The Problem

I knew right away that I didn't want real flowers; it's quite a lot of money to spend on something that will start wilting as soon as I get them.  I've been obsessed with roses ever since I was a little girl, but it kind of bothers me that they're a little cliché as wedding flowers.  After scrapping our Hollywood premiere idea, I also really wanted to find some touches that would make our wedding unique and "us."

The Solution

Offbeat Bride to the rescue!  This post gave me all sorts of inspiration, but the idea my brain latched onto and refused to let go of was origami.  I've discovered my origami skills to be a bit, um, lacking, but I have time to practice.  I have a ton of blooms to make, and I'll be tracking my progress on the DIY page.

I'm experimenting with a lot of different patterns, but the one I keep seeing recommended is the Kawasaki rose.  It's one of the most lifelike origami roses I've seen, but it's also HARD. 

I came across these roses on Etsy while looking for other paper floral options.  Jer and I are both major bibliophiles, and I just love the idea of making the flowers from pages of our favorite books.  I'm not going to buy from this seller because they're out of my price range, and I'm not sure I like the way this particular design would look in bouquets because it's so full and open.  But I think this is something I could do myself, so I'm going to be experimenting with these as well as the origami to see what I like better.

I finally stumbled upon this fantastic Offbeat Bride post, and I'm doing all of the flowers thusly.  (I'm doing them the size of the flowers in the original tutorial, not the larger ones the bride here did.)  I haven't tried putting them on stems yet, but so far they look fantastic, and I've gotten a lot of compliments about them.  It's one of my favorite details.  Behold, a crappy cell phone pic.

The Bride's Bouquet

Now that I know what I'm going to use for the bouquets, I still have to figure out what I want them to look like.  D'oh!

This one covers pretty well the overall look I'd like, except I'd use the roses instead of calla lillies.  I think the long, lean look of it will go well with my gown, and I like the way the stems stick out underneath.  I liked the bling at first, but now probably not so much.

I like how the feathers blend with this bouquet, though I'm not sure if the texture would look strange with the paper flowers.

I love the idea of incorporating black into my bouquet, and so does Jer.  It looks like I'm going to be mixing in a few black roses with the white ones.

The Bridesmaids' Bouquets

This one is also something I haven't decided.  I had initially favored letting them carry a single white rose, but one of my more traditionally-minded bridesmaids pointed out that women in black dresses carrying single white roses looks a bit funereal, and I realized that single stems look messy in pictures anyway.  Now I'm favoring a compact, hand-tied bouquet of white roses, possibly with a few black ones thrown in.

The Boutonnieres

I would love for Jer to wear a white rose on his lapel.  Such a simple and classic look.  If I have feathers in my bouquet, we might incorporate those into his boutonniere as well.  (I know this picture is a gardenia, but the white on black is the look I like.)

For the other guys, we're still debating boutonnieres, pocket squares, or both.  If we don't do pocket squares, I would want some black in their boutonnieres.  I'm not sure I'd want them to wear just a black rose, so this is yet another area where I need to experiment.

If we do pocket squares (in just black, or black and silver), then I'm afraid that adding a boutonniere as well will look too busy.  If we did both, the boutonniere would be a white rose, like Jer's.

The Corsages

These beauties got posted to Offbeat Bride, and I just love them.  The Etsy seller wants waaaay too much for them, so I'm going to have a friend make the cuff and then attach the flower(s), ribbon, and locket myself.