Create inspiration boards, share ideas with your friends and wedding vendors, get feedback from brides like you, and lots more!
In this project, Mary Swenson extended the life of a pre-packaged paper flower centerpiece kit by turning the blooms into favors and centerpieces as well. Love it!
View the Full Tutorial
Available at The Green Vase
10 DIY and ready-made ways to bring paper flowers in to your wedding.
Want your wedding bouquet to last longer than a season? Consider investing in a beautiful paper alternative from The Green Vase ($325). This multi-talented NY-based floral design shop also offers single paper blooms, cake toppers, and cake decorating kits.
Available at Frances & Francis
We love the idea of topping a reception table with a single romantic stem in a vintage glass bottle—and then repurposing the centerpiece as bookshelf decor in your new home! These romantic blooms from Frances & Francis ($14 to $60) are perfect for that.
West Elm Paper Flower Shop
Several national chains are hopping on the paper flower trend. For example: Furniture store West Elm, which offers several pretty pre-made sets ($7.99 to $36).
Available at House That Lars Built
Handcrafted in Copenhagen, these gold-stemmed paper roses ($14 each) will look beautiful gathered in a vase or laid upon individual place settings. Designer Brittany Watson Jespen also creates jumbo-sized versions of these blooms, as well as paper flower hats—email her for custom projects!
Crepe Paper Flower Bouquet DIY
You won't believe how easy (and inexpensive!) it is to whip up these colorful crepe flowers—it takes just three simple steps.
Available at Paper Source
Looking for a little guidance while you construct your paper blooms? Consider a pre-packaged kits from The Paper Source your new best friend ($10.95 - $19.95).
The Crafting Book
Paper to Petal, Available at Barnes & Noble
Husband and wife duo Rebecca Thuss and Patrick Farrell are very good at what they do (which includes photography, design, and, yes, plenty of paper crafts). Releasing late this August, their new book ($16.29) will show you how to make 75 paper blooms yourself. With a forward authored by Martha Stewart herself, it's clear the couple knows what they're doing.
The Perfect Prop
Large Paper Rose, Available at BHLDN
This extra-large paper rose ($68) is almost five feet tall! At that size, it's the perfect addition to any wedding photo booth. It's also, as the website suggests, a whimsical alternative to a basket of petals for the flower girl.
Paper Posy Escort Cards
Easy-to-make crepe flowers will add a joyful touch of color to any spring wedding! This tutorial offers step-by-step instructions for making these cheerful escort cards out of streamer ribbon. It's a great way to save money on a fun but lower priority item on your decor list.
See the Full Wedding
If you're still on the fence about paper flower decor, you have to check out Liz and Josh's color-infused Minnesota wedding. They created some of the most unique centerpieces we've ever seen!
Idea By: Sarah Zlotnick2
Start saving those bottles!
By: Sarah Zlotnick
1. As a table number
This DIY table marker from Tara and Harris's Virginia Winery wedding is super easy to make—simply print out colorful numbers and glue them on! Photo by Aaron Watson Photography.
2. As a table number holder
We'd recreate this sweet idea from Christie and David's winery wedding by cutting table numbers out of foam board and painting them. From there you could use chicken wire or glue to attach them to the wine bottle. Photo by Michelle Warren.
3. Use corks as escort card holders
Stole this idea from Paige and Zach's Austin wedding—Cut a slit down the long side of a cork, slice a section off the bottom, and voila! The perfect escort card holder for a vineyard wedding costs almsot nothing to make. Photo by Q Weddings.
4. Let it be the backdrop
Who needs to build a fancy photo backdrop when your reception is at a winery? We love the way Jen and Loreal threaded a string light through wine barrels—the effect is simple yet stunning. Photo by Andrew Pielage Photography.
5. As whimsical centerpieces
All it takes is some paint and a sponge to create these whimsical flower vases. Photos by Danyelle Matthews.
6. Create a cork monogram!
In her DIY winery wedding, Tara's uncle used hudreds of corks gathered from friends, family, local wine bars, and even Whole Foods to create a commemorative "M", which stands for the couple's shared last name and now sits in their new home. Talk about wedding decor that will last a lifetime—we love it! Photo by Aaron Watson Photography.
7. As unique window decor
We love the way Rachel and Craig covered each of these empty wine bottles in a special design. The collection looks especially charming with the hot Texas sun streaming through. Photo by Taylor Lord Photography.
8. As the wedding favor
Print custom wine labels that match your wedding decor and hand out the bottles as favors at the end of the night. Guests will remember the good times they had when they're drinking from them later on!
9. As Lighting
Fill empty wine bottles with bunched up string lights for a romantic effect. This Wit + Whistle DIY project teaches you how to do it safely. Photos by Amanda Wright.3
Photo by Kurt Boomer Photo
Ready to start planning your wedding? First things first, it’s time to lay out your budget. It’s not the most fun task, but it’s necessary to figure out how much you can spend on your wedding day before you choose a venue, meet with vendors, and buy your dress. If you’re looking for ways to save money, check out a few of our favorite ideas.
Be Flexible on Date, Time and Season: A Saturday night in September or May is probably the most expensive wedding date you can choose. Vendors will sometimes charge less to couples who get married in the off-season or on off-days. So consider getting married on a Friday, Sunday, and even Saturday morning or early afternoon in January, February or March.
Be Honest: Be upfront with potential vendors. Tell them the amount that you’ve budgeted for his or her services and see if he or she can work with that, instead of asking for a proposal and trying to bring the cost down. Vendors will appreciate your honesty, and in many cases, try their best to accommodate you if there’s any wiggle room.
Cut the Guest List: Many venues and caterers charge on a per-person basis, so the fewer guests you invite, the less you pay.
Get a Planner: This may sound confusing – how can hiring an additional vendor help you save money? Well, wedding planners often have great connections with other vendors and can help you get the best deals.
DIY Wisely: Yes, creating items for your wedding yourself can help you save money. However, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by trying to do too much. Instead, pick one area of your wedding that you can DIY – whether it be your favors, ceremony programs, escort cards, or something else – and focus on doing a great job on that project. Check out our DIY Editor for lots of great ideas!
Enlist Friends: Got talented friends and/or family members? Enlist them to help where they can – but only if they’re truly skilled in that area. Friends and family can also donate their time in helping you with DIY projects, or even with set up on the big day. You can even have a friend or family member officiate your ceremony!
Turn Bouquets into Centerpieces: Floral arrangements can be quite expensive, but if you use them wisely, you can save a bundle. See if any of your ceremony flowers (bouquets, altar arrangements, etc.) can be used as centerpieces at the reception. This can help you avoid paying for floral décor that you don’t need.
Shop Sample Sales: When shopping for your wedding dress, check out sample sales at area salons. However, don’t purchase a dress that completely doesn’t fit, thinking that altering the dress will be inexpensive. If a dress needs a complete overhaul, the alterations can more than double the original cost of the gown!
Think Drinks: Alcohol can be a huge budget buster. Some venues allow you to purchase your alcohol yourself, which can help you save some cash. Also, you can simply serve wine and beer, along with a signature drink or two instead of offering a fully-stocked top-shelf bar.
Something Borrowed: Instead of purchasing lots of expensive jewelry and accessories to add some sparkle to your wedding day look, look to family members and friends to help accessorize. Your grandmother’s veil, your mom’s earrings, your great aunt’s necklace, your sister’s shoes – it’s so special to wear a family heirloom on your wedding day.7
Photo by Jessica Lorren Organic Photography
Tossing the bouquet is a tradition that has been around for decades. Usually, all the single ladies gather around, the bride tosses her bouquet, and whoever catches it will be the next to wed. While it’s certainly a fun tradition, some feel that it’s a little outdated. If you’re looking for an alternative to the bouquet toss, try one of these ideas.
Anniversary Dance Instead of making a spectacle of all of the single gals, why not celebrate the couple who’s been married the longest? Have your DJ play a slow and romantic song (“Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole is a good choice) and then call out numbers of years that a couple could be married. As he/she announces the years, couples who have been married for that long must leave the dance floor. The couple who has been married the longest receives the bride’s bouquet as a prize!
Give an Incentive Attach a fun prize to your bouquet before tossing, and then invite all of the ladies, not just the single ones, to participate. A gift card to a favorite store or restaurant is a popular choice.
Split it Up Honor the important women in your life by giving your mother, new mother-in-law, grandmother, and/or any other close female relatives a single stem from your bouquet. Don’t forget to save a stem for yourself to preserve if you so desire.
For the Kids Got a flower girl who simply idolizes you? Surprise her by allowing her to keep your bouquet to decorate her room. She’ll be so honored and excited – the look on her face will be reward enough for you!
Use it as Décor Your bridal bouquet can do double-duty, serving as a reception table centerpiece or to decorate the escort card or cake table. It’s a great money-saver!
Just Skip It There’s no rule that says you must have a bouquet toss. If you feel that it will break up the flow of your reception and you don’t want your guests leaving the dance floor, then feel free to just forget the whole thing and party on!
Want more ideas for your bridal bouquet? Check out the hundreds of ideas here!2
No doubt that in planning your wedding, you’ve spent a bundle on a sumptuous feast, a great band, and the honeymoon of your dreams. And though you want your wedding photos to look like those in magazines, you’re probably also looking for ways to save money without sacrificing good taste (and without anyone noticing). Is that even possible? Absolutely! Spend your money where it counts most (like on your gown!). The savings will come in handy when you put together your own simple yet elegant centerpieces.
The best centerpieces are those that draw the eye to the beauty of the entire table. When arranging your table displays, remember that size matters! Your centerpiece shouldn’t be too obvious or overpower the place settings. Think of it as putting together an outfit. For the best results, everything on your table should complement everything else. (Tip: Decorate using an odd number of items.)
Photo by Melissa Copeland Photography, Flowers by J. Sims Floral Design
Here are some great ideas for glamorous, low-cost table decorations. Before making your decision, consider the style of your reception, the time of day or night, the season, and the mood you wish to set.
If your wedding has a theme, it can be lots of fun to use items associated with it for your centerpiece. For example, if you are getting married at the beach, you can fill a big, round fishbowl halfway with sand and beautiful shells. If your reception is close to the winter holidays, you may like a big, white bowl filled with silver and/or gold ornaments. And if your wedding is on New Year’s Eve, a container of sparkly wands, pinwheels, noisemakers, and festive blowouts will allow your guests to ring in your new life and the New Year when the time is right!
For a personal touch (and to make your folks cry), think nostalgia! Choose two medium-sized silver or gold picture frames for each table. Put a picture of you when you were a child in one and a picture of your new husband as a child in the other. Next, set up the frames facing away from one another, and then behind the frames and around the bottom, place greens, sparkly garlands, loose ribbon, or a topiary to hide the backs of the frames and to complete this sweet ensemble. You may also arrange 3-5 frames in a cluster and then fill them with your favorite family photos. This will encourage your guests to mingle as they walk around to view all the pictures!
Here’s a choice that will also tease your guests and make them drool! Fill a clear decanter with assorted candies or chocolates wrapped in silver or gold (or your favorite colored) paper. As the night progresses, your guests will enjoy the design and can snack on this centerpiece as temptation becomes too much to bear!
Another new choice in centerpieces is cupcakes! Simply use a small cake tier, place it in the center of the table, and fill each level with cupcakes topped with your choice of white or colored frosting and sprinkled with sparkling sugar. Maybe the baker in your family will offer to make them as a wedding gift to you. This simple and delicious idea will be a big hit with your guests. I mean, who doesn’t like cupcakes?!
The Natural Look
In keeping with a more natural or “green” scheme, wildflowers are a great choice. Simply gather bunches of dried flowers and various stems and leaves, and then hang them over the edges of wide baskets or arrange them in odd-shaped jars, old water pitchers, or kettles. To add some shimmer, try spraying silver or gold spray paint on some of the branches or leaves (or pinecones, if in season).
Citrus is also a nice organic choice. Just fill a large, clear bowl with one type of fruit (usually lemons, limes, or oranges) and coordinate your place cards, china, or glassware in the same color as your fruit selection. To add a little more detail to this clever choice, wrap each lemon, lime, or orange with the same color ribbon, tying a small, tight bow on each.
You can also arrange a single fruit choice in tall, square, or cylindrical clear glass vases. For an extra boost, insert some long-stemmed greens or flowers in the center.
Another way of displaying your fruit choice is by slicing it up! Fill tall, clear vases with lots of quarter-inch slices of lemons or limes, add water, and you’re done! This look can be changed up by using shorter vases and topping off each with a fresh flower. This option not only looks sophisticated, but it gives off a great aroma!
Although a little more expensive, the simplest and most elegant décor usually involves fresh-cut flowers. The best thing about flowers is that there are so many types, sizes, and colors, and there are just as many ways to display your favorite ones. For example, you may choose yellow roses for your spring wedding, lilies for a black-and-white evening affair, or daisies for a relaxed afternoon soiree.
A single red rose standing alone in a tall, clear vase surrounded by a handful of rose petals around the base is the statement of the uncomplicated and sophisticated bride. Change the rose to a gardenia for a less formal look, or replace the vases with old, water-filled champagne bottles to add antique charm.
For a more creative and romantic look, circle 5-10 flowered teacups and saucers in the center of your table. Then fill each teacup with water and add your choice of flower to sit on top. In the center of the grouping, simply add a small vase full of the same flower, and fin! A great way to get your family more involved (if you dare) is to ask aunts, cousins, and grandparents to lend you their china teacups. The variety of patterns will provide much to talk about!2
Flowers are a beautiful addition to any wedding – creating color, detail and composing a huge part of the entire wedding décor. In fact, most brides devote between 10% and 15% of their wedding budgets to the flowers. Your florist can be a huge help to you as you make the decisions about how many flowers you need, what kind and how much to spend. Here are some important questions to ask the florist before the wedding.
Photo by Jen Huang, Flowers by Sarah Winward
What Flowers Will Be In Season at the Time of My Wedding?
This is one of the first questions to ask the florist you’re considering hiring for the wedding. Not only will it allow you to gauge the experience of the florist, but also using ‘in season’ flowers will save you a lot of money. Let your florist know what colors you want and see if he or she can suggest in-season flowers in the colors you’ve chosen.
What Can We Do with My Budget?
Your florist should be able to provide you with as many flowers as possible for your budget. You will probably need flowers for the centerpieces, décor, bouquets, flower girls, boutonniere and more. Let your florist know what your flower budget is and everything you need flowers for so he or she can help you order the flowers you need without overspending.
Can I See Samples of Your Past Work?
This is another one of the most important questions to ask the florist. You want to know how knowledgeable he or she is and what sorts of things they can do with floral arrangements. Ask to see pictures of past weddings and the flowers used. If your florist has done weddings in the past at your ceremony or reception location, that’s even better! Ask to see those pictures – not only will it give you an idea of their experience and talent, but it may give you some ideas on how to decorate for your own reception or wedding.
Photo by Rebecca Amber Photography
What Flowers Are Best for the Time of Year I Will be Married?
Since many delicate flowers wilt quickly in hot weather, it’s important that you know which flowers will last if you’ll be married in summer. Keep in mind that many flowers wilt quickly regardless of the temperature and you don’t want a wedding full of withered flowers. Be sure to mark this on your list of questions to ask the florist well in advance so you can plan accordingly.
Don’t be shy when asking your florist questions. You’re essentially hiring a florist and most people conduct an interview before hiring, right? Create a list of questions to ask the florist so you don’t forget anything. By carefully listening to the answers you receive, you can determine whether or not to hire a particular florist for your wedding.1
A nice little chunk of your wedding costs will go into satisfying your flower budget, as there are reception centerpieces to keep in mind, bridal bouquets to settle on, and ceremony décor to select. When sitting down to calculate your wedding budget, it's important not to forget all of the events and accessories of your wedding that require fresh blooms. As your mind begins to wonder if an important flower necessity has been overlooked, take a deep breath and consider the following:
Floral Design by Bows & Arrows, Photo by n.Barrett Photography
While the bridal bouquet is something that doesn’t slip the mind of a frantic bride, there are instances where the bridesmaids, flower girl basket, and maid/matron of honor bouquets have gone forgotten. Plus, what will you toss to the clamoring gaggle of single ladies looking for their next shot at love if you don’t order a bridal throw away bouquet.
A boutonniere is a floral decoration that men wear at special occasions. Typically, a single flower or bud is placed in their buttonhole of the lapel on a suit or tuxedo. A bride must order boutonnieres for the groom, best man, ushers, ring bearer, father of the bride and groom, and grandfathers.
At the wedding, the mother of the bride and groom, as well as grandmothers will wear a corsage – a collection of flowers placed on the wrist, shoulder or waist of a woman.
Photo by Blueberry Photography
Ceremony Flowers »
Depending on the location of your wedding ceremony, figure in decorations into your flower budget that includes selections for the main altar, aisle, aisle runners, or pews.
Reception Flowers »
Your flower budget should include floral centerpieces to liven up the head table, individual guest tables, gift table, buffet table, and bar. Flowers are also used to decorate seating cards. In some cases, fresh flowers are needed for the wedding cake.
Photo by Apryl Ann, Floral Design by Bows & Arrows
At the rehearsal dinner, flowers are used to create centerpieces that decorate the table that your wedding party will gather for a relaxing evening before the real festivities begin.
Don’t forget to add into your flower budget any floral accessories needed for wedding attire, including headpieces for flower girls. Some brides may even choose to wear a crown of flowers in her hair, especially if she's planning on a wedding with a tropical theme or one that takes place on a beach.2
Let's face it – flowers are seasonal and when you want a June bloom in the middle of the wintertime, you're going to have to pay a hefty price or find a suitable alternative. With the help of cutting-edge commercial growing techniques, it is possible to enjoy a white tulip in December. However, no matter how much advancement has been made, there are times when requesting seasonal flowers outside of their peak growing period will not fit into your plans. I think it's time for a little lesson on seasonal flowers, don't you?
Knowing the best time of year for seasonal flowers can save a great deal of frustration when it comes time to choose your bridal bouquet or narrow down choices for your reception flowers. Luckily, a number of flowers possess a longer season or provide year-round choices. Just keep in mind that the price of seasonal wedding flowers is always lowest. They also ensure the best quality when purchased within their normal flowering season. Year-round flowers to keep in mind include:Roses Orchids Tropical blooms Lilies Anthuriums Gerberas (gerbera daisies)
Photo by Jen Huang Photography; Flowers by The Nouveau Romantics
Seasonal Flowers: Summer
The summertime brings a multitude of seasonal flowers that a bride may select. This is your chance to browse blue delphiniums, gladioli, and columbine (aquilegia). Look for irises that appear in late spring and continue growing throughout the summer. Roses are quite popular this time of the year with a variety of shades – ready for the bridal bouquet of your dreams. Summer themes work well with a mixed bouquet containing roses. Additional summer seasonal flowers for weddings include snapdragons, cockscomb, and nigella (often called Love-in-a-mist).
Seasonal Flowers: Spring
Tulips and fragrant hyacinths never looked better than in the springtime. These seasonal flowers are popular choices for weddings, alongside the large petals of pink peonies. Adding a hint of yellow to a bridal bouquet is the forsythia, which looks quite nice surrounded by Lily of the Valley. You should also keep in mind that the perfumed delight and delicate nature of Lily of the Valley carries a very short season – around April and May. They are also the most expensive of seasonal flowers for weddings.
Seasonal Flowers: Autumn
The autumn bride looking for seasonal flowers may take advantage of fiery oranges, bright yellows, and deep reds. Ranunculus usually makes an appearance – the genus of plants that includes the buttercup. A centerpiece utilizing Chinese lantern fruits (Physalis) can create a rather appealing display. To create eye-catching bridal bouquets and interesting centerpieces, consider the intriguing shape of the dahlia.
Photo by n.Barrett Photography, Floral Design by Bows & Arrows
Seasonal Flowers: Winter
Don't worry about not finding an assortment of seasonal flowers for a wedding set for the wintertime. For instance, cymbidium orchids are available all year round. Tropical flowers also bring flashes of color to weddings surrounded by snow. For the bride planning a Christmas wedding theme, consider dotting reception tables with amaryllis and holly. When adding finishing touches, consider red dogwood or the calm of pussywillow stems. Other wintertime blooms include red roses, carnations, calla lilies, poinsettias, and evergreens.1