Freelancing for the First Lady's Luncheon in the Nation’s Capital, Washington, D.C.

Updated: Jun 4, 2019

This year's 107th Indy-Themed First Lady’s Luncheon bipartisan tradition was one for the books! Not only because of the challenges which present themselves with a high profile event such as this one but the fact it was around Mother's Day weekend, one of the busiest holidays for, you guessed it, florists and flower designers alike.

This year was the fourth year that Certified American Grown, a coalition of U.S. flower farms across the country, had provided flowers for the luncheon, showcasing American-grown flowers and greens.

Swag Bag Sponsors: The Little Flower Soap Co. (lip balm set) @thelittleflowersoapco // Beth Van Sandt (peony gift card) @scenicplacepeonies // Floret (notebook) @Floretflower // Charlie Lou (T-shirt design) @charlielouworks // Harmony Harvest Farm (Floral frogs and stickers) @harmonyhrvst

The army of designers were lead by Mary Kate Kinnane, owner of The Local Bouquet in Little Compton, Rhode Island and co-lead Christi Lopez, AIFD, EMC, of Bergerons Flowers in Springfield, Virginia. The chosen theme was the Indy 500 and was directed by the Congressional Club (which hosted the luncheon), since the chair of this year’s event, Jennifer Messer, wife of Rep. Luke Messer (R-6-Indiana), was from the Hoosier State.

First Lady Melania Trump

A typically masculine theme was no challenge for our lead designers who added a touch of femininity to all 144 table arrangements by filling them with red and burgundy flowers and focusing on linens in black and white checks.

@bloomiaflowers // @camflorinc // @dramm_and_etched // @eufloria.flower // @ferncoolie // @gallupandstribling // @greenvalleyfloralco.1973 // @hollandamericaflowers // @kityamabrothers // @mellanoandcompany // @menagerieflower // @oceanviewflowers // @californiapajarosafloral // @resendizbrothers

The Head Table featured 6 cascading head table designs featuring an ombré effect, from burgundy to blush to white which reflected the 2 large flower walls used for photo ops.

With a record breaking 22,000 stems donated from 20 farms (out of Certified American Grown's 70 members) the design team were able to create 18 VIP room arrangements, multiple cocktail table designs and 1,200 boutonnieres for arriving guests in addition to the above mentioned designs.

Vases were donated by Accent Décor while hard-goods and flower food came from Smithers-Oasis and lastly DVFlora picked up the actual transportation of all the flowers.

The luncheon was planned in eight months and executed In 72 hours with a team of 30 Leading Flower Designers and Flower Farmers in the country. To be part of this incredible team was such an accolade of my career. With over 60 applicants annually, it is a momentous achievement in a Floral Designer’s career to be chosen to be part of such a prestigious and important event.

@alaskanlegacypeonies // @thesecretgardencharleston // @joslynpeonyfarm // @susanmarie0502 // @trjonesy29 // @thehotelflorist // @hgutierrezray // @quan_gorbachevski // @courtneyrosenbalm // @brittanybraddy // @jennmichel // @christilopezemc // @cwfloraldesign // @petalsbytheshore // @christinaflowerco // @jennifersflowersandevents // @lummecreations // @schmittaifdemc // @fancyfloralsbynancy // @crystalhedgpeth // @jenfigge // @brambleandbee // @pamelaprimrose // @mr_brambleandbee

Next year the chair will be representing California and I can’t wait to see the concept come to life!

Photo Credit: Kirsten-Smith-Photography Instagram - @kirstensmithphotography

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