Blooming in a D.I.Y. kind of way

One of the happiest joys and honors is an invitation to witness friends unite their lives. As a natural observer and sometimes documentarian, my eyes are always drawn to the quiet details that make each event so unique. In recent years, I’ve notice a proclivity to incorporate incredibly personal handmade or D.I.Y. (a.k.a. do-it-yourself) elements, and this has been most notable in the flowers.

A wedding I attended last year featured arrangements and a bridal bouquet lovingly homegrown by the bride’s sister. I consider this to be a brave and stunning undertaking, especially when one is at the mercy of Mother Nature!

flowers arrangement with wine glasses

floral arrangements

The results were exquisite. Whomever took these bundles of colorful joy home with them had a really special treat.

The previous two years of wedding attendance (yes, there’s been a steady flurry of nuptials) introduced me to the long-lasting waterless floral alternatives: paper flowers.

The first was the wedding of two incredibly talented and creative individuals on the east coast who recruited family members and friends to cut, fold, glue and craft their centerpieces.

paper flowers

Recycled magazines, origami papers, and a lot of playfulness went into each and every bloom that was subsequently glued and tied onto stems. One family friend focused on the bridal bouquet…

…that was quite befitting of the vegetarians who were about to walk down the aisle. Cucumber slices cut from a magazine were among the personalized details.

paper flowers

Then there were the paper flowers at a wedding for a bride and groom who are musicians…

Sheets of their favorite piece of music were transformed into flowers as party favors for wedding guests. These flowers sing in their elegance and uniformity.

Is it just me, or are you also thinking about other fun things from which to make recycled bouquets? Outdated maps, phone book pages, encyclopedia pages (especially since these once mass-produced mighty volumes no longer have much commercial/resale value), and whatever else you can get your creative hands on? Calendar pages, anyone?

I’m grateful for the beautiful and very personal floral arrangement that now sits on our mantel. Its blooms traveled safely by air and auto and required just a tad of attention to be sure they weren’t accidentally crushed along the way. They get reused from time to time as table decor for a dinner party or gathering. Every time I look at them, I think about friends, magic, creativity, and love, and I’m reminded once again that when we set our minds to finding a new home or purpose for something, we have all sorts of opportunities to be creative and to share our stories.

paper flowers

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