Creating Wedding Flowers
The idea begins
When I heard the news that two of my friends were getting married, I was ecstatic! I wanted to do something special for this couple as both of them have been an excellent addition to my list of friends. I decided I would offer to make the flowers for their wedding. I approached the bride with the idea of making a silk bouquet as this can become a lovely home decoration after the wedding, as well as a nice keepsake! The following is a step-by-step progression of how I created their wedding bouquet and the other flowers.
- The Forgotten Language of Flowers
Great website to explain the meaning of different flowers.
The first task for this project was to figure out what type of flowers to include in the bouquet. Flowers have their own special meanings, so I steered the bride to a website I love to use shown here to the right. I asked her to choose flowers that she thinks are pretty, and also base her decisions on the individual flower's meaning.
The Bride's Choice
Rustic beauty, domestic happiness, devoted love
Fidelity, marriage, wedded love, friendship, affection
Happy love, passionate love
Happiness in marriage, desire to travel
Lasting beauty; bonds of affection, promptness, you’ll always be beautiful to me
The second task of this project was to collect the flowers and other things I needed to create the bouquet. I decided to shop local rather than buy something online. It was easier to see the quality of the individual silk flower; some flowers look so real, while others are not as realistic. I wanted these flowers to be perfect, so I examined each possible flower closely. This stage actually took about 3 shopping days and included 3 different towns before I was happy with the final collection of materials to make everything needed for the wedding. Unfortunately, I was not able to locate all of her chosen flowers, but I did end up with some nice flowers.
The final task for this project was to create the bouquet and other arrangements:
Now, before I start describing my project, I am not a professional flower designer. I have worked in a greenhouse and watched the owners create beautiful arrangements. My job in the greenhouse though was working with the geraniums. I was responsible for cutting them and rooting them to start new geranium plants as that was the main purpose of the greenhouse – to furnish geraniums. I also worked the front desk and helped customers as they entered the greenhouse. It was a fun job, but my calling was in shaping brains (education) rather than flowers. However, it has always been a favorite hobby that I love tinkering with at times. Creating beautiful arrangements is fun, but it took me a long time to do this set. A real floral arranger would have completed this project in one day. In addition, I chose not to use some traditional methods such as using a flower holder for the bouquets. I like working with the stems and moving the flowers around too much. When I do work with a holder, I’ve found that I create too many holes in the Styrofoam to keep the flowers secure. I’d need to hot glue the flowers in to make them stay!
Separate the flowers if they are in groups. Sometimes, you can buy the flowers as individual stems. The flowers I chose came in groups, so I cut them apart so I could work with each flower individually.
Complete a practice run on your chosen design to make sure you like how it will turn out. This was my first run on thinking how to put the flowers together. I chose to go a little softer on the yellow flowers for a couple reasons. First, I wanted the rose to be more prominent in the bridal bouquet; and second, had I used this much yellow in the bridal bouquet, I may have run out of yellow flowers for the other bouquets and corsages I wanted to make.
Remove the leaves (optional) and any price tags from your main flowers if they are not the quality you want. You can add in greenery later. If the greenery on your silk flowers is nice – keep them attached to the flower, but move them close to the top of the stem so they do not get bound by the next steps.
Begin taping the center flowers together with floral tape. As you wrap the floral tape around the stems, pull the ribbon tight and pinch on the tape as you work the flowers together. You can purchase different colors of floral tape, but I have always preferred the green as it looks more natural. Regular tape is not the best thing to work with; floral tape is a different type of tape that is self-fusing as it binds together.
Add in the secondary flowers so they are spaced out well. As you add new flowers, make sure to create a small bend in the stem, and apply the floral tape close under that bend to secure the flower. Continue this process until you have all main flowers of your bouquet taped together.
Add in the greenery and baby’s breath. For this bouquet, I decided to create the greenery and baby’s breath so they could be spaced out better. I used floral wire to make an artificial stem for each leaf set and baby’s breath cluster. As you can tell from the photo – the key is to wrap the wire around the flower or leaf so it holds it securely without ripping or tearing them. Always make sure you secure the end of the floral wire as well so you do not have wires sticking out to stab the wedding party. Add those into the bouquet spacing them out so the bouquet is attractive.
Apply the final decorative elements as needed. I chose to finish the stem off with green ribbon. I have seen some bouquets that leave the stems as is; however, I needed to wrap mine as there were so many wires from the filler flowers. First, I wrapped the entire stem area with floral tape for a final time. This made it easier to make sure the wires would not poke the bride’s hand. Next, I applied a layer of double sided tape to help the ribbon stay secure so it doesn’t slip. Finally, the green ribbon was secured around the stem to give the stem area more cushion and just look nicer.
Apply the bow. For the bow on the bridal bouquet, I prepped a ribbon by folding it and tying the center with a smaller ribbon. I also had a garland of stars left over from another project that I thought would add a nice touch since this special couple’s union had to be “written in the stars” from my viewpoint. The ribbon was tied to the top of the stem area with the smaller white ribbon.
Finish off your masterpiece by spraying it with a scent if you want a more realistic bouquet. Since I needed to ship my flowers to another state, I inserted Kleenex with a Rose Scent into the packages hoping the smell would slowly filter into the flowers. I also sent some rose scent with the packages (enclosed in a baggie so it won't leak onto the flowers). That way, they can add smell to their wedding flowers by dipping cotton balls in the Rose Water and placing the balls inside the bouquets if they desire.
After the wedding, the couple can simply place the bouquet in a nice vase and enjoy their wedding day memories for years.
The interesting idea behind this bouquet was that it is changeable. If the bride and groom do not like the ribbon, they can remove it by cutting the white string. If they do not like the yellow flowers, they can simply pull them out of the bouquet and replace them with another rose that I will send as a backup.
The next step was to recreate the bridal bouquet again. That way, the bride can keep her bouquet as well as do the traditional bridal bouquet toss. The maid of honor’s bouquet and the bridesmaid’s bouquets were made the same way as the bridal bouquet, just with fewer flowers, a different arrangement style, but with similar embellishments.
bouts (and corsages)
Don't forget the men!
Finally, the corsages and boutonnieres were created with a similar process as well. The main difference for the corsages and boutonnieres was the stem area. You want to keep that flexible as they are turned back up (shown below) so the ends do not show. It also helps keep them from poking the person wearing them as you can bend the end back up into the corsage.
Finished work of art!
So this project is done, and the flowers have been shipped. I hope the bride and groom are happy with their wedding flowers. I especially hope the bride and groom can enjoy the bridal bouquet for several years as a happily married couple!
If you enjoy creating works of art, try your hand at some flower arranging yourself! There are several websites that can help you build beauty and meaning into your projects. Working with silk flowers is not an expensive hobby, either. Wire stems can be purchased in groups, and could cost anywhere from 97 cents to $5.00 depending on the gauge of the wire and the number included in the package. Floral tape is also about $1.00/roll. The flowers will be a little more expensive; however, you can get nice flowers at good prices if you keep your eyes open and look around at several places.