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These days, most weddings have at least some element of DIY to them. Whether it’s the favors, the signature cocktails, or the centerpieces — more and more brides are taking control of the details and putting their creativity to great use. (And probably saving some money in the process, too!)
But if you’re looking to take it a step further by attempting to DIY a wedding bouquet, you’ll probably need some guidance to ensure you end up with what you’re envisioning. Woman Getting Married spoke to Sarah McErlean, florist and owner of Park & Bloom in Hoboken, NJ for her expert advice. Read on to arrange your own bouquet like a pro!
WGM Says: Inspired by the bouquets on this page? They were all DIY’ed by brides using stems from FiftyFlowers!
The Best Flowers for a DIY Wedding Bouquet
First things first, you’ll have to decide what medium you’ll be working with – fresh flowers, fried flowers, or faux flowers. Sarah says, “For a wedding bouquet, fresh flowers will always be our favorite, but they are trickier to work with than dried. Dried florals are having a moment and there are now so many great colors and textures available — plus you don’t have to worry about them wilting!”
Though, dried flowers have their downfalls, too. Sarah explains they can be still and lack movement, so if you opt for dried flowers for your own wedding bouquet, “add dried grasses and delicate textures to add some movement or mix with fresh flowers.” She adds that while faux flowers can also be very realistic, be sure to invest in the high quality faux florals if possible, because the difference is noticeable.
When it comes to working with fresh flowers, Sarah explains that hard stem flowers like roses, carnations, and delphiniums are strong and long lasting.
Softer stems, “like ranunculus and tulips are more difficult to work with – they break more easily and can wilt faster.”
She adds that any of the more tropical florals like orchids, anthurium, protea or woody stems like waxflower are fail safe and very strong. As is most greenery. “A mixed greenery bouquet (ferns, spireal, ruscus, different varieties of eucalyptus, etc.) is beautiful.”
What Color Palette Should You Use?
As with most things in life, Sarah warns that when it comes to a diy bridal bouquet, “less is more.”
“The temptation is to use every flower in every color, but the key is to focus on a few special or interesting pieces, or opt for a single variety of flower such as a bouquet of calla lilies for a timeless and chic look.”
Ideally, your wedding bouquet should coordinate with the rest of your wedding flowers, though it doesn’t have to be all matchy-matchy. When coming up with your wedding colors, one of our favorite tricks is to head to Pinterest and start pinning flower combos you love. Afterwards, step back and see if a theme emerges. Usually you’ll start to see a combo of colors you love! Read more about how to pick out your how to pick out your wedding colors here.
WGM Says: Looking to make bridesmaid bouquets, too? These can be mini versions of your bouquet, or even a single stem!
What Size DIY Wedding Bouquet Should You Make?
The “less is more” motto also applies to the size of your bouquet, says Sarah.
“Bouquets often look a lot bigger in pictures and you don’t want the flowers to overpower your outfit or to engulf you! When designing a mixed flower bouquet, aim to include a focal (often larger, rounder flowers like a peony, rose, and even hydrangea), a linear / gestural element (such as veronica, snapdragons, or sweetpea), along with smaller flowers and textures (lisianthus, wax flower, berries); and for a whimsical look add in loose, draping greenery such as spirea.”
If you can, she adds that incorporating foraged greenery or flowers also adds something special and unexpected.
If you’re looking for more of a looser bouquet, Sarah says having a variation in height among the flowers with “plenty of gestural elements” and for a classic, rounder shape, aim to “have the flowers closer together in the bouquet.
And when making your diy wedding bouquet, start with the sturdier/thicker stems like peonies and greenery for structure and shape, then add the more smaller or delicate elements.
Practice Makes Perfect
Before you make your actual wedding day bouquet, consider buying fresh flowers from your local grocery store or florist so you can practice arranging flowers and using the tools. (More on the ones you’ll need, below).
You can also place a small online order for an upcoming party (like your bridal shower) to familiarize yourself with the way delivery works and what to expect.
Here’a a few of our favorite places to order flowers online for your DIY wedding bouquet:
Sites like Flower Moxie do a great job of telling you exactly which supplies you’ll need. But in general, here’s a look at what you’ll need to DIY a wedding bouquet:
- Hydration Buckets (plastic trash cans or mop buckets from The Dollar Store work great)
- Flower Food (to keep your flowers and water fresh before the wedding)
- Folding Pruning Knife
- Floral Scissors
- Thorn Stripper
- Green Floral Tape
- Floral Foam for Bouquets
Remember These DIY Wedding Bouquet Tips
Sarah points out a few helpful tips to remember before making your bouquet.
First, she says before making your bouquet, ensure you hydrate your flowers for 24 hours, and then give the stems a fresh cut before placing them in water. Sarah explains, “Hydrated flowers are easier to work with and your bouquet will last longer out of water. If using roses, peonies or ranunculus allow the flowers to open fully by hydrating them a few days before your wedding so that they are full and at their peak beauty.”
As for the final touch on your bouquet, wrapping the stems will not only help to keep it together and maintain the shape, but it also adds a beautiful and elegant final touch. Sarah highly recommends investing in a beautiful silk ribbon. Some of her favorites are from The Floral Society, Tono and Co, and Rosemarine Textiles. She points out that there are also gorgeous vintage options that you can find on Etsy.
Put some thought into which ribbon you choose, as, “the ribbon is also a lovely keepsake to have after your wedding.” To wrap, simply use floral tape or an elastic band to secure the stems of your bouquet and then tie with ribbon.
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Finally, before your walk down the aisle, Sarah says to, “keep your bouquet in a clean vase of fresh water, away from direct sunlight and in a cool area. You can also place it in the fridge but make sure the fridge is empty of fruit, as the ethylene from fruit can cause flowers to die.”
Perhaps most importantly?
“Have fun with your bouquet!” says Sarah. “There are no rules when it comes to flowers, so let your personality shine through in whatever you decide to make!”
Looking for some more wedding bouquet design inspiration? There are some great DIY floral design tips in this video!