Bridal Party Bouquets

Floral designer, author, and weddings expert Matthew Robbins of Matthew Robbins Design in NYC shares his secrets for creating pretty, pastel bouquets for a bride and bridesmaid
how to make wedding bouquets, bridal bouquets, bridesmaid bouquets
Matthew Robbins shows how to make wedding bouquets for a bride and bridesmaids in lovely lilac and pink hues, with step-by-step instructions.

My inspiration for these wedding bouquets was the soft, romantic sensibility conjured up by spring flowers. I love walking through New York parks in late spring to see the flouncy blossoms on the cherry trees and the robust, spirited tulips providing a much-needed dose of color. For the bridal bouquet, I chose to focus on the abundance of spring by including a good mix of textures, shapes, and tones. I put together a mix of lilac hues with a splash of deep purple and a few anemones to add drama and whimsy. A bridal bouquet should set the tone for the other flowers carried by the bridal party, so for the bridesmaid’s bouquet I took a cleaner, more tailored approach, as it should really just play a supporting role.

bridal bouquets bridesmaid bouquetsMaterials

  • lilacs
  • roses
  • lisianthus
  • freesia
  • andromeda
  • tulips
  • astrantia
  • veronica
  • clematis

Tools & Supplies

  • sharp floral shears
  • floral tape
  • twine
  • vintage ribbons in my color palette
  • sharp ribbon scissors
  • a small pin
  • a clean hand towel for drying the stems before wrapping them with ribbon

bridal bouquets bridesmaid bouquets1| Start the bridal bouquet with the astrantia. They have multiple smaller stems that provide a nice base for holding the other flowers, but you do need to remove the lowest stems.

bridal bouquets bridesmaid bouquets2| Begin by crossing the first two flowers just beneath the blooms, and continue this pattern each time you bring a new flower to the bouquet. Then add the “busy” blooms such as the purple clematis.

bridal bouquets bridesmaid bouquets3| When using dramatic flowers like clematis, allow them to really show of their shape and personality; I did this by keeping them higher in the bouquet. If any stems have a natural curve, allow that to dictate the shape of your bouquet.

bridal bouquets bridesmaid bouquets4| After adding the textural elements, carefully and artfully place the “star” blooms— in this case, the anemones. Sometimes you need to place a delicate bloom like this from the top of the bouquet stem-first into the arrangement to find its perfect spot.

bridal bouquets bridesmaid bouquets5| Layer your stems by crossing them one over another in the same direction, and turn the bouquet as you add more stems.

bridal bouquets bridesmaid bouquets6| Holding the bouquet with one hand, pick up your floral tape with the other and measure out an arm’s length to wrap the stems in a narrow band. Be sure the layers of tape overlap in order to hold the stems tightly.

bridal bouquets bridesmaid bouquets7| After taping the bouquet together, cut the bottom of the stems to the appropriate length.

bridal bouquets bridesmaid bouquets8| Next, you’ll add the ribbons. Hold the first ribbon on the stems with one hand and catch with your thumb as you wrap it around the taped area.

bridal bouquets bridesmaid bouquets9| Once the ribbon is wrapped around the bouquet and cut with ribbon scissors, fold the end of the ribbon under to create a more finished edge. Then secure it with a small pin.

bridal bouquets bridesmaid bouquets10| As a finishing accessory, tie a second ribbon (in a similar color tone) around the bouquet. Be sure to cover the pinned area with this second ribbon.

bridesmaid bouquets11| Next, begin the smaller, more tailored bridesmaid’s bouquet. Start with the larger, stronger-stemmed flowers, such as the roses, to create a nice base for the arrangement. Remove all of the foliage from each stem before adding it to the bouquet.

bridal bouquets bridesmaid bouquets12| Layer tulips over the sturdy rose stems to keep the blooms in their best position, and then do the same with the lisianthus.

bridal bouquets bridesmaid bouquets13| Nestle the roses around the edge of the bouquet to add support to the tulips and lisianthus. (If you don’t secure the delicate-stemmed flowers with stronger ones, I promise you’ll see a bride or bridesmaid with flowers falling out before the ceremony.)

bridesmaid bouquets14| While adding the remaining flowers, hold the stems loosely so you can adjust the flowers as needed. I sometimes bring a few key blooms up higher by gently pulling the flower from just below where the bloom meets the stem. You don’t want your important blooms to sink into the bouquet. Keep the shape rounded and full.

bridesmaid bouquets15| For the bridesmaid’s bouquet, I used only one grosgrain ribbon. Instead of cutting and pinning the ribbon after it’s wrapped around the bouquet, cut one long strand and cross it back and forth as you wrap the stems. Then tie the long tails of the ribbon into a bow.

how to make wedding bouquets, bridal bouquets, bridesmaid bouquets
Follow Matthew Robbins’ step-by-step instructions for how to make these pretty wedding bouquets for a bride and bridesmaids.

“Bouquets are some of my favorite things to make when planning the décor for a wedding. You can really personalize a bouquet by doing something as simple as choosing to incorporate a favorite bloom or color palette. Remember that you don’t have to match bouquets to the centerpieces or other details in the wedding. As long as there is a consistency in the overall look, I think bouquets are the perfect opportunity to feature a few very special things you might not include in other areas of the décor.” –Matthew Robbins

Produced by Pamela Hanes | Photography by Brooke Slezak

See more of Matthew Robbins’ work at

Purchase Matthew Robbins’ Inspired Weddings: Designing Your Big Day with Favorite Objects and Family Treasures at the Flower Magazine shop.

More Weddings and Bridal Arrangements

Catch These Bridal Bouquets
Making a Flower Crown
How to Make a Boutonniere
How to Make an Easy, DIY Flower Crown
How to Condition Roses