Intimate Family Wedding

My son finally found the woman of his dreams and being the second marriage for both, they knew everything they did NOT want in their wedding day. No huge venues, no big bridal party, no extravagant catered meal, etc. Instead, they wanted a simple, heartfelt ceremony with her son and daughter walking her down the aisle, an abundance of great food—prepared by family members; wonderful music—curated by the groom's aunt; and an abundance of beautiful flowers—handled by the delighted mother of the groom! This 50-person wedding day was celebrated in a historic old home in southern Illinois and except for a surprise heat wave in late September (96 degrees!), everything was absolutely delightful. We are a family of flower lovers! I've ordered from FiftyFlowers before (for events, holiday home decorating, and occasionally as a show-stopping gift), so there was no question this would be a FiftyFlowers wedding! The only question was what combination would my fabulous new daughter-in-law like best? The online flower shopping and the idea-swapping process was a pure joy. She knew from the beginning that she wanted sunflowers, so we began with those but when her “something blue” became a pair of royal blue satin shoes, the color scheme immediately shifted! The sunflowers remained, but suddenly, the deep blue hydrangeas in the Varsity Blues arrangements became our obsession. The sunflowers looked absolutely great with these lush blue and white bouquets. But I had never seen hydrangeas in that amazing deep blue hue before and fearing the color might not be “real,” I decided we'd order the smallest batch possible as a test, just to see the flowers “in person” before we committed. It would also give us a better idea of exactly how the various arrangements would come together well before we were at “crunch time,” which really set me at ease. I wanted to play with the flowers and experiment a little because I was planning to do a flower crown for the bride's daughter as well as their bouquets—I had never done either of those before. I recommend testing like this because it gives you a good idea of how much time it will take you (and how much help you might need). It will put you at ease with how to care for the flowers, and you can decide what kinds of unique things you might want to do before “wedding week pressure” is upon you! As always, the flowers arrive right on time and the friendly follow-up and advice the FiftyFlowers team provides is second to none. I knew what I was getting with DIY bouquets, roses, and greens but I was leery about mail order hydrangeas and sunflowers—but their individual packaging was great. And, the deep blue hydrangeas are the real deal—they were absolutely stunning! We also ordered a textured filler flower pack, just so we could add some variety to our arrangements. It was amazing how much “depth” these additions gave our bouquets! The biggest surprise was the delphiniums in the texture pack, which were amazingly sturdy for such delicate-looking flowers. We paired the royal blue textured filler pack with the Varsity Blues and the sunflowers and it was an absolutely joyous collection! To decorate the buffet, we ordered the fresh-cut herb assortment and simply set each variety in tall clear vases to complement the food. They looked great. We also used some of the herbs in the bridal bouquets. As a golden complement to the sunflowers, we used the Viking Poms, which look like tiny sunflowers and were especially great for the flower crown, smaller table arrangements and the bride's “brownie tower,” which served as a “wedding cake.” Those cute little poms have tremendous staying power and will last for up to 4 weeks in a vase. Using these enabled me to make the flower crown several days ahead, so I actually set their arrival date for the early part of the week, ahead of the rest of the order. Everyone loved the flowers and was thrilled when we told the guests to take them home. Even the bartender was happy to take a bouquet. And we had enough left that I was able to share arrangements with a few friends as well as the doorman at my apartment building as a thank you for receiving and watching over all my flower shipment boxes—he was delighted to take some home to his wife!

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