As many of you have known, I was engaged last July, so a wedding is expected to be some time in the future. To be the hopeless romantic as I am, needless to say that I have been dreaming about my wedding for a long time, and among many of the things I want to have in my wedding is a brooch bouquet. Basically, a brooch bouquet is a bouquet made of jewelleries instead of real fresh flowers. This is a picture of a brooch bouquet for your reference, you can find a lot more on Google Images:
Although they are called brooch bouquets, they are not necessarily made of only brooches. The elements can be anything from hair pins, rings, bracelets, necklaces, etc., basically any floral-shaped jewelleries, or even not floral-shaped at all. They also don’t have to be metal, can be fabric, ceramic, wood, or plastic. I think the ones who use a brooch bouquet in their wedding already don’t fall into the conventional type of bride, so it is totally up to her to decide what she thinks are beautiful and meaning to be in her bouquet.
I don’t remember when exactly that I wanted to have a brooch bouquet for my wedding, but it has been in my mind for a long time. It is just so unconventional, so quirky, yet at the same time still extremely glamorous. There are many places on the Internet that you can order a brooch bouquet made for yourself. They are super pretty, but most are at least $400, which is too expensive for my budget, so I decided to make one myself! I figured if I need roughly 50 items, and if each of them can be bought for €3-5, I can have my own brooch bouquet for about €150, still expensive but a little more affordable. However, although my wedding will be at home in Vietnam, for now I am living in Helsinki, Finland, which is not necessarily the cheapest place in the world. And the fact that it is now winter in Finland hence all outdoor flea markets are not open doesn’t help either. But I still have at least months until the wedding, and it’s fun going to all the indoor flea market, antique shops and second-hand shops that are open to hunt the perfect brooches. Also, I’ve told some friends about this project and asked them to help me looking out for affordable secondhand jewelleries, including my best friend in Italy, where fashion items are supposed to be more abundant and generally cheaper.
I intended for this to be a secret project as I was unsure if I would be able to collect enough brooches and then put them together as a bouquet. But the more I am into it, the more I am confident that this is going to be real. My brooch bouquet may not be as colour-coordinated or put together not as perfectly as those done by professionals, but it would be a lot more meaningful as each piece is personally picked or approved by me and the whole bouquet is 100% customised to my liking. They say happiness is the journey not the destination, which I think is especially true for weddings as the preparation process is the most exciting part. This brooch bouquet represents not only my style and personality, but also memories of each flea market shopping trip, and of course, great friendships. I share this because I want to document this journey, and hopefully it is also an inspiration for brides out there who want to represent their love with ever-lasting flowers.
From now on, I will update the process of the brooch bouquet on this blog, as I slowly acquiring more and more items. I hope this journey will be as exciting to you as much as it is to me.
The first 3 items I bought were from eBay. I think anyone looking for anything cheap would consider eBay as one of the first resources. There are many options for a brooch bouquet on eBay, there are even wholesale brooches only for this purpose, but because I was overwhelmed with options and still undecided on the theme colour I only tried out a few small items first, which are a hair clip, a ring, and a brooch. After they arrived, I realised the hair clip is okay (not great, but okay), the ring is a little small but the actual ring part is out of shape since it’s made of soft metal, but the worst is the brooch as it is small and looks very cheap. Of course these are dirt cheap made-in-China jewelleries so I shouldn’t have expected anything more.
The next one I haven’t seen in person but in photo it already looks gorgeous and is my favourite piece so far. It is a brooch my friend bought for me from a local flea market in Cassino, Italy.
Because of this amazing piece, I’ve kind of made up my mind that the bouquet will be vintage-style. I don’t want to limit the colours but they should not be too contrasting and should bring out the rusty vintage vibe (so the shiny colourful Chinese brooch above will likely to be out).
The next piece is a brooch I got from a secondhand store in a small town called Hamina in Finland. I came home and found out some of the crystals are missing, but I think it’s still a good value for its price.
This overwhelming bracelet caught my eyes because it features a full-on flower in a perfectly good shape, I only need to cut the beads off and it’s good to go. I bought it from a flea market also in Hamina for a relatively high price though.
This next one is also a bracelet, although I love it as a bracelet and it fits my tiny wrist perfectly, now I don’t know why I thought this ceramic flower would go well for the bouquet. Well, we shall see… I also got it from another flea market in Hamina, needless to say how much I enjoy this brooch hunting mission.
Next is a set of miscellaneous pieces my flatmate got me from Oulu, Finland. Since they are small and neutral colours, I think they are perfect to use as gap-fillers on the bouquet.
This is all the items I’ve got so far. Looking at them makes me so excited and eager to hunt for more, another update is coming very soon.