Broke-Ass Category: Eco-friendly 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!

  • 6/17

    You guys, ever since one of the brides, then the photographer, made contact with me about featuring this wedding, I was dying for the whole thing to land in my inbox. I knew it was a story full of love, but I didn’t know all the deets nor had I seen any photos yet … but I just knew it was one that would tug at my heart strings. And oh man … You can actually feel the love emanating from the words and pics. The wedding was held at 11 a.m. in the loft of the barn where one of the brides had ridden horses prior to their move to South Africa. Their sweet pup, Kobane, even joined Courtney and Carli — bedecked in a bow tie and all — for the reception. As conservationists, the brides had their wedding bands made from recycled silver and formed to resemble budding twigs. All of the decor was reminiscent of their relationship through the years, or was an actual piece of their history! So sit back, relax and enjoy all the love from this gorgeous Canadian wedding!

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    Names: Courtney & Carli le Roux

    Occupation: Conservationists

    Wedding location: Rockwood Park Stables, New Brunswick, Canada

    Wedding Date: 24 May 2014

    Budget: $2500 CAD (~$2,305 USD)

    How would you describe your wedding: A very intimate, quiet and special day full of small touches that are “us”; from the suitcase of letters we’ve sent each other, to books bound in twine that we’ve shared, hand written menu cards and an “our story” board.

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    What was your favorite part of your wedding? We loved how intimate it was, and how every tiny element held meaning. Exchanging vows was the favourite part, because we wrote them in the same room at midnight the night before we were married, but didn’t get to read each other’s.

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    What did you splurge on? Our photographer. Photos of the day are absolutely beautiful and we are a bit panicked even at the thought that we nearly didn’t have them.

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    What did you save on? Food, venue, dresses, decor and rings. We self-catered everything in a brunch-style buffet. Our venue was the hay loft of the barn where one of the brides rides and was loaned to us for free, so long as we cleaned it out and set it up. We managed to find an off-the-rack dress that was not only 50% off, but fit one of us perfectly, and the other was handmade by Courtney’s mother. The décor was all handmade and items that we already owned — from old suitcases and books tied in twine, to an old typewriter and vintage camera with case, and we made our archway out of branches that had been broken in a recent winter ice storm. We used old tables that were already in the barn and covered them with inexpensive linen, and used items and dishes that we already had to decorate them. Our rings were handmade and found on Etsy, and were given to us as a gift by Courtney’s sister, Alishia-Marie.

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    Was there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect? We are really happy with how everything went together, but we really shouldn’t have spent so much time and energy worrying about the food. We stressed ourselves out about it and on the day, there was no need — we had far more than enough, and everyone who attended would have been fine even if there hadn’t been. The day was about us, not the food, the decorations, the dresses.

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    What was your biggest challenge in planning? We planned everything in less than two months, and initially we hadn’t intended to use the hay loft and so trying to find a venue in such short notice was a bit stressful, until we were offered the loft. If you can, use a location that doesn’t require much decorating, and something that family or friends own — a nice, big yard, a cottage, a beach — it will save so much time and money.

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    What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself? Whatever happens doesn’t matter — the day is about you as a couple, and nothing else. Anyone at your wedding will understand that. Relax. It isn’t actually as serious as it’s made out to be — the commitment you are making is, but the day itself isn’t. And have fun! The things that go “wrong” make wonderful stories.

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    What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?

    1 – How intimate and personal it was.
    2 – That everything in the room had some kind of meaning to us.
    3 – That the place we got married at had so much meaning for us.
    4 – I had a surprise FaceTime call from one of my closest friends, who was unable to attend because she is living in Korea.
    5 – The ceremony itself. We rewrote the template ceremony given to us by our officiant, and it made it so much more special.

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    Top 5 least favorite? We can honestly say that we have nothing to fill in here, other than we wish certain people had been able to make it.

    What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received? Have favours! Print programs! You need this … You need that …
    Basically, people forgetting that the wedding was ours and ours alone, and that we were free to do whatever we pleased.

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    The best? Just enjoy it, and it’s about you. When we would get stressed out or worked up about something that really didn’t matter on the day, we were reminded of that fact. That all that mattered was us, and that we were happy.

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    Any other bits of wisdom? We know that so many people say it, but it really is not worth the stress. All that matters is that that paper gets signed – everything else is just for fun.

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    Budget breakdown?
    $1000 Photogtapher Alicia Robichaud of www.arfoto.ca
    $350 Dress for Carli, that needed no alterations
    $75 Fabric for Courtney’s dress, handmade by my mother
    $250 Food, self-catered (and delicious!)
    $275 Officiant
    $100 Marriage License
    $100 Hair for both of us
    $100 misc DIY decoration supplies, linen, dish and chair rentals, etc.
    $250 Wedding shoes, which were riding boots that are still being worn by both of us
    $225 for both recycled silver wedding bands, given to us as a wedding gift.
    $2500 Total

    Congratulations, ladies!

    Do you have  a wedding you’d like to submit? Email info@brokeassbride.com for details. 

    christen
  • 2/27

    Your "I dos" are a moment of gravitas, a quiet but weighty culmination of your decision to spend your lives together. In honor of their serious decision to make this commitment, Destry and Lanny decided on a similarly intimate wedding ceremony and reception: 40 invited guests, immediate family and the closest of friends. By this decision, they were able to spend more time with the…

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    11/7

    We love Elizabeth St. John, and she's been especially sweet to our readers over the last few years - but this holiday season, she's rolling out a particularly eye-popping offer with savings that we can barely even fathom! Liz has agreed to sell a wide variety of her most popular wedding dress styles, gowns which usually retail for $400 - $2500, for...your best offer. Allow…

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    9/30

    Green is definitely a big wedding thing these days.  And, while most people would love to have a green wedding, there are also a lot of things that most people aren't going to do either. Like, you might buy vintage wedding rings or a pre-owned dress (says the wedding planner who had both), but you're probably not going to send out plantable invitations. Which leads…

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    6/13

    A wedding in LA for 75 guests for under $20,000?  Check out how this couple did it with an eco-friendly mindset too!  Oh, and complete with karaoke! Check out the details from their fantastic planner, Arley at www.aalstudios.com: The bride and groom's venue, Smog Shoppe, was their  biggest expense.  Bride and groom spent a total cost of attire was $800 and their wedding party wore…

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    4/22

    Earth Day is 40 years old today, and we're so excited. Mother Earth means so much to us, that we even made a vow to protect her during our wedding! So, naturally, on this day in her honor, we'z about to bust out some of our favorite green goodies to help you discover how being green can help you save green, have fun, and give…

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    4/5

    Monday morning and you stumble out of bed. "Man oh man, I need some caffeine" you think. You fumble around the cupboard grab some roast, a filter, and stick it in the machine as you flip the switch to "Awake". While you fumble for a cup, you hear the soothing percolating gurgle almost whispering, "No worries, we'll have you twitching with productivity soon." And you…

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    4/2

    Get pumped to celebrate the worlds favorite holiday! Nope, it's not Christmas and it doesn't involve chocolate bunnies, it's EARTH DAY! Earth Day is on April 22nd and I just can't wait to open up my Earth Day presents. I remember last year I got an "Ozone-Hole Patch Kit" and "World Peace In a Can". If only I could find where I put them... In…

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