Summertime is party time! Graduations, showers, weddings and seasonal celebrations abound and there's no better way to decorate than with flowers.
Unfortunately, professional floral arrangements can be pricey. I remember way back when I got married, the florist wanted upwards of $150 per table. Yikes. That was not happening. Plus, the featured looks were just not my style. I am a simple girl and I was looking for something pretty basic.
After almost an hour of trying to explain what I was going for, she wasn't really getting it. I am sure that she must have thought I was a bit crass, but I finally said, "What's the cheapest thing you've got?"
She rather dismissively responded that she guessed she could throw some tulips in a fishbowl for $25, if I wanted to go "that" route.
Um. Hello? Tulips!
Fabulous and done...and now you know where the obsession began.
My tables were set with the most elegant white linens and white china. In the center of each, surrounded by a few white votives, sat those tulips ~ blooms as large as your fist in a glorious hot pink color. Plus they were low enough that people could actually talk over them.
What could be better?
From that day forward, I have always gone the DIY route when it comes to decorating with flowers. The grocery stores have a generous variety for prices that are actually very reasonable and if you plan to mix your purchased posies with ones from your summer garden, even better.
Now I know that arranging flowers without the help of a professional is not new. Lots of people buy bouquets and plop them in a vase, it's just that when I mention creating your own bouquets to friends, I generally hear skeptical groans and comments like, "They never look the same."
For my nieces' baby shower, her sister put together a few great looks to dress up the tables. She did an awesome job and for those of you who are a bit skeptical about tackling this on your own, she is a twenty-something math teacher...not an artist, not typically a DIYer of any kind. If she can do it, anyone can!
Here are a few tips:
She bought a bonus pack of 18 roses at the local food store. She mixed those with flowers she found in her mom's yard. To dress up the vases, she wrapped the inside of each one with a hydrangea leaf. She also put roses in almost every vase.
I think each one is more charming than the next.
This arrangement was a square vase full of roses and a large hydrangea flower. You can see that you don't need a ton of flowers to pack a punch. Just a few gathered together in the proper sized vase makes quite a statement. While the food was lovely (and I promise you, totally delicious), it really was those blooms that made the table sparkle.
Traditional vases were used in the house as they had a more formal feel. She featured more roses inside, too.
Outside the tables were peppered with more casual flowers. Mason jars were used to hold the stems. Again, large hydrangea leaves, from the garden, were used as a liner. They hid the stems for a more elegant appearance.
The silver toned bands were left on the jars and a rustic twine bow was tied around each rim.
Then each jar vase was just stuffed with a combination of the store bought roses and the blooms from the yard. The Baby's Breath that came with the roses was also added to the outdoor wildflower arrangements.
This type of centerpiece is very easy and very forgiving. Anything and everything goes, don't be afraid to add a random branch with leaves or frankly, without...a bare twig can add loads of interest to your table. It's all about the unexpected.
One of the most creative centerpieces I have ever seen was at a backyard beach wedding. It was a fishbowl that contained a few delicate water flowers and an actual goldfish! Awesome. Unexpected and unforgettable.
So I say, get creative, have fun and make you own rules.
And I guarantee you, it won't cost $150 per table.
Do you play with flowers?
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