I was pretty intrigued by the idea. Years ago, my sister Lisa and I helped our younger sister Tamara do wedding flowers for one of her family members and I had done bouquets and boutineers for my niece Rebecca's new sister-in-law a few years ago as well, so I'd had a little experience.
This was a little more challenging though. I was going to be in charge and I was doing all the flowers.
Hmmm . . . would I do it?
Of course I would! I love a creative challenge and when it involves fresh flowers, I'm hooked!
Once Leona and I had scoped out a local handcrafted shop and figured out how to balance between rustic (her), elegant (me) and reflect the vintage the bride was looking for, (and that I love) I was ready for the first step.
I started out by making a few boards on Pinterest and sharing it with the bride to get a feel for her style and colours. Once she had chosen her favorites, I headed to Costco to pick up an assortment of flowers I thought we might use. Leona and Annemarie (the bride) came over for a visit and I put together a few ideas for the bouquets. The next step was to raid my styling shelves for a variety of vases, china, cake pedestals and glass cloches as a starting point for the floral arrangements that would decorate the church and reception. (I learned about keeping an assortment of pretty things to use for styling Thanksgiving dinner tables, a Christmas mantle or even just a pretty vignette on my side table from Rachel Ashwell) I also got to see Annemarie's beautiful wedding gown and figure out how to incorporate a vintage pin belonging to the groom's grandmother.
It's so much fun to take all the pretty things I've collected over the years and find a new way use them together. Once we added a beautiful plant stand I had tucked in a corner of my office, the look started to come together.
Roses were ordered from Costco online and the rest of my flowers came from our local wholesale florist. I must say, figuring out just which flowers to use in addition to the ones we did the trial with, as well as how many of each would be needed, was pretty tricky.
Thankfully, the woman at the florists was very helpful.
As the wedding came closer, I started getting nervous and began haunting YouTube for tutorials on everything from making hand tied bouquets, to how to construct corsages and boutineers. It never hurts to take a refresher and some of the beautiful work out there was so inspiring.
My stomach grew queasy, sick at the thought that the roses might not be delivered in time, or, delivered, but broken or wilted . . .
Did I have enough flowers?? Too many?? Would the school's refrigerator hold all the arrangements??
My antiperspirant got a real workout the week before the wedding.
A project like this was too big for me to do alone so I recruited my daughter Holly and friend Audrey, as they both have an excellent sense of style and have had experience doing flowers before.
All that sweating the week before also made me question whether I had enough help. . . thankfully, Jesse wasn't working yet and he too has a great sense of style and he's super handy! He was recruited as well.
That turned out to be a lifesaver. Holly went to bed the night before our big day sick, and woke up the next morning even sicker. She came anyways, but we were all grateful for the extra pair of hands.
The roses arrived right on time. I picked up the flowers from the wholesale and got straight to work prepping the flowers. Outer petals and thorns needed to be removed from 200 roses, then leaves and unsightly petals had to come off all the other flowers. Jesse spent the evening getting the center pieces for the reception prepped.
The day before the wedding arrived and we loaded up the truck and headed to school where we were going to put everything together.
You know what??
It was great fun. We all had similar tastes when it came to putting everything together and I love collaborating with other creatives. Everything turned out beautifully and aside from a few glitches like the fridge being too cold and freezing some of the flowers (good thing I had extras to fix the arrangements with!) it went much more smoothly than I had expected. My help left around supper time and I finished up around 11 that night with a few fixes needed the next morning due to the freezing that occurred to some of the arrangements and a couple of bouquets.
It was an amazing creative adventure and I'm thankful for the opportunity to take it.
I ended up with waaay too many pictures for this post even though I neglected to take a good close up of the bouquets, corsages or boutineers (It seems that, although I ramble in both word and photo, I was not thinking like a photographer or blogger during this project . . .) so I indulged myself and made a short (non HD) video slideshow with them instead.
Enjoy . . .