A Florist’s Guide to Creating the Perfect Wedding Bouquet

Brides are spending an estimated 8% of their budget on florals. While 8% might not sound like a lot, it typically amounts to well over $1,000 per wedding. 

One of the most important pieces a bride will order is her wedding bouquet. While the bride may have quite a bit of inspiration and ideas to offer, she’s counting on you to create the final product.

While creating bouquets for brides is a somewhat unique experience every time, there are some basic tips you should always keep in mind. Today, we’re going to talk about the things every florist should know when creating wedding bouquets.

Read on for our complete guide to creating the perfect wedding bouquet for every bride you work with.

Wedding Bouquet Basics

Before you reach for your florals, it’s important to have the basics down. Let’s take a quick look at the tools you’ll need and how to prepare your wedding bouquet station before you start building your bouquet.

Gathering the Right Tools

Before you start offering to build bouquets, you’ll need to stock up on the right tools. Wedding bouquets will require the following tools:

  • sharp, santized scissors or floral shears
  • string or raffia
  • floral tape
  • thorn stripper
  • gardening gloves
  • ribbon or lace
  • floral pins

You will also need at least one 5-gallon bucket filled with clean, room temperature water and flower food. We recommend covering your work station with tissue paper, which will keep delicate petals from bruising.

Sourcing Your Florals

When you’re offering flower options to your bride, you want to prioritize two things: high quality and a reasonable price. Whether or not you can do so will depend on where you source your florals from, in the first place.

Few florists are able to grow everything, themselves. What you’re going to want to find is a reliable wholesaler that sources flowers from all over the world to ensure that most variations are available throughout the year. Consider our online marketplace for all of your floral needs.

Preparing Your Florals

Before you start building a bouquet, you will want to prepare your florals. The goal is to make sure that they are fresh when you start working and fresh when you deliver the bouquet to your bride.

First, cut the stem at a diagonal angle and place each stem and remove excess greenery. Fill your bucket with clean water and add in your flower food and let your florals take a good, long drink so that they’re refreshed before you start working with them. You may also need to remove any bruised petals, particularly on flowers like roses.

Understanding the Parts of a Bouquet

One of the reasons that brides turn to florists for something as important as their wedding bouquet is that florists understand the different types of flowers and greenery to include in a bouquet. If you’re not familiar with these distinctions, you’re in the right place. Let’s talk about the parts of a bouquet and how to use them. 

Focal Flowers

Focal flowers are the star of the show. Typically, focal flowers feature one large, eye-catching bloom per stem. How many focal flowers your bouquet includes will vary based on the flower, the size of the bouquet, and the visual complexity you’re hoping to achieve.

Examples of focal flowers include roses, lilies, sunflowers, anemones, and mums.

Filler Flowers

Filler flowers both compliment and contrast focal flowers, creating more fullness and variety in each bouquet. Filler flowers should be smaller than the focal flower, and while we suggest including at least one type of filler flower in your wedding bouquet, some brides may want several different varieties.

Examples of filler flowers include spray roses, baby’s breath, poms, alstroemeria, and thistle. 

Line Flowers

Not all florists differentiate between filler flowers and line flowers, but we think the distinction is important. Line flowers, like filler flowers, add visual interest and texture to a bouquet. However, line flowers also add height, and can be used throughout the bouquet to create movement.

Examples of line flowers include snapdragons, veronica, curly willow, bells-of-Ireland, larkspur.

Greenery

Greenery is used to bulk up wedding bouquets without creating visual chaos. Depending on the greenery used and the flowers the greenery is complimenting, greenery can help to soften or brighten a bouquet. Modern wedding bouquets often feature greenery interspersed throughout the florals with a surrounding layer of greenery to tie (literally and visually) the bouquet together.

Popular greenery brides tend to reach for today include eucalyptus, leather leaf, lemon leaf, ruscus, and fancy fern.

Helping Your Bride Make Selections

The history of wedding bouquets is long and vibrant, dating back to antiquity. In the Victorian period, many brides chose the flowers in their wedding bouquet based on complicated symbolism. Today, brides are more likely to combine some symbolic elements with more aesthetic considerations of color and shape.

Let’s take a look at how you can guide your bride through the process of selecting the flowers she wants in her wedding bouquet.

Start With Floral Favorites

When you’re dealing with an uncertain bride, the best place to start is with her favorite flowers. Are there any specific varieties that she has always loved or that hold a special meaning for her? If so, does she want to see these flowers in her wedding bouquet?

By determining at least one required variety, you can start to build wedding bouquet ideas from there. For example, if your bride loves roses, you can suggest using baby’s breath, eucalyptus, and other complimentary florals to create an elegant and classic bouquet.

Discuss Colors

Chances are, your brides will know the color scheme they have in mind for their wedding. All florals, including the wedding bouquet, should tie all of the decor together, and that starts with the color scheme.

Make sure that you ask your bride about the color of her dress. An estimated 18% of brides do not where pure white on their wedding day, which means that you may want to stear clear of pure white flowers, which may clash with a cream or champagne-colored dress. 

Consider Theme

It’s not uncommon for weddings to have a theme. The theme could be something really specific, like classic fairytale, or it could be loose, like modern or traditional. The florals you choose should align with the theme as well as the color scheme.

For example, if a bride is going for a more casual theme, you may want to steer clear of elegant choices like roses or lilies and opt for something more sprightly, like daisies or sunflowers. Of course, the bride’s personal preferences are always the most important thing, but your suggestions should align with the theme as much as possible.

Building Your Wedding Bouquet 

Once you have all of your tools out and your florals selected and prepared, it’s time to start building. There are a few different ways to tackle a wedding bouquet, and it will take practice before you decide on the method that you prefer.

One option is to begin with your focal flowers and build between and around them. Another is to do the same thing but with greenery. Either way, you will want to hold the base of your bouquet in one hand and build with the other.

If you do start with greenery, the next step is to add your focal flowers. Once you have combined focals and your first round of greenery, wrap the stems with string or raffia to keep them in place, making sure that there’s enough give to make room for more stems. As you build the bouquet, the goal is to create balance without overshadowing the focal flowers. 

Next, build in your filler and line flowers. Remember, line flowers are meant to add height and movement, and you want them to be noticeable without blocking the view of the focal flowers. 

A medium-sized bouquet will have between 25 and 35 stems, depending on the size and texture of each variety. Finish off your bouquet with an outer layer of greenery and wrap the stems about halfway down with several layers of floral tape. Once the bouquet is secure, cover the floral tape with lace or ribbon and pin it in place. 

Consider Us Your Flower Marketplace

When you’re creating bouquets for brides, it’s just as important that you have extensive, high-quality flower options as the know-how to create a showstopping bouquet. Now that we’ve shared our best tips and tricks for building the perfect wedding bouquet, we’re here to offer our wholesale flower services, too.

To get started, register a free account with us. This will make it easy to build your cart, come back to your favorites, and pay all in a few short clicks. We can’t wait to turn your floristry business into a floristry empire.