How to make a beautiful bridal rose bouquet

Apr 21, 2015 at 5:02 p.m. ET

For DIY brides, perhaps the easiest bouquet to create for your wedding day is an all-rose hand-tied bouquet. This bouquet is also ideal for bridesmaids, using fewer roses.

You will need two dozen roses for the bride's bouquet. Roses are available year round and can be ordered from local markets, online websites or your local florist.

The key to successfully creating your DIY bridal bouquet is timing. When roses are shipped, the buds are closed. Roses have to be conditioned in treated water using a floral preservative. Depending on temperature, it can take a couple of days for roses to open. The warmer the temperature, the quicker the blooms open. It's advisable to do a trial run before your wedding to gauge the timing by creating a mock bouquet.


  • Tall bucket
  • Cool water
  • Floral preservative
  • Sharp floral knife
  • Floral tape
  • Double-satin ribbon
  • Pearl head pins


  1. Fill the bucket with cool water and add the preservative according to the bottle.
  2. Next, gently take the outer bruised rose petals off each head.
  3. Skim the thorns off each rose stem without cutting into the stem itself. Your goal is to dull the thorn, not cut it off. If you accidentally cut the stem, the life of the rose is shortened.
  4. Cut the bottom of each stem at an angle and immediately place in the bucket of water. If you don't wish to use a floral knife, use sharp pruners. The key is a clean, angled cut so that the rose can immediately drink the treated water resulting in a healthy-looking bloom that opens up beautifully.
  5. When the blooms open up, it's time to arrange your hand-tied bouquet. Begin with one stem between your forefinger and thumb and continue crossing the next stem over the first.
  6. Add each stem (it takes practice) and soon you will have created a bouquet. Adjust the stems so that when you're looking at the top of the bouquet, it is round and balanced.
  7. While holding the bouquet in one hand, cut the stems to the desired length. Leave a couple of extra inches on the stems for future stem trimming.

The next step is to wrap the bouquet in stretchy floral tape. The tape is available at craft stores and online. The key to using this tape is to slightly pull it as you wrap the stems. Overlap the tape as you wrap.

  1. Start at the base of the roses and continue down the stems. Stop about two inches from the bottom.
  2. Next, double secure the wrapped stems with floral adhesive tape. Wrap the stems in the same manner over the stretchy floral tape. The bouquet will be very secure and will not come apart. Do not get water on the tape; it will not stick and will unravel.

Since the roses have now been out of water during the bouquet arranging, you will have to cut the bottom of each stem again to place in a vase with a little water. Cut about 1/4 inch off of each stem. Make sure the water does not touch the tape when placing in the holding vase. Keep the bouquet in the vase until you're ready to wrap the stems in double-satin ribbon. Wrap the ribbon around the stems in the same manner as the tape. Secure the ribbon by studding the stem handle with pearl-head pins. It's imperative that the roses are sprayed with a floral preservative to retain a fresh and healthy look.

When you're ready to walk down the aisle, cut the stems bluntly at the bottom so that they are neat and uniform. Voila, your bouquet is ready to go.