When my boyfriend and best friend of 4 years proposed to me in June of 2017 and I began the tedious and overwhelming process of wedding planning, I knew two things for certain: I wanted to design the invitation suite AND make all of the flower arrangements myself. As a landscape architect working in Atlanta, and having grown up on a farm in the Kentucky Bluegrass Region - I have a complete obsession with flowers and sometimes daydream of starting up my own greenhouses and floral design business. Growing up a "flower child," I was always picking flowers from other people's gardens and foraging for wildflowers and "weeds" on our farm to create a mini fairy garden (way before they became a thing) or a flower crown and necklace and so forth... But I had never attempted to make professional-looking, pinterest-worthy arrangements and knew if I wanted it to turn out the way I was envisioning in my artsy-fartsy head that I would have to really dig in and do some research. I'll admit that I spent more time designing these arrangements than I did planning everything else -- in fact, I knew I was going to order our flowers from Fifty Flowers before we even selected our venue!
For the entire year and a half we were engaged, I poured over every. single. flower on the FF website - looking at the care/longevity, reading reviews and other flower stories, and even what the flowers symbolized! I would create image boards with all of the flowers I was interested in, which was A LOT, and worked hard to curate them to find the right balance of moody, autumn, unique texture, and drama I was looking for. I also went so far as to use the same flowers and berries that I had illustrated in a hand-drawn floral illustration for the invitation suite. And through all of the iterations and obsessive compulsive flower shopping, I wouldn't change a single thing about the flowers I chose, and ordering from Fifty Flowers was super easy, saved a lot of money, and in the crunch-time of processing and assembling the arrangements, FF provided me with superb customer service.
My fiance (now husband) Charles and I drove from Atlanta to my parents' place in Kentucky the Wednesday before the wedding so that we would be able to handle the flowers upon immediate arrival the following day. I have never run so fast to meet a delivery truck. That was how excited I was for the flowers to arrive! Nearly all of the flowers arrived on Thursday, with the exception of the Astrantia, Cosmos, and Freesia which were slightly delayed. Processing everything took a bit longer than anticipated, primarily the amaranthus due to their chewy-looking leaves that I insisted needed to be removed. Luckily, for the processing AND arranging process, I had the most amazing help - Charles, my mom, my sister, two of my aunts, and two of my cousins all lent a hand throughout the rather intense floral arranging session. One of my aunts even went foraging on our farm to find some really cool branches, greenery, and seed-heads to add to the centerpieces, which complemented everything so well and brought a bit of "home" into the arrangements.
My favorite part of the whole thing was building my bridal bouquet at 2AM Saturday morning with my mom and fiance keeping me company while I worked relentlessly on the three bridesmaid bouquets and then my own which practically swallowed me! At one point my bridal bouquet became too big and heavy for me to hold while continuing to build it (and add zip-ties periodically) that I had to get my mom to hold it so I could run from bucket to bucket and grab additional flowers. She kept asking "so is that the last flower? It's already really big, people won't be able to see you behind it!" and "I think it's done..." hinting that I should call it a night. I knew I wanted a huge, cascading statement bouquet and I truly think I achieved the look I was going for! Admittedly, it was heavy and impossible to hold with one hand (oh how I wish I had weighted it!), but I completely loved it! Both the boutonnieres and flower crown (for my 3 year old flower girl) were assembled the morning of our wedding while I had a million curlers in my hair and in between getting makeup applied. Luckily I watched a lot of youtube videos and read numerous blogs and articles on how to assemble both, and it was so much easier than I expected! I'm so excited that all of the hard work and flower-planning paid off, for I am still head-over heels for our wedding arrangements! I may even get to do this again someday for my cousins who helped with my wedding - and if that's the case I know exactly where I'll be getting the flowers!!! ;)