I have something I just have to get off my chest. I love peonies. I mean I REALLY love peonies. I love them in all of their over-the-top fluffiness. I love how their petals look so elegant but yet a little messy at the same time. Long before getting engaged I just knew that my bridal bouquet would be a big ol’ heap of white and ivory peonies, and I’ve had that image in my head ever since.
Kinda like that.
There’s just one tiny little problem with my peony obsession– they’re a spring and summer flower, and we’re getting married in September. Ugh! Apparently florists can sometimes have peonies shipped in after their true season from overseas, but this (of course) comes with a hefty mark up on an already pricey bloom. The best option I was able to find were varieties of garden roses that look similar to peonies. Kind of like distant cousins.
The layered petals are soft and feminine, but I just can’t shake the feeling that they aren’t peonies. They don’t quite have that iconic look I had my heart set on, and the blooms are a little smaller, and I want what I want, darn it.
So what’s a stubborn bride to do?
I thought about going with artificial silk flowers or a mixture of silk and natural to achieve the look I want. I found a few websites with very pretty offerings, but I kept thinking about those stiff, crunchy peony buds I’ve seen at craft stores and I just couldn’t bring myself to go with silks. I know their quality and lifelikeness has improved quite a bit in recent years due to their popularity, but it just didn’t seem like the perfect option for me.
That is, until I stumbled across Real Touch/Natural Touch flowers…
I was at one of my favorite home decor haunts, HomeGoods, and not really looking for anything in particular. With my fiance trailing behind me with a mild version of his “are we done yet?” face on, I strolled through an aisle filled with florals and branches, thinking maybe I’d find some more natural vase filler. Instead, right there on the shelf, I saw a pretty little arrangement of two dozen REAL white tea roses in a galvanized bucket, wrapped in burlap and lace.
My first thought was maybe they were preserved roses? They surely weren’t silk… they were too real! I felt their petals and my jaw dropped. They even felt real! The petals had that delicate, slightly satiny, slightly sticky quality that real roses have. I was blown away.
A little tag hung from the centerpiece that read “Real Touch.” A quick google search on my phone revealed that they are silk flowers manufactured to a botanically accurate standard (read: they look super real) and their petals are coated in a thin layer of latex (read: they feel super real). I probably would have bought them on the spot if there had been more of them.
When I got home, I set out to searching for Real Touch peonies, thinking maybe there was a chance I could find blooms I could craft into a bouquet with the iconic peony image I wanted all along. On etsy, I came across a seller who crafts her own florals using only Real Touch blooms, and she happens to carry a peony and rose bouquet that set my heart aflutter.
I showed the bouquet to my fiance and my mom, and they loved the look of it too. So I did what any sensible bride would do in my shoes, and I bought ’em. Not only did I buy the 12″ bouquet (with some pearls and rhinestones added in) but I also purchased matching bouquets for my sisters (matron of honor and maid of honor), corsages for my mom and future MIL, and boutonnieres for the men.
Oh, and centerpieces and a garland too. I’ll be using my own vases (mason jars!) for the centerpieces, and the garland will serve as part of our wedding altar/arch DIY’d decoration.
And it was all within our original floral budget, I promise.
They should be coming in sometime in late April, and I am seriously excited. I promise to post a full reveal of everything I receive, with my thoughts on how it all turned out.
From what I’ve seen so far, Real Touch is a great option for any bride who has her heart set on a particular floral look that might not fit the time of year of her wedding. I know they’re popular with destination wedding brides too, for obvious reasons.
Disclaimer: I have no relationship, financial or otherwise, to any retailers mentioned in this post.