Tuesday, January 18, 2011

DIY Floral Centerpiece

Waaaay back in May of 2009, my beloved husband and I wed. We had almost exactly a year to plan for the wedding and I literally enjoyed every second. I never felt like the planning was a burden - in fact, I pulled out my wedding binders (yes, plural) nearly every day to brain storm, plan, or execute a particular facet or project for the Big Day. For me, it's the details that make an event unique and I wanted to put my special touch on our wedding without breaking the bank (read: source and make myself). One of the challenges of planning the dream wedding Francis I had hoped for was our limited budget. We were mostly on our own for our wedding financially, which made including some of these ideas difficult. Having some experience with event planning prior to my own wedding, I knew that flowers would be a significant expense and immediately started thinking about ways to reduce the cost. I had the crazy idea that maybe, just maybe, I might be able to actually do the flowers myself. Since I had no prior experience working with flowers, I knew I would be putting my research game to the test. 

Unknown to me prior to my research, there are MANY wholesale florists out there with farms in countries like Ecuador. I was nervous in the beginning about ordering my wedding flowers through a website. I mean, what if they sent the wrong color? What if they didn't arrive when promised? What if they looked like complete junk when they arrived? Luckily, many of these sites have sensed these fears from their customers and include sample packs - they even market them specifically as "wedding sample packs". I started with a certain company and when the wrong colors showed up on my doorstep, I knew they would not be the "one". I was not discouraged (largely due to the fact that they offered a refund...) and I went forward with sampling another site. Flowers and Freshness not only got my sample pack order right, but the flowers turned up on time and absolutely beautifully packaged. The nice thing about ordering flowers farm-direct is they are not in full bloom when they arrive. They arrive with the petals tightly closed and with all thorns and leaves attached - but this ultimately means your flowers (in my case, roses) will stay fresh for almost 2 whole weeks.

Here is how the flowers came packaged. I scheduled them to arrive 2 days prior to the wedding.
Here are some very special ladies de-leafing (word?) the stems. We had quite the assembly line going!
Here are the flowers in water - we cut them and set them out overnight to open up before working with them. 

Since we were planning a semi-formal reception for after the wedding, we opted for something low key and casual for the rehearsal dinner. The difference allowed us to not only include more guests (specifically our grandparents, who are not traditionally invited to the RD), but offered variety in the wedding events that weekend, specifically for those who may not be comfortable in a formal setting.  

We had our Rehearsal Dinner in my sister's back yard, poolside. Since our wedding was in May, we were *fairly* certain the weather would be perfect for an outside event. As luck (and many, many prayers!) would have it, the weather was absolutely perfect that weekend. We seated 30 people along the edge of the pool and we were able to rent the tables, chairs and linens quite cheaply from Best Rentals here in Indy. 
We went with a Neapolitan color scheme for both decor and wedding party outfits. (Hey, it made for better pictures!) For the centerpieces, I wanted something simple and chic that would blend well with the outdoor nature and laid-back style of the event. Several years ago (before we were even engaged - I mean, when you know you know :-), I found a picture in a magazine of flowers somehow attached to a box and then covered with ribbon to emulate a "present". I loved the idea and held on to the photo. When the time came, I decided it might be best to insert the roses into a piece of water-ready foam on 5 sides. In the picture below, I added the (strawberry colored) flowers only on the top layer and included a 3" wide cream colored (vanilla) ribbon with a smaller brown (chocolate) ribbon to save on flowers. Other centerpieces included flowers on all sides (except the bottom, obviously).

Here is an example of a centerpiece on a tambourine. We used these white tambourines to add a bit of height to the tables. (Since my husband is of Latin decent, it only seemed appropriate.) Each place setting also dubbed as a short note to each important guest - thanking them for being a part of our special day and how much they mean to us. The tiny sombreros are fastened to the note cards with a color coordinated prong.   
Here is a top view of the centerpiece. I just loved these flowers and the color scheme really helped make the pink (err, strawberry) pop. 

Working with these flowers was really fun. And, it was really cool to be able to contribute to the wedding events in such a fun and beautiful way!

Vendor Credits: 
Ribbon: Michael's
Notecards: Paper Source


  1. I'm enjoying your blog! I showed this to Regina, my soon to be daughter-in-law, who is going crazy trying to plan a frugal yet fancy wedding!

  2. Thanks, Diane! It can be difficult, but I think it's rewarding to do some of the work yourself. Have fun planning with her!


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