Thursday, August 29, 2013

Designing + Planning Orange Wedding Bouquets and Centerpieces

I'm at it again!  Some of our good friends are getting married this weekend, and they asked me to be their florist!

I love having the house full of flowers, helping friends save a little cash, and most of all, making them something beautiful that's a part of their wedding day (and about a thousand photos).  The stressful part?  Making them something beautiful that's a part of their wedding day and about a thousand photos!!!

I love their ideas for their wedding - hints of a baseball theme (they did get engaged at a baseball game after all!), casual outdoor feel, and bright colors of royal blue and true orange.  I'm also quite impressed with all the projects the bride has been working on!  Maybe she'll let me write a post about all her hard work...


So all that aside, I wanted to share with you what I've been doing to plan for this DIY floral experience. 

First, I started with the bride.

What's the budget?  As reasonable as possible but I still want everything to look pretty.

What do you want the flowers to look like?  True orange, with some blue for mine.  No lilies (a bridesmaid is allergic). 

Aw man, because I was kind of hoping to try these...

We browsed through a number of photos on pinterest and found that she prefers a rounded shape, not too big or too small, avoid the wildflower look, and no flowers that are too crazy.

We also took a trip to the flower wholesaler, but the day we went they were severely lacking in orange flowers!  I hadn't been planning to order ahead for this wedding, but after the selection that day, I decided it would be a better idea.

The following flowers come in orange.  I'm sure there's more, but this is what my flower guy suggested.  I bolded the ones I ultimately chose, and gave reasons why the others wouldn't work

Alstroemeria - too generic
Asiatic Lily - bridesmaid is allergic
Calla Lily - too expensive
Celosia - too weird
Gerbera Daisy
Gladiola -not the right shape
Hydrangea - Royal blue for the bride
Hypericum - too expensive
Orchid - too expensive
Proteus - too weird
Spray Roses
Snapdragon - tips are green, not the right shape
Tulip - not available
Zinnia - not available

By studying the inspiration photos, I got a good idea of how many stems I'd want for each type of arrangement.  The bridal bouquet is of course larger than the bridesmaid bouquets, and the centerpieces don't need as many stems because they can be spread out.

To save money, my bride had the great idea to use the bouquets as centerpieces at the reception.  She's having 15 tables, but I only have to make 8 centerpieces because 7 are covered by the bouquets.  This is awesome, and essentially saved her 30% on the cost of her florals.  I plan to poke some greenery in around the bouquets so everything looks as cohesive as possible on the tables.

Here's the breakdown!

I went with fewer stems than planned for the bridal bouquet since three of them are large hydrangeas.

Also, flowers have to be ordered in bunches, not individually, so I tweaked the counts until I got even numbers for bunches.  Where you see 1.5's in the table, that just means half the bouquets get one flower and half get two.

So how much do flowers cost, anyways?  Carnations are the bargain of the bunch (har har) at less than 50 cents each.  The most expensive thing on my list, aside from the hydrangeas where cost can vary wildly, was the cockscomb at $1.80 each.  Everything else comes in between $1.00 - $1.50 per flower.

It's also helpful to consider the size of a flower.  Sunflowers, gerbera daisies, and dahlias take up a lot of square footage in a bouquet - so even if they're more expensive, you get more bang for your buck. 

My grand estimate for the flower order came to $450.  Y'all, this a BARGAIN for an entire wedding of flowers.  For my wedding, I got estimates of $700 - $1000 for bouquets only (and subsequently told the florists no thanks).

To make myself feel a little more confident in choice of flowers, I threw together some photos to make sure everything would play well together.  Thankfully, they do!

I've also been considering the schedule for the work.  The wedding is Sunday.  Friday I'll pick up the order and "process" the flowers.  Saturday I'll put most of the bouquets and centerpieces together.  Sunday I'll finish any centerpieces, prep the vases for the bouquets, and make the corsages.  I get to have fun in there too - they've planned a bachelorette dinner tonight, a group outing to a Nationals game Friday, and the rehearsal dinner Saturday.  Plus some of our BFFs who are also in the wedding are staying with us all weekend, so I'll have helpers this time around!

I'm super excited to pick up the order tomorrow and get to work!  I love having a house full of friends and flowers :)

You might also be interested in these posts:
Prepping Flowers for DIY Bouquets
DIY Fake Peony and Hydrangea Bouquets
Elegant White and Green Bouquets
Autumn Bouquets and Boutonnieres

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