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Although creating your own flower arrangements for your wedding can be quite stressful, it can also be very rewarding. Your creations will be unique and original, as well as matching exactly to your theme and expectations. Flowers are such a large focal point of any wedding, so wouldn’t it be great to decide exactly what all your guests will see?
Well, you’re in luck. Flower arranging for weddings is not particularly difficult; it’s just very time consuming. Firstly you need to decide what exactly it is you’d like to design – weddings generally consist of the bride’s bouquet, bridesmaid’s flowers, buttonholes for the men, ceremonial flowers (pedestal and end of pew arrangements), and reception flowers (centrepieces). Then, you need to plan the colour scheme, shape, and sizes of your arrangements, and which flowers you’d like to use, as well as where will supply them.
Many people may not want to take on this kind of responsibility, seeing as the arrangements need to be created the day before the wedding, and kept watered and refrigerated overnight for freshness. The last thing you want is wilting flowers on your wedding day!
So, for those of you who may not want to design all your flower arrangements, but still want to leave a personalised horticultural stamp on your day, we have selected one arrangement that you might like to try, and one that will the centre of attention of the day – the bride’s bouquet.
You Will Need
Flowers, scissors, floral tape, ribbon and pins.
1. Prepare the flowers - make sure all foliage/thorns has been removed from the stems.
2. Same length stems - make sure that all stems are approximately the same length (anywhere from 10-14 inches).
3. Create the base - choose 2-4 flowers that will serve as an “anchor” that you will build around. Wrap the stems together with floral tape. Leave 1 to 1.5 inches of exposed stem visible from where you begin to wrap the stems and about 4 to 5 inches of exposed stem from the bottom.
4. Build your bouquet – add flowers around your anchored flowers, creating a bunch. Mix colours textures and greenery to your personal preference, and continue wrapping the bouquet with floral tape as you add new flowers.
5. Wrap with floral tape – when you’re happy with your arrangement, wrap the entire bouquet with floral tape. This keeps all the flowers in place and provides support for them. Start about 1 to 1 ½ inches from the flower heads, and leave some or none of the stems exposed at the end. This is all down to personal preference.
6. Wrap with ribbon – pin the ribbon to the floral tape under the flower heads, and wrap it around the stems down as far as where the floral tape ends. Pin the end of the ribbon to the floral tape to keep it in place.
Instead of letting a wedding planner or catering consultant turn your wedding into another cookie cutter event, use your imagination and make your wedding a day to remember. Here are a few examples of areas you can add a personal touch to:
You don’t have to use traditional formal invitations. What about using a cool origami style invite? Or try using coloured paper instead of traditional white. Calligraphy can look great instead of engraving, or if you have nice handwriting, a personal touch would certainly be appreciated by your guests. Did you fall in love while on vacation? How about printing the invitation on a postcard from the site of your meeting? Your favourite "couple" photo can also be a great choice for wedding invitations. It could also be the start of a tradition, with babies, anniversaries and other milestones marked by your own family photos.
Choose interesting music for your day. Yes, "Here Comes the Bride" is traditional but also very cliché. Pick songs that have real meaning for you both.
Instead of just calling a number of catering companies and trying to secure the best deal you can, why not call your favourite restaurant and see if they can provide your wedding food? It doesn't have to be a dinner. An early brunch after a morning ceremony, a light lunch, or an intimate dinner after a small private ceremony can be great opportunity to enjoy the food you love best. Do you love Italian or Indian food? Want a 100% vegan menu? The choice is yours.
The wedding cake is generally one of the highlights of the day, but it does not need to be tiered or even white! Use your imagination and design how you would like your cake to look. It can be any shape, size, colour or configuration. It can can be covered with real flowers, or even seashells made of icing. Let your imagination run wild!
Consider a dress of a different shape, length or colour to a traditional wedding dress! Your wedding doesn’t have to be a formal affair – have you considered asking your guests to come in fancy dress or even have casual dress wedding? Many of your guests might thank you for not having to buy expensive clothes for your wedding!
Consider a themed wedding. It is a perfect opportunity to incorporate your personalities and passions into your special day. Whether your dream is to be married on a beach on a simple sundress, have a glamorous old Hollywood affair, or even dress like a superhero, then go for it! The day is yours and the possibilities are endless!
Some couples love to include their children in their wedding, but others prefer to include their pets! Make your furry friend a part of your wedding, and be sure they get to dress up too. A custom collar to match your wedding theme could be a great way to get your pet involved in your big day.
Did you know that the world’s most expensive wedding cost $55 million?! Unfortunately, not all of us can splash that kind of cash on our wedding day, so here are some tips to help keep your day budget-friendly, but still enjoyable.
- Cut back on the guest list - the bigger your guest list, the higher the expenses. Reducing the amount of guests will reduce the cost of food, reception, and favours.
- Choose an off-season date - consider having your wedding on a weekday or during an off-season period such as the winter months. There is less demand and therefore less cost involved.
- Budget and Prioritise – create a list of the highest and lowest costs for all aspects of your wedding (catering, flowers, photography, entertainment, rental fees etc). When deciding which areas to cut down on, you can refer to this list.
- DIY Invitations – Wedding invites can be created easily and cheaply using a computer or good old cut and stick methods.
- Haggle! – Negotiate with wedding vendors (reception and catering for example) and try to reduce the price or add extra services for little to no extra cost.
- DIY Centrepieces - votive candles with mirror bases, and flowers floating in glass bowls can make simple, yet elegant and budget-friendly centrepieces. Silk flowers are also cheaper than real flowers.
- DIY Place/Name Cards – like the invitations, place/name cards can be easily made using a computer and a good printer, or crafted by hand using cheaply bought materials such as coloured card, ribbon, fabric, and buttons.
- Family Favours - ask friends and family members to provide services. Many people are more than happy to help with catering, photography, makeup and hairstyling, or entertainment on your wedding day.
- Provide a Buffet - Family-style buffets are more budget-friendly, as well as less formal than sit-down dinners. As well as keeping the cost down, it might create more conversation among your guests.
- Buy bridesmaid dresses off-season- bridal shops often offer a clearance rack of bridesmaid dresses from the previous season with large discounts. Many department stores also offer bridesmaid style dresses, just without the bridal shop price tag.
- Make your own favours- create simple favours, such as bags of candy or little jars of homemade goodies with a monogrammed ribbon. Simple homemade touches are often more appreciated than expensive gifts.
Traditionally, a man gets down on one knee, ring in hand, and proposes. Today, many forward-thinking women have been known to propose, and often, couples jointly decide to become husband and wife. But, where proposals occur, rings are needed, and it pays to know a few things about rings first.
- Set a Budget - Have a sense of what you can afford before you visit any jewellers. Don’t visit jewellers without a price in mind - you will inevitably find a ring you absolutely love but just can’t afford. Save yourself disappointment by letting your jeweller know your price range and they will be able to show you a selection of rings that are best suited to your budget.
- Use a Trusted Jeweller - Use recommendations to find a jeweller you know to be honest and fair. Expensive doesn't necessarily mean ideal, so look for a store that makes you feel comfortable, where the staff are pleasant and helpful, and where the advice they provide appeals to you. Be sure to look for somewhere that fits within your budget range, as to avoid the inevitable disappointment at finding something that would be "just perfect if it didn't cost so much".
- Select a Cut - Diamonds tend to be the traditional engagement ring choice, because they are enduring, and match everything. Only buy a different gemstone if you know that your girlfriend prefers it to diamonds or has expressed her dislike of diamonds. There are different ways to cut a diamond and the type of cut impacts the sparkle of the diamond. The cut that produces the most sparkle is the round (or brilliant) cut, while radiant and princess cuts are good at hiding flaws. Other cuts include square, emerald, pear, marquise, cushion and heart-shaped.
- Practicality - If your girlfriend loves the outdoors, consider a ring that is able to cope with the wear and tear of activities. The higher the positioning of the gemstone on the ring, the easier it is for it to get caught on clothes, gear, or hair, and the greater likelihood that it'll get damaged. It might be a good idea to look for a lower gemstone setting for an active girl, and a higher setting for a glamorous fashionista.
- Durability - Durability of the band is important, as constant rubbing and knocking from daily activities will eventually wear down the band. If your budget allows it, platinum is the preferred choice for wedding bands as it is more durable than gold. Titanium and steel are also quite resistant, while the purer the gold, the softer it is and more prone to wear and damage.
- Know The Lingo - Be familiar with the terms that you'll hear while shopping for a ring. Giving the impression that you know what you're looking for will increase your confidence and help you to ward off any disreputable ring sellers. Words you should know include “band”, “setting”, “gemstone”, and of course The 4 C’s of diamonds - cut, clarity, colour, and carat. For more information on the 4 C's, click here.
Finally, perhaps look for a unique or unusual ring. An engagement ring is no ordinary ring; it’s the ring your partner will treasure and wear most days for the rest of your life together. They will appreciate the thought and effort you put into finding a distinctive and special piece of jewellery.
Did you know the term “best man” dates back to the times when Scotsmen kidnapped their future brides? The friend of the groom who had excelled at the abduction was acclaimed to be the best man.
As the best man, it’s your duty to get up in front of a large crowd and toast the bride and groom. It’s up to you to get it right and not embarrass the couple, bore the guests or ruin the day. No pressure! Writing a great best man speech isn’t as hard as it looks though. A little patience, creativity, humour and charm is really all you need to craft the perfect speech and wish the couple all the best on their big day. Here are some pointers to help get you started.
Start off by introducing yourself, as not everyone in the room will know who you are. You might say:
"Excuse me everyone, if I could have your attention for a moment. I'd like to take a few moments to say a few words about our bride and groom. I'm John Smith, Patrick's best man and long time good friend".
“Excuse me everyone, if I could have your attention please. I have prepared a few words about the bride and groom. My name is John Smith and I’m Bob’s best man and brother/son/uncle”.
A quick joke, quote about marriage or even a few lines of a poem is a great way to get people's attention. However, before you get too far into your speech, remember to thank the people hosting (usually the parents of the bride). If the bride and groom are paying for the wedding themselves, simply say:
"We're all delighted to be here today on this joyous occasion."
Here is where you should tell a funny story about the bride and groom, give your thoughts on love and marriage, tell the story of how they met, or talk about how you've seen them change throughout their relationship. Try not to talk too long as people will start to get bored. Your speech should usually take no more than 5 minutes.
Remember, you’re addressing grandparents as well as children, close and distant friends, the couple’s relatives, and perhaps a mix of traditional and more liberal people – so keep your speech clean, free of private jokes, references, and also bad language.
Finally, don’t forget to elaborate on the groom’s virtues. For example, talk about his loyalty, compassion, or ways in which he proved to be a great friend to you. Tell the guests that you know how much he loves the bride and that he’ll make a great husband. Be honest and sincere – words from the heart mean more than any number of jokes.
It's tradition to finish your toast with a wish, blessing, or a traditional toast. Raise your glass with resounding congratulations, or cheers and don't forget to drink to your own toast! Now enjoy the rest of the day!