Giant puddles of slush and make rivers across the road on the way to school. Welcome to the great state of Maine in the winter time. But even though the weather is awful, I think it’s about time we talk about something sunny and beautiful: our flowers!
Let me begin by telling you about my amazing fiance. When this whole wedding planning process got started, he thought it would be a pretty simple process. Heck, I had a few moments of that one myself. We. Were. Wrong. Flowers were one thing that surprised him the most. I would blither away about what I wanted for flowers for hours, and he would nod along (probably falling asleep inside) and definitely wanted to go to the florist with me, Mom Library, and FMIL Library. How interesting he found the experience, I don’t know, but at least he was a trooper!
Secondly, let’s talk about the amazingness of Future Aunt M. Mr. Library and his younger brother K are the only two children on FMIL Library’s side of the family. Since no one else had children, the two boys were pretty spoiled (in a good way). When I entered the picture, Aunt M was one of the first ones (besides FMIL Library) to have a girl in the family. She would send me mail during college, gave me Christmas presents when everyone else thought I was too new, sent Mr. Library and I to Disney World when we graduated from college, and now writes me emails to remind me of how great of a teacher I can be. She is definitely my aunt. When Mr. Library and I talked about wedding planning, she jumped in and blew us away by stating that she would be taking over all of the flower expenses. Um… what? Yes. All of them. She didn’t care that I wanted peonies and that they would have a heftier price tag. Whatever I wanted, she would buy it. We were floored, but incredibly thankful. It took a huge burden off from all of our shoulders. I had been planning on ordering flowers wholesale and making our bouquets, but now we could relax and let the expert do it!
Following Aunt M’s recommendation, Mr. Library, FMIL Library, Mom Library and I jumped into my car and headed to Pooh Corner Farm Greenhouse in Bethel. We actually thought we were lost because the road was so narrow and became dirt at one end, but five minutes later we reached the front of her farm. Now, you may be wondering why the greenhouse is named “Pooh Corner.” Yes, it does have to do with the stories of Pooh and Piglet, but it has an extra element. Carole, the lovely owner, actually owns many of the real life animals that live in Pooh’s stories. She owns a wallaby named Roo, a pig named Piglet, a rabbit named Rabbit, and a donkey named Eeyore. Piglet was walking around the building when we met with Carole, and Carole seemed a little concerned that he would freak us out. Apparently she has lost a few brides to the fact that she has a pig running around. Not me!
She had tons of books and magazines around, but I already knew in my heart what I wanted. Yep, I was that bride, the one who comes in with everything but the actual flowers. When Carole started filling out the paperwork, she casually asked what I was thinking. “Fuschia peonies with six white roses, please,” I very calmly (but quickly) answered.
Something like this, but a lot more fuschia and a lot less white.
“Oh. Well you certainly know what you want. Peonies… hmmmm…”
That hmmmmm wasn’t a good thing. Our wedding was a week later than the “late season” for peonies. Honestly?! Nooooooooooooooo! I had had my heart set on peonies forever, long before I had even thought about marrying Mr. Library. I swallowed a little of my panic and asked her what the availability would really be like. She could tell that my bridal heart was breaking, so leveled with me.
“I am going to try my absolute hardest to get those flowers. However, what would your second option be for a flower if I cannot get them?”
“Well, I want fluffy fuschia flowers. What are my options?”
FMIL Library suggested hydrangeas because “they were pink.” That’s not fuschia. Veto! Carole suggested that she could open up some roses in a similar color, so I went with that. I really don’t want a bouquet of all roses, but I guess I will have to suck it up for the color.
“Okay, so what’s with the six white roses?”
Ah, I expected this to come up. I must have six white roses because that is how we are honoring our deceased grandparents. We each only have one grandmother left (Dad Library’s mom and FMIL Library’s mom), so I wanted to show our love for them and their guidance in a different way. I want to have them on my journey to the altar, so I will literally be carrying them with us as we are wed. I love it. (This will also be explained in the programs for the guests.)
With that set, we went on to boutinnieres. This was where Mr. Library had some say, but his face looked a little like a question mark. Carole helped with some options, so we picked white roses, fuschia roses, blue bachelor buttons and fuschia freesias for different people. Our moms jumped in with their thoughts, though Mom Library stayed a little quiet during times, and about an hour later, we had everything pretty much set. There were a few key lessons learned during our time, though.
Bachelor Buttons (Source)
Fuschia Peonies (Source)
Fuschia Freesia (Source)
Calla Lily Boutonnieres for the grandmothers (Source)
Lesson One: To some men, dark blue is the same thing as cobalt blue. To a florist, they are not. Please explain this to men before taking them to a florist.
Lesson Two: You won’t always have the same taste as your FMIL. Own up to it and stand up for your ideas. This is your wedding, though some help is nice.
Lesson Three: Know your flowers beforehand. And what kinds of arrangements might go where.
Lesson Four: Love the florist you are working with. I do. Carole is wonderful and laidback. And thank goodness! I feel completely secure going with her and cannot wait to see what she turns out!
What are you doing for flowers? How did you find your florist?