Planning for my wedding gave way for many DIY opportunities. Not only did I want to accent my personal style, but also save some room in my budget for other expenses. One project I carefully decided to take on (with the majority of work delegated to my incredibly talented bridal party) was floral arrangements. After watching my girls tackle this project with the tenacity of 7 girls in a sweat shop, I gained an enormous amount of respect for professional florists. Despite the labor of love it can be ( when taking on florals for an entire wedding), creating a personalized bouquet is a meaningful and easy gift to accomplish.
This passed week, I was able to put the same amount of love and creativity into arranging a simple bouquet of red roses for my dear friend, Diana. She wanted something bold, beautiful and classic—much like her own knock out looks—to enhance her white vintage-pinup style dress. The results were stunning. I was honored beyond words to be able to hand-make this little element of her big day, and offer a special symbol representing our love and friendship. You may not consider yourself crafty, but using these simple tips anyone can create a darling floral piece.
Bouquet pins (I used the ones with pearls on top)
Scissors (A good pair to cut through flower stems with ease)
Hot glue gun
Ribbon (This is how you personalize it to match the dress or the Bride’s personal style)
**Bouquets should be made 2 days in advanced**
Start with cleaning the stems of your flowers by removing excess leaves, to avoid bulky disheveled looking bouquets. Do not trim down the stems until you have secured the bouquet. You will be using one hand to grasp the stems at all times, you may change hands as you add additional stems in strategic places to start filling the gaps.
Create the Core
Gather 5 core stems of your main flower and bundle them together with one flower in the middle, and the rest level and flush around the center flower. Secure this core group of flowers with a zip tie, and be gentle to not damage the stem. This will serve as your anchor point, and as you add layers of flowers around it, you will use floral tape to secure them to the anchor.
Layers Upon Layers
Keeping the flowers flush as you go along, add flowers around your anchored center to create the bunch. Be strategic in knowing how you would like the bride to hold the bouquet, and keep adding piece by piece, layer by layer, but don’t add too many stems without securing with some floral tape. Otherwise you’ll lose the shape you are trying to create. Once you have created the size, shape and aesthetic you desire, evenly wrap the portion of the stems where the bride will hold the bouquet with floral tape for added stability, but don’t over do it. Keep the layers of tap even not bulky. Now you will need the hot glue gun for creating a pretty handle out of ribbon.
Once you have created an even layer of floral tape, now the idea is to cover it in white and create a clean slate on the handle. Wrap white ribbon evenly around all parts where you placed floral tape. I used hot glue to secure the ribbon once it was tightly wrapped. At this point you can cut the stems to the desired length, I left 1 ½ inches of stems below the white ribbon. Then I used a lace ribbon overlay to give the bouquet a vintage feel, and cut only as much as needed to wrap once around the handle( plus one extra inch for folding). Using 3 bouquet pins I secured the snuggly wrapped lace ribbon by pinning top, middle and bottom. I did a small fold to create the illusion of a sewn lining.
Voila! Your bouquet is ready to walk down the aisle!
Keep in the refrigerator or in a well air conditioned area. If you could set the finished bouquet in a vase with shallow water (so only the 1 ½ of stems can drink), it will keep fresh and bloom beautifully for the big day.