A Wedding Story: Tuscan-Inspired Summer Wedding

In our industry, it’s rare that we work on a wedding that is completely unique. To say we’ve done 500 iterations of the classic white or blush wedding wouldn’t be an exaggeration. And don’t get me wrong- each one has been beautiful and romantic. That said, I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t crawling out of my skin with excitement when my dear friend- and wildly talented wedding planner- Kelley Cannon approached me to collaborate on a colorful Tuscan-inspired wedding this summer.

In addition to being taken by the Tuscan theme, I also fell completely in love with our bride and groom, Jessica and Jon. Within minutes of arriving for their consultation, the groom showed me a peony tattoo on his forearm that was inspired by a favorite Helen Olivia arrangement he had given his bride-to-be (more on that later). I may have had gotten a little misty eyed.

During our initial meeting, we dreamed up a casual, yet formal dinner set in a lemon grove in Tuscany. We picked out gorgeous candle holders and brightly colored blooms in shades of yellow, orange, coral, and pink. We barely looked at Pinterest for inspiration, and instead focused on creating a unique and one-of-a-kind look that was a reflection of the couple.

Leading up to the wedding, we worked with importers in Holland, Japan, and South America as well as local farms to source gorgeous peonies, garden roses, ranunculus, and hand-made lemon leaf garland. In particular, we searched high and low to secure the very, very rare yellow tree peony that our groom had tattooed on his forearm. This was no easy task as it only blooms a few weeks of out the year. We also secured large metal structures that would serve as the base of our tree structures and painstakingly wired hundreds of branches to them to create a tree trunk. In the final days before the wedding our studio looked more like a forest than a flower shop!

On the wedding day, guests arrived to the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. The venue was the perfect stage for a Tuscan wedding with soaring ceilings, dramatic arches, and marble on nearly every surface. Favorite design elements included a collection of lemon trees with hanging paper lemon escort cards and large urns filled with olive foliage on the bars. The dinner reception featured long tables with cascading garland, vibrant floral centerpieces, hundreds of candles, and stunning lemon trees. For guests, the entire night felt like a departure to Italy.

Congratulations to our couple, Jess & Jon! We loved being a small part of your big day!

Vendor Team:
Florist: Helen Olivia
Planner: Kelley Cannon of Kelly Cannon Events
Caterer: Occasions
Paper & Signage: Emily Baird Deisgns
Makeup: Amy Decker Beauty
Venue: Walters Art Museum


  • The latest from Rachel
Rachel Gang is the owner of Helen Olivia Flowers, a boutique flower and home décor shop, located in Del Ray, Alexandria. She developed her love for flowers while working as an event planner in the busy Washington, D.C. events industry. Along with her husband and team of designers at Helen Olivia, Rachel works with brides and corporate clients to create unique and captivating designs. Her work has been featured in Traditional Home Magazine, HGTV, Borrowed and Blue, and Style Me Pretty.

Helen Olivia is a boutique floral design studio located in the Del Ray neighborhood. Known for a lush and timeless style, the shop is a favorite among locals. Outside of beautiful flowers, Helen Olivia is a destination for house plants, decorative pottery, and an endless selection of stylish front door wreaths. The shop is also well known for its weekly floral design workshops — come visit us and try your hand at flower arranging! Helen Olivia is owned by Chuck and Rachel Gang who are veterans of the bustling Washington, D.C., events industry. Both are D.C. natives, and reside in the Ft Hunt neighborhood of Alexandria with their son Jack.


1519 Leslie Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301



  1. Avatar Sally says:

    Wow, that is simply stunning! What a gift to their guests.

  2. Avatar Cydney Kasenetz says:

    Refreshing colorful wedding flowers!! Have been to a lot of white on white and these arrangements are beautiful

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