I didn’t actually go into planning our wedding thinking that we wouldn’t have any real flowers at our ceremony or reception… it kind of just happened, and turns out, I was completely fine with it. I don’t think a lot of brides would take that approach, or even consider it for more than a few minutes (unless maybe they’re severely allergic to pollen, which I’m not). I always envisioned myself with a ginormous bouquet of peonies, all springtime-ish and lush and full of scent and so heavy that it made my arm muscles pop, but when we scheduled our wedding for Christmas Eve and chose to have it in a fake flower shop, I began to consider the alternatives. Peonies don’t scream “winter wonderland.”
On any given day, Preferred Plants has a really wide assortment of flowers, and sure, they’re all silk and plastic, but they look good, not good, great, not great, like the healthiest fresh-cut botanicals you’d find anywhere (and truth, they fooled and amazed many of our guests, some of whom even came with allergy pills):
The owners clued us in on a trend that I was in no way aware of: Recreating your wedding bouquet using silk flowers.
Genius, really. Of course, the likeliness of a bride to do this probably is more dependent on the style of her bouquet and its ability to actually fit in with her family’s home decor, but I thought it was a brilliant idea, especially since so many mementos of your wedding day are quickly packed away in boxes or trashed. It’s kind of the best of both worlds, for brides who are dead set on the real deal–get a live bouquet for the big day, and a faux-recreation to have forever.
Given that I would be getting married in this shop, surrounded by silk inventory, I also chose to make my bouquet (and Julia’s best girl mini-bouquet) out of their flowers. I locked in on this decision after visiting the shop on its Night of Lights, wherein it presented its seasonal merchandise including wintery branches and flowers that fit in oh so well with the winter timeliness of our wedding.
As an lush alternate to the springtime peony, I fell in love with these perfectly white magnolias that were part of the seasonal merchandise selection (complete with thick leaves and a detailed stamen and pistil and pollen). Blurriest iPhone picture ever.
To accent the magnolias, I chose an assortment of faux pine branches (specifically, douglas fir and colonial), and tallow berries. Wintertime bliss.
Purchased, I brought the flowers, branches, and berries home, laid them out on our own coffee table and began to dissect what I had. Most everything assembled nicely without adjustments, I would only need to trim the ends to length when it was complete. One major benefit of working with silk was that the flowers, stems, and leaves are lightly wired so I was able to bend pieces into better positioning in areas where it felt too crowded.
The tallow berry branches were the only component I deconstructed a little bit, because there were multiple stems bundled within each long piece sold, and I only wanted small bunches popping between the magnolia leaves.
I used a fine florist wire to cinch the bouquet together, something I had on hand which only cost a few dollars. It was Julia’s bouquet that I was assembling when I snapped this picture; her bouquet was composed of a single magnolia, one pine branch divided into two sections, and a few lengths of berry.
For my bouquet, I used 5 magnolias, 2 pine branches, and several branches of hallow which mostly popped out from between the flowers. The wire wrap was concealed with florists tape, not in any especially fancy fashion, just to get the job done. I used brown so help it blend in with the stems.
Once trimmed, the ends of the stems exposed a green paper lining which makes them look even more like fresh-cut flowers, I love this detail.
All in all, it ended up being perfect for me.
Maybe our photographer got a better close-up of the bouquet. You should also know that I didn’t throw it, it’s home with us sitting in a vase on our living room (or, as shown, photographed in the sunroom).
I have no idea how real bouquets price out but I’m pretty happy to have ours forever. They’re not so much wedding-y that they won’t fit into our wintertime decor, and I’m looking forward to seeing them every year. If you’re curious on pricing (because Preferred Plants does sell online), the total for both my bouquets was $133.25:
- Magnolias, $87.00 ($14.50/each)
- Douglas Fir Pine, $9.75
- Colonial Pine, $14.00 ($7.00/each)
- Tallow, $22.50 ($7.50/each)
Did anyone else surround themselves with silk flowers at their wedding? How about that recreate-your-bouquet idea, would anyone out there do that?