Flowers for a Confirmation a la Marketman


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… :)


56 Responses

  1. Gorgeous flowers MM! Absolutely brilliant! Congratulations to the Kid!

    But on another note…Really? Tinuod ka? White socks? Pastilan! Hahaha and I leave it at that hahaha

    You’re wicked MM hehehe if we do ever meet, I am well warned to double check my wardrobe as well as mind my p’s and a’s hehehe.

  2. gorgeous arrangements! well done mm! your paragraph about RG made me laugh so hard :)and congratulations to the kid(and her parents) on her confirmation!

  3. Flowers by MM…not bad at all!

    I agree with the floral stands being too high…it does block one’s view especially during weddings. But I guess it really is a matter of preference. Way to go MM!

  4. breath-taking! (the flowers, not the socks… :-) congratulations to The Kid and the whole family!

  5. So it mattered to him that the flowers were real and for that alone we can bestow him our admiration.

    So romantic, specially the offertory arrangement. I can almost hear Chopin wafting in the background instead of Gounod.

  6. MM: Your “elitist” is showing. What’s wrong with white socks? They’re cooler on your feet especially in hot Manila. In fact, no socks is better, like in Hollywood.

  7. White socks should never be worn with black shoes, unless you want to look like Michael Jackson. ;-)

    I really like your multicolor altar arrangement, MM. Its burst of color, combined with the copper pot, makes it stand out against the opulent altar of Santuario de San Antonio.

  8. Beautiful arrangements!

    Since your repurposed your copper fish poacher it has ceased to be a singlue use implement and is therefore no longer elitist. :)

  9. white socks with black pants and black shoes= fashion faux pas. not elitist comment but common fashion sense :-)

    thanks for the reply on the previous post MM. I did ask around in Cebu for the Cabbage Roses. They can be ordered from Cagayan but costs P250 to P400 per. OUCH! Sige lang, gwapa man.

  10. Congratulations to The kid!!!

    I really love the colors and the arrangement MM, very attractive and pleasant to the eyes.

    Your side bit about RG coping a feel, is priceless.

  11. Congratulations to The Kid!
    Thats the second thing I noticed from the 1st photo above was your “copper baking rack” or I should say “a very large copper fish poacher”. Who would’ve thought that you can use your regular copper fish poacher for an even like this! Very clever and inexpensive indeed! I can’t believe that you and your little helpers pulled this off quiet nicely, at first glance, I thought somebody did it professionaly! :)

  12. for an ornate and gilded altar church of San Antonio, your flower arrangements give a very homey and cozy counterbalance!—color-wise (love the tones!) and size-wise!

    Congratulations to the Kid!

  13. Maybe RG was hoping to “take home” the flowers next to him, touching it gives him the dibs!

  14. Congratulations to the Kid and to you MM (and crew) for pulling this off. I think the flowers speak eloquently of a father’s love and his desire to make an event memorable for his child – and what gorgeous flowers!
    That bit about RG was hilarious – imagine, with everything that’s going on, you found the time to observe his wardrobe. You’re mean MM – in a funny way.

  15. you are a very loving and thoughtful father — i hope the kid realizes that.

    the arrangement for the kid’s offering is so special.

    so what happened to the flowers after the event?

  16. MM,not only are you funny,but brilliant and oh!so lovable!

    Congratulations to the Kid!

  17. welcome to the christian world once again, kid.
    i knew it was richard gomez, not you mm! hahaha. your flowers look absolutely gorgeous *drool* perfect color combination for girls’ (and boys too) confirmation. i wonder how it’ll be for the kid’s wedding hmm…

  18. i immediately noticed your oversized copper fish poacher and realized that i must be really one of the regular readers from way back for knowing that you have actually done a post on them.
    Congratulations to The Kid!

  19. Congratulations to The Kid!

    They grow up so fast, don’t they?

    The flowers are amazing! The colors are refreshing and they are not so “serious” – absolutely perfect for an even for 7th graders. If I were to be wed in church, this would be the perfect color scheme. Hehe…

    White socks with black shoes? I am no fashionista but THAT I know is something best left to the Moonwalker – with sequined gloves, a noselift and an espasol-like complexion. *snicker*

    Same question too: did anyone bring home one of your arrangements?

  20. Congratulations to the kid!And MM, you did a great job!I love the flowers!And about RG’s white socks,maybe he wants to project a school boy aura.I usually see him on TV shows without his socks.

  21. No socks with casual shoes is definitely MUCH better than white socks, in my opinion. With more formal shoes, definitely black or dark socks are the only option… As for the flowers, many of the aisle arrangements were taken by various guests, some to be placed at the crypts behind the church, others to be placed on dining tables. I also recycled the flowers for some arrangements at home. And two medium sized arrangements for a school event today were also made from the large arrangement that was re-done. So all in all, there was a LOT of utility from the flowers… ging, PHP250 to 400 is pretty expensive; if you have friends coming from Manila its worth it to stick a dozen or two in a box and check it in as baggage. Silly lolo, I had NO socks on and rarely do have socks on…

  22. Congratulations to the Kid on her confirmation, and to you MM for such beautiful floral arrangements.
    As for white socks with black shoes, David Letterman always comes to mind, and George Clooney on one TV guesting he did some time ago. I don’t subscribe to it but I don’t find anything wrong with the combination either. After all, how often do we really pay attention to one man’s pair of socks, except maybe during airport security screenings.

  23. how pretty! congratulations to the kid, not all fathers go all out for one’s confirmation! :)

  24. Wonderful and colorful! The arrangements seem made by a professional. If MM can be this fussy with the kids confirmation, I can just imagine how he will be, when the kid gets married! Hehehe.
    God bless the kid.

  25. how sweet you are to do the flowers for your kid’s confirmation. my husband thinks being cameramen in our kids’ events is the pinnacle of fatherhood.

  26. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!! Colors are fantanstic and the milflores just astounding!! way to go MM!!

  27. mm me and tito douglas quijano are make a peace sign and put it together.very like that. hala ka your comments about richard will be relayed. ha ha ha.but don’t worry i find him also stu…

  28. You rarely wear socks? You’re my kind of guy! I knew there was something about you that I liked!

  29. Now this is what i call Labor of Love!!! what a beautiful arrangement MM. so very inspiring. congrats on a great job, and more blessings for the kid on her confirmation =)

  30. Love your well executed arrangements much – has both typical girls and boys color pink and blue. Like the architecture of your arrangements too waist high no view blocking. Fabulous job!

  31. Hello Marketman,

    I always marvel at the time and effort you put into to your passion for food, flowers, etc. In fact, I check your website almost everyday. Thank you for the colours and flavours you bring to our every day life.

    Last year, when we visited that Philippines, I bought quite a bit of sinamay from Bicol. I’m from Naga City and I try to promote Bicol and Philippine items here in Montreal. I have used sinamay in some of flower arrangements I’ve dabbled at. You wish to incorporate it in your arrangements. I find the sinamay gives a whimsical and art nouveau look.

  32. Hi!! The flowers are so beautiful and the arrangements show a love of love put into it. Lucky kid to have a father like you! BTW, is it alright to use the purple cabbage rose close up as my desktop background? I tried it and it was really nice. Took it out again, just remembered have to ask your permission first. ok?

  33. You are very very very talented! Not just talented, MULTI-talented! The arrangements are GORGEOUS!

  34. Lyna, sure, go ahead and use the photo as a screen background. I have almost always said yes to requests like that, if for personal use… :) Thanks everyone for the kid comments.

  35. wow!! breath-taking!! how will you top that sa wedding ni KID??? too soon to envision the event?

  36. Hi MM. The arrangements are so gorgeous! Love the way you mix the colors, so vibrant. Hindi nakakasawa tignan.

  37. Congratulations to the Kid! The bishop who confirmed her was the one who baptized me. How time flies! I love what you did with the flowers. I like lisianthus and the reason I first noticed them was I thought they were violet roses. I used them as a peace offering to my mom whose favorite color is lavender. :)

  38. yeah i recognised the copper fish poacher, but it looked amazing, and i think the colors are very appropriate for confirmation, i think this arrangements would also be good for christening. . . :)



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