It Takes A Village

I agonized over flowers for months. My Pinterest board was growing out of control. I wanted something classy and beautiful and seasonal, but I realized quickly that my budget would not go very far with florists in NYC. Instead, I hired a florist to make the personal flowers (3 bouquets and a number of bouts and corsages) and took a deep breath and ordered the rest through FiftyFlowers. I wasn't sure how much to buy, so I used the Live Chat function and was able to have a long call with Violet, who helped me put together an order. I thought about it for a few days, made a few tweaks, and then ordered.

Customer service was great. One box of textured paper mache filler was held up at customs, so they sent another box the next day. We had the flowers sent to the church, where we had tons of buckets and floral shears waiting, and received them on Wednesday and Thursday morning. Stripping everything and getting it into buckets took a long time with just 1-2 people working, but it was really the bulk of the work for us. On Friday, we had our rehearsal at the church and also arranged the flowers in quart and pint sized mason jars. It was both sides of the family and some friends working together - a lot of people. We made a few prototypes but just let everyone be creative so they'd all turn out a bit different. (Afterwards we went through and fixed some of the goofy looking ones - have a designated "quality control team" with good design sense to do this for you!) Another pro tip: get a huge plastic dropcloth and do your arranging on top of it. Afterwards, just roll it up and you can avoid having to pick up all the leaves and stems and flower detritus.

Overall we made over 60 arrangements: 2 per table for 18 tables, plus a bunch more for cocktail tables, the bars, sweetheart table, the bathrooms, and the altar. I also used wire and tape to make the eucalyptus wreath for our dog. On Saturday, everything still looked great. The only major issue was the creamy white dahlias - my aunt went through Saturday morning and pulled the ones that were looking sad. Otherwise I was pretty thrilled with how it all turned out, and at a quarter of the cost of what a local florist would have wanted for this volume. If you are hardworking, organized, and a little crafty or creative, you can absolutely do this. But, we made this our only DIY so we could enjoy ourselves and not be stressed out. It was a lot of work, but because we did it together, it was also a lot of fun. Even our six year-old ring bearer could help!

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