Loudoun County

Bride's Perspective: wedding themes merge for one-of-a-kind day

I love engaging in the creative process with each of my clients. It’s a great way to really get to know someone and to learn about how they experience beauty. The creative process is so critical to creating a one-of-a-kind look for each of our weddings.

Though it was many months ago, I distinctly remember the inspiration session that I had with Kelly Fox who planned her July Loudoun County wedding long distance, from New York City. Kelly wanted to create a unique look for her wedding to Leo, blending a modern garden party with elements you might find at an al fresco, Southern California evening affair. I loved the expansiveness that we discovered merging the two themes yet we both knew it was really important that we choose some very specific floral and décor elements to create a cohesion for her look.

Trent Bailey Studio

Trent Bailey Studio

Kelly had done a lot of research and came to me with a very strong vision. According to Kelly, “I wanted the look to have a cool, relaxed vibe that expressed our personalities but was also timeless so that I would always be able to look back and love what I had chosen. I wanted it to be a little sophisticated and I wanted all of the décor elements to feel purposeful.” Kelly chose a raised, black and white, lit dance floor for her tented reception. Her rental company provided crystal and porcelain edged with gold and silver cutlery. Her event designer laid a piece of So-Cal inspired fern at each place setting and we blended beautiful English garden blooms with greenery and grasses perfectly at home in a desert plateau environ.

Her color palette included all shades of pink (pale, blush, fuchsia and burgundy) and neutral colors (white, tan, grey) with pops of metallic and greenery. A great place for us to start. Kelly recalls, “The color would come mainly from the florals, dresses and a few décor items. I didn’t want these elements to be overpowering but I wanted to make sure that some of the colors were bold. I looked for ways to add touches of each color like the soft pink velvet sofa and chairs in our lounge area.”

Trent Bailey Studio

Trent Bailey Studio

Kelly’s bridal bouquet was so much fun to make. We wanted this piece to really make a statement about her vision. The Panda Anemone, with their white petals and nearly black centers were the perfect choice for focal flowers. The softer pink and peach was achieved using Café Au Lait Dahlia, Juliet Garden Rose, Amaranthus and Ranunculus. For darker tones, we used a deep pink and wine-colored Anemone with dark midnight blue centers, O’Hara Garden Roses, Astilbe and more richly toned Ranunculus. The fern, Rice Flowers and flowering greens helped to blend the English garden and desert look that was her inspiration.

Kelly had twelve bridesmaids, and again, wanted to work with some subtlety. We designed “clutch” bridesmaid bouquets (a little smaller) that struck a balance between the soft dusty pink and peach and the richer jewel tones. The Snapdragons allowed us to create some really interesting shapes in the bouquets making the designs a little more organic. Because Kelly and Leo wanted a dramatic long table, we set sleek, gold, goblet vases at each bridesmaid’s place setting for additional pops of color. Kelly recalls, “I wanted everything to feel different and unique. I didn’t want a lot of uniformity. Each bridesmaid selected her dress from a pool of designs. It was so nice that each of their bouquets were just a little bit different.”

The three centerpiece designs were the best place to marry the two distinct styles for the wedding. Greenery pieces are all the rage at major events in Southern California. I finished each of these arrangements with some natural grasses and Celosia in a soft pink. We used the gold stands because they have such a modern feel. Kelly only needed six of these lush, full designs rising above some of her tables to make a big impact in their tent, two of them flanked the long head table and four were centered on guest tables. 

Kelly loved the idea of combining natural looking arrangements with more traditional designs. “I also liked the idea of combining the funky modern test tube centerpieces with the more classical lush centerpieces.  It wasn't always about how many flowers we had in a centerpiece. My favorite centerpiece was the test tube, very simple with fewer flowers but a really impactful and fun visual effect.  I liked that some of the tables were more minimalist." Kelly chose a gold compote vase for her English garden arrangements. The Vienna compote we used has a modern gold finish. 

Trent Bailey Studio

Trent Bailey Studio

I studied the stems of the flowers in each design to make sure that each arrangement had a unique or interesting focal point. The pink O’Hara Garden Roses and deep pink Peonies were softened just a little by the depth of the greenery. I used the purple Anemone as a showcase bloom allowing for a little more space around each flower. Ranunculus stems bend in such meaningful ways; they poked out just a little from the shape of the design. Ivory Majollica Spray Roses create such lovely groupings and the leggier Astilbe helped to add dimension and cohesion with the taller centerpieces.

Kelly explains her motivation for creating three distinctly different centerpiece designs. “I wanted guests, as they moved around the tables, to be surprised by the different styles and I wanted something unique, that created more variety.” The test tube bud vases were a great way to showcase the beautiful blooms that Kelly and I had selected. It was important to Kelly that I use Bells of Ireland, a leggier bloom with so much personality. The test tube vase showcased the most significant blooms in her wedding and highlighted her color palette.

Beyond the florals, Kelly carefully selected décor elements that were a combination of chic and classic. The vintage glass and gold box that held her programs paired with a more current set of greeting signs in a strong peach.  The puffy, gold XO over the dance floor offered a modern feel above the vintage sofa and chairs. And who could forget the dance floor, fully lit in black and white, a perfect place for guests to let themselves go.

Vendors featured in this blog.

Photographer: Trent Bailey Studio

Laura Held, Ida Rose Events, Wedding Planner

Ryan Hayes, Hayes Street Society, Wedding Planner

Shannon Wellington, Shannon Wellington Wedding & Events, Event Designer

White Glove Rentals: Furniture

MS Event Rentals: Stemware, China and Cutlery 

Meet the Wedding Design Team

The arrangements that leave our studio each week aren’t just beautiful because they are filled with amazing flowers, they are beautiful because the team that puts them together is truly amazing.  

Members of the J. Morris Flowers team, Heather, Myriam, Jennifer, Sofia, Jaime and Katie. 

Members of the J. Morris Flowers team, Heather, Myriam, Jennifer, Sofia, Jaime and Katie. 

We take flowers shipped to us from all over the world and present them throughout our community knowing that we are sharing friendship, creating romance and lifting hearts. The J. Morris Flowers team is so visibly passionate about the work that we do and it’s easy to understand why. Our industry rewards creativity, craftsmanship and skillful experience. If you have ever worked with your hands, then you know the true sense of accomplishment that comes from beginning with an idea and finishing with something beautiful.

We have a wonderful line of every day and event flowers produced daily in our studio. But, it’s the weddings that involve every member of our staff. Each wedding week begins with the arrival of extremely fresh and delicate ingredients that have to be handled with the greatest care. Our timeline is kept very tight so that the arrangements that adorn your wedding are perfectly poised to be brilliant. Like an orchestra, this perfectly timed crescendo requires every moving part to be right on point. Here are the J. Morris players that make that moment happen.

Jennifer Morris Owner, Floral Designer, Bridal Consultant

Jennifer Morris, Owner

Jennifer Morris, Owner

Jennifer is our creative director. Her vast floral experiences guide the direction for the company and our future and yet she works closely with each wedding to ensure that the quality and design exemplifies the trademark she has so carefully crafted over the last decade and more.

Jennifer is involved in every step of the process. “Consulting with our brides and grooms is still the most important moment in the execution process. These talented couples know the look they are trying to achieve guided by their own personal taste and style, they just need us to interpret that look with our flowers. We work diligently to create the perfect combination of colors and textures. I still look at every arrangement as if I am a guest sitting at one of the tables admiring the flowers. I may be the only guest that will see our work from that specific angle, but it must be beautiful.”

Heather Lipp Initial Consult

Heather Lipp

Heather Lipp

Heather is the first person to reach out to you from our company. With this initial contact, she’ll find out a little bit more about your wedding plans and requirements and then share some important details about the process for creating your wedding proposal.

According to Heather, “The brides are so creative, they have so many individual and unique ideas, I love to hear about the day they are planning and share some initial thoughts about how we can help them create that perfect setting.

Katie Black Floral Designer, Bridal Consultant, Purchasing

Katie Black

Katie Black

Katie received her Bachelor of Science in Horticulture from Virginia Tech. We call upon her extensive knowledge of the floral kingdom each week, yet her true talent lies in her ability to engage in the creative process with you and then interpret your vision in captivating and stunning floral designs. She is careful and contemplative when executing each design, calling upon the understanding that she gained during your consultation process.

She also works diligently with our local and non-local wholesalers to purchase the most beautiful blooms on the market, holding each stem to the highest standards. “When I sit with a bride and groom, I begin to see our flowers through their eyes. As a newlywed, I know how hard couples work to create a magical and flawless day. Each wedding becomes so important to me and that begins with the quality of the flowers.”

Myriam Marquez Floral designer, Wedding Day Coordinator

Myriam Marquez

Myriam Marquez

Myriam Marquez has been making wedding flowers for nearly twenty years, it's truly her life’s work. Every day she arrives at our studio with incredible energy, enthusiasm and passion for her work and for the brides and grooms who will celebrate their day-of-all-days surrounded by her craftsmanship. Her knowledge and creativity are seconded only by her artistry.

Your wedding day flowers will pass through her dedicated hands as she coordinates the delivery and set-up of your décor. “As the delivery team gathers in the morning, I begin right away, to talk about each wedding and what we will do to execute a flawless setup. We have to be 100% sure that every detail has been handled from cooler to truck to venue. In those moments, I ask each of our stylists to view every design with a fresh set of eyes. At the venue, I present the bridal bouquet and take just a moment to express the joy that we feel because we have been allowed to share in this day. We always have to work quickly, but I linger for a moment or two over every element, making sure that we have used precision in our placement.”

Carlos Wong Logistics Coordinator

Carlos Wong

Carlos Wong

A floral company has a lot of moving pieces and Carlos has a hand in the floral production process from the moment the flowers arrive until the first candle is lit at your ceremony. Maintaining the perfect environment for fresh flowers is critical which is why Carlos emphasizes cleanliness, efficiency and organization in our studio and during deliveries. Carlos knows how important it is for us to have great partnerships with each wedding venue. “We have to make sure that each venue team is confident that our delivery and setup will be efficient and expert."

Additionally, Carlos is a craftsman with a keen artistic sense. His many talents allow us to create unique one-of-a-kind structures for your wedding. “I love to create focal points that allow our brides and grooms to express their individuality with arches, Chuppahs or even more unique designs.”

Sofia Spivey Production Assistant

Sofia Spivey

Sofia Spivey

Sofia is our resident artist. You know, the kind that deals with paint and canvas. Now, she is learning and growing her artistry with flowers,  apprentice style, and as a true student of design. In her role, Sofia works with the flowers when they arrive from the wholesaler using methods specific to each variety that help us preserve longevity. She also cleans and maintains all of our rental inventory and begins preparations for our weekend deliveries.

Sofia loves her role in the creative process, working from the recipes created for every wedding. She had an opportunity to experience the process from conception to finish  with her daughter Corrine, who was married in May. According to Sofia, “It was so fun to talk about her dream wedding, to discuss the beautiful flowers and designs and to get it all on paper. I had the unique experience of working hand-in-hand with the designers to make it all happen. It was so rewarding. I love the idea that I am making that happen each week for our brides, they are always on my mind.”

Carla Cameron Vendor Relations

Carla Cameron

Carla Cameron

Carla works closely with all of our vendors. In order to make your day perfectly seamless, we have to have a clear understanding from our vendors about how they want the delivery and set-up to proceed and honor their wishes as if they were your own.

“We have so many gorgeous venues in Loudoun County and Northern Virginia. I am so fortunate to be able to work with all of the talented men and women who host these weddings each weekend.”

There are several other members of our staff who will contribute to your wedding day with the same commitment and passion that you'll get from the team members listed above. Members of our front desk staff, including Jaime, Kathleen, Connie and Sarah, are always available to answer any of your questions. Krista and Alyssa, who work with us part-time in the floral design process, our dedicated to every detail and are mission critical as we get closer to delivery day.

A Very Succulent Wedding

When a lovely couple contacted us in April about their Stone Tower Winery wedding, they talked about creating a beach theme with their wedding flowers and decor. They were quick to clarify that they were not looking for a traditional beach theme with preppy colors, flip flops and wooden chairs. Instead they wanted to celebrate the natural beauty of a beach with enduring seaside vegetation and sea glass. We would provide the arrangements and tablescape and they agreed to provide the sea glass from the beach near their home in Japan.

As we talked about their personal taste and the types of things that we would find available to us, the concept became more clear. Succulents continue to be very popular in home decorating but their natural habitat is arid and dry climates found in desserts and on sea coasts. Their fleshy leaves and stems are made up of tissues that store water.

The Boutonniere with Peacock Feather for a hint of teal.

The Boutonniere with Peacock Feather for a hint of teal.

The bride wanted to use Succulents in her personals and we loved the idea of wooden boxes with a worn almost driftwood look. A year or so ago, I created a sample table-scape for couple who were leaning toward a more earthy, natural look. I worked with Moss, Grasses in wooden boxes, a variety of Succulents and mixed metallic votives. We showed the photos from that staging to this couple and they loved it. Their table needed to seat 15 to 20 guests so we planned for a 10' long centerpiece. It's fun for us to work with different fauna, requiring us to experiment with unique grasses and plants. The grass, in it's low flat tray, arrived nearly a month before the wedding and was manicured to fit the 5” wooden boxes We trimmed the stems on the large Succulents, using only the tops so that we could nestle them in the moss. We chose a variety of Succulents for the longer wooden boxes blending clolors and petal types.

A hair comb with tiny Succulent, Air Plants, Fern and Baby's Breath.

A hair comb with tiny Succulent, Air Plants, Fern and Baby's Breath.

As I mentioned, the bride wanted an all Succulent bouquet with just a few greens. We have been getting some gigantic Succulents from our wholesaler so we knew that we would be able to find some big, beautiful focal points for her bouquet. She wanted a hint of teal in her bouquet and suggested peacock feathers, a fantastic combination. We also added Baby’s Breath to provide a little bit of a delicacy to contrast with the larger blooms. We finished the stems (wired and un-wired) with a Ballerina wrap in burlap and tied twine for a simple bow. She also wanted a Succulent hair comb that featured Baby’s Breath and a little bit of greens. We discovered tiny air plants that would work perfectly in her hair. We used the same Succulents varieties in the boutonnieres.

Long wooden box with Succulent varieties at the Summit Room at Stone Tower Winery in Northern Virginia.

Long wooden box with Succulent varieties at the Summit Room at Stone Tower Winery in Northern Virginia.

Because the Succulents and greens last out of water, we were able to use a Ballerina Wrap on the handle to hide the mechanics. This was a very popular wrap in the last decade for hand-tied bouquets.

Because the Succulents and greens last out of water, we were able to use a Ballerina Wrap on the handle to hide the mechanics. This was a very popular wrap in the last decade for hand-tied bouquets.

This was a small, intimate gathering in one of the rooms on the top floor of Stone Tower in Loudoun County (the view is stunning). We added a few long wooden boxes of Succulents, Jade and berries to the room to complement the long, natural table runner.

Succulents are so versatile. They can be arranged in foam and water so that they can be arranged with fresh flowers like Garden Roses, Peonies and Dahlias. They can be arranged with a modest amount of soil so that they can be removed and re-used in different pots and containers. Or, they can be wired and used in bouquets and hair clips. We used all three techniques for this wedding creating one-of-a-kind decor for this lovely couple.