Sunday, July 14, 2013

Carolyn Westbrook: More Wedded Bliss the saga continues with my daughter Alexandria's wedding, that was held here at the Plantation in May. We got the tent up and the ceiling of the tent was now sheered with 300 yds. of fabric and hundreds of twinkling lights, now it was time for flowers. I had a good friend of mine, who has a business in faux flowers. I know what you are thinking, but hers are fabulous. I had her do the arbor where the bride and groom would stand on the front veranda. It was absolutely stunning. It was overflowing with hydrangeas, and roses, and all sorts of vines and white flowers. I had real white hydrangeas in urns that sat right up against the arch that she had done, and you could not tell the difference. Sharon rents the arbor for weddings, and you choose the colors and flowers, and she will come to your location and set it up. The name of her business is "Rose of Sharon" located in Sulphur Springs Texas. It was gorgeous. Anyway, for the reception, I rented silver candelabras, which can be seen in the prior post. I decided, at the last minute of course, that I would do the fresh flower arrangements. I have done lots of flower arrangements in urns or vases, but never an "official" type arrangement in floral foam. I was having nightmares about all of the white hydrangeas wilting and their huge heads were laying on the table because of the heat. They were to be in a round "ball" shape, and would sit atop the candlelabras. Then we would have urns of flowers, as well as several garlands, and bouquets for the wedding aisle, not to mention the brides and bridesmaids bouquets.. I called the wholesale florist that I deal with 2 weeks prior and placed my order. I got the floral foam balls and soaked them the Monday before the wedding. My friend told me, let them not push them under the water. Thursday before the wedding, I went to pick up my haul. There were hundreds of white Vendela roses, and bucket after bucket of white hydrangeas, white lilies, white Baby's Breath, white carnations, and white Stock. It was getting hot, and I was worried about keeping them alive. The lady told me...put them in the coolest room in your house. As we returned back to our country home, which is not always so cool, I got a portable AC unit and stuck it in Nick's room, and turned it up full blast. All of the flowers were carted upstairs to Nick's meat locker. Of course Nick was loving his new meat locker room. It was crazy looking, hundreds, maybe thousands of flowers in plastic buckets all around Nick's room. I absolutely adore flowers, so I was in heaven. But still a bit worried that I could lose them all.
 Christi came to the house early the next morning for operation: Flower Fantasy! I started the first arrangement. I have to admit, I did get some tips from a brilliant floral guy and he told me to cut the stem, dip it into the floral preservative and then dip it into "Quick Dip" (which opens up the flower so that it can drink the water in" and then immediately place in water that has been treated with preservative. He said that if I followed his directions, then the flowers would last a week. So, I did exactly as he said. I made the first "floral ball." I used a ton of Baby's Breath to fill in amongst the gorgeous roses and hydrangeas. I did work in a florist, while I was in high school, so I did know to wire the stems. Just stick the wire under the head of the flower and wrap it several times down the stem, to give the flower better support and it keeps it from drooping. The first one turned out absolutely gorgeous. Even better than I had envisioned, which never happens.
 Christi sat down and copied it exactly, using the same techniques. We sat for hours making the arrangements, until they were all done. Then we made the bride's bouquet. I took 3 dozen white roses and wrapped a wired about midway down the stems. Then I cut all of the stems the same length. Then I had bought gorgeous silk ribbon to go around the bouquet to cover the wire. Then I ran an outer piece of ribbon, through a rhinestone buckle, that I got a fabric store, and tied it off and tucked the ribbon under.
It was stunning. Now I am going to tell you what the florists do not want you to know...anyone could do this. Leave the stem longer so you can put it in a pitcher of water, until the wedding, and then cut it at the last minute. I did the same thing, only smaller for each bridesmaid. Guess what the biggest surprise was...the flowers lasted a week after the wedding. These tricks with the "Quick Dip" worked. You have no idea how worried that I was about doing the flowers, so if I can do it, so can you. It was actually quite fun and Christi and I felt so proud that we were able to pull this off. It didn't end there.
Look for more wedding tips and advice on the next post.


trash talk said...

Only you my crazy talented friend...only you!

The Primitique said...

You do know that I am taking notes, right? ~Mindy