Cheap 'n' Quirky Wedding

Just another weblog

The Bouquet Toss November 19, 2011

Filed under: flowers — clln @ 4:25 am
Tags: , , ,

As I was signing into WordPress the other day, I saw a Freshly Pressed blog about the ridiculousness of the bouquet toss by Girl on the Contrary. She’s right, the toss is pretty ridiculous, hair has been ripped out in the name of bouquets. I did the bouquet toss at my wedding; I had a few eager friends who were anticipating it and I had some family members not take kindly to other attempts at the non-traditional (did I ever blog about the favor fiasco?) The only change I made to the bouquet/garter toss was to not force the two catchers have any contact with each other (no dance, no putting the garter on the woman’s leg, no awkwardness.) I wish I’d thought about it a little bit more.

It seemed like the bouquet toss just had to happen so I never thought of alternatives, but there were some amazing ones suggested in the comments section of Girl on the Contrary’s post. Here’s a few of my favorites:

1. Call the single ladies up to the dance floor and give them each a shot. Cheers to being single!

2. Give the bouquet to a woman who means a lot to you. You could make it a big deal by giving a little speech about why you’re giving the bouquet to this woman, thanking her for all she’s done, why you love her so much, etc. etc. Or you could be discreet and just take a private moment to give it to her (though that’s very hard to do at a wedding, you will be pulled in different directions all night.)

3. Just don’t do it! Tell the DJ you don’t want it,(s)he won’t announce it, and I’ll bet most guests won’t even notice it’s not happening until after the reception is over (except for the keeners who planned on poking other women’s eyes out to get closer to the bouquet.) Most of the guests don’t like it anyway. This way you can keep your bouquet if you want to dry it or whatever people do with their old bouquets.

If you met your fiancĂ© at a wedding after you caught the bouquet and he caught the garter, I expect that you’ll keep the tradition alive at your wedding and that’s just fine. But if you’re questioning it, you’re not alone. There’s no wedding law that says you have to throw your bouquet, so remember that the choice is yours. If you do throw your bouquet, make sure you tell your photographer to get good shots of it. One of my favorite photos of my wedding is of the bouquet toss where the bouquet had landed on my friend W’s feet while she stared at it in disgust and my husband’s cousin M ran away. The photo literally shows her running away. It’s a classic and it shows you that no one really wants to catch the bouquet, they won’t miss it if you omit it.


Things Learned: Flowers October 7, 2010

Filed under: flowers — clln @ 7:11 pm
Tags: , ,

Flowers can take a huge chunk out of any wedding budget so it’s important to make sure that you’re getting what you want before you pay for it. In order to save money, the only flowers we used were for the bridal party (no ceremony flowers or centerpieces) and we used the florist at a local supermarket. I think we made a great choice with the supermarket flowers, the boutonnieres, corsages, and bouquets were lovely. They weren’t exactly what I’d asked for though, and that is why I’m writing this “things learned” post.

My bouquet: so close to what I wanted, but too many extras

I wanted a very simple, all-carnation bouquet. What I got was a carnation bouquet with little jewels in it, plus filler-flowers resembling small daisies and lavender, and greens. Also, I asked for it to be tied with ribbon: ivory for mine, sage green for the bridesmaids’. The bridesmaids’ bouquets had the proper ribbon, mine had pouffy tulle around it. It wasn’t terribly off so I went with it, but if I could go back in time I’d have brought a photo of the ultra-simple, super-minimal carnation bouquet I’d envisioned. The lesson learned is that the florist can’t read your mind, and in her mind your idea may seem too plain or like no one could want it. Bring photos off of the internet to ensure that you properly communicate your ideas. This is further helpful in case you’re using a florist with many different employees like we did; if the staff member who took your order isn’t working on your wedding day, the photo of exactly what you want may be kept with your order.

A few more tips I shared in my earlier post on flowers is that I highly recommend checking out your local grocery store for floral options; that hydrangeas wilt too quickly to be in a bouquet; and that carnations are a frugal, hardy, cute flower that come in a variety of colors.

All in all, my bouquet worked. It was still simple, green, and very cost effective (my bouquet was $20, all of the flowers together came to just under $150.) I had a very pleasant experience with the florist I used; all of the staff was very nice, they allowed for changes to my order (my mom decided she wanted a wrist corsage instead of a pin at the last minute,) and they did a good job. So my one big important tip is that if you know what you want, bring photos to your florist to make sure that it’s exactly what you get.


Cheap Flowers July 27, 2010

No one really talks about the cost of a wedding bouquet. Magazines don’t list the cost of the arrangements they feature, florists’ websites will only ask you to contact them for information about wedding flowers. Many wedding shows claim that the average price of a bridal bouquet is $120-160, but it all depends on the type of flower, size, etc. I’ll talk about the cost. Mine was $19.99.

I originally thought that I’d have to make my own bouquet to get this price, but then I thought about the stress of dealing with fresh flowers right before the wedding, plus how these flowers are going to be in tons of photos, so I decided I had to go with a professional. I went to Stop ‘n’ Shop, a local grocery store, and spoke with the floral manager. Some people might balk at the idea of getting wedding flowers from a grocery store, but she was very knowledgeable about what flowers would work best in bridal bouquets and my options. You can see examples of their work in their displays and they often have photos of arrangements they’ve done in the past.

As I mentioned in a past post, I planned to use carnations for my bouquet. They look beautiful and simple when bunched together, plus there’s a wide variety of colors. Best of all, they’re cheap and hardy. I wavered on my decision for a while and asked the florist about hydrangeas, but she told me that they’ll wilt within an hour or two of being out of water. This would look awful through the ceremony and photos. If you’re really set on them, she recommended using silk hydrangeas mixed in with fresh flowers. Instead, this cemented my decision to use carnations. They’re cheaper and they’ll last for ages out of water. They’ve become pretty trendy too, bunches of carnations are popping up online and in stores.

So for my hand-tied, 12-flower bouquet with greens around the outside, it came to $19.99. The bridesmaids’ bouquets, with 8 flowers, came to $14.99 each. The boutonnieres for the groom, groomsmen, and the fathers, were $5.99 each, and the corsages for the mothers of the bride and groom were $7.99 each. All have just carnations and greens. That brings our grand total with tax to $147, right about the supposed average cost of a bridal bouquet.

So, to wrap up and give some advice, I say that you should definitely consider using a cheaper “filler” flower as your main flower as they can look gorgeous bunched together (have you seen a bouquet of all alstroemeria?) Think about going to a grocery store’s florist, especially if you’re going with a simple arrangement. Simple arrangements are in style, and they work out quite economically if the flower you choose an inexpensive one.

Carnation bouquets from a Wedding Bee gallery


I won’t quit my day job, but I think I show promise in flower arrangement March 16, 2010

Filed under: diy,flowers — clln @ 4:54 am
Tags: , , , ,

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while, as you can clearly tell, I didn’t until now. My birthday was a couple of months ago and my future in-laws sent me a huge bouquet. It was gorgeous, but when it came time to change the murky water, there was no way I could put the flowers back in as nicely as they had been before. I decided that I’d practice with a little single-flower design and segregate all of the carnations and alstroemerias to their own vases (which ended up being crystal glasses due to the size I desired.) I’m no pro, but I think they turned out pretty well, well enough that I have faith that I can make nice arrangements of all one flower for the wedding. If you look closely, I used a rubber band on the carnations. Clearly I’d use some florist’s wire for it in an actual bouquet or arrangement, but not bad for 10 minutes with no supplies, eh?

My little bunch of carnations

One carnation blooms fell off, so I tried it in a variety of shot glasses. Maybe not a great look, but I was experimenting:

The beheaded carnation lasted for about a week in there. Not too shabby.

And here’s all 3. I think with more work and attention to detail these would look pretty awesome.

Disregard the shabby elastic band, please

The alstroemeria bunch looked better in person than I could capture with my camera on my messy dining room table, but here it is:

Here's the alstroemeria bunch. It looked much cheerier in person.

Red isn’t my wedding colour, it just happened to be in my birthday bouquet of flowers. One part of being cheap is not wasting an opportunity to save money while still getting to practice arranging flowers, so I took it. I’m confident I can at least make my bouquet and those of the bridesmaids. Anyone else taking a stab at floral arrangement for your wedding? Any tips, tricks, inspiration?