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Friday, December 4, 2015

DIY Bride: My Wedding Bouquets, Buttonholes + Corsages

Today I'm sharing a creative project on how I made my own wedding flowers - bouquets, buttonholes and corsages. 

When I say I ..... what I mean is I helped by pouring the wine and ordering pizza while my lovely friend Mrs J (who showed her creative flair for flower arrangements in my DIY vintage vases at my engagement party) graciously offered to help me make the wedding flowers ..... to which I wholeheartedly accepted!

Being a non-traditional bride I wasn't even going to have flower bouquets for the wedding but my bridesmaids convinced me we needed them. And they were right, the bouquets really did look lovely in photos and it was nice to have something to hold onto when walking down the aisle!

Both the ceremony and reception venue included flowers so I didn't need to worry about doing those but I did have a say in what I had. For the ceremony I had white satin ribbons with white flowers tied to all the pews down the aisle and a beautiful big arrangement on the front alter with the same flowers as my bouquets in white and red colours. At the reception there were lots of little vases scattered around with a mixture of rustic flowers to suit the vintage wedding theme.

I set myself a modest $165 budget for the flowers for
Supplies + Trial + Wedding Day

Being a budget savvy bride I couldn't justify spending $500 on something that I'll only enjoy for the day - I would much rather put that money towards food and drinks for my guests than on flowers. The breakdown of my $165 budget was spent on:

$45 - For all the supplies, wire, tape, ribbon, hot glue gun etc. To be honest we didn't use all of the supplies, but at least I have them on hand should I need to make flowers again!

$45 - For the trial flowers that was to make 2 bouquets and 1 buttonhole and 1 corsage. We got extra flowers to play around with so that on the day we would only need to buy exactly what we needed.

$75 - To make all the flowers for the day - 3 bouquets, 6 buttonholes and 3 corsages.

Supplies in my box of flower making goodies:

  • Thin wire (100mm) to wrap around the flower stems
  • Sharp scissors to cut the wire
  • Garden snips to cut the flowers
  • Florist tape 
  • Large and small pearl head pins to attach the buttonholes and corsages to clothing
  • Small pearl head pins to decorate the ribbon around the bridal bouquet stems
  • Thick satin ribbon to wrap around the flowers - I used a champagne coloured ribbon for the bridal bouquet which was the same colour as my wedding dress and green ribbon for the others to match the bridesmaids dresses. 
  • Thin satin ribbon to wrap around the buttonholes and corsages
  • A hot glue gun and extra glue to glue the ribbon on
  • A sentimental brooch for mine and diamante bands for the bridesmaids - to decorate the bouquet stems 
  • For visual inspiration - wedding flower book borrowed from the library!

The flower trial ....

I'd say a flower trial is a necessity if you want to DIY your wedding flowers, not just for practice but for peace of mind as well. The trial was well worth it as it meant I wasn't stressed and wondering whether I'd wake up to dead flowers the day of my wedding.

Mrs J and I did a flower trial a few weeks beforehand to see how we were going to make the flower bouquets, buttonholes and corsages and how long they would last as I wanted to make them a few days before the wedding.

We went to the florists along Beaufort Street in Highgate as there are 4 florists who sell buckets full of fresh and cheap flowers. We went from one shop to the other grabbing different types of greenery and flowers to make the arrangements with. As much as I love brightly coloured flowers, I didn't want mixed colours and flowers in a massive wedding bouquet. I wanted something simple and elegant with the same colour and tone for each bouquet.

The types of flowers we used

I know that traditionally the bridesmaids and groomsmen are meant to match, but the chrysanthemums were way too big and heavy to pin to clothes so we used the red rose instead which was the perfect size.

We used the following types of flowers:

  • Bridal bouquet - Red roses and eucalyptus leaves 
  • Bridesmaids bouquet - White chrysanthemums with white wax flowers and greenery
  • Buttonholes - Red rose and eucalyptus leaves 
  • Corsages - Red rose with white wax flowers

Flower trial - Bridal bouquet ... that's for me!

To make the bridal bouquet we used 2 bunches of roses and some eucalyptus leaves. I love the big round buds of the roses and deep red colour will be really striking against the champagne colour of my wedding dress.

We removed all the leaves and thorns from the roses and added them in a possie until they formed a round shape and then wrapped them with wire to secure them.

Then eucalyptus leaves were added around the outside of the bunch and trimmed so the leaves didn't stick up too high. Then again wrapped wire around the whole bunch to keep them tight. We didn't end up needing to use the florist tape as the wire secured them perfectly.

We wrapped the stems in a wide champagne satin ribbon and glued it into place.

Flower trial - Bouquets for the Bridesmaids

The bouquet for the bridesmaids was a simple bunch of white chrysanthemums with white wax flowers for filler.

Starting with one flower and one filler and added layers and layers turning the bunch around until we were happy with the way they looked. Removing all the leaves and greenery on the bottom stems until there were just stick stems kept the size of the bouquets small and a comfortable fit in your hand. Then we wrapped wire around the whole bunch to keep them tight, again there was no need to use florist tape for this.

We finished it off by wrapping wide green satin ribbon around the stems and gluing with a hot glue gun. The forrest green ribbon is the same colour as the bridesmaids dresses.

Flower trial - Buttonholes for the lads

The buttonhole flowers for the lads will have a single red rose and some eucalyptus leaves. They were held together by wrapping the stems in florist tape and then the thin green satin ribbon was secured with the hot glue gun.

The buttonhole flowers will be pinned to their outfit with a small pearl headed pin.

Flower trial - Corsages for the ladies

The corsages for the ladies will have a single red rose and the white wax flowers. They were held together by wrapping around with florist tape and then the thin green ribbon secured with the hot glue gun.

I gave the ladies a choice if they wanted a wrist corsage but they all said they wanted to pin it to their outfits so these will be pinned with the large pearl headed pin.

Storing the flowers and how they lasted

I was so impressed at how long the flowers lasted - they stayed fresh and kept their shape for days in the fridge and then even when I removed them from the fridge they still looked great and kept for about 2 weeks sitting in a vase with just a little bit of water to keep the stems wet but the satin ribbon dry.

We kept the flowers in water as much as we could from when we bought them to when we were making them - we drove to the florist shop with a bucket of water in the car so we could put the flowers in water straight away and they stayed in the bucket while we were making them too. I think this had a lot to do with how fresh they kept.

When the bouquets were finished I wrapped wet tissues around the bottom stems of the flowers taking care not to wet the ribbon. I placed the flowers in a large box and lightly covered the flowers with tissue paper and sealed the box and put it in the fridge. The fridge is our spare bar fridge so I could turn it right down low to it's warmest temperature so it wasn't too cold.

The real deal ..... Wedding Day flowers

Making the flowers for the Wedding Day we made them pretty quickly as we knew exactly how they were meant to look and what flowers to use because of the trial - this is why doing a flower trial is such a good idea.

We got the flowers on Thursday morning and had finished making them by lunchtime and put them in a box in the fridge all ready for the wedding on Saturday.

Mrs J got busy arranging the flowers while I got busy once again pouring us a glass of bubbles!

Knowing exactly what we wanted it was easy to make the two white flower bouquets and then the red rose bouquet, followed by the buttonholes and corsages.

To finish off the bridesmaid's bouquets, once the ribbon was secured with a hot glue gun, I slipped a pearl and diamante band around the stems to give them a finished look (these were actually hair slides I found in Valleygirl but how good do they look as flower charms)!

For my bridal bouquet we stuck in pearl headed pins down the ribbon into the stems and I also attached a sentimental brooch that was my grandmothers.

We made the buttonholes and corsages to be very similar to one another and they were so simple they only took a few minutes each to make. We used the florist tape on these as they were too delicate to use the wire.

We made the buttonholes for the gentlemen with a rose and greenery and a large pearl head pin to attach to their suit jacket.

We made the corsages for the ladies slightly smaller with smaller roses and less greenery. We used a small pearl head pin to attach to the ladies outfits and I also attached a diamante brooch to my Mum's to make hers extra special.

Making the flowers a few days beforehand allowed me to really enjoy the experience, have some girl time and a glass of bubbles, while we got creative and look forward to the big day ahead!

I am so pleased with how they looked and they stayed fresh for days in the fridge and then on the wedding day they look beautiful all day and night long!

At the reception venue we had vases filled with water for our bouquets which we put them into when we arrived and were having such a great night we all forgot to take them when we left the wedding! I went back the next day for them and they still looked beautiful and fresh.

I have since left my wedding bouquet to dry naturally so I have it as a keepsake.

If you have ever thought of doing your own wedding flowers and have a flower wholesaler you can buy inexpensive flowers from and your a little bit creative, then this is definitely one way to keep wedding costs down.

I can't believe we did all the flowers for $165 and we had such a great time making them to.

It was really special knowing that they had been handmade with love by us!

Did you tackle any DIY tasks for your wedding?

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  1. Fantastic job, they look great.
    Hard to believe you achieved all that on the budget

    1. Thanks Carolyn :) I was a very budget savvy bride!

  2. I would have never guessed these weren't professionally made. You saved a TON of money on flowers. Just WOW. And, they are so beautiful!!


    1. Thanks Carrie I was so happy with the way they turned out and it felt really special to know that I had helped make them :)

  3. You are so brave and it definitely paid off - they look amazing. I would be SO stressed if I left making all my flowers to myself so have outsourced for my wedding BUT love flower arranging and did all my own centrepieces for our engagement party and my kitchen tea!

    1. I had a friend help me who did most of the arranging! It was actually really fun and I was so chuffed at the money I saved. See you do have creative flower arranging powers!


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