One of the things I’ve never mentioned about my own wedding planning is that we sort of epically failed at making the bouquets for myself and my bridesmaids. I’d spent a fair amount of time poring over Meg’s posts on doing her own flowers (carefully ignoring the part where she, you know, practiced), and it seemed easy enough that I thought it might be something we could handle. So I ordered $300 worth of ranunculus online (thinking they were basically cheaper versions of peonies, which is false since they’re a totally different size), and asked my crafty step-mom if she’d be willing to gift me her time making them as a wedding present.
Turns out, we didn’t order enough flowers and we didn’t really know how to care for them either, so everything died the morning of our wedding, forcing my dear stepmom to run around like a crazy person buying up all the roses at BJ’s Wholesale Club for replacement bouquets while my dad called me every hour on the hour using his serious voice to give me updates (at which point, I’d stopped caring. I was getting married, who needs flowers?). It all worked out in the end, but it was clear that “winging it” was probably not the best game plan for that project.
The thing is, bouquets aren’t actually all that hard to put together. But what I was missing was information on how to construct the bouquet, what flowers to use, and how to care for them. So today we have a bright, colorful bouquet tutorial (read: exactly what I wanted) from longtime APW sponsors Blooms by the Box that answers those questions, in the truest lazy-girl fashion possible. Let’s start with pictures, then those of you who are
smarter than me detail focused, can actually read the instructions as well.
1. First, you’ll need to get your flowers. For this bouquet, Blooms by the Box used half a bunch of hot pink ranunculus, one third of a bunch of purple tulips, three stems of yellow spray roses, one third of a bunch of lemon garden roses, and one third of a bunch of fuchsia stock. Now, because they love you guys, Blooms by the Box set up a special APW page with just the ingredients for this bouquet on it, but of course you can buy them at your local flower market if you want. The secret to not totally messing up like I did is to order more than you think you’re going to need. Because mistakes happen, and it’s always better to have too much than to be making last-minute trips to BJ’s Wholesale Club, right? (Pro-tip: yes.) Once you’ve got all your flowers, make sure to prep them properly so they stay fresh and, well, don’t die.
2. Next gather all the materials for your bouquet. For this bouquet, Blooms by the Box used burlap, lace ribbon, floratape stem wrap, and floral scissors. Of course, you can always substitute the burlap and lace for ribbon or another textile of your choosing (I found glitter ribbon at Michael’s last week—is all I’m saying.)
3. Start off by building the center of your bouquet. Take three flowers and begin wrapping them with the stem wrap (when pulled tight, stem wrap adheres to itself and tears easily, so it should be very easy to work with).
4. & 5. Once your base is secured, continue building a round shape by adding more flowers. Add stem wrap every time you add four or five new flowers so that the bouquet will be sturdy and round.
6. Once you have your round shape, and the bouquet is the size you want, secure the stems using additional stem wrap.
7. & 8. Once the bouquet is secure, use your floral scissors to trim the stems by cutting straight across. (Pro-tip: leave the stems long enough to make a second cut the morning of the wedding for an extra hour of hydration.)
9. I learned recently that there are lots of ways to attach ribbon, burlap, or lace to create a bouquet wrap. You can use corsage pins, a floral glue gun, or floral adhesive. Blooms by the Box used floral adhesive for this tutorial (just dab a little right on the stems).
10. After the glue has had a minute to dry, pull the burlap around the stems. Make sure you are pulling tight so the stem wrap is secure without looking bulky. When you’re done, use the floral adhesive again to glue the burlap in place. (You can also add extra lace or other textures at this point by simply replicating the steps you took with the burlap.)
And that’s it! The lazy girl’s guide to creating a bouquet. You don’t even have to shop around for this one. Just click and done.
And since we care, a few additional tips from Blooms by the Box (the full scoop is at their Do-It-Yourself Flowers 101 page, or on our How To page, which has enough projects to really get you in trouble):
Usually a large or full bridal bouquet calls for about 25–30 stems (depending on the size of the flowers you plan on using). A medium bridesmaid bouquet calls for around 15–20 stems. Small bouquets for flowers girls or mothers of the bride and groom call for 10–12 stems. These measurements should help you estimate flower quantities for your order.
Pick three or more colors to be incorporated in the bouquet. Two-tone bouquets can look flat, but adding at least one more color or shade of a color creates texture and depth, and helps make DIY bouquets look more professional.
Photos provided by Blooms by the Box (APW Sponsors)