Bouquets: The Lowdown

by | Flower Wisdom, Wisdom


Kate Williams

Image By The White Tree

We all imagine ourselves carrying one down the aisle on the most special day of our lives, but what does it actually take to make a bouquet? How much should you spend? How do you find the florist that’s the peony to your bouquet (i.e your perfect floral match), to help you bring your floral dreams to life?

So glad you asked lovelies, because as your self appointed bouquet advisor, I’d love to give you the lowdown on all things bouquets and bridal party blooms.

Step 1. Consultation

Your wedding bouquet begins here, the first and most crucial stage of all your floral planning. It may happen via email with a few of your favourite images, over the phone, or in person as we scroll through your infinite inspo screen shots. We’ll talk about what you love, what you hate, what your bridesmaids are wearing, what flowers hold a special place in your heart and the overall feeling of your day.

Step 2. Design

I love this stage! Where your bouquet vision starts to come together. I’ll work on a Pinterest board of images that represent the shape, style, colour palette and textures of your bouquet, as well as a handful of flower selections that are in season and available. This is just a starting point, and we’ll keep working together on the board over the coming months until we get it just right.

Image by Briars Atlas

Step 3. Ordering the blooms

Fast forward to a few weeks before your wedding – we’ve nailed the design, everything is coming together and it’s time to get serious! I’ll place an order for all the flowers we’ve chatted about, making sure I’ve got enough spare bunches in case anything goes wrong (like accidentally decapitating rose heads and/or allowing for weather damaged blooms).

Step 4. Collecting the blooms

It’s now just a few days before your big day and it’s time to pick up your gorgeous flowers! I’ll head to the market, where I’ll find your blooms ready and waiting for me. Now that I can see them all together, I’ll also do another sweep of the market to see what other floral treasures might match perfectly with your blooms and make it that extra bit special.

Step 5. Preparing the blooms

Once I bring your blooms home from the market, I’ll prep and condition them so they’re as fresh and wonderful on your big day as the day they were picked. This usually means stripping all the leaves and thorns off the stems, cutting each stem on an angle and placing them in buckets of fresh water to drink, drink, drink. If we’re working with roses, I’ll remove the outer petals and then gently peel them open so they’re nice and lush and full. Any foliage we’re using will also need to be trimmed into bouquet size lengths, with all leaves removed except for up top. We don’t want a bulky bouquet that’s tricky to carry – so all stems need to be nice and straight and neat.

Image by Steph Brown Photography

Step 6. Making your bouquet

Hands down the best bit. All your blooms are prepped and organised by colour/variety into vases on the workbench, so I can easily see where everything is while I’m making. I’ll start with my favourite flower – the feature flower – whatever is going to be the most visually stunning, “wow” bloom in the whole bouquet. Once I’ve got that in position, I’ll then gradually add flower after flower, turning the bouquet as I go to get a lovely balanced shape.

I want the perfect balance of large flowers (that give the bouquet form and shape) and textured flowers/foliage (that give the bouquet depth and visual interest). There’s often lots of fiddling, readjusting, experimenting and sometimes even pulling everything apart to start again.

Image by Briars Atlas

Step 7. Wrapping and delivering your blooms

Your bouquet is complete, yay! Now I can secure it and wrap the stems with ribbon – it might be a neat white satin wrap, trailing hand dyed silk ribbon or perhaps some left over material from your dress. I’ll repeat the process with your bridesmaids bouquets and bundle it all up safely in a beautifully wrapped bridal box. Then it’s into the van (front seat by the air con of course) and on it’s way to you.

So, how much do they cost then?

With this in mind, it’s easy to see how a bridal bouquet is worth more than just the sum of the flowers that go into it. As effortless as your beautiful bunch looks on the day, it’s actually quite a lengthy process and takes extraordinary patience, attention to detail and love for the craft. Not to mention the years of training, practice and experience, all of which your florist deserves to be paid for, don’t ya think?

For this reason, you can expect a good bridal bouquet to range anywhere from $200 to $350, depending on your style and the flowers that go into it of course! And a complimentary bridesmaids bouquet will set you back between $140 and $220.

Bridesmaids bouquets, while typically a touch smaller than the bridal bouquet, generally cost less because of the time spent making them. Once the bridal bouquet is 100% perfect, the bridesmaids bouquets come together much easier because you’ve already figured out the tricky bits. So you can’t quite save on budget by requesting a “bridesmaid size” bouquet, because no matter the size, the first bouquet always takes the longest.

Of course, every florist is different and brings their own unique style and approach to the way they create bouquets. Especially when you’re working with Mother Nature, there can be *so* many variables, some of which can take you completely by surprise!

Image By The White Tree

So how do I get the best bouquet for my budget?

Do your research. Find a florist whose style you love and who you feel aligns with you and your approach to the day. Focus on your colour palette instead of individual flowers, and let your florist guide you as to what’s in season and available at the time of your wedding

Trust your florist. In the event that one of the flowers you discussed isn’t available, I promise you they’ll pick something equally as beautiful to replace it! The less attached you are to individual flowers, the more likely you are to avoid any unnecessary extra costs.

Figure out which floral elements are important to you. Is it the bouquets? Allocate more of your budget to making these perfect. Is it an installation or table flowers? Allow your florist to prioritise the more premium blooms in these areas.

Ms Zebra Says: The bouquets are such an integral part of the bride and bridesmaids outfits, not to mention the tablescapes! Thank you Kate for sharing your infinite wisdom on all things bouquets & bloom selections.

About Kate: Kate is the heart, soul and flower loving hands behind Mary Mary, a boutique Melbourne floral studio specialising in bouquets and bridal party blooms. She’s also the newly appointed bouquet specialist at styling powerhouse Ruby & James, and the Creative Director at Melbourne’s happiest flower delivery, Little Jar of Happiness. She LOVES making bouquets (can you tell?) and is known for her signature style – luxe, textured arrangements that make a statement.


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