My Own Wedding Flowers - Tables and Bouquets

My Own Wedding Flowers - Tables and Bouquets

As I explained in a previous blog post, I designed, grew and arranged my own flowers for my wedding last August. As well as the barrels and tubs I already wrote about, I needed:-

  • Bride's and bridesmaids' hand-tied bouquets.
  • Buttonholes
  • Table centres
  • A wreath for the ceremony arch.
  • Smaller arrangements for the gift table and bar.


I had decided on a fresh palette, with green, cream and white being the main colours, but with lots of touches of pink, purple, orange and yellow to bring pops of interest. I always knew that the time of year would mean that dahlias would be the focal flower for the arrangements - a great advantage of an August wedding!


I started growing these in the spring before the wedding. In March, I potted up my dahlia tubers and sowed the hardy annuals. I actually made a lot of sowings of annuals (both hardy and tender) as I needed to be certain that I would have plenty of blooms, no matter what had happened to the weather.

Dahlias potted up


Mum and I traipsed up to New Covent Flower Market to look for vases. I knew that I wanted quite wide, low vases as these would not get in the way of conversations during the wedding breakfast. I found these great vases from Whittingtons - they are great because they have a wide base so hold lots of water and won't tip over. Plus, they are made from recycled glass. I also bought little glass tealight holders.

Cutting, Conditioning & Arranging

The day before the wedding, I got up early to cut flowers. This was a great opportunity for me to relax and spend a bit of time by myself in the hecticness of the wedding planning. I had a clear number of stems that I needed to cut so as to make sure I had enough of everything. The weather was so hot that the main problem was getting the flowers cut and in the fridge before the heat of the day set in. I wasn't just cutting from my flower patch; I also cut stems of greenery from the hedges on the farm to give the bright green I was after in my designs. I kept all the buckets of flowers in our walk-in fridge - fighting for space with all the wedding booze!

On the afternoon of the Friday, we set to arranging the flowers. This had been the part I was most looking forward to - flowery fun with my nearest and dearest (and prosecco, of course!). I had planned out this carefully in advance - I printed out a "recipe" for the table centres so that everyone could get on with this, while I made the hand tied bouquets for myself and my bridesmaids. My mother-in-law to be did the buttonholes, as she had some experience with this previously and has an eye for fiddly detail! 

Vases of flowers

As you can see from the image above, the table centres have a coherent theme, but each looks quite unique. I was expecting to have to do a bit of "tweaking" to these to bring them up to standard, but actually, I didn't need to do anything. As I'd only picked the blooms with colours I wanted, the vases came together beautifully.

I decided to do the hand tied bouquets myself as I wanted a very coherent, pastel palette (inspired by my Cafe Au Lait dahlias) and a fresh, airy structure. I tied these up with twine and then used lace and sage green ribbons to finish. 

Hand tied bouquets

I was so pleased with how the flowers turned out - it was such a relaxing and sociable part of the wedding planning. My friends and family also enjoyed helping out in such a hands-on way. This has led me to think that this would be a great service for me to offer, so now I have built a workshop offer for couples to arrange their own flowers. If this is something you would be interested in, you can find more information here.

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