DIY weddings are becoming ever more popular; not only can you tailor every element of your wedding to your desires, but you can often save a ton of cash. Along the lines of popularity, a Victorian themed wedding is preferred for most spring and fall ceremonies.
When designing your own Victorian style wedding, one of the most important things you’ll consider creating yourself is the bridal bouquet. In this article, we’re going to design the Blushing Blue Bride Bouquet and I’ll lead you from start-to-finish in the creation of a Victorian DIY bouquet you’ll treasure for years to come.
About the Blushing Blue Bride Bouquet
I’m sure you have dozens of reasons why you’ve chosen a Victorian wedding theme. Everything from how pretty and elegant they are to tradition are common reasons – but few people know the significance behind their Victorian bouquet.
Everything that the traditional Western wedding has become originated with Queen Victoria, when she chose to wear a white lace dress for her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840; the height of the Victorian era, many of the elements we’ve come to consider “traditional” have been handed down from this romantic period of history.
The Blushing Blue Bride Bouquet we’ll create in this article incorporates flowers and greenery that have deep roots in Victorian times where every flower – and its specific color – held great significance. It’s believed that the proper flowers and colors in a bridal bouquet will affect the rest of the bride’s married life.
So, first of all, what’s behind the flowers? Blue roses will make up the bulk of our wedding bouquet, bringing with them the symbolism of love and prosperity. The smaller blue tea roses say “always lovely”, and the little blue forget-me-nots stand for true love.
As for the leaves, ivy brings connotations of wedded love, fidelity, and marriage. The spray of grass simply pulls everything together in a dramatic display.
DIY Victorian Bouquet Instructions
Remember that you can make adjustments as you like. All the flowers used in this article are silk, allowing you to carefully preserve the full beauty of your wedding bouquet, but you can create a fresh bouquet following these directions as well. For the “sprays” and “cascades”, you will need to do a little extra work making the groups of flowers fall using floral tape or floral wire.
Important note: If you decide to go with a “fresh” bouquet, be wary of blue roses. Very few blue roses exist in nature, and have been genetically modified to create the blue color. Other blue roses that you will find were grown as a white rose and then dyed to create the “true blue” color you see. The type of blue rose you choose will greatly affect your budget.
Materials & Tools:
• 5 Very Large Light Blue Roses
• 25 Small Blue “Tea Roses”
• Several Large Sprays (around 100 individual flowers) Forget-Me-Nots
• 3-5 Leafy Sprays Ivy (variegated ivy is in the photos for a touch of extra white)
• 2 Sprays of Monkey Grass, Bear Grass, Wheat Grass, or other “Frond” Grass
• 2.5″ Wide White Satin Ribbon
• Two flat tacks
• 6-8 White Pearl Corsage Pins
• 1 Styrofoam or Floral Foam Cone (75 mm x 149 mm)
• Floral or Wire Cutters
Free and creative expression is key to a Victorian bridal bouquet you’ll love. Feel free to replace materials with your own colors (for more significance, look up the meanings of the flowers and colors you choose, though).
All the flowers and leaves used in the Blushing Blue Bride Bouquet are silk flowers, chosen to eliminate the stress over flowers being out of season, because they’re more suited to a formal Victorian wedding, and because you’ll easily be able to store and keep them clean for years to come. Besides, you’ll never have to worry about your wedding bouquet wilting!
Step One: First, assemble your tools. Have a clean working space with plenty of room for you to toss flowers around while you’re working on the bouquet, and a bag or basket nearby to store the trimmings you don’t use. These can be saved for matching bridesmaid bouquets and groom or best man boutonnieres.
BE AWARE: Even with the best preparations, the labor involved in this project will take at least an hour … more if you’re a perfectionist. Without counting writing time, the bouquet shown in the photos took about 2 hours to fully complete.
Step Two: Before you start making anything “permanent”, lay the bouquet out on your work surface to play with. In general, you would start from the center and work your way outward – but in this case, we have a design already in mind and this design requires layers.
So, lay your grass down first. This will be the “back” of your bouquet, which you will hold closest to you. Then, arrange your large roses to the center. Beside and behind the roses will be your sprays of forget-me-nots. Finally, the blue tea roses will fill out the front.
Play around with heights and positions until you get a look you like. Remember that when you start placing the flowers and leaves in the cone, some pieces will need to be trimmed and at least the top ½ of the bouquet should be “full”, leaving only room for the ivy leaves (which are put in last). Refer to the 2nd.
Step Three: Now it’s time to start placing all of this bouquet into the cone. Use the same order as you did when first designing your “play” version of the wedding bouquet. Place the grassy leaves toward the back first, and start filling everything in. Refer to the 3rd photo attached to this article.
DO NOT put the ivy leaves in until all the other flowers have been placed. Then, the ivy leaves should be placed as close to the edges of the top of the cone as possible, filling in all the space left between the bottom of the flowers and the top of the cone.
You will need to trim pieces constantly in order to keep the flowers at the right height as you had them in your final look before. Make sure that no ends poke completely outside the cone. If they do, trim the ends off until they’re flush with the shape of the cone.
Always push your flowers down at a slight angle, moving toward the center of your cone.
Step Four: At this point, you should be pleased with the bouquet itself. All the flowers should be arranged in a way that pleases you and creates a full, rounded shape. If necessary, rearrange flowers or add a few extra flowers in to fill the arrangement. Just keep in mind that your Victorian bouquet should never overpower the beauty of you in your wedding gown.
Step Five: Now, you’re ready for the cone-wrapping-process. I can guarantee that no matter how long you labored over the floral arrangement, this process will be more tedious and time-consuming. It will be frustrating. You will probably have to start over at least twice.
And the end result will be stunningly worth it.
Starting at the top of the cone, use 2 flat tacks to hold the ends of your white ribbon in place; the top edge of the ribbon should hover just above the top of the cone, allowing the ivy to float over the edges.
Carefully wrap the ribbon around one full turn, passing the tacks and stopping at the center front of your bouquet. Secure the ribbon’s pass in place by pressing one pearl corsage pin through the ribbon and into the cone, snugging it tightly in place.
Continue making evenly spaced passes around the cone, securing each pass in a straight line down the cone with corsage pins. As you continue making passes, the ribbon will create its own natural darts and gathers. You can manipulate them with your fingers as you pass the ribbon over, dramatizing the look.
Leave a tail at the end of your last pass. Fold the ribbon back under itself until it lines up with the pearl line (the front of your bouquet), remove the last pearl pin and secure the folded ribbon into place. Refer to the 4th photo attached to this article.
To close off the bottom, slowly fold the ribbon inward and twist gently to close off the bottom of the cone. Secure in place with a final pearl pin. Refer to the 5th photo attached to this article.
And there you go! Rotate your flowers a little as needed so that the pearls show off in the very center front of the bouquet. You’re set with a gorgeous Victorian wedding bouquet – and something blue, too!