The Agony of Planning… Part II

If you missed part one of this post, please read it.

There is no such thing as filling the void of a loved one; however, we can feel a love around us when the planning is taking place. It was bad enough having my father die at such a young age knowing he would not walk me down the aisle at my wedding. Fast forward and I felt my world come crashing down even more once my Mom-Mom died because she is the one who said “I want to see you get married!” Well, if Heaven is considered VIP Seating, she’s got the best seat in the house with my dad so that makes me feel a bit better.

You see my mom walked my sister Ashley down the aisle 5 years ago and frankly, I’m not certain she will walk me down the aisle because that is my decision. I tossed up the thought of having my dad’s brothers walk me, another “father figure” in my life and/or even walking down with my fiancé, Tony. Walking down the aisle to the altar isn’t about someone giving you away, it’s about… you can read all about that here which lays it out quite nice. I will most likely walk solo down the aisle, given that I do not have a panic attack in the back or run away somewhere crying my eyes out making the ceremony begin late.

There is SO much to think about when planning a wedding and it’s dang near overwhelming. I’m a floral designer and this is what I do for a living. After much practice, continued practice, schooling, competitions, you name it, often times I feel I can design a bridal bouquet with my eyes shut and 10 elevated designs in 200 minutes. That averages out to 20 minutes per centerpiece. The rest of this planning, I’m not educated in so that is why we’ve hired professionals to handle all that for us. And, the little decisions that are actually quite big in the grand scheme of things especially when a loved one is not present puts a damper on things. I know, I know… they will “always be with me” and “I’ll always have the memories forever”, but that still doesn’t make it any better. Sorry, Susan it doesn’t and you know that.

I’m going to miss them, but will not allow grief to bring me down. This is a celebration of life and I’m thankful for all those who are willing and are able to attend our wedding. Though my father will not be physically present, you better believe I’m still designing a boutonniere for him as if he were present. It’s going to be fabulous and fun just like him.

Those who are deceased will be with me in Spirit and with all the Angels and Saints, I’ll get down the aisle with ease to marry my fiancé!


Our wedding will be grand, I know it. It was the second best decision after thinking about getting married in Italy. Do you want to hear all about that ? Okay, I’ll tell you a little. We had a few glasses of red wine and delicious dinners as we talked about where we wanted to get married. I’m a parishioner at Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral. It’s beautiful. When I first walked in, I had crazy anxiety. Satan is evil you know and he never wants you to receive the Eucharist. After the 3rd time attending Mass and going to confession there, I felt at home. Later, we stated the Cathedral is where we both wanted to marry. We also said a few months after our engagement that Italy was a grand idea. We could visit Deacon Justin, fly Father Mark (Tony’s cousin) from Spain and we’d get married! I think Tony’s sister was on board with this as well. Having the family on board was very unlikely and would most likely cause pain, stress and disappointment. This was all my plan to “run away” and not have to really think about those who have died that I’m having a hard time with not being present for our wedding.


Incase you skimmed over that last paragraph, moral of the story is we are not getting married in Italy. The look on my Aunt’s face when we told her our “thoughts” last year was let’s just say not good. Her son, Deacon Justin Gough is becoming a Priest and will marry us in August of 2020 here in Raleigh, NC. We are praying Tony’s cousin, Father Mark who is in Spain can fly here and co-celebrate with Justin. (He will be Father Justin after June. 20,2020). When me and Tony stared talking I told him I wanted Deacon Justin to become a priest before marrying us because I wanted us to see him get ordained. It was such a beautiful time for Deacon Justin and his family when he was ordained a Deacon.

… Part III – Season Finale coming soon…


The Agony of Planning Our Wedding

… without my Mom-Mom ( my mother’s mom). 

My triplet sister, Ashley; older than me by 2 minutes got married on February. 14, 2015. Our Mom-Mom was so happy for Ashley and Brent and the next chapter in their life they would begin to create together as a couple. I watched her walked down the aisle in St. Anthony of Padua Church then enter into the ballroom of the reception at Columbus Gardens with her son-in-law. She was all smiles and it made me so happy to see her celebrating with close family and friends. Side note: My sisters wedding was pretty amazing and it snowed that night as well!

Mom-Mom & Uncle Scott Jacob’s Wedding

Fast forward to April 2019, I called my Aunt in Maryland to tell her I was bringing someone with me for Easter Weekend to which she replied yes even though no-one knew I was dating anyone. No-one knew I had been talking to my fiancé, Tony since December when we met at a dinner party for the Raleigh Young Adult Group. Okay, Okay, so we didn’t really talk that much; actually not at all. However, after seeing one another at the second dinner party followed by Daily Mass, we started talking in March. You can read more about how we met on Spoken Bride.

Rumor has it that life goes faster as you get older and if anyone knows me pretty well, you’d know that I’m very picky about whom I date and that I like to live in the fast lane. As soon as me and Tony met, after our first date, he had a very good knowing that he wanted marry me, hence talking about it shortly after our first date. I often thought to myself I wish my Mom-Mom were still living so I could call her and tell her all the grand news! For awhile it was difficult to pick up the phone then stop myself from dialing her phone number!

Mom-Mom’s Wedding Dress!

She died on December.16,2016. This is a day I will never forget and though I miss her dearly, I’m glad we talked as often as we did and much of it was about weddings! We had many conversations about fashion, what the family was doing, where the kids were going next, what soccer game they had and more. We shared our opinions on why brides should not wear cowboy boots under their wedding dress, but then agreed that it was not our wedding and who are we to say what others do 😉

MY Wedding Dress. Time for alterations soon!

Because she was a very private person this post is not about her personally and her illness before she died, but rather hardships of not having someone very close to me present for all things wedding planning now that it is my turn. I do know there are many brides and grooms out there planning without a loved one and know that you are not alone; I get it, it’s hard, sometimes it sucks and is downright the last thing you want to do. My Mom-Mom heard heard about many flower shop sagas since I started as a young designer, the flower competitions and the numerous clients I had while living in South Florida. No amount of planning can ever fill the void or replace the loss of a loved one.

When I said “YES, to the dress!”, I messaged my Aunt and asked her if Mom-Mom would love dress # 1 or #2 . She said that she would love the one we loved which is the one in the bag from Coastal Knot. I went solo from Day 1 traveling to different bridal boutiques and stores to find “The Dress”. It was stressful because some of the places were not clean, I had bad experiences and some of the staff was not so kind. A single woman coming in by herself surely needs a helping hand in the dressing room, wouldn’t you think?

It wasn’t until I went to Coastal Knot that I felt 100 % comfortable and knew that I’d get my dress there; the staff is fabulous! Some say if a loved one cannot be present to ask a close friend, even go with your DAD or go alone. Due to planning around others schedules, me living in another state than my family and close friends, I chose to go alone. There are a few girls here in North Carolina who I would ask, however planning around work schedules and when is convenient for them was starting to stress me out just thinking about it. Tony’s mom was so wonderful because I sent her photos from Dress # 1 all the way until I actually said “YES!”

Now that we are 6 months away, it’s time to hire a floral designer … anyone know of a good one ? 😉 ” Will want 2 b extravagant!” – Mom- Mom.

Text Message from Mom-Mom

… to be continued … 

Trendy Prom Flowers for 2017

Calvert Hall Junior Prom- May. 13, 2017

Calvert Hall Senior Prom – May. 6, 2017

Curley Junior Prom- May. 13, 2017

Curley Senior Prom- May. 19, 2017

IND Junior/ Senior Prom- May. 12, 2017

Catholic High Senior Prom- May. 12, 2017


With High School Prom’s being so close to Mother’s Day; one of the busiest times in a flower shop it is best to order your Prom flowers early. Right about now 🙂

One popular Prom flower style is the wristlet, flowers being worn on the wrist with petite blooms, accented with ribbon to match the girls dress and her dates attire. Flowers include but are not limited to Dendrobium Orchids, Miniature Carnations, Mokara Orchids, Spray Roses, Button Mums, Gerbera Daisies, Green Trick Dianthus, Sweet William.

Or, some are carrying small nosegay’s or taking it a step further and thinking outside the box with flower jewelry. These include anything from over the shoulder corsages to rings, necklaces, botanical shoes, hair flowers and so much more.

Ask your local florist about their options and the different styles that can be worn.

Flowers: Jaclyn Gough

Photography: Jacobs Photography

Dress: The Bravado

Flowers: Jaclyn Gough 




FALLing in Love With Choosing a Wedding Dress

Fall 2015 is a couple blinks away and there are so many flawless collections gracing the runway such as Reem Arca, Claire Pettibone, Pronovia and Jenny Packham just to name a few. To think a little further, before we know it we will see collections for Spring 2016. But, staying present and speaking of Fall 2015 in particular I’ve formed a collection of my favorite gowns for next season to share with you.

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 10.05.55 PM
Deep V Neckline

Naeem Khan Collection

Cut Outs

Kleinfeld Collection

Cinderella Gown
Cinderella Gown

Alfred Angelo 

Pants Suit
Pants Suit

Carolina Herrera

Illusion Dress
Illusion Dress

David’s Bridal

Peony Farms in Alaska

Good Morning from Seward, Alaska. While many back on home base are probably getting ready for their lunch break I’m just waking. It’s gorgeous here with the glaciers, mountains and waterfalls, in the 60’s and a cruise ship straight ahead in the water. The first thing that came to mind when traveling here was Peonies!! My last client LOVED Peonies so for her wedding I was sure not to disappoint. If you missed her blushing wedding, a couple photos can be viewed here.


Because Alaska offers many Peony Farms I’d like to share a couple with you, and for those who are designers or in the floral industry be sure to check these out.

Polar Peonies, LLC
PO Box 84049
Fairbanks, Alaska 99708

Phone: 907-590-1707 April – Sept
907 590 1700 Year round

Meadow Lakes Peony Farm
7210 Dawn Dr.
Anchorage, Alaska 99502

Phone: 907-373-7556


Family owned and operated business and to think I arrived in Anchorage two days ago it would of been lovely to check out this farm.

North Pole Peonies
5730 Eielson Farm Road
North Pole, Alaska 99705

Phone: 907-488-0446
Fax: 1-866-535-6459

This farm has developed a co-op, Arctic Alaska Peonies to keep a watchful eye and manage sales. Peonies beginning to bud in June and are in bloom all throughout the months of July, August & September.

Michael & Christy  July.11,2015 Florals: The Skinny Vase, LLC
Michael & Christy
Florals: The Skinny Vase, LLC

Trash The Dress: Love It or Leave It ?

One controversial wedding trend is “trashing the dress”. This takes place after the wedding and seems to be a very liberating experience that is caught on camera for continued memories down the road of the bride.

So why trash something so beautiful that could be donated or reworked into something else ? High school friend, Gracie Barrow trashed her dress to do something fun after her wedding. Plus, I think this fit Gracie’s fun and carefree personality. Her husband, Brian was in charge of squirting colorful paint onto the dress and clearly had a lot of fun doing so seen in the photo below by Lauren Hauser Photography.

Photo By: Lauren Hauser Photography
Photo By: Lauren Hauser Photography

Personally, if a lot of money was invested in the dress I find it to be somewhat “wasteful” to trash the dress. However, I imagine it to be very freeing to capture beautiful photos whether it be jumping in the ocean or squirting colorful paint onto the wedding gown. Trashing the dress is a free movement where you do not have to worry about every little detail like you do on your actual wedding day. I’ve heard some say it is a “commitment” made to your husband by trashing the dress, saying you will never need this dress again.

So what do you think ? Trash the dress: YES or NO ?

Black Eyed Susan Bouquet for the Baltimore Bride


Every summer into fall you will find thousands and even billions of Black Eyed Susan’s in bloom up North in planting beds or arranged in a cute little mason jar on a kitchen table. This butterfly and bird attracting plant blooms from June until October and can grow anywhere from 1 to 3 feet tall. In Baltimore, MD today is known as Black Eyed Susan Day and Pimlico Race Track has tons of events going on so be sure to check them out.

For those getting married and love the wildflower look to a bouquet, be sure to plant tons of Black Eyed Susan’s to have enough for your beautiful bouquet. For those in regions where Black Eyed Susan’s are not grown there are other options for your bouquet such as Sunflowers, Viking Pom or Sunflower Gerbera Daisy. 




Are you getting married in Baltimore? Email me & let’s talk wedding flowers!

Dear Designer: This is my color scheme, what flowers should I choose?

Dear Bride To Be,

Below I’ve provided you with color combinations based off Pantone’s Color Scheme’s for 2015. Choosing flowers can be based off your theme, budget, style and color scheme of the wedding. Most of these flowers are available year round but it is best to speak with your professional floral designer about seasonal availability. In addition the below flower combinations are not necessarily intended to be used to a “T”; they are just flowers grouped together according to color to give you a couple ideas to start working with.

You may also find other options on Pinterest, Wedding Wire, Martha Stewart Weddings, Magazines etc. for inspiration.

If you have any questions, email me: I’d be happy to answer your questions.

All the best,

Jaclyn Gough

Owner of  The Skinny Vase, LLC

Peony, Rice Flower, Ranunculus
Oncidium Orchid, Tara Rose, Brunia, Air Plant
Oncidium Orchid, Tara Rose, Brunia, Air Plant
Light Blue Hydrangea, Dusty Miller, Thistle, Grape Hyacinth
Light Blue Hydrangea, Dusty Miller, Thistle, Grape Hyacinth
Light Blue Hydrangea, Dusty Miller, Hocus Pocus Rose, Feather Celosia
Light Blue Hydrangea, Dusty Miller, Hocus Pocus Rose, Feather Celosia
Shock It To Me Orchid, Standard Carnation, Succulent
Shock It To Me Orchid, Standard Carnation, Succulent

Why You Should Hire A Professional/Expert Floral Designer for Your Wedding

According to the Merriam-Webster the definition of what a professional and an expert are as follows.

Professional– (adjective) relating to a job that requires special education, training or skill. Paid to participate in a sport or activity.

Expert– (adjective) having, involving, or displaying special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience.

Personally I think one can still be an expert and get paid just as a professional does. In addition, a professional can too display special skills or knowledge which would help in their business endeavors. I think the difference is how far you are willing to go in expanding your horizons and your education.

So, since this post is specifically targeting brides and grooms I raise a couple questions, “Should you always hire a professional or expert for your wedding; in particular for your wedding flowers?” Is becoming the DIY bride ok? Should you at least hire a professional for the personal flowers such as bouquets and flowers to wear? What about saving the stress and spending a little bit of money to take pressure off yourself and hire a professional? Do you care how your wedding florals look or are you the type to youtube wedding centerpiece “how to’s” on Pinterest for ideas?

Some respond with nah don’t bother, ” I’m saving wine bottles”, “I have Mason Jars in my basement”, “Babies Breath will be perfect with a touch of greenery for my vintage feel”. We will talk about “vintage feel weddings” in a later post. As mentioned above I’ve heard many of these comments from brides and all I can think is “Have fun, I’m sure it will look beautiful.” NEXT.

For instance I would never imagine or begin to think of stitching up an open cut myself. There is a reason doctors are in business. There are some things we cannot do and on the other hand professionals are always happy to help. No budget is too big or too small. Ask questions, we love to answer them.

NOTE: To the DIY Bride or family member doing the florals, I commend you. I understand that you think you have what it takes and that you can do everything. I understand you are trying to save a couple bucks, but please just talk to us. We can save you a couple bucks and the stress.

So WHY should you hire a professional or expert ?

1. We make it look easy. Those large Karen Tran or Preston Bailey inspired arrangement are lovely but it takes a real professional to get the job done. We also know what flowers are in season for your special day.

2. We take care of all the hassle for you. Not only designing, but proper refrigeration, transportation, making sure everything is to a T and we always have a plan B (and if you don’t you should). Imagine getting in a box of Hydrangea, placing them in water but because the room in your house is warm your Hydrangeas wilt ? YIKES.

3. Having your family, friends or yourself pull an all nighter before the big day is not the best way to relax. Florists order your flowers well in advance, process your flowers in floral solution and everything is just about completed a day or two before your wedding and placed in the cooler, tagged and ready to go.

4. A photo says a thousand words. It’s TRUE. Let us do our job. You will have these photos for years to come & you should have your flowers looking flawless like everything else.

5. You may “save a few dollars” but are left with all the supplies, buckets and extra’s hanging around. Sure you could donate it to a flower shop but we all know most do not consider that. We have everything on hand, trust us. Plus we know how to embellish wraps with pearls and crystals and can handle all the tedious work that comes along with the job.

Your wedding day is not supposed to drive you crazy. Relax with your family and friends and leave the flower arranging to the professional experts.

For your free consultation email me.


Will Cascade Bouquets Make a Bigger Comeback in 2015?

There is nothing that makes me happier than a gorgeous cascade wedding bouquet. Ever since I studied weddings in floristry school I fell in love instantly and told my teacher when I get married I wanted him to design me a cascade bouquet that trailed behind me as I walked down the aisle. After my first cascade bouquet design in school, I fell in love with designing them.

But, just because I love them doesn’t mean everyone else does and does not mean it is going to be trending in the years to come. In 1996 my Aunt carried a gorgeous cascade bouquet down the aisle for her wedding.


In 2013, I came across a blog titled ” Bringing Back the Cascade Bouquet” followed by Holly Chappel’s blog that featured some of the Chappel Designer’s bouquet trends. Some pictured loose and organic cascades but even still I did not see tons of brides carrying cascades down the aisle for myself.

Last year, 2014 The Knot mentioned The Cascade Bouquet would be a trend and part of them was correct. Brides were looking for loose and organic hand tied bouquets. Ivy and Hanging Amaranthus were perfect flowers to help achieve the flowy cascade feel and look.

This year, 2015 I really hope to actually see more brides holding cascading bouquets. They are a real jaw dropper and will turn any head. For the tall bride a lengthy bouquet can be pulled off very well.


If your client is shorter, try something a little sweeter in floral taste with a smaller cascade drop.


1533715_979420418787232_2334246202350255662_n There is a perfect cascade for every bride.

Let’s turn the Earthy Elegance bouquets featuring Succulents, natural tones and seasonal flowers into a beautiful cascade. Soften your cascades with a romantic pastel pallet that we can only hope to see in 2015 for a unique look to any bouquet.

Creating a cascade bouquet does not mean we have to tense up and fear using the popular flowers such as Peonies, Garden Roses, Dahlias, Ranuculus and Hydrangea. Use them a create a lush unforgettable cascade bouquet for your bride.