Today I'm talking about our wedding flowers! They seriously turned out so beautiful!
*All photographs today are from my wonderful wedding photog Caroline Rentzel, unless stated otherwise.
Let me start with I am in no way a flower expert. I like and enjoy them. I can recognize a few different kinds, and I've dabbled in putting together my own arrangements. So forgive me if you know more than me, and I'm butchering the floral language!
When we first sat down and discussed our budget, we immediately started divvying up where the money was going to go. Before we knew it the money was gone and we really didn't have it in our budget for flowers. We went back and forth trying to rationalize if we even needed flowers. We toyed with the idea of doing it ourselves, but we were scared of taking on yet another DIY, and a hefty one at that!
One day my mom told me that Sheree, a family friend, offered to make all of our bouquets for us. Awesome. It was perfect. Thus began A LOT of research about flowers.
Here is what we researched:
1. Inspiration for my bouquet. I went through my Pinterest page Blooms looking for what types of bouquets I liked. I looked for what shapes I liked, what types of flowers I liked and colors. Here are a few of the pictures I sent Sheree:
Kristen Booth Photography
Beaux Arts Photographie
Marianne Wilson Photography
Colors: Peach, White, Dark Pink, Pink
Shape: I like bouquets that are a little wild looking. Not in a perfect round ball and no cascading flowers.
Flowers I liked: Garden Rose, Astilbe, Ranunculus and Dahlia
2. Researching flowers. You need to figure out what flowers come in what colors and when they are in season. I also listed what flowers I do not like. Sites that were helpful to me:
Fifty Flowers: This site is beyond awesome. It has a full list of a lot of popular flowers, with pictures. It tells you the months that each flower is in season and suggestions for similar types of flowers. With each flower under "Product Details" they tell you how early to order your flowers before your event, the average size of each bloom, stem length, type of petals, expected vase lifespan and flower care. So much information in one site!! Price wise, they are at wholesale, although, I felt like a lot of them ran expensive. I suggest using them for research and not buying.
Wedding Chicks & 100 Layer Cake
Both of these sites offer Bouquet Recipes for popular wedding bouquets. So helpful when you are scouring the sometimes uninformative Pinterest.
100 Layer Cake:
3. Game Plan & Ordering: I knew in advance I was going to use Oklahoma Flower Market. They are a wholesaler, and I am able to use them because I have a tax ID for my business. There are plenty of places like Homeland & Sams that offer you can order flowers in bulk from, for a decent price if you don't have a tax ID.
I had ordered from them before when planning friend's baby showers or decorating for various events; so I was familiar with them. Specifically for the wedding though, we went there on two separate occasions. The first to talk with them about when we need to place our order by (3 weeks in advance) and to check out fillers and different types of unknown (to us) flowers. Once we took (a lot) of pictures, got a current price list for flowers and we went to work setting up a game plan for how many to order of what.
Here is a list of everything we needed to make:
Brides Bouquet: 12-15 flowers, plus filler
Bridesmaids Bouquet: 7; 5-7 flowers, plus filler
Nosegay: 6; 3 flowers, plus filler
Corsages: 5; 1 flower, plus filler
Grooms Bout; 1 flower, plus filler
Boutonniere: 11; 1 flower, plus filler
Centerpiece for the appetizer table; 10-12 flowers, plus filler
We broke down each bouquet/bout and figured out what and how much we needed for each piece. I'm not going to lie....this was by far the hardest part. I left that lunch with a major headache. Luckily Sheree was our saving grace. I let her make the final decisions and I had to walk away. I had a few "bridezilla" moments, none worthy for the show, but a time during the engagement when I was out of character. I mostly would get stressed about a situation and then need to be by myself for a bit. :)
My mom and her cute friends, including Sheree, at our wedding.
Our process for planning out each bouquet was to look at my inspiration bouquets that looked like the size I wanted. Then we would count how many flowers it had in it. We did that for all of the bouquets/bouts/nose gays. We wouldn't know the exact price until we actually went to order, but we just based it off of how much the current price list was, which was for October, so we figured it wouldn't be too drastic of a difference. (I got married in November)
Here was our order list:
garden roses: 1 bunch
dahlia: 2 bunches
astilbe: 3 bunches
brunia ball: 3 bunches
hypericum: 3 bunches
stock: 4 bunches
dusty miller: 5 bunches
ranunculus: 3 bunches
baby eucalyptus: 1 bunch
silver dollar eucalyptus: 3 bunches
*We ordered various colors for different flowers in piano pink, dark pink, light peach and ivory.
*A bunch can be anything from 5 to 15 stems, depending on the flower.
All of our flowers, plus supplies were a little under $600. Also, we had a lot of flowers left over. So we way over ordered.
Here is my version of a Bouquet Recipe. I know not all the flowers are as defined as the ones seen earlier, but since we used so much of the same color it is kind of hard to portray that in just one shot.
My bouquet was huge. Gigantic! Here it is dwarffing Bry!
My Takeaway Tips:
1. Each florist or wholesaler has a different definition of when each flower is in season, depending on where they order from. So make sure you ask before you have your heart set.
2. Speaking of "seasonal" flowers. I have always been told that it is cheaper to have flowers done in peak summer months. According to my price sheet (comparing June vs October) most flowers were cheaper in October, and if some were cheaper in June, it was only by some change. Oh, and we could even order peonies.
3. If you do decide to tackle your own flowers, enlist in some help! Don't be the bride doing a whole bunch of last minute gardening. Especially post manicure.
4. Carnations: I was doubtful. When I hear the word I think of an awkward 8th grade dance. And then I shudder. But seriously....they are cheap. They can be dyed to whatever color you need, and the are actually beautiful, silky and creamy. I know some of those might be a ridiculous way to describe a flower, but it works for me! Just to give you an idea for how cheap, they are 50 cents each. Garden roses were about $4 each. So we sprinkled a few garden roses in with the carnations and they turned out beautiful, and not cheap looking.
5. Do NOT get the fancy boutonniere magnets. The ones we bought (I don't have a brand for you) did not stay, and they constantly fell off the guys. Make your own, or find some with very strong magnets.
6. We used cute gold washi tape for the guys bouts. It was pretty, but if you choose to use it secure it with glue, because the tape kept coming undone.