Wednesday, July 17, 2019

My Grand-Daughter's Wedding Flowers

When my grand-daughter was getting married she mentioned that she wanted silk floral arrangements and silk floral bouquets for her wedding but couldn't find any florists who would do this.  They all used naturals flowers.  So, she was considering making them herself and wanted to know what I thought of this.

Well, when it comes to silk floral crafts all you have to do is mention learning how to make silk floral arrangements and actually making them and I'm game.  At my age I've been making silk floral arrangements for so long for my own decorations that I can do it in my sleep.

So, I told her they were easy enough to do, she could certainly learn how and I'd be happy to help her with this if she wanted to.  Well, that brought a big smile on her face and there is nothing more endearing to a grandmother then seeing her beautiful grand-daughter with a big smile on her face.

We had plenty of time to plan this as we were discussing this at the Christmas holidays and she wasn't getting married until the following September.

Since my grand-daughter doesn't live near-by we communicated over the next few months via text and emails.

My grand-daughter is a beautiful, intelligent, confident, talented, self-assured, independent and organized woman who was planning the wedding herself with her fiance.  There was no doubt in my mind that they would be able to accomplish this and wind up having a beautiful and memorable wedding.

My grand-daughter told me via email that she had a ton of ideas for centerpieces on the guest table, decorations for the room, color schemes, venue concepts, etc.  I had no doubt she knew exactly what she wanted and would try to accomplish this.  She already had the venue she wanted which would fit perfectly with her concept.

What she wanted was a bohemian meets garden party concept, which I loved.  Here's what she said in her email; " What I'm really looking at is playing up different textures and really making everything pop. I wanted to get married in the forest. But, I'm allergic to everything and I can't control the weather so that seemed impractical. So, I'm going to bring as much green inside as possible. The color story for the wedding is Burgundy, pink (more dusty/vintage looking), ivory, green, and dusty blue. "

It was going to be a fairly large wedding with a large wedding party so that meant a lot of bouquets, a lot of table centerpieces, and a lot of room decorations.  The venue was a winery with multiple rooms with wood interior including a large rock fireplace and birch support pillars.  There was a large altar outside where the ceremony would be held,  dependent upon the weather.  If there was foul weather the ceremony would be inside in front of the large stone fireplace.

For the flowers she wanted to go the less traditional route, which was typical for her, and wanted King Protea, wildflowers, and thistle, which were all perfect for her color story for her wedding.

She wasn't sure what she wanted for containers for the tables and was thinking of possibly a cluster of terrariums, candles, etc. surrounded by greenery, but she wasn't sure.  I told her that terrariums look beautiful in clusters but are pricey even for little containers. 

Plus, they usually work best for a single fresh flower or small cactus plant.  With 15 to 19 tables as well as other decorations it would take a long time to make all the clusters, would be hard to maneuver with the silk floral and green foam needed for mounting and would require everything to be glued down inside the terrarium in order to transport them.

I told her that the King Protea she wanted were way too big and heavy for terrariums so she might have to consider other containers.  So, with a little research she decided birch containers would be perfect.  With the flowers she had in mind, the birch support pillars in the venue and woodland atmosphere the birch containers would be perfect.

The King Protea is not the normal type of silk floral you'd find at A.C. Moore or Michaels so we did a little research online.  Luckily, we were able to find some online that would work.  We ended up ordering a lot of the silk floral stems from the same website.  While we were happy with the King Protea stems we weren't as happy with the quality of some of the other items we had ordered and were short changed on some.  However, that's another story.

We knew that we would need one large King Protea for each birch container  as well as wildflowers, thistle, and greenery.  We would also need one large King Protea for each bridesmaids bouquet, maybe 2 for the maid of honors bouquet, and 2-3 for the bride's bouquet.  Plus, we would need several containers and decorations for the fireplace and elsewhere.

In any event, we ordered everything online we couldn't get at A. C. Moore, Joann's or Michael's stores and arranged a time for her to be here to put everything together.

Well, the day finally came when my grand-daughter and her fiance would be coming, as well as one of the bridesmaids to put the silk floral together.  We would be making everything in my basement workshop which had enough room and was suitable for working on silk floral crafts.  Unfortunately, it was a hot summer day so it was going to be warm down there.  Luckily, I had a big fan.

As mentioned previously, I've been creating silk floral arrangements for decades and can easily do this.  My grand-daughter and her fiance wanted to learn how to do this and do it themselves, which was fine with me,  so I decided to focus on teaching them how to do this.  They would develop the prototypes for the bouquets, centerpieces and decorations. Since time was limited I would finish whatever wasn't created after they left.  As long as I had the prototypes for what they wanted this would be easy enough for me to do.

Since the focal point of any floral decoration for a wedding is the brides bouquet we focused on that first.

My grand-daughter had bought several wildflower silk floral pre-made bridesmaid bunches so we would have consistency within all the bouquets.  I had previously taken them all apart and separated all the different King Protea, thistle, wildflowers, greenery, etc.  into separate piles so we could put everything together like in an assembly line.

I also had some extra wildflower and grass silk floral set aside from my stash as I thought my grand-daughter might like them as well as other wildflowers from my stash that might be suitable.

I told her that she should start with two or three King Protea in the center for the bride's bouquet and build around that.  My grand-daughter decided she wanted two cream King Protea for her bouquet and while holding them in the center of her hand starting adding the other silk floral and greenery centered around the King Protea, all the while maintaining color and balance within the bouquet.

She's a quick study and with a few instructions knew exactly what she wanted.  I loved watching my grand-daughter putting her beautiful bouquet together.  It was a large bouquet when she was finally done.  While she held it in both her hands I wrapped the wire around it to secure it and prevent the long stems from moving.  Then while she was holding it we wrapped the wire tightly around the length of the stems until everything was secure.

Once we were satisfied nothing was moving we wrapped tape and tulle around the stems.  We had decided that we would completely cover the floral stems which would make it safer for the bridesmaids holding them and had bought cloth wired ribbon for this.  When you're dealing with cutting wired floral stems you want to make sure no one cuts themselves while holding them.  Plus, you want the piece to look finished and not have plastic floral stems hanging down.

I had some 8" long cream and white lace that my grand-daughter liked and which we thought might be pretty to use to cover the bottom of the bouquet and top of the stems.  The idea was to gather it into a bunch with the lace covering the bottom of the bouquets.  Unfortunately, that didn't work out as the lace was just too delicate for this application.  So, we moved on to Plan B and wrapped the cloth wired ribbon from the bottom of the bunch down the whole length of the stems until they were completely covered.  We secured everything with hot glue.

My grand-daughter wanted a large bow with streamers for each bouquet so I made a large multi loop bow out of the cloth wired ribbon with two cloth wired ribbon streamers and then attached it to the bottom of the bunch with the pipe cleaner I had used to create the bow.  It covered everything and looked beautiful.

The brides bouquet would be used as the prototype for the bridesmaids bouquet except they would only have one King Protea.  Once we had the bridesmaid prototype done we focused on the table centerpieces.  I could finish the rest of the bridesmaid bouquets later on.

I explained to my grand-daughter and her fiance the basics of making each of the silk floral centerpieces, starting with the birch containers and green foam and, again, using the King Protea as the center focal point building the arrangement around that keeping a balance between the type of silk floral used and it's placement within the container and the colors within the entire arrangement.

We built all the containers first and then my grand-daughter started arranging the prototype for the table centerpiece she wanted.  Given the King Protea silk floral were large flowers their stems were thick which meant cutting the stems for each container and each bouquet.  There was no way either my grand-daughter or I would be able to do this so her fiance used the extra strong wire cutters I had bought to do this.  Thank goodness for big, strong

Once again she was a quick study with learning how to make a silk floral centerpiece and set to putting hers together.  As expected, it turned out beautiful.   Once she developed the prototype for the table centerpiece, shown in the photo above, she started to create a second one while her fiance started his.

At this point in time my grand-daughter's bridesmaid arrived and once she understood what she needed to do to create a centerpiece she started hers.

Her fiance wanted his to be a little different, as shown in the picture above, and, like his fiance, was also a quick study. He knew what he wanted to do and set about creating his.  It turned out wonderful and we all agreed that the height and width of his centerpiece made it perfect for the large wood-beam mantle on the stone fireplace.  So, we decided I would make two more for the fireplace based on his prototype.

I can't remember how many centerpieces they managed to get finished before they ran out of time but there were quite a few of them.  With the prototypes for the bouquets, table centerpiece and fireplace mantle centerpiece done there would be no problem for me to copy these and finish the remaining bouquets, centerpieces, and decorations.

The next day I set to making the remainder of the bridesmaid and maid of honor bouquets based on the prototype my grand-daughter had developed.

That was enough for that day.  The next day I set-to making the remainder of the table centerpieces.  Some of the centerpieces pictured above were finished by me and some were created my my grand-daughter and one of her bridesmaids.  Just don't ask a senior citizen to remember which was which months

Pictured below are close-ups of a few of them:

After the table centerpieces were done I was finished for the day.  The next day I set to making the two other fireplace mantle centerpieces and decorations we would need to surround them.

Since it was a big fireplace mantle I knew we needed to place greenery around it and the fern silk floral garland that we had bought seemed a perfect fit.  I tied white tulle bows to the garland and laid it out how I thought it would work.  Seemed like it would be a good fit and a good length for the large mantle.

Then I made two large silk wire ribbon bows and laid out the garland around the three centerpieces. Once again, it seemed like a good fit.

As with any large silk floral project you just never know how many silk floral you will need so you have to estimate and buy more then you think you might need.  Such was the case when I was finished with all the pieces that had to be made.  I still had a lot of floral product supplies and a birch container left so I decided to make one other centerpiece arrangement.  It was such a large venue that I thought it could be used somewhere.

I still had a lot of tall silk floral left so I decided to make two large sprays.  Once again, it was such a large venue I felt it was better to have more arrangements than you need than to have less.

Once all of this was done I looked at what was left and saw I still had some small individual silk floral pieces and greenery left from the cutting and trimming we had done for the bouquets and centerpieces so I made a bunch of small sprigs.

There were so many places sprigs could be tied like along the fireplace garland, the back of guest chairs for the ceremony, etc. that I wasn't worried they would be used.  Plus, I hate to waste extra floral and greenery.  Plus, truth be told, I was just having way to much  As you know moderation is not in my vocabulary.

My job was done.  It was now up to someone else to decorate the venue.

Once everything was done I packed everything up and labeled everything so the decorators would know what was what and where things were to be placed.

Then we waited for our son-in-law with his van to arrive to transport everything to the venue.

Needless to say making everything went smoothly.  Waiting to see if packing the van would work out as well was unknown. I was just hoping everything would fit in without anything getting crushed. The boxes barely fit in but we managed to get it all packed and off he went.

Well, the wedding day finally arrived.  The venue was perfect for what my grand-daughter and her fiance wanted.  Everything was beautiful.  Beautiful bride and groom, beautiful wedding party, beautiful venue, beautiful surroundings, beautiful bouquets, beautiful decorations, beautiful (albeit a little chilly,,, brr) weather for their outdoor ceremony, beautiful reception.  An A+ bohemian meets garden party wedding event.

I absolutely loved my grand-daughters dress.  It was a PERFECT choice for her and for her wedding.  She looked so beautiful walking down the pathway to the ceremony altar.   My husband and I were so very happy for her and her fiance.

Both of us couldn't help but recall holding her tiny little body in the palm of our hands after she was born.  To us it seemed like it was just yesterday.  She and her twin sister were barely 6 lbs when they were born.  Now, here she was marrying the love of her life.  Time is so precious and flies by so quickly.  Moments like these should be should be cherished and for us they definitely were. 

It was an emotional ceremony for us for so many reasons as I'm sure it was for both my grand-daughter and her fiance.  It was a beautiful wedding and exactly the type of ceremony her Mom would have wanted for her, as I'm sure it was for her fiances Dad as well.  Although they weren't physically there they were present and I knew they were so happy for the both of them.

The venue had extra greenery that the decorator used throughout the hall.  Since the wedding was in September they had candles, gourds, lanterns and Fall embellishments that could be added throughout to supplement the decorations we all had made.

The fireplace looked beautiful and was definitely the focal point of the reception hall.

The extra centerpieces proved to be useful on top of the logs as well.

The bride and grooms table was fill with decorations and embellishments totally in line with her bohemian meets garden party wedding.

The tables each had a floral centerpiece atop a runner of blue lace surrounded with votive candles.

The bridesmaids and maid of honor's bouquets looked beautiful.

My grand-daughters bouquet looked absolutely beautiful.  She had created a bridal masterpiece and I was so proud of her.

All that was left was the happy ever after.  I had no doubt this was in their future.

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