Wedding favor ideas: Flower bulbs
Information on flower bulbs as wedding favor ideas.
Most brides dream of their perfect wedding from the time they were little. From wearing the living room curtains as a veil and posing the family dog as the lucky groom, every detail has been specifically planned years in advance. Every aspect of the wedding service has been carefully laid out from the dress to the reception.
The wedding reception is the perfect time to gather with your guests and thank them for attending your ceremony and supporting you and your new mate. Many couples choose to thank their guests in a special way by giving them individual wedding favors. These wedding favors can be anything of importance to the couple, personalized candy, photos, picture frames or even beautiful, long-lasting flowers.
Couples can spend staggering amounts on these wedding favors in order to give a personal and unique wedding favor, but there’s no need to blow your entire budget on just the favors. You can create your own special wedding favors for your guests that won’t break the bank.
Flowering bulbs are a unique way to share the details of your wedding with your guests. They can symbolize the growth of a new relationship or the gentle care required to ensure the relationship is rooted in a strong, supportive environment. Giving your guests a potted flower bulb can be easy and inexpensive and requires minimal effort from you. This is also the perfect way to incorporate some of your favorite flowers used during the ceremony into your reception.
Most bulbs can easily be grown in a container such as a clay or plastic pot. Flowers that are easy to grow and maintain include: tulips, hyacinths, daylilies, clematis, iris, daffodils or even crocus. These flowers come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors and will look great at your reception. You will want to be sure and select good, healthy bulbs for planting. Look for bulbs that are large, firm and show no outward signs of disease or rot.
Giving a potted flower bulb will require a few weeks of planning prior to your big day. Most bulbs need to be exposed to temperatures between 32 and 45 degrees F for at least 12 weeks in order to develop a strong root system. To keep your bulbs chilled at the correct temperature, keep them in the refrigerator, an unheated closet or an attached garage. Do be careful not to expose the bulbs to freezing temperatures as this will rot and ruin your bulbs.
In case you’re in a pinch for a quick gift and do not have time to properly chill the bulbs for several weeks, you can use Paperwhites (narcissus tazetta & Narcissus tazetta orientalis) which require no chilling and will usually bloom in three to five weeks of planting. Other flowers that require no chilling and bloom between three to eight weeks are Amaryllis and Lily-of –the-Valley.
You will need to select the type of pot you would like to give. Most pots come in either clay or plastic – either will work beautifully and are fairly inexpensive. The width of your pot will vary depending on the type of bulb you choose to give. You will need to make sure that whichever pot you choose is at least 8 inches deep with drainage holes in the bottom. If the pots you choose do not come with drainage holes don’t fret, you can easily add an inch or two of rocks to the bottom which will keep the roots from rotting due to over exposure to water.
After chilling your bulbs for at least 12 weeks, fill your pots with a light, moisture-retentive potting soil. Many bulbs will flourish in potting soil that contains vermiculite or perlite, which assists in the drainage process. Place about two inches of potting soil in the bottom of your pot. If you choose larger bulbs such as tulips or daffodils, place them at least six inches deep inside your pot; smaller bulbs such as crocus or muscari only require being planted in about three inches deep. If you choose to incorporate two bulbs into your wedding favor, place the larger bulb on bottom followed by at least one inch of soil then the smaller bulb. Finally, cover the bulbs with another one to two inches of additional potting soil and water well. You will want to keep the soil moist and not allowed to dry out. The idea is to maintain even moisture content in your pot – but not ‘wet’ soil. Bulbs that are not given enough water during their growing stage will result in bulbs that do not flower.
While you can plant your bulbs without chilling first, the bulbs will still require a chilling period before they will bloom. You can chill the entire pot for the allotted time if this makes your task easier. Once the chilling process has been completed and the bulbs have been properly planted, you will see the green tips emerging from the top of the soil. At this point, you will want to keep your wedding favors in a warm spot. This is the perfect time to give them as gifts and your guests can enjoy their beauty even longer and witness the growing process. When the flowers appear, move the bulbs out of direct sunlight to make the blooms last longer.
Before you give you guests this beautiful labor of love, decorate the pot so that they are an attractive place setting or centerpiece for your reception. You can enhance your wedding favors by trimming the top of the flowerpot with strips of one-inch wide satin ribbon cut to length to match the radius of the pot plus an additional ½ inch. (Example, an 8 inch pot will require 8 ½” of ribbon). Add a small pea-size amount of hot glue to the rim of the flowerpot and carefully adhere one end of the ribbon to the pot. Then wrap the ribbon around the edge of the flowerpot overlapping the edges adding a small amount of hot glue to the top of the ribbon edge on bottom. Press firmly and hold until the hot glue sets. For an added touch, you can either use the same technique with a smaller width satin ribbon or you can even purchase beaded trim and apply it to the pot using the same method.
Finish your custom wedding favors with a small note either attached to the ribbon around the edge of the pot (if you choose to do this, add an additional 1 ½” to the ribbon so that you have enough to tie through your message), attach your note to a craft stick easily purchased at any craft or hobby shop and stick into the soil, or you can purchase floral card picks that can also be purchased at any craft or hobby shops.
If a ribbon trim does not match the theme of your reception, you can purchase acrylic craft paint (available in most discount, hobby or craft stores) and apply it to the pot using a sponge. Simply squeeze a half dollar size of paint onto a paper plate (or enough paint to cover your pot) dab a moist kitchen sponge or sea sponge into the paint and dab onto the pot. The amount of paint required for each pot will vary depending on the desired coverage you are looking for.
You can also paint the entire pot with acrylic or latex house paint and then customize your pots for each guest. Using a small paint roller or brush, completely cover the pot with paint to match your wedding reception theme and allow the pot to dry for 24 hours. Then use colored paint pens, which can be purchased at most craft and hobby stores to add each guests name on one side and you, and your new mate’s name and wedding date on the other. Finally, finish your special gift with a note of thanks.