Brides have been carrying bouquets for centuries. They have done so as a way to ward off evil spirits, cover up less than bridal scents and to symbolize the love between them and their groom.
My favourite origin story of this tradition is that the Bride carries the bouquet and gives it away to the crowd as a symbol of her giving up fleeting beauty for lasting love.
Since we now shower more than annually, some reasons for carrying a bouquet have fallen by the way-side, so brides are now looking to new ideas of what to carry with them down the isle.
For our wedding, real flowers – ones that would wilt without refrigeration! – were less than feasible. I’ve never enjoyed the look of silk flowers, too uniform and mass-manufactured for me. So what’s a girl to do, but ask her friend Google.
I stumbled across what is called Sola Flowers. They are made from wood! The bark is peeled into a parchment and then the petals are cut out and hand sewn into the flower shapes. The flower heads are then dyed various colours.
You can order full pre-made Sola Bouquets from Etsy.com OR you can order the heads and with a little glue-gun help, put together your own bouquet that requires no refrigeration, can be made months ahead of time and can be a keepsake for you and your bridesmaids if you want to keep them forever.
I got my sola flower heads from the Etsy shop Superior Craft Supply. They took quite a while to get to Canada – but well worth it. I ordered 84 flowers and was able to make 1 bridal bouquet, 3 bridesmaid bouquets and 1 small toss bouquet with a handful of flowers left over!
The extra flowers and my trusty glue-gun came with me to the island incase disaster struck in transit. The bouquets faired really well and made it all the way without issue.
Since the sola flowers are dyed, blue flowers are an option. Thought I would take the opportunity to carry something blue with me on the day. I also added a family broach from both my family and my groom’s family as well. The cross is a gift from my name-sake. These covered something old and something borrowed.
The one thing I didn’t have was a sixpence in my shoe! Bare feet do make that tradition a little tricky.
I made each of the bridesmaid’s bouquets from slightly different flowers, all of which were in the bridal bouquet. The bridesmaids all came from different parts of my life, share aspects my personality and bring something different to the table. Their talents form a venn diagram of awesomeness.
The bouquets, the same as the bridesmaid dresses, were just another opportunity for me to accentuate their individual personalities.
The biggest compliment of the day was when people exclaimed “what do you mean they’re not real flowers?!”.
Because the Sola flowers are made individually they have this natural air to them and a surprising softness.
They look as if mother nature crafted them herself.