Our Wedding Flowers: A Bit of Springtime in Autumn

The man behind the counter pointed to a flower arrangement in an old worn wedding magazine he had stashed behind the counter.

“How about this?” he said with hint of apathy that irritated me.  The picture under his index finger was from the ‘Autumn’ section of the magazine.  All the flowers in the photograph were dark: burnt orange, deep red, dark gold and sticking out like twisted wire, were brown twigs at the bottom of the arrangement.

It would be fine on a casket, I thought.

The Partner and I were speaking to a one of a number of potential florists for our big day.  “I knew we were in trouble when he searched for the ‘Autumn’ pages between the ‘Winter’ and ‘Spring’ sections of the magazine”, I said as we walked away from the flower shop.

Finding a wedding florist would not be quite as easy as I had first thought.

Why, I wondered, did all these florists insist on showing me dark gloomy arrangements when I tell them I’m getting married in October? Is there a rule about making arrangements for autumn weddings look like Thanksgiving centrepieces or something you would hang on the door Halloween night?

Does no one know the difference between ‘autumnal’ and ‘funereal’?

Not that your humble blogger is adverse to darker coloured flowers.  I think some dark orange and deep burgundies and reds would be lovely for our October wedding, but why not throw in a little luster and brightness into the floral darkness I was being shown.  I just wanted a kiss of springtime in our autumnal wedding flowers – and I needed to find a florist who could put my vague idea together.  What colours can you add?  Should it be hot pink with the orange, lime green or light yellow?  I sure as hell didn’t know.  I don’t want colours to clash in the arrangements – heaven forfend!

But yesterday the Partner and I went to speak to a third possible wedding florist.  Well, she wasn’t a florist, exactly, as there was no flower shop; they only do flowers for events like weddings, parties, fundraisers etc.  She was a “floral events specialist” named Susan.

“I think I understand what you mean,” Floral Events Specialist Susan said after my long (somewhat incoherent) description of what I was looking for (The Gay Groom does not speak ‘plant-speak’).  I think I said something like “I want autumn and spring together, like”,

She went in the back of her warehouse and came back with her arms full of flowers.  Along with orange roses, red roses and purple dahlias, she added some classic ivory roses, delicate white and deep purple orchids, and light green and white hydrangeas.  She held them out toward us.

“How about something like this?” she asked.

I smiled and looked at the Partner.  He nodded and grinned.

I could finally check off ‘flowers’ from the list.  We ordered a long and low display featuring roses, hydrangeas, dahlias, and foliages for the mantle, two low arrangements for the buffet table, one sideboard arrangement with height, and one entryway arrangement.  All would be “autumn and spring together, like.”

“And what about and boutonnieres?” Floral Events Specialist Susan asked.

“Ah,” I said.  “Calla lilies.”

“Such a lovely flower,” the Partner said.

70 days to go.

Calla lilly

Miniature calla lilly boutonniere

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom



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4 responses to “Our Wedding Flowers: A Bit of Springtime in Autumn

  1. Those colors and arrangements sound really lovely. We’re thinking of going the DIY route, rather than hiring a florist, buying tropical flowers — e.g., orchids, birds-of-paradise, ginger — in bulk for our centerpieces, perhaps placing them in tiki mugs or bowls. And in lieu of boutonnieres, ti leaf garlands.

    • gaygroom

      The flowers you chose for you wedding sound lovely too! I wasn’t sure what ti leaf garlands were (a Canadian boy here!) so I looked them up on the web – they’re beautiful! The Partner and I couldn’t have done the flowers ourselves, we’re just not florially inclined 🙂

      • Well, I’m not sure how florally inclined we are, either, but we’re going to give it a try. We’re way over our original budget estimate just on the venue and food alone (the food and drink minimum was more than we originally estimated for the entire wedding, though we realize now that that original estimate just wasn’t realistic, especially here in San Francisco), so we’re trying to make up some dollars where we can, and flowers was one area where we thought we might be able to do so. Not that we haven’t overindulged in other areas regardless of the budget estimate… sigh. But, after all, it’s the most important day of our lives, right?

        I’m just hoping that we’ll look so smashing and the food will be so tasty that our guests will forget — or forgive — the amateurishness of our floral arrangements 😉

  2. The photo of the mini calla lily is exquisite. We’ll likely use callas too, and even thought of trying to grow enough of our own for the wedding (they grow all over the place here in the Bay Area, and we have a few lining the front of our home), but realized we couldn’t be sure that they’d be at peak at exactly the right time, so we’ll buy those with our other flowers in bulk either online or at the San Francisco flower market (open just to retailers in the very wee hours of the morning, but then whatever is left is made available for sale to the public after 10am).

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