My sister-in-law got married last year. It was a lovely small wedding in a park in front of a quaint gazebo surrounded family and her best friend at her side. It was everything a wedding should be, without all the nonsense that (for a lot of couples) just distracts from the significance of the day - two people in love getting married. She is now officially step-mom to his two boys as they go forward into their happily-ever-after as a family.
I have to admit I was happy to involve myself in a lot of the "nonsense" for my own wedding (see my Beach Wedding Page for all the crazy details), but it's not for everyone and certainly many people get lost in it. Going to a wedding that was just about bringing family and friends together for a couple getting married and nothing else - was kind of refreshing.
So...in the midst of a great dinner the evening before, I asked my sister-in-law if there was anything I could help with for the ceremony. She replied that she didn't yet have any flowers for a bouquet for the ceremony the next day, and thought she could "just stop and pick something up that night or the next morning". (OK, so I can't imagine a whole lot of brides out there that are this laid back, but that's my sister-in-law and I completely respect her for it.) I tried to remain calm but in my mind I was thinking - are you CRAZY?! - you don't have a bouquet yet??!!?!" Then I thought "Score!!!" - I get to plan something AND get a little crafty - woo-hoo! What can I say - I live for this kind of stuff!
When my husband and I got back to our room after picking up some flowers from Fresh Market, I separated them and proceeded to trim them a bit before placing them into water in the hotel ice bucket and a small cooler we had brought in the car. Then it hit me - I'm making a wedding bouquet and I've never done this before. It's not simply a floral arrangement - but a WEDDING bouquet. Yikes.
I grabbed my laptop and jumped on Pinterest - and did a quick search "how to make a wedding bouquet". The following post appeared on several pins - and long story short - it turned out to be a life saver. It's a great step by step tutorial, so I am not going to try to create one here. I highly recommend this tutorial and provided the link below. (In addition, I have included just a few tips of my own at the end of this post).
Here's the funny part - that weekend, my sister-in-law had given her brother (my husband) some "I Love Bacon" duct tape as a sort of joke (she's a vegetarian and well . . . he is not). In the absence of floral tape I thought - duct tape - why the heck not?! So..."yes" - I put this bouquet together with duct tape and by-golly it worked pretty well! Some white gift wrapping ribbon did it's job of covering up the crazy duct tape. It was a bit of a hassle since I had to supplement it with double stick tape to keep it from sliding around, but it was all I had, and in the end - it worked out, so I was happy. (Green floral tape might have been better because you could still peak under the bouquet into the flowers and see some of the colorful "I Love Bacon" graphics, but hey - it was her "something blue").
|The bouquet was put together with duct tape!|
My own tips -
(1) If you have never done this before - you will need more flowers than you think. These types of bouquets are made up of tightly packed flowers and there are a lot in there. I thought I was going to have a bunch left over, but I used all the flowers from two large bunches of flowers and almost all the pieces from a separate bunch of greenery.
(2) I created this bouquet the night before and the flowers stayed fresh. Timeline - the flowers were purchased about 8pm, Bouquet put together at 10pm and used for a wedding at 11am. The finished bouquet was placed in a little water and sat in the hotel mini 'fridge over night. A couple small flowers were pulled out on the way to the ceremony that were getting a little brown on the edges but that was it.
(3) Don't over work it - I was worried I was playing around with it too much in putting it together and was going to ruin the delicate flowers. Figure out a plan for your bouquet and go with it. I knew I only had one shot at this so I was very careful.
(4) Pick hearty, healthy, and very fresh flowers. Don't go with anything too delicate - especially if you are inexperienced at this.
(5) I would recommend a test run if you are planning for a big day (as the blog post above suggests). This bouquet was vey last minute and I didn't have any choice. In a way, this was probably a good thing for me because if she had asked me to help with this months ago - I could have spent days trying to figure out what flowers to use, where to get them, what supplies were needed, how and when I was going to put it together, and probably drove my sister-in-law crazy... (yes, I'm admitting that last minute has some advantages - but don't tell anyone or I'll deny it!)
Overall - this was one of the coolest things I've done in awhile. If I had a "Crafty Bucket List" - this would definitely be on it with a big ol' checkmark next to it!