Broke-Ass Category: Classic & Traditional Weddings

9/12

One of the trends I immediately fell in love with on Pinterest was the paper flower. I thought they were beautiful and were a great way to cut down on floral costs. So, after pouring over hundreds of pictures online, I decided that I wanted to use paper flowers to decorate the wedding arch and the sweetheart table backdrop. I am toying with the idea of using them to create a selfie-station as well, but I am still undecided.

To be sure that I wasn’t biting off more than I could chew with this project, I decided to have a trial run. I wanted to make sure that:

  1. I was skilled enough to make them, I didn’t want to commit myself to something that was beyond my skill level.
  2. The time and stress involved in making the flowers were worth the savings. If I’m going to be up all hours of the night stressed out, it might be worth it to buy them ready made.

So, this week I decided to embark upon my flower-making journey with a classic flower.

A rose, by any other name, would still smell as sweet.

Now, normally I am not a fan of roses. Don’t get me wrong, they are pretty; but I prefer calla lilies, orchids, and peonies. However, I think roses transform perfectly into paper and would look gorgeous on my arch and backdrop. So, once I’d chosen the rose, I searched online for a template and tutorials on how to make them. During my search, I came across Pearl’s Crafts on You Tube. The rose that I saw her make in her videos were exactly what I was looking for. She also had some other flowers that I thought would be perfect for what I was planning for my wedding.

After looking through the comments, I discovered that she sells the templates for the flowers that she makes. So, I emailed her with a few questions including how much the templates were, and how and when would I receive them. Judy got back to me right away and was very sweet and helpful. Her templates normally run $13, which I though was reasonable. However, fate was smiling down on me that day, and she told me she was running a sale. So, I got the rose template plus three other templates for $25. And, the rose template includes a small, medium, and large version, so that was a great bonus.

Once I had the files, I printed the templates on 65 lb cardstock and mentally prepared myself for an evening of tracing, cutting and gluing.

No tools, no problem. Well… maybe it’s a little problem.

I knew from watching the videos, and from speaking with her that Judy used a cameo silhouette to cut out her petals. My sister has a Cricut, a similar machine, and she offered to let me borrow it whenever I needed it. Work was hectic this week, and I knew I wouldn’t have time to learn how to use the Cricut, as well as work on the rose. So, I decided to trace and cut the petals out by hand with scissors. I didn’t think it would be a big deal to cut out some petals. WRONG! By the time I got done cutting everything, my hand was killing me. I took a little break to massage my sore hand and kept on pushing.

Another tool that I was missing was the bone folder, which Judy uses to curl the petals of the flower. Now, she provides alternative methods of curling the paper, but I decided that I wanted to buy the tool. It wasn’t expensive, and I had a 40% off coupon for Michaels. (I love Michaels and their 40% off coupons.) Once again, I was too busy and unable to purchase the tool in time to make the rose. Rest assured, that I will be visiting Michaels before the weekend is out and my coupon expires.

After some moaning and groaning, I traced and cut out the twenty-six petals that are needed to make the rose. Now I was finally ready to start gluing

Petal power and folding finesse.

Once the petals were cut and folded, I glued four of the small petals together into a t-shape. Once I had two t-shapes, I began to roll and glue the petals together to make a cone. This would become the center bud of the flower. My bud didn’t come out exactly how I wanted, so I was a little discouraged. But, I continued to fold away until I was finished in the hopes that the finished product wouldn’t look so bad. Needless to say I wasn’t a happy camper at this point.

You catch more bees with honey than vinegar.

Next, I began to glue the twelve medium petals to the underside of the bud, two at a time. Once each petal was attached, I would bring the edges toward the bud and glue them down. This was kind of tricky as I didn’t want to have any ugly folds or ripped paper. I discovered that if I tried to force the paper where I wanted it to go, it would not obey. However, if I let it fold naturally it would look much nicer and give me less trouble. If you are kind to your paper, your paper will be kind to you.

Would you look at that, this paper is starting to become identifiable.

Once I got about halfway through gluing the medium petals, I could see the rose start to take shape, and I began to get excited. For the first time, I felt like maybe this was doable. Maybe I could make the beautiful flowers that I had seen on Pearl’s Crafts or Pinterest. At one point I got up from the kitchen to show my fiance my work. I felt like a little kid showing their dad what they made in art class that day, but I didn’t care. I was proud of myself, damn it!

The final step was to glue the six large petals. The petals were glued down side-by-side, one over-lapping the other to give the rose a finished look. Once I’d done five of them, I looked at my rose and I felt that the last petal wasn’t needed. I placed it on the flower, but it made the rose look uneven, so I left it off.

I earned my paper rose wings today. Yay! Now, somebody get me a drink.

I started making the rose at 9:00 P.M. I finished just after midnight. Yes, that was three hours of my life tracing, cutting, folding and gluing a single paper rose. Now, during that time I was also watching the tutorial, massaging my aching hands, and showing off my masterpiece. I’m sure once I get comfortable with the process it won’t take me so long. Plus, I’ll have the Cricut, so hopefully that will save me some time.  Having the bone folder will also save me some time as rolling the paper with a glue stick to curl the petals was awkward and time-consuming.

And the verdict is in…

Am I skilled enough to make the paper flowers on my own? YES. It was easier to make than it looked. Yes, I had some ugly fold lines, and I ripped the tip of a petal, but you can’t tell. The flower looks beautiful if I do say so myself. And I do.

Is making the flowers myself to save money worth the time, effort, and stress that goes into creating them? YES. I am confident that I can significantly cut down on the amount of time it takes to make the flowers. And, making the flower wasn’t particularly stressful. Even though it took me three hours from beginning to end, it didn’t feel that long. I can definitely see myself making paper flowers for other events. All in all, it was a good experience, and I am excited to continue learning and to start building up my paper flower stock pile. Full steam ahead!

Next up, the dahlia. Wish me luck!

  • 12/2

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewReal Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Name: Diana C. Vasquez and Tom McGovern

    Occupation: Renaissance Man
    Wedding Location
    :

    Wedding Date: May 9, 2015

    Budget: $14,000

    Number of Guests: 80

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    How would you describe your wedding?

    Our wedding was a creative application of traditional concepts.

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    What was your favorite part?

    My favorite part was having an unofficial first dance. I am an incredibly shy and private person and the idea of sharing such personal moments with a crowd was frightening. As a compromise the now-hubs and I agreed to create little pockets of privacy where we could share intimate moments that only he and I knew were happening. We prepared two songs for the DJ: the official one that had meaning and made sense as a “first dance” was Clem Snide’s cover of Journey’s “Faithfully” and the unofficial one was Louis Armstrong’s version of “La Vie En Rose”; the song we associate with our relationship and drunk slow-dance to in our kitchen on date nights. We then scheduled the cake cutting ceremony right before the first dance. We cut the cake, everyone cheered and laughed; the cake was wheeled away and we had our official “first dance” while the cake was being portioned out. While all the guests were enjoying the dessert bar and the wedding cake we were able to quietly linger on the dance floor and dance the song we love by ourselves with no one watching — just like we do at home on date night.

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    What did you splurge on?

    We splurged on the venue, the food, and the photographer.

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    What did you save on?

    The main things that we saved on the most were the invitations, the flowers, and my dress.

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Was there anything you would have done differently?

    Looking back we both wish we had taken more time to selfishly enjoy the food rather than socializing with everyone. Personally, had I known better, I would have hired a makeup artist. I got ready by myself and it worked out fine in the end, but I was so nervous that morning that my hands were shaking and it took me 20 minutes and too many cotton swabs just to get my eyeliner right.  Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    What was your biggest challenge in planning?

    The biggest challenge was the seating arrangement. I didn’t realize that the actual number of the table signified how important you are to the bride and groom i.e most important guests expect to sit at tables one and two. I thought it was just for efficiency when ordering food like at a restaurant. Consequently, I sat everyone in terms of relational associations and common interests not at all being mindful of what numerical value the table had been assigned. Unaware of the implications at play, I had made some major mistakes which were thankfully caught by my mother-in-law and addressed before the event. Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself?

    One of the biggest lessons I learned is that traditions are important. There is a kind of beauty and sense of wholeness in traditional concepts when we claim them for ourselves, in our own modes, and appropriate them in ways that are meaningful to our being. Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?

    • It was classic yet creative
    • Our 7-year-old son was old enough to know and recognize how important this event was and even cried during the ceremony
    • The food
    • My father-in-law officiated
    • Because we planned and worked on every single aspect of it, we knew exactly what went into making every little part of that day possible. It was really in more ways than I can count a true reflection of who we are as a couple and a family.

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Top 5 least favorite things:

    I hate to be that person but there really wasn’t anything about the event or the day that I didn’t like.Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received?

    “Just go to a catering hall and they will do everything for you.”

    What was the best advice?

    “Do it your way, it always works out”dianatom-14

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    If you’ve been married for more than a year, what have been some challenges?

    We haven’t been married for more than a year, but we have been together for almost eight years now: living together and raising a child. One of the biggest challenges and the greatest lessons we work on everyday is not keeping score. Knowing and functioning, as a couple and a family, under the cellular understanding that no matter what we are a unit, a team. Our loyalties and our efforts are to each other and this vision that we have for ourselves as a family.

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Any other bits of wisdom?

    Be friends with your spouse. Love and passion come and go in a wave like patterns. What sustains you through the ebb and flow is your friendship. That crazy friend who gets your dysfunction, that’s the kind of person you can build a life with.Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Real Wedding: Diana and Tom's Handmade, Personal New York Celebration

    Budget Breakdown:

    Wedding announcement and save the dates: Free

    Invitations: $100

    These were hand-embroidered handkerchiefs that I made from squares of linen. They took about two years of steady work to complete and were personalized for each family that received one.

    • Paper goods (Kraft cardstock, envelopes, vellum paper) from Amazon.com
    • Linen was purchased from Mood Fabrics
    • Ink for printing RSVP cards and other inserts, as well as the shipping labels and glue, were purchased from Staples.​​

    Website: $30

    Ceremony: $500

    Central Park Conservancy: It was officiated by Tom’s father who became ordained just for the occasion.

    Pipe player: $250

    We contracted the services of a bag piper, Darius Kaufman, (718) 358-0747 whom provided musical accompaniment to the ceremony.

    Rings: $700

    Reception, including dinner: $10,000 (this is not their actual rate — we negotiated a deal so anyone wanting to host here should expect to pay way more)

    Venue: Liederkranz Foundation http://www.liederkranzny.org/

    Catering: Chef Albert Schmidt of Open Skies Hospitality

    Wine: $300 (this was a gift from a guest who had a connection)

    Cake: $250 (this was a reduced rate through business relationships) Pan Ugo Bakery 

    The stand for it was DIY from leftover wood from Tom’s job and leftover moss from the centerpieces

    The topper was from SimplySilhouetteWeddings on Etsy

    DJ: $500, Flava DJ

    Centerpieces and Flowers: $105

    • Cocktail hour:Following Chef Albert’s suggestion, and my personal distaste for flower arrangement, the portion of the “flower budget” allocated for this was appropriated into a kind of “edible arrangement” (fashioned out of herbs, crispy bacon roses, pretzels, breadsticks) that served as centerpieces during the cocktail hour.
    • DinnerThese were a DIY project I put together the night before:a.     The apples I bought from my local produce vendor (I bargained a deal for an entire box of apples that were about to go bad) $10 for 100 applesb.     Manzanita branches we order on sale from Blooms.com

      c.     The moss I bought from the flower market the day before (the moss was also about to go bad and the shop agreed to sell it to me for $5 for the whole box)

      d.     The oversized vases I owned and had purchased one at a time whenever I saw them go on sale at my local TJMaxx or Marshalls

      e.     The plastic hanging crystals along with the candle votives I ordered from Amazon.com. I cleaned and polished them in order to make them look more expensive than they actually were

      f.      The hanging table numbers were DIY from Tom and were made from little rounds of tree branches that he cut and dried on our radiator, and then numbered using a wood burning tool

      2.     The cherry blossom arch behind our table was a cherry tree I purchased at that flower market at a discounted price the day before. It is now planted in my mother’s backer

    Place card/ Thank you gifts: $60

    • We bought 12 regular plants from The Indoor Outdoor Gardener a retail gardening store in Bay Ridge. We separated and planted them into individual little pots (read: plastic cups) that we then covered in burlap. I printed personalized labels, utilizing leftover materials from the invitations, with the name of each individual guest and secured them onto toothpicks that we then inserted into each little plant. These served double-duty as place cards and thank you gifts for our guests to take with them at the end of the night. It was also a thoughtful way for Tom’s grandmother, who had passed away a few years ago, to be present. I also included some of these blooms in my bridal bouquet.

     

    Transportation: $100

    Photographer: $1,000

    Wedding portrait: $100

    • For our wedding portrait we booked a session with the wonderful artists at the Tintype Studio through the Penumbra Foundation in exchange for signing a release form that allowed them to use our image on their website they gave us a discount.
    • Other than the venue our other BIG splurge was hiring Carole Cohen to document our ceremony and parts of our reception. Photos, unlike flowers, live on forever and we wanted beautiful images that felt personal and captured everything this day represented for us as well as our families. Carole provided us with that and so much more.

    Groom outfit: $340

    • Kilts where from Rent A Kilt
    • Suit jackets, shirts and ties were from Century21
    • Tom wore his grandfather’s hat which was restored by The Hat House
    • Shoes were from DSW
    • Traditional accessories and trimmings like the sporran, the silver kilt pin and flashers were special ordered from Scotland through ScotWeb
    • Boutonnières were made from the same herbs as my bouquet

    Bride’s outfit, including flowers: $380

    • Dress was handmade. All of the silk organdy, lace, closures and tulle (for the petticoats) was purchased from Mood Fabrics. Cost was around $300
    • Details were hand-beaded and embroidered with materials from Beads World USA
    • DIY crowd made from laurel leaves and Lily of the valley blooms
    • Bouquet was DIY from laurel, myrtle, lavender, thyme, mint, rosemary, oregano, sage, Scottish thistles (the national flower of Scotland) and a sizeable air plant for architectural appeal. I got all of these at the flower market and the union square farmer’s market the day before.
    • My pearls were an heirloom engagement present I received from Tom

    Thank you notes: $20

    • These were printed copies of one of the photos from the wedding which we got through MPix (they calibrate the photo before printing it and each item is personally inspected for quality by a member of their staff.
    • I made frames from cardstock and placed them in envelopes leftover from the invites
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  • 10/7

    Names: Meg & Steve Occupations: Development Coordinator for a community revitalization non-profit; high school Spanish teacher Wedding location: Pearl S. Buck Estate, Perkasie, PA Wedding Budget: $25,000 ** Number of Guests: 207 Wedding Date: June 20, 2015 How would you describe your wedding: Our wedding had a little bit of everything. We had some traditional elements, but also did things our own modern way. For example, we had…

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    6/30

    Name: Jessica Knowles and Andrew Long Occupation: Jessica - Sales and Marketing Manager for Housing Company; Andrew - Landscape Designer Wedding location: Brickyard at Riverside Golf Club, Macon, Georgia Wedding Date: May 16, 2015 Budget: Around $15,000. The amounts below add up to around $20,000, however my parents paid about $15K, I paid for photography, hair/makeup and rings. Groom's family paid for his tux and…

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    4/14

    We're pretty pumped about Real Bride Elissa's very vintage color scheme. Her pretty palette takes shades of cool green-blue and contrasts them with warm orange and red for a sweet look that screams for some retro-feeling style. We're thinking demure A-line gowns and lovely lace for your best girls with plenty of punchy accessories that give a nod to traditional looks without being generic. One…

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    4/9

    Let’s be honest: this isn’t a particularly fun time to mention “Christian” and “Wedding” in the same sentence. Smash those two words together and plenty of people hear “bigot” or “hate” or “oppression.” For me, publicly professing to be a Christian often means enduring eye-rolls, mutterings about fairy tales and fantasy followed up with hurtful accusations that those people making news for their messages of…

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    2/12

    *Confession* At just under eight months to go until we say our vows, we’ve already been engaged for just over eight months. It took us a while to get the ball rolling. We knew from the beginning that neither of our parents were in financial positions to pay for large percentages of our big day and that anything we spent would have to be saved. It…

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    10/15

    It's come to our attention that while we talk a lot about smart ways to save money on your wedding day, we haven't really addressed the wedding itself -- more specifically the ceremony. And y'all, while the words you speak have very little to do with your budget, they are still a vitally important part of the day, because they help set the tone for…

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    10/13

     It's been nearly two months since contributor Elizabeth married Bryce on a rainy day in Greensboro, N.C., and they partied down in a Gatsby-looking fashion on a $7K budget. Today, Elizabeth is back to share the details, Real Wedding-style. Name: Elizabeth & Bryce Occupation: I work for study abroad at Duke University Wedding location: Greensboro, NC Wedding Date: August 9th, 2014 Budget: $7,000-ish How would you…

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