When we re-introduced the APW How-To Series, long time APW sponsor Blooms By The Box contacted me and asked if they could do a step-by-step tutorial on how to make a wedding bouquet, and I believe I said, “Eeeeee! Yes!” You see, back when I was figuring out how to do flowers for my wedding, I scoured the web for this sort of tutorial, in the process of teaching myself how to make a round, hand-tied wedding bouquet. And thank goodness, they are easy to make. So I’m thrilled that we finally have a full tutorial here on APW. Also, to be clear, this is in no way a sponsored post, but I do want to say that if I had to do my wedding flowers all over again, I’d order from Blooms By the Box (and they didn’t pay me to say that). Running around a flower mart the day before our wedding was a little stressful, and having flowers land on my doorstep? Yeah. Easy and awesome, and I’d do that now. But no matter where you get your wedding flowers (and this post has lots of ideas to help you out), you shouldn’t be scared of them, because they are actually pretty easy. So let’s do this thing:
When Meg relaunched APW’s How-to series, I immediately emailed her to do a lazy girl’s step-by-step DIY. We decided to focus on bouquets because we both felt that: there is a misconception that DIY’ing your own bouquet is an arduous feat, which it’s absolutely not. Meg has proved that making your own bouquet is not scary in the least. But, hey, a foolproof step-by-step How-to never hurt anyone, right?
Before we go into how to make a bouquet here’s some things to think about:
You can buy your flowers from:
- A flower market (like Meg did)
- An online wholesaler (Like Blooms By The Box)
- A grocery store,Trader Joe’s, ,Costco, Sam’s Club, wherever you can find the best quality flowers on the cheap
I agree with Meg, DIY doesn’t save the world, and it isn’t always cheaper. But when it comes to wedding flowers I personally feel that the latter of the two should be true. When you hire a florist you are not only price quoted for the flowers, but also the labor put into making your floral arrangements. So, if you can take the labor out of the cost by DIY’ing your own flowers, you’ll be spending a lot less money.
And with that in mind, make sure to get the best bang for your buck! Figure out what your budget is, what kind of flowers you want, and how many flowers you’ll need; then do some research. If your local grocery store is stocked with awesome quality blooms for a great price, then go that route. And if an online wholesaler is your best bet, click away! Just figure out what’s best for you and what you feel most comfortable with.
Next, don’t be afraid to mix and match suppliers and/or vendors.
We live in a world of many, many options; and no one said that you had to go one place and one place only to get your flowers. With other aspects of your wedding, yes, you may have to be loyal to one particular supplier or vendor. But with your flowers, do what works for you and your budget. If you want to get your roses from Costco, but your greenery from the flower market, then go for it! There is no flower-buying etiquette to be followed here, trust me the flowers will understand.
Lastly, keep seasonality in mind.
I’m sure lots of you didn’t know that “seasonality” is a proper word, but it’s a common phrase in the flower industry. We use it to describe flower varieties that have very seasonal growing patterns, which you definitely need to think about when choosing certain flowers. For instance, peonies have a very sporadic growing season, which is why they are insanely expensive at certain times of the year and not available in hot summer months. On the other hand, hydrangea are grown in green houses all year-round which makes them less costly because they are more readily available. Basically, when seasonal flowers are in season they are the best quality and most affordable!
And now, without further ado, here’s my take on…
How-to make a bridal bouquet
Set up your workspace, keeping in mind that you are going to make a mess. Kitchens are ideal because clean up is easy, and if you have a lot of counter space, even better! An outdoor space would also work. Keep all flowers in big buckets too!
Things you’ll need: Floral shears, floral tape, bouquet pins, and the bouquet wrap of your choice (we used white ribbon). And your wedding flowers, of course! We used pink lisianthus, white spray roses, green pompon button mums, painted lady wax flower, purple statice, and green hypericum.
Make sure that all of the stem lengths are about the same (anywhere from 10-14 inches). You can always trim as you go, or cut them at the end.
Choose 2-4 flowers to start the “base” of your bouquet. These flowers will serve as the anchor, as you will build around them. Bunch the stems together and wrap with floral tape. Make sure that there is 1 to 1 ½ inches of exposed stem visible from where you begin to wrap the stems and anywhere between 4 to 5 inches of exposed stem from the bottom.
Start building your bouquet by adding flowers around your anchored flowers, creating a “bunch.” Now, there are not really a lot of rules here, because you can position the flowers, fillers, and greenery by your personal preference.
Mix textures and colors to create an interesting composition. Also, keep the size of your bouquet in mind. Put your photographer hat on! You don’t want your flowers to overwhelm you on your wedding day. After all, you are the focal point and your flowers should just enhance your ensemble.
As you add flowers, continuously wrap your bouquet with floral tape (the same 1 to 1 ½ inch rule from the top and 4 to 5 inch rule from the bottom applies). By doing this, you will not only be adding support, but also be creating consistent, yet attractive composition in your design.
When you’re satisfied with your bouquet, wrap with floral tape. Starting about 1 to 1 ½ inches from the flower head (like you’ve done before), begin to wrap the stems with floral tape, leaving anywhere between 0-4 inches of stem exposed, whatever your comfortable with.
Accent with a bouquet wrap of your choice (we used white ribbon). Use the floral tape as your guide and pin the ribbon horizontally so it is parallel with the floral tape.
Then wrap until all of the floral tape is covered and pin to secure the ribbon. And voila!
Have some fun and don’t forget about DIT! Make an event out of it! As Meg suggests, you can have a flower arranging party to get your wedding party and loved ones involved.
Lastly, if you decide to go the DIY your wedding flowers, we offer a fabulous resource (written by yours truly) available for free on our website called The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Wedding Flowers (Editors note: seriously, y’all. They started this too late for me, but it’s seriously helpful). In it you’ll learn everything from flower prep basics to how to coordinate flower colors.