Friday, March 25, 2011

DIY Centerpieces

I finally decided on/put together my DIY wedding centerpieces. We are having our reception in an Irish Tavern complete with stone walls and exposed wood beams..mmm.. and I struggled for ages to figure out what I could do that was romantic, rustic and cost effective without looking cheap. I also hemmed an hawed about posting "spoilers" for my own wedding on this blog, but then figured that no items that I posted could truly spoil a wedding. There are no predictions that can be made until the sum of the parts are witnessed, and in the end that is not the soul of a wedding day anyway. These are just little bits of fluff and prettiness. Bits of cheer to accent the day and maybe somewhere out there another sane bride is looking for affordable bits of fluff for her day too!  I know I spend hours myself googling babys breath centerpieces and finding many that I liked, but did not work for me, or were not fesable to make.
      Since we are getting married in Ireland, I needed to find a shop that was international where I could send and elf with a list, and have everything bought and ready to be assembled when we arrived. Enter my swiss boyfriend IKEA. Don't worry Daryll approves of this relationship. Ikea is there wherever I go in the world, and likes to provide me with pretty things (and meatballs), and I really don't owe him too much at the end of the day. It works out well. Here's how the centerpieces break down for those of you who would like to attempt something similar...

Supplies for each table...
1 Small Burken Jar (.5L)
1 Medium Burken Jar (1L)
Ribbon or twine or rafia of your choice
1 Fenomen set of block candles (5 piece)
1 Tolsby picture frame
20 stems of baby's breath (I paid $10 for mine here in NY just to test out. But it should be cheaper in bulk)
Table numbers from the Wedding Chicks! I love these gals!

Step 1- Prepare babys breath.
I acually approached this as a hand held bouquet. I still need more practice, but since I wasn't using an opaque container I wanted the stems to look pretty. It makes the top a little harder to control (i.e. make into a perfect pouf, but I think the "wildness" of it adds to the romantic look. Starting with one little bunch as the center of the bouquet keep adding stems in an even manner around the perimeter. I used a little more than half for the large arrangement, and created that one first to make sure it was lush enough. you may have to break off a few unruley pieces to keep it generally uniform, but it should be pretty easy.

Step 2- Cut to the appropriate height.
Do not cut the stems until you have assembled the bouquet. I think I may use a clear hairtie to bind the bouquet together. Then, using the height of the jar as your guide, measure how much of the stem you need to cut off to make the arrangement sit correctly. Running the stems under water while you cut I hear helps keep them fresh.

Step 3- Save or Assemble.
Create the smaller bouquet in the same manner. You could save these in buckets of cold water until a little closer to the event,  if doing them the night before. Or you can fill the jars with cool water and add the bouquets right there and then.

Step 4- Ribbon
I just wrapped cream ribbon around the mouth of the jars and tied them in clean knots. I plan on sealing the edge of the ribbon with a candle to prevent fraying. (This only works for Polyester mix fabrics and ribbon).

Step 5- Table numbers
I simply printed these off in Grey ink on regular printer paper and inserted them in the frame. The frame is two sided so it would be very handy if you wanted to put the number on the front and perhaps a menu, or a little welcome note on the back.

Step 6- Arrange on the table any way you like! I plan on having printed pictures and instruction sheets to hand out since D will most likely be setting up these the morning of the wedding with some elves.

At the end of the day, these priced less (for 2 arrangements with candles and a framed table number) than a small arrangement by most dublin florists! I think en masse they will be lovely.

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