masquerade wedding. Doesn’t that sound like fun?! I adore all of the small details that Shannon incorporated to bring the table to life from the clocks to the masquerade masks. The smores cupcakes that Samirah made were to die for! I know because I ate too many of them. Everything came together to create the perfect mood for an elegant Halloween event.

Halloween Masquerade Wedding Tablescape Philadelphia

Photo: Carly Fuller Photography

I had so much fun creating this hand-tied spiral bridal bouquet and boutonniere. One of my favorite touches in the wedding bouquet was the white mini pumpkins.

Halloween Masquerade Wedding Bouquet Philadelphia

Photo: Carly Fuller Photography

I loved adding to this styled shoot with a beautiful wedding gown by Blush by Hayley Paige and jewelry by Haute Bride from Jennifer’s Bridal. Now, this is the way to have a holiday themed wedding the right way. What are your thoughts?

Contact Floral Designs by Jessi today to schedule your wedding floral consultation.

VENDOR LOVE | Photography:  Carly Fuller Photography | Floral Design:  Floral Designs by Jessi | Venue:  Fresh Designs Flora & Events | Workshop:  Intrigued Experience Tour | Desserts:  Clara’s Groovy Deliciousness | Tablescape:  Shannon Wellington Weddings & Events | Stationary:  Paper Rock Scissors | Dress:  Blush by Hayley Paige from Jennifer’s Bridal | Jewelry:  Haute Bride | Model:  Sarah Fields

Locally Grown Flowers in the Heart of Chester County

Flower farming. Sounds like a dream job right? Who doesn’t love locally grown flowers? Frolicking in fields of flowers, harvesting armloads of gorgeous blooms, nighttime dreams filled with what will be growing next season. But what’s it really like?

I love working with local flower farmers as much as I can to get the absolute best quality for my brides and events. With the farm-to-table movement, we are lucky in the Pennsylvania and Delaware area to have a good supply of blooms to choose from. So, I asked one of my favorite flower farmers, Mara Tyler of The Farm at Oxford, to give us the nuts and bolts of what she does on her Chester County, PA farm. You might be surprised!

Locally Grown Flowers from The Farm at Oxford - Flower Farmer

Photo: The Farm at Oxford

“I’m a 20-year veteran grower of blooms. Growing up in California where I spent 4/5 of my life, I got used to growing flowers on tiny plots of land, no more than 2,000 square feet of plants. That’s a plot about 100 feet by 20 feet. Seems like a lot, right? But it’s not really, when you consider that here at The Farm at Oxford, I grow in a field about six times that size (and have access to many more acres)! Back in California, I’d often squeeze plants into every available spot I could find and I’d get rid of grass, just in order to keep growing the flowers I loved.

When my husband and I moved to Pennsylvania, we didn’t expect to buy a farm. But we fell in love with our vintage brick house and the large fields. My husband turned to me and said, ‘You have to grow something!’ At the time, I’d been volunteering on a local flower farm in Philly (the talented Love ‘n Fresh Flowers urban farm), so, I said, ‘Yes! Let’s start a flower farm!’ And just like that, I was off and running.

Local Flower Farm - Flower Farmer

Photo: The Farm at Oxford

Just like the local food movement, the local flower movement has been picking up steam the last few years. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many people here love the idea of fresh, locally grown flowers cut from the field.

Did you know that many grocery store or wholesale florist flowers are flown in from other countries? And that by the time they make it into your eager little hands, they’ve been off the plant for almost two weeks? And they’ve usually spent many of those hours out of water and cut dry in boxes as they traveled from country to country, receiver to wholesaler, wholesaler to customer. Is it any wonder that by the time they make it to you, they often last only a few days?

Locally grown flowers are often cut from their host plant and delivered to a designer or customer all in one morning. If you can’t buy local flowers, at least try to find American-Grown flowers that support our national economy versus another country’s. Check out our Why Buy Local article to become fully educated on why local flowers do it better.

As for the difference between gardening for pleasure and doing this for a living, you need to consider many more variables: What does your market want, what can your market afford, how large is your market, when does the market need what you supply? I’ve learned it’s helpful to use schedules and ‘days to bloom’ calendar markings to help figure out when I need to seed or buy trays of plugs, and I make commitments to give my designers flowers for their specific events on certain dates. One thing I have to always remember is that bulbs planted in the Fall can have a range of a few weeks’ time to start blooming—so those flowers might not work for one of my designers if they have a wedding just outside that window.

As a flower farmer, you learn tips, tricks, and cheats to try to maximize your time and skip around Mother Nature as best you can. If I need those tulips earlier, for example, I’ll erect a low caterpillar tunnel in January or February to help warm the space and buy myself a week or two of earlier blooms. Growing in a low tunnel or a small greenhouse enables me to put plants out earlier, even before our last frost date and have flowers blooming past our last frost date—sometimes even into December. Season extension can be very important in areas like ours here in the Pennsylvania and Delaware area, and I’m always calculating how I can eke out a few more weeks here and there.

Field of Locally Grown Flowers

Photo: The Farm at Oxford

A fun part of the business (besides frolicking in the flower fields, but seriously, that rarely happens) is when I get to work with event designers who are thrilled to get their hands on fresh local blooms. Not everyone has embraced the idea of going local—it is tempting to get tulips in November or ranunculus in September for events or to pay less for flowers that were grown cheaply in another country. But there are so many wonderful blooms to be had at almost any time of the year, so I really love my local florists and designers who try to buy local whenever they can. I’m always thrilled to see pictures of bouquets or centerpieces at weddings that feature my flowers—talk about gratifying! To see the end result from that tiny little seed that started in our sunroom so many months ago.

Locally Grown Wedding Flowers

Photo: Leave It To Me Photography

I’m a lover of flowers at heart; to me, there is nothing more amazing than freshly-cut bunch of flowers, they lift people up and bring happiness like nothing else. I’m grateful that we’ve been able to start this farm and begin to realize a dream I never knew I had. Even though we are only in our second year of production, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us as the love of local continues to expand and grow in our community.”

Find out more about The Farm at Oxford at www.thefarmatoxford.com. Check out one of my styled shoots with gorgeous locally grown flowers from The Farm at Oxford:  click here. If you are considering a wedding or party in the Chester County or surrounding area, talk to me about how I can help you use 100% locally grown flowers in your events! Make your wedding a farm-to-table celebration.


About the Author:  Mara Tyler is a local farmer florist with a penchant for growing a wide selection of unique flowers and foliage, many items not typically available in the floral trade. An avid lover of dahlias and roses, her dream flower farm, The Farm at Oxford, is located in southern Chester County. Mara‘s floral background includes design sessions at Longwood Gardens, with Kiana Underwood of Tulipina, and at Floret Flower with Erin Benzakien. She enjoys supplying fresh from the field flowers to local designers and creating seasonally-inspired arrangements for special events. Find out more at www.thefarmatoxford.com.


P.S. Some of the pictures used in this post are from the talented Leave It To Me Photography.

Locally Grown Flowers in Pennsylvania

Photo: The Farm at Oxford

Delaware Floral Designer: Christmas Tree Dress

As a floral designer, I have been dying to create a Christmas tree wedding gown!  This year I have been working with my friends at Jennifer’s Bridal to create beautiful arrangements for their trunk shows.  While I was talking to Amy one day, we discussed displaying the Christmas tree dress on one of their mannequins in their main window.

Now I get to share the gorgeous holiday display with all of you. I loved designing this floral display with locally grown branches from Christmas trees in Pennsylvania.  Let me know what you think.

Christmas Tree Dress (1)I decided to go with a high-low skirt created out of different varieties of pine and fir branches.  The base dress is a stunning short, lace wedding dress by Pronovias.  I think that it created the perfect bodice for this dress form Christmas tree.

Christmas Tree Dress (6)To finish off the dress, I wrapped a fun red plaid ribbon around the waist of the mannequin and added a few trailing snowflakes.  Isn’t this a fun idea for your winter wedding?!

If you’re in the Hockessin area or are shopping for your wedding gown, stop by Jennifer’s Bridal and check out this gown and all the other lovely bridal gowns.

The holiday season is the most popular time for engagements.  So, if you are newly engaged, don’t forget about Floral Designs by Jessi for all your wedding flower needs.  Contact me today to schedule your consultation.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! 

Delaware Wedding Florist: Jennifer & Dan at Harry’s Savoy

I loved working with Jennifer and Dan for their wedding!  It was like a mini high school reunion.  Jennifer and I went to high school together along with her photographer, Brownlee Honeycutt of Honeycutt Photography, and her DJ, Mike Simmons of Must Be The Music DJs.  Their wedding took place at the beautiful Harry’s Savoy Ballroom in Wilmington, Delaware.

Jennifer and Dan decided to get married on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend.  I thought it was a brilliant idea since all of their family and friends would be in town for the holiday.  Plus, all of the dancing would help burn some the calories from eating so much turkey!

Delaware Wedding Florist - Harry's Savoy - Purple - Dan & Jen (6)

Photo: Honeycutt Photography

Their weddings colors were plum and white. The plum added a richness and regal feel to the wedding.  I adore the orchids, roses, hydrangea, freesia, lisianthius, and stock used to create the gorgeous round bouquets.  For an added touch, we trailed Picasso calla lilies through Jennifer’s bouquet.

Photo: Honeycutt Photography

Photo: Honeycutt Photography

For Jennifer’s something old, she tasked me with the “nerve-racking” job of cutting lace from her mother’s wedding veil to wrap around the base of her bridal bouquet.  I can’t remember how much reassurance I needed before I cut into her mother’s veil. Ugh.  However, I absolutely love bringing a special and sentimental touch to a wedding.

Photo: Honeycutt Photography

Photo: Honeycutt Photography

Congratulations Jennifer and Dan!  I am so happy for the two of you!  I loved being a part of your special day!  I wish you a lifetime of happiness together.

VENDOR LOVE:  Venue:  Harry’s Savoy Ballroom | Photographer:  Honeycutt Photography |  Flowers:  Floral Designs by Jessi | DJ:  Must Be The Music DJs

Pennsylvania Wedding Florist: Tara Keely Trunk Show at Jennifer’s Bridal

Can I tell you how much I love springtime?!  Flowers are finally in full bloom.  It just makes me so happy.  One of my favorite things is working with locally grown flowers and greens, especially from my own garden when I can.

Have you ever thought about using only locally grown flowers and greens for your wedding?  Buying local is a big trend right now, and one that I support.  The flowers and greens from these arrangements came from The Farm at Oxford which is a flower farm in Lincoln University, Pennsylvania.  I love working with Mara and all of the beauties that she grows!

Pennsylvania Wedding Florist - Tara Keely - Locally Grown Flowers (5)

Photo: Floral Designs by Jessi

Tulips, azaleas, daffodils, wisteria, and a mix of greens were used to create these light and airy centerpieces.  I even mixed in some hosta leaves, boxwood, and vinca greens from my own garden!

Photo: Floral Designs by Jessi

Photo: Floral Designs by Jessi

This past weekend was the Tara Keely Fall 2015 Trunk Show at Jennifer’s Bridal.  This was a first look at their new line of bridal dresses.  I hope that you had a chance to get a look at these gorgeous dresses.  Soft and romantic.

Photo: Floral Designs by Jessi

Photo: Floral Designs by Jessi

The next two weekends, Jennifer’s Bridal will be having Alvina Valenta Spring and Fall 2015 Trunk Shows.  Their designs use lots of lace and sparkles for a sexy but classic bridal look.  Call Jennifer’s Bridal today to schedule your appointment.

Photo: Floral Designs by Jessi

Photo: Floral Designs by Jessi

Contact me today to schedule a floral design consultation for your wedding or special event, especially if you are interested in locally grown flowers and greens.  Call me today at (302) 691-5525.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Delaware Wedding Florist: Blush by Hayley Paige Trunk Show at Jennifer’s Bridal

One of my favorite designers that Jennifer’s Bridal carries is Hayley Paige.  Her dresses are timeless with a unique flair.  About a week ago, Jennifer’s Bridal had a trunk show for the Spring 2015 line of Blush by Hayley Paige.  The dresses did not disappoint!

Philadelphia Wedding Florist - Hayley Paige - Jennifer's Bridal - Tropical Floral Arrangements (14)

Photo: Floral Designs by Jessi

Photo: Floral Designs by Jessi

Photo: Floral Designs by Jessi

The inspiration for the floral arrangements came from the photo shoot for Hayley Paige‘s new line.  It took place on a tropical island.  So, what’s better than gorgeous orchids, king protea, pink ginger, gloriosa, and lush greenery.  I loved manipulating the ferns by braiding and weaving them to add different textures to the design.

Philadelphia Wedding Florist - Hayley Paige - Jennifer's Bridal - Tropical Floral Arrangements (6)

Photo: Floral Designs by Jessi

The next trunk show at Jennifer’s Bridal is this weekend.  They will have the entire Fall 2015 line for Tara Keely.  This will be your first chance to see the new line!  They haven’t even put pictures of the dresses on their website yet!  Call Jennifer’s Bridal today to schedule your appointment.  For a full list of upcoming trunk shows, please check out their events page.

Photo: Floral Designs by Jessi

Photo: Floral Designs by Jessi

Contact me today to schedule a floral design consultation for your wedding or special event.  Call me today at (302) 691-5525.  I look forward to hearing from you!