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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Flowers (13)


Pretty or Petty? A Little of Both!

I was coming up blank for a post today. Writers block, I guess. Generally something just pops into my head and out it comes. But really, nothing was popping into my head that was generally wedding related. I've got all sort of design ideas floating around because I'm knee deep in designing January 2011 decor stuff. I'm swimming in colors and textures and all sorts of goodies that I suppose could be translated into wedding day decor, but I'm just not solid in all those ideas...yet. Work in progress.

So I woke up a little early this morning, pet The Candyman's head for a  few minutes and then stumbled into the office to check emails and such before officially starting the day. I read one particular email and I got a big 'ol smack-a-roonie in the brain and immediately knew what my post would be. And I knew it wouldn't be good. Not that it might not be well-written, but that my intent was malicious. Vengeful, even. Sweet, sweet vengeance. Vengeance is mine, sayeth The Thirty-Something Bride!

So I'm driving to work and formulating said post. It takes me about 20 minutes to get to work and I wasn't 8 minutes into the drive when I had exhausted myself. I mean, why? Because of an email? Because of a nasty comment? Because someone cut me off at a stop sign? I exhaust myself with righting what I find wrong in the world. Sometimes, you just have to let things go. I'm not so good at that. I try and fail all the damn time. SO here I am, disgusted with myself and I'm driving along Old Smyrna Road (it looks exactly as it sounds) and am startled to see that summer is now in full swing.

Middle Tennessee is breathtaking. It'll do a number on your allergies, but it seriously is gorgeous.


You can commune with nature a mere 30-40 from downtown Nashville. That's pretty cool. Old Smyrna Road looks a lot like the top picture. Right now, it's crazy-blooming with Queen Anne's Lace, one of my favorite wild-flowers. So instead of the vengeful post, I thought I'd write about wild-flowers and how gorgeous and cheap they are. In fact, I stopped and picked some, I was so damn inspired. Now, the Queen Anne's Lace isn't in full bloom yet, so these are pretty small heads, but how gorgeous would they be as a huge bouquet?

I also picked these flowers. On the side of the road. For free. Think about it. I wish I had!

I also found these lovelies on the side of the internet. I picked them for free too.

All from here. And those purple spiky things tied to the post above? Those were ALL OVER this morning, but they don't just have spiky flowers, they have spiky/thorny everything, so I couldn't pick them. But they were there.

So now I have a vase of wild-flowers on my desk to wish me happy Friday. I also have two ant bites simply from standing on the side of the road that are swelling nicely. Why? Because I'm like allergic to everything. I hate bugs. If it's bigger than a rolly-polly, I'm pretty much terrified. The thought of camping makes me want to throw up. I love the outdoors, but bugs just ain't my thing. No outdoor wedding for this chick. But I digress....

But you know what? The shit from this morning is still bugging (no pun intended) me. Still. Why? Why do I care? Why do I let things get to me? I should know better. So here's what happened.....

I get email updates when someone comments here on my blog. I saw that someone left me a comment last night on yesterday's post. Reader "Evelyn" left the following comment:

Seriously, you seem so classless.

So I retorted with:

@Evelyn - is it the "fuck" or the "asshole" or the desire to go to yoga that makes me classless? I swear, you idiots are going to make me want to sensor people leaving comments and I swore I would never do that. I am begging you Evelyn, please stop reading my blog if you can't handle adult conversation, K?

Class, in this sense means (via my handy-dandy American Heritage Dictionary) "elegance of style or manner." Now, dropping an F-bomb and talking about my eating habits resembling the little brown crinkle star are decidedly not elegant. They are not. But calling someone classless has much greater meaning, me thinks, than a lack of elegance of style or manner. You'd be much better calling me a bitch (I can be). Or a potty mouth (um, duh!). Or even tacky. But classless? You're assuming that I dance on tables in bars and enter wet t-shirt contests (the former - once, the latter - never). Or perhaps that I use my hands to eat, slurp my soup, don't wash behind my ears and turn my panties inside out because I'm too lazy to do laundry. None of those things is true. Here's the deal people - I swear. I take the Lord's name in vain. Please either deal with it or go away. You are entitled to your opinions on my blog. I encourage them. But name calling is just so base. And honestly, there is nothing that gets me all riled up than name-calling. Name calling means the gloves come off. It's just an invitation to sharpen up the claws and get my cat-fight on. And here's the funny part about people who name-call: generally they don't have much else in their bag of tricks. Call someone with a quick wit and sharp tongue a bitch and you'd best prepare yourself. 

So, I read this email and I'm trying to shake it off. I check my blog stats, check out the location of the commenter (California) and a few other things I like to track. Oh, and for those of you who are clueless and post "anonymously" - you have an IP address. Anyone with sitetracker or a more advanced blogging page like myself can pretty much find out who you are really easily. Just so you know....

Anyway, I'm checking out my site stats and I have a referrer page. Meaning, I can see the entry point to my blog. Say for instance, you saw my blog listed on a  blog roll somewhere. You click the link and I can see that you came from that particular blog. So, I'm browsing through the referrer links and see that yesterday I got some hits from Style Me Pretty. Eh? And then I remembered that I posted a comment on the site yesterday, something I hardly EVER do, because I NEVER read the damn thing. However, I was going through my Google Reader yesterday and saw some wedding pictures and recognized the location, Solvang, California. I've been there many times and it is just a stunning place. A lot of the movie Sideways was shot there.....anyway, I checked out the wedding featured and left a comment, primarily based off of this photo montage:


Here's the comment I left:

Not to be a spoilsport here - because this is a total eye-candy, but I do not think I'd want to be a guest at this wedding. Who wants to sit in their finest with their feet in the dirt eating? Bugs and such in all that grass, potentially in your food? Just not a realistic concept to me.

Here are some of the responses:

Its absolutely lovely and classy. (@ The thirty something bride: But I am certain it could get lost on people who are used to the cookie cutter wedding- Stick to good ole hilton hotel weddings, honey! No bugs there)

I totally love this.
I disagree with Thirth-SomethingBride... I wouldn't mind the bugs :) especially with such a gorgeous view and setting. However, I'd be panicking the whole month prior to the wedding hoping it didn't rain.

While I understand that this setting may not be everyone's idea of a perfect wedding I ADORE IT. And contrary to what 30something bride said, I would LOVE to be a guest at this wedding. The view and details of the wedding - just absolutely breathtaking. Of course, the dessert buffet table sealed the deal for me.

OK, so the last two comments are fair statements. They express their own opinions, which they point out are contrary to mine. Cool. But that first one? Come on, dude. Really? Cookie-cutter? Moi? Did you come to my blog and review my wedding? Did you note that my guests stayed at the Hilton, but I did not wed there? Or have a reception there? Now, I did not have a Style Me Pretty worthy wedding. Thank GOD. Nor did I have a bazillion dollar planner, the time to DIY the entire damn thing, a daddy with bottomless pockets for his little princess (gag, I think I just threw up in my mouth a little) or the desire to make my guests traipse through a field to eat. The Candyman's brother is in a wheelchair for God's sake. Our wedding was about surrounding ourselves with the people we love to celebrate our love. Isn't that what weddings are about? Shouldn't it be? Does it matter if the wedding is in a field in Solvang or in a Hilton hotel? And just to prove that bitch (yes, yes - name calling, I know I'm a hypocrite, but I'm prepped with more in my bag of tricks, if need be) wrong, here are some pics from a few cookie-cutter Hilton hotel weddings:





So I stand by my comment. I don't want to sit with my feet in the dirt. Bugs bite me. Bugs get in food and I don't want to eat them. I don't want the heels of my fantasy Jimmy Choos sinking into dirt. Old people don't want to walk in fields because they fall and break hips and such. Perhaps this couple doesn't have living grandparents or handicap family members, which is why it might have been posted on Style Me Pretty. But beauty, and pretty, is in the eye of the beholder, no? And I think the Hilton weddings shown above are flawless and gorgeous in both presentation and emotion. And it's the emotion that counts - because for what other reason is there to wed? Remember the love, people. I'm trying to.

Oh, and Genevieve Rogers? You can go fuck yourself. Oooops. There went the love. Happy Friday everyone!


The Bloomin' Truth - Flower Budget

I'm not big on flowers. I knew this wasn't going to be a huge chunk of my money. Don't get me wrong, I love flowers. But they are so expensive. And they die.

On top of it, I used to work for FTD. I was the Product Development manager for their floral containers. I know a lot more about the inner workings of flower shops, florists and floral wholesalers than the average bride, in my opinion. I certainly know what I don't like:

Leather Leaf (hello, 1985)
Plumosus (it sheds little tiny green needles - like a mofo!)
Bear Grass (hello, 1997)
Baby's Breath (unless you are doing an all Gypsophilia thing like these:)

From The Martha, of course.

Found this on The Sweetest Occasion. Never knew about this blog. It's AWESOME!

I found this on Weddingbee (God, how I hate that site), but don't know the original source. If ya know it, lemme know!

I am not a big rose kind of girl. I like some weird flowers, most of them happen to be cheap. Lucky me! Now, I don't know if this was the smartest thing for me to do, but I only interviewed one florist. Yup. Just one. And I have no recollection as to how I found her. I think I was just hunting on-line, found a link to her on some seriously obscure wedding web-site and then found examples of her work on Flickr. I made an appointment, talked to her about what I wanted and what I knew about flowers. I was up front about flowers not being the bulk of my budget and that I wanted to trim the fat at every possible turn. She was totally down with it. Her name is Angela Sadler.

I think we went through about 6 or 7 quotes until we got to where I wanted it. The thing is, I had a hard time deciding what I actually wanted to do with the flowers at the reception. You can read about that here. I finally decided, bit the bullet and went for staggered bud vases scattered on the tables, mixed with small votives (provided for FREE by Mere Bulles!). I got my bud vases on sale at Crate and Barrel, Target and Ikea and had a total of 5 different shapes and styles. I bought WAY too many. The good thing was that I was able to return ALL the vases to Target (I did get a merchandise credit because I had purchased them long ago), and I sold a good chunk of the C&B bud vases to Angela. I still have the Ikea ones and some of the C&B ones that I will offer to sell here as soon as I can get my act together.

I met with Angela a few weeks before the wedding at the local wholesale florist place to review and pick out flowers as well as to show Angela the bud vases. Apparently, most brides don't do this. Angela made a comment about how involved I was! I'm not sure if this was a good thing or what, but I like to see what I'm buying. Anyway, you can see what we did here.

We kept the ceremony flowers super-simple since I knew it was going to be a short service. Why pay tons of money for something people are going to see for 30 minutes, tops? Owen Chapel has it's own unique charm, so I didn't want to over-do it. We had wreaths on the doors, a large wreath inside and two large alter arrangements.

How did I save? A few ways:

1. I saved $25 on the large wreath by purchasing the wreath myself. It was about $13 with tax and coupon use at JoAnn's, so it saved a little over $10. Hey - every little bit counts!
2. I saved $5 each ($10) on the door wreaths. I bought those on sale at Micheal's for $3 for both.
3. Going the bud vase route versus centerpieces saved me about $500 from the original quote! Angela had really affordable arrangements using BIG flowers like hydrangeas, football mums, gerbers and stock. We used really beautiful variegate pittsporum and snow berries as the filler, both affordable.
4. We had one large corsage for my mom and then smaller corsages for the other females in the group (no MOG for us, so no need).
5. We used really big, really inexpensive flowers in my bouquet: gerbers and football mums. The most expensive flower was a garden rose that we added, just to make it a little different than the MOH's bouquet.
6. I had my go-to girl Alecia take one of the alter arrangements as well as the door wreaths to Mere Bulles to add to the ambiance there.
7. I chose teeny tiny little button mums with fern curls for the boutonnieres. The guys really liked them and they were CHEAP!

Here's the budget breakdown.

The delivery and set up was "free" - I just took out the bud vases Angela bought in trade. The total here doesn't count the $60 I made back from the returned Target vases. Hopefully, I'll get a little more back if I sell the remaining Ikea and C&B vases. I was really hoping to come in under $1500 on this and I might in the end. Who knows.

There was one thing that I didn't like about all of the flowers and that was the handle on my bouquet. Again, I blame no one but myself for not being more specific. I had wanted the stems of my bouquet wrapped in the left over lace from my mom's mantilla. I mean WRAPPED - like how they do it with the ribbon. I also had a pearl pin I wanted put on. Well, she used just the teeny-tiniest piece of lace, I think to preserve the lace usage, but that's not what I wanted. She could have used it all! At any rate, the lace shifted around as did the pin and looked a little tattered at the end. I assumed that the bouquet stems would be wrapped all the way down to their ends. That wasn't the case. I was afraid that the stems would touch my dress and leave a mark during photographs!

Wedding Tip #3: Be as specific as you can. Assume nothing. If you don't ever ask for it, you can't be sure of what you are going to get. If a vendor gets snippy because you're asking too many questions or giving lots of direction, let them or move on. You have a right to know exactly what you are paying for.

I really enjoyed working with my florist. She was happy to give me references, even one who had a wedding at Owen Chapel before! I contacted everyone and they sang Angela's praises and were straight up about her short-comings, the only one being that she wasn't one to reply immediately to emails. Knowing this bit of information saved me a lot of worry. Since I knew she would eventually reply, I could contact her in advance of needed info and wait out the response. She knew if I called, I needed her and she would call back in a jiffy. She was a great vendor to work with. I liked her personally and kinda wanted to get to know her more and just hang out. I think because I was around her age, she got me. That's how it all ended up though - we hired the vendors who understood The Candyman and I as people and treated us that way. That makes it all good.

The flowers were simple and beautiful. Mixed with the candlelight at Mere Bulles - they were STUNNING! The good thing about using the bud vases was that we were able to add them to different areas in the venue without a bunch of extra arrangement costs. We had some added to the fireplace mantel, the place card table and the cake table.



"He can call me Flower, if he wants to."

On Saturday I met my florist Angela Sadler at Metro Wholesale Flowers in Nashville.

But first, I have to comment on a re-occurring trend. I am finding great humor in my vendors. Why? Because all of them give me tiny little jabs at being so "detail oriented." It's such a polite way of calling me high maintenance. It's really OK though, I don't mind. I mean, when I pay for something expensive I want to know what I'm getting. If I don't understand, it needs to be explained to my dumb ass so that I can just sit back and let you do your job. Otherwise, I'll micromanage the hell out of you and trust me (or trust The Candyman), no one wants that. No one.

Anyway, when I met with Angela, it went really well and fairly quickly. I had an idea of what I wanted, but I really needed to see it in order to get the whole picture in my head. Y'all know that my colors are chocolate brown, ivory and accents of sandalwood (or, Bridal Beige). I want the focus to be on ivory flowers that are statement grabbers, but not expensive. I think we will be able to accomplish this really well, based on how Saturday went.

I used to work as a buyer for FTD, so I know a thing or two about flowers. I know how much they cost (generally), how much florists charge for labor and definitely how much containers cost! It's one of the reasons I chose Angela as my florist. Her prices were really fair, she works out of a space in a wholesale mart so has zippo overhead, and I really liked her designs and thought process. It really was a no brainer. She doesn't appear to mind that I know all this stuff either. I think it might make some florists a little uneasy, perhaps.

I was most worried about the bud vases. I wasn't sure how they were going to look, but Angela loved them as did one of the whole sale florist guys! We chose a few different kinds of flowers that are going to be in the bud vases, in my bouquet and a part of the church flowers.

Ivory Hydrangea - tables and chapel!

White Freesia that will be for the wrist corsages for the ladies. We're going to mix this with an Escimo rose or two because I don't believe in spray roses on corsages (hello, prom!).

It's a sea of Stock! It smells so yummy! We'll use this in some of the bud vases and chapel decor.

I LOVE these FOOTBALL MUMS! They look almost like peonies. They are huge and take up lots of space and are super-inexpensive. These suckers were bigger than my fist!

These two are what we'll use for the boutonnieres. Tiny ivory button mums and fern curls. We'll use a fern curl or two in my bouquet too. Aren't they creepy and groovy?

This is a filler flower called Snow on the Mountain. Just a hint of color to keep things from looking too monotone.

On top of these flowers, we'll be adding a few garden roses and white Gerberas with black centers to my bouquet, a few roses to the chapel decor (for balance) and green filler of Italian Ruscus. We decided not to do the coffee bean idea. With the small bud vases, it would have been way too busy. I still think it's a great idea though!

I'm hoping all of this helps the budget a little bit! My plan was to cut back on flowers (not on quantity, but on type) and cake and we've done that to a degree, just not as much as I'd hoped! For those of you just married and about to be married, where did you cut back? Was it planned, or at the last minute because you went over budget elsewhere?


Flowers Tomorrow!

So tomorrow I am meeting up with my florist at the wholesale flower market in Nashville. I think we will be able to knock out what I want pretty quickly.

Here's the run down....

For the chapel we are keeping it super simple. We're putting two grapevine wreaths with flowers on the two front doors. We'll have one large wreath behind the alter and put two one-sided arrangements on either end of the alter. Easy peasy. She'll use big, ivory flowers to fill space and to keep it low-cost. It will look almost exactly like this:

These are photos of flowers that my florist Angela Sadler did of a wedding in my chapel. It's nice that's she's familiar with the unfamiliar venue! Look how cute and antique-y the chapel is! It's got lace curtains on it's almost floor to ceiling windows! Love it! The best part? It's only $250. Sa-weet!

As you all know, I went to town on bud vases from Crate & Barrel, a few from Target as well as a few from Ikea - thrown in for good measure. Those will be for the tables. That's what we really need to figure out. Other than that, we've just got to decide on the bouquets (easy), boutonnieres, corsages and flower girl headpiece.

While I'm not sure what I want exactly, I do know what I don't want:
Leather Leaf
Bear Grass
Mini Carnations
Angela told me that a "no" list can be just as good as a "want" list!

I was browsing Google Reader this morning and saw an AWESOME idea on Elizabeth Anne Designs.

How freaking cute is this? What if I put coffee beans in the little bud vases with a stem or two of ivory colored flowers that are yet to be determined? Can you see them on the tables with the ivory linens and chocolate brown chargers? Or is it too much? Maybe simple is better. I'm bringing some of the bud vases with me tomorrow. Maybe I should grab a small bag of coffee beans to take with me to see how it looks! Angela is going to think I'm freakin' nuts.

Feedback from The Blog-o-Sphere is appreciated. As always.


Oh God. Oh God. Oh God.

I've made a commitment that scares the hell out of me, probably more than saying "Yes!" to The Candyman. I just bought 105 bud vases, 15 from Target and 90 from C&B Outlet (they are having a sale - limited quantities).

I spoke with my florist Angela and she thinks it's a great idea. The idea actually came from several sources, but the best picture I can come up with is from Budget Savvy Bride's recent wedding. She was a crafty little DIY bride and had this as her tablescape:

Photo by Evin Photography
Super cute, right?

So what's keeping me from doing my own, unique version of this? I've been stressing and stressing about what kinds of centerpieces to do and how it would hit my budget - hard. My florist is really awesome and the arrangements were coming out to be about $45 each (which is really good) and that was putting my reception flowers at $585-$900, depending on how many tables I'll end up with. That seems like too much to me, especially since we're having some flowers at the church and all the bouquets and such. I think that $45 might have been with me supplying the floral container too. I was actually hoping (and planning) to find something amazing overseas, but that was not the case.

So this is what I bought online and at Target today.

I bought 15 of these at Target for $.99 each, originally $1.99. Photo is actually from C&B Outlet.

I bought 30 of these from C&B Outlet on sale, 6 for $9.00 (regular $17.70!).

Bought 30 of these for the same deal as above.
Ditto here, 6 for $9.00!

So all told, I got 105 vases for $1.63 each. I think that's a pretty good deal, AND my florist says she'd be interested in buying the bud vases from me after the wedding. SWEET! We talked about her getting the flowers at cost for me and I could do the arranging myself, which is an option, but one I know friends and family might not encourage me to do. However, even if we put $4 of flowers in each vase (about 2-3 roses, for example), that comes out to $420, which is already less than the $585 I've got budgeted for the low end number of arrangements. I could mix mums and garden roses and gerberas in with fern curls to keep with the ivory/sandalwood/chocolate brown theme. I've also got a call into Carlin at Mere Bulles as they hook up their tables with plain glass votives and tea lights, if brides want them. If I have a smattering of various sized vases and flowers mixed in with tea lights, well, I think that would be just pretty as all hell.

I can see it all in my head, I just have no idea how it's all going to play out. I'm totally freaked. Comments from the bridal gallery, please!