Thursday, October 1, 2009

DIY Flowers For The Budget Bride

So. Let's talk flowers.

I don't really like them.


Yup, I said it. I have a black thumb; I can't grow a flower or plant to save my life. Every Valentine's Day and birthday, I tell Mr. Cola that I don't want flowers, they only make me sneeze, and plus, they die. Why waste money on something that's gonna die? But every year, I get the
m (he thinks he needs to CYA, just in case, I guess).

So when it came time to think about how we were going to decorate for our wedding, what did I first think of? That's right, stupid flowers! I really want a big pretty flower covered arch, pretty centerpieces and a beautiful bouquet. It's very unlike me, but that's what I've always envisioned for my wedding, so that's what we'll be doing (with a double dose of Advil Allergy Sinus!).

But these dang pretty things are so freakin' expensive! So I had the brilliant idea that my mom, aunt and I would do them ourselves. Crazy? Maybe. We shall see.... My aunt used to teach floral design classes at a local community college, and my mom has for years made beautiful silk flower arrangements as gifts and to decorate our home, so I'm hoping we're making the right decision.

After deciding we'd do our own flowers, my mom and aunt went to the
San Francisco Flower Mart to see what was available and to price out some flowers. Here are some pretty pictures of what they found (all photos taken by my mom). It's a great place to shop if you're in the Bay Area, but you have to go there early!

Purple hydrangeas:

Pretty but expensive orchids:

Mini mums:
Lavender roses - not in very good shape:
Mini cala lilies with purple centers:
At this shop they bought orchids (thai dendrobium) $10 for 10 stems, green hydrangea $12 for 5 stems and red ti leaves $4 for 10 leaves:

After my mom and aunt went to the Flower Mart, they've estimated we'll spend about $1200-1500 on 21 cocktail table sized arrangements, 7 short table arrangements, 9 tall table arrangements, cupcake topper flowers, large floral spray for the arch, about 100 flowers for the cupcake stand, 8 back of ceremony chair arrangements, 2 bride bouquets, 3 bridesmaid ones, 7 boutonnieres, 2 corsages, plus a ton of petals for scattering. That figure includes all supplies needed to make these, vases, tape, oasis foam, etc, plus scrap.

Not too shabby, in my opinion, considering says you're supposed to spend about 8% of the total wedding budget on flowers. Um, I don't think so! There are so many other things I can think of to spend that kind of money on! So thank goodness my family is willing to help. While I was away camping for a weekend, my mom made some sample mock ups of the cocktail table and short arrangements I'd photoshopped:

One dendrobium orchid, one small green leaf from hydrangea or the yard, a few rocks and 3" vase from Dollar Tree, photo taken by my mom)

(hydrangeas, orchids and leaves, with lemon slides. It will really be more purple than green hydrangeas [and not partially wilted hydrangeas], and lime slices in the real versions, to tie in the green in our color scheme, but she only had lemons on hand. This photo was also taken by my mom.)

The small arrangement in the first photo above will be used on all the cocktail tables on the lawn and in the bar, as well as on every other table inside (we have extra tables inside for quieter seating), and also three in the women's bathroom. The second arrangement above will be on half the dining tables, and two on the head table. We just ordered the tall 22" vases for the tall arrangements, and I'm sure she'll be mocking those up soon.

So what do you think? Do you think we can pull it off? Who else has done or is having their family do ALL their flowers, using real flowers, 2 days before the wedding?

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