Don’t let the bouquet box you in!
Here in Colorado, as far as most of us are concerned, it is still in the dead of winter. It’s the dark days of January where cheerful holiday lights have come down, the trees are bare and we still have mag chloride stains on our vehicles. We are dreaming about the mild weather, flowers popping from the frozen ground and the promise of spring. I would wager that those of you getting married this wedding season are trying to visualize your warm weather nuptials as you shiver in the gray post Christmas cold. I say what better a way to make the time pass by quickly!
My wife Missy and I got married this past fall. We knew from the get go that we wanted a vibe that was a healthy mix of modern and traditional influences. We had a very small ceremony and reception, something they call a minimony…how cute is that?! Apparently there is an array of wedding sizes in our post pandemic world. A minimony is 50 people or less, micro-wedding is about 50-75 people, and from there you move into the small and standard size affairs. There were some elements of our wedding that I knew I wanted to play around with. The first being our flowers. Aside from the cake, event space and food, the flowers are going to be one of your more costly budget busters. I had a hard time coming to terms with the price tag and impermanence of the bouquets and boutonnieres. I wanted something that I could keep and admire long after the “I do’s”. I am also a bit of an overachiever, so naturally I ditched all common sense and decided I would make the floral keepsakes. Later, after many glue gun burns and floral wire wounds were slowly healing, I wondered if I had taken complete leave of my senses….the jury’s still out on that one. For this reason, I recommend you give yourself PLENTY of time and patience if you want to craft your flowers or other décor. DIYing some of these things not only makes for some wonderful memories but also countless hours to keep your bridesmaids and family busy, if not entertained.
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Instead of the traditional bouquet, we decided to make floral rings. They are super boho, totally trendy and make fabulous 3D art for your walls after the big day. You can go all in and have each of your attendants carry a floral ring, or mix it up a bit with some bouquets here and there. We decided to throw standard gender roles out the window and had my niece be our ring bearer. She had a floral ring which we tied our rings to with ribbon. It was nice not to worry about them falling off a pillow or out of a box. Both Mary and our flower girls got to take their floral rings home as a keepsake, they were over the moon about them, definitely Little Girl approved! You can even plan a girls day with your bridesmaids and junior attendants and have each person choose their own colors and flowers (well within your color scheme of course, no bridezillas here!).
When it comes to making these puppies, they are relatively simple. Here are some of the supplies you will need:
- Glue gun with glue sticks – I like the guns that use the thin sticks, they make me feel like I have a little more control.
- Flowers – I hit up just about every big box craft store in my town, Joanne’s Fabrics seemed to have the best selection. You can also buy silk flowers online with an infinite amount of styles and colors to choose from.
- Floral tape – this stuff comes in a ton of different colors
- Floral wire
- Rings – they come in a variety of different sizes and metals, I used gold but you can also find silver and bronze. I used 8” for my maid of honor and my rings, 6” for the flower girls and 4” for the ring bearer.
- Really sharp scissors – you will end up cutting your flowers down and you want something that will cut through the plastic and wire stems.
- Feathers and lace if you want to truly embrace the boho vibe
The great thing about these bridal rings is how completely customizable they are. However, it does help to start with a basic road map to help with balance. Once you have chosen your flowers and you have all of your supplies ready to go, try laying the ring down on your work surface and place the different flowers on top and next to the ring. Play around with the flowers in different spots before you start gluing. Remember that you can place ribbon, feathers and flowers in multiple places on the ring. I wrapped ribbon around the top, in the spot I would be holding it for the trip down the aisle. I also played around with ribbon and macrame hanging down from the ring in different places.
Once you have an idea of where each of your elements will go, it’s time to start gluing. If you are a touch clumsy, like me, you may want to wear some work gloves to avoid the second degree burns I ended up with, they made some pretty wicked blisters later. Fortunately they were mostly healed by the wedding.
Create a Sketch
This part is totally optional but can often help if you are struggling to decide what colors you want, where the placement of flowers should be, etc. Trust me when I say that you do not need to be a professional artist or even much past the stick figure stage to create a helpful little sketch. You also don’t have to feel bound to it. Below, you can see that my actual floral ring was a bit of a departure from what I sketched. The point is that it helped me narrow down what I wanted and didn’t want on my final product.
A Thought (or Three) on Tools
As I said earlier, I would recommend the glue guns that take the small thin glue sticks. You will feel like you have a bit more control over the glue. Rip one of the wings off of your nearest Amazon box to put under the glue gun. The glue will drip when it gets warm and you don’t want to scorch your table or counter.
If you have never used floral tape before, get ready, it’s pretty goofy stuff. It isn’t sticky in the traditional scotch or masking tape way. It is designed to stick to itself, one side will feel tacky so that when you wrap on top of itself, it will stick. It’s also a bit stretchy. Stretching the tape slightly as you wrap it will also help activate the adhesive. Be patient, it can take a little while to get the hang of. If you find that working with floral tape just isn’t your jam, that’s ok. You can definitely get by with just hot glue. I found that wrapping the stems to the ring with the tape helped the flowers stay put and then I secured the tape, flower and ring with hot glue. There is really no wrong way to do this, so just take a deep breath and roll with it.
This is also an optional thing. If you don’t like the floral tape, you can secure the flowers to the ring by wrapping floral wire in a spiral around the flower stem and the ring. Once the flowers are snug in place, wrap ribbon around it to hide the wire. You will want to dab some hot glue under your ribbon to help it stay.
Add Some Bling
This part of the creative process came about on complete impulse and I loved the results! Missy inherited a ton of awesome costume jewelry from her mom. I fell head over heels for a fabulous brooch but knew I would probably never realistically wear it. However, the colors and sparkle ended up looking amazing with the flowers and greenery I used. I decided to beg forgiveness rather than permission and gave into a total hot glue binge session. Fortunately, my lovely wife is not a bling sort of a gal and she also liked the way it looked. This is a prime opportunity to go nuts at the thrift store or pull out Nana’s bobbles from the closet shelf. Give them new life and even knock your “something old” out of the way in the process!
Why Stop There?
I went a little more than a little nuts picking out a million different types of flowers. Once I finished my rings, I still had supplies for days. So what would any insane person do? I decided to make the boutonniere and corsages as well. The corsages were trickier than the boutonniere but still manageable. The boutonnieres were simple with 2-3 flowers/greenery cut down and wrapped at the base. I first wrapped them with the floral tape and then glued ribbon in place to cover the tape. You can find boutonniere pins at the craft stores where they have wedding supplies, usually an aisle or two down from the floral tape and wire.
The corsages, on the other hand….get it…other hand?….I’ve been waiting 6 months for the one. Anyway, the corsages went through some evolution but the beta version turned out great. I used soft hair bands that were a little thicker than your standard hair tie and a little thinner than a scrunchie. From there I cut down the flowers, wrapped them around the band with my tape and then glued like crazy, using the floral tape as a sort of base to attach the rest of the flowers and ribbon to. I wore one around for an evening to make sure they were comfortable. It brought back my high school prom memories. Do you remember drying those corsages? I used to dry them and keep them in my room until my mom threw away their poor little desiccated bodies. My teenage son made sure to tell me in his most judgy teenage voice that “nobody does corsages anymore, mom.” Yikes, leave it to your teenager to remind you of just how old 40 can feel. Love you kiddo!
Well, there you have it, everything you need to get started on your own boho fabulous floral rings. I hope you have a blast making these, remember to let your creativity flow, stay patient, enlist the help of your family wedding slaves and watch out for the glue….it’s hot.
Should you decide after reading this that you are a much more sane person than I am but still really want to rock the boho vibe on your wedding day…..check out our Etsy store where you can custom order some from yours truly!