Let me begin with my own story about how I ended up choosing artificial flowers for my wedding bouquet. As the months drew closer to my dream destination wedding in Fiji, I was starting to get more and more nervous about my wedding flowers and how they would look in real life and in photos. From very early on, planning a wedding all the way from Melbourne became quite stressful. Although I was assigned a wedding planner from the resort where we were to marry, who was very lovely by the way, I soon realised that it was almost impossible to pick up the phone to speak to her whenever I had a question or concern. Not only was she super busy running around trying to organise dozens of weddings at a time (in Fiji, weddings take place almost any day of the week!) but she was also running on Fiji Time (yep, it’s a thing). This meant that my emails would get answered days later, and when they did get answered, often my initial questions were missed or very vaguely answered, or my question misunderstood. So if I rephrased my question and asked again, I knew it’ll be days or even weeks before I’d get another answer. This became incredibly frustrating.
As part of my wedding package, I knew that bouquets and buttonholes were included. But when I would ask what type of flowers I would get, my wedding planner couldn't tell me, she didn't exactly know. She would tell me I’d get whatever was available at the time (frangipanes, gingers, orchids maybe). Although I love frangipanes, I must admit they are not my favourite wedding flowers. As time drew closer, not knowing exactly what I was going to get was not sitting very well with me. So I decided to take my floral matters into my own hands.
During my quest to find the perfect bouquet for myself, I started googling pictures of wedding bouquets. There were so many gorgeous bouquets out there, if only I could have them all. But the ones that would always stand out for me were peony bouquets, I just couldn’t stop thinking about how much I wanted peonies for my wedding bouquet. Well when you are getting married in Fiji, you can certainly kiss goodbye any notion of having real peonies. Or roses for that matter. The climate just doesn’t allow for these to grow there in a natural manner. So I knew if I was going to have my dream flowers, they would need to be artificial. But “artificial wedding flowers, are you sure?” I would ask myself. I wasn’t completely sure but I decided that if I found the right flowers I would definitely be happier with a faux peony bouquet than a real frangipani bouquet in any random colour.
My first step was ordering sample flowers from eBay and other sites. But each time I’d wait for my samples to arrive in the mail, I’d end up feeling disappointed that they weren’t as pretty in real life as they were on the computer screen. Then I saw one of the most beautiful peony bouquets I’d ever seen on Etsy. I had come across images of this bouquet many times during my google searches, and I remember thinking it was real! I couldn’t believe my luck when it was for sale in an Etsy store! Although it was from the US and very expensive, it was everything I wanted and shipping to Australia was not a problem. This Etsy seller had sold dozens of bouquets and generally had a good rating. I remember reading in the description that the bouquet you receive may vary slightly from the image advertised, so I contacted the seller and asked if she could send me a bouquet as close as possible to the main listing picture. She told me she would. I happily paid a couple of hundred dollars for my bouquet and for the shipping, and then I eagerly waited for it to arrive. Finally, sitting in my office at work, I was told my parcel had arrived. I ran down the stairs in my high heels, grabbed the parcel and ripped open the box. Unfortunately, to my disappointment, the bouquet I received was nothing like the one in the Etsy listing, and the colours were completely off. As beautiful as the bouquet was, it had peach and pink and white and beige flowers in it. I thought I was ordering a pale pink peony bouquet. I just wasn’t happy with this, and some of the flowers felt like cardboard. So feeling deflated, with only a few months left to go until the big day, I was back to square one.
I immediately continued to shop around in local stores and online. After a few days, I ended up coming across some silk peonies from a floral supplier in London. They looked so amazing online, they were almost too good to be true. At that time, as my wedding date was looming and I had nothing else, I decided to pay the hefty price in british pounds and placed an order for one bundle. Not too long after that, I received a parcel at work and hesitantly opened it, not wanting to get my hopes up after my previous disappointments. To my surprise and delight, when I lay my eyes upon these flowers, I instantly fell in love. These were the ones from my dreams. Trying not to squeal with excitement and scare my work colleagues, I straight away ran back to my office and ordered another 20 bundles. A few weeks later, with only a couple of months left until my wedding, I arranged the flowers into bouquets for myself and bridal party. I was extremely happy with them and couldn’t wait to hold them on my wedding day.