Monday, June 2, 2014

The Perfect Match

We just spent the weekend enjoying the wedding of some dear friends, Irene Shin and Guy Stilson (we are now calling them Guyrene Stilshin). Their venue was a rustic summer camp tucked in the hills of La Honda, California. A bunch of their friends, including us, arrived early on Friday to begin setup, as this was a homemade wedding with friends and family providing all kinds of assistance in the preparations. Paul created a wonderful music selection on his iPod from his personal album collection and Colleen provided a sophisticated sound system to broadcast them. Others set up and covered tables. Another hung white paper lanterns from the rafters. Jeff and Monique made chili and a big salad for the work crew. My job was to do the flowers.

'Way back when I first moved to Rochester, New York, lo those many years ago, I landed a job at the local florist. I worked there for about six years in several capacities, lastly as a floral designer. Irene knew of that background and she tapped into it for her wedding. I tried to weasel out of the job because florist work, especially wedding work, is strenuous and stressful, but Irene is good at persuasion so I agreed to do it.

The morning before the wedding, four of us including the bride headed out to the grower's greenhouses to choose flowers. We bought an amazing carload of blossoms, coming in well below budget, so we went back for even more and it's a good thing we did as we had just barely enough.

Because Irene loves Hawaii and they both love cowboy hats and boots, we decided on a Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) theme, so we made some of the arrangements in cowboy boots that Irene bought by the dozen online. If I do say so myself, they turned out very well, spaced evenly around the rustic hall at eye level. They were festive and a little quirky - completely fun!

I had a crew who worked with me, Shin Ai (the bride's mother), my pal Sari, our friend Monique, and a new friend, Susan, who traveled all the way from Alabama for the wedding. We filled milk bottles with more flowers for the tables; they lent a very festive air along with the other decorations. 

But, we were a little short for flowers for the head table - what to do??  The greenhouses were 30 minutes away, and 30 minutes back! I went back to the cooler where I had saved a few greens and tried to decide how to make a centerpiece out of virtually nothing - this is where florist work gets stressful.

Grabbing a red french fry basket off the shelf, I used all the greens I had, plus some Queen Anne's lace, and still it looked a little sad. I went out the kitchen door looking for wild greens but I was afraid I'd cut poison ivy or poison oak by mistake, so I went back inside and, in a moment of inspiration, opened the gigantic commercial fridge. The only green in there was a head of Romaine lettuce left over from a salad - well, why not?

So, here is my head table masterpiece, complete with lettuce leaves filling out the rest!

The celebration included live bands, line dancing, Hawaiian food, silly speeches and toasts, and two sets of family singers with guitars and a trumpet, not to mention a very meaningful ceremony. There was laughter and conversation and dancing and a whole lot of fun. Many of their good friends had a sense of accomplishment at having donated some effort and time to the preparations. All in all, a splendid celebration of the perfect match.


Blogger Greg said...

Good times!

Monday, June 02, 2014  
Blogger Buzz Baylis said...

The best, Greg with lots of opportunity for Pam's creative side to come to the fore!

Monday, June 02, 2014  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, the best of times! These friends are dear to us and helping them to their dream wedding was a pleasure.

Buzz, you are too kind, but I love it.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014  
Blogger Diane said...

What a perfect way to put together a celebration! And your flower creations were beautiful, especially the lettuce one! That will make for years of great storytelling, I think.

Thursday, June 05, 2014  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Diane, thanks. It was a wonderful wedding, but then aren't they all?

Friday, June 06, 2014  

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