“With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?” – Oscar Wilde
I haven’t shared any pictures of our garden with you yet, but for now I will tell you briefly that I love plants. Trees, flowers, vines, shrubs, herbs, vegetables, lawns, and meadows…I love all of the flora and fauna. Although I am now an environmental engineer, I took a lot of plant biology classes in college. I plan to go back to school and earn a PhD in plant biology in the next few years. So my interest in plants is actually pretty serious and intellectual…
Anyway, let’s keep things light since this blog is about wedding planning, after all! The bottom line is I have had a strong interest in plants for as long as I can remember. I also love to be outdoors, whether jogging through a tree-lined park, hiking in the Cascades, or even just plopping down on a big lawn in downtown Houston with Mr. Wallaby to have a picnic. That’s why when it came to selecting a venue for our wedding, I was pulling for an outdoor wedding—and Mr. W obliged.
In the first few months of our engagement, I put off booking a florist. I decided to order flowers wholesale from Costco or fiftyflowers.com, and I would arrange the flowers the day before the wedding with help from my awesome bridesmaids and family members. I crunched some numbers and found that I could get a lot more bang for my buck—I could order many more beautiful blooms if I provided my own labor instead of hiring a florist’s help. I didn’t realize, though, how few women will be able to lend a hand the day before the wedding. All of the women on Mr. W’s side will be swamped with getting the sofreh aghd ready. Several of my bridesmaids will have to work, since the day before the wedding is a Friday and thus a normal workday. My mom would happily help, but she is a type-A woman and I wouldn’t want to put her through the stress of doing our own flowers. So I gave in and hired a florist. (To all of the DIY flower brides out there—more power to you! I admire you and wish I had enough help the day before the wedding to make DIY flowers possible!)
At the advice of Mama Wallaby and Mr. W, I began browsing reviews of various florists in the Houston metropolitan area on WeddingWire and The Knot. Meanwhile, I was stalking my venue’s Facebook page for pictures of recent weddings. (My word of advice: It is really helpful to find inspiration from other weddings that have taken place at your venue! It allows you to see how past couples have utilized the space and how different decor ideas fit in with the venue.) I found a blog post of a wedding that took place at Oak Tree Manor this past spring with absolutely stunning bouquets and floral arrangements. The florist was highly rated on The Knot and was on my “short list” of vendors to call. Since those dots connected, I called the florist to set up a consultation. I met with Lisa from Petals by Design one day after work to discuss my vision as well as our tight budget.
When I met with Lisa, I came armed with at least a dozen inspiration pictures. I am a big fan of wild-looking bouquets with lots of greenery and unexpected elements like seed pods and dried berries. I also would prefer to buy flowers that are in season—both to save money and because I think you get the best selection from a bigger seasonal crop. Here are some of the ideas I showed Lisa:
A colorful mix of flowers and greenery arranged in a small cluster of vases for centerpieces / Flowers and photo by Paula Pryke via Country Living
A colorful, wispy bouquet of clematis vine, lady moon roses, astrantia, silver brunia, seeded eucalyptus, white dahlias, and gomphrena / Flowers by The Full Bouquet / Photo by Anne Robert via The Full Bouquet
I had been intimidated to meet with a florist because I was worried that the cost of centerpieces for 14 tables would be through the roof. However, since Mr. W and I will be providing our own vases for the centerpieces, and since we are ordering less elaborate, fairly small arrangements, we don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to have fresh blooms at our wedding. Hooray! We will also have small bouquets for the six bridesmaids, and the groomsmen will sport boutonnieres. Oh, and I will carry a bouquet of these lovely blooms too. I can’t wait.
I can’t provide a full review of Lisa’s services yet, but I can say that I have a lot of confidence in Lisa’s ability to make it happen on our wedding day. She is incredibly talented at creating beautiful, unique flower arrangements, so I’ve given her a lot of creative license over our wedding flowers. She and I also bonded over our shared love of Seattle—she and her husband recently traveled there, and they are enamored with the Pacific Northwest. So I think she understood my desire for green, wild-looking flowers.
To brides on a budget out there, here are a few tips:
Now I am counting down the days until November when I can see Lisa work her magic for us! Any other brides out there have a similar experience with booking a florist?