A brooch bouquet is a perfect choice for the bride seeking to incorporate a unique element into her special day. It’s a great way to combine “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” into a gorgeous hand-crafted treasure that can be passed down to daughters and granddaughters for many generations to come.
Unlike fresh flowers, a brooch bouquet will not leak, wilt or die. Of course, it can break, so the thoughtful bride may want to have a spare floral bouquet on hand to toss to eager bridesmaids. There are no strict rules for building a bouquet. Go where your imagination takes you and with a little treasure hunting perseverance and patience, you can create your very own heirloom quality brooch bouquet.
Start by raiding the dusty corners of your own jewelry box and then ask for contributions from your closest relatives. Bouquets filled with the pins and ornaments of loved ones who have passed away make a beautiful tribute. As with any search for treasure, half the fun is in the journey. Be prepared to laugh aloud and to shed a few tears along the way and remember that these powerful memories are the fabric of your life. Embrace them for all they are worth.
It’s important to decide on a color scheme. It can be whatever you choose. You may wish to go monochromatic – all silver, gold or white while adding accent colors to match or complement the bridal party colors. On the other hand, you may decide to lean more toward sentimentality and toss in everything you find for an eclectic rainbow bouquet. Follow the path where your memories lead and you can’t go wrong.
In addition to color, texture is an important consideration. Will your bouquet be full of glittery rhinestones, brightly colored enamel pieces or both? It’s entirely up to you. To create the bouquet, you will need somewhere between 50 and 85 trinkets depending on their size. Do not limit your treasure hunt to brooches and pins exclusively. Feel free to add in earrings, charms, medallions and pins. Dog tags, buttons and even wine corks from special occasions all help tell the story of your life, your relationship and the love you have found.
The bouquet should also reflect your personality – light and airy, solid and sturdy or even whimsical. Varying the size of the pieces helps to add depth and dimension. If you need more bling, inexpensive brooches and pins are available at craft stores; however, older pieces found at flea markets lend more character and tend to hold up better over time.
Once you have all your pieces collected, decide if the brooch bouquet will be a DIY project. If you are a bit clumsy or just too busy, ask for the assistance of a crafty, artistic friend or consider shipping your treasures to a professional craftsperson who will be happy to put your brooch bouquet together for a reasonable fee. Wedding photos of country singer Miranda Lambert recently received attention for her exquisite and professionally crafted brooch bouquet that was, reportedly, a gift from friends and family at her bridal shower.
Should you decide to go it alone, do not be afraid. It’s not difficult, but it does require time and patience. Just follow these general guidelines. To build the bouquet, secure each individual item to a wire that will form the stem. For weighty pieces, use several wires. The wire stems should be of uniform length. Wrap the wire with florist or corsage tape. Do not worry about the color of the tape since it will be covered later. Gather a handful of artificial flowers in the size and shape of your choice to form a bouquet and then began interspersing and threading in the individual pieces until the artificial flowers forming the shape of your bouquet are barely visible.
After all the “flowers” on their wire stems are in place, gather the stems together to form a handle and wrap the handle in corsage tape. Wrap the base where the bouquet meets the handle in beautiful ribbon, fabric or tulle of your choice and cinch the material for a gathered effect to form a collar. Take a piece of Grandma’s beautiful lace handkerchief or heirloom fabric from your mother’s wedding gown or veil to wrap the handle.
Finally, return to the bouquet to fill in any holes with small accent buttons, vintage pearls or beads. A hot glue gun will come in handy for this step. You can also accent the bouquet with real flowers that can easily be removed once the big day is over.
If you discover you have latent talent and the patience it takes, consider making smaller versions of your bouquet for bridesmaids or a flower girl. Your wedding day guests will marvel at your creativity and share in the emotions that heirloom pieces will undoubtedly evoke. While it may not be the most traditional accessory for a bride, a brooch bouquet is the perfect choice for the sentimental bride who wishes to carry treasured mementos of loved ones here and gone while creating her own special memories.