The Tradition of the Wedding Bouquet
When it comes to planning your wedding day attire, carrying a bouquet is pretty much a given. But where did this tradition actually originate? Well, like many deeply rooted wedding traditions, the origin story of the wedding bouquet is not as glamorous as you might believe. And there isn’t a single reason for why brides carry bundles of flowers on their walk down the aisle! Here are just a few of the most popular origin stories for the wedding bouquet:
1. To scare off evil spirits
Many modern wedding practices are actually rooted in the belief that ill-willed spirits would pursue the happy couple to ruin their special day. For instance, the wedding party (the bridesmaids, groomsmen, and other witnesses) is thought to originate from an Ancient Roman strategy for confusing evil spirits. With so many dapper individuals gathered around the bride and groom, people believed it would be harder for the spirits to identify the happy couple. Over time, this transformed into the traditional wedding party of today. The wedding bouquet also played a role in warding off these spirits. Bridesmaids carried bundles of strong-smelling herbs, and things like onion and garlic, to deter the presence of evil beings and bad luck.
2. To prevent disease
During the Black Plague, many people believed that covering their nose and mouth with strong herbs would keep them healthy. There is some truth to this belief — herbs like garlic and dill have natural antibiotic properties — and it’s possible that the habit of carrying strong-smelling herbs and flowers came from the fear of illness. While these bouquets were not composed of beautiful flowers like they are today, this could explain where the tradition first originated.
3. To cover up foul odors
Ancient people didn’t smell good. It’s as simple as that. In an attempt to disguise their body odor, brides began carrying perfumed bouquets. After all, the last thing you want is for your betrothed to get a good whiff of you as you recite your vows! Honestly, we doubt these bouquets did much in the way of hiding the bride’s stench. But at least they looked beautiful.
The Benefits of a DIY Wedding Bouquet
Today, brides are nothing short of expected to carry a wedding bouquet. For some brides, ordering a custom- or ready-made bouquet from a florist will suffice. But others decide to create their wedding bouquet themselves.
“Being someone’s first love may be great, but to be their last is beyond perfect.” – Unknown
Ultimately, this decision comes down to the bride and her personal preference. But there are some advantages to opting for a DIY wedding bouquet. Check these out:
It saves money
Florists make a pretty penny off of wedding season. Of course, tending to, cutting, arranging, and delivering bridal arrangements is hard work. But if you’re planning a wedding on a budget, this might be one area where you want to cut costs. On average, bridal bouquets can cost as much as $100 to $150. And this assumes that you choose a pretty basic package. If you want something fancier or to include unique plants in your arrangement, you could be looking at over $400 for the wedding bouquet of your dreams. Whew! If you opt to create your own DIY wedding bouquet, you’ll need to keep an eye on your flower budget. While you can definitely get away with saving money on your bouquet by making it yourself, it’s easy to get carried away!
So you’ve decided that you would prefer to create your own DIY wedding bouquet than order one from a florist. Now what? Well, first things first, you want to create an outline or rough draft of what you would like your final bouquet arrangement to look like.
“I don’t think it’s possible to have a wedding without it being stressful!” – Debra Messing
This might seem overwhelming, but by planning your wedding as a whole, you’ve already done much of the work! Let’s check out the most important factors to take into consideration when drafting your DIY wedding bouquet.
One of the first things you probably decided on when starting the wedding planning process was your colors. These might be you and your partner’s favorite colors. Or they could have some other significance. But these colors are super important to the planning process! They determine the color scheme for almost your entire wedding, including:
- Wedding party attire
- Floral arrangements
Your chosen wedding colors might naturally limit your bouquet choices. Many flowers only come in a select range of colors. However, you can also order or create dyed flowers to match your color choices. Even if you choose to use dyed flowers in your bouquet, though, some varieties just lend themselves to certain colors over others.
Many couples opt for a themed wedding. For example, rustic weddings have held steady as one of the most popular wedding themes for years now. Other favorite themes can include tropical, art deco, and bohemian. Really, your wedding theme can be whatever you want!
Do you or your partner have a flower that is particularly meaningful to you? For instance, do you have a rose bush that grows in your first home together? Or did one of you gift the other with a particular flower on your first date? If so, you might want to design your DIY wedding bouquet around this flower. While the meaning behind your bouquet won’t matter to every couple, it can be an extra special way to honor your relationship on your special day.
Let’s face it: tulips are not the best choice for a fall wedding. Not only will you be lucky to find tulips blooming during this time of year, but they will also look, quite frankly, out of place. When choosing the overall style for your DIY wedding bouquet, as well as the types of flowers you want to include, remember to consider your wedding’s season!
“Falling in love was the easy part; planning a wedding – yikes!” – Niecy Nash
Fortunately, many flowers work well in any season. Roses, peonies, hydrangea, and other favorite flowers do just fine whether you’re celebrating in the hot summer or snowy winter.
Choosing Your Bouquet Shape
Because some flowers and accent foliage are better suited to specific bouquet shapes, now is the best time to make that decision. But wait did you even know you had different options when it came to your DIY wedding bouquet’s shape?
Sourcing Your DIY Wedding Bouquet Flowers
Okay, now that you know the theme and shape you’re going to be using for your DIY wedding bouquet inspiration, where do you get the actual flowers? Well, don’t worry because there are several ways to get your hands on some gorgeous blooms for your bouquet. But, like many things in life, the cheapest options are not the most convenient. And vice-versa. So how will you go about sourcing your DIY wedding bouquet flowers?
Start close to home
The easiest way to get your hands on your desired flowers is to visit your local florist. While they probably won’t have everything you want in stock — unless your flower choices are overwhelmingly traditional — they can probably order what you need if given ample notice. Don’t know where your local florist is located? Or if you even have one?
Then go broad
In today’s modern age, it feels like you can order anything online. Including, you guessed it, cut flowers. Fifty Flowers is a popular website that sells traditional and unique flowers for wedding bouquets. You can even shop by your wedding colors. You can even order fresh-cut flowers from Amazon. Many websites sell ready-made bouquets. But you can also find places that sell individual flowers. Or you can take apart and mix several bouquets to get what you want. Ordering your flowers online might seem risky, and it is if you don’t choose a trusted seller. But there are also many benefits to choosing this route. By ordering online, you can get exactly the type and number of flowers that you need. You will probably have an easier time finding rare or unique flowers and foliage to include in your bouquet, as well. Again, though, ordering your flowers online can add up. This is especially true if you’re required to meet a minimum order.
Finally, we have the cheapest but most labor-intensive option: grow your wedding flowers yourself. If you’re someone with a green thumb who already has a garden, then this option might be surprisingly easy. However, growing your own wedding bouquet flowers definitely isn’t realistic for everyone.
Putting Your DIY Wedding Bouquet Together
Once you have your flowers in front of you, how do you put them together into a cohesive, professional-looking bouquet? Here are some of our favorite step-by-step guides for constructing your wedding bouquet shape of choice:
For a pomander bouquet, you are also going to need a piece of foam to anchor your flowers. Here is everything you will need for a pomander bouquet:
- Flowers of choice
- Foam ball
- Straight pins
To create the perfectly round shape of a pomander bouquet, you want to cut and anchor your flowers as uniformly as possible. Here’s how to put your bouquet together:
- Cut the ribbon to your desired length when doubled over
- Secure both ends of the ribbon to the foam ball with pins, creating a loop
- Cut flower stems short but long enough to anchor in foam securely
- Push flower stems into the foam until you have achieved the desired look
If you’re still unsure about how to create a DIY wedding bouquet in the pomander shape, check out the video below:
The Most Popular Flowers to Include in Your Bouquet
When it comes to designing your DIY wedding bouquet, you can really choose any flowers or foliage you prefer. But some mainstays find their way into most bridal bouquets, regardless of theme. If you’re looking for some inspiration for your own wedding bouquet, check out some of these popular choices:
Ditching the Flowers Altogether
We’ve spent most of this article talking about flowers. But it’s important to remember that you don’t actually have to use flowers at all in your DIY wedding bouquet.
Our Favorite DIY Wedding Bouquets
Still not sure what you want to do with your wedding bouquet? Sometimes the best inspiration comes from the work of fellow brides and florists. Here are some of our favorite DIY wedding bouquets, both traditional and nontraditional, for you to check out:
Can you believe it? Silk flowers make up this oversized bouquet. You’d never know it by looking at it! Silk flowers are a great alternative to real flowers that don’t require quite as much care. Plus, you can often find unique varieties of silk flowers for less than the cost of real ones.
Another unique option for a rustic or Bohemian bride is to forego fresh flowers and create your DIY wedding bouquet with dried flowers. For this style, you can either cut and dry your own flowers or order them pre-dried.
This DIY wedding bouquet might feature flowers, but they’re not what you think! Instead of using real or silk flowers, floral brooches provided by loved ones make up this bride’s bouquet. We love this unique take on a wedding bouquet.
Featured Image Source: Unsplash.com