I've decided with this being my third wedding to do flowers, the process has gotten easier. This time I had a friend help me hydrate the flowers when they first arrived. The first day I do a 2 step hydration. My first mission is to get them into water ASAP so they start drinking, so I have the buckets of water and food all set for the flower arrival. I take the flowers and cut them under water one at a time. Then about 4 hours later, I redo the process with fresh water and a fresh cut, also stripping the leaves below the water line. Day two, which was Thursday, had to be my creative day, since Friday we were driving, and Saturday was the wedding.
The wedding colors were white, hot pink and black, and to keep with the "formal look" I "silver leafed" cheap vases from the flea market with a two tone paint technique. I made two big altar arrangements which we transported to the aquarium for the guestbook and gift tables, I tied 2 small vases to the front pews, which I followed by framed photos of family weddings hanging from tulle ribbons down the next 4 rows of pews.
I had different size tables to make arrangements for, so, I had my vases grouped according to size; I had five 60" round tables, six 48" round tables, seven 8" longs. I had made up a chart earlier in the week, earmarking each bloom. For example, I knew that a vase for a 60Ã¢â‚¬ round table would have 5 pink alstroemeria, 2 white hydrangea, 3 white roses, 3 pink roses and 2 pink and white Eden spray roses along with gardenia greens from my foundation shrubs. So on Thursday morning, I filled my vases with fresh water, and started adding the designated flowers to each vase. That step was done by noon.
After lunch, I went out and pruned my gardenia shrubs in my foundation plantings. One by one, I took the flowers out of a vase, I added my greens, and then I started cutting the stems to length and adding the flowers. All the vase arrangements were done by dinner time. After dinner I did the two large altar arrangements, which I arranged in oasis.
Friday we packed up the car and drove the 5 hours to Charleston from our home. We almost didn't have enough room in our Highlander for all of the flowers! (see photos). Your cardboard boxes came in handy to keep the flowers from tipping over. The girls bouquets sat in mason jars behind the front seats. I drew circles, the size of the jars, on the box lid, and then scored pie shapes into the circle, to slip the jars into the holes to keep them from moving. I did the same for the altar arrangements (boxes courtesy of the US Postal service...those flat rate boxes come in handy!) We transported the flowers into the hotel room and I tweaked anything that got damaged. There were a few hydrangea from the altar arrangements that were looking wilted, so I put them in jars of water to perk them up. Friday night after dinner, I worked on the girls bouquets, which, up until this time were just 15 roses/jar. Saturday morning I made 4 corsages for the moms and grandmas and gave all the vases fresh water and the flowers a new cut. We transported them to the church and aquarium after lunch. From 3:00-4:30 we decorated the sanctuary, and at 4:30 we drove to the aquarium to drop off the centerpieces to be put out later. Since the aquarium was open until 5pm to the public, we couldn't set up until after they closed, but we needed to be back at the church by 5:30pm.
It was a perfect Autumn day for a wedding, blue sky, 70's and no humidity. The bride wore a princess dress and cathedral length veil and carried a bouquet of Akito white roses. I added crystal beads in the center of each rose for a little extra bling. I wrapped the bouquet with tulle and took a piece of beaded lace from her grandma's headpiece (which the bride's mom also wore) to add to the tulle the wrap as her something old . The girls all carried bouquets of the Shocking Versilia Hot Pink Rose wrapped with satin ribbons. The bride's twin brother, our daughter's husband and our son in law performed the service. It was beautiful and oh so personal. After the wedding, I took the heels off, and put my flats on. I was told the aquarium was 3 blocks away, and I needed to get there before the guests and put the centerpieces on the tables. Kent had to stay with the car to box up the altar flowers and bring back the other flowers and picture frames. Well, the run ended up being a little under a mile, but I got that great photo of the bride and groom in the horse drawn buggy as I ran down the street!