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It’s easy being green

Going green isn’t always a walk in the park when weddings are involved. God forbid anyone think a bride and groom are trying to push a certain ideology — guests appreciate unobtrusive touches like organic wines, but they don’t usually want to know about the finer details of composting outdoor toilets. Greening up your floral selection? That’s a lot easier…you can use local flora, fill your bouquet with verdant shades, or both!

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When I was thinking about my own bouquet, I knew I wanted to include at least a touch of green in the florals themselves. Of course, my friend Carla and I just winged the designs using the massive piles of silk flowers I’d bought, but I realize that’s not for everyone. If you’re looking for the perfect green bouquet and don’t like what you’ve seen so far, why not try making your own using the easy to follow instructions in Wedding Bouquets: Over 300 Designs for Every Bride or Creative Wedding Florals You Can Make?

Orange — good no matter how you slice it

Being that I went with chocolate and gold for my summer wedding colors, I did my best to avoid all permutations of orange lest anyone think I was embracing a fall theme. But orange truly can be awesome on its own without channeling autumn at all!

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Pair orange with pink as people have done here, or try mixing orange with light, yellowy greens or deep, rich purples for a little zing.

DIY bouquets

Or, as I have been so fond of calling them, DIY buckets.

I sat down with a friend this past weekend and constructed my bouquets. While I did print out instructions, we never actually read them. Instead, we just laid out all of the materials at our disposal (which included some $150+ worth of silk flowers, floristís wire, and floristís tape) and experimented wildly with differing combinations of color, size, and greenery. I am actually amazed at how wonderfully our efforts turned out, as neither of us had ever created a bouquet. Observe:

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Sorry about the pisspoor image quality — my camera is about a thousand years old and photography has never been my strong suit. The first one is the bridal bouquet and is actually quite a bit bigger (and heavier!) than the bottom one, of which there are two. At the last second, I put together a matching tosser in case I unexpectedly find myself facing a herd of rabid female relatives asking me when I’ll be throwing the bouquet. The Beard and I discussed tossing the actual bridal bouquet and then realized that we don’t need to start our lives together facing endless rounds of personal injury litigation.

I will say that the whole bouquet-making process is rather intuitive, as you end up having to use wire to keep your early efforts from falling apart while you look for more blooms and there is no better way to wrap up a mess of unruly stems than with tape that only sticks to itself. The ribbon-wrapping, which I did myself, was somewhat harder as I was using pins to secure the ribbon.

If you plan to follow in my footsteps, I suggest looking at lots of pictures of wedding flowers online and in books like To Have & To Hold: Magical Wedding Bouquets or Creative Wedding Florals You Can Make.

Now, if I can just keep the cats from gnawing on the aforementioned bouquets, everything will be peachy.

One sweet cone

I hate those white plastic bouquet bases. You know, the ones that have a wad of soft green foam in the middle. I much prefer pretty hand-tied bouquets. For a variety of reasons, however, many brides don’t want to go the hand-tied route.

There is yet another floral option!

Enter the cone. I stumbled across this DIY guide on the Flower Arrangement Advisor earlier today while doing a search for unusual bouquets and immediately fell in love. There is simply something so earthy and sophisticated about the cone bouquet…even if the blossoms themselves do look like they are resting on a birds nest. Who knows? Maybe that’s part of the appeal of the cone.

Get your glue guns handy, people. Because from where I’m sitting (which is in front of my desk, incidentally), the cone looks like an easy-to-put-together alternative to other DIY floral arrangements.

Wood?

How about something new for a new year? It’s new to me, anyway, as I’ve never heard of anything like it, and I know for a fact I haven’t written about it before. What is it, you ask?

Wooden flowers. Yes, that’s right. I’m talking about flowers made out of wood. A few weeks ago, if someone had asked me what I’d imagine a wooden bouquet to look like, I would have answered with a description of a “grandma tchotchke.” You know, like a bowl of clunky wooden tulips in an off-color garage sale vase. But I’d be wrong, because the wooden flowers I have in mind are delicate and pretty and look fabulous in photos.

More fun with faux

The problem with these lovely bouquets, as I see it, is getting the bouquet made. For about $20, you can procure a hundred or so of these lovely faux flowers. So a wooden bouquet represents a fab DIY project. I’ve only come across a few shops selling wood bridal bouquets and wedding florals. These include Flowers of Wood, which has a small selection of bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres, and Bergo Designs, which seems to operate on a custom basis where wedding florals are concerned. Definitely worth a look, IMHO.

Photo by Joseph Harlan

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Lovely and yummy

Vegan to the core? Express your beliefs through your choice of bridal gear by walking down the aisle with a veggie bouquet. They’re attractive AND edible. Companies like Incredible Edible Bouquets and Veggie Bouquet can help you incorporate your love of vegetables into your wedding theme.

Remember designer Austin Scarlett? If you have no clue who I’m talking about, he was the fabulous prettyboy blonde from the first season of BRAVO’s Project Runway. Well Nina Callaway of About Weddings was lucky enough to meet Scarlett, and chat him up about his luxurious wedding gown designs and his experiences on Project Runway. Check out the interview here.

Don’t know your tanzanite from your topaz? Educate yourself at Jewely.com by browsing their collection of comprehensive articles and you, too, can learn to build a jewelry wardrobe from the ground up, judge diamond clarity, or buy the perfect baubles for your bridal party.

A forever fresh alternative to flowers

A bouquet with some sparkle

Up until today, I’d never really considered the plight of brides with hay fever or pollen allergies. What bride wants to walk down the aisle with watering eyes and a runny nose? Sure, there are always silk flowers and greens, but a lot of the silk bouquets out there look cheap. Reader Deena pointed out a fabulous and funky alternative: the crystal bouquet!

Like flowers and floral arrangements, crystal bouquets come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and, of course, prices. You can buy them pre-made or you can try making your own with a kit. A crystal bouquet featuring large Swarovski crystals can cost as much as $1,000 while less luxurious bouquets go for about $100. A kit from Wedding Day Originals will set a future bride back about $50 but I’m not sure wire weaving is for everyone.

Unlike flowers and flower arrangements, a crystal bouquet won’t wilt in the heat, doesn’t need to be preserved, and can be tossed about a bit without losing any of its beauty. The stunning bouquet above is sold by Advantage Bridal and features over 150 large Swarovski crystals on beautifully woven silvery stems.

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