A Gardener Gets Married: The Wedding
It’s not every day a bride grows and arranges all her own flowers for her wedding day. Our friend and Brooklyn-based floral and garden designer Tara Douglass of Brooklyn Plant Studio didn’t just grow her own flowers— she planted 4,325 bulbs on her family’s historic property in Columbia, Missouri, harvested the blooms, and arranged them all for her big day! Due to the unusually harsh winter, not all of her bulbs flowered, so Tara studied old family photographs of her great-great-grandparent's historic, Midwestern estate to gain insight on what she could expect to find in bloom when she arrived there before her May 3rd nuptials. With a supplement of foraged dogwood, may apple, lilac, and wisteria, Tara crafted 21 centerpieces in antique vases from her grandmother’s collection, her wedding bouquet, seven boutonnieres, and three garlands in a color scheme of rich whites, blues, and deep purples, thanks to her harvest of tulips, allium, fritallaria, and Spanish bluebells, to name just a few.
The best part? Since bulbs are perennials, Tara will be able to return to her family’s home each year and see the flowers she planted in full bloom—talk about an incredible anniversary gift! We sat down with Tara to find out more about what it’s like to single-handedly plan and plant your own wedding. Read on to learn more about what it’s like when the gardener gets married!
terrain: What inspired you to grow and arrange your own flowers for your wedding?
Tara: It’s every florist’s dream to do her own wedding. I wanted to grow varieties of flowers that were rare and unusual, and not something you could find at any florist. It was also deeply personal for me to have our wedding at my family’s home in Missouri, where I would be the third generation to get married on the property. I chose to plant bulbs instead of a traditional flower garden because the blossoms of bulbs tend to stay fresher longer, lasting for several weeks if the weather remains on the cooler side. I planted the bulbs 6 months before the wedding and left the rest in nature’s hands, returning to tend to the flower field several times leading up to the big day. We did end up transferring some of the bulbs into pots and storing them in the barn until the wedding once they blossomed to preserve them from the elements and native wild life. Deer love to munch on tulips!
terrain: Tell us a bit about your wedding day. What are some of your favorite memories?
Tara: It was 75 degrees and sunny— the perfect day! Our back-up plan was to get married in the living room of the house if the weather didn’t hold out, but thankfully we didn’t have to do that! We had 150 guests who came from all over the country to celebrate with us. Many had never been to Missouri before, so it meant a lot to me to show them my roots in a place that means so much to me. The wedding itself was magical and such a blur. My husband is a wedding DJ on the side, so we’ve been to a lot of weddings and knew what to expect and how the day would flow, but it’s so much different when it’s your own. Being surrounded by all the people you love and having them all in the same room is just incredible.
terrain: What advice do you have for the DIY bride?
Tara: We didn’t have a coordinator or anything like that, so hiring vendors we trusted was key. I had help with the flowers from my florist friend Kelli Galloway, but other than that, having vendors who knew how to run the day smoothly without preoccupying any attention from me or my fiancé-turned-husband was key. My advice is to be comfortable and let go. Trust that everything will work out the way it’s supposed to. The food will get served, the music will play, without you having to worry about a thing, especially if you have good vendors. At the end of the day, I didn’t want any stress.
Images: 1. Tara Douglass; 2-5. Scott Patrick Myers. Stay tuned for our next installment of the Gardener Gets Married series, where we’ll follow Tara on her botanical filled honeymoon to Sweden and France.
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The photographs are memorable...how exciting to anticipate the blooms year after year (wishing you many of them!) to remind you of your lovely day.