Pretty Paper Petals
Flowers have long been a staple of weddings, but real blooms are fleeting and easily damaged. For something that lasts as long as their marriage, more couples are turning to paper flowers.
“Paper flowers are not a new thing; it has been here for ages and was used in different functionalities across cultures. I think, what’s driving this trend in the past two or three years is the increased social media usage,” says Gerry Rosales, head flowersmith at ThePaperblooms, a Philippine-based company.
Pinterest in particular has been a big driver of modern interest in paper flowers, days Kate Alarcón, paper flower artist and owner of The Cobra Lily in Seattle. “Paper flowers are such a natural element to include in the big, elaborate event backdrops that are so extremely pinnable.”
Just like traditional flowers, the possibilities are endless for incorporating paper blooms into your wedding day. Consider swapping out fresh boutonnieres and bouquets for paper or topping your cake with paper succulents. For more drama, you can hang them from the ceiling, build a flower chandelier or create an entire paper flower backdrop.
Why Go Fake?
One of the biggest advantages of decorating with paper flowers is, of course, their durability. So, couples don’t have to worry about keeping blooms watered or wilting in the heat. Plus, it’s a great memento to remember your big day by for years to come.
Another major benefit is the customization of paper flowers. Since they’re handmade, couples can choose colors, textures and designs not normally found in nature. “In this highly social media conscious age, the more personal and Instagram-able something is, the more people are hooked to it,” says Rosales.
Of course, choosing to go with paper flowers does have its drawbacks – mainly, the cost.
“Paper flowers can be pricey depending on the type of flower that you want to be emulated,” says Rosales. “For example, scabiosa, which is one of the mostly used flowers in bouquets recently for its natural flair and beauty. When translated into paper, you might be surprised as to its price when compared with fresh scabiosa.”
Creating paper flowers are also incredibly time consuming since there is no mechanized manufacturing process, so each bloom must be handmade. Therefore, you may be limited if you want complex or high-volume orders in a short period of time.
“Generally, composite flowers, where a big flower is made up of a bunch of little florets, are very time consuming, so hydrangeas, alliums, and Queen Anne’s lace would be big time commitments,” says Alarcón.
DIY Versus Professional
If you’re looking to save money on paper flowers, you can go the do-it-yourself route. There are hundreds of tutorials online and it can be a fun group craft to do with your wedding party leading up to the event. Just be sure you’re not biting off more than you can chew cautions Alarcón.
“I think you'd need to search your heart to discover whether barreling toward a wedding day with sore hands and hundreds of petals left to cut seems thrilling or insane,” she says. “If you're super crafty, then you probably aren't even waiting for anyone's permission to make all your paper florals and are well underway. But, if you're fairly crafty, I would suggest choosing one or maybe two projects.”
“Making paper flowers for your wedding yourself is a good thing. But, be sure that you have the will to finish it, at least the basic skill to do it, and an ample extra time to accomplish it,” adds Rosales. “Otherwise, you might end up calling a professional paper flower crafter. If you don’t have those three and would want paper flowers incorporated in your wedding, then call a professional right away.”
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