How To: Make A Wedding Bouquet


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:

How To: Make A Wedding Bouquet | A Practical Wedding

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:

Sourcing Flowers

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!

How To: Make A Wedding Bouquet | A Practical Wedding

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.

How To: Make A Wedding Bouquet | A Practical WeddingPrep your flowers. Make sure all foliage has been removed from the stems, roses are de-thorned, and whatever you need to do so your flowers are ready for action!

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.

How To: Make A Wedding Bouquet | A Practical Wedding

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.

How To: Make A Wedding Bouquet | A Practical Wedding

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.

How To: Make A Wedding Bouquet | A Practical Wedding

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.

How To: Make A Wedding Bouquet | A Practical Wedding

How To: Make A Wedding Bouquet | A Practical Wedding

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.

How To: Make A Wedding Bouquet | A Practical WeddingWhen 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.

How To: Make A Wedding Bouquet | A Practical Wedding

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.

How To: Make A Wedding Bouquet | A Practical Wedding

Then wrap until all of the floral tape is covered and pin to secure the ribbon. And voila!

How To: Make A Wedding Bouquet | A Practical Wedding

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.

How To: Make A Wedding Bouquet | A Practical Wedding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

How To: Make A Wedding Bouquet | A Practical Wedding

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  • http://midcitysaturdays.com Amy

    I just used Blooms by the Box for an engagement party I threw this past weekend, and absolutely loved them! So convenient!

    I made my bouquet too, and was just kind of winging it. I don’t think it occurred to me to look up how to do it in the madness of the day before the wedding. It wasn’t that hard though. The hardest part was keeping my flowers from wilting in the heat. I was walking around with a bouquet that included one sad wilting/browning flower, but I just hid it from the photographer!

  • http://bondingcarbonunits.wordpress.com the Sarah formerly known as Sarah K.

    We created all our own flowers for our wedding, and this is EXACTLY right. It’s actually pretty darn simple to do. Personally, I loved the clean lines of rose-only bouquets, which made it even easier. We created six bridesmaid bouquets, one bridal bouquet, and FOURTEEN boutonnieres. We bought all our roses from Costco; we got almost 150 roses for $98.00!! Meanwhile, we bought corsages from our local florist because they were too complicated to create ourselves… and four corsages cost about $120. Assembling our own flowers saved us a TON of money.

    One thing to add: PRACTICE. I had bought roses beforehand to start to guess how many flowers we’d need, and the more test bouquets I made, the more comfortable I was creating them and the better they looked. I loved our flowers on our wedding day, and am so glad we arranged them ourselves.

    • Fiorentina

      I wonder if Blooms by the Box might be interested in giving a corsage tutorial in the future as well(?) (seriously, this bouquet one is great!). I’ve helped out with DIY corsages before and they’re actually pretty easy to make – the trouble we had is getting the weight right so they don’t just flip upside down once you pin them on.

      • http://bondingcarbonunits.wordpress.com the Sarah formerly known as Sarah K.

        Pinned corsages are probably similar to boutonnieres, which aren’t that difficult to create. We needed wrist corsages, though, and that was just TOO MUCH to do the day before the wedding!! Much easier to leave that to the professionals.

        • Fiorentina

          Ah, yes, that’s what I was thinking of. I’m not even sure how you would begin on the wrist corsages.

      • meg

        Here is the thing with corsages: they HAVE to be done the same day, or they die. So I always recommend that you either hire a florist to do them for you, or skip it. Doing flowers the same day of your wedding? I don’t think that’s a great plan, myself.

        So, we skipped them, and no one missed them.

        • Enna

          We got away with prepping corsages and boutonnieres the day before. I left the stems a little long, wrapped them in damp paper towel, wrapped that loosely in foil, and popped it in a sandwich bag in the fridge. We decided to chance it after our initial test boutonnieres looked insanely well-preserved after a week or so in the fridge (lazy girl here). Of course I’m sure this is hugely dependent on what type of flowers you are using, so a test-run is a must!

        • http://irisira.wordpress.com irisira

          I think my MIL was a little disappointed about corsages, but she didn’t say a word to me about it (and, by the time the wedding came, I don’t think she even noticed or cared at that point). Instead, she got me a corsage for my shower, which fulfilled that need in her. :)

        • http://secretcityranch.blogspot.com L

          I just made 20 rose boutineers for my cousin’s wedding–the day before. We were a little nervous about how they would hold up, because the roses weren’t the freshest, even as they were making them. I just stuck them in a shoe box and put them in the fridge, and what do you know, my husband’s boutineer made it through the entire reception! I definitely wouldn’t try it with anything more delicate than roses.

        • http://carmarblogs.blogspot.com CarMar

          I made all the groom’s boutonnieres and moms’ corsages out of silk flowers weeks in advance. They looked great and now my friends are even borrowing them for their weddings!

    • Amanda

      How early in advance can you make the bouquets?

      • Sarah N.

        We made the bouquets the day before, and they were gorgeous.

  • Jillian

    Wow. Thank you for this! I was already considering going the supermarket route, but you guys broke it down so nicely I’m thinking I can actually do this! I’m not exactly “crafty” but honestly this seems completely do-able instead of having them make the bouquets for me. Thank you!

    • Danielle

      Glad to hear that :). Definitely check out Blooms By The Box’s DIY Guide, it’s very helpful as well.

  • http://mightycourage.blogspot.com Nicole

    *swoon*

    I so wish this had been around when we were doing our flowers. I felt so overwhelmed by all of it I just went with silk flowers. The bonus to those were that I got to have flowers which were out of season and my bouquet looks as fresh as it did on our wedding day.

    But! Had this been around when I was planning, I totally would have done live flowers.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00034443854944184130 Julia W

    Where can I find info about seasonality? I was trying to find out what would be cheap and in season (and purple) in June in WA but could not find any website that was actually helpful. I ended up telling the florist to just use whatever was pretty and purple and available…
    The result was great but does anyone have a hint on how to figure out prices/ seasonality in your region?

    • ellobie

      Just google “flower seasonality” ;)

    • meg

      Blooms by the box has a comment with info below. Also, if you use Blooms, they have great customer service, and you just call them up now, and discuss what will be in season for your wedding, more or less.

      • Lacey

        I can’t wait to try the DIY/DIT thing for my wedding flowers – and I’m so lucky to have a little experience in my hip-pocket from…someone else’s wedding. ;) I loved my bouquet and had so much fun letting my creativity flag fly! I’m definitely going to call Blooms by the Box for some advice on October flowers!

    • Danielle
  • Kaitlyn

    LOVE! Thank you!!

  • http://secretcityranch.blogspot.com L

    Very nice! I used this exact method to make my bridal and bridesmaids bouquets.

    I have two additional suggestions: While this certainly can be done by oneself, I found it helpful to have an assistant, who usually stood around aimlessly, and occasionally pitched in when I needed a third hand.

    More helpful: bouquets will keep nicely in the fridge if made the day before. Do all the steps through wrapping the floral tape, and stop shy of the ribbon. Jam them in some vases, and shove them in the fridge. (This is a good time to throw away some stuff in your fridge that would have otherwise spoiled during the honeymoon.) We left them there until ten minutes before leaving for the church, and only then took them out and wrapped the ribbon. It was a quick step, easy to do the day-of.

    • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

      The third hand definitely came in handy. Sometimes you need someone to hold the bunch while you wrap it.

    • ellobie

      That is exactly what we did, L! My sister and I were up til 1am the night before, making the bouquets and then we just stuck them in vases/buckets of water and threw them in the fridge overnight. Perfection!
      https://picasaweb.google.com/earlepearls/WeddingPreparations#5501596134936888162

    • meg

      FOR SURE do your wedding flowers the day before. I covered that in my tutorial and didn’t think to mention it again here. Bouquets save well in the fridge, everything else will save well enough in the shade.

      • Irene

        When you do your wedding flowers the day before the wedding, in the front yard with your sister… PUT SUNSCREEN ON! Huge U-shaped sunburns when you’re wearing a low back strapless dress the next day, not ideal. Plus then your back hurts during your honeymoon.

        I guess normal people do the flowers in the house.

  • Jen M

    brilliance!

  • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

    What a beautiful bouquet!

    We used ribbon flowers for our wedding and putting the bouquet together was roughly what is explained here with only a few modifications (for example, our tools included a glue gun). I used actual rose stems from the bouquet he gave me when he proposed to stick out the bottom of the ribbon that wrapped the bouquet and I love that I was able to incorporate them into our wedding.

    I did the bouquet and table arrangements while he put the leaves on all of our loose flowers. It was a fun night together.

  • http://www.BloomsByTheBox.com Blooms By The Box

    @ Julia W…re: Flower Availability…At BloomsByTheBox.com we have a page that simplifies the availabilities of most popular flower varieties: http://www.bloomsbythebox.com/pub/flower-availability.cfm.

    There can be some finer points — for instance, peonies can be had from about Nov through July, but the sources move around the globe during that period, affecting both flower size and cost.

    Start with our chart, and you can call us for any clarification you might need!

    Joan, Blooms By The Box

  • MEEVO

    Super helpful! I’m so grateful for this series. I’m not sure I would have had the courage to tackle my own bouquet/arrangments without it, but now I’m really looking forwart to spending that time with my girlfriends. “[Flowers] are not hard and you will not be stressed.”

    Also just curious if there are any Canadian brides out there who have had any luck finding Canadian floral wholesalers (especially those that ship to AB)? So far I’ve found that most will only sell to florists. (US and UK wholesalers seem less strict on this point, but I’m worried about border hold-ups/expenses.) Thanks!

    • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.com/ Jenny- Adventures Along the Way

      When I was thinking of doing DIY flowers, my idea was just to order/buy from Costco. I don’t know of any flower wholesalers though.

    • Kerry

      I’m in Toronto and through Google came across these guys:
      http://www.flowers-direct.ca/Index.html

      You can download their current price list direct from their site, which was very helpful when I was considering this option.
      The ordering process was very simple. They ship themselves throughout the Toronto area, but also offer shipping across Canada through an outside courier (extra costs).

      The wedding is still a few weeks away, so I haven’t seen the flowers yet, but I’m feeling good about them.

      (I think this is my first internet comment ever…what do people say ‘de-lurking’? Sounds creepy, but I suppose it applies.)

  • http://twitter.com/snoogibear Danielle

    Just want to say this for anyone who is a Seattle-ite or is having a Seattle wedding: GO TO PIKE PLACE MARKET FOR YOUR FLOWERS! Number one, the flowers there are beautiful. Number two, they’re remarkably cheap, and number three, you’re supporting a local business.

    There is a woman there who will literally do all of your bouquets for you (and depending on what’s in season, will actually listen to what you want in your bouquets, etc.) and she is the sweetest lady in the world.

    Even if you want to do your own bouquets, Pike Place is still an amazing place to go for your flowers and get great prices. Plus you can then shop around and show your out of towners the market.

    We had sunflowers that cost $5 per bouquet, all I had to do was tape them and put ribbon on them. I did this the night before the wedding while sitting up late talking to my Dad and my little sister.. One of my favorite moments around the wedding.

    People were shocked that our centerpieces cost us $5: http://tinyurl.com/3gupacz

    Okay, end of my little schpeal but I just had such an awesome experience with the people there that I thought I should share because I don’t think people realize you can totally get all of your flowers from Pike Place.

    • Amanda

      I wish we could have done this for our wedding, but we had to consider Canadian customs, and I wasn’t sure if we would be allowed in to the country with a car full of flowers. So my Mom grew all of ours in her garden!

      But I highly suggest Pike Place — with their prices, you can even afford to practice (like, every week for the month leading up to your wedding – presto pretty flowers you needed for the “practice”)!

      • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

        Oh my goodness! Home grown flowers! That’s the best.

    • http://love-vs.blogspot.com Vilija

      I too was a lucky Seattle bride who got market flowers. I knew that I would be getting a great deal on flowers and that whatever they had in the market would be bright and beautiful. I sent my girlfriends down to the market, buckets in hand the day before the wedding and we had a bouquet and centerpiece making party before the rehearsal BBQ. I didn’t know what they would come back with when I sent them to get beautiful bright flowers and was so pleased with the outcome. The bouquets were beautiful and well under prices quoted by local florists.

    • http://penn.typepad.com Leah

      That whole area in general is good for flowers. My BFF just got married on Saturday, and she got her flowers from the Woodinville Farmer’s market. They just did centerpieces (she had felt bouquets, corsages, etc!), and they were so lovely. She put them in random vases from Value Village.

      • http://www.aweightymix.com Danielle

        Totally! This area is great. And we put all of our flowers into mason jars for the centerpieces, but for the large bouquets for where we held our ceremony, we totally went the Value Village route, too! Can’t beat getting nice vases for a dollar a piece! :)

    • Sarah

      Hi Danielle! Do you remember the name of which vendor in Pike Place you went to for your flowers? Or where in the market they are located? Thanks!

  • marbella

    We did all the flowers for our wedding. I was set on having huge garden roses, so forked out a few hundred for some ivory and orange ones from an online wholesaler where I had to buy about 70 minimim for each. A week before the wedding, a woman who clearly knew nothing about flowers called and told me the orange ones had been ruined in a frost and I had to frantically pick out new ones with no help, which the only options were peachy instead of bright orange. Boo. so – have a 2nd option on standby beforehand!
    Because garden roses don’t last long, I got all the flowers delivered on the Thursday before the Saturday wedding, immediately fed and watered them all, and we assembled all Friday morning. The garden roses NEVER opened properly, and some petals had already begun to brown by Friday and were worse Saturday (I had to pick off a lot of brown petals). So they basically looked like large regular roses – pretty, but not the huge peony type garden roses I had longed for, which was disappointing and not worth the hundreds we spent on them.
    On the other hand, I ordered all the rest of my flowers and all my greenery from Blooms By the Box, because they let you order a normal amount of flowers so you can get big variety without spending loads. (I was going for a country garden look). We were able to get loads of really cool flowers in small quantities, which was fantastic for adding to my bouquet and the church decorations. We then just popped everything leftover into little mason jars and small vases for centerpieces. I loved Blooms By the Box, my only criticism (hopefully constructive!) would be that all the various flowers were packed in one box with no bubble wrapping/protective separation, and were quite squished when they arrived. Some of the more delicate petals never really recovered from that, but they were still pretty (and alive!)

  • http://misallocationofresources.blogspot.com Jenn

    I am so excited for my flower arranging party, and of all the things people have talked about for the wedding, this one has my guests (bizarrely) the most excited! I have friends of my mothers who can’t come to the wedding, but have committed to the flower arranging party the day before!

    I am really looking forward to it as an icebreaking, relaxing cocktail party :) (where we happen to arrange flowers.) I am intending to take Meg’s advice from a post a while back, and make a couple sample centerpieces for everyone to work from so theres no stress about creating some mythical “perfect” arrangement. This post is super helpful!

    I am planning on getting my flowers from a combo of an online wholesaler (for things that are out of season locally) and a flower farm just outside DC. They’ll deliver the flowers for me to a DC farmer’s market, so I don’t have to go an hour and a half outside the city to pick them up!

    • Stephanie

      Jenn, I wonder if we’re using the same flower farm! I’m going to a flower farm that’s just outside of DC, but I’m making the drive. Part of the issue is that I’m having a Saturday a.m. wedding, so we need the flowers on Friday morning (which is, incidentally, when they schedule times for picking wedding flowers). My fiance is super excited about picking and arranging our flowers, and I’m also thinking of inviting other friends and family members to join us to arrange flowers on Friday if they want. It’s great to hear that others are super excited about joining you to do this–it definitely makes me think that I should make a party out of it for people who are in town.

      • http://misallocationofresources.blogspot.com Jenn

        I’m using Wollam Gardens, in Jeffersonton VA? They were recommended by a fellow APW bride, and I have been sooooo impressed. I visited last year in September, same time as the wedding, to get a sense of what was in bloom, and brought home a bouquet to test longevity. too. I’m picking up flowers for my Saturday wedding at the Thursday market, with the arranging party on Friday.

        I would so recommend the party! I couldn’t imagine making all those centerpieces and bouquets on my own, but also people seem to be really looking forward to socializing (particularly, the out of town guests – they’re coming a long way for the wedding, and I love that I get to hang out with them the day before the main event too.) And for people who don’t think they can work with flowers, like my sister – she’s going to serve as a bartender for the party, making everyone happy.

        • Stephanie

          Nope–I’m using Farmhouse Flowers and Plants. But maybe I’ll check in with Wollam Gardens about dahlias (I was hoping that dahlias might be in season by the end of July, but they weren’t included on the list that Farmhouse Flowers gave me of what will be in season). I’m really excited about actually going to the farm and picking my flowers on Friday morning, though!

          As for making the bouquets, our wedding is on the smaller side, so the amount of bouquets/centerpieces we need to make seems manageable. But a party does sound fun.

    • http://fianceesarehumanstoo.tumblr.com/ fianceesarehumanstoo

      I’m also very very excited for my flower arranging party…can’t think of much better than getting all the girls together and sitting and chatting away in the sun whilst getting them all together. It’ll let me live in my happy place of being a florist….

    • meg

      Ha! A warning lady. While doing flowers was pretty fun, there was nothing in the least relaxing about that cocktail party, and I didn’t have a chance to eat or drink a thing. If you have a lot of flowers to do, and you want it to be relaxing, you need four hours or more. It takes a WHOLE lot of time, and creates a bunch of mess, and needs to be monitored. I think we had 3 hours, and it was not enough, and I was a stressball.

      But. It was fun.

      • Stephanie

        Good to know. Thanks for the advice, Meg.

      • Class of 1980

        I’ve seen a few blogs where the bride and her family/friends were able to make personal bouquets the day before with no problem. But then the wheels come off the DAY of the wedding when the bride ended up having no time and having to delegate the rest of the flower arrangements.

        A couple of the bloggers ended up not even seeing the table arrangements until they walked into the reception. ;)

        Get help and delegate.

  • http://redheadreports.blogspot.com Ali

    All of our bouquets are silk. I made them myself and it was probably the most fun wedding project that I did. I also ordered the boutonnierres on-line, and then added a few tiny flowers to each to give them a bit more color.

  • Karina

    I ordered my bouquets and boutonnieres from a local florist who turned out to be super reasonable and gave me exactly what I wanted. My favorite flowers are tulips and they can be notoriously difficult. I absolutely loved my bouquet when I got it and I know that I could not have accomplished what she had if I had made it myself. Her best advice to me was when I asked her about buying bulk flowers she told me to get them at Sam’s Club online. We were going to make the reception centerpieces ourselves using long bud vases with a couple of roses plus some greenery. So, I ordered the package of 125 hot pink roses, plus the greenery package that came with the leatherleaf fern and baby’s breath together. I read every review on the Sam’s Club website and was totally prepared for some of the roses to be a little wilted based on what was said. One of my bridesmaids used to work for a flower shop and my mom is an interior decorator, so we felt fairly certain we could manage the fresh flowers once they arrived. Sure enough, when they arrived on Wednesday before the wedding, some of the buds looked a little sad and my bridesmaid got really worried about how they would look by Saturday, but I didn’t freak out because I was expecting it based on what I had read on the reviews. We started wiring all the little buds with the floral wire, removing all the bruised petals and extra leaves, and put them in a big bucket of water in my mom’s spare refrigerator in the garage (thank goodness my parents just remodeled their kitchen and decided to keep the extra fridge!) By Saturday, all of the buds had opened up beautifully and we were able to use every single flower. My advice is do the research on what you want. My research taught me to go with a pro for the tulips and DIT for the roses, both excellent decisions in hindsight.

  • marbella

    Oh yeah, also to take out the stress of making 20+ bouts that wouldn’t wilt, I roped my step-mum into making peacock feather bouts with me in the weeks before the wedding. It was great fun (except one glue-gun burn!) and very simple. I also made silk flower and peacock feather headpieces for the flower girls which looked great. If anyone’s interested in a how-to for these, let me know! It worked out so much cheaper that $10+ per button hole on etsy, and everyone got to keep their bouts :)

    • Shotgun Shirley

      WANT!

      • marbella

        If anyone wants this info before I get around to writing something up (if Meg wants it) just email me stellamarbella at gmail dot com. or twitter stellamarbella.

  • http://www.butterpluscream.com Mary

    This is so helpful! I thought the San Francisco flower mart was my only option for cheap wholesale flowers, but driving 50 miles at 4:30 in the morning the week of the wedding sounds a bit scary. This is super convenient, I just sent the link to my mom and MOH. Thanks APW!

  • http://beckybopwrites.blogspot.com/ Becky

    Wow, this is a super-helpful tutorial! We didn’t DIY our flowers (logistics were way too complicated by location and timing), but this tutorial makes me feel like it would at least be *possible*! Definitely saving this for future friends’/sisters’ weddings.

  • Class of 1980

    You know, I would probably not do this for myself if it was my wedding, because I hate even minor stress. However, I would LOVE to do flowers for someone else.

    Out of all wedding projects, flowers are my favorite and I can’t be the only one. So if you have one or two people in your life who like to play with flowers, I say sign them up!

    • meg

      Good point. I would totally adore to get to do flowers for a friend.

  • Anne

    Flowers can be incredibly expensive. I’ve checked out the S.F. Flower Mart with a friend and she had already pre-ordered hundreds of marigolds. They were ready for pick-up and we were out of the Flower Mart in 15 minutes.

    I’m not so confident in my DIY flower skills. Bay Area ladies — I’m having Repetto’s, a whole-sale nursery in Half Moon Bay, do our flowers for CHEAP.

  • http://forcause.wordpress.com Sandy

    The majority of my “bride getting pretty” photos are actually of me (in casual clothes, without makeup) putting together my bouquet, because I left it until the day-of, which of course meant it got pushed to the last minute, and then the last second, mostly because I didn’t know where to start. By which I mean, this post would have been SO. HELPFUL. for me.

    And, a few words of advice, since I did all my own flowers: unlike Meg, the picking out of the flowers the day of the wedding was not actually that stressful for me, since I didn’t want too many, and I didn’t really care what they looked like. I just went to Trader Joes and filled up a cart with pretty things. I stressed waaaaay more about how the flowers would work before the wedding, because I just couldn’t quite picture how everything would plan out. If you don’t want that stress, I recommend taking Meg’s advice and doing a dry-run sometime in advance of the wedding: picking out flowers, making bouquets, and maybe assembling centerpieces. If you procrastinate and end up doing them the day of the wedding, put somebody else in charge. I put my sister-in-law, who I previously had not been all that close to, in charge because she was there and I was freaking out. It was so helpful, and now we’re friends. My flowers, in the end, were not amazing or even noticeable, but I think it was worth it, because I rarely notice flowers, and I only spent $100.

  • Enna

    One of my only DIY projects that survived wedding planning was flowers (majorly inspired by Meg’s flower posts of yore). I did bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, and my mom did some large arrangements. I ordered the flowers from a several online wholesalers (including Blooms By The Box). Here’s my two cents: make sure the flowers are delivered several days before the wedding. Ours came on Thursday before a Saturday wedding, but we definitely could have gone with Wednesday instead. That gives you plenty of time to prep and the flowers need to open. And don’t be afraid to pull off the outer petals! A rose you think is icky and brown turns into pure loveliness when you rip off half the petals, I promise.

    • Class of 1980

      And professional florists routinely pull off the outer petals.

    • Danielle

      Any flower with a high petal count (i.e. roses, lilies, etc…) may need a little more time to open up, so may need an extra day.

      • Danielle

        Especially lilies!

        Also, keep in mind, when you order flowers from a wholesaler online they are premature or “pre-prime”. The state you are getting the flowers is the same exact state a florist would be getting flowers when they first get them before they have been prepped (so they are retail ready). And anyone in the industry will tell you that if you get flowers that are already open, they wont last til when you need them, or have been cut way too late. You actually want them to be slightly premature, so they have time to open and they are in their prime for your event.

  • Molly

    We got our flowers from a local organic farm. It was awesome because they had an intern who did the corsages and my husband, mother & mother-in-law came along to go pick out just what we wanted a few days before the wedding. It was a lot more cost-effective than the flower shops we got quotes from, and just enough DIY to be hands-on but not overwhelming.

  • Danielle

    Thanks, Meg! :)

  • Erin

    I am so doing this! These posts and tutorials are giving me major confidence boosts! Woohoo!

    One question: what is the difference between a boutonniere and a corsage? I don’t think I will be doing wrist corsages (too reminiscent of my high school prom!), so is a corsage just a female version of the bout’?

    Thanks a “bunch” (sorry, couldn’t help it!) ;)

    • Danielle

      Haha, pun intended :).

      Technically, a corsage has more flowers than a boutonniere, but it all comes down to personal preference. You can make corsages that are meant to be worn around the wrist, or pinned like a boutonniere. Both options you can either use a single bloom, or multiple flowers. Whatever works for you. :)

      • Danielle

        Oh and the obvious… a corsage is meant for a woman and a boutonniere meant for a man. hehe

  • http://www.linseykitchens.com Linsey

    Brilliant post! I’m coming back to this on August 18th, just in time to do my own flowers. Thanks. And, Class of 1980, I’m going to take your suggestion and find some loving friend to arrange me some flowers!

  • http://www.wedding-resourceblog.com bridal girl

    This is truly helpful. I tried doing this before to help my sister-in-laws wedding ceremony and I found out that it was pretty difficult if you haven’t done any practicing. It takes a lot of time, but all the same it was also fascinating to see that I could also do some basic flower decorations.

  • http://irisira.wordpress.com irisira

    I know there are some Albany (NY)-based (or at least, formerly based) readers here, and you will appreciate this story.

    So, back sometime last spring (I want to say May or June), my husband (then-fiance) took the dog for a walk in the Albany Pine Bush and fell in love with these wildflowers. I never saw them, as I didn’t go with them on this particular walk.

    Anyway, he didn’t talk about the flowers right away. It wasn’t until about a month before the wedding he started talking about gathering flowers from the Pine Bush the day before the wedding. This instantly stressed me out as I was already worried about time on Thursday, but he was so excited about it, and I loved that he was excited about certain aspects of our wedding and was trying so hard not to shoot down the ideas that weren’t totally impractical (and, hoo-boy, some of them were …).

    Anyway, a couple weeks before the wedding, he took me and the dog to the part of the Pine Bush where he saw the flowers and … nothing.

    “When did you see these flowers, babe?” I asked.

    “Oh, I dunno, back in May or June.”

    Well. No wonder. They’re out of season now!

    I consoled his disappointment and then inwardly breathed a sigh of relief that we wouldn’t be traipsing through the Pine Bush the day before the wedding …

  • http://anotherringcoming.wordpress.com AnotherEmma

    Ahh, this post is just what I needed. I’ve been faffing around trying to decide whether to do my own flowers or to get a florist, and this has just made up my mind. Fantastic, helpful advice. Thankyou!

  • anonymous

    We’re using dried wheat instead of flowers for our wedding, so we’ll be making bouquets and boutonnieres (and apparently corsages) three weeks in advance. Thanks for all the tips, which I think we can adapt well to our non-floral arrangements. If anybody has had experience making these with wheat, I’d love any extra pointers.

  • Hoppy Bunny

    I learned a little factoid when helping my sister buy flowers for her wedding that might be helpful: if you pick up a bunch of flowers from the water bucket they are in to get a better look at the others in the bucket, hold those flowers away from the others. This will keep them from dripping water droplets all over the petals of the flowers in the water bucket, which will keep those other flowers from developing discolored spots, and it will make you look like you are kinda classy and considerate.

    I felt bad when I accidentally dripped water on a florists roses, so hopefully others will be able to learn from my faux pax.

  • Sara

    I made my own bouquet for my wedding, I just couldn’t fathom spending $100.00 on so little. I just watched a few videos and it really is so easy! I was also at my best friend’s mom wedding a few months ago and ended up making hers using packing tape and hot gluing the ribbon – not the best materials but it had to be done on the fly and it was easy even using that!

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  • Gabrielle

    My in-laws put together all of the flowers at my wedding. We actually used fake flowers that we bought at michael’s craft store. It was a winter wedding, so we used evergreen, poinsettias, etc.

    I wasn’t sure about using fake flowers at first, but it turned out very nice, and less mess than real ones. If anyone actually reads this and is curious and can post a link to a pic of it

  • http://www.idovenues.com/ Gloria Atherstone

    Wow- this is a great do it yourself guide- would love to share it with my readers !

  • Pingback: #190: DIY Bouquets, the PERFECT tutorial | Our Big Day for $10K

  • http://www.jpmdesign.blogspot.com Mary

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! You have no idea what a confidence booster this post was for me! I’m getting married in October and have been googling around for a while looking for a tutorial just like this. Everybody keeps telling me I’m crazy for wanting to make my own bouquets, and I keep saying ‘It can’t be THAT hard, I’m pretty crafty. . . ‘. But I have been secretly a little nervous about taking on the chore. Thanks for reassuring me that it will all be OK! :)

  • http://www.bunchesdirect.com/?utm_source=weddingblogs&utm_medium=BlogComments&utm_campaign=BC leagh@bunchesdirect

    Beautiful bouquets!Great DIY project!Thank you for sharing!

  • http://www.google.com/ Jailene

    You’ve got to be kidding me—it’s so transapnretly clear now!

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    uF8DPQ ygkzehccehnz

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  • http://makeperfectweddng.blogspot.com Perfect Wedding

    Thanks Meg..!

    Very Helpful ^^

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  • Kathy

    I’m the MOB and am looking forward to doing all the flowers for a summer wedding back East. I asked the flower arranger at our local Michaels arts and crafts store if she could offer a class in bouquet (round and cascading) and boutonniere making, and she did! Michaels charges a fee per person and then asks us to purchase the flowers we use. They supplied the ribbons, tape, pins, snips, forms….It was a great class – lots of fun – and very helpful. We also learned how to use the bow maker and I’ve been practicing on that, too. The instructor also talked about the differences between silk and fresh flowers, and gave us lots of tips for working with fresh.

    Our talented instructor creates all the floral arrangements the store sells, and she arranged several beautiful and elegant sample pieces for us to enjoy. I took videos so I don’t forget anything important, and a friend jotted down all the “must have” items. We had a blast. I’ve since been working with centerpieces, using both silk and fresh. I know which flowers will be in season on my daughter’s Big Day, and have been taking notes on how many blossoms I’ll need for each of the centerpieces, as they are different. There is a fresh flower farm near the venue, and we will pick our flowers there the day before the wedding. I’ll also order roses from the local Costco.

    We have a few close friends/relatives who have graciously accepted our invitation to be a part of the floral team, and they offer creative talent, expertise, and a sense of humor. This is going to be fun, and I’m looking forward to spending several hours with my daughter and a few close friends the day before her wedding.

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    It’s actually a great and helpful piece of info. I am satisfied that you just shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

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  • http://www.afloral.com Kristen

    Loved this post! The final bouquet looks beautiful <3 For more DIY fun, check out some of our build a bouquet tutorials here: http://www.afloral.com/Wedding-Design-Ideas/Build-A-Bouquet_2

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  • krystle

    okay so my flowers are gonna be poinsettias…. which are plants. can someone point me in a direction on how to go about making me and my bridesmaids bouquets with them?!

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  • http://www.detallesamatista.com/ flores lima

    Very good pictures, each of which highlights the details of the bouquets, and I see a lot of variety, very good post.

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  • LAST MINUTE BOUQUET

    Here I am at 11:30 at night and I just finished my sister-in-law’s wedding bouquet and placed it in the hotel mini-fridge for the evening. At dinner when I asked if I could help with anything, she indicated she didn’t have any flowers yet. A late night trip to Fresh Market for flowers and Walgreen’s for some gift wrapping ribbon and double-stick-tape got me started. I decided I needed some help and I’m extremely grateful for this post! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! I didn’t have any floral tape, but the “I Love Bacon” duck tape ( just given to my husband by his sister as a joke) came in very handy. (Yes, I just put a bridal bouquet together with duct tape and it’s holding together quite nicely I might add). I covered the duck tape with the gift wrapping ribbon (the double-stick-tape is keeping the gift wrapping ribbon from sliding around). Once again I am very thankful for this post! Thank you for taking the time to provide this easy to follow tutorial!

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  • Stephanie

    Hey there! Thank you for this! I’m getting married in a few weeks and I couldn’t fathom spending so much on flowers. I thought I’d share a tip with you guys. A retired florist came into my store and I asked him about tricks. He said get some cotton balls and a napkin the same color as your ribbon. Soak them both in water and ring them out just a bit. Put the cotton balls and napkin all around the bottom part, then put on the ribbon. This keeps the bouquet fresh and it lasts much longer.

    I love the idea of making my own flowers. I think it’s more personal this way and you’ll get exactly what you like. My colors are purple and green. I was thinking roses, daisies, mum’s and/or spiders. I love the lavender spiders! They sell them by each at a few grocery stores. I think I might do the lavender spiders, white spiders and some greenery around the end. :)

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  • Alexandra

    Thank you for sharing, I will be doing my own wedding flowers using
    roses from my garden to save some money. Another good video bouquet
    tutorial you can find here: youtu.be/PaHpzZq_25E

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