Wednesday, March 9

Wedding Flowers

You do not have to be an expert to do this project, I certainly wasn't! My experience in arranging flowers was limited to taking store-bought bouquets and setting them in water. So have no fear, creating your own bouquets is simple and fun!

Colby being a big helper   =)
One of my closest friends said "I do" last week, and I offered to take care of the flowers. The wedding was very intimate, so the requirements were only the bride and maid of honor's bouquet, and the boutonnieres for the groom and the mothers (the other gentlemen had kerchiefs).

Here's what you'll need (I'm including the craft store prices):
  • Flowers (real, fake, or a mix)
  • Stem cutters (if you're using fake flowers, make sure your tool can cut through wire fairly easily)
  • Vase(s)
  • 24 gauge Floral wire, $3
  • Floral tape, $2
  • Ribbon (5/8" wide for bouquet, 1/4" wide for boutonnieres), $1
  • Straight pins, $1.50
  • Decorative straight pins (optional), $3

Step One: Choose Your Blooms
Flowers can take up a BIG chunk of the wedding cost, so any way a budget-savvy bride can save is much appreciated. Fake flowers can do the trick, but you can't beat the beauty and look of real flowers. As a compromise, I made the majority of the bouquet out of real flowers and used silk flowers as accents to pull in the wedding color. The trick in combining fake flowers with real is to make sure none of the big blooms are falsies. I chose very small flowers to be the fake ones and made sure the main eye-catchers were real.  Good looking silk flowers typically run from $2-$5 a stem, but you can ALWAYS find them on sale for 50% at chain craft stores (just keep an eye on your local adds).

I chose lilies, daisies and mums (all white) as my main flowers. Then chose some accent greenery that was also real. The fakes are all the blue flowers. Note how they are all smaller than the main flowers. This is also a way to provide some balance so the colorful blooms don't overpower the whole arrangement.

Step Two: Arrange Your Bouquet
This is best done using a vase that has a mouth about the size of (or slightly larger than) the size you want the handle of the bouquet to be. Start with your showcase flowers, typically the largest blooms. For me, it was the lilies.

Then, add in your blooms going from largest to smallest and ending with the greenery.

Step Three: Wire the Stems Together
Use floral wire to secure the stems together and ensure your arrangement stays in place.

Step Four: Wrap Base In Floral Tape.
Self explanatory. Use a straight pin to secure the end, wrap overlap the tape as you wrap it down the base, and up again for good measure. Once you've wrapped the entire base, secure again with a straight pin. Be sure all gaps are covered and any bumps are smoothed out.

Step Five: Wrap Base with Ribbon
The color is up to you (obviously), but I chose the wedding color that was also used for the accent flowers. You can secure this ribbon with simple straight pis, or go the fancier route and use a decorative pin. I chose pearls because they're simple and elegant, a classic wedding choice. To make sure none of the ribbons slipped, I inserted pins in a straight line down the entire base.

Pin tip! Be sure to angle the pins. No one like to be stabbed while walking down the isle. I angled all of mine downward except the bottom which was angled up. Common sense, but dangerous if you don't pay attention to it!

The only differences in creating boutonnieres is in the beginning stages. You start by making a "bed" of your greenery, then laying the other flowers on top. It's a bit trickier to wrap the boutonnieres, so be patient. Also, use 1/4" ribbon when wrapping to reduce bunching.

Tip! It's best to do all the arranging the day before (or of!) your event so the flowers remain fresh and beautiful. Store them in a refrigerator with a damp paper towel at the base of the stems until it's time for the flowers to make their debut. 

That's all there is to it! This whole project ran me around $35, and I splurged a bit on some nice lilies from a local flower shoppe, but the end result was better than I expected! Especially for never having done anything like this before. My friend's wedding was lovely, and once the pictures are available, I'll post some so y'all can see the bouquets in action! 

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