I’m a big fan of flowers, and I wanted to have tons of them at the wedding. When looking into the price of flowers, however, I was stunned! They do make a huge visual impact, but at what cost? You just end up throwing them away at the end anyway. I got around the problem somewhat by having the wedding in a family friend’s backyard. She’s a serious gardener, and their house is surrounded by 100+ year old cottonwood trees, so the setting was perfect. That took care of a lot of the floral needs, but obviously, there was still a lot of need for flowers on centerpieces, boutonnieres, etc!
The first easiest thing was the boutonnieres. If you’re already ordering some flowers, you can just save a few stems here and there and you’ll be all set. You’ll also need some floral tape, lots of floral wire, and whatever embellishments you might like. My crafty aunt Marcheta helped me with these. Most of the color was found in the flowers, but we also wandered around the creek behind the house and picked up pretty fall leaves, pine needles and the like. We then wrapped the arrangement first with floral tape to keep it in place, and then with beautiful velvet ribbon. After that, she had the genius idea of adding twirls of copper wire for a little added flair. Once you see how easy it is, you’ll wonder why you’re spending $10-20 apiece at the floral shop for these. Plus, you’re able to customize them and really make them special for the people who are there for you on your big day. After you finish each one, mist it with a little water from a spray bottle, place it on a bit of paper towel and put the whole thing in a ziploc bag in the fridge. That way, they’ll be nice and fresh day of (I suggest doing them the day before).
When we looked into the cost of centerpieces, I almost had a heart attack. Flowers add up quickly, and you’ll need far more of them to properly fill out centerpieces than you might imagine. My mom and I came up with a solution. We bought big glass bowls, and put glass hurricane pillars inside the bowl, added a big white candle, filled the bowl with water, and floated a few spider mums in each bowl. They had a great visual impact and spider mums are super hardy so they lasted forever. Plus we only needed about 10 stems per bowl so they ended up being really affordable. Everyone liked them so much, we’re doing the same things for several friends’ weddings this summer!
I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to deal with the pressure of all this prep work, so I did have my bouquet made at a local floral shop. I really love what they did with it – it was dainty, elegant and funky all at the same time. I was really intimidated by making my own. However, a few weeks later, I did the flowers for a friend’s wedding, and I made her bouquet, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I would have thought. If you plan on going this route, just make sure to leave lots of time to make sure that you get it right. I made hers extra-special with some beautiful chocolate silk ribbon and an antique pearl and copper brooch that I found at an antique store nearby her wedding location. I’ll try to track down some good pictures of it!
We used orange roses as an accent throughout the wedding. Every place setting had a rose tucked into the napkin, which was a great prop for drama on the dance floor later in the evening. 😉 We also bought several bags of rosepetals to use for the aisle, since it was outside:
I really loved this; not only did the color look great against the grass, but I walked down the aisle barefoot and it was quite an experience! Those petals are velvety soft against the skin. Everyone had a great time playing in them after the ceremony was over. We also got shepherd’s hooks from the local Home Depot and used them to hold little conical glass vases of flowers to line the aisles. The vases came with little stands, so after the ceremony was over we could transfer the flowers to the tables and bring a little bit of color to where the party was.
The rest of the flowers were a free-for-all! We just ordered a few bunches of things that I liked and gathered a ton of vases from everyone and kept them on the tables like that. I did find lots of branches in the woods around the house, and created some really dramatic centerpieces with yellow branches surrounded by a few flowers. Best part – they were free! There’s lots of options out there for making really nice centerpices without a lot of money.
Here are the flowers that we used in the wedding:
Belles of Ireland
Burnt Orange Calla Lillies
Chocolate Cosmos (best for a brown color, and they smell like chocolate!)
They all had really great colors, bright oranges, yellows and greens, and lasted a really long time after the party was over. I bought almost all of the flowers on fiftyflowers.com, and would reccomend checking them out for your wedding flowers. Another great resource is Costco – they will sometimes order things for you, and it’s often worth the price of a membership in how much money you’ll save on flowers.
Here’s a great picture from a friend’s wedding I did 3 weeks later. They had similar colors, and a really nice approach to centerpieces. They just had tons of mason jars of different sizes, and each jar was filled with only one variety of flower.
My apologies for the sub-par pictures, but I was in a hurry! Her bouquet I made is in the upper-left corner. I just liked the approach – it was really fresh, organic and low-key. She used white roses, white spider mums, red-orange alstromeria, yellow snapdragons, orange tulips, and one bunch of orange ranunculus only for the bride and groom.