Any little girl who has ever held a bunch of flowers has surely mimicked a bride walking down the aisle while clutching her bouquet. It's automatic: nothing signals "bride" more than a bouquet of flowers.

It took me a long time to decide on my bouquet style. When the florist asked me about my floral requirements, even she was surprised when I told her that I still hadn't decided. According to her, most brides usually dream up their bouquet early in the game. I initially wanted peonies because they exuded such richness and volume. However, I was told that peonies are not in season in June and that I would either be paying a premium for them or I would end up getting the not-so-good-looking buds because they were already on their way out. My next choice was the Lily of the Valley, which Kate Middleton used in her bouquet. They were simple, classy and as I found out, extremely expensive (a whopping five figures)! I couldn't justify it as a single line item in our budget so I just had to look for other options. As I continued searching for my bouquet, I realized that I wanted a bouquet that, for lack of a better term, looked sexy. For some reason, it is actually the only thing in my wedding (no, not even my gown) that I deliberately want to exude sexiness. After hundreds of web and magazine pages, I found a pretty good peg for my sexy bouquet:

These orchids suggest strong, sexy, and beautiful.

As with most of the elements of my wedding, I had a stronger sense of what I did not want rather than what I wanted. I told my florist that I definitely did not want roses or flowers with bright colors for my entourage, reception and church flowers. She paused and gave me a knowing look. I told her that I wasn't being difficult. I was just trying to keep my flower selection neutral so that they'd go well with any color I eventually pick for my entourage's dresses. I eventually decided to only use white and green flowers for my entire wedding. Thinking about it, the two-color limitation actually allows me to design using the texture and shapes of the flowers. For the lunch reception, I want to keep the strong and opulent design of the Champagne Room at the fore and use the flowers to soften the look.

I plan to mix low floral arrangements in clear vases with design elements like shells and candles.

For the cocktail party, I also plan to use several low, clear vases and candles. I will probably incorporate more green leaves and foliage to provide a fresh and modern look that would go with our city chic peg.

As for the floral arrangement in the church, I again started with what I didn't want: big and bouffant. We are only expecting a small number of attendees at the church ceremony and we don't want them to get lost in foliage. I also wanted to make sure that I could easily remove the flowers from the church and be able to bring it to my reception as additional decorations. Thus, the hanging pew decor idea was born. We haven't finalized the exact look of the pew hanger yet but it should look like something that mixes these two designs:

I like the sinamay element.

Flowers usually play a central role in any wedding but I have decided that they will play a backup role in mine. I personally think that it is a decision that is both practical and creative. Practical, because flowers literally wilt and die afterwards. I do not see the sense in spending too much on them. Creative, because it challenges me, my stylist, and florist to be strategic in our use of flowers as just one of many design elements at the wedding.


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