Seashell Bridal Bouquet
Roses, preferably in a pre-made bouquet
Shells, a variety to suit your style
Dried flowers, your colors. We used mini roses, babies breath and sea lavender
Tiny Sand Dollars (about the size of a dime or nickel)
Bouquet wrapping material: lace, burlap, etc...
Thin copper wire (optional)
Beach Bouquets are unique. It's so refreshing to see flowers mingling with shells.
You can use fresh OR silk flowers as the base of your bouquet. Although using fresh flowers as a base would probably be best left to the professional designer. There is a huge difference between an all-shell bouquet and a mixed shell and flower bouquet. The all-shell bouquet tends to look (and feel!) very heavy. I've done both and I very much prefer the look of a mixed bouquet.
First, evaluate your silk bouquet and make adjustments as needed. Spread the flowers apart and perhaps remove a few to make room for the shells...it all depends on the flowers you bought. If the flowers are "loose" and not pre-made into a bouquet, then you will need to arrange them and tape them securely with florists tape.
Next, you need to hot glue wire to the shells. Make sure you use enough glue. this process can be messy and burn fingers. Use an extra glue stick to press the wire into the shell until the hot glue dries.
For the first shell placement, use spiral shells. Spiral shells are important to have as a design element when all the flowers and shells are basically circle shaped.
After you have inserted the wires and are happy with the placements, use florist tape to secure them.
Next, add the rest of the shells. Shells can be awkward and heavy but keep adjusting until you like the placement. Make sure shells and flowers are evenly spaced throughout. Tape firmly with florists tape.
Adding dried flowers "softens" the bouquet of shells, as shells can be "hard". Trust me, you need some kind of softening effect. For the dried flowers you can either wire them individually or you can simply glue them to the shells and flowers. Hand wiring takes much longer and makes the already heavy bouquet heavier but the advantage of this method is that the flowers are easy to place exactly where you want them. Gluing is much faster but be careful to remove all the glue "strings".
Now add the sand dollars, they should rise above the other flowers in the bouquet just slightly. In order to execute this design successfully, you need to remember to place the drieds slightly above the shells and silks. If you don't, you wind up with something that looks like a flowery basketball.
Add curled copper wire last (curl wire around a pencil).
Wrap the bottom with lace, burlap or fabric. I used antique lace and glued a sand dollar on in lieu of a bow. Some women like to use lace from their mother or grandmothers weddings.