Sunday, July 29, 2012

Flowers for James & Sarah's Butterfly Wedding - Part II

This is the second part of my post about my sister-in-law, Sarah's wedding. If for some insane reason you want to read about how my involvement in all of this took place, see the first part here. 
Okay, so here are some photo details of the wedding I helped plan.  

I suppose I'd better start with the flowers as that was my main part in helping with this wedding. 

The boutonnieres were the first items I created for the wedding. The groom's being very first and then the best man's and so on. It is a little crushed in this photo so I'm not sure how easy it is to see but the groom's had two little butterflies on it. A yellow and a blue one.

After I made the above boutonnieres I made these ones for the fathers.

Both the bride and groom come from large families so we couldn't include everyone in the wedding party and rent all the many brothers a tux, so instead we made these simple boutonnieres for all the brothers and brothers-in-law to show that they were someone special in relation to the event without them needing to match their clothes or stand in a line.

After tons of research on Pinterest and elsewhere online I actually decided to come with my own way of doing the wrist corsages for the bridesmaids. I was inspired by this tutorial that used a ribbon as opposed to elastic. I liked that idea. Yet after a few tests I decided this exact method would need to be tweaked. As much as I loved the idea of just using ribbon I knew that for what I was doing that I needed some sort of a base. This tutorial  by Debbie Saenz of A Creative Life got me thinking about things because she buys a store bought wristlet just for the use of it's base, while replacing the elastic part with a beaded bracelet. I didn't want to have to spend the money on a whole wristlet and only half of it, and I also recalled that sometimes those bases can feel uncomfortable right against the skin so I came to the idea that a large button sewn to a ribbon would work perfectly. This would mean that only the ribbon would be against the skin but the button still provided something solid that I could build the flowers up onto.
After the buttons were on I covered them with a circle of silk leaves using hot glue and then added the sheer bow to that. From there I added the main flowers and then worked in the smaller details (faux berries, leaf sprig, and feathers). Everything was arranged and decided on before I did any gluing. (Sorry, I took this picture before I had added the butterflies.)

Here are the finished corsages on the Bridesmaids.

The following are the sister (or sister-in-law) corsages.

The following are the Mother corsages.

This is one of the grandma corsages that I made. I'd made three but only one of the grandma's was able to attend the wedding.

This is the tossing bouquet.
The photos really don't do it justice.

And here is the Bridal Bouquet.
I tried to capture all angles of it. I wish the photos really showed off the glimmer of the butterflies and the depth of texture and color I tired to achieve. My husband did a bridal video that shows it off a lot better so I've put it here for your perusal.

Okay so on to the wedding decor!

At the entrance to the yard my Mother-in-Law had told me that she wanted to have some sort of welcome sign. Just before saying so she had told me about all the chimes she had purchased for putting around the yard so when she said mentioned the welcome sign it occurred to me that the sole set of chimes I own (which she actually gave me when her son and I were newlyweds) not only had a welcome sign but also had butterflies which was the weddings theme so I was very happy to have something to offer that would fit all of our needs so well. 
On the big day, we saw a lot of real butterflies in addition to the feather one's we were using in the wedding decor. One swallowtail in particular passed through the yard quite frequently. I believe it must have been a male since he seemed to be patrolling his territory. I managed to get a rather blurry photo of him, but at least I managed to capture the little wedding-crasher on camera for memory's sake. :}

The mimosa tree was in full bloom for the wedding. It was perfect timing since it was in bloom but had not yet started dropping old browned blossom yet. It looked and smelled lovely as it shaded the wedding line and the guests seated on the patio furniture.
Here are some of the prettiest wind chimes that were purchased for the wedding.

The folliwng idea was inspired by Pinterest.  It was windy that day though, so the wreath wouldn't stay on the tree. After one attempt it was put back into the house, but I wasn't about to give up on an idea that the Bride had particularly requested. I had been there when my Mother-in-Law and the Bride found the wreath at Michaels on sale and we were all super excited about how well it would work for our banner wreath. I had added the butterflies and burned myself while I hot glued the banner on so after all that effort I definitely was not going to just give up on the idea due to a little extra breeze. I improvised by hanging the wreath on an extra hooked garden stake that I put at the base of the tree. This held on to the wreath just enough that the wind couldn't blow it down.
I was pleased that I was able to make it work, and lots of people said it looked really nice.

As I mentioned in my Part I post, my Mother-in-Law and I had been having tons of fun coming up with items to decorate the yard with for the reception and even though Sarah had specified that she just wanted butterflies and not have that theme combined with birds and birdcages as was suggested, we simply couldn't resist using a few anyway.  I had actually purchased the blue one for myself to use in decorating my bedroom about a month before my sister in law became engaged. I'd wanted to offer it before but when she said she thought we should just stick with the butterfly theme I thought it wouldn't work after all. Then just a few weeks shy of the big day while I was at my In-Law's working on the flowers, my Mother-in-Law came back from Michaels with these two little yellow birdcages. I thought they were so adorable and so I offered to bring my blue one to complete the grouping anyway. 

These are not the prettiest examples but we put all the extra butterflies that were leftover from the flower arrangments and corsages to decorate the yard. 
Pretty much every fence, bush and tree had at least one butterfly poised upon it. I think it was fun for the kids to walk around the yard looking for them.

My Sister-in-Law Ruth was in charge of all the centerpieces but as it was a lot of work and she was 8-9 months pregnant I helped her out a bit and of course added a butterfly or two to each of them after they were done. I pretty much was the butterfly lady. If anything had a butterfly on it, I was behind it.
I also helped plan a game for one of the bridal showers and while I was out looking for some little prizes for that at TJ Maxx I found these lovely candle holders that had butterflies and dragonflies printed on them. They were on sale and I loved them so much that I bought them for myself to use in my own room later with the justification that they would be perfect for placing on the tables for the wedding. :}

After the main table centerpieces were finished, Ruth asked me if I could make the three large one's for the buffet tables. This is what I came up with.

This is the cake topper. Ruth made it. I simply provided the butterflies. 
I didn't manage to get a picture of the cake in it's entirety. But my brother-in-law Aaron did so this next photo is credited to him.

And here's a nice photo collage by the Groom's Sister-in-Law, Selva, who made the cake. Check out her FB page, Jungle Cakes so see more of her work.

I also forgot to get a photo of the signing table so here's Aaron's photo of that.
The book boxes on the table are another of my room's decor that I loaned to the wedding decor. My mother-in-law bought the matching chest for collecting all the gift cards and notes from guests who didn't have larger gifts.

Here's a table we had off to the side that shows another of the centerpieces, and another of the butterfly candles as well as a lovely box that had no purpose in the end but my Mother-in-Law simply couldn't resist buying it. Actually in the end we put all the butterflies from around the yard in it.
This is the forget-me-not necklace that all the server girls got to wear.

Some of the butterflies I purchased online had a rather deceptive photo and so when I got them the colors were completely different than what I thought they were. So I hand painted these butterflies to match the wedding colors and they ended up being used on the little tulle fencing that we set up around the edge of the swimming pool.
I had a lot of fun painting them.

Just to be different (or just nerdy) I came up with this sign for directing guests to the restroom. Yes, that is a male and female of the Blue Morpho species of butterfly. 
I also painted a wooden plaque that had butterflies and read "powder room" and gave it as a shower gift to the bride. We were supposed to hang it on the restroom door but I think she forgot and brought it to her apartment because I never saw it again after giving it to her. It's a bit of a pity because I forgot to get a picture of it before I gave it away.
The idea of the petals on the steps came from Pinterest.

Here's a little glimpse of the buffet and the dining area.
I think the blue and yellow table coverings turned out lovely. (That's my baby in the yellow dress. :})

And last but not least. . .
My mother in law borrowed the butterfly and the fairy statue and purchased the book one. They were perfect for the wedding especially because the bride is a fantasy author and loves to read.

So there you have it!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Flowers for James & Sarah's Butterfly Wedding - Part I

So I realize that I have been MIA a LOT lately. So to make up for it, I'm going to share with you one of the many reasons why.

My husband's little sister just got married. They had a short engagement so pretty much ever since May I've been working like a mad woman helping plan the wedding. It's been quite an experience. No one actually asked me to do all the things I did, but I volunteered because I was really super excited about it and I'm always overflowing with ideas so of course it's nice to see of those ideas come to fruition. I was pretty much the wedding planner for the whole thing, well, along with my awesome mother-in-law who happens to be one of my most favorite people in the world. She and I are really similar in personality so it was super fun to work on this project together.

You see, my sister-in-law Sarah, (the bride) is really not your typical girl and as such hadn't been dreaming of and planning this day since she was small, at least not in the visual sense. She's the youngest of 8 kids and her only biological sister is the eldest child. So, while it makes sense that she's into things like horses, dragons and weaponry, it doesn't help her much in the girly detail department when her only sister is 14+ years older and 8-9 months pregnant through most of the engagement.

Having so many brothers, all of whom are married save one, also means that Sarah has a lot of sister's-in-law, all of whom have different tastes, opinions and interests. So there we are a week or so after their announcement at our April girl's night, where the only object is get the wedding plans in motion.
At this point the date, bridesmaid dresses, wedding dress and wedding colors had been decided, but little else. After presenting those items everyone was excited and offering lots and lots of suggestions.

Sarah is not always the most vocal person, at least, not when she is uncomfortable. When she's happy she can be loud enough but when she feels unhappy she becomes extremely withdrawn.  I remember just sitting there watching her face as all the sisters-in-law talked about the wedding plans and noticing her look of anxiety as she heard things that were probably not what she wanted, yet feeling too under pressure to say much.  By the end of the night I became aware that she was sitting in the corner crying. Some of her friends noticed and simply dismissed it as her feeling stressed about the big change coming.  So all of these circumstances, and few other conversations in the days following, led me to do a lot of thinking about what I had observed and what it meant.

I soon came to the conclusion that Sarah did not really know what she wanted in regards to the wedding, having not ever really given the details much thought. So in not even knowing what she wanted she wasn't able to answer people's questions when they'd ask her what she wanted, and she doesn't like being under pressure so she would get quiet and others, in trying to be helpful kept offering their own ideas and suggestions instead, which, if they are not to Sarah's taste cause her to feel more uncomfortable and the vicious cycle continues.

So after this realization, that Sarah didn't know what she wanted I began to try and think of ways to help her without being too pushy because obviously that would just keep her stuck feeling uncomfortable. Finally I devised a plan and with the help of Pinterest I came up with six very different wedding theme ideas that could utilize her colors and the bridesmaid gowns and such. Then I waited for a day when I could catch Sarah alone and show her these ideas. When that day came I was super careful of what I said (having rehearsed in over and over in my mind.) and just let her know my perception that she wasn't sure what she wanted and that maybe seeing some ideas would help her get a better grasp of what she liked and didn't like so we could all have a clearer idea of how to make it her wedding, not her Mom's or her sister's or mine, but hers.

We looked through the pinboards and once she was able to visualize the ideas it was super easy for her to spot what she liked and didn't like. I'm not super close to her, but I think I know her fairly well so I had really tried to choose themes that said "This is Sarah" by trying to incorporate her loves and interests. There were two in particular that I loved the most, and happily they were her favorites as well. Sarah is an author and her favorite genre is sci-fi-/fantasy. She also enjoys reading and has the good taste of enjoying Authors such as Jane Austen and Tolkien. So one idea I had was inspired by this pin about using old book pages to create decorations and this one that uses cameos accents.  So I created this board to sort of have an Austen-esqu theme for the wedding. The other favorite idea was mostly inspired by this lovely butterfly bouquet from Etsy. and this awesome idea of using wood circlets as coasters.  So I created this woodsy butterfly themed board. Sarah really like the book idea, but the just loved the butterflies.

So we had a theme and after showing my Mother-in-law and discussing all the ideas it came to the point where she knew she wanted a butterfly bouquet but they didn't have anyone for flowers yet and I don't know what got into me (perhaps an urge to do it myself rather than let someone else give birth to my vision) but I offered to make her bouquet myself.  Which soon after led to the fact that I might as well do all the wedding flowers so they would all match.

So by the time May rolled around I had butterflies on the brain and was searching and searching for the best place to purchase artificial butterflies. I talked to my lovely aunt Melody who is a florist and she offered to help me purchase some from her wholesaler. That worked out okay except I made a mistake when writing my order out for her and mistook the first product when I searched 'butterflies' on the site to be a bag full of 100 tiny butterflies when in reality it was 100 bags with butterflies printed on them. Ooops. Sadly I didn't realize my mistake until she went to pick up my order. So I began again to scour the web because I still needed a lot of butterflies and finally I stumbled across which is an incredible resource for not only faux butterflies but also a lot of other awesome craft supplies. Plus they turned out to cost less and have more variety than the other site and when I got them I discovered they were much higher quality too.  So if I ever need to do this again, I'm going to use