How to Make a Professional-Looking Wedding Bouquet

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On their wedding day, everyone wishes to carry a lovely wedding bouquet down the aisle. A do-it-yourself bouquet can be beautiful and inexpensive, while also allowing you to express your creativity. Maurice Harris, a floral artist, demonstrates how to make a professional-looking wedding bouquet.


What Exactly Is a Wedding Bouquet?

A bridal bouquet, also known as a wedding bouquet, is the floral arrangement carried by brides on their wedding day. You can hire a professional to create the bouquet and other wedding flowers, such as boutonnieres, corsages, bridesmaid bouquets, and table arrangements, or you can make your own using store-bought flowers, fresh flowers from your garden, or wildflowers.


3 Advantages of Making Your Own Wedding Bouquet

The advantages of creating your own wedding flower bouquet include the following:

1. Cost: Hiring a floral designer to create a bouquet for your wedding may be out of your price range. Though purchasing flowers will still cost money, you will save money by doing the work yourself.

2. Creative fun: Making your bridal bouquet is an enjoyable wedding planning project that you can share with loved ones before your wedding, with the added benefit of displaying your creative choices.

3. Design control: A DIY bridal bouquet entails doing all of the flower selection and arranging yourself. You get to choose how your flowers will look so there are no surprises on your wedding day.


Where to Gather or Buy Flowers

If you've decided to make your own wedding flowers, you'll need to purchase or locate some blooms. Try one of the following sources:

1. Flower market: When purchasing flowers from a flower market, you have the opportunity to hand-pick each stem. "I go to the flower market when I need flowers," Maurice says. "And because I am a visual person, I can just go there and look and pick and say, 'Ooh, I want this.'" 'These colors go well together.'"

2. Garden: If you have one, consider sourcing flower stems for your wedding bouquet from your garden or the flower garden of someone willing to donate flowers to you.

3. Grocery store: While many grocery stores have floral sections, the flowers are often not as fresh as those found at a flower market. "I like to do a nice shake test when I buy [flowers] at the grocery store," Maurice says. "Sometimes when you do the shake test, everything comes off." You clearly recognize that as an old stem."

4. Farmers' market: Go to your local farmers' market and speak with the flower farmers. You might be able to preorder flowers directly from a local farmer, who will know what's in season on your wedding day.

5. Florist: Professional florists not only provide designed bouquets, but you can also buy individual or bulk flowers to build your own bouquet.

6. Nature: Depending on your requirements and location, you may be able to pick wildflowers and greenery directly from a nearby field. Make sure you only pick flowers in areas where it is legal, and avoid picking protected or endangered plants.

7. Online wholesalers: Online bulk floral wholesalers have become a popular source of flowers in recent years. "If you're ordering online, just start doing some research," Maurice advises. "See what colors you like together," because you won't be able to see the flowers in person. You'll need to buy in bulk, but wholesalers are usually less expensive than traditional flower shops.


6 Essential Wedding Bouquet Materials

After you've decided on your flowers, you'll need the following items before you start making your wedding bouquet:

1. A bucket half-filled with water: Place your finished bouquet in the bucket to keep it hydrated until your wedding day.

2. Floral shears or scissors: To cut the stems of your flowers to equal lengths, you'll need a sharp pair of shears.

3. Floral tape or ribbon: Select a ribbon or floral tape in a complementary color or a neutral tone, such as ivory.

4. Fresh flowers: Gather all of the flowers and greenery you want to use for your floral arrangement and arrange them in separate groups.

5. Gardening gloves: Gardening gloves keep your hands safe from thorns and sharp stems.

6. Rubber bands or floral wire: After you've arranged your bouquet, use the rubber bands or floral wire to keep it together.


When Should You Make Your Wedding Bouquet?

Make your wedding bouquet as close to the time of your wedding ceremony as possible. Many brides construct their bouquets a day or two before the wedding. According to Harris, the best time to create your bouquet may be determined by the flowers you choose: "If you're doing... a bridal bouquet that will be out of water for hours at a time, you should really do some research on the flowers that will last."


Making a Professional-Looking Wedding Bouquet

To make a lovely wedding bouquet, follow these steps:

1. Collect your flowers. Gather all of the flowers and greenery you want to use in your arrangement, whether you buy them or pick them yourself. When making your selections, consider the size, texture, and wedding color palette.

2. Prepare your tools. Prepare a bucket of water, floral shears, garden gloves, floral tape or ribbon, and rubber bands or floral wire.

3. Select a bouquet style. As a guideline, consider the style of your wedding gown. Choose whether you want a classic tight bouquet, a cascading bouquet, or a custom shape.

4. Make your flowers. Remove any excess leaves, offshoots, or thorns from your flower stems, then cut the ends of each stem at a 45-degree angle. "Take the time to really manicure your flowers," recommends Maurice. "Find the special part in each stem at the top so that when you're placing a stem, it'll rest nicely in there."

5. Build the base. If you're using a non-floral base, such as eucalyptus or fern, start by holding your greenery in your dominant hand in a loose but firm grip halfway down the stems. "This is laying the groundwork for how you'll add your other blooms," Maurice explains. "You want to use your dominant hand to control the arrangement and where you want to hold it."

6. Include focal flowers. The focal flowers in your bouquet draw the most attention and typically have one large bloom on a single stem. Roses, hydrangeas, ranunculus, sunflowers, and peonies are popular focal flowers. "The basic principle is that you'll be holding in one hand at an angle," Maurice explains. "You'll then put another flower next to it." Then it's your turn. You position and turn. You position and turn. "Place and turn."

7. Add filler flowers and greenery as desired. Filler flowers, such as spray roses, baby's breath, and lisianthus, give your arrangement volume and texture. Fill in with filler flowers and greenery at an angle, rearranging as you go to maximize the look. "Allow yourself to discover what's ahead of you... as you follow along," Maurice advises.

8. Hold in place with a rubber band or floral wire. Once you've decided on a design, secure it by wrapping the stems with a rubber band or floral wire. Before tying your bouquet, check for any holes or gaps.

9. Use floral tape or ribbon to wrap. Wrap the stems with floral tape or ribbon to hide the rubber band or floral wire and give your bouquet a finished look (or both). "I do about a foot and a half," says Maurice. "However, having a little extra is preferable to not having enough." Because you'll be carrying your bouquet instead of leaving it in a vase, make sure the flowers are secure. "I wrap the tape around at least twice to make sure it's nice and secure," Maurice explains.

10. Remove the stems. Trim the bouquet's stems. Leave a few inches of bare stem on your finished bouquet and place it in a bucket with a few inches of water to keep it hydrated.

11. Feel free to restart. You might not get the perfect look the first time. Be patient, and restart if necessary. "This is most emphatically a meditative process," Maurice says. "Please take your time. Don't be hurried. It actually takes a long time. So you're not sluggish. It simply takes time to do it right." If you need additional guidance, look for an online bouquet tutorial.

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