Kelly’s Bridesmaid Bouquets

For Kelly’s bridesmaids, we had decided to keep things a little more neutral / creamy and less pink.  For each bouquet, I wound up using the following:

3 cafe au lait dahlias (peachier flowers), 5 stems cream colored roses, ~2-3 stems hypericum berries, 3 stems tuberose, 4 – 5 stems ivory stock, and ~3 stems dusty miller.

I tied them in twine, with a bow that you can’t see in these pics!

cafe au lait dahlias tuberose dusty miller hypericum berries lisianthus bridesmaid bridal bouquet wedding rustic twine elegant vintage glam inspiration blog how to diy tutorial stock


cafe au lait dahlias tuberose dusty miller hypericum berries lisianthus bridesmaid bridal bouquet wedding rustic twine elegant vintage glam inspiration blog how to diy tutorial

For the bouts, we used tuberose buds, a lisianthus bud, hypericum and dusty miller for the groomsmen (to coordinate with the bridesmaids):

cafe au lait dahlias tuberose dusty miller hypericum berries lisianthus bridesmaid bridal bouquet wedding rustic twine elegant vintage glam inspiration blog how to diy tutorial bout boutoniere bouttoniere boutonniere groomsmen inspiration floral flowers

And dusty miller, brunia berries, and lisianthus in the groom’s bout:

cafe au lait dahlias tuberose dusty miller hypericum berries lisianthus bridesmaid bridal bouquet wedding rustic twine elegant vintage glam inspiration blog how to diy tutorial grooms bout boutonniere bouttoniere boutoniere

I wanted to share what I bought at the Flower Market for this wedding of 4 bouquets and 4 bouts, vs what I actually ended up using, and some thoughts / commentary on each.  Maybe they’ll help a DIY bride or just starting designer estimate what quantities they’d need to buy for bouquets, or at very least the established designers who read this blog can get a chuckle at how much I overbought ; )

Cafe Au Lait Dahlias

Bought: 3 bunches

Used: 2 bunches

Notes: I wasn’t sorry I overbought these – they’re really fragile and a couple of the big ones in each bunch had petals that were already starting to show wear and tear.  Plus I wanted to be picky about using pink-ier flowers in the bride’s bouquet and peachier flowers in the bridesmaids, so I needed variety to choose from.


Bought: 2 bunches

Used: 1 bunch

Notes: I just flat out overbought this.  I was afraid that I’d need filler and stock is inexpensive and basic, so I “stocked” up ; )  No real harm done though- was a good safety net

Cream Lisianthus

Bought: 3 bunches

Used: 3/4 bunch.

Notes:  I had planned on using cream lisianthus, and had told the bride it would factor into the designs, and so I bought the pre-planned amount even though it didn’t look all that great.  The cream color was still a little green-ey for my taste in this design (but I didn’t want its stark white counterpart) and many of them were a little banged up.  I still picked out the 3 best bunches I could find, but didn’t end up using very much of it at all – there were just better flowers to work with for these particular designs! I also bought the stock which ended up taking up lots of the ivory filler type space in the bouquet, so I should have cut way back on this buy. Lesson learned!

Peaches and cream colored Lisianthus, Pink Ranunculus and Fringed Tulips

Bought: 1 bunch of each

Used: 3/4 of each bunch (1/2 in the case of the fringed tulips)

Notes: The pink lisianthus is gorgeous! I can’t wait to work with it again! These were all easy to estimate the quantity for because I was only going to use them in the bride’s bouquet.


Bought: 1 bunch

Used: 1 bunch

Notes: This was an impulse buy but I loved it! I ended up using it in all three bridesmaids bouquets (I didn’t really have a plan when I purchased it) and in the groomsmen’s bouts (there were dozens of discarded buds since I turned it from a line element into a round accent flower). It’s the one thing I used all of!

Brunia Berries

Bought: 2 bunches, plus I had almost another whole bunch left over in great shape from another project

Used: About 1/3 of a bunch

Notes: This was one of the biggest wastes because it’s not cheap.  I could have JUST used what I already had and not bought any! I learned that a little of this stuff goes a LONG way.  Most of the stems have more than 1 sprig on them and they can be wired in, so you could really accent a whole bouquet with just one or two great stems of the stuff! Also I just ended up using this in the bride’s bouquet, not in the bridesmaids.  I didn’t know where I’d want to use it until I got everything home and started really combining stems though, and I appreciated having the options.  (But I’d still have had extras even if I used it in all 4 bouquets).

Hypericum Berries

Bought: 2 bunches

Used: About 2/3 of 1 bunch

Notes:  There are a million varieties of this stuff.  I bought standard sturdy peach berries at first that were more salmon colored, but later found a version with much paler colored and daintier berries.  It looked way better with the other flowers, so I bought it knowing full well the first bunch would be a waste.  I should have walked around more before buying the first bunch (I also bought the first bunch earlier before I had most of the other flowers, so I didn’t yet have the whole collection of flowers to compare it to). Lesson learned!


Bought: Pack of 25

Used: About 15 of them

Notes: You can’t buy less than 25, and I got a great deal on these roses because I was buying them the day before using, and wanted them to already be good and open.  So nothing I’d do differently here!

Dusty Miller

Bought: 2 bunches, plus had leftovers from another project

Used: About 3/4 of a bunch

Notes: Same as brunia berries, a little goes a long way.  3 stems in a bouquet makes a pretty big statement, any more and it would really start to take over the design.  Plus some of the clumps can be split into two and still be long enough to use in a bouquet.  However, I have found that it’s hard to get a pristine bunch of dusty – often there are “scuffed” leaves where the fuzzy coating has been knicked off of and leaves distracting marks, generally misshapen clusters, ones with dark spots, etc.  So I think to be safe, if you haven’t seen each and every stem in the bunch clearly, get extra to cherry pick great stems.


Overall, even though there are a few things I’d have bought less of, I appreciated the freedom to pick the best flowers from each bunch, and to have enough different flower types to allow for some fun improvisation on the spot, rather than *having* to use almost every flower in a certain pre-planned way.  Flowers are living things – no two bunches are the same, and the quality isn’t always consistent even from the same sources week to week – I learned that you really have to stay flexible while shopping (and when working with a bride, build in some flexibility into your relationship and agreement) to create the best designs.

Next time, I’ll try to split the difference though!

Designers, if you have overbuying stories I’d love to hear them (while they can be painful, they’re way less painful than underbuying stories, right?!)

I’m also so interested in hearing whether other designers pre-plan exactly what will be included in a bouquet, or leave room in their own minds and in their agreement with brides to play with what they might find (or substitute for what they order but don’t wind up liking) at their wholesaler








August 17, 2011 - 10:04 am

Meg - The first “real” wedding Annie and I did, we bought 75 bunches of Myrtle and used 25, a massive bunch of Ivy that we never even touched and 50 bunches of Green Poms and we only used about 10, so don’t feel bad. ; )

August 17, 2011 - 10:05 am

Meg - and…all the bouquets and bouts look amazing. Great job!

August 17, 2011 - 10:23 am

Kate - Thanks, and that makes me feel a LOT better about my couple of buckets of leftovers. Too much is better than not enough though, I suppose!

August 18, 2011 - 5:22 pm

Annie - I just wanted to say that you have a true gift! I can’t believe this is your first paid job! Those bouquets from the past 2 posts are utterly gorgeous. I love the color combination and flower placement. Judging from these photos, I can definitely say that you will get plenty of business in the future. Good luck to you and thank you for your blog. I look forward to it every week!

August 18, 2011 - 5:27 pm

Kate - I appreciate your kind words so much! I’m checking out the lovely stuff on your site too!

August 23, 2011 - 12:09 pm

Calie Rose - Kate, you are right about Camille’s flowers:) I can’t wait to get pro shots!
I LOVE these flowers! The soft feminine colors mixed with the twine is lovely! You will have great success in your business, I can’t wait to see what the future will bring! I usually end up over buying too:) It’s a good rule to do so in case some flowers decide not to cooperate (Dahlias…), then you will have replacements. Great pictures, great content, amazing designs! Very nice work Kate!

August 23, 2011 - 12:29 pm

Kate - I knew it – again, you knocked it out of the park, I think combining rustic / woodsy with tropical is not the easiest task in the world! It all looks great (those birch cones with the viburnum have got to be my faves!) And thank you as well for your compliments on my designs!

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *