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:
- A small / medium sized sharp (not serrated) knife
- Chopping board
- Flower food
- A spare fridge shelf
- A couple of large jars or vases to keep your flowers in until use
- OPTIONAL – Whatever you want to decorate the holders with – if you buy ones like mine that need it.
- OPTIONAL – floristy wire and tape if you want to make buttonholes.
- OPTIONAL – some small wire cutters and pliers if you are going to wire any stems. If you have any for beading or an electrician you can borrow from those will work.
- OPTIONAL – if you want to make a succulent arrangement like the one below or use flowers with really really fat stems (maybe sunflowers – not needed for roses) you can use a skewer (like for kababs or shlasliks or whatever you call them in your area) to pre-poke holes in the floral foam.
- OPTIONAL – A pair of tweezers was essential for the arrangement below to fill the smaller gaps without crushing the succulents and may have been helpful with the final stages of the bouquets but I didn’t use them for the bouquets (i have little fingers).
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.