Year in Review – 2019

Hard to believe another year has gone by! Now I’m wondering where January went!

Thought it would be fun to share a few facts from our 2019 Weddings –

  • Number of weddings we did the flowers for this year – 51
  • Furthest Wedding – Barnwell State Park
  • Closest Wedding – Mt. Horeb UMC
  • Trend continues to have the ceremony & reception at the same location. 80% of our weddings were held at venues that accommodated both the ceremony & reception.
  • Venues we visited the most this year – River Road & Jasmine Houses, Millstone at Adams Pond & The Farm at Ridgeway. There are so many great venues in the Columbia area and we love visiting each one!
  • Busiest season this year – Spring
  • 2nd busiest season this year- Fall
  • Busiest Wedding Month this year – May
  • Average number of Bridesmaids – 5-8
  • Most popular dress colors for Bridesmaids – Burgundy, Blush pink & Dusty Blue
  • Most popular color palette for flowers – 1st – Ivory, Burgundy & blush – 2nd All White
  • Most popular flowers – hydrangeas, garden roses & peonies
  • Most popular greenery – Eucalyptus

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this. Always fun to look back and see the year in review. Can’t wait for all of our 2020 weddings!


The Cottage

On our property we have a small building that was once the caretaker’s house. We were told that John Wise (photo below) worked on Homeland Farm as the caretaker and gardener for 55 years and this was where he lived.

Since we moved to this historic property in November 2006 we had been using this small building primarily for storage. Ok, basically we just kept piling stuff in there until we had a big mess! So, I finally decided we needed to make better use of this awesome space and utilize it to display our containers, vases, columns, etc. that are available to rent for weddings and events. I wanted to be able to take brides and other clients out there to show them what we have in stock. We set a goal of “getting it ready” by the Engagement Party/Summer Social.

We did it, but we cut it close. We had an electrician come and and get everything up to code and added new outlets and a couple new light fixtures. Thankfully, this was really the only expense we incurred with this little “fixer upper” project. Several hours on a couple different days were spent cleaning out, sweeping, wiping down the cabinets, and cleaning the windows. Voila! It was ready. Of course, it’s pretty rustic and not perfect but that’s what makes it so charming! I mean we didn’t have do any painting and there is shiplap!! It was kind of eye opening to see all of the inventory we actually have and it’s nice for it to all be organized in one space. Can’t wait for you to see it!






Karen Adams Designs

Wanted to share some neat items we have for Brides!

Vow Gift Enclosure Box – $19.95


Gift Enclosure Gift Box: Eight three inch square book fold cards

Paper: 80lb natural eggshell finish, Eight vellum envelopes

Details: Four designs with two cards of each, Hand-glittered

Banner • Bouquet
Take the Cake • Showtime

Say Yes Gift Enclosure Box – $19.95


Gift Enclosure Gift Box: Eight three inch square book fold cards

Paper: 80lb natural eggshell finish, Eight vellum envelopes

Details: Four designs with two cards of each, Hand-glittered

Catch Me • Morganite
Something Blue • Pink Champagne

And here’s an item for anyone!

2016 Calendar – $29.95



Individually packaged, clothed with satin ribbon, encasing twelve 6″ square 2016 Calendar months sans easel.

Each month has its unique design and competes with the other eleven months to win best time of year.

Wonderful gift item for anytime of the year.

The Carnation is making a comeback!

The carnation was once considered old-fashioned and many times thought of as just a ‘funeral flower’. What a shame! Such a beautiful flower that comes in a variety of gorgeous colors and is still relatively inexpensive. I am happy that so many brides are open to using this flower in their weddings these days. It has great texture and blends well with flowers such as hydrangeas and roses. It also has great impact done in mass for compact designs. A quick search on Pinterest and you will find lots of examples. I’ve attached a couple including a wreath that we did for a wedding last November that incorporated dark purple and red carnations. If you like full and lush floral designs, add carnations to your must-have list!

Great gifts for the Bride & Groom!

With lots of bridal showers and spring weddings coming up, I wanted to show you some of the new items we have at Winston’s Gift Shop! Perfect for the new bride & groom!

Re-purposing an Entire Wedding Dress (And Not Wasting Any of it!) – by Jessica

This post was written by my sister Jessica. Since we all just loved what she was able to do with our Mom’s wedding dress, I figured there might be others that would want to read about how she did it and possibly be inspired to tackle a project like this themselves. So I asked her to write a guest blog post for me and document the process and I am so glad she did! Enjoy! 

It all started the day my parents decided to downsize and move into a more appropriately sized house for the two of them.  They began getting rid of things, slowly at first, until suddenly my Mom was saying to me (in passing as if it were nothing) that she was taking her wedding dress to Goodwill.  Now I’m all for “one man’s trash…”.  After all, I do spend every Saturday morning going to garage sales in search of adorable clothes for my 1 year old son!  However, something about her dress going to Goodwill bothered me.  My parents have been married for almost 42 years now (you can read about their wedding here) and I know I speak for their other 3 children when I say that their love, friendship, and partnership is the holy grail of marriage as far as we are concerned.  They seem to love each other more with every day that passes.  So the 4 of us regard their wedding day as one of the most important days in the history of the world!  After all, if that day hadn’t happened, we wouldn’t exist.  So the dress couldn’t go to Goodwill.   And that was that.  I asked my Mom to bring the dress to me and she agreed.

What a pretty Bride!  The Happy Couple
Now, I am not a crafty person.  At all.  Ask anyone.  Particularly, my husband, who will tell you that the craft store JoAnns is like my kryptonite.  I walk in and immediately my energy level plummets.  I walk around in a stupor until I finally leave without having bought anything – and it takes an extreme amount of chocolate and/or caffeine to get my energy level back up after that!  However, it was important to me to re-purpose the dress.  After all, simply transferring the dress from her closet to mine seemed as foolish as taking the dress to Goodwill.  So to Google I went.  I started with “re-purpose wedding dress” and saw some neat ideas about turning the dress into a christening gown, baby doll dress, or a bassinet/crib cover.  All great ideas, but none that I would find useful.  Then I saw a Christmas tree skirt.  BINGO!!!  That was it.  I wasn’t sure how it was going to happen, but it HAD to happen.  Then I remembered my sister Jennifer telling me how useful a site called “Pinterest” was.  So I went to the site and searched for the same thing “re-purpose wedding dress.”  Here I found a few more ideas – pillow (another BINGO! moment – my Mom LOVES pillows.  Whenever she’s sitting down, she always has one in her lap!  So does my sister Jennifer.  So I loved the idea of making us 3 girls our own pillows), Christmas ornaments (BINGO! again!!!  I could make a Christmas ornament for each of her children’s families so that everyone could have a piece of her dress), and a ring bearer pillow (the biggest BINGO! moment of them all – I could make a ring bearer pillow that could be passed around our family for whoever wants to use it for years to come).
Unfortunately, nothing I found actually came with instructions on how anyone accomplished these ideas (and some had no proof that anyone actually had accomplished them – they were just on lists of ideas that people had).  And since I have no crafting talent or knowledge of my own, I was in a bit of a pickle.  Luckily, my mother-in-law is the very definition of a “crafty person” and she actually gave me a beginner’s crafting kit for an early Christmas present.  Bless her heart, the woman has been trying to encourage me to try my hand at certain “crafts” ever since we met – and I have fought her every step of the way…. until now.  I have no idea whether she was thrilled that I was actually wanting to do something ‘crafty’ or if she was completely horrified at the sheer volume of crafts that I was trying to accomplish all at once.  But she came to town with a smile and totally dove into this project with me.  She, like any good mother, made me do it all myself and stood by to show me and encourage me every step of the way.  None of this…  and I mean none of it…  would exist without her!
Step one:  Prepare the dress.  My Mom’s dress was covered in beautiful embroidery (lots of daisies and beautiful trim) that had unfortunately yellowed over time.  I knew I needed to clean it and at least attempt to get the yellow out.  But I was afraid of putting the entire dress (chiffon and satin) into a cleaning solution.  So I decided to take the embroidery off the dress first (since the dress itself hadn’t actually yellowed – just the embroidery).  I thought I would be using the seam ripper my MIL gave me, but instead I found that it was mostly glued on.  So I gently ‘ripped’ it off and I soaked them all – first in Woolite which didn’t change anything at all and then in oxygenated bleach overnight.  I was happily surprised that all of the yellow came out just from the oxygenated bleach soaking!  No scrubbing required!  Next, I took the seam ripper and ripped all of the seams out.  We wanted to use as much of the dress as possible since we weren’t sure exactly how much fabric we would need.  Next, I separated the chiffon from the satin on the dress.  Time to begin…
photo 1photo 2
Step two:  Go to JoAnns.  Oi vey.  I had a giant breakfast and mustered up all the energy I could and walked in.  Luckily my MIL was with me to figuratively hold my hand and show me where to go.  My 22 month old son was more patient in the store than I was!  I bought fabric scissors (best purchase ever…  I bought the cheapest pair they had and it’s still the best pair of scissors I’ve ever used!), 4 inch Styrofoam balls for the ornaments, pearl pins for the ornaments, pillow forms for the 3 decorative pillows, and the closest match I could find on the embroidery for the Christmas tree skirt (ivory daisy trim to fill in on the Christmas tree skirt and give it a more finished look).  I already had ribbon for the ornaments, fabric glue called Unique Stitch, and straight pins in the craft set that my MIL gave me.  So the trip to JoAnn’s was complete.  Then it was time for a nap.
Step three:  Make the ornaments.  The first thing I needed to do was find patterns for ornaments (my MIL found this one online:  The Martha Stewart plan was a great starting point and it definitely had some good tips, but we ended up needing to change the dimensions of her pattern for our 4 inch ball since it wasn’t working otherwise.  Martha’s patterns either weren’t correct or they weren’t a good fit for the satin fabric that we had.  Either way, there was a lot of trial and error to figure out exactly what size the diamond cut outs should be.  Luckily, my husband is an engineer and used Auto CAD to draw up exactly the template we needed.  It was time to cut up the dress.  I have to admit, I did this part with tears in my eyes the entire time, completely freaking out that my Mom and sister would never forgive me if I cut up the dress and had nothing to show for it!  My MIL taught me that I needed to cut the fabric on the bias – Cutting fabric on the bias involves rotating the fabric 45 degrees, and cutting where the fabric has the most stretch.  I wanted to make 5 ornaments and I needed 8 “diamond” like cut outs from Martha’s pattern for each one.  So that meant 40 cut outs.  This was intimidating.  Not only because it was a lot of cutting, but also because I was nervous that there wouldn’t be enough fabric for the pillows.  Luckily it all worked out!  The first ornament took awhile and definitely required hands on help from my MIL, but after that, the rest of them came together really quickly.  After the fabric covered the foam, I just began “decorating” the ball with the various pieces of embroidery from my Mom’s dress.  I used the Unique Stitch to glue most of it on, and then used the pearl pins to add the ribbon on top.
photo 6


Step four:  Begin the 3 decorative pillows (I thought this would be the hardest project).  These 3 pillows came together so quickly.  I want to say it took maybe an hour or two at the most to make 3 pillows.  We decided to make an envelope pillow so that if anyone ever needed to remove the pillow cover and wash it, they could.  We cut out 3 squares from the satin part of the dress, and 6 rectangles from the chiffon part of the dress (those would be used for the back part of the pillow to create an envelope).  We used Unique Stitch glue to glue the pillow cover together while it was inside out, let it dry for 30 minutes, then flipped it right side in.  It went something like this –   Then, I glued all of my chosen embroidery from her dress back on the pillow.  SUPER easy.  I was feeling pretty awesome!

photo 4

Step five:  Time for the ring bearer pillow.  I cut out the two rectangles of satin fabric and glued it together on 3 sides while inside out, then turned it right side in and prepared to stuff it.  I decided to stuff it with the tulle from my Mom’s veil (I’m not sure whether this stemmed from a desire to save $2 by returning the pillow fill we had bought at JoAnn’s or from a desire to use every last inch of the dress and avoid throwing the tulle in the trash…  Either way, the tulle made for a good filling on a ring bearer pillow since you want it to be more sturdy than your average pillow anyway).  Then we put glue on the 4th side and I held it together while it dried for 30 minutes.  Once the glue was dry, I added the fabric/embroidery that I had removed from my Mom’s veil to the outside of the pillow (I ran a ribbon through two of the holes so that rings can be tied on one day).  This was my favorite part of the project.  I cannot believe I didn’t think of this until 3 years AFTER I got married!!!
photo 5
Step six:  The Christmas tree skirt.  For this part, I used her train.  I used a seam ripper to rip out the seams at the top of the dress.  Once I did that, I laid it out and my husband Brad and I tried to determine how to fold it up.  See, once the seams were ripped, it didn’t exactly make a circle.  But I wanted to keep this as simple as possible.  So we decided how far down the middle to rip the seam (for the hole for the tree) and I started ripping.  After that, I glued the seams back down individually and then added the semi-matching embroidery trim I found at JoAnns for a more finished look. Then  I steamed the skirt to get the wrinkles out. All total the skirt took maybe 3 hours.
photo 2 photo 2


I’d say from start to finish, we probably worked on the dress for 20 hours.  The seam ripping and fabric cutting took the most time.  But there was no sewing involved.  Just fabric scissors, fabric glue, a little bit of craft glue (when the fabric glue didn’t work on the chiffon), and a seam ripper!  I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.  I wrapped everything up and waited the longest two weeks of my life before getting to reveal it all to my family! I felt a huge sense of accomplishment not only in doing something I didn’t think I could do, but also in re-purposing something that was just taking up space in a closet.  I’m the last person on earth that anyone would ever think could do something like this, so if I can do it, ANYONE can!!!


In case you were wondering, here is what is left of the dress –

photo (10)

The 2013 Color of the Year goes to….

Pantone, “the worldwide standard for color communication and inspiration since 1963” has named “Emerald”  the color of the year for 2013. It is a lovely color and I am excited to see it used in upcoming weddings! There are so many color options for flowers that coordinate with Emerald. Orange, peach or yellow quickly come to mind but shades of pink would be really pretty too! All white would really stand out against Emerald colored dresses as well! Oh my, there are so many different directions you can go! Tell me, what do you think of the color Emerald? What color flowers would you pair with it?


Who pays for what?

Let me start by saying that every wedding is different and there are no set rules regarding wedding expenses. However,  some people do ask us to break down the expenses between the Bride and Groom when we give them the floral estimate.

So, in case you were wondering, here is the traditional cost breakdown for flowers  –

Bride and family

  • Groom’s boutonniere
  • Bridesmaids Bouquets
  • Ceremony and Reception decorations

Groom and family

  • Bride’s Bouquet
  • Boutonnieres
  • Mothers and Grandmothers Corsages



Do I need to make an appointment to talk about my Wedding Flowers?

Often times we are asked this question and the simple answer is yes. There are several reasons for this.

1) We want to make sure that we can give you our undivided attention and be able to sit down and discuss your special day without interruptions.

2) We need for you to fill out the Consultation Form on our website. Knowing the details of your wedding helps us prepare for your consultation. .

3) Making an appointment gives you time to prepare and gather the necessary information as discussed in our previous post: What to bring to your Consultation.

4) There are always exceptions and sometimes due to work schedules, etc. it is impossible for someone to come in and meet. If this is your situation and if you are just wanting to get pricing for your wedding flowers, you can email us with the specifics (with pictures of what you like) and we can work up an estimate and email it back to you for review. Our email address is:

Each Bride is different and on different timetables but on average I would say we schedule the consultations 4-6 months prior to the weddings. However, depending on how long the engagement period is, sometimes we meet much closer to the wedding date or sometimes up to a year prior to the wedding.

We have had some Brides that wanted to book with us and be sure to save the date, but weren’t ready to schedule an appointment as venues, dresses, colors, etc. have not been picked out yet. If this is the case, you can book your date with a $250 non-refundable deposit which would be applied to your wedding order once finalized.

I hope you have found this information helpful. Any questions or comments? I would love to hear from you!

What to bring to your Consultation

Now that you have scheduled a wedding consultation to talk about flowers, you may be wondering if you need to bring anything. Well, as a matter of fact there are a few things!

1) Wedding Colors – It is important that you have picked out your bridesmaids dresses and wedding color scheme prior to our consultation, as the color and style will guide and steer the flower choices and selection. If you can bring (and leave with me) a color swatch of the bridesmaids dresses, that would be very helpful. It can be a swatch from the dress, a piece of ribbon that matches the color or even a paint chip that matches the color.  Also, a picture of your dress as well as the bridesmaids dress is helpful too so that we can see the style and type of material.

2) Flower Pictures – Prior to your consultation, you will need to spend some time researching the bouquet  & centerpiece styles you like as well as your flower preferences. Don’t worry you don’t have to figure out exactly what you want, we just need to know what you like and don’t like. Compile as many pictures as you can (bouquet styles, centerpiece examples, corsages and boutonnieres, church decorations, flower types, colors, design techniques, etc) so that we have a good idea of what you like. These pictures can be from magazines and online. To see examples of our work, visit our Flickr page and you can follow us on Pinterest and Instagram.  You can  also bring your laptop or iPad so that you can show me the pictures you have found online. Photos on your phone work too!

3) Budget –  Know your floral budget. For more on this subject, see our post: The Budget Question

4) Corsages and Boutonnieres – Be thinking about you would like to have a corsage or boutonniere for and make a list to bring with you.  Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents and Ushers are pretty standard.  The Minister (only if he is wearing a suit), Director, Greeters, Readers, Soloists, Musicians are all optional.

I think this about covers it. I hope you find this helpful as you prepare for your wedding consultation. Do you have any comments or questions?