Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wed Recap: The most important recap

Why is this the most important recap?  Because next to the dress, it has to do with the one thing the bride will have on her almost the entire day - her bouquet!  That little beloved beauty typically means a lot to most brides.  But it also coincides with another huge aspect of your decor and style for the day - all the florals...whether silk or real, they are a huge part of most weddings.  So this the recap of all of my amazing florals and the lessons I learned going through this process of selecting, designing, and most importantly carrying or wearing the florals on my wedding day.  Before I start with the info, I just wanted to post the only photo I have of my florist on the wedding day since she was just so incredibly amazing!  She was super affordable, super creative, super accommodating and nice and super stealth like!  On the day of the wedding, she was in and out setting everything up, dropping off bouquets and then off for the day. 

As a matter of fact, I didn't even get to thank her on the day of the wedding.  So my first tip begins there:

TIP # 1:  Be sure to ask your florist to personally deliver your bouquet(s) to you on the day of the wedding.  That way he/she gets to see your reaction (hopefully a good one) and you get to thank her/him in person.  This is Allison of Flower Allie...USE HER if you are in the So Cal area!  You will not be disappointed.

*  My bouquet
          Consisted of dark reds and burgundys:  Black Magic Roses, Red Tulips, Mokara orchids, Burgundy Cymbidium orchids, Burgundy Dahlias, Small spray and red roses.  It held up really well.

By Yan Freedline

I gave my florist a small blue brooch to add to the bouquet as my something blue which was Mr Fix It's mother's brooch.  She passed away when she was only 49 so this was very special to me to incorporate.

I did *NOT* want any greens or berries in my bouquet.  I was adamant about that.  And I wanted a very different type of ribbon wrap...Allison said another local florist uses this wrap all the time.  I loved the way the ivory ribbon was all gathered around the bottom of the bouquet. 

TIP #2:  Allison asked me to bring her some of the fabric from my wedding gown after my seamstress had hemmed it.  She was going to use it to create the ribbon wrap.  Unfortunately I forgot to bring it to her but this is a great tip for fellow brides.

TIP #3:  Be sure to discuss the height and weight and shape of your bouquet with your florist.  For as thorough as I was, I didn't think about these issues when we were discussing the bouquet.  As much as I loved this bouquet on the wedding day, it was honestly just way too damn heavy!  I mean, look at it in this photo - it covers almost my entire torso from waist to the top of my bust!  (Note that this was totally not Allison's fault...something I should have considered when we just kept adding flowers to the arrangement!)

And check out these two photos...look at my arms and how I am straining to hold the bouquet up...you don't want to have to feel this way all day long during your wedding, ladies...so please take this into consideration!

I also wish it would have been 'rounder' in shape instead of longer vertically.  I didn't really think about this until I saw the second bouquet that Allison made for me to use in our post wedding shoot.  It was a rounder bouquet which I really loved...it sits better on your dress for photos like these:
By Rachel Garcia
But the weight thing is most important.  My bouquet was so heavy that, I wanted to put it down throughout the day.  As soon as I got to the top of the altar, you see me handing it to my sister.  Now the MOH will usually hold the bride's bouquet as well as her own during the ceremony and then hand it back to the bride just before she returns back down the aisle.  Or sometimes, the MOH will hand it to the bridesmaid next to her so she can fix the bride's train while she is on the altar.  But for me, as soon as I handed my bouquet off to my sister, I told her to set it on the ground next to her because it was just way too freaking heavy for her to hold during the entire ceremony! :)

*  Bridesmaid Bouquets
          Consisted of:  Red Tulips, Green Hydrangea, Burgundy Dahlias, Black Magic Roses, Green Bear Grass, Green Jade Roses.

Originally I wanted my BM bouquets to be mostly blue hydrangea along with a couple jade green and black magic roses.  But after sharing the basic style I wanted with my florist, I let her finish it off.  The main thing I told her was the type of flowers I wanted and the fact that I wanted the bear grass weaved in and around the bouquets.  I love the way she finished them off.  She urged me to get away from the blue flowers and instead go for the blue ribbon wrap and then stick to more red and greens.  I told her as long as they didn't remind me of Christmas bouquets or colors, I'd be happy.  She didn't let me down.  I loved the spring feel of the Jade Green roses and Green Hydrangea.

By Yan Freedline
You can see my blue brooch on my bouquet really well in this photo

TIP #4:  Listen to your florist!  If you hired them, it's probably because you liked their work.  So trust their experience.  I originally wanted my BM bouquets to have the same type of ribbon wrap as my bouquet.  But Allison called me a day or two before the wedding and said she was concerned that the wrap was too much with the green bear grass that was sticking out of the bouquets.  The bear grass was more important to me than the ribbon wrap, so I told her I trusted her to make it look 'right.'

*  Wrist corsages for the mothers
          Consisted of:  One single white gardenia flower

I did not want to do the pin on corsage for the moms and I wasn't super excited about the little tussy mussy or small spray bouquets for them to carry either.  I had seen a few magazine pics of a single bloom on a wrist and told Allison that a pure white flower would be perfect to complement their dresses and colors.

Overall, I loved the idea and they were really pretty.  Unfortunately, this was one of the only things I was a little disappointed about regarding the florals.  My mother's flower fell off of her bracelet as soon as we were done taking the formal photos before the ceremony and my mother in law's gardenia was browning at the tips before the ceremony as well.  I think that was partly just because gardenia's are a very delicate flower that don't hold up as well.

TIP #5:  If you go with this idea, ask your florist how they are going to secure wrist corsages and be sure to use sturdy flowers - not delicate or easily wilted ones.  Though I loved the idea, I wasn't super excited about the little plastic pearl type bracelet that they came on.  I think I would have preferred a simple ribbon tied around their wrist.  Another little detail I didn't think of.

*  Boutonnieres
          Groom's consisted of one single Burgundy Cymbidium bloom.  It was horrible!  It did not last at all.  Within less than an hour it was wilting and falling apart.  But it was his own fault...my florist and I didn't like that flower for a bout at all but even after showing Mr Fix It a gardenia and a gerbera daisy, he insited on using the cymbidium orchid.

The Groomsmen bouts consisted of small green orchids tied to a metallic blue wire with a few green berries. 

I actually really liked these.  Unfortunately, my photographer did a horrible job of getting shots of all the different floral elements.  So I had to take other photos and crop them to zoom in on these type of things. 

I think the only thing I would have changed was maybe only using 2 blooms instead of 3 and spreading them out just a bit so they were more distinctive.

Ring Bearer's bouts consisted of a single green kermit mum (also called a mini mum I think) with a metallic blue wire wrapped around it.  It was perfect for the little boys tuxes.

TIP #6:  Be sure to ask your florist to 1) stick around to assist with attaching the bouts to your wedding party and 2) leave you extra pins to attach bouts.  Somehow, one of our ring bearers didn't show up until well after we started photos so when it came time to put his bout on him all of the pins had been taken.  I believe there were only enough for each individual bout and someone grabbed an extra one.  (We didn't need our florist to stick around because our DOC helped the guys get their bouts on)

*  Flower Girl Wand & Wreath
          I gave my flower girl the option of carrying a wand bouquet or carrying a bucket of petals to toss and she opted for the wand which I actually wanted anyway.  :)  I sent my florist like 2 photos of some wands I had seen on blogs or in mags and told her to just incorporate the wedding colors.  I really didn't give her any other direction and she came up with this adorable little wand with the turqouise ribbons streaming off all on her own.  You can see it consists of a few of the same flowers from the other bouquets.

I also wanted a wreath for my FG.  Again, I didn't give her much direction other than to incorporate the same colors and flowers.  This is one of my fave pics of my FG with her mom (my cousin) during our ceremony. 

As you can see by this pic which shows the back of the FG's wreath, it didn't go all the way around her head but rather had a ribbon to tie it in the back so it fit a little better.  And somehow my florist managed to match the ribbon color perfectly to the gown and the other ribbons.

*  Ring Bearer Pillow
          Consisted of tons of mini kermit mums tied with a ribbon around it to hold the 'rings.'  Of course, my florist attached fake rings to the pillow...I didn't even need to ask her (which I forgot to do).  She just showed up on the day of the wedding with the pillow and fake rings attached.

Again, my photog did not get one single shot of this thing on it's own and so I had to zoom in on it from another photo.  Best I could do...sorry, Allison :(  And I didn't even see the pillow once all day long on our wedding day either which irritated me more that he didn't get a good shot of it :(

TIP #7:  Get creative with things like your RB pillow.  It doesn't have to be traditional.  I loved the idea of creating our pillow out of nothing but florals.  It was unique and matched with the colors and other florals of the RB's bouts and such perfectly!
*  Ceremony
          I wanted to keep the ceremony decor minimal since the main reason I picked this venue is because of the beautiful flowers and trees that already line the grounds.  Some people still go crazy at our venue with their ceremony flowers but this was the least of my budget focus.  As such, I opted NOT to put anything on the arch above our heads at the altar. 

I still wanted our aisle to be done up and we didn't have any type of a runner.  So instead, I found a pic on a web site that I shared with my florist.  We took a single dark red (burgundy?) gerbera daisy and tied it with ribbon in turquoise color to the end of each row of chairs. 

For the altar arrangements and the end of the aisle, we used a tall spray of dark red tulips on the top of a tall vase with a few submerged tulips inside.  To bring in the turquoise color, Allison added a simple blue ribbon at the top of the vase.  This also served nicely to hide the floralyte that was attached inside the top of each vase to help light up the vases during the reception. 

TIP #8:  We used 4 of our tall arrangements from the reception area to decorate the ceremony area.  As soon as the ceremony was over, our DOC and her team carried the 4 arrangements back up to the reception area and placed them on the tables.  Since the guests hadn't entered the dining room yet, no one knew any different and we saved money not having to pay for additional arrangements for the ceremony.

For the aisle I also loved some images I found of a deep gutter of dark red petals lined with a few sporatically placed green spider mums.  This was a great way to bring in more of the spring green accent color in our wedding decor and to help make the gutter of petals a bit more unique and bright.

Here's another pic I love of the tall arrangements at the end of the aisle.  My florist 'loaned' us all of the vases and the red boxes that we used for the ceremony area free of charge.  Rather than having to pay a rental fee, she allowed us to use them with the understanding that our DOC would tear everything down at the end of the night and return all of the florist's vases to her shop the next day.  This also saved us from having to pay an extra delivery fee!

TIP #9:  Try to see if you can hire vendors who work with each other so that you can take advantage of discounted services between them.  Since our DOC knew and worked with our florist on other weddings, the florist offset our costs by having the DOC help with returning the vases and such.

Here is the finished product.  This is the best shot I have of the entire thing set up and it was taken by my cousin.

By Amber Marquez

This is another photo I love because it shows the huge flowers that were part of the venue's grounds.  We specifically chose the month of April to get married in because we knew that all the flowers and leaves would be in bloom and the So Cal weather would be perfect - not too cold and not too hot!

A great angle of the venue's flowers

*  Memorial Table
          Consisted of a personalized vase engraved with the names of our loved ones who had passed on.  I had our florist keep with the main 'tulip' theme by using tulips in this vase but in a white color for the memorial.  This was the only place (besides the mom's wrist corsages) that I used white florals of any kind.

*  Cocktail Tables
          Again, I wanted to keep this part of the decor extremely simple!  You can make a bold and unique statement with very minimal florals...believe me.  And besides, as you can see in this photo behind the brown tables and lounge chairs, the venue itself already offered a pool lined with lots of in bloom florals in our cocktail area.

For the lounge tables, we had a vase filled with submerged mochara orchids and a floating candle at the top.  Very simple and pretty way to bring in the red colored florals.
By Yan Freedline

For the seated and standing tables in the cocktail area, we didn't want to clutter the tables since I was hoping the guests would be filling out guest book pages and eating :)  So we opted for a very small square vase with submerged red gems (same as the inside reception centerpieces) and a single spider mum bloom in them.  This again carried in the green spider mums from the ceremony and I loved how the little pop of spring green accents meshed with the main wedding colors of cranberry red and turquoise linens.

A close up of the cocktail table centerpieces:

*  Reception Tables
          Everyone questioned my decision to use turquoise with cranberry red as our wedding colors.  Mr Fix It thought that it would look like the 4th of July with red, white and blue and my mother was concerned it was just too bright.  But when our guests walked into our reception dining room, they adored the colors and details and florals just as much as I did.  And Mr Fix It and Mom gave me a huge stamp of approval and loved it!

We alternated the dinner tables with high and 'low' arrangements to help offset the cost....and because I really did not want to have the exact same centerpiece on every single one of our 20 tables!

The low centerpieces really weren't low but rather were more simple with just 4-6 single tulips submerged in a taller rectangular vase.  To keep it from being 'too simple' we placed 2 or 3 small votive type vases around them with a single burgundy dahlia bloom in them.  I loved this!  And the guests thought it was very unique to have submerged florals.  Sorry that my photographer took all these photos before the caterer and DOC had set up the reception room so you're going to see tables without being fully set up with glassware, silverware, candles, etc :(

This was the tall centerpiece.  It was about 3 dozen tulips sprayed out of a tall vase.  We wanted to be sure not to block the guests view of each other while trying to chat across the table...a very important concern.  We also carried in the submerged tulips from the alternate tables by submerging 3 tulips in each of the tall arrangements.

Here is the one and only shot I have of our entire room all set up for the reception.  It was thankfully captured by my videographer's wife!  It's still day light outside and we didn't enter this room until after it was just about dark so it's not quite the same effect...but you get the idea.
By Yan Freedline

For our sweetheart table, we needed to keep it very simple.  We sat on the dance floor and then as soon as dinner was finished, had them tear down our table to make room for dancing.  I didn't give our florist any real direction on this at all.  She just placed a few of the kermit mums around the table along with some votives and some spider mums, roses and dahlias as we had on the other cocktail and reception tables.  I loved it. 

And to finish all this up, here is a little 'inspiration board' style recap I put together using Shutterly Studio to showcase many of the florals from our big day.

I always give huge props to those brides who make their own flowers and set up their own decor using silk or real florals.  No way was I going to worry about that stuff on the day before or during our wedding....and frankly I just don't have that talent! 

Our flowers took up about 7% of our total budget and were relatively inexpensive.  Most brides have no idea how expensive flowers are when they first start planning a wedding.  Allison of Flower Allie prides herself on being able to do most weddings for under $3,000 which ours definitely was!  Allison was amazing to work with and she kept telling me how people are going to think I spent $100,000.00 on our wedding!  And a lot of them probably did think that!  To me it wasn't anything over the top, just a lot of thoughts and ideas and things I liked and wanted to incorporate that my ever so amazing florist brought together in a well thought out cohesive plan which was professionally executed. 
Share Time:  How important were the florals to you in your wedding planning process?  What part of your budget did you allow for florals?  Did you make them yourself? 
Some additional WEDDING TIPS: 

1)  For boutonnieres, corsages, etc that have a single flower that may be something delicate or that does not hold up well under weather and time, ask the florist to give you a discount and create a duplicate 'back up' copy of these so that if one is destroyed or dies, you have a second on reserve in a vase or fridge somewhere to change into later during the day.

2)  A really good florist should definitely include an opportunity for you to see a full fledged mockup of your centerpiece idea BEFORE your wedding day.  This should be included in your contract and will provide you the opportunity to make revisions based on sizes, colors and costs.

3)  Just because it's your wedding does *NOT* mean you need to have a white bouquet or white florals.  I personally love white florals but I did not use them anywhere in my wedding decor other than the memorial vase.  I really prefer a bouquet of some color against a bride's white gown...but that's just my personal preference.  My sister actually had a red and green bouquet at her wedding and then used all white bouquets for the bridesmaids against their chocolate brown dresses.  It was beautiful!

Unless otherwise indicated, all photos by Robert Mullins Photography


EmilyB said...

Your flowers are probably top 3 wedding flowers I've ever seen. I love them SO much. And lord knows as brides we sift through a TON of flower pics. But really, yours are so gorgeous. You have great vision and your florist is obviously a genius.

I was not in love with my bouquet or the BM bouquets, unfortunately. Our ceremony flowers and centerpieces were STUNNING, but the personal flowers were different than I imagined and I was not pleased. Oh well, life goes on, I guess :)

SG to SP said...

Your flowers were really pretty, I love the colors!! The ringbearer pillow is too cute!

I definitely understand the heavy bouquet issue, I was a bridesmaid in a wedding and the BM bouquets were even very heavy.

I made sure to point out to my florist that I'm petite and therefore didn't want a huge bouquet that would cover my whole dress or be heavy and she did a great job with mine and the bridesmaids. I decided to go with the all white for mine b/c I love the classic all white look and wanted it set apart from the BM's.

My MIL and her sister did our reception flowers which saved a LOT of money and I thought they did a great job for non-professionals :)

PartyPlannerGal said...

All of your flowers are fantastic! I love how they turned out. The vases your florist used for the aisle arrangements look like the exact vases we're using for our centerpieces. Blog post about that coming tomorrow :)

Ghenet said...

Your flowers were beautiful! I love how everything tied together.

Bicoastal Bride said...

Your florals all look gorgeous, and these are all really great tips. I really agree that the bouquets are so important, especially the bride's, since the bouquet can really "make or break" some of the photos. I just love the creative photos our photographer got of my bouquet, and its design was exactly what I had envisioned. I know what you mean about the weight, too! My bouquet was smaller than yours, and it was still really heavy!

JEM - Aqua Bride said...

Your flowers were so absolutely gorgeous. I'm not a big flower person but I have to say that yours were beautiful. I opted to go with crystal bouquets and Mr. Muscle worried about me throwing the bouquet and killing someone. ha, ha.

Of course I had a separate throw away bouquet made from silk flowers.

BigAppleNosh said...

Great tips! I love your bouquet; I went for a similar look with the deep red (used peonies though) :)

kjpugs said...

I have never seen a bouquet wrap like yours! It's amazing! And I love those button/kermit mums too.

Morgan said...

Such great tips for future brides! And your florist sounds like she was wonderful to work with.

I love all of your flower arrangements, it really helped to tie your color scheme together!

Cyn said...

Your florist did an AMAZING job! Seriously while going through your wedding recaps the flowers are one of my favorite parts. And your bouquet was just STUNNING! There is no other word.

Katie said...

Yay for awesome florists! Yours did such a fabulous job: everything looked really lovely! I had the heavy bouquet problem too: my bouquet was LARGE and in charge...it was definitely a workout holding it up the entire day...but it was so gorgeous that it was worth it!

And I'm with you on the non-white bouquets...I originally was going that route, and then I decided that a pop of color would make me the happiest. I love how vibrant yours looked against your dress!

Mrs T said...

Wow you had SO MANY flowers! So pretty.

Those wrist corsages look like the ones I had for my girls - I kinda like the pearls

lbc flower delivery said...

Pretty arrangement! I love it. Wish I can also learn how to arrange flowers.


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