March 2020 vs. March 2021

Back when we thought hand sanitizer would save us all.

It’s hard to imagine that this time last year we were living in a pre-pandemic world. What was a life of freedom – leaving your house, aimlessly browsing the paper products aisle in grocery stores, dining indoors with large groups for dinner – is now wishful thinking.

What a luxury it was to not think about grabbing a mask as you head out the door for a walk with a friend, which now would be a socially distanced meeting. March 2020 B.C. (before COVID) was a moment in time we took advantage of.

As we reflect on the past year, we remember our last event, Erin Go Glam, on March 13th, 2020 before the world and the event industry shut down. The luncheon hosted by Ridgewells Catering is an annual gathering for industry heads from florists, planners, caterers, rental companies, etc. to showcase our work and get together for Saint Patrick’s Day before event season takes off.

Attendees mingled while getting festive themed cocktails from the bar
Tables featured camellia trees as centerpieces that tied in with the "Irish Countryside" theme.

Little did we know, and unaware of the severity of what was to come with the COVID crisis, Erin Go Glam was the last hurrah and normal event for us in 2020. Aside from the elephant in the room that was the chatter of coronavirus, there was still that hustle and bustle we miss so much, and even a live petting zoo where sheep greeted guests. Attendees browsed around the venue space, perusing vendors, shopping at the jewelry tables while freely heading up to the bar to get a cocktail, provided by Cocktail Creations...What a wild concept to us now! River dancers entertained the crowd with their fancy footwork and put TikTok dancers to shame.

Escort cards were tied to a faux ivy wall as guests looked for their names to make their way to their seats. The luncheon tables were filled with centerpieces made of saturated greens, ferns, rich red ranunculus, various roses and delphinium to complete the wildflower look. The Irish Countryside theme allowed us to utilize all types of greenery including different types of moss.

We are grateful to have this event to look back on because it was such a pivotal moment in time, and allows us to look toward what's ahead. After being quarantined this year with very few events to plan for, our creative juices are flowing and our team is ready to get back into preparing for events as they used to be.

Currently at Helen Olivia Flowers, our small staff of floral designers are fully masked and spaced out at design stations, with hand sanitizer bottles at the corner of each desk. Our shop is closed for walk-in shoppers but we offer curbside pick-up services. This is our new normal- and not what we were imagining back at Erin Go Glam last March!

Looking ahead to the spring and summer seasons of 2021, we continue to plan events with a focus on health and safety. We have shifted our events business model from in-person bridal consultations and design meetings to virtual video calls and working with venues with smaller capacities. We offer new wedding packages that are focused around the comfort level of our clients and the safety of our staff. From in-studio pickups to full-service installations, we are making the most of our events as we stay hopeful for the future!

2020 was a pivotal (are we sick of that word yet?) year we will never forget. Onward and upward! Here's to more flower-filled days ahead.

VENDORS A/V: AVLD Events Calligraphy: Meant to Be Calligraphy Catering and Planning: Ridgewells Catering Cocktails: Cocktail Curations Decor: Design Foundry Florals: Helen Olivia Floral Design Music: Bialek’s Music Paper: Saima Says Design Photography: Simo Ahmadi, Photography by Simo Portrait Salon: Love Life Images Rentals: Nuage Designs, Perfect Settings, Something Vintage, Table Manners Valet: MJ Valet Venue: Dock 5 at Union Market

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Our flower shop in Alexandria, Virginia, caters to a number of special events, like weddings, parties, celebrations or graduations. Our floral design experts are constantly creating stunning floral, gift and plant design arrangements.



© Helen Olivia Flowers 2021


1519 Leslie Avenue Alexandria VA 22301

Our professional florists can help you choose the most beautiful flowers for any individual or occasion. Our flower arrangements and custom bouquets are delivered to most of Fairfax and Arlington Counties in Virginia, Montgomery and Prince George Counties in Maryland and Washington DC.

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Established in 2005, Helen Olivia Flowers is committed to helping you express your pure sentiments for your near and dear ones with the freshest flowers you can find. We have the perfect hand-made floral arrangements to meet any style or budget. 

No matter what the occasion is, turn to the best flower shop in the historic Old Town Alexandria, VA where our seasoned florists will create a stunning arrangement to delight you. 


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