Ashley tagged me a while back to tell this story. And well, I think enough time has passed that it may be safe for me to disclose just how I got all the beautiful rose petals that were thrown at my wedding reception exit.
I hinted at it in this post. But Ashley felt it deserved a better spotlight, and I'd have to agree. You see, months before my wedding when I began the preparations...you know, the dress, the other dresses, flowers, photographer, cake, etc... All those things you must do in advance. I had decided that instead of rice or bird seed or bubbles, that I wanted rose petals thrown as we left the reception. I had seen this done at someone's wedding and I absolutely loved it. It was a smaller wedding than mine, but I thought it would still work for mine.
So, as I told those around me this idea, EVERYONE told me "oh, that'll be so easy to do." Everyone I knew and some I didn't know proceeded to tell me that Flower shops and florists would just GIVE me their "spent" or "blown" roses. The ones that were opened up too much for them to sell. Everyone kept saying, "like the week before your wedding, call up a bunch of shops and tell them you want their spent roses and they'll just give 'em to you."
So, like an idiot that is what I did. I just took everyone's word for it. I went on the several month journey of planning a wedding and left that detail to the week before my wedding. I had no backup plan, I just rested in that it's what everyone told me!
My best friend Ashley comes up for the whole week before my wedding to help me with those last minute things that can't be done until then. She stayed the entire week with me and was SUCH a huge help! Anyway, we proceeded to do things like, get my bridal portraits taken, buy the food for the reception, freeze punch ingredients, dumpster dive for rose petals, decorate the church, ball melons.
Yes, you heard me correctly. DUMPSTER DIVE FOR ROSE PETALS. Let me explain.
On the Monday before the Saturday of my wedding, I did what everyone told me to do. I called EVERY florist and flower shop in the phone book in a 5 city radius. NO ONE was willing to just GIVE me their spent roses. They wanted me to BUY them. Gosh, that's a marvel idea--a flower shop wanting to SELL flowers?? Who ever heard of such a thing!
Not only did they want me to buy them, but they wanted me to buy them at a very expensive rate. I can't remember the exact dollar, but I know that they would sell only a small portion of them, like a ziplok baggy full, for WAY more than they were worth. Plus at this point, my wedding budget was spent.
ONE florist I called told me that and I asked what they do with the petals if no one buys them. They proceeded to tell me that they decorate their PARKING LOT with them or throw them away. My response? "Wouldn't you rather them be used at my wedding that under the tires of cars?!" They didn't find that amusing or convincing.
But, "throw them away" got us thinking. At dark, we could just go to the dumpsters behind these florist shops and get the roses that they have thrown away. GREAT IDEA!
So that is exactly what we did. For two or three nights in a row. We went to like I don't even know how many florists, I know probably around 5. Each night we went to 1 or 2. Because it took us that long, and because we were TERRIFIED!!!
We were at this one florist, and we were in their back alley--the back alley was VERY scary. I think we were standing on something to try to reach into the dumpster, because, well, we're both short. And into the alley we see headlights. We immediatly duck down and hide. In comes this very scary looking van. You know the kind they have in movies where they are kidnapping someone. We were really freaked. I think they just turned around and left. Of course, we're dying laughing at ourselves, because even we realize how crazy it was.
When we started, we were opening up trash bags and looking for the roses. By the time it was all said and done, we were just taking the trash bags we saw roses in and putting them in the car. We took them back to my apartment and sat on my front porch and pulled rose petals off of every rose in those bags. Now, I know what you're thinking--GROSS right.
Not really, the bags we took really only had flowers in them, there wasn't really any othe trash in there, just whole boquets of roses in the trash---and they wouldn't even give me the petals! I showed them ;-).
We managed to get quite a bit of petals, but not quite enough. I was able to buy the remaining petals at a decent rate from a local shop owner who I think felt sorry for me. lol.
So there is the story of how I got the rose petals for my wedding reception. It was well worth it, they were very pretty and I loved them!!!