Some people love wedding florals, some people just don't care for it! Personally, I wanted all the local flowers I could find to reduce my wedding's carbon footprint-and to shorten my To Do List for my wedding.
Love for Flowers?
My mother was never a woman to swoon over a bouquet of flowers. It was not a gesture my father made to say, "I love you" or "Forgive me!" 🤣
The first gift of flowers I received was from a sweet boy for my birthday. He gave me a pot with a Tulip bulb and a card. I remember feeling surprised and deeply touched because I know it meant our friendship was special to him. He sat next to me during our Homeroom class during my freshman year of high school. Tulips were a safe bet since we were just friends, but looking back made me realize that I too, have a soft spot for flowers.
I think if most women could afford it, they'd have TONS of flowers for their wedding day. They're fresh, velvety soft, unique, and come in beautiful colors pleasing and interesting to the eye. Since I was getting married on the beach, I wanted all the orchids and plain flowers I could get my hands on from our neighbors in the barangay.
Siargao Island Florals Styling
The one guy I hired for my wedding was a local man tasked with decorating the dining tables, supplying plates and cutlery, and building the altar/aisles. He had a shipment of flowers to stuff the golden pineapples I wanted. I didn't know what kind of flowers he was going to bring in, I just made sure he brought white orchids. Eventually he brought yellow and white chysanthemums, baby's breath, and some white roses. Working with him was quite difficult, so I'm not going to recommend his services as a vendor to my future clients.
I was worried I didn't have enough flowers for the wedding day. But again, I didn't want to spend a lot on flowers anyway. True enough, florals are really just that extra touch for glam. They're not what people rave about after a wedding. Flowers add a sense of atmosphere to the event- and luckily enough, the atmosphere at Punta Dolores is as fresh, natural, and lovely as can be on the island!
My budget for this guy was quite affordable and I was lucky enough to be sponsored by Abe's mother for the flowers. Abe's mom even brought in HUGE bundles of red fire orchids at the last minute to decorate our coconut trees. They were stunning and grand. Flowers really do add an element of class and I love that she brought in those orchids from just around town. Isn't it amazing how mother in laws whip up exactly what you need when you need it?
Working with Flowers
Prior to the wedding, I made sure we had a dry run of what our dining table would look like for our guests. I didn't want my affair to look "cheap". Frustratingly enough, my floral/stylist only came equipped with the table cloth and runners and a few plates and cutlery. I wanted to see what the flowers and pineapples would look like before hand, but my guy just didn't want to spend for it. He never asked for a fee for sampling, and he even came dreadfully late to our meeting, holding up the rest of my day.
Handy Tip: Your vendors should allow for a run-through or sample of flowers and equipment so that you can approve of the choices. That said, you should also allow for some styling adjustments and room for substitutions. Sometimes florals are not available for a myriad of reasons but having a specific theme or look to your wedding will help the vendor.
Meetings with your vendors are very important and if your vendor is hard to pin down (like mine was!), you might do well to find a vendor who is more available and willing to work with you. I couldn't reach my stylist and feel excited about the wedding. He arrived at the very last minute and was really hard to communicate with since he hardly spoke any English. I speak Cebuano alright, but sometimes registering his Siargaonon dialect mixed with Tagalog got confusing. His personality didn't help either.
I actually took my bridesmaids around our barangay looking for foliage and flowers to pick for our bouquets. We found some nice speckled leaves and beautiful white flowers from a tree at the barangay captain's house. I made a mental note of them and asked my staff to collect them the morning of the wedding. This was a mistake because the morning of the wedding is the most hectic time and I lost my most-reliable staff to bouquet making!
Your florist should be prepared to stay in Siargao for at least two days to prep for your wedding. If you are doing your own wedding flowers, make sure you have buckets, water source, and a covered space for storage. You also want your own trash bin for cuttings, foam, and other ribbons with a table to do all your work on.
My aunt said she could put the flowers together to make a simple bouquet. It was better than anything I had planned! I basically crumbled under the floral elements. I even had my bridesmaids decide where to put the tables, haha. I thought I could plan everything so well before the wedding. When the wedding week came, it felt like I prepared NOTHING! 😢✨
Here's my advice for brides who are carefree, chill, and laid back: No one else wants to do your floral preparations for you. And trust that you simply cannot do everything, no matter how well prepared you are.
Having a wedding means having an event, not a party. An event requires timelines, manpower, equipment, and coordination. People do this for a LIVING so that you can LIVE HAPPY on the most memorable day of your life!
My bouquet was local, free, biodegradable, and made with love. I love that my aunt made it for me on my wedding.
Since then, we've drastically improved our floral design design thanks to some research and tips from the people who do it daily! Our experience came about once we realized we had to do something about designing our catering tables. There are basics to floral design and I can't wait for more projects to help our clients have a smoother wedding.
We love Teddy Manuel! Check out Teddy Manuel's Masterclass. He's a jet-setting florist and event designer from the Philippines who cemented his career doing weddings and events in Boracay. Considered one of the top vendors in the country, Teddy serves high profile clients and delivers exotic and timeless pieces to create the perfect look. You can find his instagram here: