Maybe when you started planning your wedding, you realized that florists can quickly become very expensive. Or maybe you, yourself, have something of a green thumb and always planned on creating your own bouquet.
Or maybe the idea of carefully designing and preparing your bouquet and your partner’s bouquet or boutonniere just feels like a romantic way to honour your wedding day.
In any case, creating the perfect DIY wedding bouquet is well within your ability and can be a wonderful way to spend the afternoon before your wedding.
Here’s everything you need to know about creating the bouquet of your dreams.
Step #1: Choose Your Palette
Your perfect bouquet won’t come together by accident (unless your thumbs really are very green!). In advance—ideally months in advance—you’ll need to settle on your colour palette.
Some will opt for their bridal bouquet to match closely with the broader colour scheme of the wedding. Others, if designing their bouquets for very sentimental reasons like honouring an absent loved one, or trying to use only seasonal flowers, may find they need to incorporate colours not found elsewhere at the wedding.
Both are great options. All that matters is what feels right to you and your partner.
Select your colour palette bearing in mind what types of flowers will be available, and what type of flowers you may particularly want to incorporate.
If you prefer pink, yellow, and white as your foundational colours with sprigs of leafy eucalyptus but your wedding is midwinter, you will find it challenging to source these stems.
Once you’ve settled on a palette, it’s time to talk green. Money, that is.
Step #2: Set Your Budget
Even if you aren’t using a florist to decorate your wedding, there will still be a cost associated with creating your own wedding bouquet. So it’s important to set a budget for your bouquet.
Things to consider when setting your budget include where you intend to source your florals, i.e., will your florals be locally sourced or will they be imported (which can have a negative climate impact as well as being costly), as well as the ribbons, accessories, and other materials you’ll need to use during the assembly process.
If you know one central item in your bouquet will be especially costly—say you want to use fresh rare lilies, or an expensive vintage silk to wrap your stems—you can try building out your budget in support of this important item.
This helps establish a hierarchy so, if you begin to run out of budget, the less important aspects of the bouquet can be eliminated or rethought to save money.
Step #3: Source Your Flowers
Generally speaking, when you’re designing your own bouquet this doesn’t mean you won’t work with a florist. Why? Because you’ll need someone to help you source the flowers you intend to use on the big day.
Instead of working with a florist to source specific stems, you could try winging it; swing by the florist a few days before the wedding and pick from their a la carte floral selection. But naturally, this approach can leave a lot up to chance—which, in our experience, is not something brides love.
You might alternatively try contacting local farms or wholesalers to source flowers directly from them.
Or—and we say this entirely seriously—maybe your gardener grandmother would let you steal a few flowers from her beautiful raised beds to make your bouquet. Sentimental and cost effective! Bonus: grandma would be thrilled to see her flowers featured front and center!
You’ll want to source a series of flowers. Generally, choose an odd number (three or five) of your “centrepiece” flowers, like big, beautiful peonies. Then you’ll need to select foundational flowers which will fill out the bouquet and support the peonies. Then select little accent flowers and greenery, like eucalyptus stems or baby’s breath to finish off the bundle.
Step #4: Get the Right Tools
To assemble your bouquet, you’ll need to use the right tools. Before you need to assemble your bouquet, take stock of these tools to make sure you have what you need.
A clean, clear work surface (a big kitchen table will do!)
Clean, sharp pruning shears
A sturdy bucket, very well cleaned, full of water
Strong elastic bands
Your preferred ribbon, lace, or tape for wrapping your stems
You’ll want to assemble your bouquet the afternoon before your wedding day.
Step #5: Assemble Your Perfect Bridal Bouquet
Start by preparing your stems.
With your clean snips, remove the leaves from your floral stems. If you’re including other items, like greenery, remove the leaves from the portions of the stems that will be wrapped by ribbon.
Next, snip the bottoms of each stem at a 45-degree angle. Just take ½ an inch off the bottom of each stem—you can adjust the length of each stem once the bouquet is assembled by snipping extra bits off the bottom as needed.
Snipping each stem at a 45 degree angle increases the surface area for stems to absorb water and flower food, keeping them looking healthy and beautiful.
You’re ready to start assembling! Feel free to wing it and follow your heart.
If you’re unsure, it’s a good rule of thumb to start with your foundational flowers. Grasp them in your hand and finesse them until you’re happy with their arrangement. Now dot your big, bright blooms throughout your foundational flowers. Add your accessory stems—some around the edges, some dotted around your big blooms—and when you’re happy, secure your stems tightly with several elastic bands.
Lastly, wrap your ribbon around the stems, covering the elastic bands and leaving the ends of your stems exposed.
Even out the stem lengths with your snips, and when you’re happy, set your beautiful bouquet in a bucket of water overnight, pop some celebratory bubbles, and get to bed early for the big day tomorrow!