Tales of Tying the Knot: The flowers

8 Dec

I jumped out the giant bridal suite bed very early on Friday morning, flipped on the lights and stared wide-eyed at our giant Rubbermaid tubs full of flowers. It’s a miracle this didn’t happen every hour on the hour throughout the night. I was desperatley worried about the well-being of our flowers. They’d arrived in even better condition and were even more beautiful than I’d hoped. I sure didn’t want to be the one to kill them.

All of the flowers were ordered online, from two different websites. FiftyFlowers.com provide the giant dahlias and carnations and FlowerBud.com provided the mini calla lilies. After a lot of deliberating and lot of quotes from florists I decided to go the route of ordering our flowers online and making all the arrangements ourselves. For one thing, (and this is the biggest reason) I have control issues. Serious ones. And I did not trust any florist I spoke with to create the centerpieces and bouquets I wanted. Not to slight them in the least, its just a tricky thing to be sure two people are envisioning the exact same thing.

Zac’s mom once told me a story about her own wedding flowers. She wanted a replica of her own mother’s wedding bouquet. A cascading bundle of all red roses. She took the photos to the florist. Offered explicit directions. “Nothing but red roses. No filler. Just red roses.” The florist agreed. She understood completely.

Paula picked up her wedding bouquet to find it stuffed full of babies breath and God-knows-what else. She probably handled the situation with some measure of grace. I would have handled it with foul language and minor violence, I assure you.

And…well…basically I saved $1,500 and some odd change by ordering online. I know I exaggerate a lot but I promise I’m not here. We honestly saved that much cash. And if your curious, and you know you are, our total flower bill came to about 1/3 of what we saved. Saving money is cool now, you know.

Anyway – there were all sorts of hurdles with the online ordering. Mainly regarding where and when to have the flowers shipped. Eventually, the carnations and dahlias were delivered to Streator on Wednesday and the callas arrived in Galena on Thursday. They arrived looking fabulous!

We cut down the stems and kept them in assorted rubber boxes and buckets, keeping the water levels and temperatures just right, rotating them to make sure all the flowers received equal sunlight. In hindsight, we probably could have just left them on the curb until Saturday morning. But better safe than sorry.

On Friday morning, we got to work.

Zac assembled the Welcome Bags.

Mom assembled centerpiece boxes.

Kate cut down carnations. I arranged calla lilies.

Dad drank Bud Light before noon. (He was on vacation after all.)

No has any idea what Rob did.

Eventually the floral arranging got easier and we had a great little system going!

When it was finally time to make my own bouquet I broke out in hives, started sweating uncontrollably and shaking. Then I took to a corner, pulled my knees to my chest and rocked back and forth until it was over.

No not really. But I did scream “DON’T TALK TO ME!” approximately 10 times. Look, I only would have yelled it once if people would have listened to me. I think though that people aren’t accustomed to me yelling at them. My mom, maybe, I lived in her house as a teenager after all. Zac and Kate however I do not yell at frequently. I yelled at them.

At one point Kate whispered to Zac, “Erica just arrived. I’m going to hide her in my room until Maggie finishes her bouquet. I don’t want  her to get yelled at.” Thoughtful gal, that Kate.

When it was finished I wept.

Then I went back to giving orders to other people.

Eventually, everything was finished. Everything was cut, arranged, all the ribbons were tied. Operation Floral Arrangements was completed. Another battle won. A BIG battle one. The only battle the commander bride had feared, won.

The flowers – both the bouquets and the centerpieces – were some of my favorite parts of the wedding. The colors were just right and everything tied together so well.

Let’s reflect on the beauty. (All following photos by Erica Turner, Turner Creative.)

The dahlias were just the right color! And so much bigger than I expected!! Which worked out perfectly since it allowed us to put them in more places than we had planned.

The wooden boxes were another big favorite of mine. They were exactly like I pictured when I first had the idea – and that doesn’t always happen! My Daddy made them and did a fantastic job! Bunches of people have asked where we got that much old wood. It wasn’t old. It was sections of fencing from Menards. In its original state it was that ugly green color of treated lumber. Stain goes a long way : )

The wooden boxes have gone on to live full, meaningful lives. I’ve heard some people are keeping them on the kitchen tables as a place to keep napkins and salt and pepper shakers. My mom’s is filled with potpourri and candles. Mines full of sparkly Christmas ornaments. I love that they are still being enjoyed!!

Ah! Every time I see a photo like this I yell, ‘I LOVED my bouquet!”

Love the way the flowers contrast with the dresses! So fun!

Any worry over ordering the flowers online was clearly unfounded! I would recommend online flowers to anyone with enough time in their wedding schedule to put their bouquets together. We were lucky that we had a big block of time of Friday morning to take our time and make everything. And I’m lucky to have friends and family who are willing to accept minor gambles and pitch in and cut down the stems of 300 carnations. Or stay home all day to accept a Fed Ex delivery of 100 dahlias. Or to answer the question “Do they still look ok???” 1,000 times. Yup very lucky. And probably bound for a lot of favor-doing!


4 Responses to “Tales of Tying the Knot: The flowers”

  1. Val Lieffers June 28, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    Another way for people to save money is to order their dress and invitations (unless doing them by hand) on-line…Maggie your wedding was absolutely beautiful and I wouldn’t have expected anything less from you and Zac.

    • maggieandzac June 28, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

      Thanks, Val! And that’s for reading!


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