Even the most simple weddings are expensive. This is especially true for brides who are looking for anything more personalized than the prepackaged wedding supplies from the big box craft stores.
Fortunately, wedding flowers are one area where a little craftiness could save couples hundreds of dollars, and give brides a breathtakingly unique bouquet.
While it is easy to make simple bouquets with real flowers, the benefits of using artificial and dried flowers might make them a great option. Some benefits include:
By using artificial flowers brides will have their bouquets for years to come, looking as gorgeous as the day she walked down the aisle.
Using artificial flowers allow plenty of time to design and build all the wedding flowers, verses having to worry about making bouquets a day or two before the wedding.
If enough planning time is given before the actual wedding day, brides can save a great deal of money by purchasing their desired flowers when they go on sale. Many craft stores like Michaels carry an amazing selection of realistic flowers which go on sale for up to 50% off many times per year.
Artificial flowers are much more forgiving toward the inexperienced crafter than real flowers. Accidentally popping the head off of an artificial flower is no big deal, you just put it back on and try again.
Planning your Project:
If you are starting out with flower arranging, I suggest using foam holders for easy placement. These range from $3-$5 dollars each in the craft stores. They sell then in both straight and angled handles depending on the style of bouquet you want. Hold each type and choose your preferred feel. The holder can look a bit ugly at first but can easily be wrapped so that the holder is completely hidden. This is something that is done with real floral bouquets as well, so it won't look out of the ordinary.
*Money Saver Tip $$$
If you are eager to save the most money possible, it will require you to follow the ads and use the weekly coupons and sales to get your materials. Normally the flower stem sales and wedding supply sales alternate. If you start early, you can plan out your shopping for the 50% off flower sales that each store has several times per year.
The quality of artificial flowers has improved to the point of looking and feeling like live flowers. Make sure that when you purchase flowers you pick up a few more than you estimate you will need. As long as you don't cut them or alter them, unused flowers can be returned for a refund. It is better to have extra than to have to try to find one stem from last season when you run short.
Make sure you pick up some large bins so you can store your supplies until you are ready to make them. You will also want to use bins to store your bouquets, so they don't get damaged or dusty before the wedding.
The Flowers (These are for large bouquets like the one pictured)
4-5 focal flowers (These are the large, stand out flowers)
10-12 secondary flowers (Can all be the same or a mix of flowers)
3-5 line flowers (These often add height or accents)
Filler (this can be greenery, tulle, leaves, etc..)
For a "natural mixed bouquet," use a variety of sizes, colors and textures in your flowers. For a more formal look, flowers of 1-3 different styles will keep a uniform look.
The Building Supplies
Foam flower bouquet holder (Stems can be hand-bundled and wrapped, but that is a slightly more advanced process and for another blog)
Glue gun & glue sticks.
Floral tape (It helps secure the stem and also secure multiple flowers together for boutonnieres)
Floral wire (Used to create a stem if needed or secure heavy groupings for corsages)
Wire cutters (Any type will do; they are cheaper at the hardware store)
Thick ribbon, felt squares or other material (Used to cover the holder base)
1/2"-3/4" ribbon to make a simple bow (or pick up a pre-made bow)
The Bouquet Building Process
Start with the focal flowers by evenly spacing and pushing them into the foam.
Secure with a bit of hot glue.
Add your secondary flowers evenly spacing. Don't glue until you are sure, these will often require some replacing and adjusting.
Add your filler to fill in any gaps so that no foam can be seen.
Finally, insert the accent pieces.
*Sample of featured bridal bouquet build.
If after reading this, the feeling of fear outweighs excitement, Inspired Design Weddings & Events offers bouquet design services. Brides can leave it to the designer to create their bouquet, or they can choose their colors, type of flowers, and accents, but leave the construction to I.D. Wed.