Thursday, February 7, 2013

Elegant White and Green Wedding Bouquets and Boutonnieres

The weekend after Christmas, I had my fifth stint as a florist!  I made the bouquets and boutonnieres for my sister-in-law's wedding.  This was also the first time I was a bridesmaid!

She had a classic and elegant winter wedding at her grandparent's country club.  She didn't want it to feel Christmasy, but also didn't want to lose sight of the fact that it's winter.  There was lots of lace and candlelight, with a good mix of drinking and dancing, and had fun touches like Christmas ornaments for favors and even a hot chocolate bar!

To avoid clashing with the church decor, and to keep things elegant and classic, she chose white and green bouquets made from tibet roses, freesia, and greenery.  Here are the inspiration photos I was working from.

What do tibet roses, freesia, hypericum, and ruscus look like?  See below.

I prepped the flowers on the Thursday before the wedding.  Friday I made the bouquets, and Saturday morning I made the boutonnieres.

Using the inspiration photos, I estimated how many of each flower should be the in bouquets.  This way, you can make sure you have enough of everything.  Looking back, we could have had 10% fewer roses and freesia, and about 50% less greenery.  Live and learn.

I portioned out the flowers into individual vases so all bridesmaids would have equal amounts, and of course the bride gets lots more!

I like to do a few bridesmaids bouquets to get in the swing of things, then do the bride, and finish with the remainder of the bridesmaids.  To start a bouquet, take 2-4 of the best-looking flowers and arrange them so they look nice.  Wrap them together with floral tape, about halfway down the stem.

Add one or a few more stems, and secure them with more floral tape.  Be sure to mix up the type of flowers, and add greenery now and then.

Keep adding flowers like this until you've used them all up (or you're happy with the size).

I added a few stems of Italian ruscus last to make the white flowers really pop against backgrounds.

Wrap all the stems tightly with more floral tape until you've covered the part of the bouquet where you want the ribbon to go.  I usually wrap about five inches of the stems, from as close to the flowers as possible downwards.

Cut off the long stems, leaving about 1.5" showing below the floral tape.  This is a personal choice, but I like the handles of the bouquets to be on the short side - it make them easier to carry.  You can leave more of the stems showing if you'd like.  If you leave less, you run the risk of the ribbon getting wet when you put the bouquets in water.

Finish the bouquet by wrapping 1" satin ribbon around the handle, covering the floral tape.  I start at the top, wrap to the bottom, then wrap all the way back up.  I secure the top with a corsage pin.  If you don't want it to show, just use a tiny shirt pin to secure the ribbon.  Add as many corsage pins as you like, if you prefer the look of more!

My SIL wanted lace around the bouquets, so after I did the satin ribbon, I added a layer of lace ribbon.  I had just enough, so I only wrapped them from bottom to top.  It came undone on some of the bridesmaids bouquets, so I would highly recommend using pins at the bottom and top if you're only doing one pass of ribbon!

Put about an inch of fresh water in a cylinder vase (I get mine at the dollar store), and add the bouquet.  This keeps them fresh, and keeps the flowers from getting crushed.

For transport, I secure the vases in a large shallow box with newspaper.

The seven bridesmaid bouquets and one bridal bouquet took about four hours to assemble.  I love the way they came out - so similar to the inspiration photos!  The guests loved them, and most importantly, so did the bride.

I like to do boutonnieres and corsages the morning of the wedding so they're as fresh as possible.  I was so nervous for this wedding (so much different than our wedding where I was completely calm), and couldn't sleep, so I did most them between 4am and 6am (the hubs was sleeping, thus no photos, sorry).

For the boutonnieres, I start with a tightly closed rose.  I pick off any ugly petals.  You can pull off lots of petals before ruining the rose, so don't be scared.

It's tempting to secure all the stems together at once.  Don't.  They get all wonky once you start wrapping the floral tape around them.

I start with the background greenery, in this case, two tips of Italian ruscus.  I put it behind the rose and secure it with floral tape.

Then I add hypericum in front of the rose, about 6 berries in all, and secure that with floral tape.

To finish it off, I wrap about 1.5" of the stems with floral tape, and snip the stems about half an inch below the tape.  I wrap everything in half-inch satin ribbon, starting at the top, going to the bottom, and coming back up.  I secure the ribbon with a small shirt pin, in the back where it won't be seen.  I've tried glue and tying knots, but neither of those turned out well.  I was really happy with the results using tiny pins.

I don't put them in water, just rest them in a large flat box for safekeeping.  I like to identify the prettiest ones as being for the groom and the Dads, since they'll be in so many photos.

I used the same method for the corsages, except I used a more opened rose and added an opened stem of freesia.

I made 28 boutonnieres and corsages, taking about four hours altogether.  They worked really well on men, but many of the women had trouble pinning them to their dresses, and took them off after the ceremony.  If you're DIYing them, these are inexpensive ($2-$3), but if you're buying them at $10-$20 each I would definitely consider whether you really need them for your entire list of honored guests.

Let's see how everything came out!

the beautiful and happy bride and groom!

elegant white bridal bouquet

white rose boutonniere

me and my sister-in-law!

our bouquets (notice how pretty the lace turned out)
The bridal party
me and my hubs, walking down the aisle twice in 2012!

Thanks for letting me share my latest floral design with you!  It was really special to make these for my sister-in-law and my brand new brother-in-law!


  1. awwwww, everyone is so beautiful! Great description on the thought processes!

  2. This is really helpful! Can't wait to practice for my own wedding :) Thanks for posting this


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