Friday, July 8, 2011

The One Where I See a Woman About Some Flowers

If, like me, you're resolved to be a DIY bride chances are you get the same weird looks and questions that I do. Mainly frowns and "...but WHY?" I usually just laugh and say "I'd like to be involved in every aspect of my wedding.", or the more truthful "It will be WAY cheaper."

A few weeks ago I told Mother-in-Law Warbler that I was planning on going the DIY flower route via the LA Flower Mart in downtown. She got really excited and asked me about the kind of flowers I wanted to use and how her crafty sister could help out if I wanted. After getting my flower preferences she said, "OK, now we can call up a few florists to get some estimates."

Now it was my turn to frown. "Huh? No...we're getting our flowers from the flower mart...and arranging them ourselves."

She smiled politely and patted my hand. "Oh, I know. But a few phone calls won't hurt."

There's an old saying that goes something like, "Get used to being wrong, because your Mother-in-Law will always be right." You know what? It is so true!

At first I brushed it off and filed it away as part of the "unwanted wedding advice". But the truth is my DIY plans had major holes. The original plan was to buy the flowers the day before the wedding, assemble some helpers to arrange the centerpieces, bouquets and boutonnieres. And cart everything out to the wedding venue that same night before the rehearsal dinner.

Hole #1: Mr. Warbs and I live in Downtown Long Beach. Our wedding venue is in Malibu, an hour away when traffic is playing nice. The LA Flower Mart is in, well Downtown Los Angeles. For readers not familiar with the Southern California set up that's about 63 miles of driving. With boxes full of centerpieces, bouquets, dresses, shoes and other wedding paraphernalia. 

Hole #2: Once we carted all of the flowers out to Malibu, we would need to find a place to store them. If the hotel didn't have a special refrigerator or the venue didn't have any room, we would be in trouble for the night.

 Did I mention how HUGE the flower mart is? It stretches on for miles!

Other than the obvious problems with location and transporting the flowers, I was also starting to realize that I actually had no desire to DO any of that work. Or put my bridal party through it. So a funny thing happened over the Independence Day weekend. I went to see a florist nearby our venue, The Exotic Green Garden. We had e-mailed back and forth before and she was willing to work within my measly budget. And she did. And I BOOKED her! Not only did she work for our budget, she also gave me the name of some local bakers for our grooms cake. Swoon. It was pretty much love at first sight. Tiana asked for examples of the feel I wanted for the wedding. I showed her photos like this:

Image via The Knot / Flowers by Kristin Rockhill of Details of I Do / Photo by John Arcara Photography

And this:

Image via Mrs. Taco / Flowers by Amy Burke Designs / Photo by Ashley Forette and Gem Photo

She really loved this photo
Image via The Knot / Centerpieces by Annie's Garden, Corsicana, TX / Photo by Sara & Rocky Photography, Dallas TX

She immediately told me that with my budget it probably wouldn't be a good idea to model the tables after that last photo, because I would need two centerpieces per table. The first photo of the books was much more doable. Her suggestion to reuse the ceremony flowers for the centerpieces was right up my alley! She also advised me on where I should cut flowers and which flowers I could use to fill things out a bit. In no time she pulled up her past examples to show me what she could do. She pulled up these photos:

Please excuse those colors. Those are NOT our colors.

At the end of the meeting I felt like I was discussing the wedding with a friend instead of a friendly. Tiana really understood what I wanted and didn't try to oversell me. Doing it myself would have been fun, but just didn't seem worth it in my case. I'm so glad I listened to Mother-in-Law Warblers's advice and hired a professional. This is one time where I m happy to have been proven wrong!


  1. wow! that sounds so great...def. a better idea to go with someone then have to worry about it the day before the wedding. I love our florist's so great when you get along and feel really comfortable with a vendor!

  2. Thanks! I hope they turn out like I imagined. I can't wait to see your wedding recaps btw :)

  3. Yes, especially since your so called "helpers" really meant using me as your SLAVE!

  4. I am so happy to be a part of your big day. Thank you so much Mel!!