DIY Bouquet Trial

In the very early pre-planning stages of designing our wedding, I dreamed of a waterfront clam bake, bridesmaids in flip flops, a loud band and volleyball on the beach at night by the light of tiki torches. A lot of things have changed since then and I honestly couldn’t be happier with the direction we’ve gone with our planning, but not surprisingly, one thing has remained constant throughout all of the changes. I have always known I would do the flowers myself and I always knew those flowers would be white or ivory. Why? Well, I knew I could save a ton of money that could be dedicated to other things I felt I needed more than expensive flowers (photography, for instance) and as white/ivory roses are my favorite flower, I really wanted to make them a focal point in our celebration. This weekend, my mother and I made our first attempt at a bouquet trial run, using this bouquet as our inspiration…

{Image by April Smith}

A few months ago I stumbled upon a video tutorial that provided the basis for how we constructed the bouquet. My mom and I grabbed two bunches of roses at the local market and aside from the flowers themselves, the project only required floral tape, straight pearl head pins, 1-1/2″ double-face satin ribbon (although single-face could work too for this application), and floral shears.


First up, we opened up the bundles of flowers, separated out all the greenery and stripped the roses of all leaves and thorns. We didn’t have a rose dethorner, although I definitely plan to pick one up before we tackle 8 bouquets the week of the wedding. For the trial we just used a sharp knife, which worked just fine.


The next step was to arrange three of the larger roses in a cluster and bind with floral tape. We didn’t have time to let the flowers hydrate and open, although when we order the bulk roses before the wedding I’ll definitely allow for a day or two so the roses themselves are fuller.


From there, we built up the bouquet by adding roses in between the first cluster of roses and adding floral tape after every 3 – 4 roses. This bouquet used two dozen roses total, although 18 may have been sufficient were they more open. We also didn’t use any greens for the trial, although we might play around with a bit of greenery for the actual wedding bouquets.


After the bouquet was the size we wanted (or basically when we’d used up all the flowers we had), I quickly wrapped the stems with a length of pretty satin ribbon I had on hand, approximately 24″ in length. I pulled the ribbon fairly tight as I worked, and then at the bottom of the bouquet I used 5 pearl head straight pins to secure the ribbon. I trimmed off the stems so they were more even at the bottom and that was it! All in all, it took under fifteen minutes to make one bouquet…not too shabby!


Isn’t it pretty? For roughly $30 in materials, this is probably among the best time and money I’ve spent on wedding planning to date. My mom is more than happy to have fresh roses in her house now, and we have more than enough floral tape and pins to complete all of the wedding bouquets. Paper Source has really pretty satin ribbon, so I am going to pick up two rolls – one in Khaki (which I think looks more like champagne) to wrap my bouquet and one in Lake to wrap the bridesmaids’ bouquets. All of the bouquets will be white/ivory roses with 18 – 24 stems for each of their bouquets, and 24 – 30 for mine.


This picture gives you a good idea of scale. I definitely think it would look prettier and fuller with roses that weren’t still in tight bud stage, so I’ll definitely plan for that when I place my bulk order so the roses have a few days over the week of the wedding to open up. Overall, while I think we’ll have more finessing to do with the actual wedding bouquets, this trial gave me complete confidence that we can create really pretty and really budget-friendly bouquets for the wedding. So, what do you think? Are you considering doing your own flowers?