The recent trend of creating bridal and bridesmaids bouquets from vintage brooches is capturing the eye of brides who are are allergic to flowers or planning green weddings and destination weddings. If you plan it the right way, then it can even serve as your something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue!
Made of sparkling jewelry, the dazzling bouquet is a piece of art that you can keep forever and display long after your wedding day since the "flowers" never wilt and die.
Another benefit is that you can make it months before the wedding, allowing you to cross off one more item on your seemingly endless To Do list.
Choosing Your Brooches
Depending on the size of your bouquet, you will need between 50 and 75 brooches. The first place to start looking for suitable pieces is within your family so that you can honor your heritage and the memory of loved ones. You can also collect pieces from guests at your bridal shower so that you can carry their love with you down the aisle.
You will also need to scour local antique shops, flea markets and estate sales as well as online sites, such as eBay and Etsy, for vintage brooches, hatpins, large pendants and earrings. Look for pieces that have a secure fastening mechanism. One of the easiest ways to distinguish faux vintage pieces is to look for stamped markings on the back. The most common designers you will come across are Trifari, Coro, Kramer, Lisner and Avon. Quality workmanship is also an indicator that you are buying authentic jewelry.
Seek out pieces with elaborate designs, interesting shapes and sturdy, decorative clasps. When buying online, you can often find lots of 50 brooches in varying themes and color schemes. Most brooches average between $1 and $3 each.
Search for designs that represent special places or important milestones in your relationship. While most bouquets use flower shaped pins, incorporating butterfly, bird, ribbon or cameo brooches can add depth and dimension to your arrangement. Consider adding a piece that allows you to insert a photo so that you can carry the memory of a loved one down the aisle.
Assembling a Brooch Bouquet
You can buy a ready-made brooch bouquet from online wedding vendors. Prices on eBay and Etsy average $400 to $500, but the wide price ranges span roughly $150 to $1,300. The less expensive versions are mixed with more silk flowers while the pricier bouquets are filled with authentic vintage jewelry. Many are pre-made, but most crafters allow you to send them pieces of jewelry that you want incorporated into the bouquet.
If you are a DIY kind of bride, creating your own brooch bouquet is incredibly simple. The typical shape is a rounded nosegay bouquet, and you can play with various sizes and colors of jewelry to create an interesting arrangement. Before starting your project, make sure you have extra pins on hand in case the clasps break. You can find bulk packages at craft stores and easily attach them with a hot glue gun.
Start by threading craft wire through the two loops on the ends of the pin. Twirl the wire into a stem and then cover with green floral tape. Arrange your bouquet by pushing the stems through a round foam ball to make the arrangement sturdier and balanced. You can fill in bald spot with silk flowers, leaves and accent feathers. Use small pins and rhinestones to embellish the center of the flowers.
When you are satisfied with the shape, wrap all the stems with floral tape. To smooth out the bumpy handle, slip a piece of PVC pipe or foam swimming noodle over the handle. You can cover the handle with vintage handkerchiefs, ribbon or fabric from your mom's wedding dress or veil. For a finishing touch, drape strands of pearls along the edges.
If you have extra brooches or a special piece that you want to really stand out, wear it in your hair, pin it to the waistline of your gown, attach it to your garter belt or let it adorn the wedding cake. For more ideas on creating a brooch bridal bouquet, browse the Pinterest inspiration board on the Wedding Traditions channel.