I have decided that weddings are only good for one thing, as far as I’m concerned. OK, two. One should be the most obvious, and that is that any occasion that brings cake in and around my mouth is usually okay with me. Weddings upset me when there is no cake. Similar to Jack Sparrow and his sentiments on rum, I can usually be found by the pie table or whatever people have seen fit to replace the sacred cake with, querulously inquiring “But…why…is there no cake?”
And second, with a few caveats attached, I adore weddings that have DIY aspects to them. The caveat to that is that it requires organization, because there is NOTHING fun about turning out eighty-three hastily assembled bridesmaids’ bouquets the night before the wedding.
Initially, I wasn’t going to have a wedding. Now I’m having a come-at-your-own-risk wedding, which is a lot less dangerous than it sounds, but basically means that you understand that I am not going to ply you with a five-course meal or indulge your senses with a $5,000 gown or an open bar, and you come anyway.
Pizza. Beer. Cupcakes. Beach. What more could you ask for?
And since I love any excuse to spend my days with a hot glue gun, I have declared my upcoming nuptials open season on DIY. Today’s masterpiece is my paper flower bouquet, because I think that real flowers are creepy. Real (dead) flowers are basically like scraping a particularly good-smelling piece of roadkill off the ground and handing it over. Plus, as I’m going to talk about, flowers are about symbolism for me, and why would you carry something dead into a celebration of life, future, promise?
Since I am making my own flowers, I don’t have to worry about in season / out of season…expensive / cheap. The sky and my hot glue gun are the limits, but I’m also a simple kind of gal, so I didn’t want to spend five years painstakingly hand-painting orchids or fiddling with teeny, tiny bits of paper to make hydrangeas.
Plus, I am heavy into symbolism these days. I love the rituals of weddings and what they mean for the partners, and so I wanted everything I am wearing / carrying / making to have some significance. This fits with the kind of ceremony we are having, too, because we are trying to avoid the wedding mill as much as possible. Our day is meant to be genuine, sincere, honest, and a noble expression of love.
I settled on pink and ivory peonies with purple tulips and real lavender and rosemary for an accent.
As far as symbolism goes, peonies are thought to convey romance, prosperity, good fortune, and a happy marriage.
Off to a good start.
Tulips (especially purple tulips) are thought to convey elegance, grace, royalty, and true love.
I chose this flower particularly for the grace, because I think that part of a happy and enduring marriage is grace. Grace, to me, is a form of courage and maturity that I think complements individuals in a relationship and allows them to extend themselves emotionally and physically for each other.
Lavender is thought to convey devotion and virtue.
These were important to me because I wanted to highlight my devotion to my future husband and his to me. His boutionierre will also have lavender.
Rosemary is thought to convey remembrance.
To me, remembrance is not about loss in this case, but rather using the tool of memory and thought to build upon an existing relationship that will endure.
I found the most amazing tutorial on how to build these flowers here. Seriously, guys, this lady is amaze balls. Her tutorials are FREE, including a template of all the pieces, and easy to follow. All you need besides her website are the crepe paper, floral wire, floral tape, a hot glue gun, a pair of scissors, and your happy ass.
And they turned out great!!! I’m going to add two more peonies to round out the bouquet, and then obviously, I won’t add my live plants until way closer to the wedding, but aren’t they neat??
I ordered my crepe paper from here. They have an excellent selection of what’s called 180 gram crepe paper rolls, which is a very thick crepe paper often used in the creation of paper flowers. The petals ruffle when you stretch the crepe paper.
I got my floral wire and floral tape from JoAnn Fabrics during the Labor Day sale, which means I paid like $0.32 for it, but waited in line for like twelve hours. Priorities, people. Priorities.
And that’s about it for today! Once I finish my additional flowers and dress the base of the bouquet, I will probably post a follow-up.
Stay tuned for more from DIY wedding land, although I still promise that this blog will not be taken over by wedding stuff. Forever. I promise.
♦ Stay cool, friends.