(not her real dress... just the one i made her try on one day because she had been loving it)
brenza loves bling and sparkles and all sorts of pretty girly things, so of course, her wedding day needs to be the epitomy of sparkles and girly and fun, without making jay throw up glitter that is! the plan for her wedding started way before she and jay got engaged.
it actually started when i showed her some ideas my sis and i had for her upcoming wedding. ideas that we, of course, compiled on and from pinterest (how did we live without it?). you can see all of our wedding pins here. brenza fell in love with brooch bouquets and knew she'd need one. then we found crystal bouquets that would be great for the bridesmaids and, i'm pretty sure i may love them even more than she does and she's pretty pumped. we knew we'd need to DIY them after seeing several on etsy that were super pricey (gorgeous...but pricey). i read lots of tutorials but it basically came down to cutting lots of wire pieces an equal length, threading the bead/pearl/etc onto the middle of the wire and then twisting the wire ends together until it's tight. after cutting the first few wire strands individually i realized that it was going to take f-o-r-e-v-e-r to cut each one to the same length and i needed a way to cut a bunch at once. with some thought and a bit of the hubs smarty pants self we did this:
we put two nails into a yardstick at my desired length (23.5") and then i wound the wire around the nails, starting the wire at the midway point and wrapping around one nail and then the other in a big oval until i ran out of wire. once i finished winding the wire off the spool i used tin snips to cut all of the wires at the halfway point separating my oval into two sections. this not only got my wire into equal lengths (roughly equal, close enough for our purpose) it made a nice bend in the middle of the wire to help center the stones & pearls. then i threaded the beads and did a couple of twists to secure them in the center of the wire before pulling out the big guns.
many of the tutorials suggested putting a hook into the end of a drill and then holding the wire ends with pliers while making the bead twist (if that makes sense) but i decided that i'd much rather hold the soft round bead and decided to put the wire ends into the drill.
as for the beads, i started first at the Hobbs and then to Michaels and, between the two stores, found a nice assortment at half off. i only picked up a couple of shapes since i didn't know exactly what would work best and these three packages were $4 total!
once we beaded several strands we realized that we wanted to get some pearls too but pearls aren't anywhere near as easy to find in abundance of size and color for a great price like the iridescent beads i found. being the bargain hunters brenza and i are, we had already been hitting the thrift stores & second hand shops for brooches and quickly realized that there are lots of old faux pearl necklaces out there and they're way less expensice than individual pearl beads. the 3 strand necklace and single strand choker i found at goodwill plus a cute pair of daisy earrings were only 7 bucks and they had a lot of pearls on them.
we should have enough pearls with those and a choker brenza found on clearance for $5 (which included a brooch too) that we can have a good mixture in each of the bouquets, if not a really good start. this bunch isn't perfect but it's pretty close and has 135 strands.
once we have the perfect mixture we'll wrap the base in ribbon and trim the wire ends so we don't end up getting poked on her big day! some of the larger beads and pearls will become filler for her bouquet and we'll make boutineers of some darker teardrop beads and maybe add a few flowers in for softness.
i'm so glad we have plenty of time to perfect these (and wire the 1000+ gems, pearls & beads), i'll keep you posted!