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Bouquets | Manolo for the Brides - Part 4
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Paper Flower Bridal Bouquets, Four Ways

Can I just say that in some games of wedding this-or-that, I have no opinion other than SQUEEILOVETHEMBOTH. So it is in the case of traditional bridal bouquets and alternative bridal bouquets. I just happened to have faux flower bouquets at my own wedding, but I would have been equally happy with, say, feather bouquets and
origami bridal bouquets.

And why not? Pretty much all the alternative bridal bouquets, from flowers made of ceramics to crystal and wire to seashells (for real), are just as heavy as flowers (sometimes heavier) and still somewhat delicate. Plus, they’re awesome. Right now I am salivating over all of the beautiful paper flower bouquets out there.

Aren’t they sweet? A paper bridal bouquet can look as much like or as little like the real thing as you want. I have a soft spot in my heart for the paper flowers made of old book pages from Danamazing’s Paper Flowers, maybe because I’m just a book addict. But the others are lovely, too: A spooky, crisp paper bouquet from My Bohemian Summer, a stylized origami bouquet from 3D Cranes, and a pretty, girly paper flower bouquet from Desicra.

P.S. – I keep reading lately about carnations making a comeback, so I just wanted to toot my own horn and say that I wrote about the new wedding carnations almost a year ago. Ha!

DIY Like an Expert With a Little Help from Your Bloggy Friends

Being that I’ll be performing my mom’s wedding ceremony in October – can I get a squee? – I thought it might be prudent to start collecting tips on how to write a wedding ceremony. What with my never having written one before. In my search, I came across the how-to sneeze page on A Practical Weddingg, which happened to include a tutorial dealing with writing a wedding ceremony. Sweet!

Now this is where I say that I feel for brides-to-be nowadays because there are a lot of wedding planning how-tos out there, many of which deal with DIYing this or that element of the ceremony and reception. It’s not easy to wade through them and truth be told, a lot of them are pure crap, which is why I’m gonna help a girl out and say that if you are thinking of DIYing wedding flowers, reception music, your wedding vows, or your catering… or even DIYing your entire wedding, handling your own wedding photography, and making your wedding dress, check out Meg’s awesome DIY wedding planning how-tos over at A Practical Wedding. You’ll definitely be glad you did!

Inspiration: Glamelia!

For a decidedly different bridal bouquet, it’s all in how you use your blooms. Special breeds of flower or bouquet charms aren’t necessary when you’re carrying a glamorous glamelia bouquet, which is a composite bouquet made hundreds of individual petals sewn together to form an amazing larger-than-life blossom.


Also known as a Malmaison rose, glamelias were popular in the 40s and 50s and are commonly made from rose petals but may be crafted from the petals of gladiolas, lilies, or other flowers.



Inspiration: Iris

I’ve always loved iris. The shape appeals strongly to me, the colors are right up my alley, and they can’t be beaten for pure visual drama. If you’re thinking of working them into your wedding, here are some ideas to help you out.

You can start right out with your save the dates.
save_the_date_iris_wedding_button-p145756570551676737qd2b_400 These buttons from Zazzle run from $2.89 each down to $1.89 each, depending on how many you buy. Not wild about this one? There are other iris-themed save the date items available.


Today’s pretty little thing comes from Omnibus Driver, who pointed me toward oliviamoon. There, for a mere $15 each, brides can outfit their bridal bouquets and their bridesmaids’ bouquets with gorgeous itty-bitty monogrammed bouquet charms. Aren’t they sweet?

bridal bouquet monograms

As I hinted at, bouquet charms aren’t just for the bride – sentimental bridesmaids love monogrammed bouquet charms because they’re not wondering whose bouquet is whose during the reception. And they do make a lovely keepsake that even people like me who think that quite a lot of keepsakes are more like throwthemoutassoonasyougethomesakes (imirite?!) will actually hold onto into the future.

bridal bouquet monograms wedding

And, hey, $15! All of oliviamoon’s bouquet charms have mirrored backs that make the final lipstick check a snap. Hint: They’re also good for checking for rogue arugula between the teeth at the reception. If, however, monograms aren’t your thing, there are also scads of people making memorial bouquet charms with photos that honor a deceased loved one – like those linked from JeanM – or more to the point, bouquet charms featuring any image you like, from pictures of your beloved as a child or a snap of Fluffy, who was sadly not invited to attend the wedding. There are even DIY bouquet charm kits that let you make your own using Scrabble tiles (which are included) and crafting glue!

Craspedia aka Billy Balls – An Unusual But Beautiful Choice

For those whose wedding color scheme includes a pretty and happy yellow, craspedia is a wonderful wedding flower option. Craspedia, also called billy balls or billy buttons, are known for their cheery yellow and round flowerheads, and look great whether in a starring or supporting role in your floral arrangements. Their density is striking, with most people never guessing that these blooms are a relative of the common daisy. The flowerheads are also tough and durable, meaning they’ll look as brilliant at end of the wedding reception as they did at the start of the wedding ceremony.

billy balls bridal bouquet


Catch As Catch Can

When I polled all you lovely ladies back in February to ask whether you’d be tossing the bouquet, most of you chose “No way! I don’t want to embarrass the single ladies like that.” And more power to you – I would say that at the majority of weddings I attended in my 20s, it was common to see all the unmarried maids who dutifully trudged onto the dance floor for the bouquet toss back the truck up when that notable arrangement came flying at their heads. I’ve even seen a bouquet land on the floor!

But it’s telling that the second most popular poll response was “Yes, absolutely! It’s just harmless fun, so why not?” (followed closely by “No, but I’m not opposed to it. It’s just not something I feel inclined to include,” which is also somewhat telling). What it says to me is that plenty of brides are still tossing the bouquet. For their sakes, I hope that their single friends are as enthusiastic as this:

bridesmaid catching the bouquet

(Photo via the always gorgeous Kate Harrison Photography)

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