A Rose By Any Other Name


Sorry for the long hiatus, party people! Things have gotten a little bit crazy ’round the neighborhood lately (I’ve had four Yelp events already this month, and another two to go!), and so both my blogging AND my wedding planning have been pushed to the side for a bit.

But my parents are returning from their amazing 3-week vacation in France (lucky sons of…) which finally means that a lot of the things I was waiting to do with my mom can finally get done! So I’ve got a full week of catering tastings, floral meetings, and the like set up. Hooray!

For those of you who were wondering, by the way, I did end up deciding on that Save the Date. By overwhelming response, the winner is…

So yes, Save the Dates are done and have been sent out (to all the folks whose addresses I was actually able to get, haha), which means the rest of planning is going full-steam ahead! My Big Item Wedding Checklist now looks like this:

Date: ☑

Venue: ☑

Dress: ☑ (and I ordered my veil, too!)

Caterer: ☐ (tastings this week!)

Photographer: ☑

Videographer: ☑

Flowers: ☐ (consultation this week, and see below)

Centerpieces: ☐ (in-progress)

Ceremony Musicians: ☑

DJ: ☐

Cake: ☐ (tastings scheduled)

Day-of Coordinator: ☑

Save the Dates: ☑

Invitations: ☐

Lol, notice how the list keeps growing? Hahaha. I hope to have DJ (and lighting) locked up soon, and I also have scheduled a couple of cake tastings, which, along with the catering tastings happening later this week, officially marks the start of the “fun” stuff, I’m told! Our wedding website is also live (although not 100% complete, as I’m meeting with potential hotels to book room blocks this week), which is fun (and gives me a use for all those engagement pictures, hehe.

I also am continuing to deliberate on what to do with flowers. When I first blogged about trying to figure out my priorities for the wedding, I had flowers pretty far down on the list. In fact, I didn’t even think I was going to have any flowers in my centerpieces at all! But, of course, the more planning and research (and Pinning!) I do, the more I do want some fresh blooms at the wedding, haha.

I’m meeting with a florist on Thursday, but am also still heavily considering DIY-ing the flowers, especially since I have hired a day-of coordinator to help get everything set up, AND I found out from the venue that I will be able to store things overnight on-site (though we won’t be able to set up until a few hours beforehand.)

Everyone I talk to thinks I am a bona fide crazy person for even considering DIY-ing the flowers, but I just honestly don’t think it’ll be that bad! Costco sells bulk flowers (and, as you can see above, their roses are gorgeous, I bought some off their flowers the last time I was there and they were beautiful and lasted a week!) and I am fortunate to have access to more than one wholesale flower market in this area as well. I’ve also found a site that will portion out flowers in smaller amounts than you’d be able to order online, so you can get a wider variety of flowers instead of having to buy like 200 of one kind.

332A0726 Untitled
I’ve also already DIY-ed some brooch flowers to include in my bouquet anyway (more detail to come on this in a later post), and I’ve watched a lot of tutorials on putting together bouquets, which can be done the day before. And my centerpieces are not going to be big floral centerpieces in a vase like you see at a lot of weddings, but instead will only require about a dozen loose flowers per table, which I think will be pretty easy to set up (esp. if we can stage them the night before and just have the coordinator transport them from the storage room to the tables.)

But, again, I don’t know if I may be taking on too much. At this point, it’s still easy for me to evaluate all the various DIY projects I have going on (centerpieces, ceremony backdrop, flowers) and say “I’ve got plenty of time!” but since flowers cannot be done in advance, I may be taking on more than I’ll really be able, or even want, to handle in the days before the wedding.

I dunno. I guess I’ll have a much clearer idea after I speak with the florist later this week — maybe her prices will be fairer than I’ve been seeing from other florists in the area. Who knows?

Did you DIY your flowers, or do you know anybody who has? How much did you end up spending on wedding flowers?


  1. Laurensays:

    I was just MOH in my best friend’s wedding last weekend and since it was a small wedding (25 people) she decided to do her own flowers. Which of course meant that I ended up doing the flowers 🙂 We only had to make 2 bouquets, 4 corsages, 4 boutonnieres and some loose wildflower arrangements for the table, but it was EXHAUSTING. Everything turned out well but we were so nervous about the bouquets that each one took probably 3-4 hours apiece. She ended up spending only $300 on her flowers, but in my opinion the time we spent on them was worth a lot more money. If you’re going to have a lot more flowers, it might be worth having someone else take care of that so you can relax and enjoy your special day!

  2. Nancy Huangsays:

    You don’t have to DIY flowers. Costco also sells bouquets too. I bought all my bouquets and it cost me less than $600 total.

  3. Jessicasays:

    definitely didn’t FIY flowers but where do you have your cake tastings? We got our cake from fluffy thoughts – you can see our yelp review and pictures. It was SO good. For real. As for flowers…it sounds lame but I know Wegmans flowers are gorgeous and they might be worth looking in to. So are flowers from the Boques

    • Carlysays:

      Was just about to mention Wegmans. We’ve been to a few weddings that got their flowers there!

  4. UH your wedding website is beautiful? Can I hire you to do all my websites ever and also to teach me l33t website skills?

    I don’t want to weigh in too much (as I have no expertise in anything) but I guess see how comfortable you feel and work with your coordinator as far as if you’ll have time to do the bouquets? You don’t want to add too much stress day of, but if you think you can do it, I know Bouquets by Gretchen would look amazing!

  5. Lynzesays:

    In regard to flowers, I ordered my bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres from SAMs and then also ordered bulk flowers for my centerpieces and made them myself. Overall I think I spent right at $600. My house was crazy when it was suddenly full of flowers two days before the wedding, but it was so worth the difference in cost for me to do them myself!

  6. Jessicasays:

    Also! If you’re looking for great invitations, look at Little Spark Creations on Etsy. I got a friend to use them after we did because the work is so unique and gorgeous. Definitely worth looking at!

  7. I’d agree with the thoughts above…I’d check with your day of planner to see her (his?) thoughts and maybe assign the flowers task to a friend/family member if the planner thinks they will have other tasks they need to be working on. I’d rather know that someone else is in charge, so you can step in as needed, instead of having all the responsibility fall on your shoulders.

  8. Anniesays:

    I DIYed my flowers using Costco. They delivered the bulk right to me. I believe we did the pink rose collection. I think this is worth it if you have family members who are willing to spend several hours the day before doing it. I poked my head into the room once and said “everything looks beautiful thanks so much.” I also did not care what the flowers looked like beyond color. My aunt and cousins ended up making 4 bouquets, 8 boutonnières, plus 2 small mothers bouquets, and extras went into centre pieces. We borrowed most of the vases from a friend and got extras at the dollar store. Slap some ribbon on it and we were good to go. Feel free to email for more details.

  9. Don’t do it Gretchen! Run for the hills! The day before the wedding, you’ll be dealing with last minute issues (so many random ones will pop up), doing the rehersal dinner, and trying to GET RESTED so you can be gorgous and without puffy eyes for your big day!

    If you have some artsy friends who are willing to do the flower arranging, that’s ultra cool. But don’t attempt to do it yourself. You’re superwoman and party planner extraordinaire, but believe me, at my dad’s florist, we have had *countless* brides run into our florist the day of their wedding, begging for us to do something – anything – for them. It’s miserable for the bride, and it’s miserable for us (because we can only do so much with such limited time).

    Also, when it comes to overnight storage at your venue – check on the storage space and will they keep the AC units on the entire night, etc. We once did a wedding (huge massive, gorgeous wedding) where we had to do a floral hoopa. The venue let us do the set up the night before (because the hoopa was massive and required another vendor to actually weld it together on site…it was pretty crazy)…and we finished the hoopa. Then we went home. Next morning – all the flowers were wilted and brown…because the venue shut off the AC at night (and this was in the middle of summer), so it was over 90 degrees all night in that room, and all the flowers roasted. You’re wedding is in the winter, so if they don’t keep the HVAC unit on, the flowers will freeze (which means your blossoms will yellow and turn translucent…but not in a pretty way).

    Basically, I’m highly recommending you to reconsider this. All your other ideas are awesome and I love them all……..but as the daughter of a florist, I can regale you with so many horror DIY floral stories, that I could fill up three books.

  10. Jensays:

    My Flowers were semi-DIY through the Harris Teeter. They did the altar arrangement and basically did the personal flowers, we wrapped the bouquets ourselves…. and it was amazing… total bill was under $350, which is great cause I don’t love flowers that much!

  11. Katsays:

    Gah! Feedly just crashed and I lost my big long comment… I will sum up:
    I did it: 3 boquets, 12 table centrepieces, boutonnières and brooches. Loved it. Chilled out on my lounge room floor and did it all the day before.
    Husband and I dropped them to the venue the afternoon before, they stored them in the cool room.
    You can do it!
    Saves heaps of $$ and I feel so proud

    I used this tutorial and did a practice a couple of weeks before
    Good luck with whatever you decide!!
    Love the save the date photo you chose!
    So this ended up being a long comment anyway… Haha!

  12. Lindsaysays:

    We did DIY flowers for our wedding! It was pretty easy and totally worth it in my opinion. We were able to have gorgeous fresh flowers all over the place and it was very affordable. We got 400 roses and some uh…little white star-shaped flowers (I forget the name) for around $400 delivered. They arrived on Wednesday evening for our Saturday wedding. Upon their arrival, I put them all in buckets (bought at home depot for a couple bucks each) in water in my basement and let them open up for a day. Thursday evening we stripped all the stems of their thorns and trimmed the stems of the ones we needed to be shorter. Friday we did the arrangements, bouquets, and boutonnieres. The little white star flowers we had to stick in on Saturday but we had them all ready to go. I had three people helping me who knew what they were doing (my aunt, my cousin, and my mom’s best friend). But overall I would say it was truly only a few hours of work and if we’d have gone with a florist, they probably would have cost about $2000. The roses were gorgeous, huge, and lasted a really long time. It worked out so well for us that my sister did the same thing for her own wedding a couple of years later.

  13. Anniesays:

    DIY your flowers! My cousin just got married and DIYed hers. On the morning of her wedding day, there were 5-6 of us who put the centerpieces together. Took less than an hour and was super easy, plus fun for us to do 🙂 Seems like a really easy way to cut some costs!

  14. I had my flowers done professionally, but as a way to save on costs we decorated tables with flower petals rather than flowers (with the table clothes and some items provided by venue) it looked really nice. Flowers were low on our list and we were in time crunch so it worked for us. A friend of my sister’s did her own flowers, and while its a cost saving, i’d be worry about time…

  15. We grew and DIYd all of our flowers at our wedding last year. Well, my parents did! http://www.ahealthiermoo.com/index.php/2014/07/24/busy-times/ <> http://www.ahealthiermoo.com/index.php/2014/09/04/the-wedding-morning/ It was meant to be a surprise for me on the morning, but he got too excited and told me beforehand!
    We also DIYd our evening food and decorations.
    I don’t know how much use it will be, as I’m from the UK, but I made a list of all of our wedding costs here >> http://www.ahealthiermoo.com/index.php/2014/11/04/how-much-a-wedding-in-the-uk-actually-costs/ I found DIYing large portions of our wedding meant that we saved a fair whack of money.

    • GAH!
      Imagine I could type properly, and where it says ” I had actually written, ‘My Dad grew hundreds of pots of marigolds which he then lined the church path with and wedding guests got to take home with them after the service.’

  16. Lisasays:

    I DIY’d my flowers with my mom’s help. She bridal party’s bouquets (succulents with white rose accents). I actually ordered my bouquet and then she embellished it a little further. Then, together, we did all the centerpieces. It was all succulent arrangements. My wedding was vintage-y and we found all the containers for the centerpieces at consignment shops and yard sales. They were absolutely perfect. The good thing with using succulents, which I hadn’t thought about at the beginning – they’re just my favorite, is that we could purchase them as we found them way ahead of time and didn’t have to worry. I ordered some bulk, but mostly just found them here and there at Garden Stores. My favors were actually little succulents and so were the guys’ boutonnieres. I preferred doing it myself. SO much less stress and when I got quotes from a few places for exactly what we ended up doing ourselves, it was way in the thousands. We spent a few hundred and had fun doing it.

    My mom was a florist when I was younger, so that did help. 🙂

    • Lisasays:

      Grr…I hate typos 🙂 She made the* bridal party’s bouquets. 🙂

  17. Syddsays:

    It saddens me when I see women valuing their wedding day as if it is the most important thing in the world; acting as if a man finally gave them the opportunity to act out their inner princess and make them feel like one. Women spending up to a whole year, some times more, and wasting so much money to plan for their wedding so that it is the most perfect day. After all, a wedding is a big old PARTY, there is no reason to connect so much emotion to it. And even if that is the case, pouring so much money into all aspects of silliness of a wedding will not make it or you more special. And more importantly it is sad because this type of thinking and attitude degrades women. What will you do when your wedding is over, pour all this energy into a good cause I hope!

    • You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but I have to vehemently disagree that a wedding is just a party and that “there is no reason to connect emotion to it”. A wedding is the celebration of a marriage which is a hugely emotional event — if getting married isn’t emotional, then something is probably not right. I have a big personality, so a small, intimate wedding simply isn’t what I’ve ever desired. I’ve always known I want to celebrate with as many of our friends and family as possible in a big way.

      You obviously have not been reading my posts closely because you would have seen that my goals for this wedding include both saving money and including many personal touches to make the day special without pouring thousands upon thousands into the details. I’m not really sure what you hoped to achieve in posting this, other than to offend anyone who has ever had or wants a traditional wedding.

  18. Very nice sharing. I have read your letter with my mother.Thanks.Good Luck

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