Happy Anniversary Gray and Marc!! I think the second call I made after telling my parents about Gray’s engagement was to my dear friend Lou. I think it went something like “HELP! We have a wedding in DC. Can you be chief of flowers? Please, Please I beg”! With not even a second of hesitation, Lou said “Yes of course”! She suggested that I begin by scouring over books. The Brit floral designer Paula Pryke became my new “bestie” as I was trying to develop a feeling for the flowers in Callaway Chapel, Episcopal High School, and the dinner afterwards at Anderson House in DC. Her book Wedding Flowers became my manual for several weeks as Lou and I developed a plan.
The Chapel design was a cinch, as there were strict policies about what could be used. We brought the two urns and pedestals from home. The flowers were given by family friend Parma in memory of my father who had died suddenly two months earlier.
Lou used all fresh pastel colored roses for the bridesmaids bouquets. I remember walking in to a bathroom in the suite on Saturday morning and there to my surprise was an entire tub filled with roses soaking, waiting for their master Miss Bethel to come cut and bundle them! Gray wanted a simple bouquet, as her dress had a gold cummerbund, and her veil was intricate Belgian lace that my parents had secured while in Brussels years before. So, thank you Lou and Paula for the miniature calla lilies idea!
Anderson House is so fabulous and historical that the design path became clear to Lou after her visit there. We wanted family and friends to soak in the beauty of their environs; so we found aged looking containers for the tables where we nibbled our dinner prepared and served by Steve Dunn, owner of Well Dunn! Catering. Lou, and her team of volunteer friends (nod to Tena, Frances, Catherine, and Su-Su!) incorporated peonies into those arrangements as they are among my favorites and it worked perfectly. Magnolia filled the cavernous fireplace…I still am not certain how Lou managed to stack the limbs so elegantly and high! And I remain a bit saddened that the photographer didn’t document all of this beauty in depth. (We won’t name that gal!) At least it’s all ingrained in memory…9 years ago today!
After completing all twenty plus of the arrangements for the dinner and cabaret tables (above), then Lou knocked herself out for a stupendous arrangement in the Case Room, and an astonishing urn of spring happiness for the terrace bar. I’m still amazed at the shear genius and enormity of those arrangements. WOW!!! Cheers to Lou, pictured below. *Note: The only photo of this arrangement was taken by an old school cell phone (remember this was nine years ago…there was no iPhone), hence the graininess in quality. Thank you Helen for capturing this splendidness!