Monday, June 3, 2013

Wedding weekend!

I love it when people I love get married, partly because they frequently have awesome friends and really good parties. We were up in Oakland over the long weekend to see two of our favorite people get married and the whole weekend was packed with good stuff but I only took pictures of flowers. Sorry. Rest assured it involved multiple bars, competitive three legged racing, a mid-ceremony improv performance, catering from Mission Chinese and 3 am post-wedding karaoke (not all on the same day).

K + W asked us if we'd be up for doing their flowers and I jumped at the chance. I am in no way a professional florist but I can fake it as long as the expectations are reasonable. They gave us a color scheme and requested that the flowers be alive and that was it. Done. D and I hit up the San Francisco flower mart early Saturday morning and loaded the entire trunk of our car with flowers and then turned our (ludicrously tiny) hotel room into an assembly area. We used every surface in the room, including the bed.*  I was in heaven. D was, if not exactly in heaven, an enthusiastic accomplice.

hotel room florist
{hotel room florist}

flowers in the elevator!
{flowers in the elevator! - bouquets}


table arrangements
{table arrangements, boxed}

table setting
{table setting}

small arrangement
{small arrangement}


I couldn't have done it without the expert advice I got from dear Kristin. She is the sweetest. Thanks, lady!

I'd never made personal flowers before so I was nervous about the bouquets but I'm happy with how they turned out. I realize you can't see them very well because I took all the flower photos in the elevator on our way to the car. Whoops. I'm not sure how professional florists get them so perfectly round. I watched at least ten YouTube videos and still couldn't figure it out. Practice, I guess.

Boutonnieres are so fun to make that we had to set a timer and cut ourselves off so we'd have time to shower before the wedding. D started contemplating a small side business taking orders from high school prom-goers.

K + W - we love you! (Also, please consider moving back to LA because we miss our Top Chef nights)

P.S. If anyone knows what these crazy flowers are, please let me know. They're my new favorite. UPDATE - they're helichrysum! Thank you!

{unknown flowers}

* We laid down sheets of newspaper to protect the bed while we worked and I bagged all our floral waste and took it down to the dumpster myself. Using the room as a make shift floral shop is one thing, expecting the maid to clean up all that greenery would have made me feel like a complete asshole. 


  1. Hi Rachel!
    Congratulations on doing an amazing job on the flowers - they look beautiful. The mystery flowers are helichrysum and they make for great dried flowers too!

    1. Thank you!!! They weren't on my original shopping list but I picked them up as an inexpensive way to add texture and they ended up being amazing. And then people asked what they were and I had no idea. XO

  2. I think your arrangements look quite round. You did such a good job!

    1. Thanks, Pheebs! I think you're biased but I'll take it. : )

  3. Dear Rachel, I was wondering who did the flowers! I am glad to meet your via your blog. Those crazy flowers are straw flowers. Aren't they cool? I am doing Sarah's sister Bekah's wedding flowers in August, with only a slight bit more expertise than you have. I did the flowers for my own wedding, for Sarah's mom and stepdad's wedding, and for Sarah's brother Ben's wedding.
    It is one of the nuttier things one can do if you are not a florist (I am a psychologist.) I totally resonate with having flowers everywhere. I can't believe you did it in a hotel room!
    I think the arrangements came out quite round, thank you. and I thought it was cool that you wrapped the table ones with floral tape, so they didn't wiggle around while you transported them. Great job! They came out beautifully.
    Patricia Papernow

    1. Thanks, Patricia! You sound like an amateur-florist-pro!

      Have fun with Bekah's flowers!

  4. Everything looks AMAZING. You totally pulled it off! Wonderful flower choices, too. The buplerum looks awesome!

    1. Couldn't have done it without your advice, Kris!

      That blupernum is my very favorite filler at home so I knew I'd be comfortable working with it. It just seems to take up all the awkward spaces!

  5. YEAH YOU DID! fist bump, fellow amateur florist. (bouts really are the most fun.)

  6. How beautiful. You did a really good job of it. I bet the bride and groom were delighted.

  7. I'm doing the flowers for two weddings, and I'm actually really nervous about the boutonnieres! I did the centerpieces and bouquets for my wedding, but not those! Any tips?

    1. Don't worry - the bouts are super fun and you'll get the hang of it quickly. I watched a couple videos (just did a search on YouTube and then watched a selection) to get a feel for it. Basically, start with not too enormous flowers, wire the stems right at the base of the flower, tape each one individually and then tape them together. We liked working assembly line style, wiring and taping several rosebuds and then moving on to another flower type. I found that two flowers seemed as big as I wanted to go, and then I added a spray of eucalyptus behind them (I didn't wire the eucalyptus, just bound it in when I was taping everything together).

      Supplies are minimal but I really recommend using cut lengths of floral wire vs. the stuff that comes on a roll. It isn't the fact that it's pre-cut (you'll have to trim it anyways) so much as the fact that it's straight.

      Here's the list of what I used (can get everything at Michael's, except they let me down and didn't have pearl headed pins, so I was really sorry I waited till the last minute!):
      12" lengths of floral wire
      1/2" wide green floral tape
      Corsage pins
      Also, of course, floral shears and flowers. : )

      Have fun!

    2. Thanks so much! I will definitely check it out on YouTube, too. :) I have seen the corsage pins at Jo-Ann's, so I'll probably get them there. :) Thanks again!!

  8. Oh my, I'm doing my first (and maybe only) florals in two weeks based on the San Francisco Flower Market with a similar color scheme. This post really helps calm my anxious nerves about it! Thanks for posting Rachel.

    1. You can do it! I went to the Flower Mart at 8:30 am and I think it was awkward timing - too late for the real professionals and too early for the general public. There weren't as many vendors as I'd expected but that place is huge! So I wandered around and had no problem getting all the flowers I needed. But if you've never been before - the main room isn't all the vendors! You have to wander through all these hallways to find everyone.

      Unsolicited advice - give yourself plenty of time! I was estimating that it would take me 5 hours to do this but it was more like 8 - 10. I was really glad I did all the unwrapping, stripping of the greenery, etc. right when I brought the flowers in and then I took a long break. Coming in to do the arrangements was much more fun knowing that I didn't have to do that mindless work.

  9. beautifully done! :) I am also LOVING the cake topper!

  10. They turned out so pretty, love the color scheme! Sounds like an awesome wedding. :)

  11. Beautifully done!

  12. Good job, you guys! They look fantastic. I never can get my arrangements to look very pretty. (Possibly an excuse to buy flowers more often, as practice?)

  13. First, wow! Those just look so awesome. So alive and colorful. The wedding looks like a fun one.

    Second, we've always called those crazy flowers 'strawflowers'... maybe knowing that name will help hunt them down better.

  14. I love the bouquets and boutonnieres. They are very beautiful.

    irene of K20 Tesla

  15. Your first flower arrangement? I don't believe you - it looks amazing!

    If only my country has that many variation of flowers. I live in a tropical country, so we have very few flowers at the market, any exotic flowers cost a bomb here. =)

    As for the mystery flowers, if I am not wrong, they are chrysanthemum that are yet to be fully bloomed! You can find out more below!

    Love! Joyce


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