Northern Virginia

More About Purple and Plum Flowers

We are making a lot of purple wedding florals in 2017. Lavender, purple and plum to be exact. Here are some varieties you can choose. Lepold, Ewell, Birds of a Feather and Tony O'Dell Photography.

Purple is a wonderful color choice for weddings. Regal and romantic, purple allows for that perfect juxtaposition of styles that so many brides are trying to achieve with their wedding decor. There are so many beautiful variations of purple from lavender to lilac, berry to plum; the floral kingdom is full of gorgeous blooms that capture each hue while offering incredible texture. We are always following the latest trends in color selection for brides, blush with navy, shades of white with green and bright colors fully flexed with the selection of vibrant flowers. And, yet, purple may find its way onto our “best florals for 2017” list thanks to quite a few brides in Northern Virginia.

Earlier this month, we featured Kristina Roy's wedding at Inn at Willow Grove and the captivating tableau that she created using purple and burgundy to create contrast. 

Kristina wasn’t our only Spring bride to use lavender and plum wedding florals to tremendous effect. Here are a few purple blends that also captured our imaginations. 

Jessica used two colors, plum and lavender for her bridesmaid dresses, a perfect blend for bouquets that included ivory Spray Roses, Hyrdrangea, lavender Lisianthus, pink Raununculus and a white garden rose that has a soft peach center. The lavender flower, Lisianthus, is a soft-toned floral that opens like a rose. Her Lost Creek Winery wedding included deep purple Lilac in her centerpieces and ceremony arrangements futher extending her color palette. 

Maura’s Riverside on the Potomac had a romantic yet rustic feel. Her bouquet had purple and white Lisianthus, purple Stock, ivory Spray Roses, Babies Breath, Thistle and a lovely assortment of greenery including Rosemary. She used navy and lace ribbon for her bouquet to blend the blue tones of the Thistle and greeneries and her fiances tie.   

Photo by Liz DeMenno.

Photo by Liz DeMenno.

Diane loved the idea of white, plum and blue for her Breaux Vineyard wedding. She wanted to carry blue Hydrangea (a favorite flower of a beloved family member) with white Peonies in her own bouquet infusing plum into her attendant bouquets and ceremony flowers. Her wine barrel arrangements had two different shades of purple Hydrangea and Stock in a perfect shade of plum. 

Kristina’s bouquets included Lavender Ocean Song Roses and Scabiosa, both very soft shades of Lavender and purple. We use Ocean Song a lot, it's a gorgeous standard rose that’s easy on a floral budget and a true expression of the color lavender.

Pamela Lepold Photogaphy.

Pamela Lepold Photogaphy.

Your floral consultation is your opportunity to learn about the floral varieties that will help you to achieve your color pallete. Your floral designer should be willing to take the time to provide you with some examples or photos (depending on the season). Bring a photo of your dress and a sample of your bridesmaid dresses for a true color match. 

The "Pippa" Bouquet with Northern Virginia Style

The team at J. Morris Flower’s loves Pippa Middelton’s bridal bouquet. It’s delicate and sweet with a very pretty, cascading shape. The bouquet is small. In fact, it’s nearly diminutive. We love the delicate cascade but note that it is quite different from the trendy, cascading bouquets that many brides in the United States are carrying. Cascading bouquets in this country are less organized as we try to accomplish that “loose” and “gathered” feel so popular for weddings. We focus on draping greens and blooms and interesting spaces between focal flowers.  

I searched the internet a bit to see if I could find a larger explanation for why Pippa and Kate carried such smalle bouquets. I found a lot of information about the flower varieties used, much less about the size of the bouquet. I did, however, find this wonderful review of the history of bouquet styles among royalty written by Shane Connolly (Shane Connolly & Company) for The Telegraph in April 2013. Mr. Connolly designed the bouquet for the Duchess of Cornwall when she married the Prince of Wales.

Sister Kate Middleton’s bouquet included Lilies of the Valley, Sweet William, Hyacinth, Myrtle and Ivy. Several on-line sources in the British media world explain the signifigance of those flowers.  I also found a quote from Sue Barnes, Founder of Lavender Green Flowers, and lead floral designer for Pippa's wedding on a People site. She lists the flower varieties and mentions the inspiration.

The floral arrangements “reflected the British countryside in early summer and were filled with fragranced flowers including Sweet Peas, Peonies, garden Roses, Philadelphus, Freesia, Astilbe, and Jasmine,”
— Sue Barnes, Founder of Lavender Green Flowers, PEOPLE.COM
This bouquet holder has a foam insert so that the flower stems have a source of moisture.

This bouquet holder has a foam insert so that the flower stems have a source of moisture.

We spent time in-studio this week working on our own “Pippa” inspired bouquet. There are two possible techniques used for designing this style of bouquet.The team from Lavender Green hand-wired each flower before designing. After careful planning and placement, these wires were then gathered, wrapped with floral tape and ribbon and bent to form a holder. A technique used throughout the 20th century to create a dramatic but structured look. Floral designers can also design in a small bouquet holder with water soaked foam. Careful consideration goes to hiding the mechanics.

The “Pippa” – Northern Virgina style.

We decided to make a version of the “Pippa” that might just appeal to you, our Northern Virginia bride. Guess what our first consideration was? The heat. It’s a lot warmer in Northern, Virginia than it is in “jolly old” England. Pippa’s bouquet was wired much like a giant boutonniere which means there are no long stems to place in water. We decided that for a June bouquet, we had to use a foam holder, preserving the life of our flowers.

From left to right: Peach roses, cream Garden Roses, purple Freesia, white Stock. On top Feathered Eucalyptus and Variegated Pittosporum.

From left to right: Peach roses, cream Garden Roses, purple Freesia, white Stock. On top Feathered Eucalyptus and Variegated Pittosporum.

We chose popular flowers for June brides. Katie Black gathered white Stock and Spray Roses, lavender Freesia, peach Roses and a sweet cream Garden Rose. We knew that if the design were to appeal to our brides, it had to have some greenery. She pulled some summer-time favorites – Variegated Pittosporum and Feathered Eucalyptus. Myriam Marquez formed the design with the help of one of our sweet little white vases. The thin mouth served as a great anchor for her work. She reminded us that these tight cascades are a specialized skill and the team gave rapt attention as she demonstrated the technique that we both learned a couple of decades ago.

Our own "Pippa" inspired bouquet sitting in a white porcelain vase. Click   here   to view a photo of the original.

Our own "Pippa" inspired bouquet sitting in a white porcelain vase. Click here to view a photo of the original.

We love a wedding… thank goodness! It’s really fun to see florals for a big event like Pippa Middleton’s wedding drawing so much attention. My team and I wonder if the “Pippa bouquet” will become a trend in the United State. It's very structured, almost the opposite of the popular loose and gathered style. We know that today's bouquets are inspired by the way flowers grow in our natural environ which, for now, is wild and vast. English Gardens are more elegant, manicured and formal and the “Pippa” bouquet design reflects that style so perfectly. I guess we wait and see. For now, we’ve had a lot of fun exploring different frontiers and re-acquainting ourselves with techniques from decades past. 

The Planning Timeline: from our friends at WeddingWire

Our friends at WeddingWire asked us to share this helpful wedding planning timeline with our readers. We totally understand the floral and decor planning timeline and yet, are admittedly, a little less knowledgeable about when you should be contacting your other vendors. So, we'll use this as a resource ourselves so that we can better advise you our other clients.

It's important to note that this is a graphic that WeddingWire will share on a national scale. The timeline for Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Loudoun County will be a little different and probably needs to be fast fowarded.


Like us, many venues are booking well into 2018 and even 2019 now. If you can, start your search for your ceremony and reception venue eighteen months in advance, you'll have the ability to choose between several of your favorite spots.

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We are booking a lot of weddings for 2018 right now. That doesn't mean that J. Morris Flowers or your own local florist won't be able to fit you into their calendar. We love all of our brides and grooms no matter when we hear from them. Don't hesitate to call. All florists occassionally have a few openings and are happy to try and work with you. 

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Here's a funny wrinkle for the planning calendar. It's really important that we have some ideas about what your dress will look like and the colors that you plan to put your bridal party in. We are going to design your florals to complement YOU and your wedding party. If your not ready to choose your dress but you want to secure that wildly popular florist, use your Pinterest board to create a vision. (A visit to your florist abead of the cake baker will help you design the asthetic for your cake as you will be able to share your theme flowers)

If you are thining about hair flowers, then let's make sure you coordinate between us (your florirst and your hair stylist. Do we recomment hair flowers? Yup, you bet!

We really like the idea of the follow-up visit. We suggest that we review the decor plan 45 to 90 days in advance so let's add that to the list.

There are so many great guides and planning materials, you can get this done! If you are fortunate enough to work with a wedding planner, you'll have someone to guide you through the process. Recently, we've had some brides call to talk about our timeline soon after they are engaged. It takes only a few minutes and now these clever brides have created a timeline for their own geographic region and can begin to plan accordingly. Give us a call, we are happy to help. 

Still searching for that great venue. WeddingWire has a great page for Virginia brides. 

Photography by Eli Turner, Anna Grace and Candice Adelle.