Designer Inspired Holiday Home Decor

This year, we have been inspired by some of our favorite designers when it comes to decorating our homes for the holiday season!

{1} Mackenzie Childs: Incorporating this country chic home designer into your holidays will take lots of black & white in the form of checkered prints.  Think ribbons and ornaments in this print.   We recommend a bright red for an accent color!


{2} Betsy Johnson:  This holiday decor style is for the fun-loving decorators out there! To achieve a holiday home that Betsy herself would approve of, add lots of feathers! Put them in your centerpieces, or have them displayed on your Christmas tree! We also recommend bright & unique ornaments to tie this look all together.


{3} Kate Spade: Where playful meets sophistication will be your home this holiday season. Make your mantle Kate Spade inspired by adding bright colors to your holiday garland, like hot print, teal, or lime, and accenting with metallics like ornaments or candle votives. Use these decorations to surround a cheeky, festive graphic quote that will have all your guests smiling.



{4} Vera Wang: Elegant & simple decor is how we describe our Vera Wang Christmas. Lots of black & white decorations, with added in glamour, like a pearl garland.

Screen shot 2014-12-02 at 12.50.33 PM

{5} Tommy Hilfiger: Go for a vintage, country theme with inspiration from Tommy. Imagine red plaid ribbons tied around the tree or balsam garland, and use antlers as accents when you can!


Spooky Flowers

Just in time for Halloween, we want to share our ideas with you on how to make a spooky bouquet!

{1} Vintage Vase: Instead of your usual glass vase, use an old vintage bottle, preferably with an old label still on it! If not, you can also print out an old poison bottle graphic and still give it that vintage feel. Use this for your Halloween inspired flowers that are sure to wow your guests this season.


{2} Dried Flowers: Use dried flowers and herbs to create an arrangement that will be beautiful yet eerie. Perfect Halloween decor!


{3} Forensic Flowers: Here is a cool DIY idea for the Halloween lover – try “blood splatter” roses! Simply take white roses, and add drops of red paint or even nail polish to create a creepy Halloween bouquet.


{4} Spooky Add Ons: A super easy way to a make an eerie Halloween bouquet is to take flowers in dark shades like deep oranges, purples and reds, and use some scary additives! Try artificial spider webs or branches to help achieve the perfect Halloween look.




{5} Black Flowers: You may only see them on rare occasions, but black flowers do exist! This year, add black calla lilies  to your arrangement for a naturally spooky feel.


Finger Lakes Destination Wedding Flowers

Whether the Finger Lakes are right in your back yard or you’re traveling to make this your destination wedding site, here are a few helpful, cost saving tips for beautiful flowers.

The Finger Lakes region offers picturesque landscapes, unique activities, WINE and much more. Utilize the beautiful surroundings that nature has to offer. The photo opportunities are endless.


Lakeside ceremonies provide beautiful blue backdrops, however you may choose to feature a few decor items.


An archway or draped decor rental item can easily be erected to enhance your ceremony site.


Make the most of your “chosen spot”. Roam the vineyards for that perfect photo, but also consider accenting existing on site structures with floral decor.


Re-purpose large arrangements from ceremony structures for an indoor mantle or table at the reception.


Decorate with garlands of lush greenery, coordinate with large ferns for a rustic-chic setting. Dual-use items such as garlands can be placed as table runners for the reception site.


“When in Rome….” let’s make the most of wine country. Themed accessories such as wine bottles, corks and barrels make great beginnings of beautiful floral designs.


Accent with grapes, natural vine and LOTS OF CANDLES.


If you like the trendy long farmhouse table, consider multiple mix and match floral designs. Alternate sizes (small bud vases with tall elevated designs) and styles to coordinate with candles.


Transition cascading floral designs from the ceremony to reception. For a trendy look, place at the end of long tables as an end cap arrangement. Accent with paper table runners, like this amazing gold chevron design!


A special thank you to all of our couples who inspired this Destination Wedding Blog, we love working with you!

This post is also featured in Democrat & Chronicle’s herRochester blog! Check it out here:

Savvy Spending for Wedding Flowers

This blog post is also featured in Democrat & Chronicle’s herRochester section!

Weddings are becoming an expensive affair! The average costs overall can run $20-30 thousand. If we fall in line with the national average the floral budget should be 10% of the total wedding cost.

There is hope and you can purchase wedding floral designs on a budget without looking like you cut corners.

Research. There is so much information available; start collecting photos or pin boards of your likes and perhaps your dislikes too. Define your overall theme by color pallet and style. Have it with you or accessible to the Florists you are meeting with for estimates.

Define your floral budget. What are you willing to spend? In order to avoid sticker shock, consider your budget for all wedding categories to make the planning process easier and more productive.

Trust your Floral Designer. It may take a few consultations for comparison; but you should be comfortable and compatible with the person who will be designing your wedding flowers. Once they understand your vision and budget, they will be able to steer you in the right direction and make suggestions for substitutions if needed. Your confidence in them will allow their creative freedom to wow you on your wedding day.


Be flexible on flower choices. Let go of pricey selections that will drive up the overall cost. Enjoy your favorite blooms in your bouquet, but adding them into every arrangement could take you over budget fast. Flowers like Hydrangea and Babies Breath, are cost effective and fashionable varieties to showcase or mix with other flowers. Hydrangeas are large and round in keeping with the orb and low profile designs. Babies breath is fashion forward alone or combined with other flowers.


Dual use items featured at the ceremony and reception also offer cost savings. Mason jars filled with flowers can mark your pews or chairs and also be displayed as center pieces. Garden urns filled with large blooms can mark your ceremony and also be a showcase at your reception.


Easter Surprises. Unexpected Decor For The Holiday.

With Easter just a hop, skip, and jump aways, decorating for guests is definitely on the mind.  Of course flowers are always our “go-to”, but don’t feel limited to all floral pieces.  Easter and spring in general are a great time to play with alternative add-ins for decorating your home!


{1} Sweet Treats.  With baskets full of brightly colored candies, we’re so inspired by sweet ad-ins for floral designs.  Think jelly beans, bunny peeps, or chocolate foiled eggs.


{2} Succulent Surprises.  For a modern twist on traditional Easter floral displays, add in succulents.  These structured, fleshy blooms are perfect for tucking into floral pieces, or simply standing alone.  Our favorite look is succulents tucked into dyed eggs, just like above!


{3} Grasses Galore.  Spring is finally here (we hope), so showcasing something as simple as grasses might be just the perfect touch.  Wheat grass pared with colorful spring flowers, placed in spring inspired vases, or paired with easter staples like colored eggs with make for a beautiful Easter display.

Easterblog2{4} Veggie-tastic.  Go beyond the traditional norms of floral design and add in some unexpected elements.  Vegetables like radishes, carrots, and lettuce are perfect to keep guests looking twice at your unique design.

7037a7534d04d7c5c97cb64009d5efab{5} Mossy Must Haves.  Moss covered pieces are perfect for subtle touches of easter and spring.  Covering spheres or your favorite Easter shapes in moss is a trend savvy touch to your holiday home decor.

A Tree For The Town Of Greece

photo 3

Over the last 15 years Rockcastle Florist has had the privilege of decorating the Christmas Tree for the Town of Greece, located in the Town Hall.  Working with town officials annually, we determined a theme based on holiday trends or local events.

photo 1

This year we opened the theme up for a community vote through a joint social media campaign with the Town of Greece.  Several themes were posted and Baubles & Bows was voted most popular!  Keeping this theme in mind we dressed the tree in glamour colors of turquoise, fuchsia, lime green, and purple. We added lime green mesh to add volume to the tall tree and the unique holiday colors all contributed to this whimsical tree theme.

photo 2

The 16′ Fraser Fur Tree was provided by Mountain Ash Tree Farm in Greece and the official lighting was Thursday December 5, accompanied by middle school choral groups and a visit from Santa Clause.

photo 4

Special thanks to our Marketing Director Pauleen Vacca for creating this social media campaign, Rockcastle Designer Robin Copey, Andrew Lang from the Town of Greece for working the ladder and trimming the tall spots, and Kathryn Firkins, also from the Town of Greece, for providing direction on this project.

Holiday Wreaths

Now that Thanksgiving is over it’s time to bust out the home with some holiday decor.  So dust off those bulbs, fluff up that garland, and don’t forget a special holiday wreath.


When choosing a wreath for your home, the first option to consider is fresh vs. artificial.  You can’t beat the seasonal smell that a fresh wreath brings into the home, but artificial wreaths are a great investment to decorate your home from year to year.


Decide where you would like to display your holiday wreaths.  Some popular locations include the front door of your home or above a fireplace mantel.  But consider wreath alternatives, like displaying over a large mirror in your entry way, hanging over your dining room table, or as a centerpiece with a large candle in the center.


Don’t forget that wreaths make a great remembrance piece during the holidays.  Your local florist will have easels available for cemetary display.

Tips For Beautiful Wedding Flowers

{1} Plan on scheduling an appointment for approximately one hour with a Professional Florist (or two) to discuss the floral items you are interested in for your wedding.  Have the following details decided on before you meet………

  • Logistics/Dates/Locations and Times
  • Bridal Party attire/colors
  • Dresses should be ordered to provide color and style direction
  • Where you will place floral décor at the ceremony, reception… who will you want to have personal flowers
  • Start your research and have ideas about what you like and don’t like in wedding flowers, provide visual information whenever possible
  • Floral Budget….have some idea or price range in mind before you start the floral planning of what you are willing to spend on your wedding flowers


{2} Research….with so much visual information available, it’s easy to find inspiration on line or in wedding publications. Accumulate photos of likes and dislikes to show your Florist in order for them to get a good feel for your wedding vibe. You don’t need to be experienced in the language of flowers to communicate the looks you are going for, but the more visual ideas you can share will help your Designer to get on the same page with you. Pinterest is a great social media site to gather inspiration and find amazing ideas for your wedding flowers a very effective way to share information with your florist.

Canal Town Photo 2

{3} Style….consider what “looks” best capture your personalities as a couple. Will you be more comfortable celebrating outdoors or in a more traditional Church ceremony?  Will formal sophistication rule the day or casual elegance fit your style? Try not to get too caught up in traditions…today’s weddings are all about the couples , their lifestyle and how they want to share the most important day with family and friends.


{4} Color….consider colors as accents not necessarily needing to match the colors of the bridal party.  Pink flowers in front of a pink dress will be lost in your photographs. Contrasting and complimentary colors will work best and you can always include the colors of the day, but mix hues to create a scheme that will hi lite your wedding party.0040

{5} Flower Varieties…..Don’t get tied down with too many specific flowers. Certain varieties of flowers are not consistent throughout the year. Stay true to a style and color scheme and allow your designer the creative license to make recommendations.


{6} Texture is an important element in wedding designs. Ask your designer to suggest items that will add texture to your designs and watch them come to life.


{7} Ceremony Décor…There are many areas to consider depending on your venue, our best tip for you is to consider pew bows/or chair accent designs. This will accentuate your walk down the aisle and provide visual interest before, during and after your ceremony.


{8} Reception Décor….Centerpieces are the main attraction here! Currently alternating high/low centerpieces are a popular item and composites of multiple designs for tables are growing in popularity too. Centerpieces can offer a beautiful visual display for the reception, but can eat up your floral budget fast. This is an area to be very candid with your Florist about your favorite looks and your budget to allow them to suggest ways to accomplish this.


{9} Trust….find a Florist/Designer who you can strike a positive relationship with.  The consultation time is a good place to feel out the designer. Are they providing the looks you like, do they seem to understand your needs, are they someone you can have a positive professional relationship with? Look for a Florist with a strong social media presence that also has photographs of their work available to share with you.  Provide them with your floral preferences and budget and trust them to provide you with the best presentation possible.


{10} Choose a Florist by reputation, experience and quality of design…. not by price. There will always be someone out there to offer flowers at a lower cost. Choosing your wedding florist based on a friend’s recommendation or because they offered the lowest price on their quote may not provide the best fit for YOUR WEDDING.

Edible Easter Table Scape

We’re celebrating Easter early at our house this year!! Now that our Daughter lives away at school, I like the house to feel festive when she’s home on break. Mary and her cousins are grown now, so we are beyond Easter Egg Hunts and other Holiday traditions.


This year I am incorporating Easter Basket elements into my table scape.  I love my Mackenzie Childs pieces and look for every opportunity to use them, even when they may not be an obvious fit.


A solid chocolate bunny perched on my pedestal dish with Easter grass and malted candy eggs in two sizes are the focal point of the design.  Adding small vases with tufts of Babies Breath compliment my black and white table settings. The black and white check carried through the ribbon is an unexpected element for Easter, but works well with my Décor. To finish off the design there are sprinkles of candy and edible Easter confetti sprinkled along the table.  Guests can feel welcome to nibble on candy after dinner along with other desserts. But please Don’t Eat the Babies’ Breath!!


Look for my upcoming class that I will be teaching at the Rochester Brainery….Entertaining with Flowers.


Robin’s Trip To The Philadelphia Flower Show

We’re excited to have one of our own designers, Robin, as a guest blogger this week. She will be sharing her experience on the Philadelphia Flower Show:


Brilliant!  Was the motto used for the Philadelphia flower show this year. The theme was English Garden, which is a personal favorite of mine.  Our American interpretation of an English Garden included everything from tropical palms and exotic orchids, (Yes, some mild zones in Great Britain have tropical floral and fauna!) to lush beds of tulips, iris, crocus and azalea.  In true fashion there were wrought iron gates left open just enough to invite you to look inside the well manicured turf paths lined with every shade of Foxglove and Delphinium.  Gargoyles kept watch from secret corners and Alice found her way to the rabbit hole after dining at the most whimsical of tea parties.
Not only do artists, growers, designers, gardeners and engineers work all year thinking of ways to express their creativity while staying within a theme, but how to efficiently set up and tear down perishable and permanent items in less than a week and still showcase their passions and livelihood.  It’s personal.  Every person that gazes at your prize Bromeliad or stops to smell the reddest of the Camelias is a judge.  No matter what their opinions are though, everyone agrees it is an honor to be there on display and an honor that you have earned with patience, hard work and flair.
Schaffer designs out of Philly created a labyrinth of dark, industrial cubicles that each held an interpretative representation of Jack the Ripper’s London scene around 1888.  It was by far, the most intriguing space to me and was simply titled “Jack”.  The bloody rose laden bedroom sheltered a bed of thorns and hypnotised viewers with sensual fear.  There were feminine, cymbidiums representing the young woman so viciously taken.  Even the underground sewers that became someone’s hell were elegantly designed with the use of fresh flowers, strangling vines, sculptures and creepy lighting.
Your royal highness did not make it to the show, but a lovely throne of scarlet roses and a crown of the deepest magenta celosia was there to represent.  On the hour Big Ben would transform into a source of loud, mad British pop fun.
Everyone from Benny Hill to Led Zeppelin, The Beatles to Monte Python were there.  It was not at all peculiar to look around and see old and young setting down their bundles of curly willow and fresh roses to start singing along to their favorite songs.  All that dancing and frivolity can make for a thirsty crowd.  So off to one of the 5 portable pubs located between the live floral design shows and the potpourri of vendors!  I had to brace myself in hopes that the bags of alternative peat moss would cushion my fall after finding out my Vodka tonic was $7.50, but the day trip to Philadelphia, PA from Rochester, NY was worth it.  The pure banquet of color and inspiration helps shed the winter blues and inspires all to make their space, no matter which side of the pond, a magical space that feeds your senses and creativity and makes you stop and smell the roses.