Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Just Days Before 'I Do': DIY Flower Arranging Isn't For Sissies

After a fun Wednesday night, I woke up early Thursday morning, and spent some time making sure everyone at our house was alive and awake, before heading to mom’s to start arranging the flowers we had bought the previous morning. As it turned out, I was the only person not in any pain from partying the night before, and had actually gotten more sleep Wednesday night than any other night the previous week! My bridesmaid stayed behind at our house to recover, and the guy’s plan for the day was to go pick up another groomsman at the airport, give him a tour of San Francisco, get the Uhaul truck to the hotel, and check us in.

Once I grabbed coffee, I joined the flower arranging party. I was trusted with the very challenging 21 cocktail table/inside table arrangements, but even I, with my black thumb, could handle rocks, an orchid, two leaves and water in a small vase!

In the 6 hours I was around to help we managed to finish a little less than half the flowers--all the small table centerpieces (except for sandwiching the sliced limes between the inner and outer vases, which happened closer to the wedding), cocktail and indoor table arrangements, bridesmaid purse bouquets, my ceremony and toss bouquets, ceremony aisle arrangements, and got started on arranging the tall centerpieces.

Here's a couple sneak peeks of the finished small table arrangements, taken on our wedding day by my bridesmaid, Heather:

My mom and aunt, who had taken professional floral arranging classes at a nearby college did most of the work though, and I'm pretty sure we couldn't have pulled this off without them knowing what they were doing. Just having the right supplies (foam, wire, etc) is so important--wedding flower arranging is so much more than just stuffing some stems in a vase! You need to have a game plan for timing and storage, have done mock ups so you buy enough flowers, and have an understanding of how to balance the colors and textures you're using in the arrangements.

My great aunt and I tried the best we could to assist by taking leaves off of stems, watering finished arrangements, tying ribbon to hang the aisle arrangements, and putting leaves in the floral foam so the arranging experts could place flowers around them. My mom and aunt did a wonderful job, as you’ll see more of in my day-of recaps. So many of our wedding guests commented on our flowers, and were shocked to find out they were 100% DIY.

One of the bridesmaid purse bouquets:

My gorgeous bouquet:

At some point in there we ate lunch and my sister, her boyfriend (also our ceremony guitarist and DJ) and her dog arrived from Washington. Before I knew it it was 3:30pm, so I loaded my wedding dress and veil into my car, and headed down the hill to meet Mr. Cola at the hotel. I only had an hour left to unpack and change before we were kicking off the weekend with our Wedding Party Welcome Event!

Miss any wedding week details? Catch up here:

- I packed an emergency bag that saved my dress
- We had a crazy 4 days prepping for house guests and stuffing favors
- Shopping for a ton of wedding flowers to arrange ourselves
- Mr. Cola drinks a 40 and I have a night out on the town for our low-key bach parties

(all pictures in this post are personal photos, taken by myself, my family, or our wedding party)


  1. Everything looks great! Love seeing other brides' DIY flower outcomes!

  2. The flowers were so amazing! I really want to take some floral-arranging classes now. I have ablack thumb, too, but I LOVE the look of gorgeous flowers!

  3. These look great - I love the citrus arrangements!

  4. Wow! They came out beautifully! Way to go. I could never take this on without losing my mind. :)

  5. Oh wow!! those arrangements look gorgeous! You had very talented ladies working with you! They look so professional!

  6. I really have no idea how you did it all, girl. Seriously stunning arrangements. Totally look like the pros did it. I could never have achieved anything like that. Just lovely.

  7. Wonderful arrangements! I just love the added touch of the lime slices.

  8. Wow! Is there anything you can't do?! The flowers look more beautiful than a lot of professional arrangements I have seen!