Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Final Countdown: Thursday, or DIY Flowers

On Thursday morning, I awoke early after dealing with our stupid escort/place cards, utterly exhausted and still with the damn Worst Headache I Have Ever Had in My Life.  It was time for our biggest and scariest DIY task:  the flowers.

Early in the morning, we drove down to Watsonville (near Monterey) to pick up our flowers from Country Essences Flowers.  When I saw what she had prepared for us, my first thought was, "Seriously?"  The reason we had picked this vendor was that she had her own ranch and grew her own flowers.  The reason I was willing to drive an hour two days before our wedding to get them is that I thought they would be fresh.  And yet the roses were already browning.  And I'm not just talking about a few; they all looked like they were dying already.  The other flowers were OK, but they were still not as expected.  The orchids were MASSIVE compared to most, honestly bigger than I wanted for our cake, and the solidago which was supposed to be little yellow flowers was in fact little green buds.  It was supposed to open up.  It never did.  Overall, I was disappointed with Country Essences and wish I had gone with someone else.

But it was too late to do anything about it, so we loaded up the flowers, reminded the florist that she owed us boutonnieres, waited while she made them, and headed back to San Jose.

Photos by My Dad

Originally, we had told the wedding party they all needed to help us with flowers on Thursday.  Most of them said they couldn't come.  Actually, most of them didn't say anything, and I had to pry their "no"s from them with my bare hands (aka massive amounts of emailing).  However, it worked out for the best because both of our families showed up to help, and thanks to them, we were done with most of the prep work in about an hour.  We would have been done with the centerpieces soon after if our flower expert, Julia, had not insisted on doing the arranging herself.

Thursday wast the first day that I could take a step back and let other people be in charge of the main activity.  Julia, bless her, did the vast majority of the work on the flowers, leaving me time to go over plans for the next two days with Nicole and the other key wedding helpers.  I feel bad about how much Julia did alone though we did all offer to help a lot more than she would allow.  Though she works for a florist, she had never done a wedding before, and she was really stressed out.  I tried to assure her that it was all great, but I still felt really bad about how much she stressed herself out.

Julia Making the Centerpieces

Teaching My Brother to Arrange Flowers (Was Hilarious)

 Nicoles Planning the Wedding Day
Photos by My Mom

The centerpieces didn't take too long, but then it was time for the bouquets.  We did mine first.  It was a pain in the ass.  Because our roses sucked, we had a tough time making it look big enough.  We had to strip the outer petals, leaving the roses small and hard to work with.  Julia spent ages trying to get them into the right position.  Finally, we worked out something suitable and then added in some leaves and solidago.  Then it was time for the fun part.

For months, I had been looking for the right blue flowers to stick in my bouquet, and I always came back to the same ones.  You see, there are these little blue flowers that grow beside the freeway on my way home, and they were perfect.  I had no idea what they were called, so I couldn't order them, but I decided to just go collect some myself.

And so it was that my dad and I found ourselves on the side of the freeway collecting flowers for my bouquet.

The first time, we underestimated how many we would need, so we had to go back for more which made the whole thing even funnier.

Photos by My Mom

It was quite the adventure.  Fortunately, we did not get run over or fall off the road though I did get a bunch of stickers in my fingers.  Woops.

We weren't sure how long these flowers would last, but they actually held up better than the store-bought ones.  I guess they have to be tough to survive next to all those cars.

Once my bouquet was done, all we had left were the bridesmaid's bouquets which were also a pain in the ass, but we got it done.  I really cannot thank Julia enough for all the help she gave us, especially since she did it for free and doesn't even know us that well being my brother's girlfriend.  She did an amazing job, and we have told her many time since that we are forever in her debt.

Everyone who helped us out that day means so much to us.  It was a shit job, and we could not have done it without their help.  Friends and family, we love you.  Thank you for saving us from a flowerless wedding!

Photo by My Mom

Was there anything in your wedding that you could not have done without your friends and family?


  1. I LOVE that you picked some up from the side of the road! Too bad you couldn't do that for all of them. Did you send a letter of complaint to the florist lady? How long did you have to keep the flowers nice and fresh before the wedding?

    They all looked lovely, so good job -- especially Julia! :)

  2. DIYing flowers was super stressful for us too, but so worth it so we could have complete control. My mom was the one who did most of it and she was just freaking the hell out by the end of the day. I love the blue flowers on the road - good find! It's great how amazing friends can be when they pitch in for you :)


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