When I first got engaged, I was completely cool and collected and budget-savvy about wedding flowers. After all, why pay a load of cash for something that will look pretty for a few hours before drying and browning as flowers are wont to do?
All of a sudden, I went from “don’t care about flowers” to “must have peonies – fields of peonies.” Lush, romantic, and fragrant, the peony is an important flower in my country of origin. We are not incorporating any of my heritage into the wedding (no tea ceremony, for example), so peonies would be a nice touch, even if no one else sees anything but pretty blooms. Everything I’ve read about the flower makes me love it more.
Everything, that is, except the price. As I’ve learned in my crash course into peonies, this flower only blooms from late April to early June, and can cost up to $12 per stem because of its limited supply and popularity with brides. I am getting married in early June, so I should be at the tail end of the peony season. If I’m lucky, Trader Joe will sell a bouquet of 5 stems for $7 or $8.
So the plan is this: I am trekking to the LA Flower District the day before the wedding. I am going to have with me $200 in cash, a couple of friends, several buckets, and a cart. And I am going to pick out cabbage roses and peonies in shades of pink, dusty rose, and mauve. At the very least, I’m going to get enough peonies to make the bridal bouquet!