In the middle ages, people stank. Harsh, but true. Really, up until the end of the 19th Century, and even into the 20th Century, people’s attitude and access to cleanliness was very different to now. Depending on the era in history the custom of carrying a bouquet changes slightly, which means the history behind this wedding day tradition isn’t as clear cut as some of the others, however there is a continuity to the theme, which is that the bridal bouquets purpose was to mask odour.If you were to ask your parents or grandparents how often they used to wash when they were younger, it is quite likely they will tell you that they always had to wash their hands before dinner, but they only got a full body wash once a week. Go back a bit further, and people didn’t wash monthly let alone weekly! In the 15th century people took their annual bath in May. For this reason, weddings tended to happen in June. This is why late Spring to early Summer is the traditional time of year for getting married. Getting married the month after your annual bath, helped you to be smelling fresh on your wedding day. As an extra insurance to make sure the Groom thought the Bride smelt good, she would carry a posy of herbs and flowers.
Jen, who is based in Wiltshire, is a wedding supplier I connected with during a wedding Twitter chat hour a few weeks ago. I was very intrigued about Jen’s business and asked her about her story of how she came to create Bunting by Jen. After a bit of chat with Jen and then me scoping out her website, not to mention, a bit of stalking on Instagram, I decided I just had to share her with all of you.
Decorations for your wedding can really stack up, which is why I often blog about creating DIY decorations and buying second hand items, plus I often post pictures of bargain items I find on the high-street to Twitter and Instagram. However, amongst all the posts on this blog featuring budget friendly suppliers, I’ve not featured many who create and supply decorations for the frugal conscious engaged. So, what more perfect reason did I need for featuring the fabulous Jen and her bunting hire business.
Bunting by Jen
Jen was asked to make bunting for her sisters’ wedding back in 2014; she ended up making 150 meters of the stuff, and was then left wandering what to do with all of it when the festivities of the day were over.
I have a real soft spot for paper flowers. In fact I have a soft spot for anything “alternative” to flowers at weddings. There’s so many wonderfully creative and inspiring ideas for what you can use to make your bouquet, or decorations with, other than your standard blooms.
Over the years I have created a couple of alternative bouquets myself such as this bouquet made from woollen pom poms. I also swoon over bouquets made using beads, feathers, buttons… or any other quirky and unique items.
For my own wedding in October 2016 I had an alternative bouquet made by Hazel of ‘Love to Marry‘ using feathers, gold beads, and acorns. You can see a picture of my alternative bouquet in a feature about my small budget wedding on another wedding blog here.
Although there’s an incredibly large amount of different ideas for what you can use instead of flowers in your wedding (pretty much all of which I am in massive favour of) in this blog post I will be concentrating on flowers made out of paper.
Flowers and weddings are a combination very difficult to break. Flowers are just… well… everything to a Spring/Summer wedding. They symbolise your style, tie in to your colour scheme and can be as formal or as relaxed as you want them to be.
Flower arrangements can be extravagant with tall centrepieces and cascading bouquets…. however they also work incredibly beautifully in relaxed arrangements perfectly suiting many styles from garden party to vintage inspired themes.
Think, bountiful amounts of Babys Breath, singular Roses, Sweet Pea flowers, Tulips, Gerbera Daisies, Daisy Sprays, Carnations, Rice Flower and for something a bit different consider Blue Thistles.
I didn’t have any set ideas for what I wanted the wedding breakfast table centrepieces to be. I only knew I didn’t want floral centrepieces as that wouldn’t have worked with the rest of the wedding.
My Actual Centrepieces
A few months before the wedding the H2Bs Sister advertised on Facebook some birdcages she had used at her wedding, I thought the birdcages were lovely so I contacted her saying that I would like the birdcages for the H2B and I’s wedding. I figured any mutual guests, either wouldn’t remember that the birdcages had been used at the SIL2Bs wedding, or wouldn’t recognise them as I would dress them very differently.
I’d always wanted to get married in Autumn, I couldn’t ever imagine myself getting married in any other month. I also knew from the start I wanted to bring the natural bounty of autumn into the decorations of the day.
The colour theme: Navy blue and Gold
Other themes: Autumn with a small nod to my husbands love of classic cars
First of all, choose which leaf you want to use, then pick them and press them.
Choose a good sized leaf as it has to be big enough to write your guests names.
In all honesty, I thought I could wait until the leaves fell naturally before collecting them, however the wedding date was 8th October, and I wanted to get the place names sorted three weeks before the wedding, as my hen was two weeks before and one week before felt like it would be cutting it too close. This, along with autumn starting a little late, meant that I had to pick the leaves from the trees. It just so happened that I stumbled upon a Hazel tree that had wonderful leaves the perfect size for place names, so picked more than I needed for just incase purposes.
Picking the leaves only three weeks before the wedding, meant I didn’t press them. This was a risky strategy, so if you can prepare further in advance I recommend you do.
What You May need:
Based on what I used
- PVA glue
- Leaves (in my case, Hazel leaves)
- Spare cardboard
- Spray paint in your chosen colours
What I did step by step:
- Apply a thin later of PVA to every leaf on one side. Allow the PVA to dry before doing the other side. I PVA’d both sides of the leaves as I thought this would slow the decomposing process and would give the spray paint a better effect. Applying the PVA with a sponge is much easier and quicker than using brushes.
- Take your leaves outside and using cardboard as a backing spray each leaf. It is up to you if you spray both sides or just one side. I sprayed one side of each leaf. Allow a good length of time for the spray paint to dry. Using spray paint is efficient and gives a good result.
- Using sharpie write your guests names on each leaf
- Once the ink is dry you can then spray clear paint over them or apply another thin layer of PVA.
I had my MOH, her boyfriend and my (now) husband helping me with the process from start to finish and the whole process (due to drying time mostly) took pretty much all day.
I’m delighted to bring to you a guest blog contribution from Ruth, the owner of ‘Natural Favours‘ who supply natural confetti, bespoke wildflower seed favours and seasonal home-grown DIY flowers.
I’ve been following Ruth for a while since I fell in love with her wildflower seed packets as the perfect wedding favour for couples who are in touch with nature. Since then Ruth and I have got to know each other in on-line networking events and I can honestly say she has a passion for eco-friendly, home-grown & budget friendly wedding supplies.
In this guest blog contribution from Ruth, she helps you to create your own wedding bouquet and table centerpieces so your big day floral’s stay on budget! …
We love all things natural and rustic here and are influenced by the beautiful Derbyshire countryside where we are based. Growing our own flowers, be it for confetti or arranging, brings us an immense amount of joy. We recently launched our DIY flower service, selling blooms by the bucket of seasonal florals. We have found that some people are wary of arranging their own wedding flowers, but there is no need! If done properly it can be a really fun way so shave hundreds of pounds off your wedding budget.
The cost of your big day floristry can creep up to around 10% of the entire budget which can be a significant chunk when the average cost of a wedding can be upwards of £20k. Here at Natural Favours HQ we are strong believers that it is perfectly possible to have the day of your dreams without the hefty price tag. If you’re feeling a little bit creative and a lot savvy, then DIY flowers could be the way to go!
Here are our 7 handy hints and tips on how to save on cost but not on quality of your wedding floristry;
- Plan! Probably the most important point. Think about the type of arrangements you want, how many you might need, what sort of vases you’re using and what flowers are in season. Your chosen flower supplier should be able to help answer all these questions if you aren’t sure
- Be realistic! If you want an intricate floral arch or complicated structured arrangements then maybe going DIY isn’t for you. If you want something natural, rustic and relaxed then it’s the perfect solution!
- Be confident! Creating your own wedding flowers is a lovely way of putting a unique stamp on your day and is something you can look back on and be really proud of. If the thought of it all is still a bit overwhelming, you might want to ask your supplier to make your bouquets and buttonholes but leave the venue decorations to you
- Volunteers! Gather a few willing friends or family members to help, the more you have the less time it will take to make your arrangements. If you’re using jam jars or old bottles as part of your display, ask them to help you collect them over the weeks running up to your big day
- Research! Creating effective arrangements, bouquets and buttonholes is not as difficult as you might think. For extra help you could attend one of the many floral workshops that are out there, some offer specific courses for DIY brides. There is a wealth of information online that you can also utilise, from videos to articles, that take you step-by-step through creating everything from
gorgeous hand-tied bouquets to perfect jam jar posies
- Practice! Buy a couple of bunches of cheap flowers from your local supermarket or pick some from the garden and have a play!
- Timing! We advise making your floral arrangements the day before the wedding, so arrange for delivery of your flowers accordingly. Ask a couple of your volunteers to take them to the venue and decorate the tables so you can relax on your big day.
For more information on our DIY wedding flowers, natural confetti or wildflower seed favours please visit our website www.naturalfavours.com or visit our Facebook page www.facebook.com/naturalfavours
Photographs courtesy of www.chocolate-chip.co.uk
When thinking about wedding colour themes the choices are endless. The season you are getting married in will play a role in the colours you choose such as, soft pastels in Spring, bold pinks and purples in Summer, burnt oranges in Autumn & warm reds in Winter. Choosing more off-beat colour schemes can increase the cost of your wedding décor and stationary as you’ll be more likely to have to pay custom prices. Common wedding colour pallets are more budget friendly, as pre-loved decorations will be easier to obtain (post on pre-loved decorations here) not to mention stationary, and wedding party attire will be more readily available. An even cheaper option however would be to go all white!
For a fresh and unique colour theme that would wow your guests, create stunning photographs AND be gentle to your budget go all white.
White will feature somewhere at every wedding, whether it be a white wedding dress, white table linen or simply just white shirts on the groomsmen, so why not go all white. Going all white can seem scary, but as long as you use a mix of different textures and fabrics your wedding will look expensively elegant for a very small amount without any stresses that come with a mixed colour theme.
Your decorations will help to create the season within your white colour scheme. For Winter weddings white snowflakes on top of the cutlery & white tree ornaments used in the centrepieces will work beautifully. White pinecones and white mini pumpkins will elegantly bring Autumn into your day. Spring and Summer require soft white flowers, white birdcages and white lace table runners.
A healthy scattering of candles will bring warmth and depth into all of your decorations as they cast light and shadow. Worried candles aren’t going to quite cut it? Why not buy a few packs of battery operated fairy lights to string around the ceremony/wedding breakfast room, or to incorporate into your table centrepieces? Getting married outdoors? Hang large white pompoms around the outdoor space.
Bridesmaids and Groomsmen
Finding white bridesmaids dresses will be easiest in Spring so plan your shopping trip carefully. Have your bridesmaids in short dresses, made with different necklines and fabrics to your dress so that you still stand out as the Bride. Simple white maxi dresses will look wonderful for summer weddings. For a winter wedding give your bridesmaid a faux fur stole to keep them warm. Have your groomsmen in soft grey/light sand coloured suits with white shirt and white tie.
Who doesn’t love the look of crisp white stationary? To achieve pure white stationary without being boringly plain play with textures. Have textured card, white lace detailing, beading and laser cut designs. Calligraphy style fonts will finish the look magnificently.
Effective. Stylish. Budget Friendly.
Tips For Achieving Your Pure White Wedding With Style
- Play with textures: – Different types of paper, fabrics, natural textures such as pinecones and flowers…
- Thinking about lighting: – Candles, fairy lights, light up letters…
- Bring the season into the decorations
- Use Mirrors
- Don’t be afraid to add sparkle: – table crystals, diamond jewelry, sparkly belts for the BMs…
I’d love to know what you think about this. Have you been to an all white wedding? Are you in the middle of planning an all white wedding? Are you now considering this idea?
Something I have always wanted to have for my wedding day is a post box for guests to put cards in positioned near the ‘gift table’. When I say post box I don’t mean the cardboard post box you can readily get from eBay such as this:
But an actual vintage or real looking post box; although I can never make up my mind as to if I would keep traditional with the royal red post box or go for an ivory one. The one thing for sure is I WILL be having one for my wedding.
I would ask either a bridesmaid or an usher to empty the post box at the end of the evening and look after the cards and gifts for the H2B and I. The designated person would then bring the cards/presents to us the day after the wedding once we’re back at home or once we are back from honeymoon.
A company I found on Twitter recently called ‘Big Day Postbox’ sell a range of unique and vintage post boxes you can hire for your wedding at very reasonable prices. Key small decorations that people will want to take a picture of, and that will get guests chatting is always a winner to me. If you had one of the post boxes from Big Day Postbox on/near your gift table you wouldn’t need to decorate the gift table with anything else!
Go truly unique with a milk churn sourced from a dairy and upcycled into a beautiful wedding post box for your guests to fill with cards. Small gifts could even be put in this.Or go Traditional with a small high standing royal red post box.
Depending on the post box you choose you can hire these from Big Day Postbox for between £45 and £85 plus a small delivery charge.
What do you think? Do you love these as much as I do?
Cotton String Balloons are just as versatile as bunting but have been less over-used in the wedding industry to date.
First of all, before I get too carried away with myself, let me introduce you to what a string balloon is: It is a balloon that has had PVA solutuon string wrapped around it; once the string has dried/set the balloon is popped and removed so that all that you have left is the string in the shape of a balloon. Click Here for a good ‘How To’.
The look of your string balloons can be changed depending on how thickly the string is wrapped around the balloon, the type of string used, the size of the balloon used, whether you spray paint the string afterwards or not and how you use the string balloon within your wedding decorations.
If you are going to use the string balloons on your reception tables, how about sticking flowers in the top of them? Or cut a hole in the bottom and position the string balloon over the top of flowers.
For a extra twist on this, you could put things inside the balloon before tying it off, so that when you pop the balloon certain items are then trapped inside the sting ball.
String balls look fantastic teamed with pompoms when hung together – thinking about having some hung over the gift table, or hung outside where you’ll have your pictures taken, or even hung as pews ends for the ceremony.
You don’t just have to wrap string/wool around the balloons, using a similar method, other fantastic results can be achieved! How about PVA pasting paper doilies to the balloon? This gives an UBER unique way to decorate your venue for a sake of a few quid.
You could either team the string balloons with the doilies balloons or have one or the other.
As mentioned previously I am the most artistically challenged person I know, but I think that these string balloons are very achievable for a budget bride/groom to create.
Have you seen these before? What are your thoughts on them?
If you choose to go for the string balloon theme for your wedding decorations, you can continue the theme through the wedding by incorporating this idea on a smaller scale for your wedding favours. Your guests wont care what your wedding favours are if they are trapped inside a string cage like this!
You could put wrapped chocolate/fudge etc inside the small balloon, or other small wedding favours, the larger the favour the large the balloon!
My wedding colour scheme is glue and gold so I like the idea of putting two Ferrero Rochers in the balloon. Your guests will think of all sorts of ways to try and get to their favours, and are much more likely to take the favour home.
Can you think of a cheaper and easier way to create the most memorable wedding favours ever?
What would you put inside the string ball for your wedding favours?