Monday, January 11, 2010

flowers have me befuddled

Flowers are the one element I can't really wrap my brain around. I clearly have ideas of what I like and what would be dreamy to have. Except, I have no idea how to accomplish this.

I know for certain that we cannot afford a florist to do all the work. Despite the fact that this would be easiest option...and potentially worth the money. Especially since our wedding weekend time could be spent visiting with friends and family, instead of scrambling about doing it ourselves. Except, it's not in our budget. So...

I've toyed around with the idea of ordering flowers in bulk online. Except this makes me a lil nervous. I've read a couple awful reviews from bridal bloggers who have done this, and the flowers that showed up at their door were all wrong and wilty. Yikes. Also, where on Earth would we store the flowers until our ceremony? Not at the wedding site. And as this will be a destination wedding, it gets a lil tricky to find refrigerators. Right?

I've explored the charming Flagstaff farmer's market for blooms. And they are terribly adorable. But the mainstay are sunflowers...and whilst I do enjoy a big happy sunflower, it's not what I want to carry down the aisle.

I need to figure this out pronto. Hummm...any suggestions? What did you do?


  1. I plan on getting flowers from a wholesale place like Costco where I wouldn't need to worry about getting them the day of because the place would be open. But if a wholesale option isn't available I'd say go for the local farmers market flowers for the majority of your flowers and if you're worried about not finding something that you think would be good to carry down the aisle, go to a florist for that. Good luck, I hope you find a solution that fits.

  2. I ordered my flowers online from FiftyFlowers. I just started typing out my story and realized it was a book, so I deleted it. If you want to read about my experience, see these posts.

    Can you talk to the people at the Farmer's Market in advance to see if there are other flowers they can provide? I don't know if they do that sort of thing...

  3. I bought my flowers from Fity They showed up 2 days before the wedding and that gave me enough time to clean them and make the arangements. I really loved them and they worked with my budget. I kept them in plactic buckets in a cool dark place and they were just fine.

  4. I am just using whatever is available at the market that week. I think this only works if you aren't too picky. As in, I haven't stopped to learn the name of flowers I might want because I don't want expectations that I might not be able to follow through on. Whatever is colorful and pretty will be mine. And that's that.

  5. A florist was outside of my budget too! I was to scared to order bulk flowers, so I bought silk. Now I don't have to worry about my flowers wilting from the heat of my hands and I can keep them forever!

  6. I also went the fiftyflowers route, as did my sister, and it worked out great. I also ordered some from Like previous comments said, they deliver about 2 days in advance, so you have time to arrange them. You don't need a refridgerator for them, just some place cooler with minimal light, like a basement.

    My cousins did the Costco route, puchasing the flowers the day before the wedding. With Costco, it's good to get into a relationship with their floral dept. They can help you out alot. For my cousin, they set aside the flowers they knew she wanted, so that customers couldn't purchase them. And we went early in the morning and picked them up.

    With the DIY route, keeping it simple is the key or you'll get overwhelmed. Best of luck.

  7. Oh Jes! I went the DIY route with flowers from Whole Foods and I could NOT have been happier with the results. It took the bridesmaids and me only about 2 hours to assemble all of our centerpieces (20) and bouquets (7). I would check the nicer grocery stores in your area to see who will do special orders. I hope to post more on this soon!

  8. Sunflowers are my staple too... I love them. I bookmarked this bouquet months ago... I want it =)

  9. What flowers are you looking for?

    Bouquet, boutonniere, ceremony, tables (how many?)

    If you tell us what the set up is, we might be better able to suggest ideas.

  10. @ Anonymous: I should probably do a post on this soon...but to estimate:

    we have about 80 mason jars
    20 guest tables
    1 cake table
    1 guest book table (or guest picture station?)
    1 escort table
    *possibly 1 "love" table with photos of family weddings
    5 bridesmaid bouquets
    1 bride bouquet
    0 bouts...we'll make 'em ourselves out of pinecones :-)

    there. my estimation.

  11. I thought about going the Costco route, but like you, was worried about the outcome. Also toyed with the idea of just showing up to a farmer's market a few days before, but I was concerned they wouldn't have enough flowers/the kind I wanted. So, I searched online a bit a found an awesome local couple who run an organic farm nearby... we're picking up the flowers 2 days before are storing them in the basement (any cool, dry place should be okay). They also invited me out to the farm whenever I want (in the spring) to check out their flower selection - they're very flexible about what we're including in the bouquets.

    I say do it yourself, if you have the time. OR find a non-floral centerpiece option (there are some pretty nifty ideas online) and maybe just do a few bouquets? Hope you're able to find something that works for you!

  12. We bought our flowers from a farmer who sells flowers and produce at the local farmer's market. We drove up to the farm to pick them out earlier in the week, then picked them up the morning of the wedding at the farmer's market. I made my bridal bouquet, and a whole troupe of wonderful women did all the arrangements for the reception and ceremony (25 tables, 2 large arrangements for the reception, and 1 sunflower arrangement for the church). From what I was told, the women who helped had a wonderful time chatting and catching up, and didn't feel overworked. We did not make the corsages or bouts (ordered them from a florist). I think our total flower cost was under 200 bucks. I highly recommend recruiting help from close friends and other women in your life--the flower helpers at our wedding had a wonderful time, and they were only asked to help before the wedding, not at the ceremony or reception.

  13. Guest Tables:

    What shape?

    How many people at a table?

  14. Oh!

    And how many tables?

  15. Oh sorry, you answered that last question!

    I looked at your reception site online and it seems to be round wood tables.

    I'll e-mail you sometime tomorrow with ideas (what I would do) - it may be later in the day.

  16. Have you heard of Blooms in A Box? I've heard some pretty good things about them! And if you can find a fridge, definitely try to keep the flowers there. Perhaps your venue will be super nice and allow you to use a portion of theirs?? :)

  17. Mountain Bride,

    I just e-mailed you . . . and it's a doozy. I guess my head exploded with ideas!


  18. We bought our roses at Costco...and they were l-o-v-e-l-y (and reasonably priced too). I'm not sure how the "storage" thing would work though. Perhaps the mountain air would be cool enough to keep them fresh and pretty? :)

  19. I went the farmers market route and had great results. My step-mom, future mother-in-law and I woke up the morning of the wedding, hit the farmers market, strolled around eating fresh pastries and picked out some flowers. It was really a pretty fantastic, low-stress start to the day. It worked because I didn't have strong feelings about specific blooms or colors and just chose what looked best that day.

    My backup plan in the event that the selection wasn't looking too hot that day was to go across the street to Whole Foods. They always have a GREAT selection of flowers that are really quite lovely.

  20. Jess, I've been reading your blog ever since my sister Cori from August and After began planning her wedding. Flowers were the most forgotten detail, but by the time the actual wedding came along, I don't think anyone could tell. Her best girlfriends and I spent only $59 on feathers and flowers from Safeway and Michael's the morning of her wedding. It felt a lot like what surprisewedding shared--we drank iced lattes, ran around town as a car full of girls, and had a really memorable time shopping impulsively by color. The florists in Safeway were generous and helpful, making sure we had the freshest flowers and giving us a bucket to carry them back to the hotel in. Fortunately, we all knew Cori well, and knew what she'd like--even down to the little bird we hid in her bouquet.

    There won't be a shortage of flowers in town--especially in May. With farmer's markets, natural food stores and major grocery stores, you could have a lot of fun shopping for in season blooms. For Cori and Evan's wedding, shopping for flowers and making the arrangements was the least stressful task of the whole event.

    Protect your sanity (whatever you have left) by not letting things get too complicated. And let your girls step up to help you! That's what they're there for, and they should know your tastes better than anyone else anyway!

  21. You said that you went to a farmers market. I was curious as to which one. I am getting married this fall at Foxboro Lodge and I would like to make my own bouquet and table arrangements. I have been looking for a farmer's market in the Flagstaff area

  22. I decided on dahlias and that I could do my own bouquets and boutennieres and corsages... and then I counted them out and realized that I really didn't want all that work, but wasn't about to spend between $75 and $250 on one bouquet. So the plan was to get the dahlias from the farmers market. Then my mom stumbled on a dahlia farmer out in the booneys where she lives. Turns out the dahlia farmers daughter was a florist back in Wisconsin. Time was running out and I'd completely stopped looking at my budget at this point so I said, "great! two bouquets, 6 bout's 6 corsages." I didn't even ask for a price. On the day, she sent me all the arranged pieces and the cut flowers for all the tables for $150!!! cheap!!! But not quite enough flowers for all of the tables. So my mom and my aunt spent another $150 on flowers at the farmers market and enlisted a friend of mine to arrange them all in little bud vases all over the tables. It was stunning and cheap.

    So at the farmer's market, ask around to see if anyone has any mad florist skills they are mentioning. Also, I almost went the grocery store option for the bouquets etc. They can do beautiful work with in season flowers for much less than a florist.



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