Some of you may already know that I don’t really do artificial flowers. I just feel like they are trying too hard to look like real flowers and they aren’t fooling anyone! Okay they are fooling some people, but they aren’t fooling me. They don’t have soft, velvety petals saturated with rich color. They don’t have any fragrance to tickle your nostrils. They don’t have fresh, firm stems and crisp, green leaves with earthy smells. They just don’t cut it for me. That isn’t to say that they are ugly and everyone should hate them. Different strokes for different folks and I get that some people love artificial flowers for their own reasons. They just aren’t for me, I don’t enjoy working with them because at the end of the day I am never really happy with how the end product turns out.
What about when fresh flowers just aren’t an option? Severe allergies, wanting to be more eco friendly, limited flower options in your wedding colors (ex. turquoise), wanting to have a bouquet that you can hold on for years to come as a keep sake… what then? In this instance I was approached by a bride planning a destination wedding who opted not to use the local florist for her bouquet and wanted me to create something special for her. It wasn’t going to work to have a bouquet made of fresh flowers survive the traveling and really didn’t want to use artificial flowers.
I thought using seashells would be the perfect alternative. They obviously compliment a beachy destination theme, and they are naturally gorgeous. I did a little digging online and found THIS PICTURE as inspiration to work from. My bride’s colors were grey and turquoise so I loved the little colored accents in this bouquet. I had lots of fun picking out unique product from my supplier, while they didn’t have anything similar to the blue accents in the picture I did find some shells with turquoise tones and some turquoise frosted glass that really inspired me.
I was really happy with all the product when it came in, the shells all looked so pretty! While I was originally planned on using just muted tones and turquoise, I couldn’t resist incorporating a little more color with the stunning coral shells and adorable orange mini starfish.
I got to work… wiring and gluing and taping and gluing and wiring and taping some more. I have to confess it was a big of a challenge to create stems for all the shells in order to make a bouquet out of them. It is always important to me to have good mechanics to ensure things hold together well, but especially important for this bouquet since she would be traveling with it which would involve a lot more handling and it needed to still look good at the wedding. I may have even taken it apart to redo it and make it stronger, but In the end I was confident it was well put together and would handle the trip easy peezy! I think my favorite part was the frosted glass with the decorative wire – it was a really unique element, tied in with the overall theme of the bouquet and was just the right amount of color.
I really enjoyed the opportunity to try making something different with this non-floral bouquet. I couldn’t help but feel inspired to try to make some other non-floral bouquets… fabric flowers, brooches, dried products (ex. moss, wheat, lavender, pods), maybe even candy?! Oh the possibilities, hopefully there will be more to share in the future!