As the world awaits the royal wedding of William and Kate, we have our own recent family wedding memories to cherish. Just weeks ago, one of our sons was married to a sweet, beautiful young woman in Bradenton, Florida. The couple planned every wedding detail from start to finish, putting their unique personal stamp on this memorable, touching celebration. As mother of the groom, my job was to support their efforts and of course, host the rehearsal dinner with my husband Randy the evening before the wedding.
No matter how simple or elaborate the celebration, weddings can be expensive and sticking to the budget is a full time job. The wedding dress, invitations and postage, flowers, reception location, food and wine, music, hotel expenses, and travel all add up to significant dollars. Identifying where to trim costs without sacrificing the overall effect can be challenging, but it can also result in a wedding filled with personal touches.
One place to start is the flowers. I’ve always loved working with flowers, so from the first, I knew I wanted to create the floral centerpieces for the rehearsal dinner. Asking our son and his fiancée whether they would like to use the same centerpieces the following day for their reception made both practical and financial sense, so it was agreed I would create twelve centerpieces using colors from the wedding.
Utilizing a flower wholesaler was definitely the way to go both in cost and convenience – in this case, King’s Wholesale Florists in Bradenton – because they would order the flowers and greenery I wanted, ready for pick-up when I needed them. I met with Pinkie, one of King’s talented designers, two months before the wedding and selected containers and flowers; then completed remaining details via phone and email.
When I picked up the flowers the day before the rehearsal dinner, Pinkie loaned me buckets to keep them well-hydrated while I created the centerpieces in my hotel suite. The Hilton Garden Inn sales director, David had long tables – complete with banquet skirting! - set up in our suite’s living room to make my job easier. After turning the air conditioning down as low as it would go, I began the process of assembling the centerpieces, one gorgeous, fragrant flower at a time. Peach and yellow tulips, ivory and “Movie Star” salmon roses, bright salmon gerbera daisies, yellow solendago, and fragrant white stock and white snapdragons. By the end of the day, each centerpiece was complete – ready to add their beauty to the rehearsal dinner and outdoor wedding reception. And it couldn’t be too soon for Randy….He was sneezing and his eyes were running from so many flowers in the hotel room!
As pretty as the floral centerpieces were and as much fun as I had putting them together, they couldn’t hold a candle to the beauty of our son’s bride, but then….that’s the sign of a perfect wedding.