Wedding Decorator: The bridesmaid edition

This past weekend – actually, these past six months – I’ve been sort of the bridesmaid of all trades. (Yes, I made that up all by myself.) Besides putting together my old friend Cathy’s wedding website (with all the custom design done by my husband Trinity), I’ve decorated her bridal shower, her wedding and was her bridesmaid. That was one busy weekend, let me tell you.

This time, the wedding was at the Ritz Carlton Huntington Hotel & Spa in Pasadena. Decorating a wedding you have to be in is always an interesting experience. Last time I did it, I was maid of honor in my friends’ Iliki & Mel’s wedding, but their wedding wasn’t as, um, huge as Cathy’s.

Because it was a morning wedding and because I had to, you know, get made up and have my hair done between 5 or 6 in the morning the day of the wedding, there wasn’t going to be any time to do all this the morning before the ceremony. So I had to start decorating the sweetheart table, cake table and backdrop the night before. Luckily, the Ritz Carlton banquet and catering department was very accomodating and had everything ready even at 3 p.m. Friday, when I was there for the wedding rehearsal. We went to a rehearsal dinner in nearby Alhambra at 5 p.m., and I returned to the Ritz Carlton by about 7 p.m. I finished decorating and got home by 9:30 p.m., but probably didn’t go to bed till midnight – and even then I couldn’t sleep. I probably got an hour’s sleep that night.

One of the cool things about this wedding was that Cathy wanted alternating tall and short arrangements. And the tall ones were spectacular – a trumpet vase full of water, with one stem of Hawaiian orchids in it, topped with white and pink Thai orchids. Nice.

And I know it seems like all the weddings I’ve done lately – including this one – have been garden weddings, but that’s not the only type we do. I promise we do a lot of church weddings too – just not lately. I didn’t write about it, but I did go to the Almansor Court again this year. I just didn’t write about it again, since, well, I just did.

I was just really happy that everything had turned out as nice as it did. Cathy is an old friend, one I’ve known since I was a sophomore in high school (more than 10 years ago!), so it was nice to be able to use my talents for someone I know and love.

Here is the master of the wedding flowers herself, Aida Barrientos. I love taking pictures of my mom as she works. Only thing is, I only seem to be able to catch her working on the cake tables. Go figure.

It’s also always good to get candid photos of each other. Here’s my brother, lost in the garland, after cleaning up the hotel’s Horseshoe Garden. This garland was made of live, cut greens and had several humongous Colombian roses gathered where it met the row.

Here is the cake table. Now, please remember – even though I write sort of nonchalantly about doing this, I was a wreck approaching the wedding day, trying to figure out how the logistics would work. There’s never any guarantees that the florist (that would be us) can get all the time needed to work on site. And even though I lucked out and got the time I needed, knowing that I was decorating a wedding that I was also part of threw me off a little. I even had to redo the backdrop twice! It’s always hardest decorating the weddings you’re also attending, which is maybe why I rarely attend weddings. Well, historically, anyway.