Greta chose hydrangeas as her wedding flower long before she was even engaged. She loves the shades of purplish-blues the flowers have when they are grown in acid soil. Later, she chose green for the bridesmaid's dresses to set off the blue flowers.
Early in the wedding planning process we ordered many bundles of cut hydrangeas from a florist. Hydrangeas don't need much done to them, so we ordered just the cut flowers, not arranged flowers.
On Saturday, a week before the wedding, the florist canceled our hydrangea order. She said they aren't available. We immediately started hunting for another source: two more florists couldn't get them, but eventually we found a florist who agreed to order some for us. They would arrive on Thursday. We also hunted up nursery shrubs in bloom just in case the new florist bombed out too. We saw several potted plants at three different nurseries that were possibilities.
All we really needed was 12 stems: 3 stems for each bridesmaid to carry. All the other flowers we could fake with assorted white flowers and silk hydrangeas where it wouldn't be noticed. We sent out Facebook messages to our friends asking if anyone had hydrangeas in bloom in their yard. Answers poured in: many dozens of hydrangea buds all over town, but no flowers in bloom. The winter had been too cold, and the hydrangeas are late in blooming this year.
On Thursday morning we talked to the florist and her hydrangeas had not come in as expected. Her supplier gave no explanation. There just were none. None. No blue; no white.
Off to the garden center we ran. We bought two huge pots in full bloom, but the rain on Wednesday had muddied some of the blooms. We thought we could gently rinse them off and, once dry, they would look clean.
And then friends started calling. "I have two flowers in bloom this morning. You may have them." "I have three blooms." "I have two." On it went. They cut them and brought them to our house and our front porch became a bower of hydrangeas in buckets. It rained again so we kept both the pots and the buckets protected. We ended up with many more than 12 blossoms. We have enough for each girl to carry three, and extras to make corsages and boutonnieres and centerpieces and table decorations.