The Wedding Report: Flowers Don’t Feed A Need

A single orchid, upside down, in an oversized cylinder. An autumn bouquet of red and orange chrysanthemums. A bowl of fish who nibble at the white lilies floating above them. All of these cost money, enough money to feed a local family for a month. All of them will be wilted, faded, – or in the case of the fish – dead within 24 hours.

There are two ways to avoid the fate of these ephemeral flowers.

(1) Use silk flowers
(2) Forgo flowers

These who chose option (1) can still have bright bouquets and beautifully blooming centerpieces. There is only one difference – the large tag on each arrangement which proclaims, “This arrangement is from _______ gamach, and must be returned at the end of the wedding. Do not take the flower arrangement home.” By placing those prominently throughout the room, you are telling your guests that you think they are crass enough to steal fake flowers.

On the other hand, you can go with option (2) and be bold, hip, and edgy: you can go flowerless. By leaving flowers out of the equation you can cut down on planning stress and strife, save money, and refrain from letting your relatives know just how cheap you think they are. Instead of holding a bouquet for the walk down the aisle, stand tall and poised and no one will notice the lack of blooms. Getting rid of all those flowers at the bedekin and chuppah will make it less hazardous for high-heeled bridesmaids and unsteady grandparents alike. Do away with centerpieces altogether, and allow guests a clear view of each other without peaking and peering around a bushel of flowers. If you must fill the table with something, arrange a basket of food with a card noting its donation to the local food bank after the celebration. A food basket will cost less than flowers, brighten up a table, and still feed a local family for a month.

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7 Comments

  1. funny how you seem to take it for granted that being fiscally efficient and feeding a family for a month (that was a discreet nod to the “fate of these ephemeral flowers” alliteration, I quite liked it) are values we all share. If they are, then your solutions are great, but if the goals are to add some organic beauty to the room and to give the bride and bridesmaids something to do with their hands, then real flowers definitely win. Well, I definitely think the bride and bridesmaids bouquets should stay, but for tables, I once saw that someone had taken tall, thin branches and spraypainted them with tons of glitter and put them in vases and I thought they looked amazing.

  2. flowers make a wedding so pretty… i have yet to see a wedding quite as pretty without the flowers… and if you’re going to talk about costs, why stop at flowers? everything is over the top expensive… don’t have a band. they cost a lot too and you can get the same music from an ipod (plus i hate music, so why not skip the whole dancing thing and do a project instead… like pottery painting?) anyway, weddings are times to do something over the top and spend way more on one party than you’ve spent on any other party… so at least do it right. if you find beautiful fake flowers, i will accept that. flower-less weddings just don’t make me happy… (not to hannah, the only really flowers in my wedding were the ones i held, so you can be happy about that 🙂 )

  3. Welcome back Dena!

    Na’ama, if you’re going to have dancing you need a great band. If you’re not going to have dancing…then this opens a whole new avenue. You’re right, if we’re budget-conscious then a chupah-only wedding is the way to go. I like the sound of that.

  4. y’all are crazy. the crucial parts of the wedding that you should not compromise on for the sake of saving money are (in approximate order of importance): amazing dresses, photographer, elegant and appropriately sized venue, band that will get everyone dancing, and alcohol to aid those who are better wedding guests when tipsy. The held bouquets do not have to be so expensive, instead of ordering them from a wedding florist, buy some from the flower market and wrap some ribbon around the stems. Doing all of the centerpieces yourself would be too much because flowers cannot be done ahead of time; I still like the glittery sprayed branches idea.

    Also, what the heck is a chuppah only wedding? If people are going to get all dressed up, they want to at least be able to parade around in their finery for more than 20 minutes. Anyway, I like dancing. But if the hora gets boring, I suggest pushing aside the mechitza and requesting the band switch to some club type music. 🙂

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