Searching for Inspiration | Bouquet & Bouts

Just because I’ve opted to use alternatives to fresh-flowers, doesn’t mean I want them to look vastly different from their traditional counterparts–I just don’t want them to cost an arm and a leg or possibly wither before the day is done. Over the last several months I’ve been working with different materials and designs, and now it’s time to start putting all these things together.

While I have a feeling that the flowers I’ve amassed are going to inform the bouquet design more than any inspiration picture I can find, I still needed a direction to head in, so returned to my wedding flowers pins for inspiration.

I remember getting an almost-visceral ‘oh, yes, THAT!‘ feeling when I saw this first one.

Sheath bouquet | image via Wedding Wire | Photography by Eternal Reflections Photography
Sheath bouquet | image via Wedding Wire | Photography by Eternal Reflections Photography

The more I look at, the more I acknowledge that this might not be a bouquet at all. It might be a decorated broom for the traditional jumping of the broom some cultures end their ceremonies with. But I still loved the idea of a sheath-style bouquet, one that nestles in the crook of your arm. Plus it’s just so quintessentially fall that you can practically smell the cinnamon sticks. The main reason I vetoed this idea, in the end, was the same reason I was glad I didn’t fall head-over-heels in love with a tulle-skirted gown: in theory it’s great, in practice I know myself and know that I would be holding this bouquet sword-like and bandying it about as I talk with my hands (and, in the skirt example, would have felt the uncontrollable urge to swish said skirt every moment I was standing). I’d take someone’s eye out with it before we got to brunch!

Moving along, a lot of the bouquets I pinned featured small, strategic pops of color–notably yellows and blues–in an otherwise monochrome bouquet.

image via Wedding Wire | bouquet by Rachel A. Clingen Wedding and Event Design
image via Wedding Wire | bouquet by Rachel A. Clingen Wedding and Event Design

While I decided my bouquet would be mostly shades of white/ivory, I do think I want to incorporate something that pops out. Maybe not the yellow craspedia or blue thistle, but something to break up the monochrome. Another little detail I liked about this particular bouquet was the crinkly vine or wire or ribbon or whatever seems to be hovering around the base of the bouquet, though I’m not sure how well it will work, in the end, with a less structured bouquet.

image via Wedding Wire | Photography by Danielle Gillete Photography
image via Wedding Wire | Photography by Danielle Gillett Photography

Minus the feathers, I think this is more of the feeling I’m going for. Apparently I’m not a fan of the head-of-broccoli bouquets, either (h/t to Mr. Bicycle for that apt description). Less structure, almost messy but not quite wild, and a mixture of elements that keeps the eyes interested. Yeah, I think that could work.

Then I saw something awesome that I knew I had to incorporate into my bouquet and Mr. Road Trip’s boutonniere: star anise!

Star Anise and Pearls | image via Offbeat Bride | photography by Kristin Williams
Star Anise and Pearls | image via Offbeat Bride | photography by Kristin Williams

Just imagine how amazing this must smell!!!

Okay, to understand why this struck such a chord with me, it’s helps to know that I created something called Paladin Punch (inspired by the RPG character archetype) that we serve at parties and conventions and one of the ingredients is a star anise syrup. And ever since creating that recipe, the smell of star anise brings up happy memories of friends and fun and successful endeavors. Another point in it’s favor is that it’s not the usual cloying flower scent which can easily overpower and cause sinus issues among myself and Mama Leadfoot, so it’s a win all around as far as I’m concerned. Finding whole star anise can be a bit of a challenge, but not an insurmountable one.

As for Mr. Road Trip’s boutonniere, it’s a simple matter of including a few key elements on a smaller scale and calling it a day, same with the additional buttonholes and corsages we’ll make for family members and readers. There is one particular bout that caught me eye, though:

image via Etsy | created by The Bread and Butterfly
image via Etsy | created by The Bread and Butterfly

I hadn’t planned on including a cork in the lapel flowers but this is giving me ideas in that general direction. Perhaps a Champagne cork instead?

Did you floral favorites include any unusual elements?

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