Welcome to the last post of my 3 part mini-series on designing flowers for my wedding. Parts 1 and 2 were about designing my bridal and bridesmaids’ bouquets; this one is on designing the floral decor for the wedding.
There are a lot of paths you can take when designing floral decor; rather than discussing every option, I will simply describe what I decided to do, how I went about it, and any tips, tricks or difficulties encountered along the way. I hope this is helpful for any brides-to-be looking for some ideas on how to DIY decor. Please refer to Part 2 of this series for my tips on ordering flowers and how to take care of them before the wedding.
1. MASON JAR FLOWERS FOR AISLE & TABLES:
I really wanted flowers all along both sides of the wedding aisle as well as floral centerpieces for the dinner tables so I decided to create some pieces that could be used for both. To do that, I decided to put some flowers and greenery in quart mason jars, have them hung up onto chairs along the aisle with ribbons, and then have the ribbons cut off when the pieces get moved to the tables for dinner. See the photo above for a close-up of one of these pieces.
If you want to do the same, here are some tips that I have:
A. Look up “frog mason jar lids” and buy or make them to keep the flowers and greenery in perfect place. This also keeps the flowers in place when you change out the water. I bought some welded wire mesh from Home Depot (with 1/2″ or 3/4″ holes) and used the flat part of the mason jar canning lid to trace circles onto the mesh with sharpie and used wire clippers to cut the circle out. Then I placed it onto the top of the mason jar and topped it off with the hollow part of the canning lid, which was screwed into place to keep the mesh secure. My friend, Jaclyn, actually did most of the work tracing and cutting – I probably only made two of the lids. Her very generous wedding gift to me was helping me with some of my DIY projects as well as being my day of coordinator and setup/take-down coordinator. Thanks, Jaclyn! I don’t know what I would have done without you!
B. Wrap wire very tightly around the mason jar, right under the lip, as seen in the picture below. Create a 1/2″ diameter loop with the wire on both sides of the jar (use pliers) – you will tie the ribbon around these loops. I folded the loops up toward the lid after the ribbons were tied. If you just use ribbon to tie around the jar instead of wire, the jar may slide out of the ribbon and fall to the ground (ribbons are slippery!). The wire makes everything must sturdier.
C. Make sure you remember to change out the water and add flower food as needed, to keep the flowers fresh and to keep bacteria from growing, if you are making these a few days in advance. My then-fiance and I unscrewed the lids and removed the lids together with the flowers to change the water once.
D. Consider the color of the ribbon and the color of the chairs or hooks you will be hanging the pieces off of. If hanging from chairs, make sure the chairs have a place for you to hang them. I requested white chairs so I used translucent white ribbon in order to not draw attention to the ribbon.
E. Remove the guard petals of the roses (if you are using roses) either the day before the wedding or have someone do it during or before setup. My friend, Lyndsay, removed them during setup.
F. Remember to have someone cut the ribbons off for you after the ceremony, if you plan to use them as table centerpieces. Also let your setup team know where exactly they should place the flowers after the ceremony (I gave Jaclyn a detailed diagram of all the tables with all decor locations marked on it).
A. Make sure all stems are submerged a few inches in the water, especially the greenery. When my friends and I were sticking the eucalyptus into the jars, I didn’t realize that half the eucalyptus stems we put in were above the water, even though the rose stems touched the bottom of the jars. I later took out all the eucalyptus and cut off the leaves along the bottom few inches of the stem to be able to stuff them deeper into the jar so they could drink the water.
B. Assuming you are hanging these off of chairs, designate someone on the day of your wedding to make sure no guests drape their jackets over the flowers. Your coordinator will probably be busy, so I’d ask someone else. I did not think to do this and one guest apparently did not see the flowers and put her jacket over the entire chair, including over the mason jar of flowers. Oh well.
2. FLOWER PETALS FOR AISLE:
I wanted flower petals scattered along the grassy aisle so my florist friend, Lyndsay, helped me pluck the petals off a bunch of spray roses the night before my wedding. She also made the boutonnieres for the groomsmen that night. Keep the rose petals and boutonnieres in the refrigerator and make sure they don’t get left behind when everything is being transported to the venue.
3. OTHER FLORAL DECOR FOR TABLES:
Since the tables at my wedding were long picnic benches, I wanted additional floral decor besides the mason jar flowers. So I gathered a variety of vases, glass bottles, and lanterns and filled them with flowers and eucalyptus. Lyndsay and one of my bridesmaids, Ashley, came over to help me stuff them with flowers (Lyndsay put flowers into the lanterns during setup on the actual wedding day). I was very thankful for their help because all of the bouquets and floral decor ended up being a lot of work! It was worth it though, and it all came together beautifully:
4. SWEETHEART TABLE FLOWERS:
Last, but not least, the Sweetheart Table. My florist friend, Lyndsay, did all of the work for this. All I did was send her a few pictures of the look I was generally going for and hand her the garden shears and the buckets of roses and eucalyptus that I allocated for the Sweetheart Table. She put all of this together on the day of the wedding during setup and went above and beyond my expectations. Thank you, Lyndsay, you did an amazing job!
I want to mention three more things:
A. Transferring all of these bouquets, decor pieces, and additional flowers to the venue is not an easy or simple task. Have a plan for how you want this done and discuss it with the people who will be helping you. I discussed the plan with my friend, Jaclyn (who was my day of coordinator), and put her in charge of getting everything to the venue on the day of the wedding. I was very blessed to have a team of friends to help me out with all of this.
B. Since guests were sending wedding gifts to my place before the wedding, I saved all of the bubble wrap from these packages for wrapping around all of the mason jars and vases so that they could be carried around in boxes without breaking or tipping over. I used tape to turn the bubble wrap into protective “koozies.”
C. You need to have a setup game plan and discuss that with your coordinator or whoever you put in charge of setup so that they know exactly where each item should go, and when they should put it there.
And there you have it! That is how I designed my bridal bouquet, bridesmaids’ bouquets, and floral decor for my wedding. Looking back, it was a LOT of work but it was fun and totally worth it. My husband tells me that wedding planning was like a giant art project for me, and I completely agree. Designing the floral pieces was a very rewarding project and I enjoy looking back at all of the beautiful photos and remembering our special day.