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Artificial Flowers - A How To Guide

Wedding Flowers; the finishing touch to the big day, from setting the dress off in style, to tying in all the various elements of the venue, the blooms are as much a part of the day as the bridal party themselves. In an increasingly "DIY" world, we are constantly seeking new, fresh ways of finding floral masterpieces, and artificial foliage is taking the centre-stage. Not only can creating your floral arrangements allow you to create that truly personal touch, it's often also kind to your pocket! So sit back and relax, while we take you through the basics of bossing that bouquet.

1. The Blooms- Artificial flowers are fabulous, easy to work with, convenient, and will last a lifetime. Getting the wrong flowers however, can really take the edge off the finished look. So where, and what are you looking for?

  • Be thrifty. Many shops and department stores use artificial floral arrangements in their changing window arrangements. Next, for example, often use flowers in the spring/summer season. At the end of the season, these often get chucked in the sales and you can pick entire displays up for just a few £'s. Don't be afraid to ask the in-store management what will happen to displays at the end of the season, and if you can possibly take them off their hands. They are often only too happy to let you.

  • Go East. When it comes to DIY weddings, China tops the trumps when it comes to finding cheap and cheerful decorative items, and flowers are no exception. Use sites like Amazon and eBay to find cheap artificial blooms. Make sure you take into consideration long shipping times- there's often a 4 or 5 week delivery time. When they arrive, get them out of the packaging straight away to help them expand. If the colour is a little wrong, or too shiny, use matt spray paints to re-cover the blooms.

  • Many department stores now sell small, pre-arranged artificial bouquets. These can be a fantastic centre piece to your floral accompaniments.

2. Building the Bouquet- There are thousands of online articles and books available to help you put together the perfect bouquet, but our top tips are:

  • When using artificial flowers, the best shaped bouquets are those that try to stick to a "fan shape" rather than "ball". Imagine holding the flowers in front of you like you would an open fan, and stick to this shape when forming your flowers.

  • Go Tall- Put the tallest blooms at the back of the fan (closet to you, if you were to hold your flowers) and then work inwards. Green foliage works fab as a the outer back layer- not only does it create a blank canvass against the dress, but if you shape it well, you can use it to droop down either side of the fan which looks natural and lovely.

  • Practise. Practise. Practise- By using artificial flowers, you can begin building your flowers as far out as you like. With little waste, you can play around until your heart's content.

  • The Finishing Touch- Use brown twine to wrap around the handle of the flowers and secure to keep in place. You can then also add some ribbon over this.

  • Set the Setting- Once you've got the bouquet together, practise wearing it against the dress, with your veil and so on.

3. Building the Buttonhole- Once you've got the bouquet bossed, it's time to sort those buttonholes.

  • Pick the dominant bloom/colour as the main bud for the buttonhole. Accompany with some springs of the background foliage. Once again secure by wrapping twine and sticking a badge pin to the back with superglue

There we have it; our whirlwind masterclass to making an unforgettable bouquet with artificial flowers, which can be enjoyed for years to come. For that really perfect touch, spray with a woody, floral spray!

If you fancy hearing more from us at Alterkate about how we can help plan your wedding, (including sorting your flowers), we would love to hear you!

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