Saturday, May 07, 2011

Peeling petals

Gazing down the final straight towards w-day.

I was a bit panicky over the bank holidays - not about the getting married bit, just about the co-ordinating the wedding bit. I don't think the fuss and drama around the Royal wedding helped at all. I mean, on the one hand, I don't have to try and decorate the entirety of Westminster Abbey with actual real-life still-growing trees, on the other hand, I would love to have access to start decorating the venue a week beforehand and a couple of dozen helpers in hi-viz jackets.

Anyway. Since then, we've settled a lot of the accounts that we had so far only paid deposits on, and we've checked and re-checked the budget to make sure that we definitely have all the money we need for the few on-the-day costs, and having that all sorted out makes both of us feel a lot better. Wedding Zen is returning, and the to-do list is down to chasing the last handful of RSVPs and finishing off a few details.

One of these details is the petals. I had this absolutely terrific idea that a few petals might be a nice finishing touch to the room decoration. There are four options for this:

  • Real petals, fresh, ripped off the heads of actual flowers shortly before the ceremony begins. This option was rejected because no one's going to want to dirty their wedding clothes by ripping up flowers that morning, and also the venue might get unhappy about juicy fresh vegetation getting crushed underfoot and then being left to rot.

  • Real petals, dried, basically pot pourri. This option was rejected because they look manky.

  • Fake petals, fabric. Wild variations in quality and quite expensive. There was also the consideration that the petals may get blown outdoors and the venue have asked us to be sure to only use biodegradable confetti.

  • Fake petals, paper. Again, wild variations in quality, but biodegradable and also a bit cheaper than fabric.

All things considered, I decided to go with paper petals. I ordered them from eBay - about £10 for about 1,000 of them. They're lovely - the colours are pretty, the quality is terrific, they're proper three-dimensional petal shapes, it's exactly the look I wanted.

The only thing I didn't realise, and I'm posting this as a warning to other brides, is that paper petals... well, I'm not sure if it's how they're dyed or how they're cut or shaped or packaged or stored, but the fact is that the fibres are ever so slightly stuck together. It's like when you spill a drink on a book, and then when it dries, the fibres of the pages are slightly stuck. You can pull them apart quite easily, but it also has to be done with care to avoid tearing, and one page at a time.

Or in this case, one petal at a time.

1,000 of the damn things. The box is full of little bags, and each little bag has five compressed stacks of about 80 petals each.

What makes it even more fun is that, once separated, 160 petals is more than enough to completely fill a 2.6l tupperware box. Can't squash them down, that would defeat the object of having bought these nice three-dimensional-shape petals. So they have to be reassembled into stacks, uniform enough to minimise storage space, but also loose enough to ensure that the paper fibres don't meld again.

I'm about three-quarters of the way through, but it is taking FOREVER.

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