Look closely; can you see it?! This endeavour was close to the heart for me…
December 2017 came with quite a pleasant surprise; a family wedding! Even though the time frame was super short, I was determined to make it beautiful. I believe a bride deserves a lovely bouquet under any circumstances! ‘And it gave me an opportunity to make it extra special for her. I promise; Wedding Flowers on a Budget can still have the look of high end design!
My palette to work with was ‘antique’ rose pink. A unconventional dress of rich dark textured rose/peony print meant that the flowers needed to have some strength of colour. Oh how exciting to be able to ‘make’ for such an occasion!
The lovely bride is somewhat of an ‘old-fashioned’ gal which meant that pearls and jewels were perfect; as her nickname is ‘Jules’! Not to mention that I have a massive collection of beads, pearls and costume jewelry from my loving mother.
You can create your own stems of jewels quite easily by threading beads and pearls onto some pliable wire. These add great accents. Leave enough stem to be able to use in the bouquet or in corsages.
Large plastic ‘diamonds’ can be easily attached to wire by heating it over a flame until quite red.
Immediately insert the hot wire into the back of the gem. Once cool it holds really well. Large plastic jewels can be found at most dollar stores.
You can combine so many beads and jewels for great ‘bling’! I recall doing the same thing many many years ago for my own wedding flowers.
Why not ‘Make’ your own Flowers:
When on the hunt for the perfect shade of rose artificial flowers I found the selection somewhat lacking, so I did what I usually do; I made them! It is really quite easy! When I can make things I actually have more control of colour and size, and can save even more money.
To make your own petals for roses or peonies cut rounded shapes of polyester type fabric. This is actually a lining fabric that has some body/thickness to it. Fabric stores often have a large selection of bridal fabrics.
Polyester fabric will melt and burn. The idea is to heat the edges enough to slightly melt it and it will shrink on itself. It will also darken a bit which looks like the natural way flowers age. This pink fabric had an undertone of yellow.
Depending on the type of flower that you are creating you can use different petal shapes and sizes.
To make it easier to construct the flower cut a hole into the petals. They could also be wrapped with floral stretch tape.
Thread petals on the jewelled wire and work from smaller leaves to larger. If need be a drop of hot glue can help secure the petals from moving around.
Once the petals had been made the flowers came together quite quickly. They are quite realistic since they have more random shapes and sizes.
Winter weddings naturally seem like they should be frosty and sparkly. These flowers worked well in combination with some glittery Christmas peonies and were already on clearance.
The greens are pine and spruce as well as muted eucalyptus and pinecones. I love the more rustic choices for the Winter season!
After some research of bridal bouquets, the bride and I decided that roses would be best for the bouquet. I found a wonderful local florist who imported many colours of fresh roses by the dozen.
I am not usually a floral designer but there was really nothing that was too difficult. The colour choices were vast and we settled on dusty pink and creamy pink edged roses. One dozen can be quite sufficient.
To soften and add some sheer colour I love to include either some toile or organza ribbon. Simply wrap some bows on wire stems.
The majority of the rose leaves need to be stripped so to add greenery I went out to my garden. Cedar does not easily break so its a perfect choice as an additive. It also supports with the winter theme well.
How to make a Rose Bouquet:
Step #1 Hydrating the Roses
The freshly imported roses need to be properly prepared before assembling. The florist was quite adamant about that! The ends were to be angle cut a couple inchesoff and set in fairly warm water (dishwashing hot) with the added flower food. They need to have a chance to open a bit over the course of a day. No fridge needed.
The evening before the wedding is when the assembly took place.
Step #2 The Arranging
The leaves and thorns need to be removed prior to assembly. (keep the rose leaves for some eco-printing) The hint to arranging these strong stemmed roses was to ‘cross’ the stems as they are set next to each other. They do not bend easily so the crossing is necessary. Set in the stems/wires of organza ribbon and jewels amongst the arranging.
Turn and arrange, holding it with one hand. You are aiming for a rounded mound of roses.
Once you are happy with the bouquet, add the cedar around the outside and any other accent sprigs or greenery.
Secure the bouquet by wrapping some floral tape, string or elastics around the arrangement to hold until finished. Any wire ends can carefully snipped or bent inside the stems.
The stems can be nicely wrapped with a satin ribbon with the ends exposed to allow watering. Once all secured then the ends can be cut blunt.
Set it in a vase water with ends submerged until the ceremony. Whew, that was quite easy… I love the soft pink hues and subtly of the creams and soft yellows.
It held up quite well as did the other arrangements. Corsages and boutonnieres were also made… Costs? $25/dozen fresh roses. Pearls etc were upcycled/dollar store. Fabric flowers cost pennies.
Cake, champagne and warm wishes! And everyone lived happily ever after… Cheers to the happy couple and welcome to the Family ‘Jules’!
Go ahead and make a creative impact to someone’s special day!