There was one part of my wedding that was so unique & special that I recommend every bride incorporate it. A vintage brooch bouquet. I first became aware of Amanda Heer (www.fantasyfloraldesigns.com ) shortly after my engagement when a friend sent me a link to 10 unique wedding ideas. It included her brooch bouquets. And I was smitten.
It’s basically this: instead of carrying flowers down the aisle, you carry a bouquet created out of family heirlooms. I was struck by the beauty of the antique brooch bouquets I saw on Amanda’s website, but I was a little protective of my family treasures & couldn’t imagine unearthing them all from the depths of my dresser. Because that’s where they go. But ultimately it occurred to me that I might enjoy them more by actually using them instead of burying them all in a drawer.
I spent about a year collecting meaningful pieces. And it wasn’t hard. I asked family & a few close friends to give me something special to include & I was stuck by how important some of the pieces were. Here are a few that were so profound to me:
Putting these things in the mail was pretty much the scariest part. But Amanda comes with some serious endorsements; she’s been featured on ABC, NBC, WeTV, Bravo, she was voted Trendsetter of the Year in 2010 & Wedding Wire in 2011, she’s been Best of The Knot- the list goes on & on. So I insured the eff out of that package & sent it off. And then I chewed off my nails every single day that ticked by while I awaited the return of my most priceless possessions.
When the box arrived from Amanda & I took my bouquet out, I actually cried. It was beyond just beautiful, it was a collection of my life, my family, our history. And walking down the aisle with it was all the more meaningful- relatives no longer with me felt a part of my big day. It was beyond just a “Something Old” fulfillment- I was carrying my family with me.
After the ceremony, I displayed the bouquet next to a corkboard I’d made that highlighted each individual piece so our guests could appreciate the significance.
Today, I’ve put the bouquet in a shadow box in my living room. And I admire it every day. It’s a much more noble life for those heirlooms than the back of my dresser drawer.
If there was one component of my wedding that I would recommend to every single bride, it’s Amanda’s brooch bouquet. It still chokes me up to think about it.
On facebook: https://www.facebook.com/broochbouquets
We had our flower trial!
Let me start over- I didn’t even know there was some kind of trial that a florist does, but apparently, there is. And it’s completely awesome. Allow me to explain.
Even though the flowers in season now aren’t exactly the same as the flowers in season in September, the pros at B Floral (http://bfloral.com/) put together a close estimation of what your flowers are going to look like. And as someone who’s “florally-challenged”, it was a great way to see concretely that they TOTALLY get my aesthetic!
We’re doing a very “apothecary-eque” vibe for the wedding. Have I talked about this yet? It all started when Richie & I saw a set of coasters on vacation. Which is an odd inspiration, I know. But something about it struck us as so cool.
And before we could walk out of the coaster-selling store, we were locked in to a thematic feel for the wedding. Which fit perfectly into the old vintage space we’re getting married in.
So over the past year, Richie & I have been collecting actual antique apothecary bottles on our travels:
Back to flowers: while I had no idea what sorts of plants we’d be using, the one thing I did know when I first spoke with the superheros at B Floral is that I wanted these bottles to hold peach/shrimp/coral colored flowers, scattered around the space.
So when we walked in for our trial & I saw that not only did B Floral understand what I could barely articulate, but that they had done it more beautifully than I could have imagined, I was downright giddy. Check it out:
And then you kind of have to instagram it, because it’s a requirement for old-timey stuff:
So after I stopped gushing with excitement, we went through a few tweaks (toning down the pinks & greenery a smidge, focusing more in the peach & coral shades) and talked details on the wedding officiants, etc. Next step is B Floral coming out to the venue space to get more specific in their planning. Because they are crazy pro.
So the trial is done! Court is adjourned! And we are GUILTY of loving the hell out of B Floral.
Wedding flowers scare me. I mean, the flowers themselves don’t scare me- the overwhelming sense of color coordination & intricate design that is required to have amazing wedding flowers scares me. I don’t even have a favorite flower, besides those purple cone-y ones you can smell a block away that the corner stores sell every spring in New York City.
Note: the fact that I just described my favorite flower as the “purple cone-y ones” should tell you my level of expertise & preparedness for finding the florist of my dreams.
One thing I noticed in meeting with many florists is that they have a front team- the crew of lovely ladies who try to upsell you way more flowery crap than I could ever want…and then the real people who design your wedding that are hiding in the back of the store, speaking an unrecognizable language & cowering in sweatshop-like conditions. Which gives me a nervous tremor that my newfound preference for English garden roses that are an antiqued Salmon-y shade rather than an overt peach might get lost in translation.
Not the case with B Floral.
I first read about B Floral on “Best of The Knot” and stumbled on this quote:
NYC-raised florist Bronwen Smith makes customer service a top priority at her studio, which never schedules two weddings for the same week in order to fully concentrate on each client’s big day. The aesthetic tends toward clean and classic; check out Smith’s floral and event-planning blog to get a better idea of the vibe. — New York Weddings Magazine
I loved the idea of that wedding week exclusivity & I went on to read that owner Bronwen Smith is not only a Duke grad & former Wall Street maven, she received artistic training from The New York Botanical Garden and The Flower School of New York. Her client list was impressive & I found only glowing reviews online. I decided it was time to meet.
When I first walked in to Bronwen’s gorgeous Chelsea loft space, I had an immediate sense of relaxation. The staff was amazing, the questions were thoughtful & they helped guide me through an easy conversation, in which I realized my aforementioned preference for antiqued salmon-y over overt peach.
They started an “Inspiration Board” filled with pictures of my dress, the bridesmaids dresses, our ‘Save the Date’ design, the apothecary bottles we want to use to hold flowers, a variety of images & ideas we discussed. I have to say, it was the first overarching visual picture I got of our wedding as a whole! It’s so exciting to see how it will all come together & how the floral design will be a HUGE part of bringing the color scheme and vintage feel to life.
Before my meeting with the B Floral team (http://bfloral.com), flowers were an annoying component of my wedding to do list that felt like an obligation in which my only concern was to ensure there were no carnations involved (they giggled at the idea that they would EVER include carnations, thank god. It’s the Chicken Dance equivalent on my DJ rant). By the end of our first meeting, my decision was made, the paperwork was done & I was genuinely looking forward to my next gathering with the team. They’re going to do mock ups & samples of the floral design so we can discuss my preferences in more concrete terms. Don’t worry, I’ll totally post pics.
Here are some of my favorite flowers they’ve designed:
Who knew flowers could be so fun?!
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BFloral
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/bfloralnyc