Monday, May 4

Scenes from a Wedding ~ May 2, 2009

Mel Day's May 2nd wedding was on the grounds of Haywood Hall, here in Raleigh. The day promised rain showers and possible thunder, but none appeared, much to the relief of the wedding party and guests. It was 85*, and the humidity was at least that and probably higher. Those of us working outside were constantly wiping our brows as perspiration dripped incessantly. It took quite a while to get this wedding set-up and completed, so I was unable to get photos of some things. Here is what I did get:

The parent's rows were marked by hydrangea wreaths in a heart shape. I made these. Click to embiggen.

The entrance walk was lined by eight shepherd hooks holding votive candles and clusters of pink spray roses, with a brown satin bow. The bride's colors were pink and brown. The walkway is well planted, and green helleborus was blooming in profusion, soon to be followed by peonies.

This is the hydrangea wreath I made for the front door, which is visible during the ceremony.

Mel Day and I lined the front porch of the historic home with ribbons, onto which were pinned rose heads in various shades of pink. The slight breeze made them sway and the free ribbon ends moved gracefully. I'm sorry I didn't get a photo of the porch from the walkway, or of the Victorian gazebo, which was also festooned with ribbons bedecked with roses. The cake was to sit in the gazebo, but when we were there, it had not been brought out yet - owing to the high temperatures.

Professional photographers don't like to be interrupted by amateurs shooting while they are trying to set up a shot, so I had to be quick. The bride was positioned behind the gazebo, in a small grove of trees, and from where I stood (in the gazebo) her face was blocked by branches. I pointed and clicked, and I was surprised when I uploaded these to see that I had actually caught Mel's bouquet! It has peonies (which smell heavenly), roses, hydrangeas and green dendrobium orchids.

While two of the bridesmaids waited to be included in the shot, I captured this one of Mel's bouquets. The colors really went well with their salmon-pink dresses, sashed in brown satin.

And in this one, I was able to catch the flower girl (one of two) being still (for once). I made her kissing ball (also called a pomander), which matched the other child's as well. It is made of pink spray roses, and it is tied with brown satin ribbon.

Mel made two of these baskets to hang on the white picket fences surrounding the grounds. They are so simple, but so elegant and welcoming!

Here are two photos of one type of table centerpiece. Mel made these tall ones on site, as we would never have been able to get them in the van had they been pre-made. Tall flowering branches and hydrangeas are all that's in them, but it is a very effective centerpiece.

The bar was being set up; hence the blue tubs and coolers in the background. I presume all that would have been moved by the time the reception starts.

This is another of the centerpieces I did and showed you two days ago, but it looks better against the pink tablecloth than it did on the wooden tables at Mel's shop. And this time, the tulips are opening, and you can see the gorgeous coral color of their insides.

There is a large old tree with low, spreading branches in the center of the space used for the reception, and we tied lanterns holding votive candles from the branches at varying heights. I hope you enjoy seeing the photos and learning something of what we do to make special events even more special!!

Most people have NO earthly idea how long it takes to get ready for a wedding like this one. At least 12 hours of preparation and design were done on Thursday and Friday, and delivery and set-up on Saturday took a little over two hours. That doesn't count the times Mel met with the bride and her mother, and the time needed to prepare their proposal and then gather supplies. The wedding business from the standpoint of the florist is a very involved proposition!


JeanMac said...

I just adore your hydrangea wreath and the fence baskets.You folks are so talented.

Sylvia K said...

Incredibly beautiful and I, too, love the hydrangea wreath! Just exquisite! Certainly got that young woman's marriage off to a beautiful start!

PI said...

Loved it all. The bridesmaids will certainly get good use out of their pretty dresses. Glad you didn't have our weather today - wet and coldish.
I've got my first peony bud:)

Gilly said...

That was one beautiful wedding - and made more beautiful by your glorious arrangements. I just loved the heart-shaped wreath on the door! I've never thought of using hydrangeas in arrangements, but they looked gorgeous there!

You are so gifted and give so much to an occasion like this.

Arkansas Patti said...

Outdoor weddings are the best but I can see create a lot of challenges, least of which you have no control over. So glad all went well and humidity was the only concern.
Beautifully done.

Granny Annie said...


Granny Annie said...


Nancy said...


As they used to say when I lived in Virginia,"Well, hush my mouth, but I have to ask."

What would you and the bride's family have done if it had been driving rain on Saturday?"

The setting and the flowers and other decorations were so beautiful BUT it mostly depended on a warm,sunny day to be perfect.You seem to have had that. Thank Goodness!

But,had provisions been made for an indoor wedding in case of inclement weather?

Beverly said...

How lovely. I always love looking at the flowers that you and Mel do. They certainly are not "run of the mill" arrangements.

I'm so glad that it didn't rain on their wedding. What a disappointment that would be.

How do your hands hold up? I don't think I dexterity anymore needed to do bows, etc. I have a hard time working with Ella's hair, etc.

oklhdan said...

Beautiful arrangements. I love the use of hydrangea!

utenzi said...

The hearts you made are quite pretty, Judy. After reading your brief description of the various arrangements of flowers in this wedding, I can easily see why it's such a large undertaking. That's a huge amount of work!

Joy Des Jardins said...

Absolutely gorgeous Judy. And I just love the hydrangea wreaths. Even though the humidity was awful, you were so lucky the rain kept away....what a lovely wedding. Everything looked just beautiful. Your flowers are just amazing....every last one of them. I loved the baskets too....what a lovely atmosphere you set sweetie....

Grannymar said...

I love the delicate colouring in the heart and arrangements.

Having a sister in law who spends her life at work like this I do realise the time and effort involved.

sage said...

beautiful work!

kenju said...

Nancy, If it had rained, the wedding would have moved indoors. The ceremony would have been in the living room, in front of the mantel and the food would have been in the dining room (where some of it was anyway). Since there was a large tented area, the dancing and dining could have been outside anyway.

NellJean said...

Simply gorgeous!

I used to 'help out' on holidays at the florist where my friend worked (I answered the phone, mostly) so I appreciate all that goes into yours and Mel's efforts.

It's a treat to kind of be a fly on the wall and see the floral work of such beautiful weddings. Thanks for your efforts to let us see.

Nancy said...

Thanks for the explanation, Judy.

Every week when I wake up on Saturday morning, I always check the weather and hope it will be a lovely day for the brides.

Your bride this week was very fortunate to have a beautiful day and, thanks to you and your associates,she also had gorgeous flowers. Lucky girl!

Palm Springs Savant said...

I love weddings, so much fun. So full of joy. Thanks for sharing these photos, it looks like a wonderful wedding.

srp said...

This is why I told Nyssa to elope. ;)

Awareness said...

Beautiful bouquets and I love your wreath. I want one!

Hydrangeas are one of my favourites....and in fact was looking at my garden (we're so much farther behind the flower season here than you) and was thinking i want to plant a few more hydrangea bushes.