How to Donate Wedding Flowers to Charity

Have you ever thought about what to do with your wedding flowers after the wedding? You could keep them. You could give them away to guests. Some just throw them away (which breaks my heart). Or you could donate wedding flowers to charity. You’re probably thinking, “How do I do that?” Well, I have the answer for you.

“Flowers are a true blessing of this earth,

and are meant to be shared.”

Forget Me Knot Flowers is a local nonprofit company that specializes in repurposing flowers from weddings and events.

Donate Wedding Flowers

Photo: Forget Me Knot Flowers

HOW IT STARTED

Forget Me Knot Flowers started as a solution to a problem. Leona Davis, the founder of this floral recycling company, was searching for a place to donate her daughter’s wedding flowers with no luck. Her answer was to start her own company that specialized in repurposing wedding flowers into beautiful bedside bouquets for people in local hospitals, nursing homes, and care facilities that may not receive many visitors. The flowers and conversation brightened all of the recipients’ days.

Donate Wedding Flowers

Photo: Forget Me Knot Flowers

HOW IT WORKS

Want to donate your wedding flowers? All you need to do is contact Forget Me Knot Flowers. They will pick up your flowers at the end of your wedding. Then they will rearrange them into smaller bedside vases. Next, they will deliver them with a smile to residents at places such as nursing homes, women’s shelters, Ronald McDonald House, etc. You can even request a location that is near and dear to your heart.

Forget Me Knot Flowers is a local nonprofit company that services South Jersey and the Philadelphia area. They will venture into Delaware too. If you are a client of Floral Designs by Jessi and are not in their service area, we will pick up and deliver your flowers to Forget Me Knot Flowers after your wedding or event.

There is a tax-deductable donation that covers expenses for repurposing and delivering your flowers. To find out more about this, click here.

Just think of all the faces that you will put a smile on from donating your wedding flowers!

WHERE TO SIGN UP

You can contact Forget Me Knot Flowers to begin the process of donating wedding flowers to charity. It is such a simple process with such a BIG reward!!!

How to Donate Wedding Flowers to Charity

Traveling Florist: Laura & Steven’s Santa Fe Wedding

Have you ever felt like you were are a different path than everyone else? Do you live your life within what is considered “normal,” or do you march to the beat of your own drum? Laura and Steven definitely thrive in the unconventional. Their Santa Fe wedding epitomized how unique they are, and I loved it!

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

~ Robert Frost

Many brides and grooms go the traditional route when planning their wedding, which is perfectly fine. However, wouldn’t you rather make your special day reflect who you are as a couple? Well, Laura and Steven’s wedding oozed their personalities from the Santa Fe location to the design of their invitations which were designed by the bride and groom. The bride drew the floral design that was screen printed onto the welcome bags. These two are definitely talented. A destination wedding was an ideal way to celebrate their love.

Santa Fe Wedding

Photo: Joni Bilderback Photography

WEDDING FESTIVITIES

Laura and Steven had an intimate wedding with their closest family and friends in the Land of Enchantment, otherwise known as Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Upon the guests’ arrival at the picturesque Inn of the Turquoise Bear, they were greeted with a welcome package including a beautiful Native American blanket. Laura and Steven are equally artistic, and the history of the Inn embraced their love of the literary world. The Inn used to be home of Witter Bynner whose guests included Robert Frost, Georgia O’Keefe, and Rita Hayworth, just to name a few.

The weekend began with drinks and s’mores around a fire under a starlit sky. Each morning, everyone gathered for a family style breakfast (and delicious smoothies) in the main house. The day was spent in downtown Santa Fe with shopping in the market, viewing the miraculous staircase at the Loretta chapel, a trolley tour, and a rooftop lunch with margaritas.

WEDDING CEREMONY

The pueblo style of the historic Inn of the Turquoise Bear was the perfect backdrop for the intimate ceremony of Laura and Steven’s wedding.

“’cause you are the only song I want to hear,

a melody softly soaring through the atmosphere…”

Laura stunned in a flowy, vintage inspired Watters Wtoo gown from BHLDN. Her bouquet was full of vibrant orange roses, pale pink spray roses, sprigs of lavender, hydrangea, and a touch of silver dollar eucalyptus. Wrapped around the base of her bouquet was a family heirloom necklace. Steven looked handsome in a navy suit with a fun bow tie. The boutonnieres were crisp white lisianthus with a sprig of lavender and a touch of greenery. The wedding aisle was lined with fragrant pots of lavender, and the bride and groom stood on a Southwestern rug for the ceremony.

Santa Fe Wedding

Photo: Joni Bilderback Photography

Santa Fe Wedding

Photo: Joni Bilderback Photography

Joni Bilderback Photography captured the love shared by all that day. Joni is a traveling photographer on a journey to photograph a destination wedding in all 50 states. To see the locations that she has explored so far, click here. Joni wrote a wonderful blog post about Laura and Steven’s big day that you can read here. Just so my future brides and grooms know, Joni has not been to the tristate area yet. Hint, hint. Wink, wink.

Santa Fe Wedding

Photo: Joni Bilderback Photography

Santa Fe Wedding

Photo: Joni Bilderback Photography

WEDDING RECEPTION

After the cocktail hour at the Inn of the Turquoise Bear, the wedding guests strolled down the street in Santa Fe to Rio Charma Steakhouse for the reception. The patio was aglow with a roaring fire and candlelight. The tablescapes exuded the vintage charm that the couple strived to achieve with an assortment of gorgeous pillars and vases full of beautiful white flowers and greenery. Each table setting had a gold charger, menu, and a sprig of lavender. The cake from Chocolate Maven was incredible. Sweet and simple in style, but beyond delicious in flavor.

Laura and Steven along with all of their loved ones danced the night away under the starlit sky of the Land of Enchantment. Their wedding weekend showcased their personalities to perfection and made all of the guests see who they truly were.

Since their wedding, Laura and Steven have both pursued their creative passions. Steven started a blog called The Nut Free Vegan, and Laura started a blog chronicling her journey as she completes her father’s bucket list at My Father’s List. They have also enjoyed travelling together as they explore new places as husband and wife.

I really enjoyed being a part of their celebration. I wish them a lifetime of happiness together. For more information on Floral Designs by Jessi, please contact me.

VENDOR LOVE:  Photographer:  Joni Bilderback Photography | Flowers:  Floral Designs by Jessi | Ceremony:  Inn of the Turquoise Bear | Reception:  Rio Chama Steakhouse | Dress:  Watters Wtoo from BHLDN | Cake:  Chocolate Maven | Hair & Makeup:  Genica Lee | DJ:  Bryan Mayhall | Officiant:  Dan Clark

Pennsylvania Wedding Florist: Woodland Centerpiece

Have you ever dreamed about frolicking in the woods and picking flowers? As a little girl, I loved going to my grandparents’ house. They lived on a six acre property that was mainly wooded. I used to make my way through the woods to an opening where a meadow full of flowers was just beyond the trees. This was my special place. I love nature, especially flowers!

What if you could bring this wonderful feeling into the floral décor for your wedding? Imagine walking through the woods surrounded by towering trees with sunlight trickling through and soft moss under your feet. Can you picture the ferns and flowers peeking up out of ground? What if you could incorporate this vision into your wedding?

Woodland Inspired Centerpiece

Photo: Leave It To Me Photography

Now just picture a small piece of this scenery trailing down the center of a farmhouse table during your wedding reception. I love this nontraditional option for a wedding centerpiece! I bet all of your guests would remember your wedding décor!

Woodland Inspired Centerpiece

Photo: Leave It To Me Photography

How would you incorporate a woodland look to your big day? Wedding flowers no longer need to be traditional round centerpieces. Make yours unique just like you.

In additional to your table centerpieces, I can just imagine a beautiful loose bouquet more of a variety of ferns, succulents, and delicate flowers and maybe some flowers in your hair. What do you think?

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

VENDOR LOVE:  Photography:  Leave It To Me Photography | Floral Design:  Floral Designs by Jessi

 

 

 

Lehigh Valley Wedding Florist: Valentine’s Day Wedding

I hope that everyone had a great Valentine’s Day. What comes to mind when you think about Valentine’s Day? Love? Hearts? Red Roses? Have you ever thought about incorporating these ideas into your own wedding? How about a twist on the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland? If so, this styled shoot is just for you.

Valentine's Day Wedding Bouquet

Photo: Jessica Watson Photography

 

“When I used to read about fairy tales, I never thought I would end up in the middle of one.” ~ Alice in Wonderland

Classic, timeless beauty. I love the rich boldness of the color red. It is definitely a statement color. Red roses are symbolic of deep love and affection. What is more romantic than that?! Jessica Watson Photography captured the essence of this.

Red Rose Wedding Invitation

Photo: Jessica Watson Photography

Valentine's Day Wedding Red Centerpiece

Photo: Jessica Watson Photography

This enchanting styled shoot captures a soft, romantic, vintage feel. The dreamy blush lace wedding gown designed by Modern Trousseau is perfection. Blush is still very on trend this season. Wearing a gorgeous blush gown like this one is a fun way to incorporate the color in your wedding while still being able to have bright beautiful flowers.

Red Jessica Simpson Heels

Photo: Jessica Watson Photography

Valentine's Day Bridal Bouquet

Photo: Jessica Watson Photography

Every bride wants to stand out on her wedding day. What better way to do that than with a statement floral necklace. What would be your signature floral accessory?

Floral Necklace - Valentine's Day

Photo: Jessica Watson Photography

Tradition says that you have to have a wedding cake, but the new trend is to have alternative desserts such as these delicious mini cakes and tarts by Loves Bites by Erika.

Are you drooling yet? Valentine’s Day. Queen of Hearts. Love. Romance. These are all great inspirations for your wedding day. Where do you find your inspiration from?

I am so excited to announce that this styled shoot was featured on The Perfect Palette.

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

VENDOR LOVE | Venue:  Fox and Finch Rental Studio | Photography:  Jessica Watson Photography | Flowers:  Floral Designs by Jessi | Makeup:  Kathryn Peyton | Dress Designer:  Modern Trousseau | Dress Store:  Jennifer’s Bridal | Desserts:  Love Bites by Erika | Stationary:  Darling and Pearl | Rentals:  Fox and Finch Vintage Rentals | Model: Emily Wolcott

 

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!