Our Florist Is Whole Foods.

After I received a quote from a florist that totaled over $350 for three bouquets, I decided that there had to be a cheaper way to do things. Now, I’m not big with DIY projects (my philosophy is that if it can’t be done while drinking a glass of wine, it’s not worth doing yourself), but bouquets don’t look that hard to make, so I decided to give it a try. Here’s how I did it!

Step 1: Buy supplies.

We bought white hydrangeas, green hypericum berries, and green trachelium at Whole Foods for a total of $22. We also purchased floral tape, straight pins, and ribbon from Michaels for about $10.

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Step 2: Cut the stems.

Turns out that hydrangeas have really thick stems that cannot be conquered by ordinary scissors and need a chef’s knife. (Step 1.5 is to wash the raw-chicken residue off your cutting board from dinner last night.) If you have roses or really any flower with a more delicate stem, scissors or pruning shears will be just fine, but we had to pull out the big guns on this.

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Step 3: Prune the flowers.

Strip all the leaves off your flowers. Be careful not to pull off flowers that all branch off of a main stem. This step is extra easy if you have your maid of honor to help you.

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Step 4: Arrange those suckers into a bouquet.

Start with a base of a few flowers and build out. Just play around with your supplies until you get a shape you like.

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Step 5: Wrap the stems with floral tape.

Make sure to hold the stems nice and tight while you do this.

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Step 6: Cover the tape with pretty ribbon (or twine or lace or whatever).

Michaels didn’t have the black and white striped grosgrain ribbon that I really wanted, so we got the brown and blue equivalent instead to give us an idea of the look.

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Step 7: Secure the ribbon with straight pins.

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Step 8: Admire your work!

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Step 9: Display your flowers in a beer mug and make a mental note to include a vase on your registry.

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So there you go! That’s how to make a bouquet. It took about 20 minutes from start to finish. I’m glad we did a practice run because we didn’t have enough accent flowers and greenery to achieve the look I really wanted. Next time, I’ll know to buy more. But, hey, even with more fillers, it’s still a much better deal than the $165 the florist wanted to charge for a single bouquet!

Did anyone DIY their own flowers? Did you love the savings or regret not hiring a professional?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Treasure

Location:
Chicago
Wedding Date:
September 2012
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comments

  1. Member
    veggie_rachel 575 posts, Busy bee @ 8:47 am

    Beautiful! My wedding isn’t until next year, but I plan on DIYing them. I’m even going to grow them! I think your flowers are gorgeous and not a single person will know that you didn’t get them from a florist and pay their crazy prices!

  2. Member
    FutureMrsSpencer 526 posts, Busy bee @ 8:49 am

    After looking at all the beautiful photos that you guys do, I am regretting hiring my florist already! I wish that I would have taken the other route.

  3. Member
    BookishBelle 1629 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:54 am

    165? Ouch. I’m being charged I think about half that for a hydrangea bouquet (and about half THAT for the BM bouquets), but I am the least crafty, coordinated, put things into shapes person on earth so I am glad to pay for a pro to do it for me. Plus the wedding is a semi-destination (aka 300 miles away) so it’s easier to pay people to have stuff there on time than to try and transport it all. But I’m in awe of people who can actually make stuff for themselves! lol

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Cassie, Guest @ 8:55 am

    I landed somewhere in the middle. I ordered our bouquets and a couple of other arrangements from the florist in our grocery store. I’m sure it was still more expensive than arranging them myself, but the grocery store was much more reasonable than the other florists I talked to.

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    Jenni, Guest @ 8:57 am

    It looks beautiful! I was in a wedding as a birdes maid which had hydrangeas in the bouquets, so a couple of quick suggestions FWIW: hydrangeas wilt SUPER quickly out of water, so either plan to have vases nearby throughout the day, or consider buying those little water thingies to put the stems in to keep the moist. They also take in water from their petals, so keeping a spray bottle around to mist your bouquets wouldn’t hurt!

  6. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:03 am

    Thanks for the helpful hints, Jenni!

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    Lauren, Guest @ 9:08 am

    Hi!
    I’m a 2013 bride and I keep seeing these posts on DIY flowers/bouquets. I love the way they look and the lower cost BUT I’m very confused about how this will actually work for your wedding.
    Will WholeFoods pre-order the flowers you want? When will you go buy the flowers and make the bouquets? The morning of you wedding? Is there time? Or if you do it before will they stay fresh? What if they don’t have the flowers you want in stock?
    I’m NOT saying this is a bad idea, in fact, I’d love to do it! Any explanation of how this will actually come together on your wedding day would be really helpful! Thank you!!

  8. Member
    Missido 813 posts, Busy bee @ 9:14 am

    Good job! Very pretty.

  9. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:28 am

    Lauren,
    Thanks for your question! The plan is to go to Whole Foods either the morning of the wedding or the night before and buy the flowers to make the bouquets. I shop at Whole Foods for most of my groceries, so I know that they ALWAYS have white hydrangeas in stock. This is why we’re going with Whole Foods. As far as filler flowers, we’ll be stuck with whatever it is that they have in stock. If you have specific flowers in mind, you can order flowers wholesale from websites like bloomsbythebox.com. I might order some ranunculus. As far as time goes, it took my sister and I about 20-30 minutes to make this one bouquet. I only have 2 bridesmaids, so we’ll be making a total of 3 bouquets. I will plan on blocking out about an hour for bouquet-making. When I made this one, I put it in a mug with a little water and the bottom, and it stayed fresh for about 3 days, so I’m not worried about it wilting overnight. Hope this helps!

  10. Guest Icon Guest
    Bride2Be, Guest @ 9:29 am

    Soaking hydrangeas (the whole flower, stem to blossoms) in a bucket of cold water for at least 4-6 hours, preferably overnight, helps them suck up moisture to stay fresh longer. Doing this kept my most recent grocery store-bought hydrangeas alive for 2 weeks. In the past, I’ve had them wilt even when in a vase, but this trick even revived a shriveled one!

  11. Member
    scepter 333 posts, Helper bee @ 9:30 am

    I love the bouquet!

  12. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 10:09 am

    It looks beautiful! And way better than $165!

  13. Member
    castle 1191 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:10 am

    Great job! Ya 165 for a bouquet you can do yourself??? No way. It looks amazing!

  14. Member
    kztlwedding 53 posts, Worker bee @ 10:15 am

    This is FANTASTIC. Flowers are low on my priority list (partly because of cost & partly because I just don’t care to be honest), and this looks like an easy way to make my own beautiful bouquet. Thank you so much for posting!

  15. Member
    Future Army Wife 2213 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:46 am

    That looks so cute! We’re doing our own flowers for less than half the florist’s quote.

  16. Member
    S157947 190 posts, Blushing bee @ 11:11 am

    Definitely going to be DIYing next March when I walk down the aisle. You make it look so easy!!! Way to go and save money in the process!

  17. Member
    calihoya 1142 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:35 am

    I did DIY for my girl friend’s wedding, and it was a great way for the bridesmaids to hang out and have fun. We did the guys’ boutonnieres too. One tip I learned is to get the straight pins with the pearl looking stuff on the end. Then, you pin a bunch super close together in a straight line down the back. It looks so polished and put together.

  18. Member
    Plantation 46 posts, Newbee @ 11:42 am

    Thanks for the post and the steps! I’ve been on the fence about doing my own but after reading this…I’m doing it!

    Can this be done the day before the wedding or does it have to be day of?

  19. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:57 am

    @Plantation – I haven’t decided yet when we’ll make the bouquets, but it’ll probably be the night before because I have a feeling the morning of the wedding will be a TAD busy. :-)

  20. Member
    Almost Mrs.P 2056 posts, Buzzing bee @ 12:33 pm

    Great job! You made it look so easy… I am thinking of DIYing flowers so this is definitely encouraging.

  21. Member
    ostrich 2402 posts, Buzzing bee @ 12:43 pm

    GORGEOUS blooms, Miss T! I’m a sucker for hydrangeas and we used hypericum berries too! Bravo, girl!

  22. Member
    coyote 1565 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:17 pm

    Gorgeous!! You made that look so easy!!

  23. Member
    luckyduckinlove 220 posts, Helper bee @ 1:43 pm

    You make it look so easy, I don’t regret hiring my florist – but now I’m thinking it might be cute/sweet to DIY simple flowers bouquets for the rehearsal particularly with all my extra ribbon samples!!!

  24. Member
    Mrs. Dragon 814 posts, Busy bee @ 5:11 pm

    I’m impressed!

  25. Member
    cicijapan 263 posts, Helper bee @ 7:04 pm

    That took 20 minutes?! Wow, they look great.

  26. Member
    parasol 2955 posts, Sugar bee @ 10:51 pm

    Love your flowers, Miss T! I also did DIY flowers, and I am always recommending it! It was so much more affordable, I got exactly what I had been envisioning, and it was one of the easiest projects I tackled. I honestly don’t see why more people don’t go the DIY flowers route. :)

  27. Member
    sweetducks2230 72 posts, Worker bee @ 11:50 pm

    Whoa! Very impressed. Flowers is something I actually won’t be DIYing… I don’t trust myself enough to really do it well!

  28. Member
    Plantation 46 posts, Newbee @ 10:16 am

    @Miss Treasure: AWESOME! That’s what I was hoping because day of is going to be busy :)

  29. Guest Icon Guest
    WillyNilly, Guest @ 8:35 am

    @Lauren: Hi Lauren, as someone who has pre-ordered for marketing events at work, yes you CAN call and work with their florist. In fact, they like that someone takes an active interest and talks shop with them! :) Also, I found that once I set up a relationship with the grocery florist, they gave me discounts! Good luck.

  30. Member
    taurusbrideny 153 posts, Blushing bee @ 5:36 pm

    Two thumbs up! I plan to DIY some part of my floral decor. Thanks for the itps.

  31. Guest Icon Guest
    Valerie, Guest @ 8:56 pm

    I made my older daughter’s bridal and 4 bridesmaids bouquets last year and will be doing the same thing in a week for my younger daughter’s wedding. All with flowers from Whole Foods. It was actually a very fun and relaxing task (for me), and they turned out great! Wish I could post a pic here :)

  32. Guest Icon Guest
    Michelle, Guest @ 1:06 pm

    Hello! These look great and I am planning on doing DIY next spring for my wedding! How many days before were you able to do these without having issues? Thank you so much :)

  33. Guest Icon Guest
    jay, Guest @ 5:52 am

    This combination is what I’m thinking of for my own DIY centrepieces and bouquets! (Plus yellow lilies or tulips). My whole foods florist actually recommended for hydrangeas to hammer the bottom after you trim to flatten it out and the stem can get more water (they’re thirsty flowers!)

  34. Guest Icon Guest
    Shannon, Guest @ 4:34 pm

    Thank you for your page…i also am on a tight budget and will be making mine myself.. i never thought of going to whole foods but we are also planning to do the same thing.. thanks for making it look so easy.. Thanks again!!

  35. Member
    lilvicklynn 3 posts, Wannabee @ 9:14 pm

    Those look great! We are also using white and green hydrangeas and DIY’ing our bouquets as well as our centerpieces, did you know you can order flowers in bulk from Costco for super cheap? You can literally order 200 Stems of roses in any color for under $200, and they will deliver to your door. AMAZING! Also, as your are arranging and pruning your hydrangeas, be sure to either ‘mash’ the bottom of the cut stem, or put it in Alum powder. The cut ends like to seal themselves off when cut therefore preventing them from drinking up the water!

  36. Guest Icon Guest
    Dana, Guest @ 8:26 pm

    Your commentary was super funny! I especially liked the display in beer mug and add vase to registry! Well done!

  37. Guest Icon Guest
    Samantha, Guest @ 11:21 am

    So I actually work at one of those super market floral shops lol, and I saw a lot of the comments an just had to post some secrets and tips. Firstly, it’s going to sound weird, but your supermarket floral shops are actually a great tool to use compared to private florists, we get our flowers much more frequently (meaning flowers that are fresher) and usually our mark-up price on flowers is lower because we typically buy more, and try to be competitive with our pricing. If you do choose to DIY for your flowers, just keep some things in mind; *never* cut flowers with regular scissors, (especially roses, callas, tulips, gerbera daisies, or anything else with a soft stem) this will crush the stems and prevent water from reaching the blossom and with roses especially, their heads will become droopy from the air that travels up to the top. You should use a knife (a sharp paring knife is probably the closest kitchen utensil to a florist knife, which is basically a large Swiss Army knife lol) as often as possible, and pruning shears for anything with a thick woody stem. ***Always*** wait until after you have arranged your bouquets and taped them to cut your stems and put them directly into water, if you cut them first, you will trap air in their stems. A good rule of thumb to go by for ribbon on your handles is to do three inches more than what *one* hand will cover on the stems, most bridesmaids don’t use both hands to hold their bouquets except for pictures, so you can keep them a but shorter if you adhere to this rule. Free stuff is always helpful; grab 2lb deli containers and lids from your grocery store, cut a circle in the lid big enough for the handle of your bouquet and fill with three fingers worth of water, and voila, you have an insta-travel case for them that will keep the stems in water and upright. Also, if you want to experiment with the close ended hand tied bouquet, ask for boutonnière bags from your florist or grocery store florist ( you’ll probably get those free too), put a couple slightly damp cotton balls in the bottom, arrange your bouquet and put the freshly cut stems into the cotton balls. Wrap with your stem tape and carefully use the ribbon to cover the whole thing. Secure only at the top with pins, or you could puncture the bag and end up with soggy ribbon. And if your store/florist ever has a sale on dozen roses, that’s when you should pay for them if you choose to order flowers ahead of time, they’ll usually give you the sale price if you pay then and there! Good luck!

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