Planning & Inspiration
The Ancient Art of Paper Flowers
Using paper flowers at your wedding opens up a whole new landscape of colors, sizes, and shapes with which to construct your vision. Even if you’re positive you want real flowers, one quick Pinterest search for “paper flower wedding” is enough to send your imagination reeling with new ideas.
Our Wedding Coordinator, Jasmin Norwood, is also a skilled artist and paper craftsman who took a completely DIY approach to her own wedding, from her dress to her florals. “I come from a family of artists, weavers, potters, jewelers, and people who work in glass, ink, and wood,” says Jasmin, “Looking at natural things and attempting to render them in another medium is something we’ve just always done in our house. When my husband and I decided to DIY our wedding, I looked at every production area as a place to “make”, so making the dress and trying to hack the florals was an obvious place to start.”
Papercraft is an umbrella term for a number of 2D and 3D sculptural techniques used around the world for centuries, from paper as thin as tissue or as thick as cardboard. Flowers crafted from paper were a popular choice for weddings in the 60’s. While they fell out of fashion for a time, we’ve seen a recent resurgence in paper flower weddings, in a wide range of styles, colors, and textures.
The range of options that comes with creating your own flowers from scratch is one of the biggest advantages of choosing paper petals. “I typically do floral sculptures in natural colors with more of a botanical bent, but you can find them in all forms, from highly stylized inorganic forms in neon colors on patterned paper to forms that are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing,” explains Jasmin. It can also take some of the pressure off your floral décor arriving in its prime. Paper flowers can be prepared days, weeks, or months in advance, so you know precisely what to expect.
Paper flowers can be incorporated into any wedding, alone or in addition to real live blooms. Some combine paper and real flowers within an arrangement or bouquet, while others might use an origami or kirigami wall in the photo booth, or to create oversized structures to frame the ceremony.
Faux flowers originated over 2,000 years ago when Chinese craftsmen began constructing flowers out of paper to float in containers of water as religious offerings. As time went on, the practice of papercraft was recognized as a powerful, creative channel for meditation, one of the four sacred art forms the Chinese man strived to master. Crafting flowers out of paper was seen as an intentionally contrasting response to the natural world, symbolic of choosing good over evil, light over darkness.
“The production process is meditative, but also very time-consuming,” says Jasmin, “Ideally, I make one flower at a time, hand cutting each petal from crepe and molding it into a unique form, which makes the whole lot of finished blooms look much more natural together. But let’s be real- when you are making hundreds and hundreds, there has to be some sort of assembly line situation.”
Whether you choose to use paper flowers or not, there’s no question that seeing these amazing creations will open your mind to dreamy design possibilities sure to inspire.