Just a few days ago I married two of my best friends in a beautiful ceremony in Seattle. Yes, you heard me right, I officiated their wedding. I can cross that off my bucket list! My best friend asked me to do the “flowers” for her wedding, except she asked that they be succulents instead of traditional flowers. I of course was thrilled with the idea, as I grew up in southern California with a succulent garden in my backyard. I have never worked with floral arrangements ever in my life, but I’d like to think that my eye for design and general craftiness would transcend into this field as well.
Planning was really key. I had to pick hearty and strong succulents that would hold up cosmetically for the big day. Not to mention they had to make the plane trip to Seattle in one piece. The finished products did not disappoint. I was a proud mama bear over my creations, and I could only hope that my best friend (who put complete control and trust in my hands) would love them as much as I did. …She did!
When I was first assigned with this task, I scoured the internet constantly looking for inspiration and other succulent artists. I did find tons of great bouquet pictures, but I never found exactly what I was looking for. Most succulent bouquets had a mix of succulents and flowers, whereas I wanted succulents on their own. I’ve found that if you mix succulents with flowers, the succulents don’t really get a chance to prove that they can stand alone and are just as beautiful (or more so) than flowers. I’m biased though. :) Plus, you can’t just plant your floral bouquet and have it last forever like you can with succulents. It is just one more reason that succulent arrangements are here to stay. They are eco friendly and water wise and can survive in the most dire of circumstances, yet still look fabulous.
I spent a lot of time going to different nurseries and planning my next moves. That was the hardest part. Waiting. All living plants are time sensitive. Succulents are hearty plants but I didn’t want to buy all the succulents only to find that my house couldn’t provide the same nurturing that a greenhouse nursery could. So I waited until a little over a month before the wedding to buy the plants that I needed and then bought additional cuttings less than two weeks before the wedding. Since I had to ship the succulents on the airplane with me, I knew I couldn’t get started on any of the succulent projects until I was in Seattle. If I had created everything ahead of time, it may have been too wilted and a lot of the plants would have broken during shipping. Although the box I had them in read “this side up” and “fragile” they still managed to topple it over on the baggage claim conveyor belt. Ugh. I was lucky that the majority of the succulents were in great shape still. The worst of it was how dirty all of them got and needed a lot of love and care in that concern.
It was a lot of work putting everything together, but it was also a ton of fun. My best friend tells me I need to make a business of it and sell arrangements. We’ll see. :) I should have some pictures to put up soon. My camera didn’t really capture the true beauty of the bouquet, so I will add Jennifer Williams’ professional photographs to this blog when they are available. So far here is a picture of the couple and the bouquet from a distance.