Here are some photos of the flowers from The Kid’s Confirmation. I very rarely volunteer to do large-ish public events like this, but if The Kid is involved, the “it’s a once in a lifetime event” logic kicks in. But I am getting wiser in my old age and once I had acquired the raw materials, a living room full of flowers and assorted materiel, I spent just 2 hours or so in the wee hours of the morning making the actual arrangements so that they could be at the church by 8:30 a.m. There were 10 “pieces” for the event, a large arrangement at the foot of the altar, pictured up top. This arrangement was placed inside a very large copper fish poacher that is roughly 2.5+ feet in length. The arrangement had some 8 ornamental cabbages, roughly 20+ heads of milflores or hydrangeas, deep pink roses and a few snapdragons. It took less than 15 minutes to put together as I had already set up the base with oasis the night before. I thought it was a bit intense… But you could see it from halfway back it the church, despite its relatively small size against a stunningly overdone gold painted altar as the background…
Next we had to make 8 arrangements for the main aisle which the kids were to walk down. I cannot stand wedding flowers where the stands block the view of the guests, so I was determined to do waist high (for me) arrangements that barely blocked anyone’s view. The other challenge was to use colors that were brighter, happier, less wedding-like. Also, it had to be younger, a bit more irreverent, and complement the event taking place. For the aisle arrangments, I started with a based made out of welded steel, painted green. I had these stands made a few years ago at a small welding shop for about PHP500 each and have used them several times since then. I just re-paint them if necessary. We covered the stem of the stand in moss and used raffia to secure the moss to the stand. These were prepped the day before the event.
Next, I added a block of oasis or floral foam on top of the stand and a smaller piece on the base of the stand. Each arrangemnet included ornamental cabbages, hydrangeas, lisianthus, snapdragons, pink and white roses. When they were done and waiting in our living room, I worried that they might be a bit too bold, a bit too big and overwhelming. I should note that I plotted the exact location of the stands, so that although it was supposed to look random, the colors of the flowers at the base and on the main section of the arrangements were in a predetermined pattern so that it looked good, and seemingly random, but it was orchestrated, at least in my mind.
The next challenge was getting everything to the church in good shape, and in the photo above, the eight “tops” to the aisle arrangements were loaded into the car and sent ahead… The bases were in another vehicle and two trips were necessary to get everything to the church.
The “tenth” arrangement was for the offertory, and The Kid was supposed to carry it during the mass.
Instead of the usual basket, I used a small silk covered gift box as the base container and filled it with hydrangeas, roses, cabbages and lisianthus in a bluish, purpley, white and pink color scheme. I liked this piece a lot, small but nice.
At the church, the arrangements were placed at their designated spots along the aisle, and my fear that they would stand out too much were for unfounded. The huge church practically swallowed up the arrangements. Now I know why most florists use tons of leaves as fillers to make huge arrangements with hardly any flowers at all… it’s so the arrangements are noticeable, from a size perspective. But I generally don’t like using too many greens as fillers as a personal choice.
I thought the arrangements were just right. The right height, size, colors, etc. and decorating the base and the tops made them seem bigger than they really were. For a bunch of 7th graders just above the 5 foot mark, these were appropriate and did not block the view of guests at all.
Up close you could tell each piece was chockfull with blooms, yet they were not arranged too tightly. These were perhpas the most adventurous and colorful arrangements I have ever done…
Bishop San Diego sat in front of the large arrangement in front of the altar…
And just as I was thinking how intense some of the arrangements looked up close…
… this photo of someone who is roughly 6 feet tall and say 180-190 pounds right beside one of the arrangements made me think that must be what I look like from behind… hahaha. And then, “the move” occurred that brought a smirk to my face in the middle of the mass. The guy looked down, his left hand darted out to feel up one of the blooms, and I can only guess what flashed through his mind at that point — “ay, they are real pala.” The last time I did flowers at a church for The Kid’s first communion, I had smaller but even more intense arrangements with hundreds of hydrangeas and even more roses and I spied two of Manila’s toniest and most socialite type grandmothers/matriarchs actually go up to the arrangements before the mass to feel them up, obviously surprised that they were made with real and not artificial blooms. Really, now, tsk, tsk, Marketman USE artificial blooms at a church event? I think NOT. Heeheehee. So who was this tall, dark, fit guest who could have doubled for Marketman from behind? And why was he in black pants and dark shoes but sporting white socks??? I later found out it was Richard Gomez, who was a ninong of one of the kids. I have to admit, however, he looks a LOT better than Marketman from the front… and has a lot more hair too. Lesson learned? Don’t feel up Marketman’s flowers in public, or it may end up posted in the blog. Hahaha.
I must state for the record that I cannot pull off these types of events without my trusty crew. While I do most of the actual arrangements myself, they are brilliant at prepping the stands, conditioning the flowers/blooms, helping finish up the arrangements, coding them, transporting them, setting them up and dismantling them after the event. They were terrific, and they all stayed to watch The Kid get confirmed… :)