If you’re decorating for your wedding traditionally, flowers will be one of your biggest expenses. You can snip the costs by making your bridal and bridesmaid bouquets yourself.
Luckily, hand-tied bouquets are the simplest and easiest style to assemble, and they’re also the most popular type of bouquet. Learn to make one yourself and practice with inexpensive flowers from the grocery store or farmers’ market. For the big day, make sure you buy nicely-opened blooms with stems sturdy enough to work with.
Step 1: Strip all stems of thorns and leaves. Cut the bottoms off the stems at a slight diagonal.
Step 2: Starting with the largest blooms, build your bouquet from the center out. Arrange the flowers and foliage to your liking — in a tightly bunched ball shape, or slightly less structured. Make sure to keep the stems held firmly in your hand so the shape of the bouquet doesn’t change as you add flowers.
Step 3: If desired, add a collar of leaves, fern, or ivy around the edge of the bouquet.
Step 4: Secure the stems in place with a string or rubber band.
Step 5: Beginning just below the blooms, wrap ribbon around the length of the stems, completely covering the bottom of the stems and wrapping to the top again if desired, or leaving a half inch or inch of stems visible at the bottom. Tuck the loose end of ribbon under the wrapped ribbon and secure with a row of pearl or crystal pins. Alternately, you could tie the ribbon in a gentle bow and leave the ends trailing, or crisscross contrasting, thinner ribbon on top of the wrapped ribbon.
Step 6: Trim ends of stems to make sure they are all the same length.
Hint: If you’re making your own bouquets for a late spring or summer wedding, consider using Hydrangea, which are easy to work with, and as an added bonus, each Hydrangea bloom is large enough to serve as small bridesmaid bouquet.