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Wednesday
Mar272013

Testing Testing: A DIY Wedding Bouquet for my Sister

Over the past few years I have been blessed to see two of my six little sisters get married. I am from a family that appreciates getting as much out of a tiny budget as possible (that's probably why I like to DIY so much), so to help my sisters cut down on expenses I served as the photographer for both of their big days. However, as much as I love taking photos...one thing I've learned is that I am just not cut out for the high-pressure world of wedding photography! Phew!

This summer my family and I will celebrate the marriage of a third sister (hooray), but this time around I'll be helping out with the floral arrangements (I might sneak in a few photos for her too...but not as the official photographer—thank goodness). I haven't worked with arranging live flowers very much, so over the past couple of weeks I've been trying to soak in as much insight into the process of bouquet / floral design as I can. Since I've been browsing around for whatever knowledge I can gain and finding a few helpful things along the way, I thought that today I'd share the best sources that I've discovered so far with you all. I hope that if you ever find yourself wishing to create a DIY wedding bouquet, that these links might take some of the headache out of the researching process for you:

My sister first started off with a purple and white color palette (you can see my Pinterest inspiration board for her here), but we recently decided to shift the theme to include some soft peachy colors for a day that has more of a relaxed "walk in the garden" feeling about it. Before we changed the palette, the lovely Maddy from Somewhere Splendid was kind enough to put together a couple of beautiful arrangement ideas to inspire my sister. They are part of her Blooms on a Budget series and are gorgeous! 

This is the bouquet that is currently serving as inspiration for my sister's wedding arrangements and decor. The versions I came up with here were limited by what was available in stores (since I was only practicing and didn't want to spend too much money hunting down specific blooms). Even still I learned a lot by just practicing with what I had...

Firstly, it takes a lot of time to prep everything (removing leaves, wiring blooms, etc.) but it's worth it to have everything prepped before you start arranging. Here the flowers are in my kitchen sink, soaking inside a pot and a glass measuring bowl (whatever works, right).

Check out how messy all the prep is! Not pictured...a pile of greenery 10 inches high!

Click on the image for a larger view

I used ranunculus in this bouquet, and they are gorgeous, but I'm not sure if they will work during the Summer season because of how delicate they are. However if I do end up using them I've now learned how to wire them and make them much more sturdy! Just insert a floral wire inside the hollow stem until it begins to pierce the head of the bloom, and trim the excess wire at the base of the stem. Voila! The blooms can even be gently bent into the direction you want them to face because of the wire hidden inside of them!

I know I want to work with a different kind of greenery (mine here had bug holes since I just picked them off a random tree). I'm thinking of using Dusty Miller, Lamb's Ear, and/or Seeded Eucalyptus for her actual arrangements.

Here's how I started the bouquet...by layering several different blooms on top of a few greenery sprigs.

I continued to build onto the bouquet with additional flowers...adding three at a time and then rotating the arrangement slightly before adding more, so that I could evenly fill in the entire piece.


Once I was satisfied with the overall design and fullness I wrapped the stems in floral tape.

Lastly, I wrapped the stems in a natural-looking ribbon and added decorative pins for embellishment. The pins are pretty, but I will probably want to find something less sharp (maybe applied with a glue gun) for the actual wedding.

I think the bouquet and boutonniere / corsages (below) turned out pretty well for my first time! The one truly tricky thing that I'm worried about is that my sister is on a very tight floral budget (you might cry if I told you how small), so one of my biggest challenges will be completing arrangements for the huge wedding party plus all the family members (and honorary bridesmaids) that she has on her list without sacrificing style. Trust me...I have even considered buying roses from the wonderful vendor at our local farmer's market and blooms from Trader Joe's to pack in my suitcase when I head to Michigan for the ceremony! We shall see.

If you have knowledge in the world of floral design that you would be willing to share, I would love your help! I received a ton of wonderful feedback over on Instagram when I shared the photos of these arrangements that I snapped with my phone. So fantastic! I never cease to be humbled and amazed by the wonderful community we share together! xo Ez

Reader Comments (31)

Costco and Sams Clubs usually have a pretty decent selection of standard flowers like roses, and are usually very reasonably priced (in SoCal, ~$10 for a dozen). There just won't be a huge selection of colours.

March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

Beautiful job! My flower budget was super small too -- we opted to use silk flowers and were able to do my bouquet, the bridesmaids and all corsages and boutinneres (spelling...I hate that word) for around $275 -- and I still get to keep my bouquet as a centerpiece!

Best word of advice -- when building the bouquet, use the clear rubber bands ( the small ones made for hair) to keep the stems together so you aren't fighting with it the whole time. When you finish, you can't see them!

But again -- super beautiful!

March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTwo Broke Wives

Hi,
Regarding the pins, if you angle them in, they will stay inside the stems so no one can get poked. And the heads will still be just as pretty and positioned where you want them. The effect is always stunning.

March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDeb Ling

Oh Ez, these arrangements are phenomenal! My Dad made all of the bouquets and centerpieces for my wedding. It was so meaningful to me, and it is wonderful that you are doing the same for your sister!

March 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKimbercrafts

your arrangements look beautiful. I love the color palette, the flowers you picked and the finishing touches. your sister will be so touched!

- Jaime
www.southonbroadway.blogspot.com

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJaime Lopez

Thank you so much for sharing our video! We really try to help our DIY brides make the best arrangements possible! This post is very helpful!

April 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBloomsByTheBox.com

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