wedding florals for your fur baby!!


Equestrian Bridals, Charlotte Tittle Photography

Whether it’s during your wedding, or during post-ceremony portraits, incorporating your fur-baby into your wedding adds such a unique and personalized touch to your wedding day. After all, they are our first babies!! Here are just a few fur-baby portraits, and the adorable collars I created for them :) … and yes, that’s my little sister’s horse!

View More: (who also happens to be one of my fabulous wedding designers) and Craig were celebrating their first anniversary with a fun mini-styled shoot with their pups! Katelyn James PhotographyAnthomanic Florist DIY photographed by Marta LocklearThese guys modeled for a DIY post I did for Green Wedding Shoes — to learn how to make them, go here! Photography (and pups) by Marta Locklear Photography2014-07-25_0002Ally & Vitaly by Melissa Arlena

All florals hand crafted by Anthomanic

Ally & Vitaly – Coral Southern Charm Wedding

2014-07-21_0019I really pride myself on understanding what flower types and design styles would be the right fit just by chatting with a bride a few times. For their wedding, the florals were to be elegant and glamorous, but also fun with pops of pink and coral. Elegant and glamorous calls for soft fluffy flower types – my favorite! Garden Roses, Peonies, Hydrangeas, Roses, Lisianthus, Stock Flowers are great for elegant and glamorous looks! There’s something about Ally that makes me think of a Southern Belle. I think it’s not only her sweet, polite demeanor, but an elegance about her that is timeless – and she’s absolutely gorgeous, to boot! I know that might seem like the most random personality comment ever, but there’s something about my understanding my bride’s personalities that helps me really understand what flowers and colors FIT their wedding personality.

I just love a fabulous floral backdrop! Makes for awesome wedding portraits!


2014-07-21_0016Those peonies couldn’t have been a more perfect match for those dresses!2014-07-21_0018Ally & Vitaly booked Stevenson Ridge for their ceremony space only, but they still wanted to make sure to really dress up the ceremony backdrop… which of course is always a great idea in my book! I think the ceremony space often gets overlooked because of the whole ‘we won’t be there long’ idea. So, I was so happy when Ally’s momma said she wanted to create a wow piece for the backdrop!

2014-07-21_00142014-07-21_00202014-07-21_00172014-07-21_00152014-07-21_00122014-07-21_00112014-07-21_00102014-07-21_00092014-07-21_0008Their reception was held at the Silk Mill in downtown Fredericksburg2014-07-21_00072014-07-21_0006I just can’t get enough of these images — the coloring of the gowns with the bouquets is just so fabulous!2014-07-21_0005and we can’t forget flowers for the pup!2014-07-21_00042014-07-21_00032014-07-21_00022014-07-21_0001Vendors

Florals: Anthomanic

Photography: Melissa Arlena

Ceremony: Stevenson Ridge

Reception: Silk Mill

MUA: GoGo Gorgeous

Entertainment/DJ: Richard Green Entertainment

Catering: Caroline Street

Lacoya H. - *Sigh*

Those peonies are SICK! You are ah-mazingggg with some flowers, floral tape, shears, and all of that other floral stuff, woman! Thanks for sharing your gift with us. Kiss that beautiful baby for me! xoxoJuly 26, 2014 – 10:06 pm

Ceremony Floral Backdrops

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I don’t like to use the B word, because – let’s be honest – it takes all the fun out of wedding planning, doesn’t it?! Yes, the word ‘budget’. Large floral pieces can be a bit intimidating for a bride planning her florals within a specific budget. They are gorgeous, fabulous, but seem out of reach in terms of budget. So, while it can be inspirational to see beautiful ceremony backdrops, it can also be upsetting to learn their actual cost. But, how can you have your dream florals while trying to fit your overall budget? When budgeting for your wedding florals, I always say, skip the extra small random floral pops and put a large concentration of the budget into the ceremony backdrop. SERIOUSLY. This sounds so ridiculous to you right now, but I’m totally serious. If I were you, I’d skimp on my centerpieces just to have a ridiculous floral backdrop. Don’t even put any flowers down the aisle if it means you can get the pergola look you want by gaining that cost from other elements you avoid purchasing. Skip the place card table, skip any extra floral pieces that don’t have a large impact. Just go for the one WOW piece. I promise, promise, promise – you won’t regret it! If it doesn’t sit well with you to have that many flowers in a location you will only be in for a few minutes, just remember that most of your photos from the ceremony will take place standing in front of your pergola (or whatever other backdrop you may have) – of course, only as long as your photographer gets lots of shots there of not only the ceremony, but the bridal party after the ceremony.

I do hear quite often, the comment: ‘But we’ll only be there for a few minutes, so I don’t want to do too much for the ceremony’. This is when I try to do a little bit of nudging in the direction of splurging on that ceremony piece, focusing the budget on that WOW piece, instead of spreading it over lots of little pieces. Think about how many pictures will take place there at the ceremony space! This is something very important to consider. If you jazz up the ceremony backdrop with tons of florals, guess how many shots your photographer is going to get of you and your groom and even family portraits in that space?! TONS (assuming your photographer typically gets those types of shots!). I have had many brides question splurging on the ceremony backdrop – for fear it’s a waste, and they reluctantly hire me to design an installation for a ceremony piece. I am promising them that it will be fantastic and gorgeous, and they are hoping they won’t feel the guilt or regret later for splurging a large portion of the floral budget on such a piece. Then, on the day of the wedding, they see the ceremony space and tears start to flow! I’m not trying to toot my horn or anything, I’m just illustrating how the ceremony backdrop often gets overlooked in planning simply because the bride/groom/MOB thinks that it’s a waste to decorate for a short amount of time being used. But, after the wedding, they thank me for making that recommendation, and are so glad they went with it! Just take a look at some of these pergola shots, and see how they really do create a beautiful backdrop for not only photos, but for the place you’ll be when you say your wedding vows to each other! I can understand the logic, but it really comes down to trusting that it really creates a magical space on the day-of!

There’s something about seeing them in person that create magic – or at least add some magic to the space. Flowers, to me, add a certain special wedding-only element to a space. Something that no architecture, landscaping or other decorations can do. They just make it feel magical! But… of course I’m a bit biased ;-) I just LOVE love love flowers!

Let’s take a look at some ceremony backdrops we’ve designed over the past year… to see what I’m referring to…

Rachel May Photography – Stevenson Ridge2014-07-15_0021Katelyn James Photography – Styled Shoot2014-07-15_0022Katelyn James Photography – Big Spring Farm, Lynchburg Virginia – Emily & Joe *Paisley & Jade (Doors)*View More: Pak Photography – Keswick Vineyards, Keswick Virginia2014-07-15_00242014-07-15_0025Their pergola even doubled as a sweetheart table backdrop!

Charlotte Tittle Photography – Stevenson Ridge2014-07-15_0026Melissa Arlena Photography – Ally & Vitaly, Stevenson Ridge


Ally & Vitaly – Stevenson Ridge (*Instagram Images*)2014-07-16_0001Katelyn James Photography – Emily & David, Stevenson Ridge


Jillian Michelle Photography – Lauren & Austin, Stevenson RidgeView More: Arlena Photography – Caitlin & TJ, Stevenson Ridge2014-07-16_0003Carley Rehberg Photography – Katie & Jeff, Stevenson Ridge2014-07-16_0004Stephen Turner Photography – Jesse & Tera, Private Residence


Rachel May Photography – Jessica & Beau, Stevenson Ridge


Katie - Yes! Love this! Always encourage my clients (when I can) to invest in decor elements that make a big impact…and ceremony backdrops are one of them! I would say though if they’re spending a ton on the ceremony backdrop, make sure you hold the ceremony where the light is good because if the light is harsh mid/day lighting right on the backdrop, the photographer will probably move them somewhere else for family formals and bridal party since light supersedes location…July 16, 2014 – 9:07 am

Anna Burke - So true!!! Love this, especially Emily & Joe’s :) It was such a high impact piece that people are STILL talking about almost 2 months later (and I’m sure will continue to do so)!!! GORGEOUS work :)July 16, 2014 – 9:50 am

Amanda - First off of course I noticed all the beautiful arrangements and must say – these images will definitely be impacting my floral decisions this fall!! Second, I’m assuming Stevenson Ridge is a popular VA wedding location…? hahahaha Beautiful! Thank you for sharing!July 16, 2014 – 10:55 am

Danielle Foxe - Stevenson Ridge is the best venue ;) (also biased)July 16, 2014 – 3:06 pm

Bane’s Birth Story!

My awesome bride/friend, photographed the birth story – Emily of E.F. PhotographyView More:, he’s here! My (c)ankles are happy for it as well… Bane Alan Veronee arrived six days earlier than his due date. I was hoping for a July 4th baby, but honestly, my body just couldn’t handle it any longer. I was absolutely miserable and rapidly gaining excess water weight. I have a rare condition called Malignant Vasovagal Syndrome – which in Layman’s terms just means ‘I have an extra sensitive nervous system and when I pass out, my heart stops’. My OB and Electrophysiologist seemed to think my body was smart enough to pack on excess water weight as a defense mechanism. Which, is great in some ways to keep baby safe and healthy, but not great because it was getting a little out of control. It wasn’t what most would expect with pitting edema/excess swelling in pregnancy – toxemia/preeclampsia or gestational diabetes. No matter how much water I drank, how much salt I avoided, or how much I had my feet up during the day (including those sexy compression stockings), the water weight was just THERE. And no, it wasn’t the addiction to Oreos that did it! ;-) I was so swollen my feet jiggled. I’m not talking about after a day of being on them — this was when I first woke up. My feet were so swollen, I had rolls! I’ve included a Before and After photo, because I know you want to look at this craziness! ….


Okay, back to the birth story…I’m getting off track here…

So, I had been told that ‘it’s rare for a woman’s water to break’,… and ‘it’s rare to go early for your first born’… so, naturally I thought I still had more time until he arrived. Well, as soon as I fell asleep at midnight on June 26/27th, sure enough a few minutes later I woke up to a contraction and heard a ‘pop’ type of sound. It’s not entirely an audible pop, but more like if you had a balloon in your belly and someone popped it, sort of like hearing your heartbeat. You don’t really ‘hear’ it, but you do… make sense?! haha! So, I ran to the bathroom (having heard about this POP sensation and water breaking) and sure enough running to the bathroom was a good decision. This was awkward, because I was attempting to yell at Robby (who had been sleeping in the guest room because of my pregnancy snoring habit that didn’t combine well with his light-sleeper-ness) from the master bathroom, but he couldn’t hear me. So, towel between my legs I ran to his room and said ‘BABE, MY WATER BROKE!!’. What was his response? “Okay, well fix it” and stayed sleeping. He had told me he’d been having dreams about my water breaking, so obviously, he thought he was dreaming. I had to bug him a few more times and out the door we went!

I originally had planned to hire a doula and labor mostly at home. Well, life got away from me and I neglected to hire one and when my doctor told me at my 39 week check that I was 4cm, I realized laboring at home might not be the best idea. My sisters first baby practically fell out within a matter of four hours, so I thought maybe the same would happen to me. I was hoping to avoid as many interventions as possible, so that’s why I wanted to labor at home. But, because of the risk of infection, etc. I figured we may as well head to the hospital – just a short 15 minute drive from our house.

View More: pressure works wonders for back labor pain! Every few minutes Robby was on back pressing duty!  View More:

As soon as we arrived, my contractions started to pickup pretty fast, so I was hopeful I could make it all the way without pain medications. I had researched all the different options for pain, and because of my condition (blood pressure and heart rate dropping issues), I was fearful that any of the options they had would dramatically drop my heart rate or BP and possibly cause an emergency c-section. So, my choice to valiantly attempt an intervention free birthing process was both a health concern thing and an accomplishment thing. I labored pain med free from midnight to 7 am when the doctor said even though I was 7/8ish cm dilated, that I wasn’t progressing fast enough considering my water had broken. Which, I was fearful of because I’d been told how hospitals put you on a time clock…  I was a little annoyed trying to make such a decision while I was in so much pain. I was having back labor and the pain was excruciating. I like to think that if I wasn’t having back labor, I could have dealt with the pain. The back ache was so painful that it wore out all my energy and stamina getting through each contraction. The P word came about and I realized that if I were to have Pitocin, I had read in my research it would make my contractions unnaturally stronger and more unbearable than they were already if I didn’t combine it with some pain relief. So,… bring out the epidural WOMP WOMP…. Yup, I gave in. I knew that if I got the Pitocin, I wouldn’t be have the energy when it came time to push. Pushing with back labor, I knew wouldn’t be easy. Trying to sit still during contractions of transition and getting an epidural — WOW. Just remember to breathe ladies! It’s amazing how the breathing helps you get through it.

View More: you end up needing to do this rope pulling maneuver, remember that you may have crazy inflammation appear two weeks postpartum… I  swear it feels like I have arthritis from doing this! It’s amazing how much your body is put through during labor! I even had some crazy neck pain from tightening my neck in the pushing/holding breath part!

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I have to admit, the epidural was sweet relief. I asked for them to give me the lowest dose of the epidural and the lowest of the Pitocin. I fell asleep and when I woke up later, it was time to push! Only, I neglected to hit the button again – so all that pain started coming right back. BUT, I was able to still have enough feeling in my legs and body to feel the contractions (which I had read that with too much of the epidural medication – you have to be coached when to push) — so I was able to “effectively” push during each contraction. Well, maybe not entirely effective. I pushed for T W O H O U R S and F O R T Y N I N E M I N U T E S. But, who’s counting?! He was sunny side up and was pretty much stuck.

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I was balling my eyes out at this point and very ill from all the continued pain. I had given up mentally, but somehow my body just kept going and I still miraculously had the energy to keep pushing when a contraction came along. It’s like my body wouldn’t let me NOT push. I seriously thought everyone was lying to me when the entire past hour they kept saying ‘he’s right there – almost – good good, doing great!’. The dude with the foreceps (or whatever he had that he was planning to use) was walking in the door when the doctor said something she had never seen before happened – his head completely turned and he popped right out during one last good push!

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View More: had the best nurse EVER – I just loved her! It turned out, Emily just knows EVERYONE. Her mom actually worked with my nurse for quite a long time – small world!View More: More: More: More: More: More: thing in the world… BABY FEET!

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 This isn’t a great photo of me, but it includes my momma! She helped talk me through the pushing – she is also a paramedic and has delivered babies before. She naturally, home birthed my sisters (I arrived a month early and was in the NICU – as is expected of my impatient self).
Emily created a slideshow that has music that will make you cry… seen here.
If you need a birth photographer, please call Emily – she’s pretty awesome… :)
Photography Credits: E.F. Photography
I’ll be sharing some adorable newborn photos very soon!

Nikki Santerre - You go, Mama! What beautiful images from Bane’s birth. He is so precious!July 10, 2014 – 3:52 pm

Danielle - You have such a beautiful family, Amanda! Again, Congrats!July 10, 2014 – 6:31 pm

Elizabeth - Such a beautiful birth story. These pictures are breathtaking! Congrats to you and Robby!July 10, 2014 – 8:11 pm

Katie - I loved reading this!! You are amazing!!! Thanks for sharing!July 10, 2014 – 8:33 pm

Linda - For future reference, if required, try foot reflexology for the fluid overload. Mine certainly wasnt as bad as yours, but this worked a treat! I would be all puffy in the morning, go get my feet rubbed ( by someone qualified in the ancient art) and would barely make it home. Before i woukd spend the next hour peeing out gallons! Good luck!July 11, 2014 – 6:39 am

Lelia Marie - Wow that sounds like hard work! But so worth it! Baby Bane is adorable. Congratulations again!July 11, 2014 – 9:01 am

Emily - I love this, and you guys!July 28, 2014 – 1:01 pm

Lauren & Craig – Anniversary Shoot

You can’t ignore Lauren’s gorgeous red hair — wow! Her hair and those flowers really do pop against the white building!! I like to think she planned that to perfection ;-) Craig and Lauren were celebrating their one year anniversary by having their photos taken together in a styled shoot. I may be a huge nerd by saying this, but I think there’s a certain magic to a wedding day, and that being in front of a camera, or doing something else ‘special’ or celebratory in any other way (special dinner/revisiting the site of the ceremony/etc) helps you relive the magic!

Now, let’s drool over her fabulous hair and floral crown :D

View More: More: More: More: photogenic is that doggy?!View More: just love me some soft, fluffy flowers!!View More: More:

Photography by Katelyn James
Florals by Anthomanic

katelyn james - as always, your florals were PERFECT for this shoot!!!!July 8, 2014 – 11:39 pm

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