A Bride and A Bar

Here in Nashville, we see a lot of bachelorette parties downtown and let me just say, this article is NOT about that!

Our group of friends love to throw parties and showers. This past weekend we celebrated our “Sweets” and her son and soon to be daughter-in-law at a bridal shower hosted by the lovely Lala. Lala and I are kinda crazy about hospitality and so when she said I could help, and she was going to cover the food and invitations, I knew just what I had in mind for the activity and the party favors. A flower bar!

Notice how the flowers grow. They do not toil or spin. But I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of them. Luke 12:27

There are lots of things that inspired me to put the flower bar together in this particular way, and here are a few of them.

Inspirations

Perusing Pinterest, I was inspired with an idea. I looked up pictures of “flower bars” which has become a popular activity for bridal showers these days. Recently, I had passed by a local flower shop in town where tables were spread out and women were paying good money (mucho) to go in and make their own bouquets. Lastly, a few scenes from the movie “The Age Of Innocence” had been playing in my mind lately and I pulled these inspirations together to make one fun activity.

The Age of Innocence is a story about a time in history when expectations were high to marry well and many things went left unsaid for the sake of propriety. During this era (Victorian), feelings could not be conveyed outright and so flowers were sent to convey messages. I started researching popular flowers and their meanings. I made tags that explained these meanings after I shopped for blooms, fillers and greenery.

Depending on the season you have to choose your flowers THEN make your tags!

I first went to a flower wholesaler, and that was a HUGE mistake. They were all priced at least three times for what I had seen in my local grocery the day before. Because it was Mother’s Day weekend, the flowers were much cheaper and more available at the local grocery. Kroger and Publix always have 4 small bunches for $12, but Trader Joe’s is where I really hit the jackpot. There were a greater variety and they were all more affordable.

I drew up cards with lists of meanings for different flowers as well. This way, if someone was trying to decide which flowers to use, the guests who were waiting for their turn could consider the options.

I always save food jars (like spaghetti sauce) as LaLa has often brought me flowers in recycled jars which only adds to the charm. I picked up some textured scrapbook paper and cut wide strips, gluing them around the residue from the removed labels. I tied different ribbons at the top of each jar (in the colors of the shower decor) and brought extra spools of ribbon for the guests to use if they wanted to add to their jar.

Spaghetti sauce jars work best but you can also use jars from pickled peppers, pickles, and this section of the grocery.

I had purchased pitchers at Michaels for 40% off, which came out to only a few dollars each. I also had buckets nearby for the wider leafed varieties. I trimmed the edges off the bottom of the flowers so they were fresh and more sized for the jars.

These cute and affordable buckets were on sale at Michael’s in their seasonal section for 40% off!

I gave everyone a few words of wisdom about removing the leaves off of the stems that would be in the water (they mold faster than stems and therefore ages the bouquet faster.) Then I read a poem I had written for words of advice for the bride, with a silly take on flower meanings. I would post it but it was part of her special day and so I leave it for her keeping.

Make sure you have shears on the table and water with flower food in a pitcher for the guests to pour into the jars.

The best part was that each guest had their own bouquet as a party favor to take with them and were encouraged to pass it along as a message to someone they cared about. Everyone had a great time and stayed very busy as they made their bouquets. Our lovely hostess had time to put the finishing touches on the food as they trimmed and fashioned their flowers, and I was so excited to watch their enjoyment! I thought I would share some pics for inspiration for any upcoming bridal showers, or just to brighten your day. When we see how much love and detail God pours into the flowers, how can we ever doubt His love for us?

I understood that every flower created by Him is beautiful, that the brilliance of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not lessen the perfume of the violet or the sweet simplicity of the daisy. I understood that if all the lowly flowers wished to be roses, nature would no longer be enamelled with lovely hues. And so it is in the world of souls, Our lord’s living garden.

Therese of Lisieux

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