A Bottled Bouquet & Corked Boutonniere

Wedding Planning

After all, what would you expect from a wine-themed wedding?

Using wine bottles as vases–either as is or cut down–is nothing new, especially not here on the ‘Bee. I’d figured pretty early on that I’d have a bottle-vase on the altar to place my bouquet in since I wouldn’t have an attendant to hand it off to–it was one of the first decisions I made about my bouquet, next to the given that I’d make it myself. Then, back when I was cutting down the bottles for the centerpieces and all I started to think about what the top part of the bottles resembled.

Here’s a hint. This:

FloraCraft Gala Bouquet Holder | image via Amazon.com

FloraCraft Gala Bouquet Holder | image via Amazon.com

Is not all that dissimilar to this:


Wine Bottle Bouquet Handle & Vase/Stand

Wine Bottle Bouquet Handle & Vase/Stand

And when prettied up like below it looks a lot less bar-brawl-ish!


So far I’ve yet to find an online occurrence of a wine bottle being used as a bouquet handle so I’m going to go out on a limb and posit that I may have actually come up with something new–at least as far as Google Image Search can determine. (Of course, as soon as I type those words I’m sure someone will prove me wrong–that’s okay, I’m not counting on it being anything but what I want.)

To assemble my bouquet, I started by making small bunches of my different elements beginning with larger groupings around the more limited wooden flowers and then smaller bunches to fill in and fill out the rest of the bouquet, wrapping everything together with floral tape.


The first go-round the bouquet was forming up too round for my tastes, so I ended up pulling everything out, grabbing another piece of Styrofoam, and starting over. While I was happier with the placement of the flowers the second time around it was still coming out rather round and I’ve made my peace with it. The fact that the flowers are placed forward and out rather than oriented sky-ward help it not look quite so broccoli-headed. I’ve also left the back rather flat so that it’s not cumbersome to hold out in front of me.


As for T’s boutonniere, I used a small cluster of a maroon flower, a star anise pod, and a tiny adding machine-tape rose and nestled it in a channel cut into the back of a champagne cork. Backed with a fabric grape leaf (leftover from one of the clusters I used on the centerpieces) and wrapped with a piece of grosgrain ribbon it was done.



Instead of counting on a corsage pin to hold this guy in place I’m opting for a regular pin-back. After placing it rear and center on the cork and having the flowers flop unceremoniously forward, I repositioned it higher up behind the flower instead: problem solved. Always good to do a test-run, you know?

Searching for Inspiration | Bouquet & Bouts

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning

Just because I’ve opted to use alternatives to fresh-flowers, doesn’t mean I want them to look vastly different from their traditional counterparts–I just don’t want them to cost an arm and a leg or possibly wither before the day is done. Over the last several months I’ve been working with different materials and designs, and now it’s time to start putting all these things together.

While I have a feeling that the flowers I’ve amassed are going to inform the bouquet design more than any inspiration picture I can find, I still needed a direction to head in, so returned to my wedding flowers pins for inspiration.

I remember getting an almost-visceral ‘oh, yes, THAT!‘ feeling when I saw this first one.

Sheath bouquet | image via Wedding Wire | Photography by Eternal Reflections Photography

Sheath bouquet | image via Wedding Wire | Photography by Eternal Reflections Photography

The more I look at, the more I acknowledge that this might not be a bouquet at all. It might be a decorated broom for the traditional jumping of the broom some cultures end their ceremonies with. But I still loved the idea of a sheath-style bouquet, one that nestles in the crook of your arm. Plus it’s just so quintessentially fall that you can practically smell the cinnamon sticks. The main reason I vetoed this idea, in the end, was the same reason I was glad I didn’t fall head-over-heels in love with a tulle-skirted gown: in theory it’s great, in practice I know myself and know that I would be holding this bouquet sword-like and bandying it about as I talk with my hands (and, in the skirt example, would have felt the uncontrollable urge to swish said skirt every moment I was standing). I’d take someone’s eye out with it before we got to brunch!

Moving along, a lot of the bouquets I pinned featured small, strategic pops of color–notably yellows and blues–in an otherwise monochrome bouquet.

While I decided my bouquet would be mostly shades of white/ivory, I do think I want to incorporate something that pops out. Maybe not the yellow craspedia or blue thistle, but something to break up the monochrome. Another little detail I liked about this particular bouquet was the crinkly vine or wire or ribbon or whatever seems to be hovering around the base of the bouquet, though I’m not sure how well it will work, in the end, with a less structured bouquet.

image via Wedding Wire | Photography by Danielle Gillete Photography

image via Wedding Wire | Photography by Danielle Gillett Photography

Minus the feathers, I think this is more of the feeling I’m going for. Apparently I’m not a fan of the head-of-broccoli bouquets, either (h/t to Mr. Bicycle for that apt description). Less structure, almost messy but not quite wild, and a mixture of elements that keeps the eyes interested. Yeah, I think that could work.

Then I saw something awesome that I knew I had to incorporate into my bouquet and Mr. Road Trip’s boutonniere: star anise!

Star Anise and Pearls | image via Offbeat Bride | photography by Kristin Williams

Star Anise and Pearls | image via Offbeat Bride | photography by Kristin Williams

Just imagine how amazing this must smell!!!

Okay, to understand why this struck such a chord with me, it’s helps to know that I created something called Paladin Punch (inspired by the RPG character archetype) that we serve at parties and conventions and one of the ingredients is a star anise syrup. And ever since creating that recipe, the smell of star anise brings up happy memories of friends and fun and successful endeavors. Another point in it’s favor is that it’s not the usual cloying flower scent which can easily overpower and cause sinus issues among myself and Mama Leadfoot, so it’s a win all around as far as I’m concerned. Finding whole star anise can be a bit of a challenge, but not an insurmountable one.

As for Mr. Road Trip’s boutonniere, it’s a simple matter of including a few key elements on a smaller scale and calling it a day, same with the additional buttonholes and corsages we’ll make for family members and readers. There is one particular bout that caught me eye, though:

image via Etsy | created by The Bread and Butterfly

image via Etsy | created by The Bread and Butterfly

I hadn’t planned on including a cork in the lapel flowers but this is giving me ideas in that general direction. Perhaps a Champagne cork instead?

Did you floral favorites include any unusual elements?

Searching for Inspiration

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning

So last week I hopped onto the no-fresh-flowers train, but that doesn’t mean I’m anti-floral in general. I’m pretty adept at making pretty paper flowers already (and ribbon ones, too), now I just need to figure out what kinds, colors, and configurations to put them into!

Screenshot of my Floral Alternatives Board

Some of the many floral alternatives I’ve pinned while planning.

The up-side to non-fresh-flowers is you can come up with pretty much any color and shape combinations you can dream up. But that also means there’s a LOT of options to choose from, and that can be kind of a down-side at the same time.

While I like browsing wedding magazines for dresses and other ideas, the Internet is the best for floral inspiration. And add in a tool like Pinterest and you’ve got it made.

my wedding flowers pin-board

My Wedding Flowers Board

Unfortunately, when it comes to bouquet ideas, I’m not liking much of what I’m seeing. I’m even wondering if I want to carry a bouquet or anything else down the aisle. The sheaf design in the upper right corner is, so far, my favorite, but it’s still not a sure thing yet.

Moving on to other spots ripe for decorating, we’ve got aisle decorations and centerpieces. As to the former, hanging mason jars seem to be the most photographed, shared, and general thing going around and I couldn’t care less. Mason jars are great for many things, I’ve even used them in party decorations before, but I don’t see them making an appearance at our wedding.

Instead I’ve got something cooking in my head using lattice and wine bottles (of course) with paper flowers. The centerpieces are stumping me, too. Everything is either too tall, too round, too sparse, or too boring.

While I know there’s still plenty of places to look for a spark of inspiration, everything just looks like so much of the same these days, and nothing that I’m really dying to diy.

Pretty Book and Flower Icon

Anyone else having a Goldilocks moment trying to envision their decorations–floral or otherwise?

May Day Baskets

64 Arts

A long-standing practice that has fallen by the way side these days is the practice of giving flowers to friends and neighbors on the first of May.

Feel like being a bouquet bandit this year? Wrap small bunches of flowers (wild or hot-house, whatever floats your boat) in cones of colored paper, large doilies or even in small (or big, if you’re feeling generous) baskets. Prep them either the night before or the morning of May 1st and then head out to your lucky friends and leave the gifts on their front steps or hanging from their door knobs.

You can leave a note, of course, but you can also do it anonymously and keep your friends guessing who might have left them such a wonderful little gift!

the 7th Art: Flower Bouquets

64 Arts

Of various colors, in vases, to decorate the apartments and meeting places.

My Easter Arrangement

Sometimes I think that basic flower arranging is truly a lost art. There are a few basic principles to master, a few helpful tricks to know and plenty of creative opportunities to make even a casual $5 grocery-store bouquet look like a million!

Let’s start, though, with some flower-care basics:

  • Always remove any leaves on the lower stems–both to avoid them getting waterlogged and mucking up the water as well as drawing away water/nutrients from the blooms
  • Always trim the ends of the stems before placing them in water, and trim them at an angle for maximum surface area for absorption–they dry out quick and a dry stem isn’t going to absorb much water
  • Use the provided flower food packets and mix them with warm water, not cold–it helps the powder dissolve and speeds the first rush of food into the stems [No food? A crushed aspirin or a tablespoon of bleach added to the water will work, too!]
  • Top off the water as the flowers use it up (more flowers, more refills) and change it out completely if it starts to get cloudy

So, that’s basic flower care. On Friday we’ll talk actual arrangements but, first, a little diversion into the language of flowers…