I purchase $14 worth of flowers from the market and $3 worth of satin ribbon to make this bridesmaid bouquet. The key when choosing flowers is to pick ones that are fresh and just opening. A bouquet, when kept cold in a fridge or basement can stay perfect for 48 hours. If the flowers haven't opened then 10 minutes in warm water or and hour in the sun will get them just perfect.
On average, you'll meed 15-30 stems for a bridesmaid and approx 40 for a bridal bouquet. For large stems like hydrangea, you'll need 7-20 stems. Avoid lily's and gardenias as those flowers will bruise really easily if you touch the petals.
Lay out the flowers you've picked and get every thorn and leaf off them.
Start with three flowers which will be your center and then begin adding more, alternating colors, shapes and textures.
When all the stem are in your hand arranged, get out your floral tape. Wrap around the top of the stems and at the base.
Tuck your satin ribbon(satin is the easiest and most forgiving ribbon to work with) in the top floral tape section.
Wrap down the stems and then back up.
Once you get to the top, tuck it under and add small pins to secure the ribbon.
If you want to add diamond, pearl or other decorative pins now is the time to do it. Or you can add say a grandmother brooch or another something old to the bouquet. Adding a little shine to the ribbon will add a professional look to the bouquet.
Trim the bottom, 1/2 an inch under the ribbon.
Put in water and store in the cold!