Had we held our wedding in the US I’m sure I would have visited at least two or three florists and discussed wedding day flowers at length, months in advance of the big day -but here in Italy things were a bit different. Just five days before the wedding a bunch of us girls headed to the local florist to talk bouquets and reception arrangements.We hadn’t a clue as to what was in season, what each stem would cost or how many flowers we could actually get in such a short amount of time. I had a vision of what I wanted but the language barrier made communicating my vision challenging to say the least. There we were, five girls leafing through an English-Italian dictionary looking up words like roses, peonies, pink and orange.
Oh, and then there were the ferns. After the florist showed us a few sample photos, I quickly realized Italians love ferns and baby’s breath in floral arrangements. Dear God -please no. To make it clear there were to be no ferns or baby’s breath involved, we set a couple of ground rules:
- Rule #1: No bianco – no white
- Rule #2: No verde – no green
I knew the florist had gotten the point when she joked about making me a completely green fern bouquet. I left behind a photo for inspiration and walked out of the shop not quite sure of what just happened or what my wedding flowers would look like.
Friday morning, two hundred flowers showed up at our house, a gorgeous mix of roses, peonies and bougainvillea in various shades of pinks. peaches and orange-reds -and not one fern or stem of baby’s breath to be found. My mother and I got to work pruning and assembling and in less than two hours we had turned two hundred stems into ten beautiful arrangements for the wedding reception.
And they couldn’t have been more perfect.