we like it wild: DIY summer picnic bouquet

As we approach the end of the summer we thought it would be the perfect time to share our tips for creating a casual picnic-style bouquet. The flowers we chose are readily available and in season at local farmer’s markets, so making a bouquet like this yourself can be done on the cheap cheap. Of course, making your own wedding flowers is not for everyone. A lot of planning goes into the ordering, selecting, purchasing, and creation of wedding flowers. It depends on the types of flowers you want to use, how much time you need to get ready, and what other madness you may have going on during the week of your wedding. A wedding bouquet is the most personal piece of the wedding flower-puzzle, so it can be a great place to express yourself and your personality. If you have the time and vision to put into making your bouquet (or someone else’s), it is very rewarding.

For this particular bouquet we purchased the flowers the day before we made it in order to give the flowers plenty of time to hydrate and for some more of the poppies to open. We also didn’t want to wait too long because after a few days the dahlias would start to fade. You may want to do a trial run on making the bouquet a few weeks before the wedding so you can work out any kinks- and make sure you schedule in enough time to do it on the day before or day of!

CLICK HERE for the full DIY picnic bouquet instructions (and all 15 pictures!) after the jump!

1. Choose your weapons. We went to our favorite local farm and selected four bunches that cost around around $28 total. We chose a bunch of hot pink hydrangea, 2 bunches of mixed color dahlias and a bunch of mixed color poppies. We recommend buying a little extra in case any of the flowers are crushed, broken, or not in your color palette. Our color palette consisted of bright pinks and citrus favorites, with a few whites and pastels to balance it out.

2. Remove most of the foliage except for maybe a few high up leaves. Since we won’t be adding any other greenery to the bouquet it is nice to have a few leaves here and there on the outside of the bouquet. Cut bottoms of stems and put everything in water (burn the bottoms of the poppies before putting in water). We would always say never never never leave flowers in a hot car…but when we need to get poppies to open quickly we put them in for an hour or two.

3. Prepare the work area and get your tools ready. Make sure you give yourself enough room to work and spread out. No wiring involved in this bouquet: snips, floral tape, rubber band and we’re good to go.

4. Start with large flowers. We rested a big cream dahlia in the middle of a hydrangea for support. Dahlias can sometimes be difficult to use in a bouquet because they face outward and the bouquet can get flat. Using a strong flower like hydrangea can provide a support for the heavy heads and keep them facing in the direction you want.

5. Start to add. Continue adding dahlias and hydrangea in this fashion until you have the size and shape you desire.

6. Add smaller pieces. Add in smaller dahlias that have a natural curve to the outer edge of the bouquet.

7. Finesse your flowers. Hold the bouquet slightly loosely and add in a few poppies by feeding the stems down through the hydrangea and dahlia base. Once you see the stem come through on the bottom pull it down so the petals are resting loosely on top of the other flowers.

8. Make it wild. To make it a little wild you can add in a few of the unopened buds.

9. Secure your bouquet. Place a rubber band around the stems and pull it up to just under where the leaves and flowers begin. This will hold the bouquet’s shape while you add some tape.

10. Tape. Roll floral tape around the bouquet, stretching and pulling flat as you go along.

11. Trim & hydrate. Cut the bottoms of the stems and place in water until you are ready to wrap.

12. Wrap. When you get closer to aisle-time you’ll want to take your bouquet out of the water and give it its final dressing. We used a folded hanky for ours but you can use a vintage piece of fabric, large ribbon, napkin, any cool fabric that isn’t too bulky. Fold fabric to desired thickness and wrap around stems, covering tape and rubber bands completely. You can attach with a small amount of glue or a row of pins to keep it from shifting.

13. Ribbon. Attach hanging ribbon and tie with knot or bow.

14. Get hitched!


  1. Cheryl says:

    So want to get married again (i’m divorced) just to have this beautiful bouquet.

    Now, if I only had a groom.

  2. Mo says:

    I’m going to bookmark this, very pretty!

  3. Mary says:

    Thanks for the awesome post! I linked to it from my blog just so you know!


  4. The colors are great and I do love the wild look! The colors are quite similar to the ones in my friend’s wedding 2 years ago.

  5. Ali says:

    This is so pretty :) Awe, I want to make one put it at my desk so I can stare at it all day!

  6. Pragya says:

    Beautiful, beautiful pictures. Wonderful post. :) and simply the most gorgeous bouquet!!

  7. anencourager says:

    I have saved this page! You are very kind to teach us how to make beautiful bouquets!

  8. Mariss says:

    This is simply gorgeous! I’ll definitely have to do something similar for my wedding :) thanks for the great tips.

  9. susie says:

    So beautiful! Several years ago, I made a wedding bouquet for a dear friend. It was a very rewarding experience, but I was pretty stressed with worry over it. Everything came out beautiful, but I was so scared I was going to screw something up!

  10. Nicolette says:

    A friend of mine once showed me the process of making a bouquet. Apparently there is a way of arranging flowers, and featuring a particular flowers. This come out beautifully. Great project.

  11. Stacey says:

    loving it wild, too…gorgeous

  12. Rach says:

    so pretty! i’ve added at trip to the market onto my to do list for tomorrow. inspired to create my own, just because!

  13. Laurapoet says:

    Beautiful! I think one of things that attracts me to your blog is not only it’s valuable and entertaining info, but the beautiful pictures. They are amazing! The colors are so bright! Thanks for the great post

  14. Jacqui says:

    So so pretty, this makes me want to always have pretty fresh flowers around, I wish winter wasn’t coming soon!

  15. Emma says:

    Ah, all my favourite flowers! How gorgeous and bright! I love them.

  16. hollie says:

    Wow that is the exact bouquet I want for my wedding coming up in Decemeber! I love the flowers and the colours! So gorgeous!

  17. so easy, so simply and so fastantic¡¡

  18. Tinabobina99 says:

    Hollie, even in winter there are gorgeous berries and stems that remind me that nature is asleep, not dead.

  19. jules says:

    gorgeous! Poppies and dahlias are my absolute favorite. I did my flowers for my wedding and it was by far my favorite element. Arranging the flowers helped keep me calm in the face of all the chaos! (even though I walked down the aisle with dirt underneath my fingernails and nail polish on only one hand!)

  20. Sarah says:

    Amazing!! Such great tips and a beautiful bouquet!

  21. Miss B. says:

    I had to chime in. This bouquet is so stunning! The colors are sublime. I love how effortless it looks!

  22. Brandi R says:

    So beautiful! Tomorrow after the Farmer’s Market I’m going to try and make one like this!

  23. Novi says:

    Lovely bouquet! So concise with the instructions, thank you so very much!!

  24. lealou says:

    This bouquet makes me so happy! It’s very similar to my wedding bouquet! How pretty.

  25. Love the addition of the the unopened flowers!

  26. ceranita says:

    Oh, I’m just reading this now, but I got married on September 19 and making all the flowers was myself was so much fun! I bought hydrangeas and dahlias too at a market the day before. So pretty!

  27. Sara says:

    I absolutely LOVE this flower bouquet and it is definitely great for spring. It is just beautiful … and inspiring. Can you get these flowers from other places than a farm? Thank you!


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