Monday, March 7, 2011

Centerpieces and Generosity

It turns out that succulents aren't as inexpensive as we had hoped. In going to local nurseries and garden stores, the small succulents were about $5 apiece. With 27 arrangements needing two succulents apiece, we panicked and managed to find a muuuuuch less expensive source on Craigslist. So last weekend, we trekked to the other side of the city to meet an internet stranger and his backyard wonderland of succulents.

We couldn't have been luckier. We met a man whose primary hobby is succulent growing (he's entered them in shows) who loves sharing his passion. He sells his homegrown succulents at a tiny markup to help finance his hobby and spread interest in something he's passionate about.  He was thrilled that we're planning a sustainable wedding and helped us pick great plants combinations of textures, heights, and colors. We met his new puppy. We heard about his new infant foster child and how he won't have as much time for succulent growing, so he wants his plants to find a good home. And at the end of the two hours, he gave us two boxes full of succulents for free. As our wedding present. He refused to take our money. We've started looking for baby presents to send as a thank you instead.

All along this wedding journey, people have surprised us with their incredible generosity. People want to share in the joy of a wedding, even in a small way. They like contributing to that feeling of hopeful new beginnings It's reminded us to contribute back in small ways, and to be generous in the way we live our daily lives. To pay it forward. To remember that small moments of generosity matter in huge ways. They rescue hard weekends in ways that matter more than $100 savings on centerpieces. 

We love our centerpieces. We spent this weekend finally potting and arranging the plants and we love them.  They fit our values, our budget, and our aesthetic. We loved the process of planning and planting them together. And with a big-small moment of generosity, our wedding details have been layered with yet another level of emotional resonance.





23 comments:

  1. oooooh! nice lucky break - and those are BEAUTIFUL!!

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  2. Quite a variety! Cool silver pots.

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  3. I am regularly amazed at the generosity of Internet strangers. I have been the recipient of so much time, thoughtfulness and even money. I think the Internet has changed the definitions of friends and strangers.

    Your succulents are beautiful, and you were due for some good wedding karma! Congratulations on getting your centerpieces done in such a meaningful way.

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  4. That's some wedding magic right there! Hooray! And they look so awesome in their new pots.

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  5. Holy crap those are amazing! People are really great sometimes, aren't they?

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  6. So very cool! And such a great memory/story, too.

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  7. What a great story! Good karma into the homestretch! The succulents look adorable in their little tin pots. So glad you're using them... that was one of the diy dreams that got away from us.

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  8. I absolutely love this tale! Wonderful! xxoxo!

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  9. I think we got our wedding succulents from the same fellow. If so, he is amazing! We bought the succulents for centerpieces, and he gave us tons of cuttings for our favors for free. And wandering around his backyard garden was amazing.

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  10. 25 days and I might just puke. I wake up every morning thinking a) when will it be over but oh no b) there's still so much left to do! Congrats on the succulents and centerpieces. My centerpieces are still a figment of my imagination.

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  11. @Jessica - email me. You're in LA. If you're not tied to any particular centerpiece ideas, I might be able to help, since I've done more shopping and logistical planning than I could have dreamt of a year ago.

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  12. its great to hear that there are such nice people in the world. they look like gorgeous plants too!

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  13. So you, so awesome.

    Home stretch right?!

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  14. Well, I've never been into succulents before this, but now I am. This made me cry a little.

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  15. This is so incredibly awesome. I am in love. And what a story to boot!

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  16. Becca, they look AMAZING! So beautiful and a wonderful story to go with it.
    You deserve this and so much more! Congrats, another "tick" off your list!

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  17. This made me teary too.Unexpected acts of generosity are such a beautiful thing. Last night somebody volunteered to help my husband and I shovel our car out of the snow (What? Who does that?) and this kind stranger even pushed the car with my husband while I drove it out of the the snow.

    And Becca- these succulents look fabulous in the metal containers. I love them and think they are some of the coolest and prettiest centerpieces I have ever seen.

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  18. Thanks everyone for your feeback! It makes me less nervous for all the wedding guests who've never seen non-floral wedding decoration. And as for the tears, I was misty eyed all weekend too. We feel so lucky.

    @Megan Marie - I hope you got your plants from the same guy, because he's just an amazing person. And he's definitely on your side of town.

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  19. Oh man, I love this! I'm completely nuts about succulents too, & hoping to use them for the decor at my upcoming LA wedding. Would you mind sharing his contact info?? You can send me a private e-mail if you like. Thanks!

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  20. These are totally beautiful. I'm so happy this worked out for you guys. I've only been since January, but have been an avid reader (but have never commented before) of your blog for quite awhile, and must say that your words have helped me stay sane amidst a jungle of other intimidating wedding-related media.
    On the topic of succulents, we are tentatively planning for fresh flowers on the dinner tables but were hoping for something more casual on the "cocktail tables," and succulents crossed my mind. My dad enjoys raising them, so your project beautiful centerpieces have inspired me to perhaps start a project myself. Best wishes!

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  21. @Karen - email me if you want his contact information (I couldn't find your email on your profile). I also found a ton of people on craigslist selling inexpensive succulents.

    @Tracy - aw thanks. And I bet it would be really meaningful to have your father involved like that in your wedding. And you know how I feel about succulents.

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