Articles about wedding flowers

One of my favorite venues in Columbia, SC to host a wedding or rehearsal dinner is 701 Whaley .

This historic 1903 building is located in the heart of downtown (or “uptown” as my friend Susan says) Columbia, SC and just minutes away from USC,  the Vista and River District.

Originally, 701 Whaley was built by Granby and Pacific Mill to be used as the Village Company Store. The GRAND HALL has 6,700 elegant square feet with 12-foot stunning windows  elegantly installed along one entire wall of the hall with deep, wide windowsills to add candles or decorations if desired. There is a beautiful antique staircase the bride and groom may use to make their “grand entrance” and very cool artsy walls that express the layers of history this building has survived. The original columns add additional mystery and dimension to the beautiful hall. Photo below by Clark Berry Photography,

701 Whaley - Columbia, SC

When planning a successful wedding in Columbia, SC, one of the wisest decisions a bridal couple can make is selecting a wedding event planner to help them navigate through all of the questions and details special event planning involves and direct them to the best wedding and event vendors in the city. Melanie Murphy, By Invitation Only is one of the best wedding event planners in Columbia, SC.

Bright, vivacious, enthusiastic, organized and creative are just a few of the adjectives I use when describing  Melanie and her family.

She also writes a wonderful blog that is filled with great ideas and photos. One event we worked on together featured Cromer’s peanuts, candied apples, and popcorn.

Cromer’s has been in Columbia, SC for over 70 years and has a slogan that will make you smile, “Guaranteed worst peanuts”. Locals know the history behind that slogan and you can read about it on their website. Everyone knows their peanuts, popcorn and candy or caramel dipped apples are the best. Consider using locally made products for your wedding favors.

Fresh floral design with Calla lily, pink mink protea, bear grass, seeded eucalyptus, hot pink colored roses and carnations and tinted water.

701 Whaley wedding reception calla lily design

Kiwi's, dendrobium orchids & rose flower orbs


Bubble bowl design with hydrangeas, branches with dendrobium blooms, hanging amaranthus, bear grass and Pink Mink Protea.



Tropical column vase filled with silver balls. Floral design includes hydrangea, tropical Ti leaf, bear grass and dendrobium orchids.


Melanie Murphy's Floating Wedding Cake

Pink Tulle Tablecloth by Melanie Murphy, By Invitation Only

I am not sure which talented lady designed this tablecloth, Melanie Murphy, By Invitation Only or her talented mother, Harriet. Either way, this full color tablecloth brightened up the Grand Hall at 701 Whaley in a bold and beautiful way!




Planning and coordinating a bridal portrait session is a favorite event most Southern Bride’s look forward to when purchasing their dress, selecting a bridal bouquet of beautiful fresh flowers, glittering jewelry, perfect make up and hair style and a photographer to capture it all. The completed professional framed portrait is usually set up on an easel at the wedding reception for friends and family to enjoy.

There are many benefits to planning and preparing for a bridal portrait session. It allows the bride to see her wedding ensemble all together and be able to change or tweak elements that may need attention so that her wedding day will flow effortlessly.

A bride must contact and coordinate many professionals for this portrait date. The photographer, makeup artist, hair stylist, florist and venue manager must all be contacted and a date agreed upon that will work well for everyone’s schedule.

The cost of a fresh custom designed bridal bouquet is often more expensive than on the wedding day because the florist has to specially order specific flowers that are sold in minimum stem count quantities. This cost is a bit less during the wedding event because a florist will factor in all of the flowers to be used in corsages, boutonnieres, bouquets, centerpieces, etc. Often a florist will charge the bride the same amount as the price of the bouquet that was quoted for her wedding day as a professional courtesy. Specialty flowers such as callas, orchids, specific colored roses, stephanotis, tropical flowers, etc. must be ordered by your florist 10 – 14 days in advance.

Jenny Fallon, our beautiful bride shown in this blog had met with her photographer Brantley Freeman, at the historical Lace House ( in Columbia, SC for her portrait session. The lovely black lace iron work of the gates and fences, beautiful large water fountain and mature plantings of magnolia, crape myrtle and ivy make it a perfect venue for weddings, receptions and bridal portrait sessions.

Jenny selected fresh, indigo blue colored hydrangeas and white cymbidium orchids styled in a hand-tied bouquet for her bridal bouquet. Professional photographer Brantley captured the beauty of Jenny’s eyes in a flirtatous moment as she enjoys inhaling the floral aromatherapy of her bouquet.