the wedding chronicles | decision #11

THE FLOWERS

figuring out the flowers for our wedding has been an exciting process.  now, i may not have inherited my mother’s green thumb (at least not yet), but i do recognize and appreciate beautiful bouquets and buds and arrangements when i see them.  i can honestly say i had nearly as many floral magazine tear-outs as ones for the wedding dress!  and if the sky was the limit as far as the flower budget goes, you would see fresh flowers everywhere.  they would be on the church pew ends, they would be on an arch over the entrance to the reception, they would be the centerpiece for every table in the room, they would be fragrant and lush and in sight no matter where you look.  but, fresh flowers everywhere come at a steep cost, and as i have expressed previously, unless you have an unlimited budget, you will have to compromise at some point.  with all this being said, i am not at all discouraged about what my budget is for the flowers.  you just have to get creative with what you pick and where you use them and no one will be the wiser.  🙂

let’s take the centerpieces for starters.  big, blossoming centerpiece bouquets are often so beautiful and picturesque and certainly wedding day appropriate.  however, when you have a guest list of over 150, you’re going to need a lot of tables which of course means you’d then need a lot of centerpieces.  as much as i wish i could work fresh centerpieces into the budget, i also recognize that fresh centerpieces often cannot be repurposed, which means their beautiful lives are very short-lived.  you see how things start to come into perspective?  with this being known, it’s actually kind of a neat thing because then your centerpieces can be whatever you want them to be!  you could of course do silk flowers if you still want something floral, but just hop on pinterest and you’ll find thousands of floral centerpiece alternatives, many of them which you can do yourself.  i’m sure you’ve been to receptions where a picture of the newlyweds is in the center and surrounded by tealights galore or even where other common interests of the couple are used to depict one table from the other.  think maps of where the couple has vacationed together or pieces of music from their favorite composers.  really the options are endless!  i’m very excited for our handmade centerpieces and cannot wait for them to be revealed to our guests in april.

now, as far as flowers go elsewhere in the wedding (bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres), i decided real flowers were my heart’s desire, because where would the world be without real flowers!  many of the magazine pages i came across depicted the popular styles of today, which include lots of faded eucalyptus and soft pastel colors and even a few succulents here and there.  and although something like that would be perfect for our spring wedding, i wasn’t emotionally moved by them and didn’t feel they fit into our overall theme.  so, when my mother came in town for some wedding errands one weekend, we looked through all my ideas together and, thankfully, had the perfect luck in finding the combinations of greens and pinks and whites that would fit in just right for our big day.  the bridesmaids will hold some beautiful bouquets of greenery; the mothers’ and grandmothers’ wrist corsages will be simple and elegant; phillip, his best man, and the groomsmen have boutonnieres with ingredients inspired by my croatian heritage; and last but not least, my bouquet is going to be a fabulous combination of varying shades of pink with lots of different flower shapes and, in my mind, is going to be a spectacle in and of itself!  i can hardly contain my excitement!

all the fleurs

as i sit here this afternoon, enjoying another beautiful (but hot) atlanta day, the breeze wraps around me and the shade offers comfort.  folks on their sunday drives are passing by in their cars, the music from disco starbucks is setting the mood, and i get to work.

i spent the entire afternoon yesterday at the atlanta botanical gardens, and i’ve got a lot to share!

after gaining admittance and refilling my water bottle, i stepped outside to begin my journey.  what a beautiful day for a leisurely stroll around the garden!  you know what’s even better?  this fuzzy fellow was the first spectacle to greet me.

shaggy dog.

shaggy dog.

seeing as how i was in no hurry, which i hardly ever am, i began my trek through the canopy walk on the reverse suspension bridge.  the bridge was designed with the art of balance in mind, rising 40 feet above the terrain and stretching 600 feet  long.  getting to be above the forest floor was quite a treat, and walking across the only tree canopy-level walkway of its kind in america was pretty neat, too.

as i wound through the wood, i came upon more sculptures from the imaginary worlds display.  here are the gorillas…

…and then here is the earth goddess, perhaps the most majestic of them all.  her colored tresses are created from a multitude of low-lying shrubs that flow onto and into the ground surrounding her.  she wonderfully embodies the art of mosaiculture, a form of gardening and horticulture that first became popular in 16th century europe.  although it originally referred to simple geometric forms, mosaiculture has become more complex as it creates a mosaic-like appearance of the planted sculptures’ surfaces.

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walking along the pathways, i couldn’t stop the childhood memories that rushed back to me.  i closed my eyes as i pictured after-school days in the backyard with my neighborhood friends.  the smells and sounds all around me were comforting and nostalgic.  i couldn’t help but smile as i remembered the outdoors full of imagination and joy.  ah, those were the days!

as the breeze whirled around me, i allowed it to carry me on.  i found all the color as i entered the parterre garden.  i easily could have gotten lost, so i stuck to the right side of the path and moseyed along.  oh, and in case you were wondering, since i am almost never in a true hurry, when i say i “moseyed” somewhere, i mean it.  i am usually the last one of the pack, which has rightfully earned me the nickname “kelsey caboose.”

at this point, i’ll leave you with all the photos to enjoy.  thank goodness my phone camera didn’t act up too much!

the great lawn.

the great lawn

the edible garden was fun and lighthearted.

more creations from the imaginary world installment.

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the fuqua orchid center offered a brief respite from the day’s heat, so i welcomed some time indoors.  of course there were orchids, but my goodness, there must have been hundreds of plants in this space!

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i liked these tall flowers very much, although i could not tell you at all what they are.

tall flowers

as i found myself back at the great lawn, just before my grand exit, the philip haas sculptures were impossible to miss.  upon first look, they may seem familiar, and not surprisingly so.  these sculptures are references to giuseppe arcimboldo’s 16th century paintings that “personify the art and sculpture of horticulture.”  haas’ creations take things to the next level by becoming “whimsical embodiment(s)” of each season that “feature oversized twigs, fruits, vegetables, leaves, and other natural elements indicative of their respective months of origin.”  the spring sculpture, of course, was my favorite.

something i made sure to savor while i roamed around was that although atlanta is a large and sprawling city, we have a lush space like the botanical garden smack dab in the middle of it.  even though i could see the cityscape peeking through in the background, i couldn’t help but think how lucky we are and how beautiful this place is.

flowers make everything better

my parents are coming in town tonight, and on my trip to the grocery store earlier in the week, i grabbed a bunch of flowers to put out in the condo.  my mom always puts fresh flowers in my bedroom and bathroom when i visit birmingham, so i like to do the same for her.

i separated the bunch between a tall bottle in the living room and this smaller vase in the guest bedroom.

fleurs.

fleurs.

my work week has been less than extraordinary, and i’ve come home the past couple of nights feeling deflated.  yes, i think that’s the right word to use here.  deflated.  i’ve begun each day with such high hopes.  even hearing my favorite songs on the radio on my morning commute set the expectation high.  however, the days have failed to fully deliver.  and we’re only halfway through the week!

when i got home last night, i went in the guest bedroom to switch on the lamps, and i paused for a moment when these flowers on the dresser sweetly faced me.  i couldn’t help but revel in the simple beauty of these earthly treasures.  the wrinkle in my brow was quickly wiped away as a smile crept onto my face.

these delicate flowers reminded me that although we may find ourselves caught up in the stresses of day-to-day life, the good Lord promises that He is on our side and that we are welcome to enjoy the journey while we take it.