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Flowers | Manolo for the Brides - Part 10
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Spring Is In the Plans!

One thing about wedding planning that can be both fun and frustrating is the fact that when you get started on it, chances are it’s a different season from the one you’ll be marrying in. Mr. Twistie popped the question on a November night and we were eventually married on a June afternoon. There we were heading into the dreaded dark days of winter (well, as dark as they get in my part of California) and I was thinking about spring flowers and light cottons for my bridesmaids’ outfits.

While it can be a nice break from stormy weather to think about warmer times ahead, it’s sometimes difficult to find the specific materials and inspirations you need. And so I decided to warm up October with some stylish thoughts for those of you planning spring weddings.


In It to Win It

With the exception of a handful of rogue weddings, the nuptial celebrations I’ve attended as an adult have NOT included the tossing of the bouquet. At one of the aforementioned affairs, I didn’t get anywhere near the thing. I caught it at another — mainly because my aunt winged it right at my head. At yet another, I actually did catch it, but then I tossed it covertly to the woman standing next to me and she was more than happy to have it.

As I’ve gotten older, there have typically been less and less single ladies on the floor when the bride has decided to toss the bouquet. You get the teenage girls, the older widows, the “cougars,” and the small group of single, of-marriageable age women. Sometimes you can see the horror and mortification in these ladies’ eyes as their friends and relatives elbow them onto the parquet when the DJ announces the impending toss.

Of course, some women are into the whole game. Really into it. Some even want to nab that bunch of blooms so badly that they’re willing to commit bodily assault to get it! This how-to from Howcast is meant to be humorous (I hope) but I’ve known a chick or two who would treat this as deadly serious advice.

I’d advise taking an entirely different approach to the bouquet. Step 1: Before the wedding, ascertain whether your group of friends has any interest in the outdated tradition. If not, proceed to Step 2: Approach the bride-to-be to determine whether she’s thinking of tossing the bouquet. If she is, proceed to Step 3: Threaten to take her future husband hostage if she won’t agree to scrap the idea. If she procures another fiancée, proceed to Step 4: Strap yourself to your seat when the MC announces it’s tossing time.

Designed by Mother Nature

I love that inspiration can come from anywhere, anything, or anyone. Just yesterday, The Beard and I were at one of our local beaches, swimming, soaking up the sun, and looking for beach glass. Amid the sea junk, The Beard found a mussel shell that was a vivid blue outside and a beautiful silver on the inside. After inspecting it for a bit, he said — and I was so damn proud at that moment — “Wouldn’t these make great wedding colors?”

To The Beard I say, “Here you are, my dear.”

Moving clockwise-ish from the top left, there is a Nicole Miller stretch taffeta dress, the Amaya pump from LAUREN by Ralph Lauren, a blue chalcedony sterling silver ring from Overstock.com, an invitation from Leigh’s Wishing Well, a JS Boutique cutaway shoulder gown, a hydrangea centerpiece, a deep blue aisle runner, and a hydrangea bouquet.

A lovely combo, yes?

Put the Rose in (Your) Hair Like the Andalusian Girls Used

The superbly lovely Kate wrote to ask:

I’m a regular reader of your blog and was wondering if you could help me out. I’m getting married at the end of September and want to wear a cream-colored “flower” in my hair, to match my dress. Problem is, what I find is either something from the WIC that’s eighty bucks, or a shoddy-looking fake “silk” blossom that is 1.99 at the craft store. Can you help me find a pretty off-white fake flower for my hair, for less than forty dollars? My hairdresser says it doesn’t have to have a barrette – if it has a stem, she can weave it in.

I feel Kate’s pain, even though I when I was getting married it wasn’t flowers but rather hair gems I sought. Everything truly elegant was way out of my price range, and everything in my price range looked like it had come from a girls bracelet making kit from the Toys ‘R’ Us. Eventually, I let my hair stand on its own, which was more than fine because my stylist was truly a wizard.

Now, anyone looking for faux blooms should learn a little background and a little lingo before hitting the shops. Today’s silk flowers typically aren’t actually made of silk…except when they are, in which case they may cost you a pretty penny. The reason so many fakies look so awful is that they’re made of cheap polyester. Even worse, they are sometimes embellished with things like rhinestones and plastic water droplets.


LOVE/HATE: the funny florals edition

A blog called It’s a Wonderful World turned me onto bouquets weirder and wackier than any I came across when writing iDo. In the floral chapter of my book, I bring up cascade bouquets, arm sheaves, pomanders, hand tieds, crescents, composites, wristlets, trails, teardrops, tussie-mussies, ballerina bouquets, and floral scepters! I obviously know a little something about bouquets.

Thus I must surmise that I can’t possibly be the only one who was a little taken aback by the ring bouquet:

Does this concoction of water iris leaves and small spray roses make anyone else think of goatse.cx (extreeeeeeemely NSFW)? Because I know that I and my sillier guests would be taking some pseudonaughty snapshots if the bride ever left her bouquet unattended.


DIY: A maple leaf bouquet

I’ve seen autumn leaves on table displays and scattered around plates, and I’ve even seen them incorporated into floral arrangements, but I’ve never seen them used quite like this! This maple leaf bouquet was created by a certain Natalie, who posted her masterpiece on a site called LOBZIK.

She posted a a tutorial that makes the mechanics of these “flowers” pretty clear. Luckily, her tutorial is picture heavy, seeing as that I don’t read Cyrillic. If you do, please translate a bit of the how-to for us.

It looks fairly simple, though you may want to incorporate some floral tape or florists’ pins. I’m not saying you’ll make perfect maple leaf roses right away, but you should be whipping them out fairly competently with a little practice. Too bad it’s only July!

Color…don’t fear it

When I was choosing my wedding colors, green scared me. It seemed too bright for my daytime outdoor wedding in the height of summertime. Now I’m seeing all of these wonderful green, black, and white inspiration boards on the other wedding blogs, and said green is beautifully vivid and not garish at all.

I’ve come to realize that I shouldn’t have been afraid of green. After all, I love all green flowers without exception and almost anything limey or appley is all right with me!

So here I am posting my own floral inspiration board with images from The Art of Flower and Old Town Florist in the hopes that it will perhaps inspire some of you.

And for the record, let me also say that you shouldn’t ever fear color. I mean any color! The blue-jay blue, hot cherry red, or Sunkist orange you’re picturing in your mind may seem like too much for a wedding, but don’t discount it until you’ve done your homework. I’d wager that there are at least some pictures of weddings employing said hues out there in Internetland. You may just discover it’s everything you’re hoping for and more!

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