How to Make a Wild Flower Mart Wedding Bouquet

Today we’re introducing the second part of our new How To series, the “Crafty” part. If the “Lazy” crafts are ones that a blind monkey could do in its sleep (What? Sometimes I consider myself the blind monkey of crafting!) these are projects that are 110% do-able with a little instruction and effort. (Even if you are a blind monkey.)

Today we’re making a wildflower bouquet, the kind you’d buy from a really expensive florist. Can you do this yourself? Totally! But you’ll want to read the tutorial carefully, and possibly do a dry run like I did, if you have little-to-no experience with flowers. Also: full disclosure. This bouquet is more expensive to make because you need to buy more types of flowers (though making it yourself is still usually going to be significantly cheaper than having it made for you). The technique of today’s bouquet is exactly the same as last week’s (create a base, wrap with floral tape, and fill in as you go), but you’ll need  to use your creative eye to create something that works.

The real key to this bouquet comes in the shopping. We bought the flowers from the San Francisco Flower Mart, so we could have access to as big a selection of flowers as possible (this bouquet has the blackberries I dreamed of having in my bouquet, sigh). We selected flowers all in the same color story, with a wide variety of textures. But if you’re going to use a variety of colors, keep the textures similar. Select six to ten different types of flowers and filler. (Yup! That’s a lot, but you’ll need it!) Remember to always pick a few highlight flowers from across the color wheel, to make your main colors stand out and not fade together. Here we used green (including a truly strange alien pod thing that somehow totally works).

Start with your basic construction technique, as covered last week: Build your base with three flowers, continually wrap the flowers with floral tape, adding a balance of main flowers, and occasional accent flowers. Pro-tip: Create groupings of the same textures, interspersing softer textures with harder textures. If you’re going for a wild look, select a wild looking filler that is longer than your main flowers. When you’re done, prune back any extra leaves. Then cover with a neat wrap of floral tape, anywhere you want your pretty wrap to go. Wrap yarn (you can use anything, but we used a hand died yarn in the same color as the main flowers). Secure with pins or hot glue (in tiny dots).

Remember to remind yourself how talented you are before rewarding yourself with a drink.

Good job, ladyfriend! You’re taking this wedding by storm.

Photos by Emily Takes Photos, Crafting by Lowe House Events, Graphic Design by Michelle Edgemont

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  • I am in love with the berries there. I never would have considered doing such a wide variety of flowers doing my own bouquet before.

  • Richelle

    I love the commentary! Yowza!

  • These posts give me major pangs of regret – I reeeeeally wanted to do my own flowers, but gave in to the skeptical reactions (“Will you have time?” “Won’t they look tacky?” “Is that how you want to spend your wedding morning?” “Will anyone want to help?”) and hired a florist, who ended up being pretty awful. If you want to try this, listen to your gut and go for it. For reals.

    • meg

      Nah, no regret. We did ours (too many, honestly) and it was a lot of work. Either way is TOTALLY fine. No regrets lady!! No regrets!

  • These posts are helping me BIG TIME with making my bridesmaid bouquets. In fact, once I get my own DIY OR DIE post up, I’ll be giving APW a shoutout for inspiring me. I also trekked to my local flower mart and came back with dahlias, ranunculas, carnations, filler greens, and my favorite: kangaroo paw! The result of bouqueting APW-style: Turned out pretty good. I should have gone with more flowers in the “same color story” though. But for a first attempt, not too shabby.

  • You can most definitely do them the day before, and in fact should! Just put them in water (about an inch or two) and either refrigerate or just put somewhere cool – all except the very most delicate flowers (which don’t make for good bouquets anyways) will be totally fine the next day.

    • Kristin

      How far in advance is it safe to purchase flowers? I’m getting married the day after Thanksgiving and I want to ensure that if I buy the flowers a couple days before (to guarantee places will be open) that they won’t be wilted come wedding day. Note – I’m trying hard to not be that neurotic bride that worries about minute details wayyyy to far in advance :)

      • meg

        I don’t know if a *couple* of days before is a good idea. I shopped the day before and it was fine, but things were wilty the day after. Try (APW Sponsor and amazing company) Blooms By The Box. They will ship to you anywhere anytime, and will make sure you get flowers that last (their customer service is amazing). With them, I totally recommend that you over-order a bit… and if push comes to shove, you can always fill in with Trader Joe’s or something that will be open.

      • Jenn's Mom

        Oops – my comment was meant to be here responding to the question on far ahead to buy the flowers.

      • Jen B

        Well, something weird is happening with comment posting (my replies aren’t showing up as replies!) but I *also* wanted to say that this bouquet is gorgeous (love the berries!). And I really hope fewer people are intimidated by flower arranging after reading these posts– flowers aren’t scary! They’re amazing, pretty much no matter what you do with them.

      • Jen B

        I think a couple of days before the wedding day is fine, as long as you use some kind of flower or plant food added to the water, and make sure the flowers don’t get too warm. Here’s what I did: I bought our flowers (also from the SF Flower Mart!) the Thursday before our Saturday wedding. That day, I took all flowers out of their packaging, trimmed an inch or two off the ends of all the stems, and stood them in buckets of water + flower food. My sister and I then wired all the heavy-headed flowers (roses and gerbera daisies) to make sure they’d hold their heads up when stuffed into bouquets, and for more stability– this is not a necessity, by any means, but since I worked for a florist while in college I knew about this trick and I knew it would be helpful when arranging the bouquets. On Friday afternoon my bff and I assembled about 20 table arrangements in small bottles (flower food in the water in those, too), and Friday night the wedding brigade assembled the bouquets (mine + 2 bridesmaids) and boutonnieres. We left the bottle arrangements on the tables in the reception venue, and we kept the bouquets in the garage (it was January so it was cold enough) in water + food and we kept the completed boutonnieres in the fridge. I didn’t trim the stems on the bouquets until Saturday just before taking pictures, to make sure we could leave the bouquets in water as long as possible– which turned out to be a little overly cautious, but that’s ok. Nothing was wilty on Saturday, and my bouquet lasted over a week before I finally had to throw it out.

        • Kristin

          Thank you Jen and Meg for your suggestions. I’m going to give them a whirl! This coming from the most non-craftiest girl of all :)

  • Those weird alien pod thingies are lotus pods!!! (In case anyone else is as weirdly obsessed with them as I am and needs to be able to ask for them by name.)

    That is a kickin’ bouquet – well done, ladies!

    • soozy

      I was wondering! Would’ve asked if you hadn’t been so prompt and knowledgeable! :)

  • Amy

    Berries in with flowers = LOVE!

    But… a word of warning! Using ripe berries that are dark in color can up the staining possibilities significantly. Adding them to table flowers and ceremony arrangements is definitely a yes, in bouquets is good if you are mindful of where you set your flowers down (lap of your white gown = DANGER), and boutinneres and corsages are not safe for all the hugging/dancing being done. There WILL be staining of innocent guests as soft berries get crushed over time.

    Using the harder, not-so-ripe versions solves this, though. The color is different and often muted, but they will hold up better and you still get the great texture in the arrangement.

    • francine

      that’s super helpful! thanks for sharing!! (:

  • suzanna

    Soooooo prreeeettyyyy…..Love the photos w/ built-in captions. I have no idea what “mixing softer and harder textures” means (cashmere + rocks?), but I don’t caaaaare….droooool….

  • The best part of my altogether hellish weekend before the wedding was the flower mart trip with my girlfriend. And the amazing friend-made bouquet and wild lazy-girl floral “arrangements” (woo hoo for mason jars and bud vases) that came out of it. The flower mart was strangely centering, as was the one-on-one girl time. I didn’t even want a bouquet, but it ended up being strangely important because of the emotional resonance. Also, it was stunning, thanks to the unique fancy-filled flower mart options. We made the bouquet the day before, and threw flowers in jars the morning of the wedding.

  • Really like the commentary of “weird thing.” :)

  • Awesome. I’m inspired to try my hand at bouquet making just for fun!

  • Katie

    By any chance, does anyone know of a flower mart in the Raleigh-Durham area? I’d love to get my DIY flower on for my wedding in that area but need a place to purchase.

  • Jenn’s Mom

    Jenn held a flower arranging party the morning before the wedding. The flowers were picked up the day before that from a farmers market. She did a lot of checking before that. In addition to doing test bouquets a month or so before the wedding, we went to the grower the year before to figure out what was going to be in season, bought a small bouquet of the flowers that were our favorites and checked out how well they lasted. The flowers were ordered from the local grower who brought them into DC for pickup at the market. Because they were super fresh the flowers were great for over a week after the wedding. Once the flowers started wilting the maid of honor made pesto with the basil.

  • Rachel

    The one thing I did just for myself in my wedding was doing my own flowers – 4 bouquets, aisle posies and small arrangements for all the reception tables. My mum thought I was insane, but I found it really relaxing because I felt like it was the one thing in the wedding where I could be creative to my heart’s content. It was definitely a DIT effort though – my bridesmaids and a couple of female relatives helped out. I would not recommend doing your flowers the day of the wedding, which is why I bought corsages and boutonnieres from a florist – they die too fast to do ahead.

    My local flower/vegie markets sell flowers that are a few days older significantly cheaper at ‘public market’ days. I did a test run where I bought some stuff there to see how well it lasted – some varieties (esp the filler) held up fantastically so I was able to buy it for 50-70% off a couple of days before the wedding, then grab the other fresh flowers the day before the wedding. For longevity, trim the stems before putting in buckets of water in a cool place, then trim stems and change water daily.

    It’s easier to pull off this kind of flower arranging if you aren’t set on a particular kind of flower – more general colour and feel. I used lots of Australian natives, rather than more traditional flowers like roses, because I wanted the flowers to feel relaxed. Aussie wildflowers are impossible to tame so if your work is a little messy nobody notices :)

    Your local flower market will probably sell you floral foam, pins, ribbon and floral tape at reasonable prices – this was great as craft shops were a lot more expensive. Word to the novice – floral ‘tape’ isn’t sticky! It’s stretchy and it kind of adheres a bit by shrinking back on itself when you stretch it around the bouquet…but don’t let go!!

  • LPC

    That is GORGEOUS! And I am picky:).

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  • blissing

    A dog watching. That’s what I need to get me through this. I didn’t know!

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  • If you want local fresh flowers go to for a listing of flower growers throughout the US. Or go to a farmers market. Order well ahead though. I book up.
    For the Raleigh bride I’m near Boone if you can’t find what you want closer.

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  • Meredith

    Is there information on where that white dress with the gold dots came from? I love it!

    • Maddie

      Meg got it at a vintage store (I believe in SF, but don’t quote me on that!)

  • A.E.

    I got married in the fall of 2009 and I went to the grocery store across from my hotel the night before the wedding, bought 5 bouquets of flowers from there for a total of about $30 and then my bridesmaids and I had a fun time creating bouquets in my room for about 2 hours. We just wrapped them in ribbon and kept them in water over night (no fridge was large enough). All of them came out beautiful. I didn’t have any particular vision going into it, just wanted something pretty. I ended up with some red sunflowers that looked smashing. Also, my wedding dress was white with gold polka dots similar to this one, but slightly different from a 2008 J-Crew collection. It was called the Mirabelle and they stopped making it a while ago. Anyway, this brings back memories. Thanks for your post!

  • Hi,

    Great idea! The bouquet looks absolutely beautiful. You can indeed cut down your wedding budget with some tips and tricks. Try to be creative! Thanks for the article anyway :D


  • This is so beautiful!!

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  • Cute idea!! For more cute wedding ideas check out the Bridal Show Planner Facebook page:

  • glitter & garland

    this is fantastic, I love the step by step!

  • Mun

    This is amazing. It helps to know that something DIY CAN BE AMAZING too :) Especially when everything is really expensive!

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