Monday, January 4, 2010

Yummy Bouquets

I've known from the beginning that full-service florals were not something I could accommodate in our budget, however much I might like to bury my entire face in a lush, fragrant, fluffy centerpiece. At first, I convinced myself that flowers would be something I could DIY. "IT WILL BE GREAT!!" I thought, with a maniacal gleam in my eye. "I will just pop over to Whole Foods the night before the wedding and arrange my bouquet and all the girls' bouquets and all the centerpieces!!! The bridesmaids can help me!!! PROBLEM SOLVED!!!!!!"

Then I remembered two things:
1.) I have never once in my life handled or arranged flowers, and I have very, very limited creative skills. It is very fully possible that my self-created bouquet would turn out like this:


2.) Even if I did manage to turn out some pretty arrangements, I am one hundred percent confident that attempting to take on this project would send my stress level skyrocketing. I know that the week of the wedding will be stressful enough; why inflict unnecessary panic on myself?

Hiring a florist was clearly the way to go, and on my recent Pittsburgh wedding recon trip, I scheduled several floral consultations. I have to admit: I was feeling really skittish about the meetings. Our flower budget is seven hundred dollars, and with that money, I hoped to get my bridal bouquet, six bridesmaids' bouquets, three grandmothers' corsages, and ten boutonnieres (groom, six groomsmen, two dads, and one grandfather). My experiences calling around florists to request the consultations had not been entirely positive; in fact, some places nearly laughed me off the phone when I mentioned what our needs and budget were. I knew all along that floral treatments for Heinz Chapel and the Children's Museum were out of the cards, but some people I spoke to made me wonder if even beautiful bouquets were a pipe dream.

Turns out, they weren't! Ultimately, two of our florist appointments went absolutely swimmingly, but I felt especially strongly about one of them. She didn't bat an eye at our budget, never made me feel cheap or stingy, and even gave us recommendations on how we can repurpose our bouquets as decor at the reception. She also immediately understood what I was asking for in terms of style and color; I felt that she had a strong sense of floral design and artistry. I'm going to wait until the final proposal is accepted and the contract signed before I tell you who she is, but I can give you the idea of what our flowers will look like!

For my bouquet, I asked for a full, "ruffly" look, using flowers with lots of petals. And, as I've said before, I wanted an all-red bouquet, because they make my heart stop a little.

So here's what we decided:

(Roses and burgundy dahlia from here, red dahlia from here.)

My bouquet will feature red and black magic roses, and red and burgundy dahlias. The stem will be fully wrapped in the leftover ivory satin from when my dress gets hemmed, and the wrap will be accented with pearl pins.

For the bridesmaids' bouquets, I wanted flowers in shades of purples, deep pinks, and burgundy; I asked for a vibrant, jewel-toned look that would really pop off of their dark red dresses.

(For some reason, Alfred Angelo's colors translate really poorly on the computer screen--you have to picture the dress as a deeper, stronger shade of red, like the flowers in my bouquet!
Dress, all flowers except the red dahlia.)

Their bouquets will include purple and pink stock, black beauty roses, and red dahlias. They'll be partially wrapped in ribbon and accented with gold wire wrapping up the stem.

Deeeelicious. I am so excited about this, and so happy that I was able to find someone who could work with our budget and provide something gorgeous in return.

What do you envision for your florals? Was finding a florist easy or difficult for you? Any brave souls taking the DIY route?


  1. I'm dying to know who you chose. We're also planning a Pittsburgh wedding from out of town, also thinking of dark red roses, calla lilies and dahlias, and have also been laughed at by some florists. I think I'm more stressed about this than any other aspect of planning the wedding.

  2. Chelsea, we're still sorting it out, but I'll let you know as soon as it's all official!