Fall Wedding in NoVa...need help!!!

mushbanana(z10)August 4, 2006

my sister is getting married in early october and we are having the reception here at my parents' house in arlignton...

i have been put in charge of making the backyard a place of beauty for the reception, instead of an overgrown mess...

but i need help!!!

i don't even know so much what blooms here in early october besides mums and whatnot...can people tell me??

it is october 6th, so should be before frost...

also, i went a bought some plants yesterday at merrifield, but it was so expensive, the amount that i got can in no way fill the yard...

so i am looking for:

anyone with plants that they have extra of that they are willing to give away (anything that flowers in the fall, and/or just looks really nice and/or anythng edible)...


so ideas on where to get cheaper plants, or where i could dig up more wild plants that might be good...

PLEASE HELP ME and respond asap!!!!



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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

Go for the greenery and let the flowers be an accent instead of the whole show.

What is in the 'overgrown mess'? Maybe judicious pruning will provide a base. You aren't going to be able to plant a variety flowers now to be in bloom then, so expect to have most of the blossoming plants in pots - and it's true that mums, asters, and rudbeckia are the primary fall flowers. Even an ugly nursery pot can be successfully hidden by wrapping with florist's foil and a big bow stuck on front. A pot of bright blooms here and there will be more impressive than a flower bed full.

How many people will be in how much space? Don't forget to leave enough room for them to walk past each other. You (or whoever) might consider renting a tent or tents -- that would help whether it's sunny or rainy on the big day. It also defines the area; ribbons, bunting, balloons, and bouquets of greenery (surrounding just one or two blooms) decorate easily and quickly. Food/drink is best managed buffet-style in a separate area; either a separate tent or in a room that has at least 2 different entrances. Additional [rented or borrowed] lawn chairs should be set around in groups of 3 or 5. All the tents, chairs and paths mean less area to formally 'decorate', so concentrate on having a usable walking surface; lots of bows with streamers for tent poles, steps, doorways, chairs, flower pots, table corners, and to attach to the helium balloons. Limit actual flowers to a table centrepiece, in the bow-and-streamer bouquets hither-and-yon, and in pots for each side of doors and gates, and just few pots set beside some of the 5-chair groupings.

Sit down and plan on paper what you want and then list -in very detailed steps- what needs to be done so you can have what you want. Re-write the list with dates - pruning should be done now, while a freshly-mown lawn is required the day preceding. Tents need to be reserved now, mostly they are set up the day preceding (ah, get the lawn mowed before then!); bows can be made now, bunting is hung the night before; and so on. You'll likely find that some things require a lot help and some things just take a lot of time. But that's what a list is for -so that you can find out *now* how to get everything ready on time.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 1:58PM
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Listen to Meldy! While you're at it, consider renting a floor for at least the food/eating area. This means you won't have to do anything at all to the lawn, and your guests won't sink up to their ankles in mud if it rains.

Have a look at this past Thursday's Washington POST, and the New York Times of the same day. There's a Home & Garden section in both papers, and there was an article about what to do to cheaply and easily jazz up your garden. (Do it in the next day or two and you can look at their websites for the article, for free.) Essentially, you cut down everything that is dead or past its prime, and spread mulch at the front of the beds to make them tidy.

Do you know where the Sterling Costco is? It is on Cascades Parkway just south of Rt. 7 in Sterling. If you drive south down Cascade Parkway past Costco, on the right is a teeny street named Marie Drive. Go down Marie. It is paved only for a couple blocks and then becomes gravel. On the left is a greenhouse/garden center. I am convinced it is the place that the supermarkets buy their bedding plants from, because they are cheap. There is hardly ever any staff and the people you do find don't know very much, but you could load up on plants cheap.

I would bring a big car the weekend before the ceremony, and buy a load of whatever is in bloom that will go with the color scheme of the wedding. (White mums, probably.) Then plant them all at the FRONT of beds, or set the pots in decorative places (windowsills?). Find out before you leave whether they will be needing plants for centerpieces on the tables. Don't try to get a whole bunch of different stuff. Sameness is easier! See if you can get them to agree to give you a discount for buying a lot.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 11:02PM
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Just a thought:

My husband and I were married in the fall in the mountains of Virginia. We decorated with mums, pumpkins, gourds and apples. We used small pumpkins as candleholders and centerpeices. A local nursery with connections to the church let us borrow mums and large pumpkins. Maybe you can find a farm connection where you can get more bulk items for your money. Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 1:54PM
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