Before there was a burgeoning baby bump…
before each day was a new day to receive different advice on co-sleeping, sleep training, and BPA-free bottles; another opportunity to try to fathom how a little baby will change our lives in such a big way, there were more casual thoughts…
like how to plan a DIY wedding.
It feels like forever ago, but just last September we had our Big Day full of rustic this and handmade that and one of the best elements was the bouquet
…inspired by this one!
Oh so pretty, but also so pricey which prompted the DIY idea.
The task began with step one…
Pick your flora. I was lucky enough to have the help of a friend and mentor who just happened to have an account at a wholesale nursery, but flowers from Trader Joe’s, Costco, and/or your local Farmer’s Market, are also reasonable sources.
Act fast or wear a parka; it’s cold in there!
I remember those walk-in refrigerator rooms being so chilly I had to grab a blanket from the car to wrap myself in like I was wearing a giant shawl–if shawls came in orange fleece. Now, that I’m pregnant and like a walking fevered person who daydreams about ice hotels and the walk-in at Costco where they keep the milk and eggs, this frigid rooms sounds teeth-chatteringly pleasant.
Hurry, before the frost bite sets in!
Lay out your picks before you make your final purchase.
Just like designing a room, you want all the components to work together. I brought the stump and glass hurricane along with us as a reminder of what the centerpieces would look like. Notice how the glass is starting to fog from being in the fridge one moment, the tepid air the next. To my annoyance, my eye glasses were doing the exact same thing so I had to view our selection through a foggy haze. Good thing I had another set of eyes with me. Perhaps that should be the next tip.
Bring along a friend whose opinions you value. You’re stressed out enough; don’t try to tackle this alone.
Once at home, set the stems in buckets of water and place the bucket in the fridge until the moment you are ready to assemble your bouquet. (Once your bouquet is made, it will go back in the fridge to chill until it’s ceremony time.)
Gather your supplies: floral wire, floral tape, scissors, wide ribbon and pearl hat pins.
Arrange a small cluster of flowers, working from the center, out. You will end up making a few of these small groupings and wrapping them together as one large bouquet.
We skipped the succulents for my bouquet, but they are so easy to work with that I did a bouquet-making-reenactment to show you how.
Gather your succulents.
Use your fingers to pinch off any extra leaves.
Once you have a clean stem, insert floral wire near the top and pull through to create two loose ends dangling near the stem.
Wrap the two loose ends together.
Cover the wire “stem” by wrapping it with floral tape. Tug at it as you go so the tape will become tacky and stick to itself.
Repeat this process for each succulent floret.
Continue making your small groupings until you are ready to bring them together and wrap as one.
As you build your bouquet, stand in front of a mirror and hold your bouquet in front of you so you can see how it will be viewed during the ceremony and in photos.
When you have it just right, wrap the stems together with floral tape. Submerge the bottom of the stems in a container of water inside your refrigerator. Just before the ceremony, wrap the floral tape with ribbon starting at the top and working your way down. Tuck in or fold over the raw edge of the ribbon and pin it in place. For extra security, pin the ribbon at both the bottom and top.
I did not have a picture of this process as my friend kindly did this step for me while I was getting ready, so I did another reenactment as seen below.
We used the leftover flowers to decorate the cake.
We used them for the centerpieces, as well. Since the wedding was located in a high-fire area, we only used battery-operated candles so we didn’t risk the fern fronds burning. Instead, when night fell, they looked so pretty with the glow of the candle behind them.
The same technique of wiring and wrapping was used to create the boutonnieres and for the bridesmaid bouquets…
and the rest went to the bouquet!
See? Totally easy!
Thank you to Jennifer Taylor of Taylor House Interiors for teaching me how it’s done so I could have a bouquet just as pretty as the one that was not in the budget! 🙂