Many years ago, I was a penniless bride. Despite my enthusiasm for flowers, I couldn’t afford them, so I made my own wedding bouquet from silk flowers I found in the surplus bin at the local craft store. I was lucky, they were stephanotis and very realistic, most people had no idea that my posy was silk rather than real (something which was very unusual in those days) or that I had made it myself. My biggest problem was finding realistic foliage to add to it. Modern bouquets tend to use flowers, crowded together. I’ve always enjoyed the contrast of flowers and foliage, and I think a touch of green in an all white bridal bouquet helps the flowers to show up against the dress.
OK, so I’m old fashioned. The point is, when it’s your bouquet, you should have what you want.
When I could find nothing I felt looked realistic, I bought some house plants, fern and ivy, and used real foliage in my bouquet, something which made it look even more real. There’s no rule which says you have to choose real or artificial, you can mix both. The difficult bit for me, was creating the ‘handle’ from the wired stems of the flowers, so when I discovered bouquet holders with florists foam, I was sure this would make the process a lot easier and wanted to have a go. There are many situations where a bride may want to make her own bouquet, I wanted to see how possible it was.
I already had the ideal flowers, a straggly looking bush of white roses and lillies which I bought from Michaels a couple of years ago as a prop for a photoshoot. Since then I’ve found a great selection of silk flowers on the web, so check out the banner below for some great discounts. In this case I wanted contrasting foliage, so I chose a bush of coppery brown foliage = total cost for the two, $19.98.
The last piece of the equation was a foam bouquet holder I bought from Amazon. I bought a pack of three (in case something went wrong) because these holders are actually pretty useful, you can also use them to add flowers to a tall narrow vase.
I have no idea whether there is a silk flower version of these, if there is, I didn’t find it, but the real flower version worked fine. At one point I tried to extend the bouquet to make it more of a shower style, but the flowers were heavy and kept falling out of the foam. The solution, I’m told is florists adhesive. I haven’t tried this as yet, but will do on my next attempt.
Fresh flowers, are, I think, still beyond me, but I do admire those who can create beautiful bouquets. A blog which has always been an inspiration to me is Floret Cadet you’ll love her use of color.
That said, artificial, silk flowers (or faux flowers if you prefer 🙂 have many advantages. If you have even the slightest worry that carrying a bouquet of real live flowers might cause red eyes, sniffles, or a full blown allergy attack, silk flowers are a safer option. Your wedding day is not the time to find you have a sensitivity.
You can prepare the flowers in advance (great if you are travelling and don’t know a local florist).
You have no worries that you won’t like the flowers when they arrive. I know that happens, because it happened to me when I married for the second time. I thought I had described a trailing, shower bouquet to the florist and what I got was, well, not that. For someone who loves flowers as much as I do, that didn’t exactly spoil the day, but it was a big disappointment.
If you do want a silk flower bouquet, there is no need to make it yourself. There are plenty of online florists who specialize in silk, and some use only the best, realistic looking flowers. One you might want to check out is The Little Bouquet Shop where they have all sorts of fabulous silk creations, from Medieval, to beach, to Gothic, and Angel’s Accents, where judging by the pictures, the artificial flowers used are indistinguishable from the real thing.
Judging from my experience above, even if you know nothing about flower arranging, its worth while, and not too expensive, to have a go yourself. If you’re happy with the result, then splash out on ‘real touch’ or ‘hand wrapped’ artificial flowers which look just like the real thing.
Would you consider making your own bouquet? If not, why not?
- Fantastic floristry at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park (interflora.co.uk)
- Silk Hydrangeas Stems (silkhydrangeas.org)
- Artificial Flowers for Weddings (buyfakeflowers.com)
- Wedding Bouquets in Yellow for the Sunshine Bride (weddingbouquetflowershq.com)