Archive for the ‘weddings’ Category

DIY wedding flowers

Choosing to do your own flowers on your wedding day is a lovely idea. But beware, things can go wrong such as choosing suitable flowers, sourcing quality product, staying on budget (once you add fuel, materials, tools, ribbon, containers etc etc), storage , delivery, setup, flower loss through wilting etc, taking alot of your time and scheduling flower creation into the lead up to big day with everything else going on! (Remember you are working with a perishable product) and finally managing expectations of what you can create.


…..dont let me deter you!! If you are relaxed enough to go with the flow and have the resources, time and space to complete this task it could turn out to be an very enjoyable experience that will be long remembered as a rewarding part of your whole wedding celebrations. (I plan on doing my own flowers next year for my wedding!!!) I have seen many DIY flowers at relaxed weddings and the whole celebration had a really good vibe.

So a little background, this post is inspired by a a reader of “Flower Opera” who is doing the flowers for her daughters wedding and had a few questions.  Thank you for asking Nancy, and first of all, WELL DONE on starting with the most important thing…RESEARCH!

More often than not, DIY brides or mothers will take on one aspect of floral decor, but you my lovely lady have taken on the large task of both personal and reception flowers! So I will attempt to help by answering your questions below

Thank you for offering your help, Flower Opera.  This may not be exactly what you were thinking I might ask but, here goes.  I see so many beautiful bouquets with the stems left bare except for ribbon around the upper part just under the flowers.  I see many different kinds of flowers used this way. 

I love this look! It is definitely for the less formal bride and you could use it for any types of flowers just make sure that you clean all stems by removing leafs, offshoots and thorns. Although relaxed, you don’t want it too look messy, nor do you want leaves to mark the brides dress or thorns to scratch her!

This type of wrap is perfect for a DIY bouquet, because you dont have the stress of making the ribbon flat all the way up and down the stems! Furthermore, there is plenty of stem available to sit in water once the bouquet is made.

I found a tutorial on making a lilac bouquet here with the same style of wrapping in case you want to check it out!  I also think because there is such a small amount of ribbon, you could also have some fun using a contrasting colour or some fabric with an interesting pattern!

How long will the bouquets stay fresh? Is there a special process to prevent the flowers from wilting?  

Buy your flowers as late as possible! If you pick from your own garden then this is especially important and never pick in the heat of the day!

Once you have your flowers, clean the stems, re-cut, then place immediately in buckets of water. (it is best if the water has some flower preservative in it) I am assuming you do not have a commercial flower cooler so instead keep the flowers in a cool room in the house. Do not be tempted to put them in the fridge. I cant imagine they would fit but the fridge is also not set at the correct temperature and there is often sources of ethylene gas that will harm the flowers.

I would recommend making bouquets no earlier than 2-3 days before the big day. Once completed,  get a narrow vase, put a small amount of water in the bottom and recut the stems to the same length then place the bouquet in the vase.

Like I mentioned earlier, the  style of wrapping you have chosen is perfect because you can complete the bouquet ahead of time and keep the flowers hydrated, without getting the ribbon wet. (You will have so much more room to move compared to the image above!) Just make sure every flower stem is in water! (and remember to thoroughly dry the stems before the bride takes it!)

If you follow these steps your flowers should not wilt….just remember to source the freshest flowers you can, keep them cool and keep them hydrated!

Are some flowers better than others for this kind of bouquet? 

I would steer away from delicate flowers and go for ones with sturdier stems.  Most importantly make sure you do not buy dyed blooms….the dye colour will seep from the base of the stem and mark any fabric it comes into contact with!! (Plus, isn’t natural so much more beautiful?!)

Too improve your odds with flower survival, be aware that some flowers are more sensitive than others. For instance Hydrangea is a extremely thirsty and I would avoid it for an open wrapped bouquet.

We’re planning to make the bouquet and boutonnieres ourselves and use cut flowers in small vases for the reception.

First up, set aside in a bucket the prettiest blooms for the bridal bouquet, allocate small amounts for the bouts and then make your centerpieces dividing up the remaining stock. Remember also, with your centerpieces, keep the flowers and foliage low so guests can still talk to each other across the table! Also, if you are trying to keep costs down (who isnt?!) remember that the wider the opening of the container, the more flowers you need to fill it!

Thanks for any suggestions you can offer.

I would recommend buying a little surplus (avoids the stress if something goes wrong and besides…if you are fortunate to have no mistakes, you have extra flowers for the washroom or bar!)

Well done on taking this on, I would love to see pictures of the final product and hear about your experience , I hope this all helps!

Good luck with everything and enjoy the process!!!


Read Full Post »

I Love big showy bouquets at the moment, organically styled with a natural mix of colours and textures and Emmas bridal bouquet shown on once wed is GORGEOUS!

A beautiful mix of what could include seeded eucalyptus, ferns, lilac,babys breath, echeveria, Lisianthus, ranunculus, veronica….


and wait until you see the bridesmaids!

You all know i am a sucker for mismatched and this gets me on that one. But it is the simplicity, size and styling of the girls bouquets that allows Emmas bridal bouquet to remain the clear focal point despite being much more subtle in colouring.

Looks like a cute mix of seeded eucalyptus, burplerum, ranunculus, hypernicum, fern and succulents. The girls different brightly coloured dresses all seem to show of the simple bouquets differently.

Now i have shown off her beautiful bridal bouquets….a quick look at the rest of her floral/plant styling!

From the photos it looks like Emma put a real focus on the big bouquets by keeping all other florals to a minimum. Nothing for the man, and her centrepieces were a simple grouping of cactus plants paired with some cute decorative tiles and perfect table cards.

…..and the moss table for the seating cards fits perfectly within the theme and looks so lush and unique!!!!

If you cant afford or dont want the whole wedding overflowing with flowers, perhaps Emmas idea of choosing a focus is the way to go. (And what better way than putting the money into the bridal bouquet?! I mean it will be in every photo and with you when everyone sees you for the very first time!) That way, it wont look like you have spread the money thin in the floral decor department and people will always remember and talk about the amazing statement that you made with your beautiful big bouquet!

Read Full Post »

My guy and I have been missing Australia today.

Kind of inevitable when you live on the other side of the world, so when I saw this lovely bouquet by Botanica floral design I had to share it.

The gumnuts (a typical Australian seed pod) look gorgeous coupled with fragrant double paperwhites, kumquats on the vine, and other seasonal botanicals.

Read Full Post »

Rustic weddings are growing in popularity and that makes me happy. I adore a rustic wedding and am actually planning one myself, so it is no surprise that when searching for inspirational images of rustic bridal bouquets I fell in love again and again each new image I found.

Its fun, whimsical, country, garden….it can mean so many things and can take on a whole range of colour schemes. But one thing a rustic bouquet definitely is, is relaxed, never stuffy or formal in any way.

One trend that could denote a rustic bouquet is leaving the stems long and on show


Alternatively you could wrap your long stems, bringing a rustic vibe into your day via the choice of ribbon

a common material is burlap as seen on this bouquet and the one below by Sage designs

Twine or rope would also work beautifully


You could even go one step further than just the wrap and choose a significant adornment to attach to the stems (images via the weddingofmydreams)

A hankerchief with your wedding date date stitched in

A locket

Rosery beads…or just a pretty brooch or pendant that you love!

Mismatched bouquets for your bridesmaids is also a nice touch at any rustic wedding


A rustic bouquet can be created through the simplicity of only one type of flower, gathered in a natural looking bundle as if scooped from the garden or side of the road…

A wheat bouquet would be perfect for a fall wedding aswell. The second bouquet is by the talented Carissa from JL designs, image found via  stephaniewilliamsphotography

Another beautiful rustic bouquet by Jl designs

dried lavender bouquet found via bridalbuds

For the lucky spring bride who happens to be in lilac season this mixture of lilac and eucalyptus is so romantic! source

And whoever thought babys breath could look so cute?

wedding chicks

But if you cant decide on one flower, not to worry….rustic bouquets are just SO delightful as a mixed bunch of small and big flowers, focusing more on colour and texture for the overall effect!!

And because a rustic wedding will most likely be in a barn or a venue with alot of masculine elements such as heavy, natural materials and timber, my preference for a mixed rustic bouquet is to play off that feel with a more feminine floral arrangement in subtle, more romantic colours. Soft greys, silvers and blues used in the foliage are also the perfect contrast for these types of flowers. Dusty miller and eucalyptus would be my top picks.


I love the mix …gold/twine/rustic…very glammed up rustic! source

not normally a teardrop bouguet kinda gal…. but LOVE!!! found via sparkle and hay

and now how about a full cascading bouquet? found via ruffled


By flower hardware this bouquet is a mix of white flowers including combines white flowers including antique garden roses, sweet peas, clematis, and scabiosa.

LOVE LOVE LOVE those colours! found via greenweddingshoes



and what is a post about one of my favourite themes without an inspirational bouquet by one of my favourite floral designers?! This beautiful bouquet is by Meg at La Partie Events

It is obvious rustic is BIG nowadays. Most bouquets I see on the blogs across the net, I have realized, could be translated as rustic. So if this is your dream, don’t get caught in the specifics, just relax with an organically styled natural bouquet and consider perhaps suggesting long stems, one favorite garden flower of yours, a particular wrap, a special adornment or brooch, or just a mix match of subtle and feminine garden flowers gathered together.

Read Full Post »

This little beauty is a humble edition to any arrangement. It never tries to steal the spotlight but in my opinion does so much to enhance the look.

Scabiosa lends itself well to natural themes and being in season during spring and summer it pairs as beautifully with pastelly coloured fluffy flowers as it does natural tones and a more rustic or whimsical look.

Flores Del Sol & JL Designs

The bouquet features echeveria succulents, Champagne and Metallina roses, scabiosa pods, smoke bush, unripe blackberries, and peach hypericum made by housemartin,  and the gorgeous hairpiece seen on Brooklyn Bride

This bouquet freshens things up using peach calla lilies, pink roses, fiddlehead ferns, scabiosa pods and more, by Branch Out Floral and Event Design in San Francisco.

image found via brushfire photography

by finch and thistle

this happy wedding  and its bouquet I found at Calie Rose

bouquet bouquet

these couple of images below from designs by audrey are just beautiful!!

and some more cute boutenneires…

The above image includes white and yellow ranunculus, beige scabiosa pods, white lisianthus, yellow billy balls and gray dusty miller I found on bouquet bridal

This one below from sweet pea floral is so colourful and stunning…I had to give it two images!!! I love that thank’s to a brides relaxed vision, the designer was free to collect the most charismatic flowers from the market.  Orange dahlia, coral zinnia, fuchsia anemone, purple sweet pea, red cockscomb, red and green ranunculus, scabiosa pods, english lavender, and veronica. LOVE IT!!!

simple classic combination of dusty miller, ivory roses and scabiosa pods. found here

found at love & lavender

found here

unruly things

Scabiosa is not the star of the show…but sure is one hell of  support act with so many different styles!!!

Read Full Post »

A couple of posts ago, I touched on using herbs (more specifically lavender) at your wedding as a beautiful scented element to your wedding day. (Wedding sights,sounds…..and scents?)

I have been thinking about this idea alot, and how potted herbs as a centrepiece would work. I have come to the conclusion that  really like the idea for the right type of event. It would add a really rustic, country feel to the wedding spread. Imagine if your food complimented the herbs so guests could pick seasoning for their meal straight from the plants in front of them! OK ok, the last idea might is a little crazy, and you would have to have plants completely free of pesticide……but you have to agree its a nice utopian idea anyway!

Idealism aside, I think it could be a really great ‘wallet friendly’ option for brides and also can double as a favor that guests can take home with them. (This post has some cute DIY  lace and burlap herb favors  as shown below)

I have done some searching to see whats out there to inspire me and you!

jules wedding ideas

will you marry moi

I love the lemons in this image too…very Mediterranean

If you want a really simple, and rustic look this wedding featured on once wed went very basic incorporating herbs into the decor. I think its great that the ‘green thumb’  grandma helped with them all too!

Herbs are a cheaper option from a  florist than floral centrepieces…but I think it is a definite DIY option if you have the space, the time and are laid back enough to accept that there will be some deaths amongst your brood of beautiful herbs in the lead up the big day!

When purchasing the herbs, look for small plants in a variety of colors, heights and textures. Sage has a beautiful grey green colour,  thyme are pretty low plants, and rosemary not only adds height, but smells DELICIOUS, and also has a beautful soft colouring in my opinion. Chives, lavender and chamomile all have the potential to add a floral element (check the seasonality) Chamomile looks delightful mixed with vases of poms and peonies at this wedding below I found on once wed

If you cant get the seasonality right with flowering herbs, it would be extra special to mix in some vases of flowers to the grouping just to freshen it up. The extra cost would be worth it I think.

The best post i have found so far that shows how to use herbs at a wedding in a modern and classic way is on project wedding…I love how the photoshoot uses repitition to their advantage for this table spread.  Incorporating the herb into a few elements is gold and with a backdrop of natural fabrics and whites keeps the focus on the beautiful fresh green colour of the herb . I also think it makes a world of difference that the herbs look so  healthy and lush!

I do adore the one above, and other images I have found but I do have to say, I was really hoping to find just a couple of crazy big ideas using herbs…. ones that scream wedding!!! I know that would take it out of the ‘economical/DIY’ category, but its always nice to have a some crazy inspiration. So if you know of any weddings or events where this has been done please send the link or image, I would love to see it and share…I believe the humble herb has it in them to become a feature that really holds its own!!

If you do choose this as your own DIY option, remember to have fun!!!!,  perhaps have a backup plan, and most of all enjoy the process of mixing and matching ….you never know you might discover a green thumb!!

Read Full Post »

I obvviously have a thing for large flowers at the moment but lately I have been loving the huge Dinner plate dahlias in the cooler!

I used them this week for a feminine arrangement….

So how about using these as a wedding flower?

Here I was thinking they would be too big and delicate but I was overwhelmed with the array of amazing bouquets out there…I think I have a new flower crush!

Here are some amazing bouquets sourced for yours (and mine) viewing pleasure!


vineyard gazette


This beautiful bouquet used dinner plate dahlia, scabiosa, tweedia, and delphinium …all wrapped in natural twine! I found this simple beauty at the floral lab

The next few images I found via Lovely little details blog….(on a side note, this is a great little site to explore)

Yumiko Fletcher of Hana floral design created this stunning bouquet.  The bride was so smitten with her bouquet!  It is a lovely little post on sparkle and hay that shows how much your bouquet can add to your whole day and experience!

The dahlia caters to a bide who prefers a clean, classic white look…but still wnats to stand out from the crowd. The flowers above found at Elizabeth Ann design blog

the bouquet in the images above are designed by the talented little floral team at poppies and posies

…and I normally dont like long trailing things coming out of a bouquet! but this bouquet by Martha Andrews just makes my heart swoon!

I lOVE the work by la partie events…and she has not let me down with the dinner plate dahlia bouquet! This girl is forever a source of inspiration to me

So there you have it…The feminine yet still so funky Dinner plate dahlia.

I could keep going on forever but I think it is a becoming a little obsessive this sifting through so many gorgeous images of dinner plate dahlias…I have to stop somewhere! I focussed only on the bouquets this time but dont you worry…I will be back looking at them in many other aspects of a wedding…sigh they are so delightful

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »