if not caring is wrong, i don’t want to be right

This past weekend the beau dabbled in the fine art of flower-arranging. By which I mean: he took apart a bouquet of flowers from the farmer’s market and spent seven or eight minutes jamming the flowers into various vases on whim. Then he sat back and said, “These look pretty good.”

And they did.

Here’s all of the test vases together:

I mean, I may be biased, but I think that for the amount of effort that went into these, they look fucking awesome. Of course, the alluring morning light helps make them appear, uh, alluring.* But seriously. For having no theme, no specific flower type or color, no matching vases, and absolutely zero desire to take flower arranging seriously, somehow it all works.

Which makes me happy, because we’ll need a lot of these vases. About 70, to be exact. Our loose plan is as follows:ย We’ll have long eight-foot tables for dinner seating, and each table will need three centerpieces. We’ll use at least two or three vases per centerpiece, depending on size. Each centerpiece will be comprised of vases that contrast each other, whether it be in terms of tall/short, thick/thin, round/square, or a combination thereof. The final effect will be something along the lines of this:

Except that for the actual wedding, the vases will not be sitting atop a side table in my living room. Also, fun fact alert! The little glass “vase” in the photo above is actually an old oil and vinegar bottle I found inside the built-in ironing board closet in our house. End fun fact alert.

For the number of vases we need to fill, we’ll probably end up spending a grand total of $100 – $120 on flowers. Of course, the fact that we’re not doing any bouquets or boutonnieres helps keep the cost down. Yeah, I actually did just type that. Permit me to repeat it in boldface: We are not doing any bouquets or boutonnieres. I do not want a bouquet, either made of real flowers, found objects, or otherwise, because I am 1) batshit insane, 2) not actually a woman, or 3) all of the above. I don’t know why I’m not interested in bouquets, I’m just not. And if there’s anything other blogs have taught me, it’s to concentrate only on the wedding things you care about the most. This is why I spent roughly four days trying to figure out how to get custom fonts to display on our website, and a few minutes figuring out what to put on the tables. Hence, our poor man’s centerpieces above; born of a burning desire to decorate for the least amount of money and labor possible. The takeaway? You can do whatever the sam hill you want with your wedding. Trample The Rules and make your own! Damn the torpedos, and damn the man! Or something!

Speaking of rule-trampling, let me just say I am not wholeheartedly opposed to the idea of carrying a bouquet at my wedding, of course. I’ve heard some people say that their bouquet gave them something to do with their hands, which is fair enough. So I figure that if I decide at the last second that I need to distract my evil, nervous hands from doing evil, nervous things, I’ll pluck a few stems from a nearby vase and grasp them tightly in my sweaty fists until the ceremony begins. I am also not wholeheartedly opposed to the idea of boutonnieres for all the guys, because I think they would look nice. But I am too coarse and cheap to go to a florist, too afraid of DIY to make them, and whenever I go on Etsy and look at the alternative boutonniere options, my eyes sort of glaze over and I feel the overwhelming urge to click away, CLICK AWAY! So. Since they are near the bottom of my list and very likely to fall off any second, I am already assuming we won’t have them.ย Feel free to make fun of me heartily in the comments, for I’m certain our marriage will not survive our ignorance of these details.

What’s on your “do not care” list?


* I was 20 minutes late to work yesterday because I decided that I absolutely had to take pictures of the vases right that very second. You’re welcome, internet.

33 thoughts on “if not caring is wrong, i don’t want to be right”

  1. LOVE your title. My do not care list was extensive…I posted about our total lack of details on my blog today. I didn’t care about favors, b-maid dresses, programs, rehearsal dinner decorations, table assignments, a plated dinner….yeah, it was long. I think that your flowers look absolutely lovely, and those vases will be super easy/cheap at thrift stores or garage sales. We did 100% of our vases from crappy flea markets. I’d totally ship them to you but they’re milk glass and your clear ones look fantastic.

    Damn girl, you scored with a beau who arranges flowers!

  2. GORGEOUS! Seriously, these almost look like A SMP shoot. And I don’t mean that in a mean way. ๐Ÿ™‚

    My 2 Flower Cents: You might want to rethink the lilies if they aren’t that important to you. Depending on when you get them/store them, they might be closed up tighter than a drum and you’ll have paid $2 a stem for lily buds and not open flowers. A big football mum would take up the same space, is heartier AND cheaper. And it’s totally because I’m partial to football mums.

    1. Ooh. Good point. I didn’t even think about it, because the lilies just kind of came in the bouquet with all the other ones (like sheep, we just took whatever the farmer’s market vendor handed out). Maybe we can go back to them and see if we can get ones that don’t have lilies in them.

  3. You go, girl. Woohoo for not caring! Food and music were on the top of our don’t care list so we let other people handle them and I’m glad we didn’t get roped into actually caring about them because we didn’t… at all. To this day, I couldn’t care less what people ate at our wedding, so long as they had full tummies, I was happy.

    And those centerpieces are wicked. As close to perfect as one can get, I would say. Who the hell needs a florist? For us, DIY flowers was a necessity because I’m cheap and was determined to do them by myself and with the help of some family members. And it’s awesome that you’re not caving into the “your bouquet is the centerpiece of the entire wedding day” phenomena. However, if you do decide that you want something by way of a bouquet or boutonnieres, don’t be scared of the DIY route. Flowers are pretty. Not scary.

  4. These look soooo pretty. And really, with pretty flowers, you can’t really mess things up. This sounds like an excellent, easy plan and I’m sure your photographer can do the alluring light thing fabulously too. (Though I do love your photos).

    Also, Woohoo! All aboard on the no bouquet or boutonniere train! Mostly because I’m too cheap and lazy to be bothered and the alt options don’t feel right. And everyone who agrees makes me feel stronger when my mother tries to pull wedding guilt.

    1. Totally agree – my mantra was “you can’t screw up flowers,” and I stand by it (unless you’re like, purposely trying to screw them up… there might be some way). I think the flowers look awesome. It really is that easy, if you let it be.

      I was absolutely not interested in a bouquet… ended up using one, since my DOC threw it together and it looked really sweet, but I still think they aren’t necessary and I can look about 3 bouquet photos before my eyes glaze over (fonts, on the other hand, I can browse for hours!).

    2. Solidarity feels great, doesn’t it? The most liberating thing about weddings is the realization that you can actually do what you want with them. This unfortunately does not preclude a mother’s opinions, however. Bah. It’s never super easy, is it?

  5. they look fantastic! While I did love my bouquet and how it looks in the picture there did come a point when I had flowers in one had, champagne in the other which meant I couldn’t hug people properly or hold hands with my husband. The flowers got ditched – I had to keep hold of the champers obv!

  6. * laughing at you heartily – what a silly poser-bride, thinking she can avoid the florist! little does she know marriages are not actually valid without a bouquet being present! *

    Ok now that I got the necessary ridiculing out of the way – that’s some smart thinking you got there. My bouquet was useless except as a fun little prop during photos. It was a hassle as I walked down the aisle (since I walked with a parent on each arm) and I immediately handed it off to a bridesmaid once I got up there. But I didn’t really realize bouquets were optional. Oh sure, I threw aside favours and scorned the bouquet/garter toss, but the ideals of the WIC were pretty deeply engrained in my brain and it never occurred to me to not have a bouquet. Oh well, it was pretty!

    The flowers look great and I’m pretty sure your idle hands won’t turn evil and throw nail polish on your dress when you’re not looking. If you’re concerned, hold a drink until you have to walk down.

    1. Dude, bouquets are totally pretty. I’ve admired a bouquet or two in my day. But I feel like I completely fail at understanding what I would even want in a bouquet, so I figured I might as well forget about it. I, um, really like your idea about holding a drink in its place, though.

  7. Samesies on the no bouquet! No offense to those who love em, I just hate having to carry things around, and don’t want to spend the money, thought, or time on them.

    And yes, since I’ve never cared about them, they’re also on my list of things that I refuse to allow myself to suddenly get roped into caring about now. (Much to the dismay of my mother and day-of-coordinator.) I treasure my refuse-to-care list, which includes centerpieces, bouquets, what other people wear, what other people do with their make-up, cars, escort cards, and, generally, fanciness. I overanalyze the things I choose to care about too much anyway, might as well make life bearable by explicitly refusing to think about the things I know I’d be pissed at myself for stressing about later.

    Also, +10 for your gorgeous centerpieces, and +20 for appropriate use of comprise!

  8. These are perfect.

    We’re collecting jars to use as vases. Yes, just plain old jars. Spaghetti jars, jam jars, peanut butter jars, anything else we eat that comes in a jar. Free is good.

    The only reason I made a fake-flower bouquet at all is that my daughter has these funny notions about what a wedding is supposed to look like. I’m humoring her, and actually I think the bouquet is going to be a giant pain in the butt because (1) it’s heavy and (2) when I’m nervous, I hold Tony’s hand really tight and the bouquet will be in the way.

    1. Aww, Sarah. I LOVED your bouquet, and your daughter’s too. I didn’t mean to pan bouquets, just make fun of my inherent laziness with respect to making one of my own. I ALSO like your jar idea. I kind of wish we’d started down that road, too, instead of paying for thrift store vases.

    2. I am so entirely excited for our cabinet that’s overflowing with jars (of the spaghetti, peanut butter, and misc variety too). We’ve got a huge mantle mantle, and that’s where we’re using them as candle holders and flower jars.

  9. Who says a bouquet has to be what you’re holding in your nervous hands…. I had a gorgeous clutch (my something borrowed) on my wedding day and was annoyed anytime my photog asked me to put it down & pick up the bouquet for a picture… needless to say, the bouquet was quickly abandoned… file that under “things I shouldn’t have spent money on!”

  10. I LOVE reading your blog. Getting married in October and reading your blog helps SO much when I get frustrated with wedding ridiculousness in general. Thank you!

  11. I really wanted a bouquet so I got a nice small one of dahlias. But we didn’t have the bouquets or boutenierres for the pre-wedding photos – oops. and then after I handed my bouquet to my MOH for the rings part, I never took it back. So my MOH had two. Oh well. Whatever.
    My mom and aunt cut farmers market dahlias and shoved them into tiny cheap vases for our flowers. and they were beautiful. because flowers are beautiful. I’m sure that someone is about to offer you a ton of vases for free. I would except that after the wedding a ton of them disappeared. hmm. I only have like six and they are all tiny bud vases.
    And next time I get married, (ha!) I’m hiring you to tell me what I so don’t need to worry about. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. I love what you have going on up there. A friend gifted us her flower arranging services so we handed over all of our jars (already owned!) and thrifted vases and it was amazing. I actually prefer a more organic look to flowers, but man were the purists confused. What were our COLORS? The horror.

    On my don’t care list:
    -place settings
    -menu cards

  13. The Beau apparently has a secret flower arranging super talent. Those vases of flowers look great!

    I love how laid back your attitude on the whole flower thing is. I feel exactly the same way. If your wedding ends up being illegitimate because of your not perfectly planned out flower arrangements, mine will be too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. Love the flowers, lady. Good stuff.

    And honestly…I’m a little afraid to even put this out here but (whisper) i think photography is kind of on my do not care list.

    I want 10 good pictures. I don’t want to analyze lots of pictures. I don’t want to smile for a lot of pictures. I don’t want to feel my photographer like a shadow taking candids by my side. I kind of want him to go away already, and the wedding hasn’t happened yet.

    1. While I am a sucker for pretty wedding photography, I will admit that being photographed felt like it consumed a large part of the day (not to mention a large part of the budget). So if you’re not into it, you’re very smart to resist.
      (however I will say that after the official posing was done I had no idea I was being photographed even though she must’ve been clicking away, they are sneaky like that)

    2. Photography was on our “don’t particularly care” list. Which is odd, in a way, because I LOVE photography as an art form. I even love other people’s fancy wedding photography. But we just wanted 1 good photo–which is all we had from our grandparents’ weddings, and yet a single photo still spoke volumes about the day and who they were and how they felt.

      I always felt sort of funny, though, when I would read over and over again how photography should be #1 priority (and therefore a big part of your budget) because it would be “all you have left” from the day.

      We got a newbie wedding photographer, spent very little, and the photos are just what we wanted. We got something like 200 awesome photos (though they don’t have the cool retro effects so many popular wedding blog photogs add). I have no clue what I’d do with 800+.

      1. Hi, I’m new – and I gotta pile on and say that having hundreds of pictures of myself isn’t actually what I hope to take from my wedding day. I like the pretty retro pictures, but for THOUSANDS of dollars? Ugh. How did you go about FINDING a more affordable, newbie photographer, though? I feel like I keep browsing and browsing, and all I find is super WIC-ey photos of tall blonde brides or super-indie hipster shots, all with huge price tags….

      2. @Lethe (sorry, wasn’t able to hit “reply” on your msg.)

        #1 tip: troll Craigslist. And Weddingbee classifieds. We browsed the Craigslist “event” and “creative” listings for about 1-1/2 months before we found our photographer (I almost put up a listing). A lot of established professional wedding photographers were advertising special pkgs on there due — I’m guessing? — to the recession.

        #2 tip: photography/art departments at your local college. I considered putting up an ad in an art school, asking for photographers who need to expand their portfolio. I’ve even heard of students offering to shoot for free, as long as they can use your pics on their website (though I would suggest offer a small payment, anyway, just to make it more of a business transaction).

        #3: figure exactly how many hours/photos you want (also figure out if your wedding would offer an opportunity to photograph something unique, and use that angle to negotiate a good price). We figured out that we only needed 3 hrs max (vs. more typical 8-hr coverage) to cover the ceremony, posed photos, and a bit of reception, and were only charge $100 per hr. I think our photographer is charging quite a bit more now for a “full package” (but she still offers “a la carte hours”), but in case you happen to live in Ohio, here’s her website

        Also: it IS a gamble to use someone who’s just starting out. I read a story the week before our wedding about a couple who hired a student and never received their photos — that worried me, even though I’d met and liked Lisa and trusted her skill. We lucked out, but you have to prepare yourself for worse case and be all right with that. ๐Ÿ™‚

    3. Yeah, as much as I’ve been talking about photography, it’s only a priority because I’m so self conscious about photos. I need to know I’m not going to hate my wedding photos. Hiring someone I didn’t trust meant a huge possibility that I would despise every single photo of me, so I was willing to pay for someone great. All I want is one framable shot and an album that tells the story of our day without making me cringe.

      Of course, I went for talented newbie and someone I clicked with on a “i want to be your new best friend” level so I can stand being around her for 8 hours. We’re doing an hour of family and wedding portaits TOPS, pre-ceremony, because I still can’t stand having my photo taken. Also, I wish to add that I didn’t choose my photographer based on retro indie processing crap, I chose her based on raw talent in composition and lighting. My parents wedding photos are retro because they’re OLD, not because they were made to look that way.

  15. dude. just finished reading your blog from the beginning.
    let me telly ya, you have saved my sanity on so many levels.

    you and I?
    pretty sure same person.

    really nice to know I am not the only one.

  16. Love your flowers. I think they look great! That is the kind of look I love, and looks a lot like what we did, but with different flowers. I was going to DIY flowers, but then Marie-Eve from Marie-Eve in Montrรฉal said she would be willing to do them, if I decided not to DIY them after all. And after a week of thinking I would attempt to DIY my flowers, I changed my mind because I decided it was one thing too many for me. ๐Ÿ™‚ She was fabulous and went with my low-key flower desire, and mixed small bottles as vases. If I had not been for Marie-Eve, I TOTALLY would have done them myself though, because I was not about to hire a WIC-type florist. But supporting a fellow blogger who had recently gotten married and was starting out in a flower business? Yeah…that I can do. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Anyhow, all that to say your flowers look great and good for you for doing them yourself! And in case you decide you want to hold something in your hands, other than flowers, I saw a photo once of somebody carrying a candle-lit lantern in, instead of a bouquet. All the bridal party (or maybe just bridesmaids?) had them, and it looked cool in the photos. This had been my back-up plan when I was planning of DIY flowers, before the Marie-Eve plan. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. awww beau’s and flowers. precious. they look beautiful! We’re pretty much doing the same thing, my mom has been buying out all the thrift stores in town of their vases. And we’re gonna shove some bulk flowers in them and call it a day. And we’re not doing boutonnieres either, Fiance asked “what is the point of them?” “so people know you guys groomsman and stuff?” to which his response was “everyone coming to the wedding knows us, and we’ll be the only ones in suits. I don’t need flowers.” So that was easy.

  18. So, if you DO decide to do bouts, email me. For my wedding this past weekend we did ALL our flowers ourselves. $200 at the flower mart later I had 3 bouquets, 12 tables worth of centerpieces, 1 remembrance arrangement, 6 bouts and a whole mess of extra flowers to be scattered all over.

    The bouts were forgotten until about 12 hours before the wedding. And they TERRIFIED me. Turns out, I was able to do them all in about 15 minutes, and they lasted all day, with many compliments.

    In any case, it was easy. And they looked great. Let me know!

  19. they look great! kudos to the beau. also, we did silk flowers and superman boutonneires. worked out fine. but do what you want. its amazing how things you think MATTER SO MUCH you don’t notice on the day of

  20. Wow, I am amazed. He must have a hidden talent or something. The flowers look great. I wholeheartedly agree that you should focus on what is important to you on your wedding day. It is your day and should be what you love and care about. My focus was more on comfort and good food. I wanted everyone to feel relaxed, have some good food and have a good time. I didn’t care if it looked fabulous.

  21. I’m slow here, but just wanted to join in the no bouquet/boutonniere solidarity! WOO!

    I think this is the decision that has caused the most wide eyed “WHAAA!?” stares. It baffles people that I’m not having a bouquet or that I’m depriving my poor groom of a boutonniere. But from all the brides I’ve talked to, I think ONE out of maybe FIVE liked their bouquet. The others had some crazy jumbo creation.

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