Where do I even begin? My husband grew up in New England with Polish-Italian roots and I spent the better part of my first twenty years in Texas, a Vietnamese-born immigrant daughter of a single mother. We met in DC and wanted to get married in the area, settling on a lovely historic venue on 60 acres of land nearby in Northern Virginia. The venue embodied the perfect combination of quirks and values we hold dear: a love of the outdoors with the peaceful, serene, and majestic rolling hills, a bit of comfort found in a home, and a penchant for a good story, learning that the manor's historic roots entailed hosting renowned leaders from our country's past. Although the grandeur and natural beauty of the venue could have easily persuaded any bride to go 'minimal' on the florals, my love of flowers, all things DIY, and planning a wedding on a budget meant that we were going to get creative.
First of all, working with FiftyFlowers was an INCREDIBLE experience. Of all the stressors and details that can be thrown at a bride, this was one of the most stress-free, professional, timely, and EASY processes I experienced: every person I emailed, chatted, or texted with was prompt, helpful, and enthusiastic. The quality of the flowers was amazing, and the assistance they provide you with, no matter your level of expertise, was superb. I've shared this service with multiple friends and family members who are going the DIY route and I've yet to hear anything but positive feedback.
That said, we bought a lot of florals and we MADE SO MANY FLORALS. My great aunt used to be a florist and she and her daughter flew in to make my special bridal bouquet and 7 bridesmaids bouquets. I had help from friends and other family members two days before the wedding to make the rest. In making the wedding an experience for us both, I attempted to integrate Vietnamese wedding traditions into the mix. Not only that, but I had a few TEXAS wedding traditions as well: many brides in Texas will have a bridal party as well as a house party. The house party usually includes the ladies who are near and dear to the bride but for a number of reasons may not be available to be bridesmaids. This is a way for the bride to honor these important relationships without also potentially having 14 bridesmaids at the altar (trust me, that happens, too). House Party gals are wholly a part of the wedding party and can play various roles like passing out wedding programs and, in my case, helping pass out boutonnieres. They usually also walk down the aisle and are a part of all the wedding festivities/photos/etc. Some people may consider them the counterpart to Ushers on the Groom's side. Either way, we had a large wedding party, and I wanted to do something unique for the House Party florals - I decided to make floral rings for them to hold, and they were placed on the wedding arbor as decor.
Additionally, all the bridesmaids and house party wore traditional Vietnamese custom outfits, called Ao Dais (ow z-eyes). It was hectic, but overall, the hybrid tradition sharing was wonderful. I share this because it will make a little more sense as to why we made OVER 70 INDIVIDUAL BOUTONNIERES! In Vietnamese custom, nearly all the family members (immediate and extended) are invited to wear a boutonniere. Usually they have different colored flowers to denote which side (bride/groom) you're on, and I went for using the beautiful tiny spray roses and wax flowers to make ours. We denoted the difference by changing the ribbon color (mauve/sage green) and you'll see various guests in our pictures wearing them :)
Here's the spread:
1 Bridal Bouquet
7 Bridesmaid Bouquets
5 House Party Floral Hoops
80+ Boutonnieres (white ribbon and 2 spray roses = 10 for the Groom + wedding party, 40 = green ribbon, 40 = pink ribbon)
7 Corsages (grandmother of the groom, godmothers, stepmother, mother-in-law, etc)
14 Eucalyptus Wreath Centerpieces measuring 14" (to go around 3 clear vases with floating candles)
3 Floral Garland Centerpieces for the King Table measuring 36" each (Wedding Party + Spouses)
2 Large Vases/Bouquets for the Program Table near photos of loved ones who could not join (not included in pictures)
Petals for 3 Flower Children (husband's triplet nephews/niece)
Can you believe we still had flowers left over after all of that? Supplies (floral tape and metal hoops) were purchased elsewhere/leftover from what I already owned. THANK YOU, FiftyFlowers, for being such a big part of our day. They were beautiful and I had so much fun making everything.