Thank you for all of the love and support this little corner of the internet has received over the past several years. As friends and family members were getting married, their weddings fueled the inspiration for this blog. But as seasons of life change, my focus, along with those nearest and dearest, shifted away from the wedding planning stage and I began to neglect this blog.

I have decided to indefinitely retire Calligraphy by Shannon in an effort to pour my attention into my lifestyle blog The Scribble Pad where I will be merging past and future inspiration boards and parties. You will still be able to place orders for calligraphy, custom invitations, and hand stamped items through my etsy shop. And as always, you can stay in touch with me under my moniker, The Scribble Pad on my blog, etsy shop, facebook, and even twitter! I look forward to sharing this new adventure with you.

DIY Flowers by Carly

Ladies and Gentlemen, she has done it again.  Carly is back with another incredible way to save money without sacrificing fabulousness! 


As I mentioned in a previous post, we are going to DIY the flowers for my wedding. Bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces, you name it. Why? Because flowers are expensive and not very high on my priority list. So when I was back home in PA for my best friend’s wedding a few weeks ago I extended my trip a few extra days to do some things for our wedding with my mom. The most important (and daunting) thing on our to-do list was a flower trial run. We knew we wanted hydrangeas to be the main flower in all our arrangements. Not only are they big (big flowers= fewer flowers needed=less money) but you can get a great price buying them in bulk from a place like Sam’s Club. We also want to use roses (preferably big, peony-like garden roses), ranunculus, lavender or other purple buds, and probably some green hypericum berries and dusty miller for fillers. These are my main inspiration pictures:

both via

For the trial my mom bought hydrangeas from a florist and two different types of roses, plus purple wax flowers, dusty millers, and some eucalyptus from the grocery store. I watched a few YouTube videos on flower arranging, and took some advice from those who did their own flowers. Other supplies needed: nice sharp gardening sheers, vases, floral tape, ribbon to wrap the bouquet, and a glue gun or pins to keep the ribbon in place. Oh yeah, and the sticks.

Manzanita branches and other curly sticks are really “in” right now in the world of weddings. Case in point:
left / both on right

I love the look of that bottom right picture, and it’s actually serving as the inspiration for my centerpieces. But branches are expensive! Like, ridiculously expensive. Sorry, but I am not paying $15 for one bunch of branches. And those aren’t even the Manzanita branches, which retail for at least $10 per branch. So my ever resourceful mom had been eying a tree with very pretty, curly, perfect-for-centerpieces, branches on her daily walks with the dog. Problem was, these branches were not in our own yard, they were in the yard of a neighbor she didn’t know. So she did what every great mother of the bride would do- she walked up to their house, knocked on their door, and asked the woman if she could cut the branches off her tree. And the woman said yes. So my mom went back the next day in her SUV, armed with a saw, and cut those babies down. Unfortunately I deleted the picture she sent me of a trunk full of curly branches. But you can imagine my surprise getting that text!  {hooray, we finally get to hear THE story that Carly eluded to so many months ago!}

Awesome. So those were part of our supplies too. A tip for anyone else going this route: cut the branches in the winter before they start to bloom again in spring, and then store them in a dark, dry place. We had most of them in the garage, and also some under our back deck. The ones in the garage stayed dried, but the ones under the deck start to bud. We are planning on spray painting them a dark brown to really make them “pop.”

So after a little prep work and an hour or two of assembling, we ended up with these:

bouquet - close up - all together - boutonnieres
Overall I am really happy with how they all turned out. {Ignore the brown spots on some of the hydrangeas. We asked the florist a few days later why that happened and she apologized profusely, saying we must have gotten a bad batch.}

A few changes: I want to add more color to the bouquet, mainly purples and greens. The bridesmaids bouquet especially are a little too white for me. Plus once we get all the flowers we’re actually using (garden roses, ranunculus, etc.) it will give the bouquets added detail and variety. I also want to add more sticks to the centerpieces. I’m glad we did a trial run, because not only do I now know the changes I want to make, but it also helped us determine exactly how many flowers we need to order. We stored everything down in our finished basement since it was nice and cool, and all the arrangement lasted several days and looked great. Doing the trial run made me more confident that we can do this.

You can also do this. Some yourself some moolah and be really proud of yourself when you carry that beautiful bouquet down the aisle. Some suggestions:

  1. Make sure you think over all the logistics. We are going to order the majority of our flowers from Samsclub.com and fiftyflowers.com. They recommend Thursday delivery for a Saturday wedding, to all the flowers to rehydrate and open up in time. This means we need to be home when they’re delivered, unpack them, and put them all in water. This requires manpower and lots of buckets.
  2. Think about where you will do all your assembling. Fortunately, our venue told us that as long as there is no event there on Friday (which so far there isn’t), that we can assemble there on Friday. The process does get messy (lots of clippings, petals, glue gun gunk, etc.) so be prepared for that.
  3. Know what flowers are in season during the time of year your wedding will take place. I love peonies (who doesn’t?) but for an August wedding they are just not happening, unless I want to pay an arm and a leg. Which I don’t. Knowing what’s in season will keep your costs down and also mentally prepare you for what is realistic and what is not.
  4. Do a trial run, do a trial run, do a trial run. How else would we have learned that the eucalyptus we used in the centerpieces would turn the water bright green by morning? Yikes.

Any other brides out there having any DIY flower tips and tricks?
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