A Marriage Of Cultures On A Bright Summer Day

Rosary Abot (Bride) NAPERVILLE, IL
At the End On the hottest, muggiest day of June, we were joyful and relaxed - and our flowers were pristine and glorious. My fiance and I thought that hot, bright, ebullient colors would be great for a summer wedding, and Mama and I had so much fun choosing the flowers together. She lives in California; I’m in Illinois. We had lots of phone calls, books, links, and pictures, and we loved every minute of choosing, planning, and enjoying our flowers. The colors were so radiant they almost glowed, and even in the sweltering heat, they lasted perfectly through the whole day and into the next week. FiftyFlowers really came through for us! On top of the gorgeous flowers, they answered all of ... our questions quickly and were friendly and professional. Working with them was such a joy! Every time I look at my photos, I’m so glad that I went with FiftyFlowers. My (now) husband and I come from very large families - his mother was one of seven, my father, one of ten, and my mother and his father one of three each - and we invited everyone. Aunts and uncles. Cousins. Their kids. Friends. We wanted to make our guests feel special and welcome, to have beautiful things for them - but we were also working on a budget with a lot of people. I knew that if we planned right, we could rely on flowers to make really beautiful decorations while sticking to our budget. Fresh flowers are important to my family and our culture, and Mama wanted to do them for me. It was a gift of herself, starting three days before the wedding. By Friday, like magic, she had finished 29 centerpieces, 10 cocktail table arrangements, 5 bridesmaids bouquets, 2 garlands (communion rail), the flower girl’s basket, and 6 other church arrangements (that later went to our reception). And then on Saturday, she made my bouquet, more beautiful than I could have ever wanted. She made 54 beautiful, unique arrangements - all on her own! The rest of us ran around and lifted things, but she brought that beauty to life. They were the heart of our decorations and added joy to the celebration of our marriage, cultures, and families. I loved our flowers most of all because they were an expression of my mother’s love. At the Beginning (or, what I learned) 1. Think about shape and color. Some flowers look a lot like other ones. For example, large carnations are a good, hardy alternative to peonies. Mama showed some of our island Filipino culture through tropical centerpieces, but she did this without any typical tropical flowers. Orchids are beautiful, but they have special needs. Peruvian lilies are also beautiful, have shapes and colors similar to orchids, are inexpensive and easy to keep alive. Mama even used the bottom halves of their long stems to make what looked like pieces of bamboo - pretty much for free! We also added some lemons, kumquats, and clementines to our reception. They were pretty, edible, and smelled great. 2. Sometimes less is more. If you have a few arrangements you can repeat, you will get better with practice and have less stress. It can also be easier to make a beautiful arrangement with a smaller selection of flowers or colors (then you can buy more of them!). Or, one big, beautiful bloom can make a statement when paired with less expensive greenery. 3. Splurge wisely. If you really have your heart set on it and can meet its needs, pick the showy flower! I chose less expensive secondary flowers, and this left room in the budget for some show-stopping, enormous garden roses. 4. Follow directions. Getting the flowers into water as quickly as possible, stripping and trimming them, and keeping them cool but not frozen helps them to be their best. All of ours woke up and opened, right on schedule. There were so many flowers and buckets, it looked (and smelled!) like a flower nursery in the basement. Last thoughts What you don’t need A fridge (though a cool basement helps) To be an expert (though Youtube, some books, and the Barefoot Contessa’s twitter help) A huge budget Fancy tools Expensive vases (the Dollar Tree came through for me!) What you need Buckets or tubs and water Good flower cutters Some floral wire or floral tape To be understanding of your sweet self Show more
Flowers by Cristina Abot

Arrangements Made

  • 54
  • 0
  • 1
    Bridal Bouquet
  • 5
    Bridesmaid's Bouquets
  • 29
  • 0
  • 19

Flowers Used for Rosary Abot's Arrangements

Used for: Centerpieces , Other

These were the deep hot pink color that I wanted, and they had such beautiful shapes when they opened up. These were the sleepiest flowers when they arrived, but we followed the directions exactly, and they were perfect. We chose them because of their color, shape, and because alstroemeria is very hardy - great for a summer wedding! They let us have a tropical feel without breaking the bank.

Bicolor Orange and Yellow Peruvian Lilies ( 10 bunches or 100 stems )

Used for: Centerpieces , Other

These had beautiful, bright colors and interesting shapes - they looked just like the photos. After we arranged them, we got the tropical look we wanted. We chose them because of the color, shape, and because Peruvian lilies are hardy - great for a hot day!

Pink Mini Carnation Flowers ( 8 Bunches or 80 Stems )

Used for: Bridal Bouquet, Bridesmaid's Bouquets , Other

The happiest little puffs! There were several on each stem. They were exactly the right color and provided a round contrasting shape to the other interesting flower shapes. Carnations are a beautiful, sturdy flower that comes in loads of colors.

Wedding greenery cascasing ivy greenery sold near me

Cascading Ivy Greenery ( 10 bunches )

Used for: Centerpieces , Bridal Bouquet, Bridesmaid's Bouquets , Other

Beautiful, perfect, and nice, long strands. This ivy was a simple, sturdy way to create a cascade bouquet with not a lot of weight. I was also on a budget, and this was an inexpensive way to create garlands.

Orange Sherbet Garden Roses up close

Garden Rose Orange Sherbet ( 60 Garden Roses )

Used for: Bridal Bouquet, Bridesmaid's Bouquets , Other

Absolutely jaw-droppingly gorgeous. These opened up, with petals like rays from dozens of little glowing suns. They were as big as I had hoped. With these beauties Fifty Flowers let me carry a huge, beautiful bouquet of roses down the aisle, just like my mother did.

Used for: Centerpieces , Bridal Bouquet, Bridesmaid's Bouquets , Other

Lots of roses on each stem, and they opened up nicely. These worked really well as secondary flowers in bouquets and as primary flowers in cocktail table arrangements. It was a good example of how the same flowers can seem totally different when combined in different ways.

Chrysal Floral Care Kit ( Chrysal Floral Care Kit )

Used for: Centerpieces , Bridal Bouquet, Bridesmaid's Bouquets , Other

This was a lifesaver. We got married on the hottest day of the year, had to move our flowers around to different venues, and at the end of the day, they looked as pristine as they did before they left my cool basement. The nutrients gave them the strength to stay beautiful.


Victoria Sprung
Ivory & Lace
Polonia Catering
Barong Filipino
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