Have you watched our IGTV today? We’re sharing our first episode of How To DIY Your Wedding Flowers: Centerpieces & Arrangements Edition.
Whether you have budget reasons, or perhaps you’re a creative spirit who loves flowers and wants to add a little ‘you’ to your wedding decor, learning to DIY your wedding flowers can be so fun, therapeutic & enriching.
As an amateur & enthusiast myself, I’m here to tell you it can be done even if you’re a novice. In my opinion, it takes the right tools, plenty of practice, watching tutorials & a willingness to let go of your notion that ‘it must be perfect’.
If you do plan on DIYing your wedding flowers, we suggest testing centerpieces and arrangements first. Why? Given their static nature, with stems sitting snugly in your vase or vessel, it’s easy to step away and breathe if you get a little stressed.
We’ll regularly be updating our IGTV and Reels with new flower DIYs, inspiration & tutorials. For now, you can take a look at all the supplies you need, how to choose & arrange your flowers & plenty of professional wedding florists who offer free & paid tutorial videos.
- Low VEssel: You can use a simple salad bowl from your kitchen, perhaps a low pedestal vase or planter. I love shopping for vintage pedestal vases & compote bowls on Etsy (particularly Haeger pottery!). You can also find fabulous vessels for floral arrangements on Afloral.
- Flower Frog: Versatile & reusable, floral frogs are the OG floral arrangement must-have that is both eco-friendly and extremely effective. There are many types including pin frogs often used in Ikebana arranging, hairpin frogs which are currently quite popular with floral designers, and good old-fashioned glass frogs. All work a bit differently for different stems but you can use really any of the three to make your centerpiece. We’ve purchased a number of vintage & new flower frogs on Etsy.
- Floral putty: To stick your floral frog to the bottom of your vessel. Floral Putty comes in a brick or in cuttable tape form.
- Chicken Wire: Adding more support for your stems throughout the arrangement, you can find chicken wire at your local hardware store or even online. I like the green, vinyl-coated wire because it’s easier on your fingers when manipulating and the green helps it disappear within your arrangement. Just like your new floral frog, chicken wire is reusable, and thus eco-friendly.
- Waterproof tape: To keep your chicken wire in place. I use thin, green duct tape so it’s less visible in the arrangement.
- Sharp Floral Snips or Pruners: To give your stems a fresh cut as you place them in your arrangement. You can buy them at your local garden nursery, hardware store & often your grocery store. You can also find them just about anywhere online.
- Flowers! Always collect more than you think you need as some stems may bend & break. And believe me, your arrangement will fill out to be bigger than that bowl you’re using! Visit your nearby farmer’s market & florist shops for local flowers to cut down on shipping emissions. Grocery stores often sell local farmers’ flowers, too! If you want to keep dried flowers on hand to add texture to your arrangements you can order them on Etsy & Afloral.
How to Choose Your Flowers
The world of flora is vast, and with readers around the world with different local blooms & climates, we’ve decided to give an adaptable guideline & inspiration of the categories of flowers we recommend you include in your arrangements. For each category, you could use multiple flowers. We highly recommend (as stated above) sticking as local & seasonal as you can, and don’t forget to check your backyard to forage for flowers, greeners, herbs, vines & more!
- Structural Flowers & Greenery: To create ‘the shape’ or rather ‘the skeleton’ of your arrangement, you’ll need some longer stemmed florals or greenery. Greenery examples: Eucalyptus, foraged branches & leaves, Berry branches, Salal, Evergreen, Grapevines, Basil, Mint. Flower examples: Cherry Blossom branches, Dogwood branches, Lilacs, Forsythia, Delphinium, Snapdragons, Larkspur.
- Supporting Flowers: Use supporting flowers to fill in your arrangement and “set up” space where your focal flower will shine. Supporting flowers can really be anything!
- Focal Flowers: The flower that you’re most in love with, and you most want to show off to your guests is your focal flower. These really could be anything! For instance, I love showing off tulips when others may use them as supporting flowers or even ‘dancy’ textural pieces. Often, designers will use their biggest bloom as their focal flower, imagine Peonies, Dahlias, Lillies, Anthurium, Orchids or even a stunning Rose.
- Textural Flowers, Foliage & Grasses: These flowers dance throughout your arrangement adding texture and movement. Think of whimsical, delicate florals, foliage & grasses. I like to use things like Queen Anne’s Lace, Chive Flower, Oregano, Bachelor’s Button, Billy’s Button, Chamomile, Amaranth, Gomphrena, Dried Grasses & of course, little puffs of Baby’s Breath.
Setting Up Your Centerpiece Vessel
- Make sure your flower frog, vessel & floral snips are all thoroughly cleaned & completely dry.
- Stick the floral sticky putty to the bottom of your flower frog.
- Twist your flower frog firmly into the bottom center of your vessel until secure.
- Cut your chicken wire to about twice the size of the opening of your vessel. Bend & mold into a pillow shape and place into your vessel.
- Take two pieces of waterproof tape & tape a ‘+‘Across the top of your vessel to keep the chicken wire in place.
- Fill the vessel with water nearly to the top, keeping in mind that the stems will make the water level rise a bit.
Arranging Your Floral Centerpiece
The order in which you arrange your flowers is absolutely up to you! Different processes work for different minds, but I generally arrange my flowers in the order of the flower categories listed above, working with one type of flower at a time, saving a few stems in each to add the final touches at the end.
Important Tips When Arranging Your Flowers
- Pull the leaves & unwanted bits off the stems that would be touching the water. Dead foliage can contaminate your water and cause your arrangement to wilt & suffer quickly.
- Always give each stem a fresh cut – at an angle – before placing it into the arrangement, this will help it hydrate and stay perky. Woody stems can be split more ways or hammered at the end to give them more surface area to drink.
- Worry about ‘covering your mechanics’ (aka hiding all that chicken wire and tape) until later. Focus first and foremost on creating a shape, color scheme & arrangement you love. As you add flowers your mechanics will begin to hide & you can always tuck in pieces at the very end to make sure it’s all covered up nicely.
- Daffodils (and some other flowers) release sap that’s damaging to other flowers when cut. Place them in their own bucket when purchasing & arranging. And when possible, cut them to approximate size ahead of time and let sit alone for a few hours.
- Don’t be afraid to manipulate your stems. Reflexing roses, tulips and other flowers can turn an ordinary bloom into something spectacular.
- Let the wonky shapes & bends inspire you. Rather than fighting against a wild stem, show off how interesting it’s swirly, curly shape is by letting it fly above or in its own highlighted space within the arrangement.
- PRACTICE! If you plan on arranging your own wedding centerpieces, practice plenty & try numerous different vessels well in advance. This will give you confidence when the big day approaches and will help you determine how much you truly want to take on before you actually take the plunge.
Floral Centerpiece Design Video Tutorials & Virtual Classes
Now that you have your supplies & your flower market shopping list, it’s time to watch a few tutorials from the professionals! Below we’re sharing a few designers who we’ve watched (over and over) on Instagram and some wedding florists who even offer full-fledged live & recorded floral design courses online. After you’ve watched Editor Claire arrange on our IGTV, give these florists a follow …
Texture Florals: My personal favorite florist to watch thanks to her vibrant colors & completely unique texture pairings. Nicole shares colorful small arrangements on her IGTV that are so inspiring.
Flor de Casa Designs: Shanda makes the most romantic arrangements! Her color palettes are muted & tonal in the most breathtaking way. She has plenty to watch on her IGTV & we love her tips on florals that help your budget (we love Carnations too, Shanda!) Roses take center stage in many of her arrangements, and rightfully so, who doesn’t love a classic rose ?
Oh Flora Studio: Aussie Tanya Shaw helps budding floral designers & amateurs alike with both her IGTV videos and her stylish line of floral supplies (we LOVE her vessels & hairpin frogs). If you like cheery color palettes & cool, artsy arrangements you’ll love Oh Flora Studio.
Siren Floral Co: Designing in Southern California, Rachael Ann Lunghi’s bouquets, arrangements & installations are like a wild, fecund garden. Whimsical, magical & so artfully composed, we’re lost in a summer daydream every time we watch her arrange her flowers. In addition to IGTV videos, Siren Floral Co teaches Flower School with regular live online classes, prerecorded courses & even their own line of supplies shipped to students.
Blue Jasmine Floral: Paulina’s floral design studio creates some of the most inspiring & dramatic floral arrangements in the industry. Think you can’t pull something that magnificent off? Blue Jasmine Florals shows you on their IGTV exactly how they create such masterpieces & even offer their own workshops, too!
If I Made: Offering a few free online courses & even more paid, If I Made is a site filled with video tutorials for all sorts of wedding industries. I love their free Garden-Style Bouquet tutorial with Bows + Arrows.
We also love Floret Farm’s ‘A Year In Flowers’ book which welcomes you into the world of floral arranging and seasonality, showing examples of seasonal flowers you can use for your arrangements during every season of the year.
And of course, you can watch our IGTV channel for today’s Floral Centerpiece video tutorial & all the flower content soon to come!