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Etiquette

Gathering brooches for a brooch bouquet

[cross post from Flowers]

I'm having a winter wedding and want to carry a brooch bouquet filled with brooches given to me by all of the important women in my life. I had initially imagined gathering the brooches at my bridal shower, but my fiancee's family already hosted a shower for me for their side of the family only (chalk it up to a cultural difference and the fact that none of them speak English so wouldn't be able to communicate with my half anyways). My core group of friends are all scattered around the world and we likely won't be all together until the wedding itself. I'm not sure there will be another shower.

Is it offside to send notes to the women I love explaining the idea and telling them it would mean the world to me to include a brooch from them? Should I filter it through the MOH (who lives on the other side of the country) or do it directly? Any other ideas on how to arrange this?

Merci, gracias & thanks for any and all insight!

Re: Gathering brooches for a brooch bouquet

  • edited October 2012
    I think you should just gather your brooches on your own.  I also made my own brooch bouquet.  And it is VERY time consuming... So if your planner is right, your wedding is in like four months, you should alreday be wiring up your brooches.  Also what happens if you get brooches you don't like?
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  • I don't think there's any nice or polite way to ask people to give you brooches.  I think that brooches can be something very personal since they're essentially a piece of jewelry, and it's hard for me to imagine someone just giving you a piece of heirloom jewelry.  I think you should gather your own brooches and avoid asking your family or friends for theirs.
  • Many women wouldn't want to give them up, since brooches can be heirloom pieces.  If I had such an item from a grandmother or aunt I would keep it.

    I'd hit every Salvation Army, Goodwill, and church thrift store in the area if I were looking for a large number of brooches.  This time of year you can also find lots of local craft fairs every weekend.
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  • There's also an off-chance that there is a bride who will sell hers on the Classifieds board or on Craigslist, if you're not particular about the exact broaches.
  • You can also try Etsy. I know there are a lot of people on there that make custom brooch bouquets.
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  • I made a half brooch, half flower bouquet, so it didn't take me forever and a day to make. I bought many of mine on ebay for about 99 cents w/ free shipping, bought large lots of brooches and pendants off ebay, and found a $1 jewelry store in my area and used earrings, rings, and pendants I bought from there. It ended up costing me maybe $50. It can't hurt to put the word out that you are looking for brooches. My sister-in-law gave me a few for christmas, and my mom have me a few pieces of her mom's costume jewelry to use. But flat out asking, I don't know about that. 

    A picture of my hybrid bouquet. 

     
  • I'm getting a brooch bouquet made so it can be included with my floral bouquet (it will be a combination of the 2). While I like the idea of having "important" brooches’, it just wouldn't happen. My mom and her best friend are collecting them in my colors and then will be tying each one to separate stems to be inserted into my bouquet.

    In my circle, brooches’ definitely aren't common so I'm sure if I asked people for a brooch for the bouquet, they'd have to go purchase them anyway. My mom and her friend frequent thrift stores/antique shops and have been having lots of luck at those places.
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  • Your friends and family who know you are making a brooch bouquet may buy them for you here and there.  But I don't think that you would be able to collect the amount you need this way.

    I was planning on making a brooch bouquet, but ended up switching to paper flowers.  If you are interested in purchasing my brooches (most of which are already wired), shoot me an email at kristen.david at rocketmail dot com
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  • Yeah, main problem you'd have with my family is that no one I know has brooches...Ok, my grandmother had a couple that my mom now has, but you better believe she won't be giving those up for anything. I don't know anyone else with some...
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  • I think you can ask to borrow a couple from women you are really close with who you KNOW have brooches. But honestly? Not many people have them anymore. I know I don't. If I got a letter asking for one, i'd feel obligated to go out and buy one for you. And since I have no idea how long it takes to make a brooch bouquet, I might take a couple of weeks to shop for the perfect one. After all, I don't want to send you a shoddy peice of costume jewelry. You see where this is going? Lovely thought, not enough time for the execution, and kind of an imposition on people.
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  • Rather than send notes, it might be better to start hitting consignment shops, flea markets, etc. to pick up as many brooches as possible. Having brooches from other sources would not take away from the importance of the brooches already gathered.  Good luck!
  • I think asking an aunt or other close relative who you KNOW has a brooch if you can BORROW that brooch, in person, is fine.  But I wouldn't send out a mass mailing asking for them; like PPs said they'd likely feel pressured to go buy you one, which wouldn't get the sentimental feeling you want anyway.
  • cu97tigercu97tiger member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited October 2012
    In Response to Re: Gathering brooches for a brooch bouquet:
    [QUOTE]I made a half brooch, half flower bouquet, so it didn't take me forever and a day to make. I bought many of mine on ebay for about 99 cents w/ free shipping, bought large lots of brooches and pendants off ebay, and found a $1 jewelry store in my area and used earrings, rings, and pendants I bought from there. It ended up costing me maybe $50. It can't hurt to put the word out that you are looking for brooches. My sister-in-law gave me a few for christmas, and my mom have me a few pieces of her mom's costume jewelry to use. But flat out asking, I don't know about that.  A picture of my hybrid bouquet.   
    Posted by warpedredpenguin[/QUOTE]

    I did all of this, and also found a few items at garage sales. My mother and sister also sent me brooches that they bought or had. I wasn't crafty enough to get it to all stick together, so I sent the brooches to an etsy seller and altogether my bouquet was $120. I love having it to display!
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  • This is an old post but thought I'd report back just in case anyone stumbles across this thread in the future.

    Despite everyone's reasonable and thoughtful comments above, I decided to go ahead with the 'brooch project', and it has turned out to be even more special than I could have imagined.  My Maid of Honour sent out the request to everyone, and the brooches were to be in place of any shower gifts.  The response has been overwhelming - at times sentimental, at times funny, but always amazing.

    I've received a number of brooches from my family members that have a lot of emotional significance, which I will cherish forever.  Through the stories of each brooch, I have learned about the women in my family in a whole new way.

    The brooches from my friends have also been moving.  Each friend has approached this project in a slightly different way, and each sent me the brooch with a card or letter attached.  Some gave me brooches from their grandmothers and told me the story or significance behind them.  Others have sought out brooches that symbolize something they believe is important in a marriage.  A friend in Paris wrote me a lovely story about the little antique shop she found it in, and her reflections on reminding ourselves of beauty rather than focusing on imperfections (its missing one tiny stone) and how we need to apply the same kindness we give a brooch to ourselves.  My fashionist friends have challenged each other to finding the most fabulous glittery piece possible.  From each, the brooch and the story or process behind it is a perfect reflection of each of my amazing friends. 

    The point of my brooch bouquet was to carry a part of the women in my life with me as I walk down the aisle, and it has turned out to be all that and more.  The cards and letters that came with the brooches were an unexpected bonus that now mean as much to me as the brooches themselves.  

    I started down this path with trepidation, but it has turned out to be one of the best parts of my entire wedding process, and I would highly recommend it to anyone.  Never doubt the capacity of your friends and family to surprise you in amazing and delightful ways....

    L.
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