It has occurred to me that it's been a really long time since I've blogged. Looking back, I don't feel too bad about it, because I have been really busy this year... with little things like:
- Traveling: to Bali a handful of times, Phuket, Cambodia, multiple trips to San Francisco, Taiwan, probably more places that I can't remember off the top of my head.
- Got to book 5 of A Song of Ice and Fire: Whoa.
- Got a New Job: that I love.
- Got a Dog: that I love even more.
- Got Married: I love my husband the most!
Life is good! Getting married was probably the biggest event of the year (umm or my life?!) and while planning a wedding abroad is stressful and expensive, it was also a great opportunity for some serious D.I.Y. action with family and friends.
I decided to not spend thousands of dollars on a florist in New York City and with the help of my amazing wedding planner, Lauren, of Ryder Sloan Events, and friends, we did them all the day before the wedding. It was a decision I did not regret!
(I apologize for the poor quality photos. I have been hooked on instagram these days!)
My mom at I at the market.
If you haven't been to the Chelsea Flower Market in NYC, here are some tips for beginners.
- It is not one storefront or location that is the "market." The market is made up of several different shops located on 28th street in-between 6th and 7th Aves.
- The market is not open to the public until around 8 or 9am in the morning. We started sneaking in around 8:30. Some industry folks were still around, but no one stopped us from shopping. Although I have heard they ask for your license if you try to purchase before 9am.
- Haggling does not work if you are not a professional florist, so don't try. In my case, running around with my mom and two friends giddy and screaming "OMG sooooooo pretty!" ...kinda gives you away.
- Do expect to know what you like before you go. I had a general idea in mind after staring at a few of my favorite floral pins on Pinterest to get a sense of what I was looking for.
- The good ones go early. We had to snatch up those peonies quick!
- Set your flowers up on the large metal crates. There is an unspoken rule of the honor system, so don't take anything that isn't yours and the same will apply for all.
Back at the hotel, we moved the furniture aside and laid down the spread. We ordered in room service, turned on some tunes and the 5 of us (me, my mom, Lauren, and my three bridesmaids) went to town.
I can't take credit for the bouquets, that was all my mom. She has and will forever be my DIY hero. As for the styling, I can't take much credit either, as Lauren helped with all the flower lingo, which goes with what and where. Seems like a simple concept but couldn't have done it without her.
The flowers back in the cardboard boxes. We chose burgundy & white peonies, astilbes, seeded & leaf eucalyptus, burgundy & white ranunculus, and some other greenery and a couple other white flowers that I couldn't identify.
I told the girls that I wanted each vase slightly different than the other, so it was fun to play around and get variety.
Here are my beautiful bridesmaids and the bouquets made by my mother! Aren't they gorgeous?
So, how did this all net out? All in all, I spent less than $1,000 on all the florals, including the beautiful silver nob nail vases plus supplies. Aside from staying within my budget, the time spent with the girls was priceless.