My husband and I married during the pandemic. For a variety of reasons, we chose to have our wedding in New York
at Our Lady of Shkodra
in January. Everyday brought the possibility of new lockdowns and closures, so we kept things simple!
Businesses were closing their doors permanently and I heard rumors things were going to get worse before they would improve. We faced the risk of losing our deposit on venues, changing dates without notice, and a constantly changing guest list. I decided that there would be no way to rely on a florist to deliver with all these variables, and I would have to make the bouquets and boutonnieres myself.
Where do I start? How many people are coming? Will I be able to have a bridal party and family attend? Even confining the guests to family was a challenge given our size and distance everyone would have to travel.
When a big project is DIY, wholesalers can be a game changer. I came across Flower Moxie
after a simple web search, and I immediately fell in love with the variety of exotic flowers and green filler they had available. (This is not actually what I ended up buying, though! In the end I chose the roses and greenery that matched my wedding gown, which was a hand embroidered design inspired by my Ukrainian heritage.) Pulling the trigger on a $450 order was not easy! But Flower Moxie did their best to calm my nerves and promised to change the shipping address if I had to switch it up, but no later than two days before the ship date. This allowed me to prepare for the two worse case scenarios: I could just get married in Indiana
, or else use the flowers for retirement homes and isolated neighbors and friends!
It was a big sigh of relief when we married as planned on January 30 in New York. The flowers arrived three days prior via FedEx Express. They came before noon right up to the apartment door. The boxes were immediately opened, blooms wrapped, stems diagonally cut, and everything was placed in water for one hour. I used small plastic waste buckets to soak the flowers in clean water. (Do not put anything in the water. Flower Moxie said to keep the water clean and DO NOT add any flower food or vinegar/sugar mix.)
Not only did I use plastic trash bins from my studio, but I also bought the cheapest and smallest buckets at Walmart for additional space. I tried to save money and go small, but a few of the buckets were too small and I had to cut the roses a bit more than I originally wanted just so I had somewhere to keep them. The best buckets were in the 2.5 or 3 gallon size range. You can find these on Walmart.com here: Sterilite 2.5 Gal./9.5 L Bathroom Trash Can, White - Walmart.com - Walmart.com
Flower Moxie has a variety of how-to videos
for when the flowers arrive and how to build professional looking floral arrangements.
After one hour with the blooms soaking in (clean) water, I removed the wrapping around the blooms and made sure all the flowers were spaced nicely in the buckets. I kept them by the window where it was both cold and sunny. (The window was a good spot during cold winter days. I would not soak flowers by windows and sun if you have a spring or summer wedding.)
I also bought a couple of bunches of white Costco
flowers. These flowers were also express shipped to me 3 days before the wedding. Not all of the roses were in the best shape when the package arrived. The flowers did not arrive until after 8pm and some of the roses fell off the stems when I unwrapped them. Despite this, the white roses were a great price and perfect for boutonnieres, filling the bouquets, and extra flowers to have on hand for guests who decided to attend at the last minute.
and I made the boutonnieres and wrist corsages the day before the wedding. We watched a lot of YouTube videos! We made about 20 pieces and it took nearly 6 hours. After each piece was made, we sprinkled a little water on it and stored it in a plastic container in the fridge.
The biggest headache in making DIY wedding flowers is…transport. We had to move all the flowers to a hotel suite
30 minutes away the night before the wedding, and then move them again on the day of the wedding.
When we transported the flowers, we put about 1” of water in the bins and carried them in big boxes, in which we cut holes to more easily carry them.
The absolute best part of ordering from Flower Moxie and making my own bouquets was having all the flowers in my family’s big hotel suite before the wedding. Not only was it a gorgeous ambiance for dinner and drinks, the fragrance was overwhelming and helped calm nerves! The sensory elements will ensure I keep these memories of love and laughter forever. I close my eyes and even now see everyone waking up and entering one large bloom-filled room with face masks
and robes, drinking coffee among the roses gleaming in the morning sun!
My mom, sisters, and I made the bouquets a few hours before the wedding. I ended up doing the laydown flower method
for the adult bouquets. We had so many flowers that our bouquets were enormous! We used zip ties to hold the stems together and then wrapped the stems with ribbon. I give my sisters a lot of credit for helping me with this. It was a bit more work than I anticipated (isn’t it always?) and they had all the kids to dress, too!
Tools needed for bouquets and boutonnieres:
~Wire 26 and 22 Gauge
~Dark Green Floral Tape
~Plastic containers (I bought disposable containers at Hobby Lobby.)
~Heavy Duty Scissors or Floral Shears/Cutters (Cut Stems)
~About 10-12 2.5 Gallon Trash Bins
~FloraLife Quick Dip (Dipped boutonniere and bouquet stems after they were cut)
~Crowning Glory Floral Solution (Sprayed bouquet after it was created) Crowning Glory Fresh Floral Spray | Flower Moxie | DIY Wedding
~Wrist corsage (Silver Wristlet With Elastic | Hobby Lobby | 2080)
Our Lady of Shkodra in Hartsdale, New York