Flowers are an essential part of most weddings, from the bridal bouquet, to the venue’s decor, to the traditional bridal toss. While they’re considered a constant to every nuptials, for the more conscious brides, there’s always the question of allotting a large sum of your budget to something that might easily fade or wilt away. Not to mention, aside from its preservation process being a tedious endeavor, a full-flower bouquet may feel weighty for some brides. It’s the very issue Gerry Rosales’ wife encountered during their wedding preparations. As a result, Gerry’s current paper flower business, ThePaperblooms was, quite literally, a labor of love.

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“After meeting with the florist [my wife] told me that she could not carry a bouquet, no matter how beautiful and expensive it is, if it is weighty. I thought, well, where in the world can the bridal bouquet be so lightweight? Eventually, I found myself Googling for ideas and that’s when I learned about paper flowers,” Gerry recounts. “She liked the idea. I then took the burden on myself. I used colored tracing papers, parchment paper, and cupcake liners to make the whole entourage bouquets, which took me six months to finish. My wife saw the output and suggested that I take photos of it and post it on my Facebook account. That’s how it came it came to be.”

From a single wedding to hundreds more, Gerry, with his wife’s encouragement, came up with ThePaperblooms, a shop that recreates paper flower arrangements ranging from a bride’s single bouquet to her entire entourage, and beyond. Gerry’s impressive realistic renderings of natural blooms and foliage provides brides with the same romantic feeling exuded by real flowers. Except these ones? You get to keep for a lifetime.

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Learn more about ThePaperblooms below as we talk to Gerry about his creative process, and the advantages of getting paper flowers for your wedding instead.

What services do you offer?

“We offer full wedding floristry. We make flowers for the whole entourage, reception centerpieces and flower backdrops. In 2018, we started offering event styling using mixed paper flowers. We still have cardstock flowers, which we basically use as a backdrop. With cardstocks we have flowers from 4 inches to 18 inches in diameter. We also offer paper flower bouquets for special occasions."

Why advocate for paper flowers instead of real ones?

"As the saying goes, paper flowers are always a good idea. In 2015, I met a bride at a bridal fair whose family has an allergy to pollen. She relayed how she wanted to have flowers at her own wedding. However, the thought of it already made them sick because the possible harm it might cause them lest it become a sneezing affair. Then she saw our flowers on display at the fair. On the day of her wedding, she carried a bouquet of flowers without sneezing. After this encounter, we changed our tagline from More than fresh to Make someone happy."

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"I guess what we endeavor to achieve lies more in the emotional hook between people and flowers. Looking at it closely, you’ll find a gap that we’re trying to fill: brides with allergies; brides who don’t want to splurge on something that will easily wilt; brides who want to keep something from their special event; those who are looking for alternatives; and, those who want an eco-friendly wedding solution."

For curious brides, what are the advantages of getting paper flowers for their wedding?

"You can keep them. Most brides, if not all of them, want to keep a memory of their big day. With proper care, you can keep your paper flower bouquet to as many years without having additional costs as what one would do in preserving fresh flowers. Also, since you can keep them, you can have it ordered and delivered weeks or days before your wedding so as to ensure that you get what you really want."

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"You may get what you want without worrying about season or supply. Seasonality is one factor that greatly affects the prices of flowers. Second to that is the origin of the flowers that you want. With paper flowers, you can have whatever you want, depending on the skill of the maker, to include in your bouquet mix. Another good thing is that you can have flowers that are not commonly sold: consider beautiful weed florets, especially native Philippine flowers, among others."

"It’s lightweight. This is the very reason why ThePaperblooms came about. Carrying a heavy bouquet from preparation shoot to the reception can strain your arms and add to your stress without noticing it."

"More ways to personalize. You can have your flowers done in different papers that suit your need. Be it crepe paper, cardstocks, old book pages, music sheets, magazine pages, and create it to beautiful blooms."

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"Cost efficient. Recent Philippine weddings are filled with so many imported flowers ranging from different rose series, ranunculus, hellebores, dahlias, sweet peas, peonies, just to name a few that were of choice in earlier trends. If a bride wants this mix, then she’ll need a decent budget for it. With paper flowers, you can have it done without having to spend too much (and without having them wilt on the day of your wedding.)"

What’s your collaboration process like with your clients? 

"Everything is made to order. Whenever a bride inquires, we first ask for design direction: theme, colors, flower selection, arrangement types and quantity. Sending us a peg or deck for inspiration will make it faster and easier for us We use those to assess how long it will take to finish the job. Once in a while, there are brides who don’t have their pegs on hand, or are not really flower lovers, as they would say. We then ask for the motif of their wedding, their personality, or the figure of their gown, and suggest accordingly. We also check our calendar to see if the week of their ideal delivery date is still open. Once everything is okay, we send the quotation and require the client to pay half of the contract price to confirm the order. We send work-in-progress photos especially to those brides with specific requests, or if it would be the first time that we’d be recreating a certain flower. For specific colors not readily available in actual crepe paper, we also send color treatment variations and let the bride choose from the options."

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"Most of the time, the bride opts to deliver the flowers a day before the wedding straight to the preparation venue. Earlier delivery can also be arranged depending on what was agreed upon in the contract. We deliver nationwide via LBC Express with the shipping fee incurred by the client."

How long does it usually take for you to complete a flower set up for a wedding?

"A basic bridal bouquet can be done in two weeks from the date the order is confirmed. If the bride is ordering a full entourage set, we always require a minimum of 30 working days before the expected date of delivery. Earlier booking is always advised."

How do you make the flowers look so realistic?

"Our naturalistic imitation starts from studying the actual flower itself. The process includes deconstruction, measurement and template translation. For example, I couldn’t have done the snapdragon as realistic as possible without a real one by my side. We also observe the natural movement of the petals in a specific flower, how they’re assembled and determine the nuances of each petal layer. To make it even more realistic, we add colors. Oftentimes, we use homemade alcohol inks, a mixture of alcohol and food dyes; soft pastels, and recently, eye shadows and blush on from bargain stores for natural pinks, reds and grays."

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"Crafting foliage is a strength of ThePaperblooms. We take to heart the same dedication we do for flowers in making foliage, so that everything goes well together."

What materials do you use and where do you source them from?

"We primarily use crepe papers that range from 60gsm to 180gsm. Most of them come from China. Once in a while, we also get crepe papers from Italy straight from Cartotecnica Rossi, the leader in original Italian crepe papers. Crepe papers from Germany are also good as they have both a fine and extra fine collection that are so pliable, finger friendly and have longer stretch quality as compared to other crepe papers. Another paper that we use is the Japanese crumpled paper, available at gift wrapper stores. This makes for very good foliage."

You can contact ThePaperblooms at cel. no. 0927 921 6871 or tel. no. +634 3722 2216,  or email them at paperbloomsinfo@gmail.com.

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