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Nancee and her beau tied the knot earlier this summer at the oh-so-lovely Benton Chapel on Vanderbilt’s campus in Nashville. Although the wedding colors were navy and yellow, she wanted pink in her bouquet. Adorning the base of Nancee’s bouquet was her “something old” – a vintage shoe clip belonging to her grandmother. Such a sweet idea!

I love the outcome of her flowers and so did she! I know I say this of all of my brides, but it’s true - Nancee was a dream to work with.

Thanks to the talented Jen M. Photography for the lovely photos.

When wedding planner extraordinaire Emily Humphies at Simply Yours Weddings introduced me to her bride Kristen, I was so excited about her, her tastes and especially her wedding day venues. Kristen’s ceremony was on the front porch of the Historic Rock Castle home in Hendersonville, TN and the reception was at the Bluegrass Yacht & Country Club – both beautiful locations where I had not yet had the pleasure to work.

When I met with Kristen, we talked color and inspiration, which led to a scheme of white and mint green. The bridesmaids bouquets, aisle and altar arrangements, front gate arrangement and centerpieces for reception consisted of various romantic and refined combinations of hydrangea, scabiosa, tulips, peonies, ferns, ranunculus, roses, eucalyptus and tea leaves. I feel very proud to attach my name to this entire day!

A big thanks to Twila’s Photography for the lovely photos.

Back in 2002 while I was living in New York City, working as a store designer at the Madison Avenue Crate&Barrel, the gods of amazing encounters blessed me with a chance to shake hands with a glassware customer named Paul McCartney. Paul is an all-time hero of mine and I still have a hard time believing he actually held my hand in his for the duration of our 12.7 second conversation (he ended up purchasing two margarita glasses at $2.50 apiece, FYI). If I had it to do all over again, I would avoid the hot flash and subsequent red splotches across my face, neck and chest.

Just a few months later at the same store, I helped Yoko Ono select a dinnerware set. I feel like I, in a roundabout way, personally funded her purchase from a lifetime of Beatle-related paraphernalia (she went with a pattern called “Sixties” and shelled out approximately $134.99).

Now here in 2012, I was given yet another incredible opportunity: to prepare birthday flowers for Ringo Starr. And not only that, but it was the historic Ryman Auditorium who hired me to do it. Ringo was celebrating his 72nd birthday by playing a show at the Ryman.

After much brainstorming, I honed in on a terrarium, with an arrangement inspired by the song Octopus’ Garden, the Sgt. Pepper album cover and, of course, the Ryman Auditorium. Instead of traditional terrarium materials I decided to use fresh flowers. To make the arrangement uniquely Nashville, I built a mini-Ryman out of balsa wood, hand-painted it and laid it in a mini meadow of yellow yarrow. It was a challenging yet fun project!

Oh, and the show also happened to be my then-six-week old son’s first concert ever. Knowing this would be the case, I registered for noise cancellation headphones, which you can imagine melted the hearts of Ringo fans as the baby wore them while I was standing at the back of the balcony, bouncing him in my arms for 3/4 of the show.

Special thanks to Ryman employee Zana Hembree for an amazing opportunity and to Sean Williams for Ringo’s birthday card design!

Photos by Stephen Jerkins (except for the last one, by moi)

I love Little Rock. And I especially love Little Rock for weddings! Like I have said before, I am excited when I’m able to design a bride’s bouquet for bridal portraits. It’s a great way for me to get an idea of her DREAM bouquet once her wedding day comes. Lauren’s bridal portrait shoot was in an historic home in the South Main St. area of Little Rock. While her wedding colors were teal and green (a St. Patrick’s day wedding), she was open to any other colors for the portraits bouquet. That being the case, I went with purple and cream, with a hit of green. Muted purple roses, cream roses, dark purple ranunculus, purple and white calla lilies, and an assortment of leaves joined forces. She loved the final product, but did have a few notes for the wedding day (and I was very happy to accommodate).

Her bridal portraits and bouquet (photos by my husband Stephen):

Her wedding:

Lauren’s notes in mind, I created a bouquet that worked well with St. Patrick’s Day color scheme. Her bouquet consisted of cream garden roses, green tea roses, the loveliest white ranunculus I have ever seen, calla lilies, silver brunia, dusty miller and tea leaves.  Her bridesmaids’ bouquets were constructed of green hydrangea, gorgeous pale green roses, silver brunia, jasmine and white ranunculus.

Lauren’s ceremony was at her husband’s family church in Maumelle and the reception was at the beautiful Argenta Community Theater in downtown North Little Rock. I had never been to that venue, but I will highly recommend it as a reception site to any future Little Rock brides. It’s a GREAT space and a perfect place for song, dance and merriment (see song, dance and merriment photos below).

Photos by Stephen Jerkins Photography

Any excuse to visit the Memphis Botanic Garden I welcome with open arms. As you may recall, I was here one year ago for my beautiful sister-in-law’s wedding. The occasion this time was a ‘day after’ shoot with the photogenic Mallory and Nathan.

This fun couple was married at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art this past December and she had asked me to do her flowers, but I was already booked for a wedding that day in Nashville. Luckily, I was given this second chance and Mallory literally gave me carte blanche for designing her bouquet for this shoot. That being the case, I decided to utilize these gorgeous anemones, lisianthus, roses, dusty miller, and a touch of berzillia and jasmine. The goal here was wispy and whimsical and I’m really proud of the way her bouquet turned out (for the record – she was, too!).

Mallory is such a beautiful bride!

Photo by Stephen Jerkins Photography

Lovely Cassandra was a doll to work with for her springtime wedding in Memphis. When I met with her to dream up hers and her bridesmaids’ bouquets, her notes were simple: I love pink, and I trust you. I couldn’t wait to begin working.

For this event I decided to use pink and white garden roses, hydrangea, ranunculus, dusty miller, jasmine, and tea leaves. The finished product was a hit and Cassandra was a dream to work with!

The reception was at the Memphis Water Works, which is a readymade wedding reception venue that needs almost no extra decor… so beautiful!

Long time no blog! In spite of how it may seem, I have been very busy. A. I got really pregnant there for a while and then B. became a mom on Memorial Day (which is awesome, by the way). But before that I was doing what I love so much – C. beautifying weddings and brides with floral creations!

To make up for the lost time, I’m going to unload several posts over the next few days showing off events I’ve recently flowered. And who knows, maybe I’ll also even introduce you to my beautiful one month baby boy… stay tuned!

To kick things off, here is my beautiful niece Leslie. Before her wedding, my husband Stephen shot her amazing bridal portraits at an incredible private residence in the hills of Little Rock, Arkansas. It was like something out of an Anthropologie catalog. The property had a high class, outdoor dining room overlooking the pool and gorgeous private chapel (I want to design and build my own private chapel!). Quick side note: bridal portraits – if the bride so chooses to have them made – are a perfect time for me to present a ‘trial run’ bouquet. From there, I get her feedback and see to it that all her wedding day floral dreams come true.

Leslie gave me total artistic say on her bouquet, which was music to my ears. Because I was only making one bouquet for her portraits, I decided to let what was available at the flower shop inspire me. When I arrived, the most gorgeous pink variegated ranunculus, white hydrangea, jasmine and a variety of tropical leaves were all calling my name. Although her most favorite flower (the ever-lovely peony) wasn’t available, she genuinely loved the bouquet. And speaking of peonies, I promised her we would use loads of them at her wedding in May (the perfect month for that bloom).

Bridal Portraits and Bouquet:

The Real Deal Wedding Day:

As you compare the two bouquets, you can see they are quite different. For the wedding I used white and pale pink peonies, pink ranunculus, astilbe, dusty miller, eucalyptus, tea leaves and ferns. Yeah, that probably sounds like a lot of elements, but they all came together to create a refined-yet-undone look.  The bridesmaids bouquets consisted of similar elements but on a smaller scale.

Leslie’s wedding was at the remarkable Quapaw Quarter United Methodist, a historic church in a beautiful historic neighborhood in the South Main St. area of Little Rock. The reception was just down the road at the ballroom of the Peabody Hotel, overlooking the Arkansas River. Walking bridges, riverboats and a beautiful sunset made for an delightful, beauty-filled night. I’m a proud auntie!

Photos by Stephen Jerkins Photography

Wondering if you should hire a wedding planner? The answer is YES, YES – a million times YES!

A wedding planner – a good one – will be able to reduce your stress level by about 90% – 99.426% on your wedding day. This is from a scientific study I just now did in my head. Imagine that your rental company accidentally double-booked those lovely Chiavari chairs you’ve been eyeing since you were twelve… who has every rental company in town on speed dial? Your wedding planner. Your baker got a stomach bug and is unable to deliver your cake… who knows how to get 200 cupcakes on short notice? Your wedding planner.

You and your Aunt Wanda will have enough to worry about that day. So why not hire someone else to handle  placing the candles in the church, to make sure the food tray makes it to the groomsmen and to keep the photographer on schedule?

Look, I have flowered, attended or been a bridesmaid (twelve times, to be exact) in SO many weddings over the years that I can promise you this: weddings WITH a planner versus weddings WITHOUT a planner are the difference between Disney World and a neighborhood fall carnival. Trust me.

Those of you planning your wedding in Nashville are in luck because we have a great resource for planners: The Nashville Wedding Planners Group. Here you will find a group of hardworking experienced professionals who know this town inside and out. I’d be more than happy to recommend several planners whom I have worked with and trust – just say the word.

Happy wedding planning!

Both Amanda Jerkins Design and my photographer husband Stephen Jerkins had the pleasure of working a lovely wedding at the historic Trapnall Hall in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas. It was a great venue for an outdoor ceremony with an indoor reception (or perhaps vice versa). Trisha – the stunner of a bride with excellent tastes – selected a pretty champagne/grey dresses for her bridesmaids. For flowers she was wanting romantic, muted blooms with tons of texture. I came up with these beautiful creations… I really love the way they turned out and I have reason to think she did as well!

Photos by Stephen Jerkins