So, you need a bouquet of flowers? You can always find beautiful, prearranged bouquets at many top quality florists. But sometimes, it’s just fun to make your own! Making your own bouquets isn’t nearly as hard as it sounds.
If you’re going to go the DIY route, the first thing you’ll need to do is purchase flowers.There are a few places you can buy them:
a) a flower market
b) an online wholesaler
c) the supermarket/grocery store
d) a professional florist
If you’re looking for something particular or want the widest range of choice, it’s probably best to head to the flower market or talk to a professional. But if your local grocery store is full of beautiful flowers, then go for it. There’s no rule for where you have to buy flowers -- as long as the flowers are beautiful and fresh, choose the option that’s easiest for you.
When picking the blooms for your bouquet, you should keep a few things in mind. Most importantly, don’t forget seasonality (this is a hot button word for florists). Be aware of what flowers are in season and choose those for your bouquet (or be prepared to pay steep rates for imported blooms that will be more likely to die in unseasonable climates).You can always go with a bloom that thrives at all times of year, like hydrangeas.
Lastly, consider color, shape, and size when selecting your blooms. If you’re making a bouquet to go with wedding or bridesmaids dresses, select a color that pops with the gown (if you select a bloom of a matching shade, it will fade into the dress). Pick a color sequence of no more than three colors when arranging, so, for instance, shades of red, white, and pink. Any more than that and the bouquet can become overwhelming and clash. If you want to make multiple bouquets using coordinating colors, select a base flower, such as a large white bloom, that will help tie them all together. Lastly, consider cost and try to select larger blooms – they go further because they take up more space in an arrangement which means you don’t require as many of them.
Building a Bouquet
Now that you’ve got your flowers, it’s time to arrange them. There are several steps to making the perfect bouquet.
First, you must prep your flowers to be the ideal selection for your bouquet. This means trimming any excess leaves, thorns, etc. and pruning petals that are dead or dingy.4
Next, fill a bucket with cool water and holding the stems under water, cut them at an angle about 2 inches from the bottom (if you have flowers of varying lengths, you will want to end up with stems that are all equal). You’ll likely want to work with longer stems while arranging and cut the tips to their final desired length once the bouquet is complete. Be sure to use a sharp knife or stem cutter rather than scissors – it gives the flowers longer life. And never cut straight across, always at an angle. When you’ve finished cutting, allow the flowers to drink in some of the water before moving on to arranging.
Now, it’s time to arrange your bouquet. There’s really no science to it – simply pick the blooms and color arrangement you think looks best. You’ll want to build a base of anchor flowers – select 2 to 4 flowers, bunch the stems together to create a square with the blooms and wrap with floral tape to create a strong base.
You’ll want 4 to 5 inches of exposed stem on the bottom and at least one to one and a half inches to the start of the tape on the top. Now, start adding flowers around your anchor blooms to begin creating a “bunch.” Add elements one by one building from the center to create a dome shape. If you have heavier flowers or particularly flimsy stems, you may want to have floral wire on hand to wrap around the stems and secure them against other flowers.
This is where your creativity comes into play – mix and match colors and textures with your various blooms, fillers, and greenery. Remember to keep the eye of a photographer while arranging – if you’ll be carrying the bouquet, don’t build it so big that it will overwhelm you and become the focal point. You may want to stand in front of a mirror while arranging to keep an eye on what the bouquet looks like in your hands.
Secure and Finish
Once you’re satisfied with your arrangement, you must secure it. You can secure it at both the top and bottom with two rubber bands or floral wire. But, we recommend you also wrap the bouquet with floral tape, starting about 1 to 1 ½ inches from the flower heads and leaving anywhere from 0-4 inches of stem exposed on the bottom. After you secure your blooms, cut the stems one last time to ensure they are all the same length.
Next, you’ll want to beautify the arrangement by covering the tape with a ribbon. Cut a length of ribbon three times as long as the stems. Start by tucking one end of the ribbon into the top of the binding and wrapping in a spiral down the length of the stems and covering the floral tape. Once you reach the bottom, wrap back up in a spiral and tuck the end of the ribbon into the binding. Secure the ribbon along the stems with pins and cut a separate length of ribbon to tie around the bouquet if you want a bow.
Now that you’ve made your bouquet, you want it to last as long as possible. Wrap the bouquet in tissue to protect the blooms while transporting it. Store it in the refrigerator until you leave for your event. It’s best to build a bouquet the morning of the event and to leave the flowers in water before binding them as long as possible.
To Keep in Mind with a Florist
If all of them seems like too much for you, you can always hire a florist, but keep some things in mind. First off, don’t wait until the last minute to decide you can’t handle a DIY bouquet. If you need a florist, hire them with plenty of advance warning.
You’ll still need to take care of your blooms to make them last, so don’t expect your florist to be a miracle worker (for instance, if you have your bouquet outside in a hot climate for many hours, it will wilt). Remember that you’re hiring them because they’re a professional and be open to their suggestions and ideas – most likely, they know more about blooms and arranging than you do. It’s better to come with color schemes, tones, and a notion of look and feel than to be wedded to very specific flower selections.
And lastly, don’t be afraid of more expensive flowers – they may be pricier, but often they’re bigger and have a more significant wow factor than cheaper options. In the end, they could result in a smaller bottom line.
Whether you DIY your bouquet or hire a florist, be kind to your blooms and enjoy the beauty of the flowers.