All flowers pictured in this story by BOUQ Paper Flowers. Photograpy by Maya Visneyi. Stying by Emily Howes. Hand--lettered lantern by The Lovely Script. Place settings by Plate Occasions.
If you are looking for a very unique, bespoke and sustainable option for your wedding décor, paper florals are something we are majorly obsessed with at the mo and should figure high on your consideration list. You can outfit your whole wedding with paper flowers (bouquets, boutonnieres, centrepieces, backdrops) and if done right, you guests may have a tough time believing they are not real blooms.
Catherine Oxley is the owner of Toronto’s BOUQ Paper Flowers. She started her business in 2018 and has quickly become a go-to for couples looking for interesting and incredible décor elements with a twist. “It is a challenge to reproduce flowers true to their organic counterparts and it’s a challenge I get a lot of satisfaction from,” Oxley shares. “I decided my focus would be on creating realistic flowers by hand-colouring and tinting the papers to achieve the subtleties of real flowers in order to make them as authentic as possible.”
Oxley says it took her the better part of a year to hone her flower making techniques and it’s a skill that is ever-evolving. “I focused my attention to learning, practicing and exploring various techniques to create my flowers as each and every one is different. When people first interact with paper flowers, they are in awe! It is an appreciation of the craftsmanship that goes into each stem that is unlike their silk or faux relatives.”
When it comes to working with brides, Oxley says she loves the process and her clients love the amount of customization available to them. Flowers can be tailored to the theme and colour scheme of the wedding which is one of the main benefits of using paper flowers. Flowers which are very delicate, difficult to obtain or simply out of season, can be recreated to suit any size and colour. For brides, the concept of retaining their bouquet for years to come, or having a reproduction of their bouquet made to cherish, is another wonderful benefit of paper flowers.
“Creating floral sculptures has become a favourite for me as they add drama and interest,” Oxley explains. “Since the flowers do not need to be secured in water, you are able to hand, affix and suspend flowers with more freedom than working with the fresh variety. Giant paper flowers in particular are an amazing décor piece that always get incredible attention. Use the to create vignettes within your venue, to line the aisle to the alter. I love the idea of a giant peony floral sculpture paired with your dessert table or reception entrance—it really sets the tone for a unique wedding.”
If you are considering any DIY décor elements Oxley stresses paper flowers are a must and can be prepared well in advance of your party. She suggests weaving the blooms into garlands of preserved eucalyptus or olive branches to create pretty swags on the backs of guest chairs or the alter.“Paper flowers offer versatility to achieve the same look as real flowers but with a lasting impression. No matter the season, flowers species or colour, paper flowers will help you achieve the look and accentuate the beauty of your wedding day in a way that is uniquely you!”
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