Allegra & Mike

It was a Red, White & Blue Celebration.

If a couple chooses to get married at President Lincoln’s Cottage the first weekend of July, there is bound to be a little patriotic flair, right? Allegra and Mike and their friends rose to the occasion in bridal white, shades of red, and Kentucky blue. Aside from Mike, Allegra is in love with color, reflecting a fun-loving, laid back style and a zest for life. She brought in pops of purple into the wedding flowers. Her bridal bouquet was an inspirational nod to old Dutch floral paintings with burgundy Ranunculus, Calla Lilies and Snap Dragons and purple Stock and Lisianthus. Free Spirit Floral supplied the flowers, but Allegra and Mike brought the spirit.

Photography by Emily Chastain Photography

Tiffany & Tim

Tiffany holds a special place in my heart and in my gym class.

Yep, long before Tim was in the picture, Tiffany and I met at Jim Scott’s 6 AM workout. So we had been through “a lot” together! I was thrilled when she met Tim, happy when he proposed and honored to design her wedding flowers. May flowers bloomed at Old House Vineyards in Culpeper, Virginia –despite the soft rain. But it didn’t dampen their spirits or the love and support of friends and family. Tiffany and Tim’s wedding celebration was a beautiful blend of pinks, lavenders, purples and burgundies, matching the lovely countryside.

Jennifer & Jon

Returning to the Marson farm felt like a homecoming.

A few years ago, Free Spirit Floral was blessed to work with the Marson family when daughter Jessica got married on their Maryland horse farm. Now, we were returning to celebrate Jon marrying his longtime, local sweetheart, Jennifer.

It was wonderfully familiar and yet uniquely Jon and Jennifer. A vintage red Chevy pick up truck transported Jen to the horse barn where Jon and friends and family waited her arrival. The grassy aisle was lined with rose petals and Mason jars filled with local farmer flowers. After the ceremony, guests gathered in the pasture where a large tent shaded dining tables covered in crisp white linens, boasting antique white milk pitchers filled with hydrangeas, pink snapdragons, Geraldine roses, Queen Anne’s Lace, zinnias, and Bells of Ireland.

Everything was storybook perfect. But the enduring satisfaction was found in the love and commitment of Jon and Jennifer, the joining of two wonderful families, and the celebration of a community of friends.

Sarah & Mike

Sarah’s Dad Was a Man of Few Words

It served him well as it was hard to get a word in edgewise –given the strong and enthusiastic women in his family. So when Mike proposed marriage to Sarah, their household erupted in overwhelming celebratory cheers and then they rolled up their sleeves and got down to the business of planning a wedding on their beautiful farm nestled in the Shenandoah Mountains near Gordonsville, Virginia.

Doug muttered a few words here and there as Sarah and her mom sat at their kitchen table discussing color schemes and horse themes for the Derby weekend wedding. He silently agreed to plans and directives for chairs, tents, donut trucks and fireworks. He constructed boxes for table centerpieces from reclaimed barn wood, attaching horseshoes in keeping with the venue. He ensured the entire yard was perfectly coifed.

But, it wasn’t until he walked Sarah down the aisle that Doug was truly speechless. A loving father giving his precious daughter in marriage … there are no words to describe that feeling.



Amanda & Mike

I cried when I gave Amanda her bridal bouquet.

Suddenly, I had a flashback to some twenty-five years ago when a petite preschooler in bib overalls skipped down the sidewalk at my parents’ farm. The sun was shining, but a late afternoon rain gently fell as my little niece happily enjoyed the elements. I gazed out the kitchen window and asked my sister/her mother, “Do you really want Amanda out in the rain?” Marjorie responded, “It’s only rain.”

May 26, 2012 once again brought the prospect of rain to my family farm as we (by “we” I mean everyone in the extended Buchholz family including our cousins who flew in for Amanda and Mike’s big day…think of it as the rural German version of My Big Fat Greek Wedding) put the final touches on the celebration. However, rain could not dampen our collective spirits. We needed to celebrate and we would do everything in our power to make the day especially deserving of our wonderful Amanda.

Free Spirit Floral “West” had been in production mode, making wreaths, corsages, boutonnieres and table arrangements. Among other things, my sisters, Joan and Naomi, are incredibly gifted floral designers with whom I LOVE to work. We have affectionately dubbed our familial North Dakota-based floral projects as FSF’s “non-profit division!”

But sometimes, it’s not enough to just be a florist and today was one of those days. My brother John, in a moment of self-proclaimed insanity months before, had volunteered to make the wedding cake. So at 6:30 AM, we moved the cake and the last of the centerpieces to the reception hall. By 8:30 AM, I was dining with my cousin Ann at the Country Kitchen before finishing the bridesmaids’ bouquets. At 12:30 PM, I presented Amanda with her bridal bouquet. Minutes later I became a makeup consultant to my niece Mariah; then on to our little Moravian church to finish the floral displays. Back at the farm, the wedding party assembled for an unconventional photo shoot…have you ever seen a grain bin staircase used as a backdrop? By the time I got out of the shower, there was more work to be done: my sister’s slip was showing! Three safety pins later, she was good to go!

Finally at 4:30 PM, surrounded by loving friends and family, our beautifully poised Amanda strolled down the aisle on her father’s arm with the same happy air of the toddler who once danced in the rain. Let it pour.

Photos by Lindsey Herbert and Dr. Ann Strong

Jessica & Luke

I fell in love with the Marson family.

Jessica had a vision for her wedding day and her folks did everything in their power to make her dreams come true. Of course, despite months of planning, no one anticipated a September tropical storm bringing ten inches of rain to their family farm the week of the wedding. After much prayer and hard work, Divine intervention moved the weather system northward, making way for an incredibly lovely outdoor celebration. I was happier to see sunshine on Jessica and Luke’s wedding day than I was on my own!

Check out the short video as it encapsulates everything a momentous occasion should be: friends, family, love & joy.

Video by Zinnia Films.
Photos by Procopio Photography.

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