February weddings don’t have it easy. While its past the tail-end of the wedding peak season in the Philippines which is around December/January, it’s the time of the year when prices of blossoms soar to all-time-high due to huge demand in time for Valentine’s Day. And it’s not just the prices that’s the problem, the anxiety over the quality and quantity of stocks become also become major concern. The Dangwa Flower Market in Manila is so chaotic around this time that it feels like there’s a mad fiesta!
With this in mind, we have invited some of the wedding industry’s finest florists to participate in a fun challenge: to make a bridal bouquet without using any flowers. It sounds crazy but these floral artisans immediately agreed the moment we presented them the idea.
It is not our first time to involve suppliers in this kind of undertaking. In 2006, we asked the make-up artists for a Diva-to-Diva Makeover; and the designers, to sketch a Bridal Gown for P20k. In 2008, we had a Wedding Planners’ Challenge: How Low Can You Go? wherein detailed budget breakdown of the most affordable wedding they could muster good for 100 guests. While the price quotes in these previous challenges may now be obsolete, the basic essence remains: that wedding professionals rise up to any challenge and deliver what is expected of them.
For our florists challenge, we asked Mimi+Karl to capture the images of the florists’ unique creations. Their photography tandem are known for the beautiful shoots of wedding details so they were a shoo-in for a project like this. We set our sights for an afternoon shoot at Fernwood Gardens to serve an appropriate backdrop for our (un)floral subjects. On the day of the shoot, the table where all the bouquet were laid down practically looked like cornucopia were fruits and vegetables abound. Felt like harvest time!
Participating in this fun challenge are (in alphanumeric order): 7 Lily, 2171 Floral Creations, April & Karen Yu, Henry Pascual, Jun Hen, Robert Blancaflor, and Teddy Manuel. What they came up with are as colorful as conventional bridal bouquet, except these weren’t conventional at all. Far from it, actually. We even saw some that would be a perfect accent for themed weddings.
Each of us in the shoot has our own favorite, but we are not telling. We’ll let you decide.
bridal bouquet by: 7 Lily Flowers & Events
inspiration: the decadence and rich redness of a strawberry shortcake
materials used: strawberries, macopa (rose apple/bell fruit), & purple cabbage rose
florist’s thoughts: We had to conceptualize the bouquet using a different medium such as fruits and vegetables. Given that these are still wedding bouquets, we still wanted a classic design and the challenge was not go overboard. We stayed with designs we could imagine real brides carrying.
bridal bouquet by: 2171 Floral Creations
materials used: apple, grapes, succulents, string beans, alugbati (malabar spinach) stems
florist’s thoughts: We call this bouquet “Winter Circles of Love”. It describes the various path of relationships in circles, but always ending in the center of it all, which is love.
The challenge for us is to make the arrangement look expensive without spending much. We made the fruits and vegetable blend not expecting what they really are.
bridal bouquet by: April & Karen Yu
inspiration: apple orchards
materials used: red gala apples, nito twigs, calamansi leaves, and dried filler
florist’s thoughts: The arrangement is a handpicked, country-style, rustic bouquet. A sweet smelling bouquet that conjures memories of summer and apples in a basket.
bridal bouquet by: Henry Pascual
materials used: oregano, parsley, ajenjo (wormwood), alugbati (malabar spinach), and red grapes
bridal bouquet by: Jun Hen for Fleur de Facade
inspiration: Victorian inspired nosegay for its elegance and timeless beauty
materials used: fresh red cherries and succulents of various hybrids
florist’s thoughts: Part of the challenge is making the look soft, and wiring and putting together the fruits and succulents.
bridal bouquet by: Robert Blancaflor for the Robert Blancaflor Group
materials used: broccoli flowers, cauliflower, green pepper (siling tagalog)
bouquet by: Teddy Manuel of Flowers & Events
inspiration: autumn harvest
materials used: mayana leaves, pasta, sponge gourd, dried lemons, rattan fruit, and eucalyptus leaves
florist’s thoughts: To create a veggie & fruits bouquet, one needs to think of the aesthetics in terms of color, size and texture. I used miniature veggies so that the bouquet will be comfortable for the bride to hold. I intentionally avoided the “copacabana” or mixed salad look. I wanted the arrangement to still be feminine and elegant for a wedding.