There are plenty of wholesale stores who will sell silk flowers at a greatly discounted price. Working with silk flowers is easy and can be done by almost anyone. My mother put together all the bouquets, boutonnières, and corsages for both my weddings. She had no professional training. She simply had a bunch of flowers and some florist tape. They were utterly beautiful!
Some basic equipment you’ll need are floral wire, floral tape, wire cutters, flowers, greenery, and decorative accents like baby’s breath or smaller flowers. These instructions are mainly for silk flowers, but can be used with real flowers as well. Silk flowers can be manipulated much easier than real ones, so keep that in mind!
Tips for creating your own flowers are abundant. A beautifully simple idea for a gorgeous bridal bouquet is to take several white roses, bunch them together into a bouquet, wrap the bottom with floral tape tightly, and wrap satin ribbon around the stems. Attach long pieces of satin ribbon to flow down as you hold the bouquet and it’ll be stunning!
You can use this technique with either silk or fresh flowers, and it doesn’t have to be all roses. For a unique look, try out different flowers in your wedding colors. You can also buy plastic nosegay holders at many discount stores that make preparing bouquets super easy! Don’t worry if you can see the tape or wire. You can always disguise it with ribbon or filler.
For your bridesmaids, you can have them carry the traditional nosegay. Assemble it in the same way outlined above for the bridal bouquet. A very elegant look is to have each attendant carry a single flower or a few flowers put together with greenery and ribbon that they carry cradled in their arms. These are super easy to put together. Just take a few flowers, greenery, and accents, gather the stems together, wrap with floral tape and add ribbon.
For the boutonnières, simple is best, especially since they will be worn by the men in your wedding party. Most guys don’t want garish flowers adorning their bodies – it’s just a guy thing!
To put together a boutonniere, take a single flower, add a few green leaves, and maybe a sprig of baby’s breath. Wrap the stem in floral tape tightly and voila! Your bout! You can, if you wish, add a little bit of ribbon, but don’t go too overboard – remember the “guy thing”!
To make corsages, use an odd number of flowers – 3 or 5 is recommended. Make it just like you would the bout, gather the stems, and add greenery and filler. You’ll want the corsage to be in a round shape, or a long row. Once you have gathered all the flowers together, wrap tightly with floral tape and adjust the stems for comfort. Be sure to add some pretty ribbon for accents.
Many people just aren’t sure how to pin on a corsage, so here’s a most helpful tip for anyone! The corsage should bend slightly over the collar bone, so don’t pin too far down. The wearer should be able to tip her head slightly to smell the flowers.
Stick the pin into the fabric at the bottom left corner of the stem. Weave the pin back out from under the fabric. Push it through about 1 inch, laying it at an angle over the top of the stem. Stick the tip of the pin back into the fabric on the other side of the stem. Insure that the stem is tightly in place with the length of the pin pushing it down. Weave the pin back out of the fabric once more. Be sure that the very tip of the pin does not stick out, nor does it poke under the fabric and touch the skin.
Don’t forget the pins! Go for the straight pin with a pretty pearl head on it. They can be found at most craft store quite inexpensively. Have plenty on hand – just in case!
The flower girl basket is probably the easiest of all wedding ceremony flowers. Just take a small basket – preferably white – and decorate it with ribbon and some small flowers. Many local florists will sell you rose petals for the flower girl to strew down the aisle quite cheaply. If they have some roses they aren’t able to sell that are going bad, they will usually part with the petals at a low price.
Ring Bearer Pillow
Just as important could be the ring bearer pillow. Want to know how to make your own? Read on!
- The ring pillow from a wedding can become a treasured keepsake of a very special day and a family heirloom as well. Use high-quality materials for the pillow and be creative. Experiment with different patterns, materials and textures before you decide on a final design.
- Choose two pieces of fabric that each measure between 8 and 10 inches square. Use white or off-white satin, silk or brocade. If possible, use the same fabric and lace that is used for the wedding dress.
- Choose lace and ribbon to decorate the pillow if desired. The amounts required will depend on how the materials are used. About 2 to 3 yards each of ribbon and lace will be adequate
- Use two or three pieces of polyester batting as stuffing for the pillow. Each piece should be equal to the dimensions of the fabric squares in step 1.
- Use a fabric cutting board, ruler and fabric marking pen to mark and measure out two equal squares of fabric. Make all markings on the wrong side of the fabric. Test the pen on a scrap of the pillow fabric to make sure that the marks will fade.
- Do any embroidery or needlework before continuing to the next step. Add any other decoration to the face of the fabric as well. Embellishments such as small ribbons, charms and delicate lace can be tacked or sewn on to the fabric by hand.
- Add a lace ruffle to the pillow by pinning the straight edge of the ruffle to the right side of the fabric square that will form the pillow top. Pin so that the edges line up evenly and the right sides (if there is a right side to the ruffle) are together.
- Pin the ruffle very loosely onto the fabric or gather the ruffle slightly as you pin in order to create a fuller ruffle.
- Pin the fabric pieces with the right sides together. Edges should match up evenly. Pins should be placed about 1/2 inch apart and should be at right angles to the fabric edges. Make sure that the pinned edge of the ruffle is caught securely between the two fabric layers.
- Use a sewing machine to stitch three sides of the pillow, 1/2 inch from the fabric edges. Turn the pillow right side out and stuff the batting layers inside. If you would like a fuller pillow, insert additional batting.
- Fold the edges of the unsewn seam into the pillow 1/2 inch, and stitch closed by hand. Use a slipstitch done by hand or carefully topstitch the edges with your machine.
- Add a 10- or 12-inch length of 1/4-inch satin or silk ribbon to the top of the pillow. Stitch the ribbon by hand to the pillow at the ribbon’s center point. Add a silk or satin bow made from the same ribbon to cover the stitching. Use the two ribbon strands to loosely tie the wedding rings to the pillows.
As far as flowers and plants as decorations are concerned, this can be a great enhancement to your ceremony. Many churches already have floral adornments on their altars. If you get married around the time of a church celebration, you may be able to buy a few flowers and take advantage of those that are already there.
For example, around Easter, lilies are the flower of choice in most churches. Many people will buy Easter lilies in remembrance of their loved ones. Offer to buy a couple of Easter lilies to add to the existing ones, and you have a beautiful decoration on the altar.
The same applies around Christmas. Poinsettias are the flower of choice at this time of year. Offer up a few poinsettia plants to add to those already there and you’ll have some beautiful altar decorations.
Large arrangements on an altar will only be seen from far away. Use inexpensive flowers such as carnations, or large filling flowers such as snowball mums.
If you are getting married in a church, almost all have some type of floral/tree decorations that they have all the time. All you need to do in this situation is to add a few personal touches and you’ll have a beautiful backdrop for your ceremony. This is what we did for my second marriage. We took the artificial fichus trees and arranged them around our other flowers to make for a beautiful altar.
If you are getting married outside, take advantage of nature. Cultivate what Mother Nature has to offer. When my cousin got married, he did so at a local park overlooking a lake. The flowers were in full bloom and it was beautiful. His wife later told me that she had been out at that park every day for two weeks just to make sure that the flowers would be gorgeous — and they were!
Talk to your venues and see if any other brides have booked for the same day. If the two of you can coordinate flowers and split the cost, you’ll save a lot of money. I would imagine both of you wouldn’t turn your nose up at saving a ton of money on church decorations and flowers!
Some party rental places will rent large potted plants such as tropical palms or fichus. They visually fill a lot of space, and will help frame your ceremony site or warm up your reception. Best of all, renting a potted plant is far cheaper than buying large flower arrangements. Also, you may consider purchasing these large plants and using them in your home afterwards to get more use out of them.
Almost everyone I knew owned an artificial fichus tree, so I made several phone calls and asked if we could borrow them for our big day. Everyone was more than happy to offer up their trees and we used them to decorate the reception hall. More on that later!
Don’t try to move your ceremony flowers to the reception hall. Many churches require you leave them anyway, but moving large arrangements can be tedious and simply not worth the time or effort. The last thing you want is to have your reception held up waiting for flowers!