Tag Archives: craft

The Weirdness of Weddings

wedding paper flowersLast year, just after I got married, I was lonely, depressed, and trying to come to terms with what had happened in the wedding planning: two of my three bridesmaids dropped out of the wedding and stopped talking to me. I wrote up a piece about it, framing it not as a explanation (because I’m honestly not completely sure), but as a “how to” craft piece. The step-by-step craft process gave me a little emotional distance, and I thought it was kinda poetic.

I submitted it to APracticalWedding.com, a site upon which I’d relied heavily during wedding planning. This summer, they decided to publish it, which was pretty cool. Then it was republished by Refinery29—bonus cool!
But I’ve noticed something. Women, online and in person, respond a few typical ways:
  • “Well, at least you know who your friends are now?” or “Well, they just weren’t very good friends, were they?”
    I’ve gotten this from several commenters, as well as my mom and the therapist I briefly visited. You know how helpful this response is? Not at all. Because they were my closest friends, and their absence meant the utter dissolution of my friend circle. So, sure, I knew who my friends were: older friends, from college, who I rarely get to see. I had no “Let’s go see a movie” friends left.
  • “You shouldn’t have wanted such a hard craft project! Some people aren’t crafty!”
    Mostly received online, from people I think who didn’t understand that the craft was just a way to talk about it. For the record, they didn’t leave just over the craft. They ignored me about the craft, then were dismissive about it, didn’t offer ideas on dresses or like any of the ones I picked, and didn’t bother to RSVP to any shower invitations, didn’t come to my birthday party, weren’t available to meet for dinner, and then were upset when I asked for more support. I even said that if I was asking too much of them, I’d understand if they didn’t want to do the bridesmaid thing and they could just come to the wedding if that was easier. They, apparently, didn’t think so.
  • “I think we’re only getting one side of the story here.”
    Another from the commenters, and—well yeah, of course you are. That’s how a narrative works. This comment has a little added zing of implying I’m lying or manipulating the story. But, if it helps, I don’t know any more, really. They never said why, exactly, they were dropping out. They never said anything at all, except one half-hearted “I’m sorry things turned out this way” a week later, before dropping off my Facebook friends list and not talking to me again. One changed her username so I can’t search for her.
And that would be it, except a few men I know read my article, too, because I forgot who can see things I post to my personal Facebook page. And this is what they said:
  • “Wow, did that really happen? I’m sorry. That’s really shitty.”
    And that was amazing. Because the majority of the women who responded hadn’t given me that kind of empathy. These men validated my experience and just let me say, yes, that was a thing that happened. It was shitty. They didn’t blame me or accuse me of being a “bridezilla” (more than one woman has made that suggestion—including the therapist). They didn’t tell me they weren’t crafty. They didn’t try to play it off as no big deal.
I think it says a lot about women and weddings. The women are afraid to admit that something like this could happen to them, that weddings aren’t always the Hollywood ideal of being so popular you have to be in 27 weddings. So they look for “if only’s”—”if only I don’t do that, it won’t happen to me.”
I didn’t have a Hollywood wedding experience. Parts of wedding planning were really, really shitty. I don’t think I “deserved” what happened, and it’s taken me a long while to stop feeling as hurt about it; it was hard to mourn those friendships. But I did have a lovely event, in the end, with lots of dancing and happy people. I married a really amazing man, and we’re building a solid life together.
Plus I have this kickass wreath, so that’s cool.
paper flower wreath

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How to DIY a Flower Centerpiece

Happy Spring!

If you’ve got some time on your hands and a hankering for some faux flowers in the house, have I got a craft for you! Now you, too, can be the owner of a floral ring centerpiece.

How? you ask. Well sonny, I certainly don’t mind telling you.

DIY floral circle- gather supplies1. Gather supplies: You’re going to need a hot glue gun (not pictured), a foam ring, scissors, ribbon*, and silk flowers in different sizes. The ribbon is optional, but I liked it. I bought the floral ring, orange flowers, and ribbon at Dollar General for….$1 each. (The yellow flowers were a gift.)

Get more flowers than you think you’ll need, in complimentary colors and different sizes. I can’t tell you how many to buy, because that will depend a lot on what kind of flowers you pick and how big a ring you make. Buy a stem or two extra.

Here I’ve plucked all the flowers from their stems, leaving just the little nubbins at the base. You may need to cut them off with scissors or wire cutters, but try just yanking them off; mine came off easily.

DIY floral circle- hot glue

1A. Hot glue ribbon– If you decide to add ribbon to your floral ring, you’re going to need to apply hot glue in a line along the bottom edge of the ring. Then just gently spool out your ribbon all along the bottom.

DIY floral circle-add ribbon

The ribbon may not show on the final product, but I like it as a “finishing” piece just in case someone does peek at the lower portion. DIY floral circle-Finished ribbon

This is what it looks like. ^^

1B. Glue Leaves on Inside– Another optional step that just adds to the finished look. I glued the leaves from my sunflowers to the interior of the ring, just so there is something covering the foam. Not a necessary step, and you could wait until the ring is otherwise complete to see if you want this.

DIY floral circle- Glue Leaves

Just add a short line of hot glue and stick on a leaf until the inner ring is more or less covered. It doesn’t need to be perfect. Remember, this will most likely not be seen.

DIY Floral ring

2. Start adding flowers.  Take your flowers and stick the nubbins into your foam. Press gently but firmly and they should slide right in without much resistance.

DIY Floral ring- place flowers

This lets you get a sense for how it will look in the overall ring. At this point, you can either place all the flowers until you’re happy with them, or you can do them one by one. I do them one by one for this tutorial.

You can place them at a slight angle, or straight down into the foam. I recommend having a little bit of diversity: nature isn’t precise, so having them perfectly uniform will actually look a bit more unusual than having them a bit oddball in placement.

DIY Floral ring- glue flowers

3. Glue Flowers. Now that you’ve decided how you would like to arrange your flowers, gently pull them out of the ring (one or a few at a time) and apply a dot (or swirl) of hot glue to the nubbin. It doesn’t take much. Then, push the flower back into the hole you removed it from.

DIY floral ring- place flowers

The hot glue will hold the flower in place better than the foam alone. You can skip this step if you’re confident your flower ring won’t be moved around much and you only want it temporarily.

DIY Floral ring- top ring flowers

4. Fill in the Gaps. Fill in your flowers all along the foam, making sure to mix up the color and type of flower. This is more art than science; go with what feels good! You mostly just need to cover the floral foam, so if that means squishing the petals a little, that should work. Don’t feel obligated to make it too cramped. This is also why you are placing the flower before you glue it; you can switch them out if you don’t like the placement.

DIY floral ring - side flowers

I did the top first, then went around the side of the ring. My flowers were large enough that I only needed one flower to fill the side; your results may vary. Do whatever works best for your project.

DIY Floral Ring- Complete centerpiece

5. Enjoy! Your floral ring is a good centerpiece all by itself, or you could add a candle or tall vase to complete the look. (Note: if using candles, be careful to keep the flowers well away from flame! I recommend using a glass vase rather than an exposed wick.)

DIY Floral Ring with Candle

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