You might remember this picture from my original theme/inspiration board:
So wonderfully whimsical/ via Studio DIY
No matter where I was in planning, this image kept creeping back into my mind…big, beautiful, vibrant flowers made from crepe paper danced in my mind until I finally caved and ordered the materials from Castle in the Air to make a trial bouquet. As a side note, let me just say how glad I am that Castle in the Air is across the country from me because I would be there EVERY DAY if it was nearby. They were the sweetest, most helpful business and they send their packages with a pretty sweet little newsletter listing all of the their many classes and offerings. Seriously, better than candy.
I hope everyone who celebrated American Thanksgiving had a lovely day! I’m taking a quick break from my wedding recaps to share a craft with you that I made in preparation for Christmas. I promise: we’ll be back to your regularly scheduled recaps next week. As a special bonus: I have two ideas for the same craft!
But first: some news. I got a PWC and it feels great!
Anyway, now onto crafting.
Oh how I love wedding-day-details posts! I hope you enjoy mine as much as I’ve enjoyed other bee bloggers’ posts! I definitely took the minimalist approach to my wedding day accessories. I knew that I was going to have a “statement” gown, especially with the blue sash, so I wanted all of my other details to remain subdued to allow the dress to take center stage.
I also never took too much thought about the “somethings” (i.e., something old, something new) as part of my wedding-day accessories. But I think I inadvertently managed to hit all of them except “something borrowed”—oh well!
All photographs are by Christopher Helm Photography.
Perhaps my favorite wedding-day accessory was my beautiful bouquet created by Gardenia Floral Design. It was packed with pink roses, giant peach-colored garden roses, and pops of blue delphinium. The colors were inspired by the gowns and sets of the Sophia Coppola film Marie Antoinette. The stems were wrapped in lace from my mother’s wedding dress and secured with a blue ribbon which I bought to match my blue sash. The brooch, while I wish it was a cherished family heirloom, was actually purchased at Michaels craft store!
Let’s go back a little bit to just before my hair was done. I’ll try and stick to the timeline, but so many things happened at once that it just isn’t possible. Anyway, there was a knock at the door. Barbara had arrived with my flowers.
I love this woman. Look at that face! How can you not love this woman? She’s SO happy ALL of the time.
I don’t know the first thing about flowers. Nor, let’s be honest, do I particularly care about flowers beyond the important criteria of smelling nice and looking pretty. Is it even possible to have ugly flowers? I don’t think so.
When meeting with the florist of our choice (found via our venue’s preferred vendor list, which was an absolute lifesaver—we weren’t obligated to use any of the vendors on the list, but it was a great starting point), one of the first questions was what types of flowers I liked. Of course, my mind blanked out and I couldn’t even name a flower. Eventually, I stuttered out, “Uh, I like the smell of gardenias?” Which I do, because I am obsessed with the eponymous Marc Jacobs perfume. Of course, I then learn that gardenias are terrible wedding flowers because apparently they die/turn brown really fast. So much for wowing my florist with my excellent taste.
The point is, Stallion and I don’t have to infuse every single aspect of our wedding with our personalities. Sometimes it’s OK to just let flowers be flowers and not an expression of Stallion’s and my relationship. In the age of Pinterest and Style Me Pretty and all the other wedding porn out there, it’s easy to forget that sometimes.
Our florist is more than capable, you know? She’s the expert, not me. So I feel entirely comfortable letting her put together the flowers without overloading her with specifications and Pinterest pictures. I gave her our color scheme (eggplant, lavender, and baby pink—perfect for early spring, if I may say so myself!), and this is is what she proposed.
Here’s a little somethin’ somethin’ for all you DIY fiends out there. A quick, fresh, and easy floral table number project from FiftyFlowers! Enjoy!
This adorable and functional project adds fresh, natural detail to every table while directing guests to their seats.
Check out Part One of my vendor reviews, here!
Haute Floral, www.hautefloral.com, Highly Recommend
I mentioned in my previous post that I wanted my reviews to focus on the vendors I would absolutely hire again if I had to start the whole process over. Kristen of Haute Floral is definitely one of those vendors. Not only is this girl crazy talented, but I just had the best time working with her. And lets be honest—having a wedding florist that you love to talk to and plan with is one of the best things that could happen to a bride.
When I first met with her, I loved how quickly she jumped on board with my ideas and saw my “vision.” A few months later, she completely wowed me with my gorgeous bridal portrait bouquet. And when it was finally time for the wedding, she knocked it out of the park—I loved every part of the flower arrangements and bouquets she put together. I talked about my experience choosing her here, and she certainly lived up to my expectations.
After all, what else would you expect from a wine-themed wedding?
Using wine bottles as vases—either as is or cut down—is nothing new, especially not here on the ‘Bee. I’d figured pretty early on that we’d have a bottle-vase on the altar to place my bouquet in since I wouldn’t have an attendant to hand it off to—it was one of the first decisions I made about my bouquet, next to the given that I’d make it myself. Then, back when I was cutting down the bottles for the centerpieces and all, I started to think about what the top part of the bottles resembled.
Here’s a hint. This:
FloraCraft Gala Bouquet Holder | Image via Amazon.com
Is not all that dissimilar to this:
(With apologies for the cheesy title, I couldn’t resist. OK, I could resist, I just chose not to!)
Knowing I was going to make my own flowers for my bouquet flung the doors of possibility wide open, at first. What helped narrow the focus was realizing that I didn’t want just paper flowers or just fiber flowers or just sparkly beaded flowers—I wanted a mix of all of that and more. And to minimize the potential of it looking like DIY-flower soup, I decided that a unifying factor was needed to tie the disparate parts together, and a monochromatic palette fit the bill nicely.
You’d think there’d be enough here for a single bouquet, but not quite—I needed a couple dozen more before it was all said and done.
Over the course of several months I made roses from crepe paper hearts, knit a variety of different flower patterns, and made some ribbon-style “roses” out of adding-machine tape. Since Mr. Road Trip and I are both in accounting, it seemed like a fun way to personalize the flowers a bit more. I just snagged some printed tape after a mammoth reconciling session and cut it into varying widths to use as ribbon. I also wired some star anise pods onto floral stems and even picked up a few wooden flowers at the hardware store, of all places! (They’re meant as an alternative to reed diffusers and have wicks instead of stems—you could drop perfumes or essential oils onto the wicks to add a nice fragrance to the bouquet, but I picked them up for looks alone.)
Mr. G and I finally had the chance to meet with the florist provided by our Japanese wedding venue last week. We sat down with the florist and he opened up by asking a few questions. “What colors do you like?” “Do you have a particular flower you would like to use?” “Would round arrangements be OK?” Our wedding coordinator jumped in and explained that I wanted to use jars that I had collected for centerpieces rather than a one-pot floral arrangement. I expected the florist’s eyes to light up and we would start talking about how he totally got my vision, but he just looked mystified. It was the same look I got at other venues when I talked about making my own invitations or having a photo booth. It was the “Who is this weirdo?” look.
Japanese weddings are very easy to plan. You book the venue and they take care of everything from invitations to flowers to food. The average time between engagement and wedding in Japan is between two to three months since weddings are so simple to plan. In my experience, it seems that most brides in Japan aren’t interested in planning elaborate DIY or one-of-a-kind weddings that are starting to be more common in other countries.
My Japanese wedding planner is used to all of the DIY ideas and American touches (like escort cards and place cards, which seriously took 20 minutes to explain) that I wanted to add to the wedding, but I think my florist was caught off guard by someone who wanted something a bit different. He hadn’t even brought any sort of catalog or portfolio for me to see what he usually prepares. I’m assuming that the brides he works with just leave everything in his hands. We ended up going over a few inspiration photos, and I explained what I wanted. I hope I conveyed my vision well because I won’t see the flower arrangements until the day of the wedding. I’m pretty nervous about this, but if the flowers don’t turn out well I won’t be too stressed because I will definitely be getting what I want at our American wedding. I had an amazing consultation with my American wedding florist, Vicky Rotunno. We talked in detail about the perfect flowers to match my vision. I got no “Who is this weirdo?” look from her, and she actually said she was excited to do something a bit different from the norm.
I fell in love with Mrs. Thimble’s bouquet and want a variation for our wedding. / Image via Weddingbee
“Looking for cute and affordable favors? Put the treat of your choice in adorable boxes from Weddingbee Favors!”
Just because I’ve opted to use alternatives to fresh flowers doesn’t mean I want them to look vastly different from their traditional counterparts—I just don’t want them to cost an arm and a leg or possibly wither before the day is done. Over the last several months I’ve been working with different materials and designs, and now it’s time to start putting all these things together.
While I have a feeling that the flowers I’ve amassed are going to inform the bouquet design more than any inspiration picture I can find, I still needed a direction to head in, so I returned to my wedding flowers pins for inspiration.
I remember getting an almost visceral Oh, yes, THAT! feeling when I saw this first one.
The more I look at, the more I acknowledge that this might not be a bouquet at all. It might be a decorated broom for the traditional jumping of the broom some cultures end their ceremonies with. But I still loved the idea of a sheath-style bouquet, one that nestles in the crook of your arm. Plus it’s just so quintessentially fall that you can practically smell the cinnamon sticks. The main reason I vetoed this idea, in the end, was the same reason I was glad I didn’t fall head-over-heels in love with a tulle-skirted gown: in theory it’s great; in practice I know myself and know that I would be holding this bouquet sword-like and bandying it about as I talk with my hands (and, in the skirt example, would have felt the uncontrollable urge to swish said skirt every moment I was standing). I’d take someone’s eye out with it before we got to brunch!
All those bottles I spent an afternoon cleaning a while back? A good many of theme have now met their destiny as centerpieces and table numbers.
First were the table “numbers” (actually names—specifically wine names), made up of a wine bottle filled with burgundy beads and topped with a paper-flower topiary. On each side of the bottle is the same vine-y frame I drew for our save-the-date cards around the wine name: nice, simple, and to the point. Even though we’ll only have six tables in a U-shape and a seating chart at the door (making table numbers or names rather superfluous), these were one of the first decor items I knew I wanted, so I stuck with them anyway.
I think the beads inside the bottles look a little bit like bubbles!
As I have mentioned before, my sister/MOH and another bridesmaid are handling the centerpieces and the bridesmaids’ bouquets. I want a professional to do my bouquet, though, so no one is stressed about it and so it can be a little more elaborate than my gorgeous calla lily bridesmaid bouquet inspiration.
If you remember, Mr. B’s only requirement for flowers is that they don’t look like a head of broccoli, which means a traditional bouquet is out. I want my bouquet to be mostly white, although I cannot stop thinking about the gorgeous pop of a blue anemone.
When it came to choosing the amount of flowers we’d need for the wedding, Mr. Jet and I were très clueless when it came to who gets what. At the most basic level, I figured my bridal party and I would each carry a bouquet and Mr. Jet and his guys would all have boutonnieres—but beyond that, I wasn’t sure what the floral protocol was.
Since we aren’t using a traditional florist, I consulted with my BFF Google to figure out who exactly we should be supplying flowers for. Turns out, the rules are—there ARE no rules!! Most research I did told me the following parties should receive flowers:
Sounded simple enough until I read about “honored guests.” Aren’t all of our guests honored?? Well, not ’honored’ like, you’re-lucky-to-be-invited, but you get what I mean. I guess if we were having a huge 300+ person wedding and wanted to make our immediate family feel more special—but for our 160 person soirée, it doesn’t make sense for us. Also, since our ceremony reader is in the wedding (MOH K), we killed two flowers with that stone!
We narrowed down our list to:
As soon as I had the ring on my finger, I knew exactly who I wanted to do my wedding flowers. Mr. Orchard and I are BIG fans of using local businesses, and it’s an added bonus if the business is run by people we know! When I first moved to West Virginia I was in the midst of my junior year of high school. I didn’t know a single soul as I’d just moved across the country from my home state. In Grandview, my graduating class was 181. In Morgantown, it was more like 350. I was so overwhelmed and so stressed out and then out of nowhere, after a few days of glumly attending my new school, these two angels from my AP English class invited me out to lunch with them after school. It was the first invitation I’d had to do ANYTHING since I’d moved, and I was so thrilled and happy to feel like someone liked me enough to want to hang out that I actually went home and cried tears of relief. It was the first time that I felt like I would be OK here, that maybe someday Morgantown could become my home, and I owe that feeling entirely to the kindness of those girls. That was 11 years ago (oh my God, when did I get so OLD?!), and I still remember it like it was yesterday. One of those girls was Shannon of SD Florals.
Shannon is such a sweet, lovely girl, and she has AMAZING fashion sense. (Even with two kids, I have never seen her look anything less than totally put together and adorable.) As soon as I emailed her she replied and set up a face-to-face meeting at a cute little coffee shop. I took my matron of honor Michelle with me, and we sat for almost two hours discussing flowers and various options. Michelle had even taken the time to print all of the floral inspiration photos from my wedding Pinterest board so we could give a copy to Shannon to keep for reference. (Seriously, what would I do without this girl?!)
My favorite flowers are dahlias, so I knew I really wanted them for my wedding day. I was especially excited to hear that they are a fall flower. I also knew that I wanted to incorporate lots of baby’s breath for three reasons: 1.) it fit the theme, 2.) it’s affordable, and 3.) it looks so pretty. We discussed options for bridal party bouquets, I explained what I wanted for the tables as well, and I thought we were done. WRONG! Ladies, you’re probably all smarter than me, but remember that you need a LOT of flowers. Flowers for groomsmen, flowers for the ceremony, flowers for honor attendees (mothers, grandmothers, ushers, etc.). Fortunately, Shannon had a great sheet that broke everything down, and we quickly decided on arrangements. I left the meeting feeling so positive about what my wedding-day flowers would look like, and knowing that Shannon would work hard to ensure we would have beautiful flowers and that it wouldn’t break the bank. She even offered to let me borrow a beautiful wooden arch that her husband had built for their wedding. Like I said, she’s amazing.