When we were at the flower shop, she had told me how much she loved the artichokes and snapdragons, so I made sure to incorporate those into the bouquets. I also used eucalyptus, because she's from San Diego, along with roses, lilies, daisies, mums, irises, and other assorted flowers and greens.
My first order of business was prepping all the flowers. You really want to have the flowers ready to go before you begin assembling the bouquet. This is different than the centerpieces, where you can prep each flower as you go. All flowers get all their leaves cut off. For the roses, I hacked off all the thorns with a knife, then peeled away any ugly petals (which is more than you'd imagine, maybe 8-10 per rose). I saved the petals, and they ended up being used around the cake and on the seating card table! The lilies need to have all those brown stamen things removed. It's best to do this right after the flower blooms because they aren't putting out pollen then. It's messier if you wait. For the stems with multiple flowers, I pulled off any ugly flowers.
I started with 2 flowers and an artichoke that would become the center of the bouquet, and built out from there. After positioning a few flowers, I would secure the bundle together with floral tape. This made the bouquets super sturdy and also made them easier to work with.
I tried to vary colors, shapes, textures, and sizes of the flowers - this was the hardest part! I found that physically assembling the bouquets was easy, it was the artistic part that was tough!
I continued to build outward, making a rounded bouquet with a few longer bits sticking out.
I started with the bridesmaid bouquets so I could get the hang of the process and practice my design skills. I made three bridesmaid bouquets, then the bridal bouquet, then the last two bridesmaid ones.
Once all the flowers were arranged, I went over everything again with more floral tape, covering just slightly less of the stems than I wanted to cover with the ribbon. Then I went over everything with blue satin ribbon, securing the end with corsage pins.
I bought a few vases on sale at the craft store so I could (safely!) set them in water. These also proved great for photos!
The bouquets took more time than I had anticipated because it took me a while to place each flower aesthetically. Totally worth it though - making the bride's bouquet was my favorite part of this whole project!
|Blue and White Bridal Bouquet|
Then it was on to the boutonnieres. I decided to use roses because they hold up really well out of water and through lots of hugs. I layered a fern behind the rose, and some little green berry looking things in front (this is how you know I'm not a florist, those green things are the most common thing ever and I still don't know the name!). It was a kind of plain design, but I wanted to err on the side of caution. The guys got smaller ferns and fewer berries, and the ladies got more foofy ones.
I grouped the three stems together and secured them with floral tape. Then I wrapped a thin satin ribbon around the floral tape to cover it, and tied the ends up under the fern.
I made a few extras (because you know how guys are). One of the ushers told me later that he alone had destroyed three boutonnieres!
The groom had planned on wearing a white jacket, and I didn't want the white roses to blend in, so I made him a special boutonniere out of an iris. I wasn't sure how it would hold up, so I made a little vase for it, and an extra rose boutonniere just in case.
These went quickly once I got my assembly line all set up. If you're going to do any of your own flowers, boutonnieres are where it's at. A few ferns, a dozen roses, and a hour, and you've saved a bundle!
I was running short on time, so Tommy delivered the bouquets and boutonnieres to the church for me. In return, he got a date who had time to shower, put on makeup, and drink a glass of wine!
My only complaint for the finished product was that my corsage pins were too long. It kept poking me when I wore my corsage, so I ended up taking it off halfway through dinner. Also, the stems that poked out of the bouquets kind of shook as the girls walked down the aisle. It didn't bother me, but something to consider.
It was fun to be known as the "flower girl" for the evening, and I got lots of compliments! Best of all, they were exactly what my friend wanted, and they were made for her with love.
|Me and my date (altered slightly upon request)|
Cheers to the happy couple, we love you guys!!!
|blue and white bridal bouquet|