A Bouquet of French Beaded Flowers for a Wedding

When I got married, I had to make sure that beads were a part of our special day!

When my husband and I were planning our wedding back in 2003, I wanted beads to play a big part in our special day. I had planned on making the jewelry for my bridesmaids and for my husband's sister, who was also in our wedding party, and the ladies in my weekly beading group were planning on getting together to learn how to make French beaded flowers for my bouquet.

Learning how to make French beaded flowers turned out to be a lot harder than we had all anticipated. But we had something very special at the little bead shop that I owned with two business partners: a treasure trove of antique French beaded flowers with a very special story.

One of my partners and I had gone out to Saranac Lake to visit a man who had come into the store and offered us a large lot of vintage and antique seed beads and supplies for making French beaded flowers. His wife had recently passed away, and he was preparing to move closer to his children.

As we looked at the breathtaking French beaded flowers that had been crafted by his late wife, he explained how she had started making them. She had been walking their dog one morning when she and the dog were struck by a car. The dog was killed, and his wife had been seriously injured. After that, she was terrified to ride in a car unless she had something to do with her hands – so she started learning how to make French beaded flowers as a way to keep her hands (and her mind) occupied during their long trips down to Long Island.

The French beaded flowers were amazing. Intricately and expertly crafted, his late wife had used intense, vibrant colors of vintage and antique seed beads to make these flowers that looked just like the real thing, but definitely with more sparkle! We bought the entire lot from him on the spot, and took them back to the shop.

My sister-in-law used her floral arranging skills to create a gorgeous wedding bouquet of beaded flowers for me!

As our big day got closer, I started to wonder what I was going to do for a wedding bouquet. Then my business partner suggested that I use the French beaded flowers we had purchased to assemble a small wedding bouquet for myself. With the flower-arranging skills of my soon-to-be sister-in-law, I soon had a stunning (and quite heavy!) bouquet of beaded flowers to carry as I walked down the aisle with my husband. It was the perfect wedding bouquet, and destined to become one of our family's heirlooms.

And no, there was no tossing of the bouquet at our wedding. We wanted to avoid the bodily injury that was sure to come from me throwing a three-pound bouquet of glass beads and wire over my shoulder into a crowd!

Have you ever used beads as a part of a special family event? Share your stories here on the blog!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer

 

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Jennifer VanBenschoten

About Jennifer VanBenschoten

Born in New Jersey in 1974, I escaped to the Adirondacks for the first time in 1995, making it my permanent home in 2000.  I have been interested in beads, buttons and making jewelry as long as I can remember.  It's probably my mother's fault - she was a fiber artist and crochet historian, and whenever she ordered supplies from one mail order source, she would order a huge bag of assorted buttons and beads for me and my sister!    

6 thoughts on “A Bouquet of French Beaded Flowers for a Wedding

  1. I created a bouquet for myself out of glass pearls and sparkling red crystals – my husband suffers from horrible hayfever so I couldn’t have inflicted flowers on him! Last Christmas, two years after we got married, I had my (scarlet) dress remade into a slinky evening gown, took the bouquet to pieces and used some of the pearls and crystals to make a wire-wrapped pendant and matching earrings.

  2. I didn’t go that far, but I did have a beaded necklace, and I embroidered the trim of the underskirt that came out in front of the dress and a stole with the same seed beads to match. It was really delicate, but eye-cathing at the same time.

  3. For my wedding, I knew I had to have sparkly glass beads involved – not only because of my passion for beading, but also because of my fiancee’s passion for irradized glass (he is a carnival glass collector).
    So he and I hit the bead shops together and found some gorgeous beads. I actually choose my wedding colors based on the array of colors used in my bouquet. (I had a small bouquet – 10 roses and some beaded baby’s breath, all the roses in a different bead color – but sticking with wine, burgundy and purple colors.)
    I went one step further – and created boutineers for the men, and corsages for the women in the wedding party (those flowers were all the same color). This was 10 years ago, and I just found out that my niece plans to have her groom wear the corsage that I’d given her for our wedding (slightly altered to be more manly). Seems that we’ve started a tradition!

  4. French Floral beading takes a lot of patience. I am self taught in this magical technique. Many of the people who see me demonstrating this technique ask me how I manage to do something so meticulous. I answer honestly, concentration on something like this helps me forget other concerns. Besides, I’m a glutton for punishment!!! LOL
    Kitty

  5. French Floral beading takes a lot of patience. I am self taught in this magical technique. Many of the people who see me demonstrating this technique ask me how I manage to do something so meticulous. I answer honestly, concentration on something like this helps me forget other concerns. Besides, I’m a glutton for punishment!!! LOL
    Kitty

  6. I made my wedding bouquet flowers using the french beading technique. I still can not believe the number of times I had to explain to people that I couldn’t throw the bouquet. No one understood how heavy the flowers were until they’d held them.
    Congratulations on eight years!

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