Budget ballooning out of control? Maybe you prefer a personal touch? With a DIY bridal bouquet and flower arrangement, you will save a significant chunk of your bridal budget to put somewhere else. But it need not be a nightmare, nor a Herculean endeavor. With a lot of planning and honesty, a DIY wedding bouquet can be the beginning of a beautiful family tradition.
However, DIY doesn’t save the world and it’s not necessarily the budget-maker you dream of. Costs can easily escalate if you don’t prepare well. But there is definitely something beautiful about preparing your own bouquet, especially one filled with love and meaning.
It becomes a true labor of love – love for the person you are marrying and for the people who have been with you most of your life.
Why do brides carry flowers? Believe it or not, this tradition dates back to ancient times. Ancient Roman brides used to wear or carry garlands of flowers as a symbol of new beginnings, fidelity, and hope. The practice carried over to modern times with Christianity.
However, during the Middle Ages, marriage hopes gave way to reasons of hygiene. It was a dark period in Western civilization when people thought that bathing caused diseases so the fragrance of herbs and flowers ensured that the bride, for lack of a bath, still smelled sweet and pretty. It was also supposed to ward away the evil which caused diseases.
During the Victorian era bridal bouquets became expected and required in weddings and now, from a simple stem to a luscious bouquet of blooms, flowers and weddings have become nearly synonymous. They are beauty, freshness, fragility, strength and hope – everything that weddings should be. Weddings are all about love, and these show our aspirations for it.
Tips for a Bouquet on a Budget
- First, be frank about what you can afford.
Don’t do a “wishful thinking, crossing your fingers, and hoping for the best” budget. If you can only afford $120, then one hundred twenty dollars it is. If you can go big and include the whole wedding party, then “YAH!” – wonderful news.
- Plan ahead of time.
Don’t decide on your flowers a few days before the wedding. There are flower supplies and other materials you need to put together so don’t take for granted that there will always be a dozen of blooms available.
- Next, keep the seasons in mind.
Even calla lilies can become very expensive during winter, while prices of hothouse flowers will skyrocket and your $120.00 could easily become $250.
- Now, decide on your color scheme or your bridal motif.
Get as many ideas as you can and put them in a picture folder or Pinterest collection. Most brides want to keep their bouquets exactly themed to their color schemes. Sunflowers are great for a summer garden wedding, but for a sleek and silver motif, they might be a bit too out there.
- Next, decide on your flowers.
Flowers have meanings which might differ from region to region, and country to country – something to bear in mind in a multi-cultural wedding. Also, some flowers might have sentimental meanings especially for you. Maybe you’d like to include forget-me-nots in your bridal bouquet in memory of a beloved grandparent, or the first flowers that your significant other gave you when you started dating.
- Lastly, practice how you’re going to do the bouquet.
A large bouquet might be too unwieldy so maybe after practicing once, you will decide to change how it looks or tweak some small details. Ask your bridesmaid or maid of honor for some help with making your DIY bridal bouquet, because sticking within budget does not mean not making it personal. Let it be a practical dream wedding.
Note to Bridal Self: Plan every detail. Get things together in one place. Practice. Practice and practice.
DIY Wedding Bouquet Basic Materials:
- Floral shears
- Craft blade to strip flower stems
- Floral tape
- Bouquet pins
- Ribbons for wrapping the bouquet
- Clean buckets or deep containers to place your flowers
DIY Wedding Bouquet Step-by-step:
A few weeks before
- Find and order your flowers (and foliage)
Look up your local flower shop, nursery, or shop online. Even your grocery store might be a source or go for word-of-mouth. You have many options so go exercise them. You need not buy everything in one place either, for example you could buy your foliage from the local flower shop and maybe your flowers online.
When you order your flowers, be clear when you need them and what the state of your flowers should be – rose buds are definitely different from rose blooms.
- Put your bouquet recipe together
What flowers will be in the bridal bouquet? How many flowers for your maid of honor? What ribbons will be used, what length is needed? How many pins? Keeping this in mind and mind your budget. This way, nothing gets blown out of proportion.
- Decide on your workspace
Next, clean out your workspace so you can practice, and make sure you have adequate lighting and ventilation away from direct sunlight or heat. Set up your work table so that it’s high enough that you don’t need to stoop. Additionally, a wide floor space is also recommended for all those buckets of flowers you’d be using later.
- Get your supplies
Buy the necessary equipment and materials and store them properly so they don’t get dirtied while in storage. Also, if you have friends and family helping out, make sure they have their own equipment to use – check the number of shears or scissors. There’s no point in having just one roll of floral tape if there are three of you working on the flowers.
The Day Before the Wedding
- Prep your flowers
- A common mistake is not cutting the stems so use floral shears to trim one or two-inches off the bottom. CUT AT AN ANGLE. By cutting diagonally, we give the stem more chance to absorb water and retain its freshness. Also add a bit of soda (like Sprite or 7-up) to the water to help retain its freshness.
- Next, make sure all the stems are approximately the same length. You can cut off the excess length later, but it is nearly impossible to correct a flower stem that has been cut too short.
- Remove any leaves from the stems, but retain some near the flowers themselves as part of the foliage if you’d like. Remove the thorns if you are using roses and remove any petals that are brown and withered.
- Store safely
- Next, store your flowers in a cool dry place away from any cooling vents or open windows. Keep them away from direct sunlight, airy drafts and anything with fruit. Fruits release tiny amounts of ethylene gas which can affect the freshness of your flowers.
DIY Wedding Bouquet: Putting it all together
(The pictures shown use the following: pink lisianthus, white spray roses, green pompon buttons, painted lady wax flower, purple statice, and green hypericum)
(1) Choose 2 to 4 flowers to serve as the center of your DIY wedding bouquet. As I have mentioned before, you could go by color scheme, traditional meanings (true love, fidelity, etc ) or personal significance.
(2) Cut the stems an inch or two, but leave at least 4 – 5 inches of stem to hold on to. Remember that you will also have to tie your stems together so don’t be too cut-happy.
(3) Bunch the stems together then wrap with floral tape to make the center of the bouquet. You will be adding more flowers and foliage around this center.
(4) Add more flowers and foliage, one stem at a time, to create a bunch. Check the picture of your desired DIY wedding bouquet for reference and check whether your focal point is still at the center.
(5) Wrap with more floral tape and don’t let the bouquet get too big. Check whether you can hold it in one hand. If you can’t, rethink. It would be great to hold your beloved’s hand in your other hand instead of clutching your bouquet as if your life depended on it.
(7) Next, mix the colors and textures and don’t forget those stems of foliage.
(8) Remember to continuously wrap the stems together, as you don’t want it to fall apart during your walk down the aisle. The tape adds support to create a consistent shape and adds composition to the bouquet.
Taping and wrap-up
(1) Use your personal reference but don’t tape too near the flower heads. Leave at least two inches but don’t tape too near the bottom either.
(2) Next, cut the bottoms of the stems for regularity when you are done. Cut at an angle.
(3) Then, using the floral tape as guide, wrap your ribbon and the pin it horizontally. Wrap the ribbon until it covers the floral tape completely. Secure with another bouquet pin. Tip: in lieu of the traditional pearl or rhinestone pins, go for colored satin pinheads, matching the color to your motiff.
(4) Almost done! Spray the top of the flowers and just below the blossoms with a little hair spray to preserve the flowers’ freshness. You can also store the flowers inside the refrigerator but make sure that your ribbons are color fast. Nobody wants to have violet-tinted hands during the walk down the aisle.
(5) Finally finished! Congratulations.
DIY Wedding Bouquet Source: A Practical Wedding
Regarding that bouquet for the reception
Most brides preserve their bridal bouquets, and then use a different one for the reception that they can throw. All you need to do is make a mini-version of your own, using fewer stems but following the other steps. This means you will have a fresh-looking beautiful bouquet that you can throw during your reception festivities and get to keep your more meaningfu flowers safe. Why not draw inspiration from your bouquet color scheme and use it for your reception centerpieces?
More DIY tips galore:
It is such a lovely thought to make your own DIY wedding bouquet. If you have the time and the inclination, extend the same love and consideration for the rest of the wedding party.
- Bouquets for the maid of honor and bridesmaids
Make them similar to your own, though smaller. Instead of all the colors, maybe just use two, or if your own bouquet has flowers symbolizing your relationship with your future spouse, then omit these. Instead, use flowers symbolizing friendship.
- Corsages for the ladies
This can be very time-consuming, so most leave this to the florist. However, you can, if you choose to, make the corsages for the most significant female members of the family like mothers and mothers-in-law. Unless you know the specifics of eveeryone’s outfits, go for a neutral color so the corsages are coordinated with each person’s dress.
- Boutonnieres for the Men
Make a simple boutonniere for the significant male members of the wedding party or, at the very least, for your groom. Some opt not to use flowers, but simple satin rosettes or flower-shaped ribbons instead. Go for neutral colors that are coordinated with your wedding motif.
DIY Wedding Bouquet Tutorials and Ideas
(1) Rose and Hydrangea
A perfect spring bouquet of colorful pink roses and luscious hydrangeas.
(2) Wild for Wildflowers
Creating a bridal bouquet is very basic. Like our step-by-step guide showed in the beginning, you simply start with the core flowers and then add flowers carefully. This beautiful wildflower bouquet was also made in the same way.
(3) Pretty Peonies
Peonies are popular bridal bouquet floweers because they are traditional, romantic, and very feminine.
(4) Succulent and Bohemian
Different but very beautiful. Succulents are not your typical bridal flowers, but they look so at home in this bohemian bouquet.
(5) Fine Fabrics
A longer-lasting bouquet that is equally beautiful as your natural flowers – dainty and handmade fabric flowers made of silk and lace, that have timeless charm.
(6) Grocer’s Choice
Your budget need not be big, all you really need is the basics for making a bridal bouquet. Just choose the freshest blooms among the bunch, and remove withered and dried leaves and stems.
(7) Bridal Brooch
Turn a collection of old brooches into this stunning bridal bouquet. You’ll have fun making trips to rummage sales and building a collection of your own to give these brooches a new romantic life.
(8) Big is Good
One of the trends now is for big and oversized bridal bouquet and then, instead of fretting over the bouquet toss, most brides make a smaller yet similar bouquets. Blooming large, this is the perfect bouquet for spring.
(9) Mainly Minis
(10) Touch of Twine
Sentimentally sweet and romantic for a small outdoor wedding in spring or summer. Add a small touch of rustic using twine instead of lace.
(11) Bohemian Beauty
This footloose and fancy-free bouquet is inspired by the freeing style of the 1960s and Bohemian and is still all the rage.
(12) Originally Offbeat
A one-of-a-kind original bouquet that isn’t made with floral tape but with wires. Instead of water, get your trusty pliers and power drill. Odd it may seem, but it will be a treasured and memorable “my way” wedding.
(13) Rosy Pink
Go pink, white or a different color whatsoever, these paper roses will remain romantic and beautiful for a pretty long time.
(14) England’s Style
The English definitely know their gardens and their flowers, so why not put them both together in a bouquet? Inspired by the bride’s love for the show Downtown Abbey, this beautiful bouquet is as elegant and captivating as an English morning.
(15) Perfect Peonies
Peonies seem fragile and have a very romantic appeal, but a purely peony bridal bouquet is a bit uncommon. Go for the road less travelled if you want an all-peony bouquet. It’s beautiful and it is truly exotic.
(16) Luscious Paper Flowers
Luscious flowers freshly-cut…and they are made of paper. No need to worry about how they will cope with the heat of a summer wedding, because these are sure not to wilt.
(17) Brooch and Silk
Brooch bouquets need not be expensive when you combine them with these beautiful silk flowers. You will have your rhinestone beauties and your sophisticated and luxurious brooch bouquet.
Silk Flowers and Brooch DIY Wedding Bouquet
(18) Filter Flowers
Try making your own flowers from coffee filters and you won’t have any anxieties about the flowers melting during your sizzling summer wedding day.
(19) Felt Like Love
Felt is soft and textured and the felt flowers making up this bridal bouquet give it a dainty touch. The flowers entice you to touch them for softness and realness – perfect for a kid-friendly ceremony.
(20) Simply Bedazzled
It may be simple compared to some of the brooch bridal bouquets we have on this list, but its simplicity is equally stunning and dazzling.
(21) Be Mine Baby
Beautiful in its stark simplicty, this baby’s breath bouquet is breathtakingly austere. But it certainly makes a subtle personal statement.
(22) Vintage Ribbons
Ribbons take center stage as flowers in this vintage diy wedding bouquet.
(23) The Allure of Origami
A personal statement by a very adventurous and independent bride, an origami bridal bouquet is as alluring as the art that inspired it.
(24) Gorgeous Garden
Be inspired by ordinary spring garden flowers for this simple but gorgeous bridal bouquet.
Garden Inspiration DIY Wedding Bouquet
(25) Rustling for Paper
With a pair of scissors, a glue gun and beautifully-colored paper, this rustic bouquet beauty will highlight your wedding dress and be a conversation-starter for your wedding party.
(26) Protean Spring
More than a novelty, this bouquet is an elegant statement of individuality and a unique expression of what you want in your bridal bouquet.
(27) From Paper to Bouquet
From your scrapbook paper collection to a bridal bouquet, let this tutorial help you make your own. You can easily use the same flowers as decorative elements or garlands, or for your boutonniere or corsages. It’s a very flexible style that you can tweak for any occasion.
(28) Classy Beading
A classy beaded bouquet that is sophisticated and raises the bar for elegance. Go with white, it’s a bridal tradition.
(29) Subtle Delicacy
The differences are subtle but this uses foliage we don’t normally see in bridal bouquets, with berries and succulents. The roses are traditional and so are the tulips and peonies, but the subtleties really make a difference in this beautiful bouquet.
(30) Timeless Traditions
A beautiful traditional bouquet of flowers that harkens back to the era of our grandmothers, as beautiful as they used to be 75 years aho. Timeless as love.
Flowers in season (Northern Hemisphere)
Some spring flowers you can use for your wedding bouquet – Amaryllis, Anemone, Apple blossom, Bird of Paradise, Brodea, Calla lily, Cherry Blossom, Corn flower, Cosmos, Dahlia, Delphinium, Delwood, Forsythia, Freesia, Gardenia, Heather, Hollyhock, Hyacinth, Larkspur, Casa Blanca Lily, Gloriosa Lily, Stargazer, Liatris, Lilac, Lisianthus, Narcissus, Orchid, Peach blossom, Peony, Poppy, Rose, Seeded Eucalyptus, Statice, Stephanotis, Stock, Sweet Pea, Tulip, Viburnum, Wax flower, Zinnia
Summer seasonal flowers Alchemilla, Allium, Alstroemeria, Amaranthus, Baby’s Breath , Bird of Paradise, Calla lily, Campanula, Carnation, Chrysanthemum, Cockscomb, Cosmos, Dahlia, Delphinium, Dianthus, Didiscus, Euphorbia, Foxglove, Freesia, Gardenia, Genista, Ginger, Gladiolus, Heather, Hydrangea, Hypericum, Iris, Lilac, Casa Blanca Lily, Gloriosa Lily, Stargazer, Lisianthus
Autumnal flowers – Acashia, Alstroemeria, Amaranthus, Anemone, Carnation, China berry, Chrysanthemum, Cosmos, Echinops, Freesia, Gerbera Daisy, Gladiolus, Hypericum, Iris, Juniper, Liatris, Lily, Asiatic, Lily, Gloriosa, Misty Blue, Orchid, Pepper berry, Protea, Queen Anne’s Lace, Quince, Rover, Roses, Rowen berry, Salvia, Solidago, Statice, Star of Bethlehem, Sunflower, Yarrow, Zinnia
Winter flowers – Acashia, Alstroemeria, Amaryllis, Carnation, Chrysanthemums, Cyclamen, Evergreens, Gerbera Daisy, Ginger, Helleborus, Holly berry, Lily, Asiatic Lily, Casa Blanca Lily, Narcissus, Orchid, Pansy, Pepperberry, Queen Anne’s Lace, Roses, Star of Bethlehem, Statice
DIY Wedding Bouquet Source: The Flower Expert
Be inspired by some candle holder ideas that you can use for your wedding reception.