Wedding: DIY Bouquet & Boutonnières

According to an article from the January 2013 BRIDES magazine, the average UK wedding spends £560 on flowers. £560!! That's the same as buying a £4 bunch of Waitrose's tulips for your home, every week, for 2 and 3/4 years. Now that's a lot of tulips! But £560 on wedding flowers? I'd rather have the tulips.

From the beginning we knew our wedding was going to be small and kept to a low budget. Neither of us ever dreamt of having a big do and we both fancied doing as much as we could ourselves, incorporating lots of personal details. One thing that I really wanted to do was make my own bouquet, something artificial that I could keep afterwards and that would give me the freedom to have whatever flowers I wanted.
We headed over to Isleworth one Sunday morning in January to visit Lavenders of London - an artificial flowers heaven, with lots of different types to choose from. I'd spent a lot of time looking on Pinterest and pinned a different range of bouquet ideas, but the favourite style that stood out for me was that of quite a colourful meadow flower look. As we'd already settled on the 'no-colour-theme' theme, this would be perfect!
For my bouquet I chose:
  • Poppies - The vibrant red of these poppies caught my eye straight away in Lavenders. And as well as being beautiful meadow flowers, I also chose them for the simple reason that my lovely pooch is named after them.
  • Daisies I was drawn to the daisies as they remind me so much of summer and they are the ultimate meadow flower! The bunches were also nice & big, making them perfect as a "filler" amongst the other flowers.
  • Gypsophila (Baby's Breath) - Again these were more filler, but I like how whimsical baby's breath looks.
  • Primroses - I chose these flowers as my daddy's nickname at school was Primrose - I'm sure it wasn't the only one he had but it sure is a pretty one! And thus they always remind me of him :-)
  • Lavender - After daffodils, my mum is a big lover of lavender, and who can blame her, they smell gorgeous (although these don't smell, for obvious reasons)! The colour of these also complimented the rest of the bouquet nicely.
  • Roses - I wouldn't usually choose roses, but as they make up part of my name I wanted to include them. Plus I loved these huge pink ones!
  • Cornflowers - To finish off the bouquet I felt that some blue flowers would be perfect and these worked well with the lavender to break up the red, pink, yellows and whites.
To make a basic bouquet you will need: artificial flowers, wire cutters, florist tape and florist wire. I then used super glue and parcel string to finish it.

To start I separated and trimmed all the flowers, then attached the wire to the ends of those that needed it. To do this you simply wrap one end of the florist wire around the tip & tightly cover it with florist tape. This made any short stems an easier length to work with.
Next I simply arranged them. I had no final image in my mind so it was a case of just picking up a flower & seeing if it worked - adding & subtracting until I was happy with it.

Once I had my final bouquet I started to tightly wrap all of the stems with florist tape, adding more layers until it felt secure. I then trimmed any excess wire from the bottom & covered the tips in some more tape. My chosen finish for the bouquet was to wrap the stems in parcel string, which I secured with some super glue, but you could also use ribbon for a more colour-themed finish.

I also made a smaller version of my bouquet for my bridesmaid.
A couple of days before the wedding Andrew's mum gave me this little blue flower which was once used as a decoration on Andrew's christening cake - 26 years ago! I secured this to the string of my bouquet as my something old and something blue :-)
As well as making mine & my bridesmaid's bouquet, I also made all of the boutonnières - or button holes as they are better known. In total I made 12 - 7 for the men & 5 for the ladies - as well as groom & best man we also gave fathers, mothers, brothers & grandparents one each for the day.

For the mens ones Andrew chose gerberas & rosemary. Again with these I extended the stems with a small amount of wire then joined them all together with more tape. I folded the end over, to give it more girth before wrapping the parcel string around. I then used super glue to attach a brooch back, to make it easier to wear. For the ladies boutonnières I replaced the rosemary with some lavender.
The bridal party with the finished bouquets and boutonnières.
In total, for 2 bouquets and 12 boutonnières, we spent roughly £60. Although artificial isn't the cheapest way - I'm sure buying some flowers in the supermarket would have been even cheaper - I like that I have these important keepsakes from the day. Andrew's boutonnière is in our wedding box and my bouquet is in a vase on display in our lounge, always reminding us of our special day :-)

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