I had a feeling that the amazing florist who was working up an estimate for me was going to come back with an amount several times higher than my budget. And she did. About 5 x my budget. While I would love to spend lots of money on flowers (I really would, I am so into flowers that I still think about becoming a florist AT LEAST once a week!) it's just not in the cards for this wedding. And part of the reason I wanted to do a garden wedding was to avoid spending a ton on flowers.
So I may see if she wants to just work on the personal flowers instead and over the weekend I visited a local florist/ nursery in Malibu to see if they could order me carnations in bulk/ wholesale prices, which I could then make garlands out of of and scatter in the pool and on the lawn myself - enlisting friends and family to help of course which would save money and add to the feel I want of us really hosting this wedding and making it fun and collaborative.
The local florist was very helpful, and while I'm still waiting on a price, she did give me a great suggestion: do a flotation test first. She said sometimes when you see flowers floating in pools they're attached to leaves to ensure they'll float, and wouldn't it be awful to try it on the day and they all sink?
So I bought some hot pink carnations last night so I could do a test. The florist suggested pulling them open a bit so they were as wide as possible, and that turned out to be SUCH a great tip! I found that no matter what length you snip off the stem - really close or leaving on an inch or two - they float perfectly if you just pull them open a bit first.
See photos of my test below, I'm loving the combination of hot pink and turquoise!