Enchanted Arboretum

I was dreaming of a wedding absolutely filled with lush, fragrant blossoms – I wanted my guests to feel like they'd stepped into the woods of A Midsummer Night's Dream. The setting was perfect: a lush green arboretum and stone bank barn surrounded by blooming trees in the springtime! But achieving a comparable lush effect for decorations and bridal party flowers using a florist was far outside my price range – so I thought I'd see what I could put together myself. After researching all sorts of different bulk flower purchasing options, FiftyFlowers seemed like the most reliable and cost-effective option, and they absolutely did not disappoint! I built my vision of an ivory, blush, and burgundy floral profusion around the creamy white blush garden roses, which became increasingly big, beautiful, and luxurious as they opened in the sun. Then I tucked light pink sweetheart roses, the palest blush lisianthus, and deep aubergine ranunculus all around, and filled in with feathery wax flowers, velvety eucalyptus greens, and pops of peaches+cream hypericum berries. For added height in my ceremony decorations and a touch of organic whimsy in my bridesmaids' bouquets, I added stalks of larkspur. Although everyone thought I was mad for taking on such a big project right before the wedding, I actually found surrounding myself with all these beautiful fragrant blossoms a rather wonderful way to prepare for the wedding. We collected and cleaned all the buckets in our (and our neighbors'!) basements and set them up on my fiance's parents' porch, then asked relatives to help unpack and trim the flowers as they arrived. I prepped all my centerpieces and ceremony decorations 1-2 days before – they held up wonderfully, and that way we could use some of them at the rehearsal dinner as well! I had been gathering up crystal compote vases, silver platters, and interesting antique bits and pieces from thrift stores for several months before the wedding and used them to display my 12 table centerpieces and various other decorations. I particularly liked the antique silver coffee set that I used to hold the floral arrangements for the dessert table display! During the ceremony, we set up big trailing arrangements on distressed wooden crates on either side of the aisle; then we moved all those elements up around the sweetheart table for the reception. We also repurposed all the bouquets: my bridesmaids' bouquets served as the table decorations for the one long banquet table we had up on the barn's balcony, and my bouquet was set up next to the card box. On the day of the wedding, I also tucked a few pink peonies that a neighbor gave me into my bouquet and on the cake, and added a bit of ivy from my parent's yard into my hair. After the wedding we encouraged guests to take home flowers; the next day we drove around and dropped off leftover flowers at friends' and neighbors' houses, and we still had tons of bouquets to decorate my parents' and in-laws' houses for a good 2-3 weeks after the wedding, making everything smell amazing and reminding us of our wonderful day. While it certainly required a lot of work and strategic scheduling to get all the flowers assembled and transported, the artsy side of me loved getting to play with all those flowers – I actually can't wait to get my hands on some more floral arrangements!

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