I thought I'd share my wedding flower bouquet trials.
I know a lot of other people who are drawn to this board will be trying similar things and I've seen some nice work already.
I'd like to point out that I'm not really experienced with flowers at all but I enjoy fiddling with these things so that and the financial savings have made making my own worthwhile.
I couldn't find any fake flowers I liked the look of that were cheap enough to warrant making fake flower bouquets so I used real flowers. I love real flowers but was a bit anxious about trying this in case they broke / wilted etc and my creations ended up being a nightmare.
I have done 2 trials though and am convinced now it will all work out alright.
Here is my first attempt using chrysanthemums, carnations and gypsophila.
The chrysanthemum's were a little too big to make it symmetrical very easily. The carnations were ok but to use in the bouquet holder all the stems needed to be wired otherwise they would snap off at the base of the flower head. I decided I'd avoid using them for the bouquet as it was just too labour intensive for the time I'll have the day before my wedding.
Even with the carnations not having their original stems in great condition the bouquet did keep it's condition for about 5 days (mostly kept in the fridge with the holder upright in a glass) which is comforting.
The carnation buttonholes also needed to be wired but for the few flowers that takes it was not too hard:
Here is my second attempt - I went for roses, lisianthus and gypsophilia this time. I thought the roses might be awkward because of the thorns but I needed only about 6 cm length on the stems below the flower.
I was able to cut away most of the thorny areas with minimal handling using a sharp knife and chopping board. I only needed to remove a couple of thorns per stem after that and didn't prick myself once.
The Lisianthus and roses both had strong enough stems to insert carefully into the bouquet holder floral foam without breaking 95% of the time so there was very little stem wiring. I used some lisianthus buds as fillers because I was running out of flowers which looks better than I would have expected.
This one was much less labour intensive and easier to make symmetrical so I will follow this idea for the final flowers.
@SharlaK: And finally the holder decorating - a bit of ribbon, craft blue and some stick on diamontie heart shapes. I decorated the smaller one with less embellishment because my bridesmaid wanted it bead free for comfort. I put a little more bling on mine.
We used plain white ribbon for the first layer and semi-transparent, silver edged ribbon over the top. I was suprised at how well craft glue manages to hold the ribbon and faux pearl string on without any additional pinning.
The stick on diamonte shapes stick very well and I've found these to be really good to use for other decorations too.
Bump - because somone just posted the need for a DIY bouquet tutorial - I'm happy to elaboate on how I made these but I wouldn't know how to make more complex shapes like the teardrop.
@SharlaK: I love them! I know this is a lot to ask, but if you could elaborate on step by step how you make this that would be awesome!! How did you learn ? They look excellent and just what I wish mine would look like. thank you
Ok the first thing I would do is buy the holders with floral foam in the top - you can go online or find a floristy supply place closer to you.
I found a local place because I wanted to make sure I could get the practices to work before I bought more. In hindsight it might not make much difference because for me buying online would've been cheaper per holder and it wasn't too hard once I knew what to use.
I used the lady two and Bridy Grande:
If I had bought online I might have selected holders with handles that didn't need decorating - like these. The second has a reserviour which i imagine would help keep your flowers fresh longer too. The first one has a hole in the bottom in case you want to hang it - the same as the Bridy Grande. I think this could look nice at a venue but unless you have a few helpers (or fake flowers well in advance) I'm not sure it wouldn't add up to too much to do with the bouquets as well.
You will also need some floristry wire and tape (mine is in the background of the first pic) to make buttonholes and I'm considering having a few flowers in my hair I'll prepare the same way. I choose green but they also have white if you prefer.
I would choose the thinnest wire - I chose the thinnest in stock at my local floristry supplies store but I still think it'd be easier to use if it was slightly thinner.
Other tools you'll need:
If at all possible I would give yourself a couple of practices to make the bouquets. The succulent thing didn't require a practice and could be made further in advance.
As long as you keep watering the succulents and you don't leave them in hot, bright sun they will establish themselves. I had a few small pieces die which I will refill with new ones and maybe some gypsophilia for colour - but four weeks after making it it almost looks the same.
Bouquets will last about 4 days provided you have somewhere to buy the flowers very fresh to begin with.
I checked a couple of places and choose the second because the flowers looked a lot fresher. This is important especially if you want to use white because some older white roses etc start looking a bit tatty.
Select your flowers - I would recommend gypsophilia because it was easy to use - despite having thin stems they stuck into the floral foam with ease.
Roses were also easy - both in that their stems didn't break easily and with their moderate, regular size it is easy to get a more symmetrical look than with very large or odd shaped flowers.
This is what the trial are for - give yourself time for at least two shots with the bouquets. Even with the cost of those flowers I will be paying much less than I would for a florist.
If tulips were in season for my wedding I'd love to use them but you just don't know what they're like to work with until you try.
Pre-wet your bouquet flower foam section before starting - I just upended it in a small bowl of water.
Keep your flowers in a cool place in a vase with flower food until you are ready to use them.
If you want a round look like I was trying to achieve you'll want to cut your stems to approx the same length for each flower. I cut the roses to 6 cm stem length but the lisianthus about 4.5 cm.
The lisianthus had slightly less rigid stems so i couldn't push them into the foam as much as the roses. I pushed all the flowers in so the heads were approx 3cms out of the foam.
I have seen in tutorials online some florists have their flowers protruding out further but I wouldn't feel confident doing this unless I was using rigid stem flowers like roses alone or had the time to wire all the stems.
That's why I choose a bigger bouquet holder for mine because I can make a bigger shape for me than my bridesmaid without having the flowers stick out a lot further.
I am making the final bouquets in about 4 days. I will take more pictures as I am making them so you get to see it in progress. I'll time it too - based on past experience I think it will take me about 1.5 hours per bouquet. I only have one bridesmaid.
Apart from that I will make three buttonholes for the boys, a few extra for my hair and one little flower girls wrist corsage. It only takes about 15 mins to make the carnation buttonholes.
With six bridesmaids I'd reccomend getting a helper who is crafty. My mum was VERY worried for me doing my own flowers until she saw the results of my second practice.
It would pay to choose someone positive as a helper so you don't have them telling you how crazy you are even trying this etc. I think some people enjoy DIY stuff more than others too.
@vasfinest: Thank You :-)
@SharlaK: Where did you get your flowers?!!
looks great! thanks for posting.
I'm going to do a DIY bouquet. I'm thinking a really simple single flower hand tied bouquet. hopefully that won't be to hard
@sheepandbear: I got my flowers fresh from a local florist in a big local market full of fresh fruit & veg etc.
I wanted to go to a wholesale place that supplies florists but they clearly stated on their website that the only sell to florists. If I owned my own business than had an ABN (Australian businees number) I might have gone in and tried to buy from there. That would have made it even cheaper but I'm saving money as is so I'm not too fussed.
Maybe you can find wholesale flower suppliers in your area and then you can afford to have a LOT more fun! :-)
There's a good chance the flowers would be fresher too as I'm sure the place I'm getting my flowers from will be just ordering them from the wholesale place. If I could order from the wholesale place I think I could get them as soon as they come in after being picked from the flower farms.
@luvmesumhim: I think a single flower bouquet would be really simple - what flower are you imagining? I would have liked a bouquet just with tulips if they were in season. My only hesitation about that now is that it would need to be perfectly symmetrical wheras having a little filler like gypsophilia softens any imperfections.
Commenting to follow
@SharlaK: Thats great advice! Your flowers look so so beautiful and its totally my style too. We are having the florist my bouquets and cake topper. What I'm wanting for the bouquets is something I could never do myself and its going to cost me $450 for my bouquet, two BMs and one cake topper.
With that cost, I had to make a sacrifice so we are DIYing our floral centerpieces for sure. Its always so so nice to see other ppsl DIY flowers since it lets us "future floral DIY" bees know that we can do it!!!
Your wedding is soon right? Will you post more photos as it gets closer???
@SharlaK: I was thinking roses, tulip, calla lillies or hydrangeas. I don't know much about flowers. I went to a farmers market and looked around and these were the ones i liked.
wow you really did an amazing job!
@SharlaK: The final product looks great! Good job!
and p.s. I love that you are watching Seinfeld in the first trial photo :)
@sheepandbear: I think DIYing your centrepieces is a really good idea. For centrepieces you maybe don't even need floral foam or holders at all - just vases with flower food! Floral foam is pretty easy to use and source though so if you want to give it a go I'd encourage that too. :-)
I've seen a big range of floral foam for centre pieces like the heart shaped one I put succelents in.
With that style it's easy because you don't need to have the flowers sticking out at all really - just pushed almost all the way in with the heads sticking out - the foam then keeps the shape looking right.
@RiverBride13: Thank you :-) Yeah I guess if I wasn't watching TV while I worked it might have been a faster process but I like having some background :-)
@Mrs.babycat: Thank You :-) It's encouraging to have so many positive responses on here - it gives me confidence that people won't look at my DIY efforts and say "WTF was she thinking!".
My bridesmaid sister liked it too and actually looked a bit excited about holding it which was nice. :-) She is deaf and lonely and doesn't believe she'll ever have her own wedding so she gets a thrill out of being part of my wedding with frills like gettng her make-up done and holding a bouquet.
@luvmesumhim: I like all of those flowers too.
I considered oriental lillies but decided against them because they're so big and can take four days for half the bunch to open after you buy them.
Calla lillies may not have that problem though - I don't know I haven't seen them at my local florists very much.
Just looking online Calla lillies do look nice by themselves if you feel confident that you can get the flowers oriented with the tear drop shape point always towards the outer like this one:
Using calla lillies and tulips might be easier because the tulips will break it up and make the orientation of your calla lillies less critical - I think this one I found online looks really gorgeous!
Hydrangeas look nice - I might have had trouble handling them because they're so big but that doesn't mean you will.
Honestly I don't know a lot about flowers either which is why I had to do a couple of trials and choose flowers I thought I could handle. That doesn't mean you won't have talents I am yet to develop - just give it a go. :-)
@SharlaK: Thank you SOO much for elaborating!! This is amazing!! I hope to try it soon!! can't thank you enough.
@SharlaK: I do like the tulips with the calla lillies. Good point about the orientation.
Wow amazing!! Great job!
wow that looks great!
I really needed this!! after checking out bouqet prices I thought I was going to have a heart attack!! ... It really does look great
Oh wow this is fantastic! Thank you so much!
They look amazing!
looooove the succulents!
Ok more pics and details as promised -
I pulled out a few pieces of the succulent feature that didn't establish well and picked off a catepillar that must have been hiding in there somewhere originally.
I then decorated the plastic base in which the flower foam was stuck with plain white ribbon overlaid by silver trimmed white transparent ribbon. I reccomend doing this before putting in the succulents - it was a little awkward doing it filled!
I used big hand sewn stitches in one edge of the silver edged ribbon to gather it for the inside edge before pinning it into place. I just used craft glue to adhere the silver edged ribbon onto the outer edge.
If I had more time I probably would have done the outer edge the same way as the inner edge. I felt the gathering was more important for the inner edge though because it helped cover green floral foam areas I couldn't really put a lot into without distorting the shape.
With time I would have also made sure the gathered ribbon fit the exact total edge length - in reality I had a bit of overlap that made it a little one sided on the inner gathered edge.
As you can see though even four weeks after I first put the succulents in it is in reasonable condition - bonus for the busy bride.
Then I filled in the gaps with lizianthus buds and gypsophyila which I think made it look a bit nicer - I would never do that far in advance as they wouldn't last as long as the succulents.
I will put more up on the bouquets etc tomorrow - they were more time consuming to do.
I think it took about 4 hours to do one flower girls wrist corsage, three mens flower pins (not buttonholes as they had no pockets so needed to be stuck to broach pins) and two bouquets.
We had a LOT of other wedding preparation to do in the few days before as we had a garden wedding at a relatives property so it was a lot to take on for us.
I only got abotu 4 hours sleep the night before my wedding and I was totally exhausted the day after. I don't regret it but i think it's up to each individual to consider how it's more important for them to use that limited pre-wedding time.
So here's what I did with the bouquets -
First I prepared my flowers - put them all into water with flower food and use a knife and a chopping board to chop the rose stems to about 15 cm long - a bit longer than I needed but enough to get rid of some very long excess stem material.
Then I removed the excess leaf material with caution since they were pretty thorny and was able to fit them all into one vase so I could have a decent look at them and pick and choose a bit.
Then with both bouquet holders I chose roses for each. I used a ruler to measure the length of the stems to approx 6.5 cm for the smaller bouquet and about 8 cm for the larger one. I stuck them approx 3 - 3.5 cm into the flower foam - so that I had a rose in each section of the bouquet holder and each rose within a bouquet protruded out about the same amount.
Then I added Lisianthus blooms in between.
The lisianthus flowers were cheaper per bunch than the roses but the bunches came with a HEAP of unopened buds. Buds left over from my practise a week ago still haven't opened so I'm not sure they will.
In hindsight rather than pre-ordering it would have been better to go somewhere which keeps a much larger stock of fresh flowers so I could select them on the day. That way I wouldn't be paying for excess buds.
I did also use some buds in the bouquets which I put in small gaps left after using all of the lisianthus blooms. Adding the lisianthus was probably the most time consuming part of the whole thing because they are quite soft flowers and I ended up squishing a lot in to fill the space. If I had just used roses alone I think I could have halved my working time.
I could have cut costs and saved time by choosing not to have a white only bouquet too - I could use older, more open flowers since the imperfections would not be obvious. More open flowers = fewer flowers to fill the bouquets.
Then I softened it all with some gypsophilia scattered throughout with extra around the base of the bouquet. The picture below shows the bouquet on the left complete
after gypsophilia and the one on the right before gypsophilia.
For the mens pins I used for jewellery findings I had - broach pins and covered them with the white and silver edged ribbon adhered with craft glue. Then I used lisianthus buds which I didn't bother wiring after all with a medium sized lisianthus leaf backing and some gypsophila between them taped together with green floristry ttape. I used craft glue and some very thin silver curling ribbon to adhere them to the broach pins.
The most difficult thing was the flower girls's corsage. It would have been easier with lage open, flat flowers. I didn't really have anything like that though.
I had pre-prepared the robbon - you can buy corsage elastics but since she's not quite two I thought something adult sized had no way of fitting her. I used the white and silver edged ribbon again to make something that could be tied onto her wrist.
I glued the transparent silver edged one on top of the white one for the long backing piece - putting the glue under the silver edge only so it didn't look messy through the transparent middle section. I also glued the cut edges so they they were folded in at the ends to give it a more finished look.
Then I covered a small circular piece (used a small glass to trace the shape) of cardboard with the white ribbon and glued that in the centre.
With the silver edged ribbon I used a piece of cardboard to wrap loops of a set size. I glued the loops down onto the circular backing one at a time until I had made sort of a rosette I could put the flowers onto.
I wired one lisianthus bloom (my last one) and two lisanthus buds by putting one piece of wire through the base of the buds and bending it at 90 degrees each side to line up with the direction of the stem with pliers.
Then I twisted the wires around each other with one pair of pliers while holding the wires and stem still at the flower base with another pair of flowers. I found this was the easiest way to avoid damaging the flower when trying to twist the wires together.
I cut the wires to the length I wanted - not too long for this - and wrapped them from the flower base to the end of the wires and back again with green floristry tape.
Then I tied them all together with some gypsophilia with the thin silver curling ribbon and glued them to the centre of the ribbon rosette. I can sing enough praise for craft glue - it held beautifully!
Unfortunately i haven't got a picture of the finished product jsut yet - it looked quite nice - I think I did have to trim the stem lengths a little more than in the pic above and fold them back. I will add a pic of it finished if I get any where the flower girl stood still enough!
With the left over roses I wired and wrapped the stems to use them in my hair. I wasn't sure of what length of stem was best for the hairdresser to work with so I made a variety - I'm still not really sure. Might be best to ask your hairdresser if you plan to do this for your hair.
We kept everything in the fridge overnight and only took it out at the last minute.
The flowers worked well - they were in keeping with our garden style wedding. Having a flower boy and girl as young as we did meant we really didn't see much of them in position during the ceremony but hopefully when our photographer gets back to us we'll have at least one of each of them - probably not at the same time :-)
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