Flowers are a staple for most weddings, whether they're real, silk, or handmade. Besides a simple "we only signed the marriage license" sort of wedding, I think I've always seen flowers in one form or another at weddings.
I love flowers, and always pictured myself carrying them, but when I looked at the cost of buying just a bouquet, I often saw prices $100 and up, which was way more than I planned on spending for my itty bitty wedding. This is why all the flowers you've seen in our pictures are from the grocery store!
All the Baby's Breath is from King Soopers. I got 10 bunches at $4 a piece, and this was more than enough to supplement my bouquet and Nathaniel's boutonnière, make a dozen mason jar arrangements, and still have some leftover for other vases my mother-in-law had to put out. We already had some hooks to hang on a fence, so I attached some ivory ribbon to a few of the jars by screwing the silver ring on over the ribbon. I tied knots on both ends of the ribbon to keep it from slipping out as they hung. The rest of the jars had the silver ring screwed on, because I liked the way it looked.
For my bouquet and Nathaniel's matching boutonnière, I asked Whole Foods to order in pink Gerbera Daisies, Mirva Roses (orange/pink), Baby's Breath and Bay Leaves. When I went to pick up my flowers the night before my wedding, I was shocked to see they wanted to charge me over $60 when they had quoted me $40, and they didn't even get the Baby's Breath for me (luckily I had gotten extra from King Soopers). Apparently Bay Leaves are super expensive... They were also trying to give me a whole bushel because the florist said she didn't usually order Bay Leaves and she had gotten them specifically at my request. Luckily I was able to play the DIY Bride card, and she kept most of her Bay Leaves - I'm sure she could incorporate them into arrangements and charge an extra dollar per arrangement and she'd make out just fine. The price went back down to the $40 I had been quoted.
Nathaniel's boutonnière was made from one rose and some Baby's Breath. Using florist wire and green florist tape I got from my mother-in-law, I snipped the stems of both down quite short, put the florist wire through the head of the rose, into the stem to give it some stability, and wrapped it with the tape. Because the tape was green, it looked quite nice just like that. We used sewing pins to attach it to his lapel.
To assemble my bouquet, I stuck wire through the top of the daisies down into the stem, and wrapped the wire around the stem to keep them where I wanted (the wire is bendable so I could make them face the right way, and daisy stems are prone to bending and drooping). I then started grabbing flowers and just holding them together, and through trial and error, I came up with an arrangement I liked! The florist recommended getting an odd number of flowers, so I had 11 total (6 daisies and 5 roses).
I had Nathaniel come and hold the flowers while I wrapped a rubber band and some florist tape around them to keep them where I wanted. I then trimmed the ends of the stems so they were fresh and all about the same length. For the final touch, I wrapped thick black ribbon around the stems, which completely covered the tape and rubber band, and held it in place with sewing pins. I put a couple pins at the beginning of my wrap to keep everything in place, and a couple at the end. Both ends of the ribbon were folded under for a cleaner look. I also decided to put a bow around them, tied with another piece of the same black ribbon.
Because I didn't have a maid of honor, I needed a place to put my bouquet while Nathaniel and I had our little ceremony. Keeping with our "theme", I got a large mason jar, and tied a nice bow from the ivory ribbon around the top of the jar. We brought this along with us so I could keep my flowers hydrated while we took pictures around town, and it also acted as the centerpiece at our table when we went out to dinner. I'll definitely reuse this as a vase!
We spent just over $100 for all of our supplies:
$40 at Whole Foods for Bay Leaves, 6 roses, 6 daisies
$40 at King Soopers for 10 bunches of Baby's Breath
Less than $10 at Joann's (because I always use coupons!) for 2 rolls of 5/8" ivory ribbon ($3 each) and 1 roll of 1/5" black ribbon ($3.50)
About $17 at the hardware store for A dozen wide-mouth pint jars ($14) and the 64 oz mason jar ($3)
Of course this would have been more if I had had a formal wedding, but considering 12 mason jars full of baby's breath would cost about $25, I know you could scale my techniques and still save a lot of money. And if you have a bridal party, maybe you could find a way to arrange one flower (I would have picked the daisy) with some baby's breath, or even just have a baby's breath only bouquet!
I've also seen brides make bouquets out of fun things like brooches and buttons - this way you have something that will last forever. Your flowers are a fun place to show your creativity, and they definitely don't have to break the bank!