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Wedding Flowers, Food and Photography

Posted Sep 18 2012 2:40pm

My younger brother was married this past summer in my parents' backyard.  Since he and his wife are hoping to do a bigger celebration next year, they really wanted to keep this one small and simple.  I volunteered to help with the flowers, food and photography.  I bit off a little more than I could chew.  Some things turned out well, like the bride's bouquet above.  She asked for a trailing bouquet with brightly colored flowers.  I included lavender roses, deep pink carnations and gerbera daisies, yellow daisy mums, blue delphinium, lavender mint flowers and foliage, violet statice, and variegated vinca and plumosa fern for trailing greenery.  Some of my other efforts weren't quite as successful as I had hoped. 

I bought some flowers from Costco and some greenery from a florist as well as cutting flowers from my garden (which didn't have a huge selection in mid-July; mid-June would have been much better).  The flowers got a little stressed during the two hour drive from my house to my parents' home; I hadn't planned well enough to keep them out of the sun from the windows.  So although the arrangement above looked fine, some of the centerpieces were a little wilty.  I'm hoping no one else looked at them with as critical an eye as I did. 

Actually I didn't do that much of the food, just bought the cheesecake that my brother requested and another cake as well.  Thank goodness I was planning to decorate the cheesecake with flowers, because the surface cracked horribly when I slid it off of the carrying container and onto the glass cake stand.  Phew, one disaster averted.  The cheesecake had a slight minty flavor from the mint leaves; hopefully that wasn't a problem for anyone. 

Here is the happy couple right after the ceremony.  Since the wedding was held at noon, harsh sunlight limited the places where I could get good photos.  Another element I was trying to avoid in the photos was the unattractive fenceline with vinyl strips making green and white diamonds in the chain-link fence.  I posed most of the photographs in the shade of a large maple tree with the grapevines growing up my parents' porch as a background.  It worked well enough for the shots of the couple, but patches of sunlight marred the large group shots.   

You can see the blotchy lighting in the photo above.  And it looked a lot worse before I played with it in photoshop for a couple of hours.  Sigh.  After all the work of getting my parents, their children and grandchildren in coordinating attire (my sisters were ready to kill me for being too bossy), I was hoping for a really nice photo for my mom.  This was the best shot, and you can't even see half of my mom's face.  Trying to swap heads out from other shots in photoshop resulted in extra limbs, so I gave up. 
The other disappointing aspect was that the annuals I had helped my parents select and plant five weeks before did not grow as much as we had hoped, despite my mother's adherence to the fertilizing and watering schedule I had set up for her (am I sounding kind of OC here?).  So the landscape wasn't quite as colorful as I had expected. 
Overall, I think my brother and his wife were happy with the day because their expectations weren't too high.  And I was cured of any faint urges to ever charge anyone for my services doing wedding flowers or photography!  It was really nice to have the whole family together, and I hope my brother and his new wife felt loved.          
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