February 25, 2008


Posted in Budget Friendly Ideas, Flowers at 10:47 pm by Jess

The Single White Flower debate: Is one White Calla Lilly flower enough for a “bouquet” for my bridesmaids?

In theory, especially for a budget-concerned bride, this is a great idea. However, once we think about actually sending our gorgeous bridesmaids down the aisle, the idea of one flower falls a little flat.

Or does it?


The Single Flower idea works best if you:

~Use a large flower, like the calla, or even a Bird of Paradise, and make sure your florist knows to get a large one.

~Are not using many flowers at all in your ceremony. I am not, therefore flowers are minimal and the very few that we use will be seen. Having an outdoor location with its own natural beauty helps here, and my budget!

~Play with the flower by adding a large bow, or having the girls cradle the flower in the elbow like shown below.

What do you all think? Have you also thought of doing just one flower (like Emahlee mentioned in her comment here) and felt that it was not enough? Have you done a poll to your friends who are NOT getting married? Go ahead, ask some random people who attend many weddings: “Do you remember the ceremony flowers?” Perhaps one flower is enough, but if not, even two or three of a striking, long stem can be cheaper and elegant.

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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??