By Kelli Hall, Minted Event Stylist
I love the idea of a bride and her closest friends gathered on the morning of her wedding day, binding blooms and bonding over a creative project. In this spirit, making your own bouquet requires something of a laissez-faire approach, resulting in a bouquet that can take on a more personal and chic feel. To embrace this idea, I set out to the grocery store in a blind hunt for flowers that could be used to craft a pretty nosegay, worthy of a bride’s big day. I learned that, if you’re open and flexible, a diy bridal bouquet using supermarket flowers is surprisingly doable.
A grocery store is not the first place you’d think for your wedding day blooms, but it’s a great resource for styling your own flowers. I sought the guidance of one of my closest friends and former Florist, Kelsey Pirotta, for tips on a diy bouquet. She’s done tons of weddings, and gave me some great tips for quick and flawless assembly. Before I even set out, she advised me to look for hydrangea: “The leaves are perfect, the flowers give great volume and they can be found nearly year-round”. She also advised to pick roses as most supermarkets carry them—And to look for items with variety in color and texture to keep the bouquet from looking too uniform.
Armed with this info, I set out for Whole Foods and purchased Hydrangea, Tea roses, Some kind of long-stem rose and button mums. My total flower expense was around $38. I even took some time to chat with a consultant in the Whole Foods floral department and she advised, if you place an order about two months prior to an event, they can have your flowers ready for easy pickup . With any floral order, there are no guarantees for exact colors but they can usually help guide a bride by what will be in season.
• Rubber bands
• Assorted flowers from the grocery store
• Sharp scissors
• Drinking glasses (one for each flower variety)
• About 1 yard wide double-faced satin ribbon
• Pearl straight pins
• Floral tape (optional)
Step 1: Purchase your flowers about two days prior to your big day. When you get them home, Cut the stems at an angle and place them in fresh water. For woody stems like hydrangea, make a vertical cut straight up the stem. De-thorn any roses by running a scissor blade down the side.
Step 2: Fill drinking glasses with water, trim each flower stem to bouquet height (leave more stem than you think, about 12″ or reference the stem length in step 3). After trimming, group each flower type in its own glass. This will act as your floral ‘palette’, organizing flowers by color and type and allowing you to pull from each glass to try out different blooms.
Step 3: Begin assembling the bouquet. You’ll be holding the flowers all in one hand, and adding new ones with the other. Start with a focal flower (one of your largest, prettiest blooms) and, grasping at the base add in other flowers invarying colors and textures. It’s a very organic process, if the flowers aren’t working, simply remove some and try others.
Step 4: Continue adding flowers to create the bouquet shape. By holding the flowers at the base of the bloom, it will help you craft a bouquet with a subtle dome shape. Keep adding flowers to the bunch until you have a bouquet in a size that works for you. It doesn’t have to be exact, but a general guide for bouquet size is that it should relate to the proportions of the bride. If you’re petite, go slightly smaller—and if you’re taller, create a bouquet that’s slightly fuller to work with your frame. The Knot gives a quick rundown on bouquet here.
Step 5: Once you’ve created a basic shape, bind the stems with two rubber bands: one at the top of the stems, and one closer to the bottom.
Step 6: Place the bound bouquet into an empty glass with water while you pull together greenery to use at the base. For this bouquet, we’ve used some of the hydrangea leaves and dusty miller cut from a potted plant.
Step 7: Hold the bouquet while you tuck greenery into the top rubber band, working around the base of the bouquet. This doesn’t have to be exact either, just tuck them in a few places where it looks best. If you’re going to make the bouquets the day prior, hold off on this step until the day of. The floral stems can be kept in water, but these leaves at the base would wilt if added too far in advance.
Step 8: If you choose, you can bind the stems further by wrapping them with floral tape, but it’s not essential. To add the ribbon, fold the cut edge under (about half an inch), use your thumb to press it over the top rubber band, and wrap the ribbon around the stems working downward.
Step 9: Once you reach the bottom of the stems, trim the ribbon, fold the unfinished edge and secure it by inserting a pearl straight pin. Complete the wrap by inserting more pins in a vertical line up the length of the bouquet stems.
Step 10: The bouquet is complete! Place it in a glass with an inch of water in the bottom to keep it hydrated. You can also keep it cool in a fridge (just be sure there are no fruits and vegetables in the fridge with it—they give off gasses that will wilt flowers)
Kelsey styles the bouquet by trying different flowers.
Be sure to buy your flowers a couple days in advance. This gives them time to open fully without wilting. If your roses are slow to open, try cutting the stems and placing them in warm water. Warm sunlight will also encourage them to open.
If making your own bridal bouquet still seems daunting, consider ordering your own and gathering just the bridesmaids to make their own nosegays.
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