Anniversary Flowers

My husband’s parents just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.  Amazing, right? To mark this milestone, my husband and I hosted a luncheon with family and his parents’ closest friends in Upstate New York. Hosting a party for a milestone like this was really special for me. My in-laws were so gracious and sweet throughout the process, and I learned a lot about them that I had never known before. For one, they never had a wedding cake, flowers, or a real wedding reception. Until we started planning this party, I had always just assumed they had a traditional wedding (with cake…cake is important!).  Needless to say, my husband and I did our best to create something special for them that appropriately celebrated their lifetime of love and devotion, but also recreated elements of a wedding in a way.

What are the appropriate flowers for a winter anniversary party anyway?  You want something romantic, somewhat seasonal (I mean, as seasonal as you can get when it’s snowing outside!) but also sophisticated and different from your typical wedding flower arrangement. I decided to go with an array of Dianthus, white Ecuadorian Roses, and large green Cymbidium Orchids with burgundy throats. I also added White Lilacs even though I knew how they can be fickle and hate to be cut for arrangements. They did wilt a little during the night, but were still pretty in a lovely, weepy way.

As a non-professional, I was nervous that I would order too many or too few flowers, or that my flower order would get to New York too early or too late. To ease my fears, I did a mock up arrangement at home using one of the containers. Because of this, I knew roughly how many flowers to order, how much oasis I needed, and how long the flowers would last.  Then, I shipped the containers, water tubes for the cymbidiums, and oasis along with a corsage bracelet and some floral wire so I could make my husband’s mom a corsage. Basically, I did everything I could to be prepared.

I ordered the flowers to be shipped to the East Coast so they would arrive the day before I did. They got there on Wednesday, and I flew in on Thursday. The first thing I did was open all of the boxes and plunk the different groupings into water.  I asked the in-laws to store the boxes someplace cold, and they chose their grill room.  Yes, you read that right. They have a room for their grill. Awesome! It has such good ventilation that it stays really cold and is perfect for keeping flowers from opening up prematurely. My husband re-named it “the flower room.”

The morning of the event, we woke up to a perfect blanket of lovely, white snow. Friends came together to congratulate and toast the happy couple, and we ate like one does in Upstate New York – big and plenty.  The joke during the party was that the shrimp cocktail appetizer could have been mistaken for four lobster tails. Happy Anniversary!