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Flowers and What Else?

Flowers_What_ElseA wedding without flowers just wouldn't seem quite right. Not only must the bride have her bridal bouquet, the groom should have a matching boutonniere on the lapel of his tuxedo. Depending upon the type of wedding and your wedding traditions, the bridesmaids might have their own bouquets, and naturally the Best Man and groomsmen need their own boutonnieres to match them. Then there are the floral decorations, the table settings, the floral crowns for the attendants, and all those rose petals for the little kids to throw around everywhere. In the end, you're likely to make some florist very, very happy. Even if you opt for an informal wedding, you'll need at least a bride's bouquet and the occasional floral touch to brighten things up.

Flowers, then, are de rigueur for any traditional wedding, and for most non-traditional ones too. Here's another one of those things you'll need to discuss in detail with your wedding planner, assuming you have one, as well as with your wedding attendants. Why with your wedding attendants, you may ask? For a very mundane reason, actually: consider what might happen if the Best Man were violently allergic to the rosebud boutonniere you got him. Only the people in the pews are supposed to be crying, not the ones standing with you at the altar. A runny nose would be doubly embarrassing. To avoid any such drama, just ask the folks handling flowers if they're allergic to them. If you have to, you can substitute that person's bouquet or boutonniere with one of a different type, or even with artificial flowers. Nobody has to know but the two of you.

When it comes to purchasing your flowers, you've got a lot of options. This is a detail your wedding organizer can take care of if you've got one, but if you don't, keep in mind two things: 1) to arrange for the flowers well in advance; and 2) that your local florist may not be the best option for large masses of inexpensive flowers. First things first: It makes sense to make your initial arrangements months beforehand, and to confirm the order several weeks before your wedding date. This lets the florist order the necessary flowers well in advance, and design and create any special floral arrangements that you've ordered, a process that can take several weeks. Naturally, if you're working with a local florist, you don't want to pick up the flowers any earlier than the day before the wedding, if that early; sometimes the day of the wedding is best, particularly if you plan to get married late in the day.

But here's the kicker: you don't have to work with a local florist, especially if you're struggling to stay within your wedding budget. The advent of the Internet allows you to purchase flowers online from just about anywhere in the world for truly excellent prices. Another positive facet of the Internet option is the fact that it's so convenient. You can order flowers from any computer, anytime, and the vendor will be happy to send your flowers anywhere you want, except Antarctica -- so if that's your destination wedding location, you'd be well advised to rethink your wedding plans. In any case, all it takes is a little Web-savvy and a credit card to order your wedding flowers online. Heck, you can even order flowers while you're getting your dress fitted, if you're that pressed for time.

Especially apropos are vendors from the equatorial nations of Central and South America, where the flowers you're after grow all year 'round -- especially those beautiful wedding favorites, the long-stemmed roses. Most of the online flower merchandisers will be happy to provide you with any number of wedding flowers, roses or otherwise, all the way into the thousands. You could literally fill a room full of roses, which will be shipped to you by overnight mail. Fear not -- the flowers will arrive fresh and dewy, ready to be used for decoration or bouquets. Most such retailers also offer wedding packages, complete with bouquets for everyone, all the boutonnieres you can handle, rose petals for the throwing, table decorations: the whole nine yards. You can even buy enough flowers to make that bed of roses he's been promising you.

As for the rose petals, you can easily order those in fresh, freeze-dried, or silk versions. Nothing beats fresh, but freeze-dried rose petals last for weeks given proper care, and of course silk rose petals (which are actually made from a tough polyester) will last for years. Rose petals make great floral accents as well as providing ammunition for the flower girls. They'll look sweet scattered on the reception dinner tables, or among the pews at the church. Just remember, fresh petals have a tendency to be slippery, and can stain clothing. If you want to avoid something slick underfoot (since nothing ruins the solemnity of a wedding like someone falling down), then dried petals would be best.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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