DIY Tropical Wedding, Part 1

For those of you wondering where I've been over the last few weeks, all I have to say is that wedding planning is a pain in the patootie. If there's one thing we've learned through all of this chaos though, it's that the only way to get some things right is to do it yourself. That's why I've designed invitations, favors, several flower arrangements, and even the menus! While marrying my best friend was obviously the best part of the wedding, I also thoroughly enjoyed planning it with a little Rainforest Garden pizazz!

This is only a preview. The real fun will start when we get the real photos back from the wedding photographer. 

Using a combination of homegrown materials and store bought flowers, these chic arrangements ended up being quite affordable. I purchased green trick flowers, Fuji mums, black callas, and green cymbidium orchids, and harvested rhipsalis cuttings and liriope leaves from the garden.

This arrangement was almost entirely homegrown from the garden. The Alocasia leaves, Rhipsalis cuttings and Epicattleya "Rene Marques" spray were all from the garden, and the green cymbidiums and callas were store bought. I had callas in my own garden, but had to purchase some for the quantities I needed.

The favors were all handmade: Rhipsalis cuttings wrapped in "kiwi" ti leaves, inserted into a folded instruction booklet. Here they are lined up before the wedding, and unfolded at the reception.

The cake was from Publix, and I decorated it simply with more green Cymbidium orchids. We ordered six blooms from the florist, but luckily ended up with thirteen of those pricey flowers instead! I think it's a good omen.

Here's the groom's cake. Since it's supposed to be MY cake, I made another simple arrangement with the two remaining elephant ears and the leftover cymbidium.

(After the wedding we were spirited away on our honeymoon to Winter Park and Disney World. Winter Park was awesome, and so was Disney's Animal Kingdom. I shot two big memory cards worth of photos from Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Winter Park, Leu Botanical Gardens, and anywhere else I could find ideas. I have a LOT of blogging to do...)


  1. wow those arrangements are so good! I love the black calla lilies against the lime green. Looking forward to more photos.

  2. Welcome home, Steve (and beautiful bride). All the chartreuse looks fabulous and the black callas are a superb blend. So nice you have such artful talents to lend to the planning and making of the wedding. Memories to hold dear for a lifetime.

  3. I love your wonderful arrangements for your wedding. What you have produced is so you.

    Much love and happiness to you and your dear wife. Keep being each others best friend. Have fun, learn and grow.


  4. Glad to hear the wedding and honeymoon were everything you hoped for. Beautiful color combinations on the arrangements! Can't wait to see more.

  5. Congrats on your marriage!!! The bouquets were gorgeous!!! Your guys were so fortunate to have your botanical skills at use for the wedding! The cake was so elegant and lovely!!!

  6. Congratulations to both you and your bride. Lovely decortaions you put together. The chartreuse and black is stunning. The cake, well, everything is so unique and beautiful. I'll be looking forward to seeing those scads of pictures!

  7. Congratulations to the newlyweds!!!

    Wow, your gardening talent was really put to good use even in your wedding details. May your tribe grow in number!

  8. Congratulations!!! It is so precious that you planned your own wedding and even made some decoration and arrangement yourself. Love, love that green orchid contrast with black calla! You have an artist's eye and talent. That groom's cake with elephant ears and orchids is very cool and pretty!

    When you got some time, would you mind taking a look at the last two bromeliad pictures at my recent post ( My friend gave me that a couple of years ago, and I have no idea what type of Bromeliad that is. I know you know a lot about bromeliad, hoping you might be able to help id it. It doesn't have to be exact name :) Thanks in advance!

  9. Wonderful wonderful wonderful stuff.

    The Alocasia/Cymbidium combo is just fantastic. Well done.

    And congratulations!

  10. Congratulations Steve! Your ideas and decorations are outstanding. I have never heard of a grooms cake before. More cake sounds good to me!

  11. Wonderful preview photos, Steve! Everything must have looked stunning. I assume the professional photos will have more happy couple than plant pics. :-) Now, I wish I could do things over. Or maybe on our silver wedding anniversary.

    BTW, we share one honeymoon destination.


Please feel free to share your questions, ideas and suggestions!