Wedding Hacks: DIY Bouquets & Boutonnieres (Part I)

I had always assumed wedding bouquets were difficult to make, but I recently learned this is not so! In November, I had the honor and opportunity to make bridal bouquets for two weddings. After giving me a basic description of what they had in mind, each bride set me loose in New York City’s Flower District and were willing to accept whatever I would create… for better or worse.

The first bride wanted something with a simple color scheme, delicate and timeless- think BHLDN, the wedding wing of Anthropologie. Nervous about working with (real) flowers for the first time and intimidated by the overwhelming options in the flower district, a test run was in order. I scoured the DIY blogosphere for hours, trying to figure out which flowers to buy, what supplies I needed and how I should put everything together.  Then I went for it. I was super happy with the results and sent this photo over to the bride for feedback.

trial run bouquet

The verdict was that the overall look and feel was spot on, but these dahlias were a little too dark– she wanted softer colors.  Keeping that in mind, I returned to the flower district the day before the wedding and came back with these stunning flowers, which I originally stored in my not-so-stunning NYC apartment bathtub.

flowers in the tub

Which turned into this bouquet…

diy bridal bouquet (Photo credit: Robert Caplin)
(Photo credit: Robert Caplin)


and this boutonniere!

Paul boutenierre closeup (Photo credit: Robert Caplin)
(Photo credit: Robert Caplin)


me attaching Paul's boutonniere in Central Park (Photo credit: Robert Caplin)
me attaching Paul’s boutonniere in Central Park (Photo credit: Robert Caplin)

Here is the lovely couple together. Nicole and Paul, you guys are the best!

Nicole & Paul (Photo credit: Robert Caplin)

Before I made this bouquet, I was lucky if I could properly identify a tulip.  Now I can at least identify the most common flowers that you would find at the supermarket or outside NYC bodegas.

The flowers were purchased from several different shops in the NYC Flower District.  The selection and availability varies from day to day and the district , so you need to arrive early (like 6am early!) to have the best possible selection.  By the end of the day, it’s often slim pickings.

So what are the flowers that made the final cut?

The large white flowers are dahlias, and the pink flowers are roses.  The green button-like flowers are chrysanthemums, which are sometimes called Spray Mums.  The green berry flowers are hypericum berries. The feathery pink accent flower is an astilbe. The green mossy pompom-ish one is a Green Trick Dianthus.

And I’ll show you the other bouquet in my next post.  Stay tuned!




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