Elegance & Simplicity

Floral and Decor Insight from DC Area Florists

Chris Laich Music Services recently had a chance to catch up with some of our favorite DC area floral designers.  It was great to hear about some unique floral arrangements that our friends created in 2012!  It never ceases to amaze us how talented the floral designers in the DC area are.  We learned what colors and flowers are popular for winter, trends to expect in 2013 and how to make the most floral impact for your wedding.  In addition to flowers, many floral designers can also provide rental décor elements from ceremony sets and paper design elements, to lounge furniture, rugs and lighting.

What was your most unique/challenging reception floral arrangement from 2012? 

One of our favorite events was the annual holiday party for ASCO, a fun client of ours who loves to see texture and atypical florals used in modern designs – often focusing on a monochromatic look with organic elements. Instead of the typical red, green, and gold – their theme was plum, fuschia, lime green, and silver – a feminine and festive holiday look! We incorporated lights, silver feathers, holiday balls, twisted purple and pink wire, silver branches, along with lush and showy florals to create a variety of looks that really brought drama and glitz to their event.  – The Enchanted Florist


The Enchanted Florist – enchantedfloristoldtown.com

Probably our most unusual reception floral arrangement from 2012 was a Washington monument we constructed out of flowers.  We have done it before (two times prior, actually!), but it’s always fun to do and something unusual that is out of the every day. – Petal’s Edge


Petal’s Edge – petalsedge.com

What floral trends from 2012 would you like to stay, or go?

The vintage trend has been fun over the past few years, but we really are itching to do something more modern – and we are finding the couples are following suit.  The romance inspired from vintage designs hasn’t gone away – a love of lush classic flowers like hydrangea, roses, and garden roses.  But we are beginning to see a desire for more glass, lots of candles, a more tailored look and a contemporary feel. – Petal’s Edge


Petal’s Edge – petalsedge.com

How does the winter season impact color choices and flower types for the DC area?

During the winter, we find that whites and creams are always a popular choice. It’s a sophisticated palette during the holidays, and soothing in the winter. Amaryllis is one of our favorite flowers to use, and displayed en masse they are quite stunning. – The Enchanted Florist


The Enchanted Florist – enchantedfloristoldtown.com

In the winter there is gorgeous local foliage of all types; a few favorites of mine are leather leaf viburnum, bay and bright red oak leaf hydrangea.  There are also great winter choices from afar, favorites of mine are– New York State anemones, New Jersey Van Dyke tulips, Dutch ranunculus, and Chilean peonies.  For winter I love using a mixture of whites, creams, ivories and a variety of greens including deep greens, silvery eucalyptus and lambs ears. – Sidra Forman


Sidra Forman Real Wedding Blog Post – Photography by Kate Headley – sidrapractice.wordpress.com

Winter is a fabulous time for flowers!  All the spring flowers are either in season in the southern hemisphere, so we easily see many spring flowers like peonies, lilac, ranunculus and tulips among others in ready supply.  It’s also a great time for pods and berries as well as a range of evergreen foliage’s like fir and juniper.  Amaryllis is one flower we love and rarely get to use except in winter.  While many people think of the bold red and whites for amaryllis, it is also available in several bi-color varieties, pinks, and yellows.  There’s no color scheme you can’t do in winter, but we do often see a wintry spin on the choices couples will make. – Petal’s Edge

Petal's Edge - petalsedge.com

Petal’s Edge – petalsedge.com

What have you recommended to brides to make the biggest floral impact for their wedding?

We love a wedding client who is open to a monobotanical or monochromatic look, which often has the most impact.  For this DC Wedding at the W Hotel – we designed dramatic displays of all white Dendrobium Orchids.  Each arrangement had nearly 100 stems, and created an almost firework effect. – The Enchanted Florist


The Enchanted Florist – enchantedfloristoldtown.com

Spend money on your bridal bouquet – it is the most important floral design of the day.  After the wedding is over, you will have a photo of the two of you on your mantels and at work with your bouquet….not your centerpieces. – Elegance & Simplicity


Elegance & Simplicity – eleganceandsimplicity.com

Our best recommendation would be to trust us! Sometimes a space needs dramatic color… other times it is all about scale. We’ve seen what works and what doesn’t – giving us a measure of artistic license will allow us to take your vision and make it soar in your venue.  It used to always be about a mixture of tall and low floral centerpieces. The weddings and events we love the most completely scrap the traditional tall arrangements and instead go for large-scale, dramatic installation pieces such as trees, floral canopies, fabric swagging and hanging votive treatments. Think more impact and decorating the entire space. After all, the average ballroom ceiling height is close to twenty feet!  Also, never skimp on the lighting, it will make or break your event decor every time. – Amaryllis


Amaryllis – amaryllisdesigns.com

What is one 2013 trend from fashion, food, invitations, etc. that you will translate into flowers and design? 

You are going to see a lot of glam and Edwardian looking design from stylists pulling from The Great Gatsby Film and Downtown Abbey.  Flowers and design elements from these movies and what we have seen on the runway are going to translate into a continuation of vintage glam.  It’s not going anywhere as we have been seeing vintage glam for the past 3 years in weddings because it is class, timeless, romantic and gorgeous! – Elegance & Simplicity


Elegance & Simplicity – eleganceandsimplicity.com

We went through a long phase of clients asking for sexy, sultry “Moulin Rouge” events and we’ve been seeing the “Mad Men” mid-century modern aesthetic over the past few years.  Get ready for “The Great Gatsby” – Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming remake of the Fitzgerald classic will bring words like speakeasy, Harlem Renaissance, Art Noveau and Art Deco to the forefront. Gold and brass will be back in a major way and mercury glass and antiqued mirror surfaces will be even more en vogue.  It is hard to communicate the roaring twenties through a floral centerpiece alone.  To pull off the Gatsby look events are going to have to be more prop and décor driven… Equipment is going to have to be smarter and more refined to look appropriate. Think architectural-inspired specialty bars in antiqued lacquer gold, tufted banquettes, camelback sofas and gilded occasional tables. You can’t fake twenties without it looking Victorian. – Amaryllis

amaryllis 2

Amaryllis – amaryllisdesigns.com

Do you provide any sort of non-floral décor services?

Yes!  We provide wedding design services that include stationery, calligraphy, lighting, lanterns, carpentry, structure designs such as chuppahs and mandaps, as well as customized welcome bags and favors. – Elegance & Simplicity

elegance and simplicity rentals

Elegance & Simplicity – eleganceandsimplicity.com

Besides floral décor we offer a wide range of services and products. As mentioned, events are becoming much more than just linens and flowers. Need a suit of armor? We’ve got ‘em… linear feet of books in a specific hue? Sure.  We have draping, up-lighting, décor elements and prop pieces as well as entire warehouse full of specialty furniture, rugs, chandeliers and the list goes on and on. Some events are heavy on floral with a few touches of other décor while others can be fully prop-driven with a few fresh floral embellishments. – Amaryllis

amaryllis 3

Amaryllis – amaryllisdesigns.com


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Sparkle Lounge 2013 – Ronald Reagan Building

The Ronald Reagan Building’s annual Sparkle Lounge is the perfect opportunity to catch up with wedding industry friends and network with event professionals around the DC region.  The event was truly amazing and we were honored to have Chris Laich Music Services provide the music again this year! 

The Ronald Reagan’s Atrium Ballroom, which is already a spectacular space, “wowed” guests with the incredible decor, food, champagne and of course great soundtrack!  Approximately 1,000 people attended this year.  It was great to see people mingling throughout the space.

DC Photographer, Stephen Bobb was there and captured the night with some incredible images.  Flowers and decor provided by by Elegance & Simplicty.



sparkle-lounge-rrb-003 rev



Great shot of Chris Laich DJing



DC Photographers Cicely Procopio, Eli Turney and Kelsey Thompson



Ronald Reagan Building’s Candice Barnes, Petal’s Edge Gerry Rogers, and Sara Bauleke of Bella Notte



More images via Stephen Bobb on Facebook and Stephen Bobb Photography.

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© 2014 Chris Laich Music Services