Putting on the Glitz
There is no doubt about it: You will glow on your big day, not only from the gems you wear or the beading on your gown, but also from within.
Still, don’t let that stop you from adding more sparkle. In the quest for something new—and old—brides are asking their florist to add twinkling elements to their bouquet blossoms, rendering an eye-catching effect with gems and heirloom jewelry.
There is no doubt about it: You will glow on your big day, not only from the gems you wear or the beading on your gown, but also from within. Still, don’t let that stop you from adding more sparkle.
In the quest for something new—and old—brides are asking their florist to add twinkling elements to their bouquet blossoms, rendering an eye-catching effect with gems and heirloom jewelry. “Brides are requesting this much more than ever before,” says Jennifer Cahill, owner of the Tangled Web, Creative Floral Design, in Whitman. “The key to making it look beautiful is not to go over the top, but to use jewelry and other nonfloral pieces as simple accents.”
Any kind of jewelry lends itself to this trend. “Beads, semiprecious gems, pins and brooches can work,” says Marc Hall, director of special events for Winston Flowers & Garden in Boston. “But use restraint. The biggest mistake people make is trying to do too much.”
If there’s a piece you really want to use, whatever it is, local florists will find a way to incorporate it. “Swarovski crystals and pearls can be very pretty,” says Nancy Vargas, owner of Le Jardin Blanc in Southborough. “If you have stephanotis in your bouquet, you can stick a little pearl-head pin in the center.” Or look for pearlized stamens, which accompany most kinds of flowers at silk flower shops.
Even bracelets and necklaces can be woven into the bouquet, wrapped around the handle, or allowed to dangle just a bit. “There are all kinds of ways to be creative,” says Cahill.
With so many options for a trend best applied with restraint, the key is deciding how you want to use jewelry—and why. “Brides love to use heirloom pieces of jewelry with significant meaning,” Vargas says. “It can be on the handle, or buried in the bouquet so only the bride knows it’s there. Or it can be an important textural element in the arrangement.”
You could incorporate a tie tack that once belonged to a beloved grandfather, a ring or pin that has been in the family for ages, or a piece that a bride’s mother or grandmother wore at her own wedding. When deciding what works best, keep it simple. “Don’t use garish pieces, or anything that’s going to overpower the bouquet,” says Jon Mongeau, owner of Artemesia, a floral design studio in Boston.
Of course, there are other ways you can play up this trend. Consider linking floral jewelry to a more modern theme. If you’re a fan of monogramming, try adding a small rhinestone initial to each of your bridesmaids’ bouquets, or your new married monogram in rhinestones or crystals to your own. Love the Victorian era? Vargas suggests velvety-textured flowers with silver buckles and cameo pins as accents.
For an Asian-themed wedding, Cahill once designed bouquets with “lots of grasses and simple loops of wire, beads, or crystals,” she says. The idea was to keep it simple. For a garden wedding, “A dragonfly brooch can be placed inside a peony or added to a stem treatment beautifully,” Hall says.
Mongeau used a sapphire necklace in a bouquet of small-scale, mostly blue and soft purple flowers, including fragrant lavender. And he wove a vintage diamond pendant into an all-white arrangement of roses, hydrangea, and orchids “studded with rhinestones at the center to complement the diamonds,” he says.
EASY TO HANDLE
One of the most common but subtle places to add embellishment is a bouquet’s handle. Antique buckles, sparkly brooches, and beading all can work here. Vargus loves using antique buttons, with faceted stones or handpainting.
Other nonfloral elements can be played up on the handle, too. For a seaside wedding, with a few seashells incorporated into the bouquet, Vargas likes the idea of a handle wrapped in rope for a nautical feel. To echo the citrus-y basket theme of a recent wedding, Vargas wrapped the bridal party’s bouquets (all in bright, citrusy hues) in a basketweave of grosgrain ribbon.
The beading and sparkles of your dress can be picked up in the handle, too. “Designers like Badgley Mischka and Monique Lhuillier have made beading and adornments beautiful, subtle, and modern,” Vargas says. “The details of the bride’s bouquet, and the handle, should reflect the dress.” When you go for your fitting, ask your seamstress for any extra pieces of beaded material and bring them to your florist to wrap the bouquet’s handle. Or find beaded silk or satin that looks similar to your gown.
Adding extras to a wedding bouquet means extra expenses and extra effort. “It generally does bring up the price,” Cahill says, “but it could be just $10 or $20 extra per bouquet.” If your florist has to hunt for the perfect vintage brooch, hand-sew beading onto a ribbon handle or make crystal sprays, the cost of labor, as well as materials, goes up. Whatever you pay for, though, you should get to keep after the event is over.
And depending on how valuable—sentimentally or otherwise—the embellishments are, you’ll definitely want to keep track of them—which means being sure not to toss a bouquet aside or let it get taken home with the centerpieces. “Entrust your wedding planner or a special friend, maybe the maid of honor, to keep track of the piece and claim it at the end of the evening,” says Hall.
“No matter what is in the bouquet, I hate to think of it getting thrown away,” says Cahill. “When I’m setting up flowers at a wedding, I always make sure there’s a safe place—maybe a table out of the way of guest traffic—for the bride to put down her flowers.”
If the piece is especially valuable, Mongeau says, there’s no need to relinquish it to your florist in advance of the wedding. “Bring the piece in so your florist knows its size and mechanics ahead of time, but have the piece installed in the arrangement at the time of delivery, on the day of your wedding.”
With careful planning and a clear idea of what you want, your flowers will shine bright and add to your total glow, sure to linger long after the bouquet toss.