diy flowers

March 31, 2010

Don’t worry. I have definitely not decided to do my own flowers :)

There is, however, an interesting discussion going on in the comments section of a post over at 100 Layer Cake. The post itself is a “how to DIY a bouquet of flowers” but the comments have turned into a discussion about the pros and cons of DIY’ing flowers in the first place.

Most brides will agree that flowers are “expensive” and can be a big chunk of the budget, but a lot of the points made in defense of florists resonate with me more. I’ve read other posts about the cost of flowers (like this one and this one) and additional more big-picture feedback from consultants like Sean Low.

A few big names in weddings have chimed in, including Summer from Grey Likes Weddings and Nancy Liu Chin (with some more comments on her own blog). It would be a valuable read for anyone trying to stay relevant and up-to-date in the wedding industry.

My two cents? Honestly, I don’t know enough about the floral world to really give an opinion from the perspective of a vendor. However, as a bride and as a friend/coordinator to many other brides, I can say that flowers are a beautiful, inspiring part of any event–especially one as significant as a wedding. Foliage and floral arrangements add texture, color, and life to venues, outfits, entourages, and photos. I wish I could have allocated thousands more to flowers — but I restrained myself from doing so.

I’ve read (more than a few times) that the best way to control the budget is by reducing the number of invitees and guests. Don’t get me wrong, that’s totally true. The number of people at the wedding can dramatically increase the cost of … well, everything from finding a bigger venue, increased food & beverage costs, needing more centerpieces, invitations, save the dates, favors…

Although I know the principle to be true, I know me, and I know that I want my wedding to be about surrounding myself with people that I know and love — even at the cost of gorgeous flowers or creamy, letterpressed programs and menu cards. I often find myself drooling over those luxuries, but I wouldn’t trade 20 of my guests for bigger, more elaborate floral centerpieces. Nor would I trade another 20 of my guests to letterpress all of my wedding stationery. I just wouldn’t.

With that in mind, I can empathize with brides who try to DIY their flowers and/or ask their amateur friends to step in simply because they can’t afford to hire a florist. It’s a sticky situation, but setting priorities in the very beginning can be a huge help later on, as decisions like this are being made.

my bouquet

March 22, 2010

My lovely friend Hannah is going to come out of semi-florist-retirement to help me with my wedding flowers. I sent her TONS of images and random commentary about what I did or didn’t like but it turns out that my directions are not very cohesive. Darn!

So, these days, I’ve been skimming through/browsing through weddings to find purple bouquets and to send them to Hannah with my commentary. Here are some of the ones I’ve sent her:

from Heidi & Michael’s wedding, shot by Boutwell Studio

I didn’t like this bouquet very much and Hannah pinpointed why- too much variety (shades, textures, flowers) and not enough uniformity.

from a recent wedding shot by [b]ecker

I also didn’t love this bouquet. I think the color disparity between the two blooms is a little too distinct and if anything, I already knew I didn’t love roses or hydrangeas enough to have them be the primary flowers in my bouquet.

from Nhu & Luv’s wedding, shot by Caroline Tran

This was actually a bridesmaids’ bouquet but what I did like about it was the tulips! Bryan recently sent me flowers at work for our anniversary and he thoughtfully asked them to make it a purple/green arrangement to match our wedding colors. It provoked a lot of thought about which purple flowers I liked, and despite the poor quality of my Blackberry’s camera, I think you can see the pretty, dainty tulips, right?

from a recent wedding featured on Style Me Pretty

I unfortunately can’t see most of this bouquet (this was the best picture I could find even when scouring the websites of the photographer/florist/planner/etc)… but I liked it! I don’t like that maroon flower in the middle (Hannah, is it an orchid??) but I liked the colors of the other flowers that I could see. And if I’m not mistaken, are those carnations? I know carnations… they’re cheap!! (Now watch, I’m completely wrong and purple carnations are incredibly expensive. I should just stop now.)

I am now realizing that I really lack an eye for floral arrangements and decor. I can look at pictures and say that I like or don’t like them, but I’m horrible at articulating why! Maybe I’ll make it a point to learn some more about flowers after the wedding…

more bouquet thoughts

January 14, 2010

Surprise surprise, there were more interesting bouquet images in my Google Reader. Yay!

Leila from Inspired By This (Be Inspired PR) did a post with some bouquets by La Partie Events… which of course sparked a lot of thoughts.

Another Stephanie Williams bouquet:

I must be biased toward yellow, but wanted to point out that this bouquet is also cute… yellow fabric/ribbon (whatever it is, it’s not shiny!) and pretty green stems. Lovely.

I liked these pictures by KLK Photography and thought about whether or not I’d want my stems not as tightly bound and more loose and free like this. I think these look really nice too, maybe also because this is a more casual-feeling portrait. If I was having a more casual, informal wedding, I think I’d consider the loose stems… but with somewhat more traditional future-in-laws… I have a feeling everything’s going to be more formal (which is not a bad thing! just a decision that won’t have to be made).

Here’s a bouquet I spotted on a wedding posted on The Bride’s Cafe. I thought the rope/twine/etc was a nice alternative to fabric and also keeps it neutral.

Another example of rope from EA Designs:

photo by Susan Stripling

I’m not sure why I’m on such a bouquet wrapping posting spree… I must be a little preoccupied, huh?

NAMW: thoughts on bouquets

January 13, 2010

Today I did a little survey of bouquets by looking through some of the most recent weddings on Stephanie Williams’ blog and made a couple of conclusions.

As previously mentioned, I’m not huge on flowers. I really can’t name names but I realized that I do have preferences about how the bouquet STEM looks. Small and insignificant right? Here goes anyway!

Here’s an example of something that definitely falls into the “Not At My Wedding” category:

Julie & Patrick’s wedding

It’s actually not the green succulents that I don’t like- those are interesting. What I really don’t like is the fully-covered stems! It looks so… weird and foreign.

Here’s another example of something I definitely DO NOT want at my wedding:

Alex & Josh’s wedding

A little too much shiny satin for me. I love the little bit of stems you can see… but too much satin. I don’t like the shiny! I feel like the shiny-ness of the satin takes away from the natural beauty of the flowers.

And last but not least, the bride’s bouquet from Jordan & Josh’s wedding.

As a young “tomboy” growing up, I abhorred lace. I’ve slowly grown out of that misplaced hatred, but I still don’t think that the lace in the picture above fits very well. I definitely don’t have anything against pretty fabric, though, as you’ll see below.

Now, here are some more examples of bouquets I like a little more:

from Roni & Peleg’s wedding

I think this is a GORGEOUS bouquet! The white flowers are classic and the little bits of green and blue make it really pretty–not to mention the very pretty, tight, clean, green stems that show through. This is something classic that I would consider giving to my florist as a reference.

If I were to get a little more crafty and colorful… here’s what I might draw inspiration from:

These are actually the bridesmaids bouquets from the same wedding as the lace bouquet above. However… I like these! I’m not sure I like the lopsided feeling I get from the roses in the actual bouquet, but I love the touch of fabric that adds a little flair. I’m not sure if I’d have the time or want to take the effort to go find coordinating ribbon, but something to keep in the blog files!

Unlike many planners and brides, I don’t really “get” flowers. Yes, they’re seriously beautiful. Yes, they’re colorful. But… I just don’t know very much about flowers and I don’t have very many preferences about what kind or variety of flower is used as long as the end product is pretty. I contradict myself a lot too… sometimes I love the simple understated look and other times, the WOW-those-flowers-are-bright bouquets and arrangements. Go figure.

Anyway, since I’m trying to use this blog more frequently and effectively, I’ll try to start saving images that I do like so that my future florist has something to work with. Right now, all she’s gonna get is, “I don’t care as long as it looks nice.”

This pretty arrangement was part of a wedding featured on Junebug Weddings last week. I’m not sure if I thought it was stunning because of the lighting or because of the flowers, but they just look so pure and pretty, especially with the clean lines that the stems create. Since we don’t have a venue set, I haven’t been able to choose colors… and because I really love ALL colors (not even joking) I sometimes contemplate going with black and white just to avoid having to make a decision.

This arrangement I also loved, but for obviously different reasons. It was part of a wedding post over at 100 Layer Cake and the contrasting color combo of lavender and orange caught my attention. Pretty!