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How to Use a Bouquet Holder to Make Your Own Bridal Bouquet

Updated on September 26, 2012
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Bouquet holders have made it significantly easier to make a wedding bouquet, allowing florists to work more quickly and giving do it yourself brides and their helpers an excellent tool.

Many brides choose to make their own wedding bouquet in order to save money. Others prefer to make their own to ensure that they get what they want. Speaking from my own experience, a florist made bouquet can, sadly, be a tremendous disappointment, bouquet holders, and there are several types make it much simpler to make your own.

Some brides are surprised to find that their hand tied bouquet is actually made in a bouquet holder which has been designed to simulate natural stems, and hence is not really ‘hand tied’ at all.

Elegant Bouquet Holder

What is a Bouquet Holder?

A bouquet holder is a piece of florists foam on a stick. It sounds simple because it is, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea. Using florists foam means you can soak the foam, then place your bouquet holder in a vase (I use a wine bottle) and add flowers and foliage. Build the shape with foliage and then add flowers. This will help keep the cost down. No wiring or taping, the process is much simpler and faster. You can add flowers or other decorative accents such as beads, wire, feathers etc. Once complete you can leave the handle as it is, or decorate it. Some designers wrap the handle with ribbon or with wire to give the bride something substantial to hold on to.

Things to beware of. Foam does not repair itself. You can't put flowers in and take them out, eventually the foam will simply break down. Most bouquet holders are divided into quadrants. For something important like a wedding bouquet, buy two holders and practice your bouquet. You can take note of how and where you place the flowers so on your second attempt you put everything in the right place first time.

Sprays are available to help keep the flowers fresh, and when they’re heavy, you might want to use a spray glue, also available from florists supply shops, to help keep the flowers in place.

The Luxe Bouquet Holder

European Bouquet Holders

How to Choose a Bouquet Holder

Plastic or Metallic Finish. Most bouquet holders are made in white plastic, however there are some in a gold or silver metallic finish.

Handle or Simulated Stems. Most bouquet holders have a long straight handle, but some have simulated stems and can be used to create a fake hand tied bouquet.

Angled or straight. Choose depending on the way you intend to carry the bouquet.

European or classic. European bouquet holders are designed to be carried with the stem pointing straight down, while classic bouquet holders are designed so that the handle is carried parallel to the floor.

Square or round. Most European style bouquets are ‘pave’ designs, that is the flowers are cut with very short stems and added to the foam so the blooms sit directly on the surface. These bouquet holders are available square as well as round.

Soaked or Wicking. All bouquet holders have to be soaked in water before adding fresh flowers, but some (see the metal bouquet holders mentioned above) have a ‘wick’ in the handle and a cap at the end. Soak the holder, remove the cap and leave the holder in a vase of water until the last possible moment. remove the bouquet when needed and put the cap on to prevent any water dripping on the bride. The bouquet can be placed back in a vase when the wedding party reach the reception venue. This is a great way to deal with problem flowers with a tendency to wilt, such as hydrangeas.

Using Silk Flowers. If you plan to use silk flowers, use a standard bouquet holder. As present there are no holders specific to silk flowers.

A wand style bouquet
A wand style bouquet | Source

Alternatives to a Bouquet Holder

If you choose not to use a bouquet holder the result will most likely be a hand tied bouquet, or one that has been wire and taped in the traditional style, but another alternative is to use a foam sphere, or create a wand or presentation style bouquet.

Presentation bouquets typically drape over the arm and require some form of cascading foliage.

Wand style bouquets are usually straight, use few blooms gathered immediately below the flower.

Foam spheres can be extremely heavy when soaked in water and filled with flowers, and though simple to do, they do use a lot of flowers!

A bouquet made using on of the European style bouquet holders
A bouquet made using on of the European style bouquet holders | Source

Other Uses for Bouquet Holders

Bouquet holders can also be used to arrange special occasion flowers in containers with narrow necks, for example eiffel tower vases.

You'll often see bouquet holders with transparent handles being used in tall narrow vases, and not just for flowers and foliage. Those large showy displays of ostrich feathers are made using bouquet holders.

Standard bouquet holders won't allow the flowers to last for days unless you make a point of resoaking the foam, which can be difficult once your arrangement is made. However, the new wicking bouquet holders soak water up through the handle, which means you can use these to create special arrangements in your home and have them last for days.

Add one to the wide opening of a teapot and arrange flowers to decorate the table for afternoon tea or coffee. Fill an old wine bottle with water, add a wicking bouquet holder and arrange flowers - you have a tall vase which cost you nothing.

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