Hiring a florist to do all the flowers for your wedding is nice, but not always practical. And trying to navigate DIY wedding flowers ideas yourself can be just as challenging!
So how do you do your wedding flowers for bouquets, floral centerpieces, and other wedding decors yourself when you are missing the time or talent to start from scratch? The happy mid-ground is starting with professional designs and the corresponding live cuts. Add your DIY abilities, and the result can be astonishingly glamorous.
Here are three arrangements for inspiration. You can reproduce them or buy the DIY collections of wedding flowers to buy.
Note: As with many My Online Wedding Help links, some of the links in this post go to the site’s shop section or a merchant website. My Online Wedding Help will receive a small commission from the merchant at no added cost to you if you click and buy a product.
How to DIY Wedding Centerpieces
Flower centerpieces add a classy, elegant look to almost any wedding! And are a welcome addition to any guest table. The types here are excellent wedding centerpiece ideas for round tables. Because they sit tall in the center without taking up much space. (For long tablescapes, real floral table runners are delightful).
But figuring out how to DIY these wedding flower centerpieces can a challenge. Gathering all the right flowers and fillers when you’re on a budget means avoiding full-service florist prices. What’s a couple to do?
The answer is homemade centerpieces without the handmade look. Enter online sellers. The one in the photo is from FiftyFlowers and is just part of several DIY wedding flower collections.
Buy for a whole wedding or just certain aspects. For example, you can get the centerpiece prearranged, to drop into your vase. Or, as a DIY package that includes all the greenery and flowers to create it yourself.
DIY Wedding Flower Centerpieces with Fillers
Whether yours is a rustic wedding or more traditional, steps to making your floral arrangements are similar. For the full DIYers, here are some step-by-step assembly tips that apply to any rounded centerpiece arrangement.
This tutorial is for arranging flowers in a container. If you prefer, you can also drop a pre-made arrangement into the vase. If you are making the arrangement yourself, secure the stems with a rubber band or floral tape immediately after finishing the arranging. This helps keep everything stable before and after being placed in the vase.
Give your stems some support. Whether your vase is transparent or opaque, adding something to help support the entire centerpiece will help every component stay put. You don’t, after all, want a centerpiece with floppy flowers and a bare middle.
Your options vary according to whether or not the vase is see-through.
Clear vases are tricky because all the stems are visible inside. For these, use tape or a compote pillow over the vase opening to support your flowers and other elements.
If you are using an opaque vase, you have the additional option of using floral foam holders. Because you are using live flowers, a wet foam brick or round cut to the vase’s shape is ideal.
Smithers Oasis seems to be the most popular and trusted brand. But there are other wet foams with sound ratings as well. One thing to note with foam is that once you poke a hole with a stem, it doesn’t fill back. So, for the sturdiest centerpiece arrangement, try to get as many stalks right the first time to minimize extra holes.
There is a particular order to approach placing stems through the grid or into the foam. Techniques for shaping a bouquet vary from one expert to another. But one method is to first separate the stalks into three categories – greenery, filler flowers, and focal flowers – and add them to the vase in a specific order.
- Think of focal flowers as the stars of the show.
- Filler flowers enhance the look of a centerpiece and create its shape.
- Greenery rounds out the look and creates a contrast to showcase the flowers in the best manner.
The Components for this Centerpiece
- Focal Flowers: carnations, carnations, disbud, and garden roses.
- Filler Flowers: charmelia, scabiosa, mini calla lilies, spray roses, veronica. Other popular filler flowers include baby’s breathe, bouvardia, feverfew daisies, sweet peas, Queen Anne’s lace, and any mini variety of more abundant blooms.
- Greenery: eucalyptus. The various varieties of eucalyptus are prevalent right now. Other foliages you may include are myrtle, dusty miller, ferns, or lemon leaf.
Before you place each stem, snip it. Cutting opens the end of the stalk, allowing it to absorb water more efficiently. How short or long to cut depends on your arrangement. It is good to trim down the stem as short as needed. But if in doubt, keep a longer stem! You can always remove more later if you change your mind.
Also, remove excess leaves or small stems near the bottom of the stalk. And remove damaged leaves or petals. Your result will be more elegant and professional looking.
When placing stems into the vase, work in a circular motion. Spin the container around and back and forth to look at all sides. Your guests will get a 360-degree view. So should you. Using a lazy susan or turntable is most comfortable, but you can manually spin the vase as well.
The steps to arranging the wedding centerpiece in a vase.
Step 1. Because greenery will provide the backdrop for the florals, begin there.
Angle each stem outward. Cross the stalks below the water line to send foliage in different directions. Or, if you are using foam, carefully push the stems into place.
See the round eucalyptus draping elegantly down over vase on one side? If you look closely, you can see more leaves on the left, fashionably fluttering above the rim? That’s a high-low placement. Designing at different levels configures the bouquet in a way that’s pleasing to the eye.
Use the rest of your greenery to fill in around and between the high and low pieces. Make sure to spread the stems somewhat evenly so you’ll have leaves throughout the centerpiece. Work from the outside in, angling the stems less as you reach the center.
Step 2. Add your filler flowers between the foliage.
Small filler flowers add texture and more contrast to a bouquet. Place most of them in this step, but leave some of the bushier stems to fill in spaces in step 4. Also, set aside any stems with delicate blooms. Place them in last to avoid damaging them.
Using the same circular technique as in step 1, place the stems around the greenery. Your centerpiece is taking shape!
As you add each type of flower, try to place the stems in a random, yet even manner. Try to keep each stalk about the height of its neighbors. As you go, the bouquet will begin to bulk up and look dome-like.
Don’t worry about perfection! A bud peaking slightly higher than the rest here and there is more visually appealing than a perfectly curved surface.
Step 3. Place your focal flowers into the arrangement.
Because of their size and colors, these flowers are the show-stoppers. Nestle them into the arrangement, so the foliage and filler frame their beauty. Make sure to place them to blend. No longer or shorter than nearby stems.
Focal flowers deserve top billing. So be sure to add one or three blooms standing upright in the center of the arrangement. Odd numbers look more natural and exciting, so two or four will look a little “off.”
Add others throughout the arrangement. Be sure to alternate colors and types so guests can enjoy the entire variety from every angle.
Step 4. Fill in empty areas of the centerpiece.
Take the filler flowers you reserved in step 2 and place them wherever your bouquet needs extra fullness.
Step 5. Place the delicate blooms.
You are ready to add the most delicate blooms. Place them throughout the centerpiece as the final touch.
How tall should a centerpiece vase be?
Whether yours is a mason jar vase, glass cube vase, cylinder vase, or Eiffel tower vase, you want the height and width to balance with the flowers to create a unified look. The gist of it is the same as explained in the Mason Jar Centerpiece Ideas post.
Begin by aiming to use a vase the height of around one-half to two-thirds the full bouquet height. Then adjust the flowers to what you like best visually.
The exception is tall, topiary-type centerpieces. These typically feature a low-profile arrangement perched atop a tall, skinny vase. The vase generally is at the upper end of that range. Sometimes more.
Full Enchanted Summer Wedding Design Collection
One of the secrets to making a wedding on a budget look like you spent more is cohesiveness. That includes all the florals. Take a look at the whole Enchanted Summer Floral Collection through this link and in the video below.
DIY Wedding Bouquets
When you think of wedding flowers, what’s the first thing that usually comes to mind? The bridal bouquet!
Rustic, greenery-heavy bouquets with neutral blooms are popular right now. So, Fifty Flowers designers created this one as part of the Bohemian Green wedding collection. And it comes prearranged!
Do you notice a trend with the use of eucalyptus? That’s because different types of eucalyptus have high impact, and the leaf shapes are visually attractive. According to Jasmine at Fifty Flowers, Eucalyptus is purchased on almost every single order!
5 Tips for Arranging a Rustic Bridal Bouquet
If you’d prefer a completely DIY wedding bouquet for you and your bridesmaids, or only want to tweak prearranged ones, here are some tips for arranging a sprawling bouquet.
- A variety of textures is key! Did you notice how the Bohemian bouquet is a combination of different blooms and greenery? There’s a total of 13 varieties. Here’s how that breaks out, along with links to where you can go to buy the different types
- Two different white and cream roses
- Three additional kinds of white flowers, all very different from each other
- Two types of green carnations
- Three varieties of eucalyptus
- Succulent flowers
- Tree fern
- Stems stripped of leaves are helpful. Not only does taking off leaves on the lower part of the stalk make it easier to put together the bouquets, but it also makes them safer to hold.
- Different height stems are crucial to the look. Notice how much of the greenery extends further from the bouquet than the blooms? This feature makes it look like the bouquet belongs to a rustic wedding. And is an iconic hallmark of rustic flower bouquets in these weddings. So, wait until the end before snipping the stems. At that point, you can safely cut the whole bunch to the length you want.
- Arrange the non-flowers first. While you can do either florals or greenery first, saving the flowers for last gives you more flexibility for showcasing the blooms.
- Criss-crossing the stems is critical to rounding out the bouquet and giving it it’s free form look. Placing them this way allows each stem to point in just the direction you want. Put a higher angle on those you want to stick out more to the side. And less for those on top of the bouquet.
5 Steps to DIY a Bridal Bouquet
- Because bridal bouquets are handheld, it’s best to hold the arrangement when making it. Hold the stems as you would if carrying the bouquet, then add one at a time, crossing stems inside your fist and turning clockwise. Place the center bloom straight up and down and other flowers, so they nest in the same general direction as their neighbors.
- Choose one or three blooms to be the center point. Same as with the centerpiece, an odd number looks better.
- Add flowers randomly but in a balanced manner. Periodically stop and take a look from the front of the bouquet to see how it will look as you walk.
- Wrap the stem of the bouquet in floral tape for added stability. Keep it to the areas where you are going to tie a ribbon around or wrap the stem.
- Use a pearl-head pin to secure the wrap. Keep it to the back of the stem, so it’s hidden when you lay the bouquets on a table.
Full Bohemian Green Wedding Design Collection
The whole collection has a range of flowers for all areas of your wedding. Check it out here.
DIY Wedding Arch
A DIY wedding doesn’t mean sticking only to the basics. To make getting married more elegant, consider making an archway for the wedding. The above arches are all do it yourself projects made with Fifty Flowers’ wedding collections. They are from (top) the Blushing Love Collection, (bottom left) the Bohemian Green wedding Collection, and (bottom right) the Enchanted Summer Collection
How to Make a Wedding Arch
Arches make beautiful altar backdrops. And ceremony photos can be breathtaking. Wedding arches consist of:
- Frames large enough to showcase you and your partner during the ceremony and as a couple as you enter the reception.
- A variety of flowers and fillers you attach to the frame. Garlands work best for quickly and attractively decorating the arch.
How much you craft from scratch depends on how much time and comfort level you have.
You can make the wedding arch frame from scratch. The Sorry Girls have an excellent video showing how they made one from 2″x4″ wood. Building an arch from PVC pipes is also an option.
You can also buy a curved steel arch frame similar to what they used in the photo above and decorate it yourself. You can also buy a more rustic wood arch frame made from birch or stained lumber. See examples of each without decorations in the images below.
Top to bottom, here is where you can purchase each of the wedding arch frames above:
- Ben at AnniesCreek will make a 6- or 7-foot high frame from birch. Learn more or buy.
- Bottom Left: This white-painted steel domed arch from PartyMarket stands 7.5 feet tall. Learn more or buy.
- Bottom Right: Liubov of LiubovDeco creates this elegant in 7- and 8- foot versions. Learn more or buy.
10 Secrets for Making and Hanging a Wedding Arch Swag
Swag is the flowers and greenery hanging on your wedding arch. They can range from simple garlands to more complex arrangements of flowers, fillers, and greenery. Of course, the most straightforward approach is to buy prearranged florals to put onto the arbor.
That’s what the couple did in the photo above. Those flowers and green are part of the Blushing Love Collection. The list of all the different varieties is a little further below, in the “Full Blushing Love Wedding Design Collection” section.
Or you can create your wedding swag from bulk flowers. Whichever way you choose, here are some tips to make the process easier.
Top 5 Wedding Swag-Making Tips
- Assembling the swag means gathering your greenery and flowers while keeping being mindful they will be hanging instead of setting on a table.
- Garland is your friend when it comes to time and talent from you. These already-assembled lengths require far fewer steps than their single-stem counterparts.
- Greens provide most of the coverage, so start there. Choose full, lush varieties such as a seeded eucalyptus garland. You also may want to insert blooms after hanging greenery instead of creating the whole arrangement before installation. Your decision depends on the situation.
- Keep in mind the angles most likely to be seen and position the blooms to be most attractive from that viewpoint.
- Insert flowers that should be seen straight with stems up. Shorten these as necessary to make them blend into the rest of the swag.
- For a lower, flatter look, angle the stem. The larger the angle, the lower the profile. A zero degree angle is straight up. One hundred eighty degrees is laying flat.
- To keep the fresh blooms longer, stick their stems into hidden wet floral foam. Oasis makes a couple of versions of garland foam that are ideal for arbor or post decor. You may also want to use blocks.
Top 5 Wedding Swag-Hanging Tips
- To minimize premature wilting, keep all the living plants moist. Especially in hot and sunny weather. Mist swag that is outdoors as regularly as events will allow.
- Use zip ties or floral wire to attach the swag to the arbor frame. If you use foam, consider running the wire or ties through first, before you make to swag.
- If you are adding flowers after hanging greenery, insert them into the foam garland.
- Position stems so they blend with their neighbors. And follow the contours of the arch frame.
- If zip ties, wire, or foam show, reposition greenery leaves to cover them. (This is where choosing thick greenery pays off!)
Full Blushing Love Wedding Design Collection
The Blushing Love Collection DIY floral arch includes 63 stems of the following: white calla lily, pink carnation, baby blue eucalyptus, silver dollar eucalyptus, light pink garden rose, pink garden rose, white hydrangea, pink mini carnation, white rose, leather leaf, and ruscus. It also looks like they used fern garland to fill in the rest of the arch.
Like the other collections mentioned earlier, there are choices to cover your whole wedding.
There you have it, DIY wedding flowers ideas for your wedding party, table decor, and alter!
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