Think Floral

Sean West and Erin Taylor Wedding              

 Raleigh, NC

It is hard to believe but August 6, 2012 will mark my son and daughter in law’s eighth wedding anniversary.

Where did the years go?

One might think that having a parent as a florist would be an asset. And it is, for the wedding couple but for the parent, it is stress times a zillion! Add to the fact that the wedding is out of town which requires additional organization.

My son Sean and his lovely bride Erin were married on a beautiful, sunny Friday evening at Lake Johnson, Raleigh, NC.

The wedding ceremony and reception were both held at the public park and lake venue.

Summer French Flower Bucket Centerpiece


The garden arch was the main focal point with the beautiful lake view on the park deck area. Erin selected a yellow and blue color scheme for their wedding. She selected white ‘Monte Cassino’ aster, blue delphinium, yellow ‘Teddy bear’ Sunflowers, white Cremon chrysanthemums, green Bells of Ireland and spring green colored ladies mantle.

On either side of the arch were large garden vases with Sunflowers, native grasses and foliages. Silver colored flower buckets lined the path area with white chrysanthemum plants for the cocktail hour.

Holly, The Best Woman and the bride’s best friend carried a tussy mussy nosegay designed with ‘Teddy Bear’ Sunflowers and white asters. The stems were accented with a soft yellow and blue checked ribbonErinhad selected.


The bride carried a hand-tied bouquet of yellow ‘Teddy Bear’ sunflowers, ladies mantle, white asters, white freesia and a fabric collar Erin’s mother made for her bouquet handle.


Erin’s bridal bouquet

The boutonniere’s for the wedding party were designed with freesia, daisy bloom, white aster and green bupluerum.


The bride’s mother wore a floral wristlet made of white aster and white freesia, a hint of blue cornflowers and buplurem.


The groom’s mother carried a tussy mussy with white freesia, white asters, white rose, blue cornflower and green buplurem.


Grandmothers wore a wristlet of white freesia, miniature spray roses and white aster.

Best Man Josh Roberts, Groom Sean West, Bride Erin Taylor, Best Woman Holly Lux and fiance Kevin Sullivan.


Long buffet tables for the reception dinner was set up in the venue just a few steps away from the wedding ceremony. White linens covered the tables and silver buckets with assorted white, blue and yellow flowers were arranged in them. Silver lanterns were also used on the tables with loose flower blooms sprinkled around the base of the lanterns.

Sunflower wreath


Fresh floral wreaths were designed with assorted foliages, white roses and aster, yellow ‘Teddy bear’ sunflowers to hang inside the reception room on the wall. Exterior wreaths were designed with bells of Ireland and sunflowers.


Their photographer, Tamara Lackey, ( did a great job incorporating the natural setting with the wedding party and guests. She was very professional and took a huge quantity of photos that captured every special moment of their wedding day.


Stalberg String Trio with Musicians Booking Agency ( provided beautiful sacred sounds for the wedding ceremony.

Wedding dinner place setting.

Catering Works ( provided excellent food and service for the wedding dinner.


DJ, Jill Phillips, All the Right Grooves ( Jill kept everyone in a party mode with great music from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and on. She was professional, attention to details and fun.



Sean and Erin with wedding guests.

The wedding cake table had an arch of curly willow and wisteria vines arranged to shelter the cake. Wedding flowers accented the vines and branches. Erin and Sean had selected wire daisy forms to place in the cake.Cake, Edible Art ( – Their cake was delicious and exactly what Sean and Erin wanted.

Wedding cake designed by Edible art.

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!