The Thursday evening before the wedding we had my mom, FMIL, and both of my FSILs (David's younger sister and his brother's wife) over to my parents' house to work on assembling the bouquets. I blogged about my inspiration for the bouquets and mentioned using feathers in the bridesmaids bouquets. We were actually able to find perfect feather picks in the floral department at Hobby Lobby and they were 50% off, making them only 50 cents each! We also had the black baubles from my friend Kari to add to them. (You should visit her etsy shop right now - They are SO well made and she's basically awesome!) Aside from that, our other supplies were floral wire, floral tape, wire cutters, ribbon, scissors, and pearl head corsage pins (also from Hobby Lobby).
There are all kinds of tutorials online (and even youtube videos) and wedding flower books that give in depth instructions for hand tied bouquets. Honestly, you just arrange the flowers in a circular pattern and move them around until there aren't any gaps. We didn't make all of the bridesmaid bouquets one specific way, and in fact they were almost all made by different people.
JrBM K made her own!
A look of exhaustion and frustration
I wanted to assemble my own bouquet. I worked at it for probably 45 minutes and I just couldn't get it to look quite right. It just wasn't perfectly round and I couldn't tell where exactly I needed another flower or what shape it needed to be. My SIL took it from me and slowly turned it so I could see it from further away and from all angles. Sometimes this is exactly what you need - Don't get frustrated if you have to hand over a bouquet to someone else because they can see something you can't. It's so much easier with several pair of eyes!
Please excuse the awful look on my face
Eventually my mom took it and was able to figure out exactly what it was missing. As soon as you have it the way you want it, the tricky part is wrapping the stems with wire without it falling apart. We found that the easiest way to do this was to have one person hold the bouquet near the flower heads while the other person wrapped the stems (tightly, but not tight enough to cut into the stem) with wire and floral tape. After the stems are wrapped, you can start wrapping with ribbon. David stopped by around this time, and he got sucked into helping cut wire. :)
My mom loves this picture of us - I'm working on wrapping my bouquet
For my bouquet I used thick damask ribbon and secured it with the corsage pins (you'll have to cut the ends of them with wire cutters because they go all the way through) and then criss crossed thin pink ribbon around it. For the bridesmaids I used hot pink ribbon and then tied a knot at the top with a coordinating black and pink ribbon. I used a piece of the thin pink ribbon to attach the bridesmaids' bouquet charms, but hid it under the thicker ribbon.
I don't have a great picture of my bouquet individually, but you can kind of see how it turned out in these: (And it gives me another excuse to post one of my favorite pictures!)
Photo by my cousin, M - Funny story behind this one that I'll tell in our recaps!
We made small bouquets for the moms, boutonnieres for my dad, FIL, grandpas, and ushers, and a couple corsages. For some reason I don't have pictures of any of them. I'll be sure to update this post once I get our pro pics of them!
After the bouquets were all assembled we put them back in the buckets and put them in the fridge. (Make sure that you don't wrap the stems with ribbon all the way to the bottom so that they can still be in water.) We kept them refridgerated as long as possible, and the boys (who got ready at our house) brought them with them, still in water, to pictures.
I would definitely recommend DIYing your flowers! We saved so much money, and I was able to get exactly what I wanted. My mom was really stressed about it leading up to the wedding, but even she says now that it was all worth it and that she'd do it again. And I love that I got to spend the Thursday night before the wedding with my mom and soon-to-be family - It was really fun, and I think a couple of them realized they're more crafty than they think! :) (Thank you to all of you!!)
I'll leave you with my tips or suggestions for choosing to DIY your flowers:
- Be flexible! Things might look a little different than you envisioned. Maybe one type of flowers is a different shade than you expected - It'll be fine and no one will even know!
- Allow more time for assembly than you think. I figured we'd be finished within a couple hours, especially with several people helping. We worked from about 6:30 to midnight (although a couple of our helpers did leave before then) to finish everything. Thank you, L, for staying up half the night with us!
- Ask for help! You more than likely know someone who has an inner florist dying to get out. And people (especially family!) are usually more than willing to help.
- Find lots of inspiration. It's so much easier for people to help you if they know what kind of look you're going for. For the longest time my mom and I just weren't on the same page, but I showed her my flower inspiration board (with 5-6 bouquets that I absolutely loved) and after that she could envision what I wanted.
- If possible, try to determine how many stems you want in each bouquet before hand. We ended up with WAY too many flowers. It was nice that we were able to pick and choose the best ones, but we really didn't have anything to do with the leftovers. We could've saved even more money had we not ordered one of the boxes.
- Have multiple wire cutters and scissors on hand. It makes things flow a lot more smoothly and quickly when you're not always waiting on someone.
- If you're getting frustrated, take a step back or have someone else look at the bouquet. Sometimes you just need a different angle or a second set of eyes to see what's not quite right.
- Take a deep breath. They're flowers - They're going to be pretty! And chances are you're doing this a couple days before your wedding and the important part is that you're about to be a wife, not that you have a perfect bouquet.
I'm sorry this turned into a novel, but hopefully it's helpful for those of you that said you planned to DIY your flowers! It's a lot of fun, and it's so rewarding when someone compliments your work! :)
Because it's Monday (and because I have a fabulous, generous friend!) I have an added flower related bonus for you guys. Be sure to check back later today for a giveaway!