Design a Gorgeous Succulent Wedding Bouquet

Planning a DIY wedding? This succulent bouquet design by Carly Cylinder is a chic on-trend option.

As the DIY movement grows, so too does interest in trying new techniques to both save money and show your creativity. Weddings are the perfect place to go DIY and express your personality. What better way than crafting your own beautiful bouquet using very on-fleek succulents.

This succulent bouquet is just one of copious clever flower "recipes" you can try at home featured in Carly Cylinder's new book The Flower Chef.

So follow along as Cylinder lays out the steps for creating a memorable arrangement that will garner ooos and awwws on your walk down the aisle.

The Flower Chef Book

The Flower Chef Book

Designer Carly Cylinder offers tips for creating DIY flower arrangements in The Flower Chef book.

Photo by: Grand Central Life and Style

Grand Central Life and Style

Anyone outdoorsy or who loves nature would appreciate this bouquet, since it’s bursting with fantastic shapes and textures. But what really takes this arrangement over the top is the inclusion of succulents, which make this garden bouquet more unique. I love working with succulents, but the trouble with them is that they come in small containers and have very short stems or barely any stems at all. As a result, you need to create fake stems using floral wire and floral stem tape, so that they can be included in an arrangement. I’ll show you how to do that for this earthy bouquet.—Carly Cylinder

PREP TIME: 25 minutes

COOK TIME: 20 minutes

SEASON: FALL/Winter/Spring

DIFFICULTY: 3

COST: $$$

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 to 3 smaller 1" to 2" succulents
  • 2 larger 3" to 4" succulents
  • 1 bunch of orange ball dahlias (and/or any other kind of dahlia)
  • 1 bunch of yellow and/or peach stock
  • 1 bunch of white veronica or heather (similar in shape)
  • 1 bunch of yellow ranunculus
  • a few stems of dusty miller
  • 5 to 8 pieces of 18"-long 20-gauge straight stem wire
  • floral stem tape
  • thick green floral tape
  • satin ribbon
  • small cylinder vase
  • optional: corsage pin
Making a Succulent Bouquet

Making a Succulent Bouquet

Bend both sides of the wire down so that it forms an upside-down U, or hairpin, with the succulent at the top of the upside-down U. This makes a stem for the succulent. [a]

Photo by: Teri Lyn Fisher

Teri Lyn Fisher

Bend both sides of the wire down so that it forms an upside-down U, or hairpin, with the succulent at the top of the upside-down U. This makes a stem for the succulent. [a]

Making a Succulent Bouquet

Making a Succulent Bouquet

Starting at the base of each of the succulents, wrap the floral stem tape around the wire stems you’ve created. [b]

Photo by: Teri Lyn Fisher

Teri Lyn Fisher

Starting at the base of each of the succulents, wrap the floral stem tape around the wire stems you’ve created. [b]

Finish Wrapping the Succulent

Finish Wrapping the Succulent

When you wrap to the bottom of the wire stems, tear off the tape. [c]

Photo by: Teri Lyn Fisher

Teri Lyn Fisher

When you wrap to the bottom of the wire stems, tear off the tape. [c]

  1. Lift the succulents out of their containers and remove the dirt and roots. Each large succulent will be left with a short stem, probably 1⁄2" to 1" long, and the smaller ones might have barely any stem at all.
  2. For each of the smaller succulents, poke a piece of straight stem wire horizontally through what little stem they have, right below the base of the succulent. Thread it through until the succulent is centered on the wire. Bend both sides of the wire down so that it forms an upside-down U, or hairpin, with the succulent at the top of the upside-down U. This makes a stem for the succulent. [a]
  3. For each of the larger succulents, you’ll need to create a more substantial stem. To do so, insert a wire and make one upside-down U, or hairpin, as directed in step 2. Then rotate the flower one quarter-turn and insert a second wire perpendicular to the first wire, so that the two wires form a cross at the base of the succulent. You may have to use a little force to get the wires through the stem. Bend down the sides of the second wire, so that this also forms an upside-down U or hairpin.
  4. Starting at the base of each of the succulents, wrap the floral stem tape around the wire stems you’ve created. [b] Twirl the stems with one hand and wrap with the other hand, overlapping the tape at a slant down the length of the stems. Pull the tape and squeeze the tape onto the stems as you wrap, since the tape is self-adhesive and will stick better that way. When you wrap to the bottom of the wire stems, tear off the tape. [c]
  5.  Prep all the flowers.
  6.  Spiral the dahlias, stock, and veronica or heather.
  7. Pull through the ranunculus and dusty miller so that they’re evenly spaced throughout the bouquet.
  8.  Pull through the wired succulents, making sure that the large and small ones are evenly distributed. Because the succulent blooms may need a little extra support, try to position them so that they can gently rest on the non-succulent blooms.
  9.  Secure the bouquet with the thick green floral tape. Cover the tape with ribbon and secure with a corsage pin or tie the ribbon into a floppy bow.
  10. Cut the stems (including the wired stems) to about 7" to 8" long. Place the bouquet in the vase filled halfway with water.

DESIGN TIP:

Trim the wired stems just as you would any other flower stem. If they’re too long, cut them to match the lengths of the other stems in the bouquet and then lightly push the wired stems toward the center of the bouquet to conceal them.

Excerpted from the book The Flower Chef by Carly Cylinder. Copyright (c) 2016 by Carly Cylinder. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.

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