One of my dearest friends, Junia, married a great guy, Colin, this past August at Bluemont Vineyards in VA. She asked me to be a bridesmaid, along with our other high school besties + Junia's best friend and college roommate, Allison - A very fun bunch to say the least.
Junia asked her friend Beth Ruoff to do the wedding flowers and she asked me if I would have anything blooming in late August. J and Colin had a short engagement, and the night we first discussed flowers I went home and sowed a fresh batch of zinnias in their color scheme. They started blooming in perfect time, and we also had amaranthus, the awesomest green lisianthus, cosmos, wild foliage, some early dahlias and anything else we could find. We also made, at Junia's request (nothing thrilled me more!!!), an attempt to use mainly local flowers to make the bouquets, centerpieces, bouts, etc.
Friday before the wedding, I took the day off from my city job and visited flower friends (Cut Flowers by Clear Ridge, Lynnvale Studios and Don's Dahlias) to supplement what I had (we also ended up getting a little from the wholesaler). It made me understand how hard it is to source locally. I so appreciate the florists who make this extra effort to support local farmers!!! That night, the rehearsal dinner was held at Colin's parents home in Virginia, and his dad showed me around their lovely gardens and let me cut some goodies to add to J's bouquet - Specifically, sedum which I can totally spot in the pictures of her bouquet -- So fun!!!
Beth and I got started early Saturday morning harvesting tons from my garden and processing / making samples. Junia had asked some friends and family to come out to the farm to help us prepare and it was very much a team effort, I don't know how we could have done it without everyone's help (or the giant center island in our kitchen - I don't have a cooler yet and it was in the 90's that weekend!)
Making wedding flowers is intense! I had no clue going into it what it takes to harvest, pick-up, assemble, transport, install and take down (and I did not do all of this, by any stretch!!). Add to that the part about me actually standing next to my friends on their most special day, and...wow.
Beth and I kind of divided and conquered - I made bouquets and facilitated flowers / foraging, processing, shuffling, etc while Beth worked on the centerpieces. No two were the same (intentionally) but the colors of course complemented each other and the finished products were nothing less than stunningly beautiful. Walking into the barn after the hustle to get ready literally took my breath away. Beth knocked it out of the park in terms of transforming the space into exactly what Junia envisioned. It was so fun to work with her on this!
What a fun learning experience this was, and what an honor it was to be asked to help with such an important part of such an important day, what an honor to stand next to my friend as she said her vows.
Congratulations, Dr. and Mrs. McCormick!! XOXO, Morgan