Choosing flowers was always going to be a problem for me. I love every kind of flower from roses to sunflowers, peonies to bluebells, I adore them all. The colours, textures and gorgeous fragrances are all stunning in their own unique ways. So Is my issue in too many options to pick from? No. I just prefer to see flowers where they belong. Which is growing. In the ground.
I don’t have a problem with the florist industry, I think it serves a fabulous purpose, and many people rejoice and truly appreciate the gift of floral arrangements, whether it be for birthdays, weddings, sympathy or just to brighten up their home. And that is wonderful. So long as they aren’t given to me. Not to say I would shun a gift of flowers, I would admire them greatly every day until they wilted and ended up in the rubbish bin.
To me, cut flowers make me think of waste and death. It wasn’t really until I discussed the issue of picking flowers and a bouquet for the wedding, that I realised why this was. It was actually my aunty who pointed out that this association of something as beautiful as a bouquet with morbid thoughts of death, probably stemmed from one of the most significantly saddest times of my life.
My grandmother passed away when I was 9 years old, only a few years after my grandfather (her husband) had died. Having been incredibly close, I cried consistently for weeks, and to be honest, I’m still mourning the loss of both of them almost twenty years on. (CB and I are getting married on what would have been their 65th wedding anniversary) Before my grandmother’s funeral, my aunty’s house was filled with hundreds of different flower arrangements. I can still remember the stifling smell of so many clashing fragrances, and the sight of a sea of colour in front of my beloved grandmother’s coffin. She was gone. And thats probably why I hate cut flowers.
So you can understand my dilemma when I came to picking bouquets, buttonholes and table arrangements. I actually made it into a few florists for suggestions and quotes, when I came across an idea that appealed to me so much that I began a test straight away.
They’re cheaper, handmade, can come in any colour your choose and will never wilt or die. Perfect.
After making a test bouquet, I knew that this was the right decision for me. I ordered 3 different colours of paper (normal printer thickness paper) to match the colour scheme of the wedding and got to work. I spent almost a month cutting all the petals out by hand with a pair of scissors, and repeatedly wondered whether I was making the right decision. I can’t tell you the amount of times I discussed the idea of buying a die-cutter machine!
After finishing the cutting process it was time to start glueing the petals together. This was an incredibly fiddly process that literally consumed all my free time and patience for a good few evenings before I almost lost the plot. I had burned my fingers with the glue gun and cut myself repeatedly on the garden wire I used for stems. The stems then needed to be wrapped in green florist tape, which was incredibly sticky and difficult to wrap around something as thin as 2mm wire.
To start, I was determined to make them all by myself. I eventually caved and allowed CB, Nat and Julia to help , and thank goodness I did, or I would still be going today.
I’ve now made over 180 paper roses in varying sizes and colours for table centrepieces, posies and my bouquet, as well as a buttonhole for every person who will be attending the wedding.
It was hard work, but it was worth it. And to be honest, I enjoyed the whole experience so much, I’m planning to start making paper bouquets for brides who would like them!