I know people have been waiting forever for the rest of the wedding story. Or perhaps it’s just that I have been feeling guilty forever for not posting it sooner. (Stupid grad school, interfering with life, specifically the playing aspect of it.) So here is another installment. At this rate, I'll have it finished by our first anniversary!
You can read the previous installments if you wish:
Part I: The Preparationing , Part II: Blossoms of Madness , Part IIb: Blossoms of Madness Continued
So, the morning of Saturday August 20th arrived. This was the day that friends would arrive to help me make floral objects, and the cake would also be delivered for the decoration process. Relatives would be arriving and shuffling themselves out to various places to stay.
I scheduled a salon visit right smack in the middle of the afternoon so that I would remember to breathe for a few minutes. I’m not normally a salon-goer, but this turned out to have been one of the best decisions ever.
My aunt informed me that “the Ladies” had arrived, meaning my frolleagues Melanie and Maddie. They were perky and ready to arrange the flowers.
Now, aside from my ongoing one-sided feud with UPS, I was overall happy with the sending of the flowers. I would probably do the same thing again. I used a wholesale flower seller who not only prominently offer a “wedding in a box” but also if you look very closely at the very bottom of that page, they offer the “wedding on a budget” package which is a really great price for that many roses.
Now if you intend to do this, you have to be willing to be a little flexible. For example, I got pink roses, and the specs say that you get all one color. However, I actually ended up with half-and-half of two different shades of pink. This actually worked out nicely for me, but if I had been having the sort of wedding in which people’s satin shoes are dyed to match the floral arrangements, it might have been a bad thing.
The roses were really quite beautiful, and what’s more they were actually the kind that haven’t had the scent bred out of them, which is one of the best things about roses if you ask me.
I also got a number of other kinds of flowers sort of à la carte, a modular approach to floral sales of which I approve.
I ordered bunches of blue iris, pink sweet peas, baby’s breath (of course), Queen Anne’s lace, I think some statice, and then camellia leaves for foliage. I wanted sort of a wildish English garden effect. (In fact I looked vainly for a realistic bee on a wire for my bouquet, but found only big clonky ones or ugly ones. Using a real bee was out of the question, as it would probably have been cruel as well as potentially sting-y.)
The roses (shown in the photo: only about 10% of them) and the iris were in good shape, especially after I spent hours cutting off the stems and placing them into coolers of water and ice to hydrate them. Statice of course lasts forever so it was fine. The sweetpeas were disappointingly somewhat moldy and a little squashed, but were still usable and perked up to some extent. The Queen Anne’s lace was wilted into little wads when I got it and it just didn’t recover well no matter what I did to it. I ended up going behind the nearby grocery store and clipping a few sprigs there, which was probably what I should have done in the first place.
I also liberally clipped the old-fashioned honeysuckle vine on our back fence, which was having a very uncharacteristic but convenient second blooming season. This produced really nice drapey foliage, especially for my bouquet. I also purchased locally a lot of sprigs of fresh rosemary, which we are still taking out of the freezer to use in cooking as I got way too much of it.
So anyway, I started on my bouquet (which was really fun to do and ended up weighing about 20 pounds) and TheLimey’s boutonniere, and had “the ladies” start making table arrangements and other boutonnieres and so forth. This kind of thing is all much easier than you might expect, as none of us had done it before and we had great results.
The important thing for making your own bouquet is to get a bouquet holder from a craft store or florist, and make sure it’s one that has floral foam in it—not the hard kind that only fake flowers can get through, but that squishy dark-green Aquafoam (or similar) that holds water, to keep your flowers alive. (And set your bouquet holder in a fishbowl or mug to hold it while you’re doing the arranging.)
We used the images from a floral arrangement book from the craft store as guidelines, but then kind of diverged and did our own things.
I would have to say that making my own bouquet was probably the most fun part of the entire wedding preparations (aside from maybe getting dressed on the day). I combined two different bouquet styles (the “Biedermeier” and the “Rose Cascade”). Instead of ferns, I used rosemary sprigs, and I framed the whole thing with glossy camellia leaves. I had a couple dozen roses on it by the time I finished squeezing in as many as would go. For the cascade-y part, I used honeysuckle foliage with blossoms on it. Finally I plugged in lots of baby’s breath springs. Between the roses, rosemary, and honeysuckle, I had a very fragrant bouquet.
My last step was to hot-glue some white ribbons and tulle streamers onto the bouquet holder itself, though you can’t see it so well in the photos.
I also hot-glued ribbons and streamers onto some of the arrangements my friends made, like the centerpiece one that went behind the cake.