Keen to skip the splurge on the guys’ boutonnieres and save some of the wedding budget for more important things (like your hair and makeup!)? Luckily, the boutonnieres are totally DIY-able. You (or a helper!) can make them the day before the wedding – just be sure to get extra flowers for practice. Here’s a step-by-step guide to DIY boutonnieres.
Step 1: Choosing the right flowers
When looking for flowers to use in a boutonniere, it’s a good idea to use a hardy flower with a big head, such as a rose or miniature calla lily, as these can survive being handled.
Step 2: Preparing your blooms
Once you have your bouquets, remove excess foliage and thorns, pulling off damaged petals. Fill a sink or bucket with water, and holding the stems underwater, use the stem cutter or knife to cut the stems at an angle about two inches from the bottom. Allow the flowers to drink for a few seconds with the stem ends underwater, then place the stems in a bucket filled halfway with cool water until you’re ready to use them.
TIP: If you’re working with roses and the heads aren’t open yet, you can force the blooms open by placing the stems in a bucket of hot water. Do this for only a couple of minutes just before you’re going to use the roses.
Step 3: Prepping individual flowers
Choose a particular stem and/or flower for the boutonniere, and use a stem cutter or sharp knife to cut the stem to a length of approximately three inches.
Step 4: Making the boutonniere
Create a ‘bed’ for the flower. Take an ivy leaf, fern frond, or other bit of greenery and place it behind the flower. Next, place a six-inch piece of wire behind the stems.
TIP: The bed should not extend much beyond the top of the flower, and it should be visible from the sides.
Step 5: Securing everything together
Starting from the top of the stems, begin to wrap floral tape down the stems in a spiral to secure them together. Keep wrapping until about 3/4 of an inch is covered. Trim away the excess stem and continue to wrap floral tape around the wire around three inches down, then wrap the tape back up toward the flower head. Once you’re back at the top, wrap tape around several times to be sure it’s secure. Trim the excess tape. Trim the wired and wrapped stem so the total length is about 1.5 inches.
Step 6: The finishing touch
Curl the end around a pencil point and pinch the tip to finish it. If you like (and your groom approves!), attach a ribbon bow. Depending on the weight of the boutonniere, insert one or two pearl-tipped pins into the stem to use later for attaching it to the lapel.
Congrats – the boutonniere is now complete! Mist it with water and place it in a resealable plastic sandwich bag. It helps to blow a puff of breath into the bag before you seal it to provide airspace around the boutonniere. You can place up to two boutonnieres in the same bag.
Adapted from The Knot Book of Wedding Flowers (Chronicle Books).
Are you planning to DIY your boutonnieres?
by The Knot