Tag Archives: flowers

Up close and personal w/ the bouquets

Since we got engaged, so many pieces of this big wedding-planning puzzle have fallen so easily into place. I found my dress about a month after the beau popped the question. We found our ceremony and reception venues with ease. Wedding colors seemed to fall into our laps. For all that came effortlessly, one thing remained a big fat question mark: wedding flowers.

For some brides, having lots of lush flowers and greenery is a must. I began to realize it was not a priority for me. While I love, love flowers, I couldn’t imagine devoting a significant portion of our budget to flowers that would potentially have a super short shelf life. Aside from the money factor, it just didn’t feel very green to me. Granted, I’m not the most environmentally-conscious person there is, but I feel like I try. And as much as I love flowers that bloom in the park or my potted orchids, I was uncomfortable with the idea of flowers doomed to die.

Once I’d made the decision that I didn’t need or want flowers that were the real deal, I began to mull over possible alternatives. And alternatives there are! It’s awesome how many other options are out there.

I loved the idea of fans, spread beautifully before each girl.

But then I decided for a December wedding, fans probably don’t make that much sense. I think they would be gorgeous for a spring or summer wedding, but are probably not as suited to the colder, winter months. I mean, let’s be honest, who’s going to be fanning themselves in December? (Although in North Carolina, one can never be too sure!)

So, with the idea of fitting the winter theme in mind, I trudged forward. And straight into hand muffs. And for a little while, I was sold. I loved how quaint and different the idea of the muff is.

But then, slowly but surely, I stopped being in love with the idea of hand muffs.

And for a time, I considered candles.

As before, however, I wasn’t completely sold. The more I thought about it, I realized I had been coming back to one idea over and over: a crochet bouquet.

Now, I know this means I run the risk of people thinking I’m an old lady or just flat-out crazy, but that’s ok with me. I’m pumped about the idea of flowers o’ yarn! So I hit the web in search of the perfect flower to comprise my bouquets, and presto, landed on http://www.planetjune.com.

I followed the super easy instructions for the Basic Rose. Our main color is going to be purple, with blue and silver accents. I decided to make blue and silver/gray flowers for my lovely bridesmaids to carry, while I wanted a deep purple hue.

This is where I found my pattern:
http://www.planetjune.com/blog/free-crochet-patterns/basic-rose/

It gives step-by-step instructions for making a rose:

For making the calyx, or the green underside of the rose:

For sewing them together:

And voila!

I strayed from the instructions on this site a bit when it came to making the stem for the rose. I used floral wire bent in half, to give it some thickness, and I wrapped it in green yarn several times over. I jabbed the wire through the flowers and clamped the wire down on the inside of the flower. Then I wrapped the bottoms in green floral tape and pinned everything together with a couple of pretty floral pins!

I love how my bridesmaid bouquets turned out:

Now I just have to assemble mine!

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Les fleurs

Most people who know me know that I’m not short on opinions. Purple is my favorite color. Chartreuse is a funny word and a funny-looking color, if you ask me. What Not to Wear is one of the best things to happen to television and to fashion (No, crazy lady, a tube top is not appropriate past the age of 14.) Our president is kinda hot. If more people listened to Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson and Brandi Carlisle the world would be a better place. Smoking is gross. Poptarts are gross (Have you ever looked to see how many calories are in those things??). See? I have opinions. Plenty of ’em. And yet, it’s been really interesting to discover with this wedding planning process which things I have opinions about and which ones I really kind of don’t. Flowers, for instance. I feel like I should be filled with excitement about bouquets and boutonnieres and all things flower. And yet, I’m just not.

Don’t get me wrong; I love flowers. I have two beautiful orchids perched on my windowsill at home that make me smile every time I look at them. I get giddy when Russ surprises me with an arrangement of gerber daisies. And when I pass a field dotted with heather or buttercups, I just want to drop everything and run through it, all reckless abandon-like. But when it comes to thinking about wedding flowers, my mind goes blank. I have no opinions. No ideas. No excitement.

When I’ve dreamed of my big day, certain images always popped into my head: a beautiful white dress, friends and family, music and dancing and partying the night away. Flowers have never really entered the equation. In fact, when I see pictures of big bouquets filled with all sorts of flowers whose names I can’t pronounce half the time, my eyes just glaze over. I guess bouquets that make a statement are some people’s thing, but they’re definitely not mine.

And don’t get me started on how freakin’ expensive wedding flowers can be. Geez, louise. It just seems crazy to me to spend hundreds of dollars on arrangements whose purpose is served by being pretty for one day. One day! I mean, I know we could give all the flowers away at the end of the day, but it still seems like such a waste of money.

So now I must decide: Do I do flowers at all? Maybe simple bouquets consisting of one flower? Or can I shirk the tradition of flowers altogether? I mean, will those nearest and dearest to us really care whether there are flowers abounding?

I change my mind almost weekly when I think about alternatives to the traditional floral bouquet. For a little while, I was dead set on hand muffs, since it’ll be a December wedding. Then I thought about fans. And then I remembered, yep, it’s still a December wedding. Now I’m in love with pine cones. Yes, pine cones. Don’t judge me.