Stop Being So Ranunculus

Flowers bore me. They really do. They all look the same to me, and I have no interest in learning the names of all the different breeds/species of flower. I can’t think of anything more boring than horticulture, can you? The only flower-related knowledge I’ve gained in my years of trolling wedding blogs is that I don’t know the names of 99.99% (repeating, of course) of flowers. Did you know this is called “ranunculus”?


Image via Dandelions Flowers & Gifts

I’m gonna start using that word in my everyday life. Like, “You’re being ranunculus! What are you thinking?”

And these are called billy balls. (I can’t make this stuff up, people.)


Image via Ruffled Blog / Photo by James Carson

“That guy’s got a lot of billy balls, I tell ya.”

These flowers are actually my favorites, and I knew about them long before I began mentally planning my wedding:


Image via Washington State University Arboretum & Wildlife Conservation Center

“Gerbera” just sounds like a baby making bubble noises. Or a man motor boating someone. Poor taste?

Anyway, these flowers are all pretty and everything, but show me a picture of any flower and I’ll tell you it’s pretty.


Image via / Photo by Photograph by Harry Wiriadinata

Except this one. That flower is so ugly it makes that man’s mustache look downright sexy.

If you know anything about me by now (besides my distaste for flower decisions) it should be my extreme cheapness. I’m not what you’d call frugal, because then Mr. Unicycle would like me a lot better. Rather, I like to spend a lot of money on a lot of cheap things. And from what I can tell, buying flowers for your wedding entails spending a LOT of money on a few expensive things. That doesn’t work for me. Why do you think I choose Old Navy over the Gap every. single. time?

I honestly don’t know how much a single centerpiece would cost for my wedding. I know it has to do with what type of flowers you pick, what time of year your wedding is, what florist you book, and what type of flower receptacle you use. But whether the centerpiece is $40 or $200, it’s too much for me. We’re having about 20 tables (plus or minus a few), so if you know basic math, even $20 a table is going to be…well, money we could have spent elsewhere, to put it less mathematically. So what am I going to do instead of hiring a florist?

Paper flowers!!! Exciting stuff. I’m going to make all the bouquets and probably the boutonnieres out of paper (BTW, why is that word so hard to spell? What gives, wedding people?), and the centerpieces will all be made of crepe paper. Other than that, there will be no flowers. I already made a prototype or three for the centerpieces. Ready for some crappy pics?


Personal pics

Not sure which looks worse, the bright one or the dark one. So you get both.


Personal pic

I was too cheap to buy those foam spheres from the craft store, so I wadded up newspaper instead. Here’s a tip: Don’t do that. I’m going to copy Mrs. Penguin’s idea for the rest and use paper lanterns instead.


Personal pic

Artsy closeup shot

The yellow paper-ball things are similar to what I’m going to actually end up using, but I didn’t like how that paper looked so just ignore it for now. I’ll do another post about centerpieces later.

I haven’t started crafting the bouquets yet because I know they’ll get smashed/ripped/ruined or even lost in the next eight months, so I’m going to wait until we get closer to the wedding. I haven’t even decided what paper-flower tutorial I’m going to use yet, but these lovely paper blooms have made their way onto my pinboard so far:


Imge via Weddingbee DIY / Posted by carmacae


Image via Emmaline Bride / Photo by Ashley Forrette Photography

Yes, these are ranunculus. And ridonkulus. Tutorial here!


Image via Martha Stewart


Image via Weddingbee DIY / Posted by Sady Jane


Image via A Field Journal


Image via Martha Stewart


Image via Aunt Peaches

Do you think anyone will miss real flowers? I don’t think so. These bad boys look so realistic in the photos. Plus, I kind of think the whole “smelling flowers” thing is a conspiracy. Maybe my nose isn’t sensitive enough or something, but they always just smell like plants to me. I’m sure my guests won’t mind smelling crepe paper and dried glue during dinner.

Do you have any other paper-flower tutorials? I’m collecting them, so show me your links!


Mrs. Unicycle

Chicago, IL
Wedding Date:
June 2012
Let's Talk about the Tunes
Spoonful of Love: Walking Down the Aisle

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  1. Member
    Miss Munchkin 48 posts, Newbee @ 5:10 pm

    Ha! I totally share your sentiments! I’m taking a lot of pride in having a flower free wedding! (which is ironic because my mother is a retired floral designer and LOVES flowers lol). I am not even having flowers on my cake!

    I will have a bouquet made of fake flowers which I made my mother put together…keep on the good work and no one will miss the flowers when they are wowed with what you do!

  2. Member
    abirdword 4494 posts, Honey bee @ 5:18 pm

    omg, this is amazing! I love the paper flower trend – real flowers are so friggin expensive! Plus, it’s awesome you can have some of these babies forever!

  3. hyena Member
    hyena 2537 posts, Sugar bee @ 5:19 pm

    I don’t have any tutorials or tips, but I used fake flowers from Hobby Lobby (holla 50% off!) and I didn’t miss the “flower smell” or any of that other “you need reaaaaalll flowers” nonsense.
    Also, I like the yellow paper balls in the vases. Cute idea!

  4. Member
    lisaelanna 530 posts, Busy bee @ 5:46 pm

    This tutorial yields GORGEOUS and very realistic looking roses.
    It wasn’t too difficult but would take me about an hour to completely make 2 of them. Googling “crepe paper flowers” or “coffee filter flowers” yields tons of stuff. And Martha is soon to become your best friend.

    I think you are VERY brave to undertake making all of the flowers for your wedding. It had been my intention to do all of them for mine except the bouquets and in the end it just wasn’t worth my time. Though I suppose if you maybe cut out all the shapes ahead of time and had 15 friends over for an evening of paper rose making and wine it might not be so bad.

    Also, if you do decide not to do paper flowers Costco sells flowers online pretty cheaply. They cost $100/90-100 roses. You’ll have to do all of the arranging yourself the day before but they bloom out so big a day or two after delivery that you really only need 3-4 per table in a bud vase to be absolutely gorgeous.

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    Lexy, Guest @ 5:59 pm

    I’m doing paper flowers too! Huge tissue paper dahlias for the centerpieces (in dollar store vases) and crepe paper bouquet (using the Martha Stewart tutorial) for the bouquets & corsages. I’m taking a 10 min break from the tissue paper flowers as i type actually :-)

    It is a lot of work… by you have more time than I do so you can probably get it all done stress free.

  6. Member
    missgracekelly 34 posts, Newbee @ 6:08 pm

    I made the Martha Stewart ones (coffee filter roses) to decorate my bird cage card holder and mixed them with silk/fake flowers from Michaels. They looked gorgeous! You can do so much with the watercolors to make them look great.

    My only issue with them was that the floral tape wasn’t very sticky.

  7. Member
    luckE bride Jen 22 posts, Newbee @ 7:50 pm

    lady I give u a ton of credit for making all ur flowers paper. :-) After hiring a florist and seeing how much everything was going to be I started making tissue paper pomanders for our ceremony. They are extremely time consuming…but are turning out really good! I really don’t think anyone will miss the real flowers. If my finance and my parents weren’t helping us out with our wedding expenses I would be doing the exact same thing!

  8. msfox Member
    msfox 1635 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:19 pm

    I’m in awe of how much you can do with paper flowers.. loving your ideas so far. Good luckkk!

  9. Member
    MrsKeAloha 1044 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:33 pm

    Oh you made me laugh. I think the wedding should reflect you and if you want paper flowers than have paper flowers. They look really nice. I am making fabric flowers for the rehearsal dinner. I am getting my fun small 50 person rehearsal dinner and my fiance has his large 250 person formal wedding. So I say go for it – and please post lots of pictures.

  10. Member
    village_skeptic 1861 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:22 pm

    This post cracks me up. Unless I’m mistaken, the enormous flower you posted is the biggest one in the world, and it’s called corpse flower, because it smells like rotting meat (the better to attract pollinating insects). GROSS.

    Anyway…I think your paper flowers will be just lovely! Can’t wait to see them a few months from now!

  11. msseal Member
    msseal 1179 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:33 pm

    bahaha…the man with the mustache…that picture and your caption just kills me 😉 also…hizell yessss…you show that paper what’s up! those paper flowers look fabulously gorgeous!!!

  12. jaguar Member
    jaguar 6502 posts, Bee Keeper @ 12:34 am

    I’ve seen some awesome paper flowers. Well done , you!

  13. Member
    ccranetobe 3770 posts, Honey bee @ 1:53 am

    So if your worried about the price. Whats the differance in cost between the paper & buying original flowers?

    Because I would be weighing up stress, your time, cost of paper, products etc vs… cost of buying fake or real flowers and none of your time in prep?

    I cared for no flowers, but I ended up buying fake bouquets for all my girls and buttonaires and it cost me $120.00 and they look realistic and lanterns for my reception tables.

    I would be interest in your research! Because if they turned out cheaper, I wish I would have known!! 😀

  14. sunhat Member
    sunhat 1453 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:35 am

    Love the paper flower look. There are so many alternatives to flowers – we aren’t using any except for the centerpieces which are more baby’s breath than actual flowers.

  15. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:04 am

    Some of those paper flowers are beautiful!

    I’m usually pretty practical, but flowers are a sure weakness for me. I love them. LOVE them. If my budget allowed it, I’d have flowers cascading from the rafters.

  16. hawk Member
    hawk 1117 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:40 am

    You are so crafty! I can’t wait to see the final product. :)

  17. Member
    knvprincess143 1036 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:35 am

    I fell in love with paper flowers too, but I haven’t been brave enough to try it myself yet. Thanks for all the tips.

  18. Member
    TinyTina 3312 posts, Sugar bee @ 8:52 am

    I love paper flowers!! I’ve been toying with the idea myself, but I’m also a lazy bride so hiring a florist is sounding good right now. 😀

  19. elk Member
    elk 320 posts, Helper bee @ 4:23 pm

    these look great! If I weren’t such a new onset wedding snob and didn’t love my ranunculus SOOOO much maybe I would consider this too…but you are right, flower costs are quite ranunculussss

  20. Guest Icon Guest
    Lexy, Guest @ 9:37 pm

    @ccranetobe: So I don’t know about Miss Uni’s paper extravaganza, but I will answer for me.

    Total cost for 20 centerpieces, dessert table decorations, two bouquets, two corsages and 4 bouts was about $150, that includes vases, paper, floral wire, and floral tape.

    Also, I think there will be enough left over tissue paper to make a photo backdrop with huge tissue paper dahlias.

    It will end up being, however, at least 40 hours of work.

  21. Member
    friedicecream 43 posts, Newbee @ 11:33 am

    I thought I was the only one who doesn’t care about flowers! So expensive, and they’re just going to die.

    There’ll probably be some traditionalists who are snotty about the lack of flowers (I don’t know your family though). But most people care much more about food and fun!

  22. unicycle Member
    unicycle 476 posts, Helper bee @ 12:58 pm

    @lisaelanna: Thanks for the link! And I am actually considering holding a paper flower making party now, though i don’t want my fam to think I’m a bridezilla!

    @ccranetobe: I’m actually not going to have that many flowers, probably just 5 bouquets and one centerpiece per table. If I were going all out like most brides do, there’s no way my time would be worth it! I think I’ll just hunker down with some Lifetime movies and git er done.

  23. Member
    pokey_dc 85 posts, Worker bee @ 3:25 pm

    This is awesome! I’ve been contemplating doing this for a while now and decided last week it’s a go. I have friends who already volunteered to help! We’re using old sheet music (his first love) and engineering paper (my job) for roses.

  24. Guest Icon Guest
    Jennifer, Guest @ 10:42 am

    Thanks for this post! I was also considering something like this. We also will only have a small amount of flowers. 5 bouquets and maybe 11 centerpieces so I might actually be able to do this!

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