Tag Archives: centerpieces

Victory #14: The Florist


Martha says you should book your florist six months out, but for some reason, this was the one thing I just could not figure out.  I have no idea about flowers.

(okay maybe there was more than one thing I couldn’t figure out – this one just hung there)

I couldn’t decide if I wanted to DIY or have them made.  Big or small. One bloom or several.

Oh, and don’t get me started on colors. You’d think with only two to choose from (orange and white) the decision would be easy.


Not for me.

After collecting pages and pages of lovely blooms, with no particular cohesiveness, I decided to – in the words of Nike – just do it.  As in, just make an appointment with a florist, then try to figure it out.  I certainly wasn’t getting anywhere with my pretty pictures chillin’ in the book

So, after a few ask-arounds and recommendations, I made an appointment with Melia of Melia’s Floral. Let me just say – good.i.dea.

Whew! She made me feel so much better. 

This is how it went: I took in a stack of pictures. She made sense of them all.

The restult: She helped me just pick.

And I don’t say just pick in a bad way either.  Remember, I haven’t been making decisions easily or quickly through out this wedding ordeal and time is running low.  Melia simply browsed my photos and asked me questions to get a good idea of what I wanted. And guess what, I answered with what I wanted. Pretty quickly, I might add.

Who knew?! She so easily and subtly brought out those little wants and desires  from the dark corners of my mind.  Those dark corners  which are heavily fogged by all the wedding fumes floating around in the www. Time to be cut off. 

{Well, maybe not quite yet. But soon}


Melia’s Floral

Anyway – Melia helped me make decisions and by asking standard questions, led me to my underlying preferences.

Huge relief and just what I needed. I felt so much better walking out those doors, than I did walking in.

Not only was Melia helpful in the decision-making process, but very talented. She brought in plenty of photos from previous events that ranged from traditional, formal and rather full bouquets and centerpieces, to more casual and minimal.

She also had – and this is what I loved the most  – color range. From deep inyourface color to softer versions, to a mix of white and creams. There was no set type  to her work and it was easy to see she had a wide artistic approach and the obvious ability to adapt to the bride’s style.

It was an easy choice to go with Melia.

I have yet to hear a negative or hesitant remark about this modern floral master and am so excited to have her arranging my blooms for the big day.

My mind – for now – is calm. I have handed this bigfat flower task over to the expert. I couldn’t be happier.

I’ll post soon on the pieces and blooms I choose.

For now – some of my favorite florals to leave you with.

Stop and smell the roses,

P.S. check out Melia on my vendor’s page!




garden rose


I don’t know – pretty white ones

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Filed under bouquet, centerpieces, ceremony, Flowers

Thrifting Bride

{ignore the writing on the blue bag – the pic was cute so whatev}

I’ve definitely developed quite the thrifting skills since I’ve been engaged. For the past year and a half I’ve scoured the shelves of Value Village, Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul’s.  Oh, and yard sales – when applicable. The vintage fluff and knick knacks you can find really are amazing, so whatever preconceived notions (e.g., thrifting = grungy) you may have – get rid of them.  Secondhand stores are quickly becoming the new fad, don’t you know? Plus, it’s green, saves YOU money and allows the DIY bride to do her thing (I really wanted to put thang, but then realized I wasn’t 14).  And there is definitely an art and a skill set to develop when taking on this endeavor, though consistency alone will get you far.

Anyway, my current thrift obsession right now: vases. 


I’ve mentioned before how I love the look of multiple vases and minimal flowers.  And from all the budget + wedding blogs I’ve rummaged through (much like my resale stores), there tends to be a consensus that says it’s the cheaper way to go. Oh yeah – and I need vases + jars for my candy bar. Perfect.

My top two reasons for the large amount of vases + jars for my wedding:

1. Flowers die so you don’t need to spend an outrageous amount of money on them to get a cool look for your reception tables. 

2.  The thrifty vase idea is chic + trendy. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to sell them as a package via Craigslist.  Ah the beauty of a virtual yard sale!  You’d be surprised at the stuff I’ve searched for and found on that site – vases, mason jars, left over wedding candles, Chinese paper lanterns . . . you get the drift.

Below are a few links and some tips for the newbie thriftier bride (hint: also take this into consideration for flea markets):

Thrift shops in Yakima – my favorite is The Olde Lighthouse Shoppe, which didn’t make that list

A few more on the outskirts

Flea Markets

Virtual Yakima yard sales

Real life Yakima yard sales 


10 Tips for Shopping at Thrift Stores via The Bargainist

 1. Don’t be afraid of used. If you’re not a veteran of thrift shops and garage sales, you might be someone who only buys new stuff. Break free from that predjudice, because even if it’s been owned before, an item can be perfectly good (sometimes great) — and more importantly, it costs much less.

2. Be willing to spend a little time looking. Thrift shops can have some real gems — but sometimes they’re buried in piles of stuff you’d never consider buying. You’ve got to search, to sift, to rummage, to be patient. In fact, you may have to go through several thrift shops before you find what you’re looking for, if you’re picky. Think of it as a journey, not a quick stop, and you’ll find many more great things.

3. Sell your old stuff for credit. Before you go to a thrift shop, pull a bunch of old clothes from your closet, old books and magazines, anything you don’t need anymore. Put them in some boxes, and sell them to the thrift store for credit. You’ve purged a bunch of clutter while allowing yourself to get some great used stuff for free.

4. Bring cash. Most thrift stores don’t take anything but cash, so if you’re used to using plastic or checks, be sure to remember to stop at an ATM and get some cash.

5. Shop outside of cities. If you live in a city, you might find that most of the thrift shops closest to you have been picked through thoroughly. Many times the thrift shops in cities don’t have much to offer. But drive a few minutes just outside the city, and you’ll find many more great things. It may be wiser to wait until you’re going outside the city, and take advantage of that trip by stopping at thrift stores in the area.

6. Go with friends. Make it a fun outing. Hunting for great stuff in thrift stores with friends can be a real blast. Even if you don’t find anything, if you’ve spent a good afternoon with friends, making jokes and making fun of the stuff in the stores… well, it’s not a wasted day.

7. No dressing rooms. Most thrift stores have no place to change. So be willing to eyeball it and alter the clothes later to fit better. Or wear a tight-fitting tank top so you can try shirts on over it.

8. Look beyond the surface. Furniture, especially, can be scratched up, but still be a great find. Instead of paying attention to the nicks and scratches, consider how it’ll look if you sand and varnish, or give it a fresh coat of paint. Sometimes an hour of work can make it as fresh as new.

9. TheThriftShopper.com. Enter your zip code on this site and you’ll get all the thrift shops in your area, ratings and reviews of each, and tons of great info.

10. Test things out. If you’re buying electronics, insist on testing them. For toys with batteries, open up the battery case to see if there’s corrosion. Look closely at other items. A few defects are OK, but you want to look closely, because you don’t want to take it home and find that it’s useless.

 Thrift it. Find it. Love it. Own it.

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Filed under Budget, candy bar, centerpieces, decor, green, inspiration, Reception, {budget resources}

Flower Time

Well, maybe not quite yet, but I’ve been checking a lot of vendors off my to-do list in the last few months and florists are one area I still have to look into.  I have no clue where to start with this process but it was perfect timing when I came across this helpful post by Blue Orchid Designs.

Wedding Vendor Hiring Guide :: Wedding Florist

Stone Castle Photography

Wedding flowers can help pull a reception together and help give a cohesive feel to wedding photos. Plus, they’re fun! I mean really, who doesn’t love fresh flowers? Ordering wedding flowers is a little different than ordering a bouquet for your friend’s birthday, so here are some things to keep in mind in your search for your floral designer:

Are any vases or containers needed to create the arrangement included as a rental or sale item?
Some florists will rent the vases needed to create your wedding centerpiece and others will sell them to you and include them in the cost. There are benefits to both the florist and you in both options. If the vases are rented, the florist can reuse them for other clients and you don’t have to keep them. If they are included in the sale price, then the florist doesn’t need to use costly storage space and you can give the entire centerpiece to an honored guest at the end of your wedding reception. The trick is deciding what will work best for your wedding and finding a florist who can accommodate your needs.

Do you use any dyes in the bridal or bridesmaid bouquets?
Artificial coloring is sometimes used to make a floral arrangement pop, but when used in a personal wedding bouquet, those vivid colors can easily transfer to your dress.  While you may have the best intentions of holding your bouquet a little bit away from you throughout the day, it will inevitably brush against your wedding gown.  Ask up front if they use dye in their flowers.

Do your fees include delivery and pick up at the end of the wedding?
Ask ahead of time if the florist will come back at the end of the wedding reception to pick up any rental vases or other decor items used in the floral arrangements.  If not, you may need to arrange for someone to pack all of that up and deliver it back to the florist’s shop.  Also be sure to ask if their floral delivery will be in time to have the flowers for pre-ceremony photos.

Will you stay to pin on any corsages or boutonnières? 
Your wedding planner or day of coordinator should be able to handle this if your florist does not include pinning in their services.

Will you include a physical mock up of our centerpieces for us to see prior to the wedding?
Creating a mock up can be quite costly and some florists include it in their prices while others skip it, thereby passing that savings on to you.  Determine whether or not seeing a mock up of your wedding centerpieces is a priority for you, and then budget accordingly when hiring your florist.

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Filed under centerpieces, ceremony, Flowers

On a Budget:: Centerpiece Inspiration

Awhile back, one of my fellow Yakima brides, Chelsea, contacted me with the following question:

Hey Kadee! I love reading your blog! I’m getting married 7-10-10 and I cannot for the love of me figure out what to do with our centerpieces. We’re having an outside reception at a winery and are on a budget. Any ideas? I feel like I’m on the verge of a bridal meltdown and need a fellow brides opinion. Let me know if you have any ideas!
P.S I’m a Yakima bride too!

I thought this was a really good question, timely and useful for brides with budgets big and small.  Thank you for posing the question Chelsea, I hope the below resources will help you out a little.  Oh, and if you ever feel on the verge of a bridal meltdown, check out my personal episode here — just wanted to give you someone to sympathize with ;).

1.  Spray paint some branches to include in your wedding arrangement and minimize the use of flowers.

manzanita wedding tree centerpieces crystal tree orchid tree

DIY Instructions + Tutorial

more branch inspiration

2. Utilize candles in the centerpiece arrangements – they’re cheap and beautiful when lit.

varying heights candles

Wedding Candle Centerpiece Ideas here 

and here

3. You can have an arrangement with only a few flowers and decorate the vase with fruit instead.

lemon roses centerpiece

Fruit Centerpiece Ideas here

and here

4. Go with Simple + Sophisticated.  Order your flowers wholesale and keep your centerpieces minimal — more vases, in varying heights and sizes, and less flowers can look very chic and is an inexpensive way to fill space on the table. 

{this is my plan}

Wholesale Flower Info


{look into Costco for wholesale flowers and  local thrift shops for your vases}

5. Get creative with Carnations.

carnation centerpiece ideas

design ideas

 For more ideas, see what other brides are saying , look into DIY alternatives (don’t forget video tutorials), or just keep wading through the mounds of wedding photos  available on Google for inspiration . . . and maybe, just maybe, an idea will spark.






Filed under centerpieces, DiY, Flowers, green, inspiration, Reception, {budget resources}