Our wedding took place on a perfectly overcast early summer afternoon in the normally rainy mountains on Douglas Island, Alaska. We planned our wedding over a hectic year and a half - which involved international travel (we were engaged in Argentina in the midst of a four-month-long backpacking trip), two moves, a new job (for me) and starting a business (for him). It was absolutely insane, which was part of why our wedding was so amazing - we were thrilled to have loved ones from our closest friends and neighbors, to family we hadn't seen in years, to friends from halfway across the world all joined together to witness our love and commitment to each other. One of the parts of wedding planning that I was most excited about was doing the flowers myself (with a little help from loved ones and FiftyFlowers). I knew from the very beginning that I would do my own wedding flowers, because I absolutely adore lush, wild florals and greenery, and I knew that to get what I wanted with a florist would be totally out of our modest budget. For our wedding flowers, I envisioned a dreamy bohemian look, with lots of white, tons of greenery and texture, and pops of pink here and there. I also wanted our flowers to be unique - we live in a small town where many people use the same florist, and while their work is beautiful, I wanted our wedding flowers to stand out. I knew I wanted to feature proteas, since they are my favorite flower, and mix in lots of different types of greenery to get a full, bohemian look that wouldn't be out of place in the wild mountains of our Alaskan home. After quite a bit of research, I decided to order the flowers from FiftyFlowers. I was really impressed with the crazy variety they had to offer - every single flower that I wanted (and some that I never would have thought of!) was available on FiftyFlowers, and everything was very reasonably priced, which made my fiance happy, too. Working with Violet (thank you, love you girl!!!) and the rest of the FiftyFlowers team helped me narrow down my vision and figure out how to get the most bang for my buck, both in terms of visual interest and budget itself. I ended up choosing a gorgeous mix of flowers with LOTS of greenery to accent everything. I actually burst out laughing when everything showed up because of just how insanely much greenery I'd ordered. I was a little anxious at the beginning of the ordering process, especially given that we live in Alaska and it can take longer for things to ship up here. But the FiftyFlowers team was incredibly reassuring, and worked with me patiently and with a ton of compassion, which especially came in handy when some of the items I'd selected weren't able to be shipped up to Alaska. FiftyFlowers was able to help me find replacements that would be hardy enough to make the long journey up here, while still maintaining the delicate, airy look I was hoping for. I probably had 15 phone calls back and forth with customer service, and they could not have been more flexible or wonderful to work with, even with my slight (okay, way more than slight) panic. When my flowers did arrive, they were already so beautiful - even more lovely than I had imagined! - and continued to open and perk up into even more stunning blooms. I spent the Wednesday before my Saturday wedding working with my mom and aunt to trim and rehydrate the flowers, which has ended up being a really treasured memory for all of us. We spent the afternoon taking over my parents' backyard with flowers, getting everything out of boxes and into water, enjoying all of the smells and colors, and occasionally crying from laughter - seriously, SO. MUCH. GREENERY. I was also really relieved, because I'd had plenty of well-meaning friends tell me that I was totally insane for taking on such a huge project so close to our wedding, but things went really fast and were actually a ton of fun, rather than being frustrating or overwhelming. We organized everything by type, and put them in the coolest place we could find (divided between my parents shed and basement) to wait for setup day on Friday. When Friday arrived, our team of about 12 people (thank you to mamas, aunties, bridesmaids, cousins, and random significant others of the bridal party!) were easily able to get all of the bouquets, centerpieces, and other floral features arranged in about three hours. We had plenty of time and even more fun, working together to nail the wild, dreamy look I was going for. Because we had so many extra flowers, we were able to make many more than the 30 centerpieces we'd planned for - every single surface at our wedding was able to have some kind of floral decoration of some kind. When we ran out of vases, we started draping flowers over everything - the signs, the bar, the cake and guestbook tables... it was amazing! Finally, on the morning of the wedding, my wonderful mother-in-law made the piece de resistance of our entire wedding: our doggy ringbearer's flower crown. He loved wearing it, and all of the attention he got for how handsome he looked! We had more than enough flowers for him totally slay his wedding look, too. The entire day was gorgeous and unforgettable, and the flowers were everything I'd ever imagined, and somehow so much more. They really made the dreamy mountaintop escape vibe I was shooting for come to life. I got tons of compliments and questions about our beautiful flowers, and people could hardly believe that we did them ourselves. I actually had one family member pull me aside, worried about how much we'd spent on our wedding because (in her words) "those flowers are gorgeous, but they must have cost a fortune!" Doing the flowers ourselves was EVERYTHING: it was the only way I knew I could get the look I wanted for the budget we had; it was a surprisingly relaxing activity in a very hectic time; and it was a really wonderful bonding experience with my mother, aunt, and closest friends - as well as a chance to get to know new family members and significant others' of our groomsmen better. Finally, we were also able to do something very important to me: donate the flowers to our local elder care facility, the Pioneer Home, and know that in addition to being the center of our wedding, they were able to brighten up some lives afterwards, too. I could not thank FiftyFlowers enough for the amazing service, and for helping to bring my vision to life. I will be recommending FiftyFlowers to all the couples I know - in fact, my newly engaged sister-in-law plans to use them in her wedding next year (with a little help from the expert - me!). If you're thinking about DIYing your flowers with FiftyFlowers, just go for it. I promise you will be as thrilled with the process and the results as I was. Thank you, FiftyFlowers Team!