The weaponized wedding bouquet could smash your face and will break your heart

December 3 2013 | Guest post by Sarah
Bouquet by Robert Thomas Iron
Bouquet by Robert Thomas Iron

Some brides choose to make their bouquets out of brooches or buttons. Some are classicists — flowers, the kind that really lived in the ground once. Some (read as: ones far more crafty and talented than me) lovingly craft their flowers out of paper.

Me? I prefer my bouquet to be capable of inflicting blunt force trauma. That right there is seven pounds of bridal awesomeness, hand-forged out of motherfucking iron.

bouquet-1

When my husband Mike and I got engaged, we knew three things: we weren't getting married in Florida, our friend Ron would officiate, and my artisan blacksmith brother Bobby would make a stand to hold our photo album. A stand, I reasoned, wouldn't be too hard, wouldn't detract from his paid commissions, and could be knocked out in an afternoon. I tentatively asked him if he thought he could make the stand, maybe even with a flower on it, because his iron flowers are my favorite thing.

bouquet-3"Shut up," he said. "I'm making your bouquet."

And I fucking cried. I cried with gratitude. When he presented it to me, just a few seconds before I walked down the aisle, he told me there was nothing he had ever been prouder to make.

It's weird, I know, to be writing about your wedding bouquet instead of your wedding, your brother instead of your husband. But truth be told, the day was so enormous to me that I am still having a hard time wrapping my head around it. I know you're probably rolling your eyes right about now – is overdramatic bride a meme? – but it's easier, in some ways, for me to fixate on small moments and small components, because none of them are really small, not really.

How? How are all these people in my life so beautiful? How is the world so leaking with love? How do weddings do this to us, and how do we recover? And how do we ever forget? There is so much universe still stuck in our heads. We survive our childhood and spend the rest of our lives peeling back scar tissue, only to find healed flesh underneath.

I love my artist brother. I am so proud to be his sister. And I will love what he made for me on the day I married my husband until the day I die.

  1. I collect wooden flowers. Have ever since I went to Europe to study abroad. This makes me want to add metal to my collection. The bouquet is perfect. So much love in such a beautiful package!

  2. This just made me have goosebumps as big as mountains. My father is a blacksmith! (I'm actually his student right now as well) he made our wedding cake knife – it was my parents knife that was a "last minute thought" that he made the day before their wedding in 1996. This is absolutely spectacular and dropped my jaw to the floor in my kitchen. I'm already emotional today because I'm picking up my gown this afternoon and this just pushed me right over the edge. Incredible.

    6 agree
  3. That is soooooo freaking beautiful! I want it so bad it hurts… and the fact that it was handmade for YOU by your own brother must make that much more gorgeous in your eyes. Please please please post a link for how we can contact your brother for commissions… or, better yet, tell your brother that he needs to advertise with Offbeat Bride (and Home as I would totally decorate my whole house with those)

    19 agree
  4. Love, love, love. And so much THIS:
    "It's weird, I know, to be writing about your wedding bouquet instead of your wedding, your brother instead of your husband. But truth be told, the day was so enormous to me that I am still having a hard time wrapping my head around it."

    There's so many little moments from my day I love and remember and they're definitely not all about my husband — who I adore. Specifically a couple moments with my mom, dad and brother.

    With my mom it was when we were getting my dress on. Somehow we ended up being the only two in the room as I put it on and she got to be the first to see me fully ready. It was super special. Just before walking down the aisle, I was super nervous and asked my dad to tell me bad jokes and hold my hand tight to keep me together (they were about squirrels). With my brother it was the few hugs we shared throughout the day.

    And one moment that's super special that's totally my husband — during the photo taking at the pumpkin patch before the ceremony, he took a few minutes out to purchase the pumpkins my flower-girl nieces had been dragging around and bring them along for them. <3 SWOON. This whole sentiment is so perfect and so true.

    7 agree
  5. Wow!! There is such poignancy in your story, and such badassery in your bouquet! Love love love it! And THANK YOU – you made me really think about what's important on the Big Day. Not just showing your love for each other and your guests, but letting them show it, too!

    My very own Chief Operating Fiance is an amateur blacksmith, and I've been having him make all kinds of doodads and whatnots for our wedding. My first thought when I saw this picture was "Oh Em Gee he's going to HAVE to make me one of those."….but then after reading your story, and remembering that my mother is painstakingly cutting and folding book-page paper roses for my bouquet, it hit me that letting her do that for me is far more important than having a weaponized bouquet … if only barely 🙂

    3 agree
  6. This is SO FREAKING AWESOME. Let me reiterate. SO. FREAKING. AWESOME. One of the best things I've seen on OBB EVAH!!!! My Mum has a rose in a vase that my Dad commissioned from a blacksmith for her birthday one year, and I've always loved it. But a WHOLE BOUQUET!?!?!?! Your brother officially wins the internet.

    5 agree
  7. I love metal flowers, and those are so awesome. I love your story and I agree – that is how I see my wedding, too. This article definitely gave me a squee!

    1 agrees
  8. *sniffles*

    Your brother wins all the prizes–seriously, that is LOVE.

    It's like we get these lightning strikes of love throughout our weddings and our friends' weddings–my cousin, setting up all the table decor for me; my bridesmaids getting me In'n'Out the day before my wedding; wearing a dress made for me by hand, by a dear friend…they're all tiny representations of the whole–and they were how I knew that the people I love most were and are glad of my marriage.

    It's good.

    Weddings are good.

    …I don't think I will *ever* get tired of them or the love they bring.

    1 agrees
  9. I love this! My father is an artisan blacksmith, and he is making us a stand as well….but our officiant/best friend is going to stand behind it, then we will later use it for our album and guestbook. Beautiful work!

  10. I have to say that first of all I cried with joy at your story as I love my brother too (but him being a fireman he couldn't make anything for my wedding); and I am **MADLY**, **PASSIONATELY** in love with your bouquet!!!!!
    It's the freaking best thing I've ever seen in my whole entire life!!!!!
    I work at a florist, so I thought I'd seen it all until this post, and now I'm going to recommend it to ***EVERYONE***!!!!!

  11. You look great with that bouquet. Not only are you both beautiful, you compliment each other, your brother did a great job.

  12. I missed this because it was during my post-wedding hiatus from the Empire, but there is nothing about this post that isn't amazing. What a beautiful gift, both in the gesture and in the result! I am seriously floored. I also love the title, and "Me? I prefer my bouquet to be capable of inflicting blunt force trauma. That right there is seven pounds of bridal awesomeness, hand-forged out of motherfucking iron," is perfect. I loved my own bouquet, but seriously, this makes me a little bit jealous. I had my sword set on the weapons table with everyone else's, but my *bouquet* was not weaponized. Cheers!

  13. Oh, my GAWD! I LOVE THIS! I have some little, metal flowers that I am now looking at in a totally new way. They aren't solid/heavy enough to bang anyone upside the head with, but, HMMM (wheels turning in my head). I'm an old-school Heavy Metal fan, so your bouquet is a thousand kinds of AWESOME.
    You're right: It's all the small wonders that make the whole that much greater.

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