100 Days to Go (or The Flowers)

When I first started this weekly column here on EAD it felt like there were months and months of preparation time. I drew up a list of weeks to go and realised I had 27 of them before the big day. It seemed an eternity. Not any longer. Tomorrow we shall be into the double-figured count down and before we know it the wedding will be imminent. And what a lot there is left to do.

I looked at all the things which I have planned which I wanted to tell you about and realised I have reached an impass. I have nothing left to tell you about until I execute some of our diy plans. I wanted to write about our invitations, but these are still in their component parts of boxes of cards, inks, calligraphy pen and stamps. Ditto the bridesmaids’ presents, jewellery, cake-toppers and graphics.  In order to write about them, I need to get on with some of them…

Still, this week I have made a decision of sorts about my flowers. I knew that I wanted white flowers, hand tied, a larger bunch for myself and smaller bunches for my bridesmaids. To be honest, it never occured to me that I would need to hire a florist and it just wasn’t in our budget to consider it further. I am ordering ribbon the same colour as my shoes to tie on the bouquets. So far, so good.

Not knowing exactly which flowers I wanted was a problem. I trawled wedding blogs and sites looking for inspiration and saved photo after photo of roses, carnations, anemones. I visited florists in our university home town and was met with dirision that I planned to do the flowers myself. It was bad luck, I was told, for a bride to do her own flowers. To a bride on a budget to be told that she should pay £75-£100 for a hand-tied bunch of roses or she would have bad luck seemed harsh. To them, and anyone worrying about it, I think it is a load of rubbish that it is bad luck. If you want to do your own flowers, go for it, but if you don’t, that is also fine. It all depends on your priorities for your money and for me, flowers are not so high up on the list.

{image credits clockwise from top left: Love Life Images, Real Simple.com, Wynn Photography, Jennifer Skog, Marie Labbancz, Carrie Patterson}

Roses are traditionally English but expensive, even bought as stems and arranged myself. They are also quite expected and I quite liked the idea of something a little more unique, so I decided on anemones. At least, I did until I discovered that they are not in season in the UK in June. Which went against our wedding ethos of recycled/vintage/local. Not much point buying all the clothes second-hand and then flying in out of season cut flowers. So I decided to look up which flowers are in season in the UK in June. And suddenly the answer was obvious: Peonies. Beautiful, in season, feathery, they smell fab and look great in photographs. And better still, I can have them delivered to the wedding venue the day before to be made up into bouquets by the bridesmaids and myself the night before.

And then, I met a blogging friend for tea and cake and she recommended me a farm where I could purchase said peonies. They are a family run farm who will deliver as many or as few peonies as I would like and were so friendly when I contacted them, my mind was put at rest. The only thing is that their delivery is dependent on the British weather. No warmth, no sun, no peonies. The last two summers have been complete washouts so we are hoping for a better one this year, but there is nothing that I can do. So I decided that if the peonies don’t arrive I will go with a backup option: carnations from a local florist. Decision made.

And as for the buttonholes, I think we will just go absolutely simple and traditional: carnations bought from a local florist on the morning before and made up into buttonholes by my mother-in-law-to-be. All except for the groom who I think will wear a peony, to honour the tradition of the bride plucking a flower from her bouquet and poking it through his buttonhole on his lapel. Unless the peonies fall through. In which case he will have a carnation too.

We are going to have white peonies but here is a photo of a pink one by one of my favourite photographers, the aptly named Peonies and Polaroids:


{Image by Peonies and Polaroids}

(Which you could purchase from her new etsy shop if you like it as much as I do…)