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.