To compliment your farm wedding or homestead chic reception, here are some easy peasy DIY wedding flowers you can create in half and hour. These wedding flowers are simple, natural and comprised of blooms you already have growing in the garden. You can even PLANT flowers for your wedding, if you have the time! With two video tutorials and step-by-step instructions this article will help you create your own beautiful displays for your beautiful day.
I’m a homesteader; a DIYer and advocate of making yourself and making do. I don’t condone wasted time or wasted money. Even so, you don’t have to DIY everything for your farm wedding, of course!
However, if you have a:
- creative eye for design,
- backyard or herb garden full of blooms,
- few hours the day before, or morning of the big day,
there’s no reason NOT to DIY wedding flowers!
To learn about more frugal DIY’s for this day, please read our sister article: A Farm Wedding on the Homestead.
DIY Wedding Flowers
Growing, using and designing flowers for your farm wedding doesn’t have to be too complicated. You can, of course, be as fancy as you’d like. However, if simple and frugal is your goal, raid the garden and employ simple principles of design to create quality arrangements.
To show you an example of a quickly assembled, garden fresh centerpiece, I’m using flowers picked this morning from my mother’s garden. The following arrangements were created only with what I already had on hand. I have in these photos and videos:
- bush potentilla (Potentilla fruticosa)
- lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
- Japanese Meadowsweet (Spirea japonica)
- grape vine and silver dollar plant for accents
A Little Note:
The silver dollar plant (Lunaria annua) was past its bloom stage but not yet to the dried seed pod stage most of us are familiar with. Its the dried seed pod that is often used in fall arrangements, especially of dried flowers. However, its gorgeous in its green pod stage, too. It just goes to show you that wildflowers have much to offer for DIY wedding flowers.
Why Grow Your Own Wedding Flowers?
There have been whole books written to answer the question of why you might want to grow your own wedding flowers! Here’s one called, of all things, Grow Your Own Wedding Flowers.
In this type of book you can get more information on design options and construction. The author even teaches you how to add water tubes to your hand-held bouquets. It’s a UK book with gorgeous photographs and inspirations.
I don’t own the book above, but I do own the one below, Growing Heirloom Flowers, by Chris McLaughlin. There is such beauty and wisdom in this book.
I believe we should all be growing lovely blooms, heirloom or otherwise, in among our vegetables and orchards. Flowers everywhere, I say! Chris reminds us that it’s important to preserve these heirlooms for their beauty, their fragrance and even their story. She writes,
“One of the reasons gardeners are drawn to heirlooms is pure nostalgia. We humans are hardwired for it, and the warm fuzzy feeling that connects us to a garden belonging to a beloved grandparent or great-aunt makes a fine motivator. Among all the perfectly sound reasons to grow heirlooms, this might honestly be the best reason. It’s every bit as important to feed our hearts and souls as it is our stomachs and pocketbooks.”
Flowers don’t just attract pollinators to our gardens, they also make us happy! And, of all days, a wedding day should be filled with joy. So, make your DIY wedding flowers a part of your life by planting for them today, tomorrow and in every season.
The Blooms’ Longevity
Be sure to note how well your chosen garden flower does as a cut flower in water and as a cut flower in a bouquet. Not all blooms will hold up to being cut from their mother plant. Also, not all blooms will survive long out of water. It’s best to cut a few and test them a few days before the wedding flowers are needed.
For example, the Japanese meadowsweet will hold up in a vase and in a bouquet. In the vase, it will last several days. In a bouquet with no water tube, it will last for many hours.
The potentilla, however, will do better in a vase than in a bouquet. So, why have I included it in a bouquet? Well, because it will last for several hours and that’s probably longer than most bridesmaids will want to hold it. Plus, it has lovely, unique greenery that adds dimension to the bouquet. I love it!
Also, because potentilla is what I had on hand. If I’m designing from my backyard or homestead garden, I can prep the designs and put them to immediate use that day. I can go back and replace blossoms that end up drooping or shattering. If I’m working with my garden, I can cut and use what and where I see fit. If I decide I don’t like a bloom, I can toss it!
It’s harder to do that when you’ve spent a lot of money on flowers – you feel married to your choices and obligated to use them.
A Few Tips to Keep the Blooms Vibrant:
- Any time the clutch bouquets are not being held, they should be returned to water.
- Any arrangement not being used right away should be held in a cool atmosphere – a fridge will do but a cool basement is even better.
- You can lightly mist the wedding flowers with water, if needed.
- As with any arrangement, remind those with hand held bouquets not to bang the around. I worked with bridal flowers for several years and you’d be surprised to know how many abused bouquets there are!
Equipment for DIY Wedding Flowers
Today we’ll be designing two bouquets:
- a small centerpiece for a round table
- one natural clutch bouquet for a bridesmaid
A bride’s bouquet and even a groom’s boutonniere can all be constructed with the blooms used here.
For both arrangements you will need:
- Garden clippers
- Mason jars
- Twine or ribbon
- Wire or florists’ tape
- Work station
- Compost bucket
- Screen for drying herbal flowers and leaves not used
To Assemble the Centerpiece:
Here’s a brief video tutorial to help you visualize the process of making your own modest centerpiece. After you view it, be sure to read the more detailed instructions below:
- Gather your blooms and greens, and remove any leaf matter about four inches down from the bloom. Leftover leaf material will lead to early decomposition of the arrangements as they sit in water.
- Starting with the table decoration, insert your greenery first. The greenery should be visually pleasing on its own, before the blooms are even placed.
- This greenery is the herb lemon balm. It has a very pleasing scent and color. You can save the scraps to use in herbal recipes. Homesteaders are practical creatures and love to turn scraps into useful items. All the other green waste can go in your compost pile.
- Add filler flowers and main blossoms next. Always use a odd number of blooms; the human eye appreciates odd numbers in beauty. Place the blooms and fillers so that they are not too dense, unless that is your intent. This bouquet is light and airy by design. If you have purchased a few large, fancy blooms for the bridal bouquet, reserve your home-grown filler flowers for your smaller arrangements. These are pleasing to look at without being distracting. They’re also an extremely frugal option since you’re growing them yourself.
- To add a unique accent, use special greens like silver dollar plant or grape vine. Make your arrangement as unique as you are!
- Place the arrangement immediately on the table and surround it with moss harvested from the garden walkways.
- Be sure to check all sides of the arrangement for broken or damaged stems or holes in your design. A centerpiece, however small, must be lovely on all sides.
Design a Bridesmaid’s Clutch to Match
As you make design decisions, look at what you have the most of in your garden. In the case of this design, we had a lot of lemon balm and meadowsweet. Consequently, we used those to our advantage and used them a lot.
This is a loose bouquet that includes greenery. You may decide to create something more along the lines of a nosegay – very compact and mostly blooms. A bridesmaid’s bouquet should be beautiful but simple; nothing to detract from the bride’s bouquet, of course!
To Assemble the Bouquet
Here’s a brief video tutorial to help you visualize the process of making your own modest bridesmaid’s bouquet. After you view it, be sure to read the more detailed instructions below:
- Gather your blooms and greens and strip the leaf matter below the blooms as you did before. You may want to strip more vigorously with a hand-held arrangement to remove any extra weight. However, don’t strip it all unless you want a nosegay-type arrangement that is mostly made up of blooms.
- Separate each type of bloom and green. Pay attention to stem thickness. Those with thick stems should be in the center of the bouquet. Those with thinner, more supple stems should be placed near the outside because they’ll bend more easily.
- If you have multi-stemmed blooms, remove the lowest flowers, retaining their stems. Thin the stem to two to three flowers. Reserve the extras for other arrangements or other places in this bouquet.
- Any blooms or stem you’re not using right away should be placed in water, especially if your design area is warm and/or dry.
Put it all Together
- Beginning with one or two main blooms in your hand, start adding filler flowers one a time around the edge. Don’t over-fill the center. You can always go back and add, if you need to.
- Turning the bouquet in your hand, continue to add filler flowers and main blooms in layers. There’s no science to this. Do what pleases your eye. For this natural design, keep the blooms loose and airy.
- Every now and then stop to pull up blooms, which tend to get buried as you add things in. Work blooms around each other, too. Nest them so they place nicely together. It’s good to have dimensions with some flowers being higher than others, but you don’t want to waste bouquet real estate on a flower not seen.
- Once you nearly reach your desired size, add in the greenery. You can also do this the other way around. As in, create a lovely clutch of various greens and then add in blooms. Because of the volume of our filler flowers, I added greenery last. Again, this isn’t scientific. Do what works for you.
- If you want greenery in the center of the bouquet, which I favor in a wildflower bouquet, use your thickest stemmed selections. You can do this when you’re adding layers, or you can do it at the end.
- Feather the rest of the greens around the outside of the bouquet to tuck it in. Lemon balm smells so wonderful that I would make a bouquet of just that one herb for my bridesmaids!
- Firmly tucking the stems together and holding them tightly (but don’t snap stems!), use floral wire or tape to keep the bouquet together.
- Trim the stems so they’re roughly the same length. Store the bouquet in water until you need to use it.
Adding the Ribbon or Twine
- Leave a 1 or 2 inch tail running down the stems from the bloom end. You’ll use this to tie off at the end.
- Begin wrapping the stems firmly, running over the tail, until you’ve wrapped a few inches.
- Tie off the ends in a simple square knot. If you’re using twine or rope, fray the edges for a messy look.
- If you’re using ribbon, your knot can leave a tail. You can also tie a stand alone ribbon and add it onto the bouquet.
Inspiration for Other Arrangements
Taking this bridesmaid’s bouquet as a base, use your imagination. In your mind’s eye add in a few, select blooms like roses, peonies, hydrangea or even daisies. Don’t go overboard. More is sometimes just more, not better. Keep in mind weight as you design the bridal bouquet, too. She’ll be holding that thing for longer than any of the other ladies, most likely. Don’t weigh her down with too many blossoms!
The groomsmen and groom can have their boutonnieres designed with two to three elements from the ladies’ bouquets. For example, a sprig of lemon balm and one, bloomed-out spray of meadowsweet wrapped in twine.
For flower girls, consider making these lovely hair wreaths from Eco Friendly Mama in coordinating blooms – the simpler, the better.
One of the largest costs in floral design, besides qualified labor, can be the container. Save some money and practice a useful skill by making your own plant pots and baskets. Here is a DETAILED tutorial from one of our articles here.
Another obvious choice is canning jars – seriously, I have hundreds in my garage. You do run the risk of breaking glass, but I still use them every chance I get. Here are Over 80 Mason Jar Wedding Ideas. I don’t usually like plain list articles, but if you’re interested in this topic, this post will save you some time cruising Pinterest.
Since wedding flowers usually only have to last a day or two, you can also upcycle food cans with their labels removed. You can even paint them, if you want. If your wedding and reception are separated by several days, be sure to keep your arrangements out of these cans until you’re ready to place them in case of rust.
It’s About Milestones
In my years of floral design for bridal couples, the happiest I’ve seen were those who wisely focused on the purpose of the day, as opposed to the day itself. We want that wedding day to honor the new family being formed and for it to be a beautiful occasion.
DIY wedding flowers are one of the many ways we keep this day simple and lovely. Growing our own, doing our own, loving our own – isn’t this what homestead families are all about?
Speaking of homestead families, our newest book, Homestead Holidays, is soon to be released. This book takes you through the homestead year with recipes, tutorials, crafts and advice on how to make each holiday and festival special for your family. Sign up below to learn about the book’s release, and for special deals and discounts.
May you have a wonderful time together as you plan your special day!