The world of silk ribbon can be a confusing affair- what width do I need? How much ribbon should I buy? How do I recreate a certain style I've seen on Pinterest? What is the difference between Habotai silk and Silk chiffon? Hopefully, this page will help you come to a decision or at least demystify the process a little. However, any questions please do contact me!
There are no set rules for determining the width of your ribbon you choose for your bridal bouquet - it is purely personal preference! Though the scale of your bouquet may influence the width and length of the ribbon you choose.
Florists tend to prefer working with either narrower or wider ribbon and it may be worth contacting your florist before you order to ensure they are happy with your choice!
A narrower width can look just as beautiful as a wider width though the wider widths are usually used to create the longer tails and very narrow widths are usually kept shorter.
Most brides/florists choose ribbon which is either 1.5 inches to 2.5 inches wide for their bouquets However, florists usually choose a narrower 5/8 inch width ribbon for boutonnieres/buttonholes.
Depending on the style of your wedding cake, the diameter and height of the tier, I would recommend consulting with your cake designer who can advise which width ribbon to choose . A selection of wedding cakes adorned with silk ribbon in a variety of different widths and styles can also be found here
The slideshow below features both wedding details and several bridal bouquets adorned with a variety of different widths of ribbon to help you make a decision.
AMOUNT AND LENGTH
The amount of ribbon you decide upon depends on the style you prefer- how many ribbon tails and the length of the tails on your bouquet.
For example a four yard length of ribbon would create either four tails each just less than a yard in length (remembering that the florist would have to wrap the stems with a few inches of ribbon at the centre) or 8 tails each half a yard in length.
As a rule most florists like to work with between 3 and 4 yards per bridesmaid and 4 to 6 for the bride.
If you are thinking of adorning your cake with silk ribbon, 2-3 yards is usually perfectly sufficient depending on the diameter of the particular tier on the cake you are tying the silk around, taking into account size of the bow and length of ribbon tails.
For stationery 30-45 cm per invite is the norm - though ask your stationer to create a mock-up in the style you would like , asking them to replicate size of bows , double wrapped etc and then multiply it by the number of guests to ensure you order the correct amount per invite. This also applies if you wish to tie silk ribbon around your napkins, favours or menus- create a mock up in the style you want taking into consideration the dimensions of the napkin- favour , the size of bow, the length of the tails and multiply it by the amount of guests attending. If you are adding calligraphy or wax seals to the ribbon remember to take any seams into consideration and to compensate for any extra details.
I offer several types of silk in all my stores. The bias-cut silk habotai is the silk ribbon most people associate with bridal bouquets- it is cut on the bias so has spring and natural movement , curls beautifully without effort and has raw edges but very little fraying.
I also offer hand-torn silk chiffon, crinkle silk chiffon, silk chiffon satin, silk velvet and a sheer silk habotai. As these ribbons are hand-torn they do not have the same natural vitality as the bias cut ribbon although they do hang beautifully they require a breeze or a little interaction to ensure movement in photographs.
Hand-torn ribbon also has raw edges with delicately frayed edges but potentially loose threads.
I do not offer Bamboo 'Silk' as this is not a true silk but an artificial man-made construct made from plant fibres.
BIAS-CUT SILK HABOTAI
Silk habotai ribbon has natural movement as it is cut on the bias. The ribbon twists and curls effortlessly so hangs beautifully.It has raw edges but no loose threads and is the ribbon most associated with bridal bouquets.It is also perfect for styling, flat lays, for stationery, cakes, tying around favours or napkins.
HAND-TORN SHEER HABOTAI
This ribbon is hand-torn , translucent , has delicately frayed edges and is prone to loose threads though is ideal for tying around favours or cutlery and is the perfect addition for fine-art wedding bouquets .
SILK CHIFFON SATIN
This ribbon has a matte surface on one side and a delicate sheen on the other. It is hand-torn so has raw edges and visibly frayed edges though is prone to loose threads. As these photos in the slideshow below show, as the ribbon is hand-torn it hangs beautifully straight but with very little natural curl or twist- though is very lightweight so a slight breeze or movement gives the ribbon body.
This ribbon is hand-torn so has raw edges and is prone to loose threads with visibly delicately frayed edges . It is translucent and has a matte textured surface. it is often used to add a textural element to bouquets and ensures a fluffy full bow.
CRINKLE SILK CHIFFON
Crinkle silk chiffon ribbon is very delicate, lightweight and translucent, with a hint of colour, raw edges and textural elements it is perfect for Spring and Summer bouquets, whimsical weddings and styling.
Silk velvet ribbon is very soft and luxurious, with a single side of velvet pile and a smooth woven underside. It is hand-torn, so has raw edges and is prone to loose threads and loose fibres. It is a heavier weight than all other ribbon so is best suited for fall, autumn and winter weddings.
Though your choice of ribbon completely depends on your chosen colour scheme and the flowers you and your florist have decided upon, there are a few factors to consider.
First and foremost, there is no need to be too rigid with colour choices, its often better to open up a colour palette than to limit it! One of the best resources I've found, if not the best resource, for helping to decide colour for your wedding, is by Michelle at Pocketful of Dreams , which can be found on her website here
Bouquet ribbon can be coordinated with the brides dress or bridal accessories, complement or contrast with the bouquet or blend with or contrast against the bridesmaids dresses- for example if there are a few bridesmaids wearing dresses in a different shade , a bridesmaid wearing a lavender dress would look lovely carrying a bouquet including palest peach and apricot blooms with a pale apricot ribbon and vice versa. Another example of complementary shades working together would be a bridesmaid wearing a pale powder blue dress ,carrying a bouquet of pinks, creams, blush and peach blooms, bound with a subtle poppy coloured ribbon, adding warmth .
I would not recommend a bridesmaid carrying a bouquet with the exact same shade of ribbon as her dress, as in photos the ribbon will blend seamlessly into the dress, so either a paler tone ribbon , deeper tone ribbon or a complete contrast - to add a pop of colour - is often better for the bridesmaids bouquets- though the bride can always carry a bouquet with ribbon an identical shade to the bridesmaids dresses as her dress will more often than not be a completely different shade to that of the bridesmaids.
A hint of a colour in the bouquet is often enough to tie in the colour of the ribbon and can be as subtle as a centre of a specific flower, for example the gold centre of cosmos within a bouquet would look beautiful with a gentle chartreuse silk ribbon.
Several tonal shades always look beautiful without fail and in the gallery below I've selected a few of my favourites to show you how they can work together.