When I first got engaged I had no idea what to expect from myself as a bride-to-be. I could see myself wanting to plan every detail down to the exact shade of cocktail napkins (raven, ebony, or midnight?), but I could also see myself getting overwhelmed and refusing to give input for any decisions except to request to my mother that she “pick something pretty.”
Luckily, I’ve fallen between those two extremes… not completely apathetic about anything, while taking charge of the things that I really do care about. Fortunately, Anytime I have verged on the side of apathy, my mother has picked up the slack, sending me just a few options for each wedding-related item. She knows that if she doesn’t I’ll give up before looking through even a tenth of the endless choices for each aspect of the wedding.
This system has worked for us, as our major concerns do not overlap. I am in charge of the reception playlist, my wedding look, J and I picked out the food and the cakes (in look and in taste), and I chose the bridesmaid dresses. My mother has taken charge of the ceremony décor, transportation for J and I, managing (with expertise) the guest list, and, the most important, the invitations (to be commented upon later.).
One thing we were both equally clueless about, and thus not sure how to feel (be apathetic and trust the professional? Or have long conversations reinforcing our main point at least twenty-five times so we make sure we get what we want?) was flowers.
I don’t know about you, but I missed flower class. Show me a rose and a daisy and I’ll know which is which, but beyond that I’m like a straight man trying to differentiate the lipliner from the eyeliner. So I clipped some pictures and memorized what I liked and didn’t like (“I want cala lilies, but not for boutonnieres, and black bacarra roses. I want cala lilies and black bacarra roses.”) before our florist consultation.
When my mom and I left the florist assured us that, though we could not picture what she was planning, she, the professional, thought it would look very beautiful. It was a particularly difficult meeting because they can’t guarantee much… who knows how pink hot pink cala lilies will be this July? Only God, and he hasn’t shown me a color swatch yet, though I’ve requested one several times. The only thing I remember being really adamant about, much to the dismay and confusion of the florist, was that I did not picture my flowers as red.
“Red, black and white is for winter weddings, valentine’s day, and UGA grads. No bright red, please!” A nice compromise is the black bacarra because it is a deeper, richer red that is more me (I’m not generally a fan of primary colors anyway).
We recently had a follow-up meeting and a freak out moment over the flowers. As we were going over the contract with the florist’s assistant I encouraged her to cross out any of the “cardinal red” roses as that was most definitely a primary red and NOT what I wanted. We also needed to replace the groomsmen’s red ranunculus boutonnieres with something more acceptable. Before we knew it the florist took over the meeting and assured me that any red she used would be sparse and only there for “shading” and to make my flowers look “summer”… and as she said all this I realized we had this same conversation about five times at our previous meeting. She also assured me that if the boutonnieres were “too” red she would spray them with a floral spray to make them darker.
We left, happy, but knowing we’d been handled. And I realized that I was “that bride.”