February 18, 2008

Our ceremony Florist: Help me Pick!

Posted in Cultural Differences, Flowers at 6:11 pm by Jess

Saturday we accomplished four things on our wedding list.

First,  Friday night over an amazing fondue in their renovated-makes-me-jealous farmhouse, Jon asked his friend to be his second best man. (More on the bridal party structure later, with a juicy story to boot.) He was so touched, and it was really emotional for me to watch, because I happen to like this friend best of all of Jon’s friends, and they have not known each other that long, so it could have been weird.

Saturday morning we took our hangovers to the town of Morat. We are not actually getting married in this town, but five minutes away along the lake in a manor-turned-hotel. We met with the florist. I was nervous, because as always with vendors here, I don’t know what level of professionalism and options to except. I always diminish my expectations before meeting, to be on the safe side.


Morat, a fortified town on Lake Morat


Our Florist

I sound like a broken record, but I think that one reason contributing to the stress of planning your own wedding in America is the myriad of choices. There are so many choices, narrowing them down to what is supposed to be the “perfect” one is a ridiculous request. Here, the opposite is true.

We walked in to the tiny florist where discovered that there were barely any flowers on display. We went upstairs, and there were none. Instead they were selling vases, napkins, candles etc. We met the manager for our meeting, and the meeting took place standing up in the middle of the room among the other few customers and the knick-knacks for sale. There was no office, no computer. Morat happens to be in a Swiss German canton, but luckily she spoke French well enough that we could communicate.

Now listen to this, she did not even have a portfolio! She had one regular photo album that was only a quarter full with normal camera shots of weddings they have done. I should have been worried, but the woman had such a calm and professional air about her – truly her vibe, and her dress style, convinced me to stay calm. Fortunately I had printed off photos of what I was looking for. If I had not done this, the visit would have been a complete waste because she had nothing to show us!!

Lesson learned for planning your own wedding : Do the research and then take it with you to the vendors!!

However, of the ten photos I had, she was able to tell me that five were not possible because the flowers were not in season. I know a lot of budget tips say to choose seasonal flowers because it helps lower the cost. This was not our intention, we simply don’t have the choice to import. So, then there were two more that were expensive, and she was not sure of the availability. That left me with three choices, and you know what, they were my top three choices already!

Meanwhile, I mentioned I wanted one white calla lilly per bridesmaid. Check.


I was sure she would NOT have them, but she did have miniature ones!  This time she found a photo in an old crumpled magazine and we were able to confirm the four colors we could choose from.  So, Jon immediately chose the yellow for him and the rest of the boutonierres.


All in all, we decided everything within twenty-five minutes, which was great because it freed up our morning to drive the route of the potential Cortège (the fourth thing done), and I couldn’t have stood much longer. The only thing that was a little weird was that there was no major discussion of prices. She gave us a ballpark figure, but both she and Jon blew off this part of the discussion with a shrug. I notice that again and again with vendors. At home Jon and I count every penny on our wedding budget, but in person he will not insist, or EVER give the impression that we are watching pennies, and the vendor treats the subject like a minor detail. It is surely part of the cultural behavior to feel rich, in such a wealthy country, and to not ever discuss money. One cannot look like he or she is watching the budget too carefully, it seems.

 So I need your help. Which should I choose for my bouquet? Obviously the Callas are a huge theme already, but the peonies and lillies are more open and soft, and thus, a little more appealing to me as my own bouquet.

1. I hold white miniature callas. Goes great with the other flowers, but a little tight and compact for my instincts. (theknot.com)

2. Peonies, so fluffy. maybe a mix with the callas would be cool??(the knot.com)

3.Lillies, large and open (ftd.com)


Final, fourth option is that my two girls carry white Callas, The two Groomsmen have White Calla bout’s,  but then I have a yellow Calla bouquet, and Jon has a Yellow Calla bout??



  1. Lee said,

    I like the fourth option. Another option would be to have both yellow and white Callas to your bouquet.

  2. Emily said,

    you’re having the girls carry one calla each?? I had contemplated this notion in my idea (what a money saver!) but I can’t quite seem to picture it. Do you have any visuals to share?

    and I like the idea of peonies and callas, in colours of white, cream and yellow, as a bridal bouquet.

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