One way that I cut cost without sacrificing presentation was through the use of silk flowers. Yep, fake. I have to hand it to florists, it’s an art form. Working with wired stems was no easy task – but to do that with live flowers? My outcome would not have been so pretty. The benefit of using silk flowers is that you can choose whatever flowers you want, everything is always in season! My mom and I made my bouquet with the help of a neighbor and then got brave enough to make the bridesmaids bouquets, and all the boutonnières & corsages on our own. In all – we only spent $350 on flowers (including the vases and peacock feathers!)
How to make your own Bridal Bouquet
1. Find an image that inspires you – something with the colors, look & feel that you would like to hold in your hand during your trip down the aisle. It’s important to know what colors you want to use for your wedding. I had commitment issues so I chose royal blue and peacock feathers (hello, all pretty jewel tones!) You’ll realize how important this image is when you go to look for flowers.
2. Peruse your local craft store. It can be totally overwhelming to choose flowers [at least in my experience]. Trying to see the finished product from 10 rows of varying flowers & colors was a challenge for me...OCD and in the box, guilty. I spent 3 hours picking out flowers with my mom (homegirl’s a hero) – it’s a lot of walking around and figuring out what you like and what you don’t. Trial and error, throw in a mild meltdown for some humor.
3. Supplies: silk flowers, floral tape, wire cutters (not wimpy ones), small rubber bands, a vase, ribbon (in the color of your choice), floral pins and patience…lots of patience.
4. Start by using your wire cutters to cut the stems down to a workable length – experiment to figure out how tall you want your bouquet. Once you figure that out, cut the stems down to that size.
5. Start from the center of the bouquet and work your way out. I started with the three flowers I wanted to be in the center, and rubber banded those together near the top of the stem. Advice: use the super small rubber bands from the hair accessory section – you won’t have to wrap those 230,986,920,934 times. Slowly start adding 3 flowers/feathers/greenery at a time, balancing the piece (and rubber banding) as you go. By using rubber bands to hold everything together it makes life a lot easier – you aren't trying to hold everything together at the same time.
6. Use your vase to hold the bouquet while you’re in the process of choosing your next round of flowers – if you set it flat on the table the flowers crush and fold.
7. Trim any leaves that are in the way, you do want some greenery – but some of those leaves are downright annoying!
8.When you are satisfied with the overall size and layout of your bouquet use the floral tape to wrap all of the stems together. This covers/hides all of the rubber bands and makes a smooth surface for your ribbon, or string.
9.The ribbon is the trickiest part. I didn't want any stems showing – so I used a hot glue gun and covered the bottom of the stems with a piece of ribbon. Cut a long piece of ribbon, I cut mine to be twice the length of my arm. Start at the bottom of the bouquet (don’t be afraid to set it in your lap) – although, it helps if you have a partner to hold/turn the bouquet since you don’t have 4 hands. Wrap the ribbon all the way around the stems once. The two ends of the ribbon should end up facing you. From here twist the ribbon around itself twice and then wrap all the around the stem again – it makes a nice little knot looking pattern. Repeat this until you reach the top of the stem (or as high as you want to go), tie off and knot the ribbon tightly. Don’t cut the excess yet – you might want to tighten it before your big day.
10. Don’t fret if you didn't cut the ribbon long enough – just tie it off and cover it with a new piece of ribbon, and pick up where you left off. Out of the 4 bouquets that I did, I had to do this twice.
11. Use the floral pins (if you want) to finish off the look of your bouquet. I stuck them in between the twisted knots of the ribbon.
12. Store the bouquet in a vase and in the event that your wedding is a few weeks/months off, cover it with a plastic bag (think target bag) to keep dust from settling on the flowers.
13. If you have feathers in your bouquet (I did), spray them lightly with hairspray – it makes them less fragile for storage (and wind if you’re getting married outside.)
I realize that it would have helped to have step-by-step pictures along the way – but I made the bouquet before this blog was even on the horizon. That being said – if you have questions, or need pictures, please let us know and we would be more than happy to answer your questions and provide you with pictures!
Good luck and Happy Friday!