flowerswe like it wild

DIY Summer Picnic Bouquet

by Grace Bonney

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!


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