Making a button bouquet for my sister’s wedding back in 2012 was really what got me started on this wedding business journey. I’ve made quite a few since then and I still think they make a lovely alternative to real flowers – plus, they’re everlasting and are a wonderful reminder of your wedding day.
Recently, I’ve been experimenting with adding foliage and dried flowers to button bouquets and, with the current popularity of lots of leaves, greenery and trailing foliage in fresh flower bouquets, I thought I’d have a go at updating button bouquets.
I’ve always tried to offer something a little bit different to the standard button bouquet and I’m very particular about my use of colour. I keep my colours very soft and subtle and I’m very picky about the buttons I use! My favourites are antique mother of pearl carved buttons, they’re just beautiful and I’m always on the lookout for unusual, pretty vintage buttons. I often make silk dupion or tweed roses to add to bouquets and I use pearls, crystals, vintage brooches and jewellery. I can add pretty much anything to a bouquet as long as I can wire wrap it! I only ever use silk dupion to wrap the stems of the bouquets and I make wired leaves from silk and antique lace.
(The above images are by OXI Photography – I have used a pink and mother of pearl button and felt ball bouquet as the base and added ivy, Rosemary, eucalyptus and passionflower foliage. I’ve also added fresh ranunculus flowers, dried flowers and some fluffy silvery pussy willows before wrapping the bouquet in pale pink silk ribbons and vintage lace)
There are many different ways to make button bouquets and a quick trawl of the Internet will offer many different options from using a metal sieve as a frame to a polystyrene ball and a glue gun. I prefer my bouquets to look a little less ’round’ and be less structured in their shape so I wire every single stem and arrange the stems into shape before taping them together – this bit is always the trickiest stage for me and it’s takes me ages to get all those buttons into a shape I’m happy with. I usually make between 200 to 300 individual stems so that can be up to 1,000 buttons per bouquet plus pearls, crystals, fabric flowers, brooches etc. It’s worth considering the weight of these types of bouquet – they are quite heavy and the larger they are and the more brooches that are added, the heavier they will be.
The next stage is to make silk dupion leaves to place around the base of the bouquet and to wrap the handle with long folded strips of silk dupion. I’ve got a bit of an aversion to satin type fabrics and anything shiny and dupion silk has a lovely slubbed texture and subtle sheen and comes in the most wonderful array of colours plus I love the way the raw edges fray. The final stage is to choose long lengths of silk ribbon and antique lace to tie around the stem.
(images above by OXI Photography, hair and make up by Rebecca Rose Robinson, dress by Jessica Charleston, headpiece and antique lace, brooch, button and pearl bouquet by me)
I’ve been adding real foliage (most of which I’ve foraged from the garden) and dried flowers to a finished bouquet so that it can be easily removed after your wedding day. As I wire each stem of my bouquets, they are quite sturdy and much more resilient than you might think, therefore, it’s quite easy to add lengths of trailing ivy, eucalyptus, ferns and any other leaves or flowers around the bouquet or weaved through the buttons. Once I’m happy with how the foliage looks, I’ve secured the stems with florists tape and then wrapped long ribbons around them. I’ve gone for long, rambling trailing greenery to create almost wild looking bouquets.
If you’re thinking of commissioning a button bouquet for your wedding, I do take on a limited number each season due to the length of time they take to make – there’s more info on my website explaining time scales and how the process works but please contact me if you’d like more details. Here’s a look at some of my bouquets and my more recent foliage creations, I’d love to know what you think.
The above photos are by Kirsten Fowle and are of the very first button bouquets I made for my sister’s wedding in 2012.
The above images were from a recent collaborative photo shoot – photography by OXI Photography, hair and make up by Rebecca Rose Robinson, dresses by Jessica Charleston, model Sian Hall and hair accessories and ivy and button bouquet by Vintage Button Bridal Designs – this bouquet uses an antique gold button and pearl bouquet as the base and I’ve added ivy, pasionflower foliage and winter berries around and through the buttons.
Above photos from a collaborative shoot with Blue Fizz Events, photos by Liberty Pearl Photography, dress by Days of Grace, styling by Blue Fizz Events, jewellery by Hey Jules, bouquet, headdress and buttonhole by Vintage Button Bridal Designs.
Slideshow of photos of a selection of button bouquets made by me.