A magical Pacific Northwest fairytale wedding with a little Princess Bride (and a mountain goat!)
Photo by Christopher Gendron Photography

Here's the ultimate DIY wedding bouquet idea: as your guests enter your ceremony venue, give each of them a flower. Or you could even ask each guest to bring a flower as their gift!

Gracious acceptance


Then, when you walk to the altar, you can stop to collect a flower from each guest … assembling your community bouquet as you go.


This gives you an awesome opportunity to acknowledge and involve each guest while building the ultimate diy bouquet — I like this way better than a receiving line. As the bride said:

Collecting my bouquet from our guests was really fun, and some people have told me it was their favorite part of the ceremony. Even though I'd been around for the cocktail reception before the ceremony, it was really neat to “formally” greet and acknowledge everyone.


(Thanks to levinine for the photos!)

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Comments on Guest bouquet: let your guests help you build your bouquet

  1. This is a great idea!!! My mother and father are renewing their vows next year and they are doing a “hippie wedding”. I think this would be an awsome idea to do as my mother walks down the isle. Thanks!!

  2. I am the sister-in-law of the shown wedding and we all enjoyed selecting a flower and being involved. The bouquet looked splendid, as did the bride!

  3. Wow! This bride is like my wedding soulmate! We are both getting married on a boat and have the same peacock clutch. I think I may even copy the bouquet idea.

  4. What a lovely idea. I’m trying to find more ways to incorporate our guests into our ceremony and this could be a nice fit….but how did you choose which guests would get flowers, the ones on the inside of the aisle would be hard to get to and it looks as though you don’t have nearly as many stems as guests…thanks for your help

    • I having my guest sit in a spiral so there is no end and everyone can hand me one as I walk around to the groom. I’m just not sure how to get the guests to understand what to do.

      • I had a table where guests got their program, looked at more pictures of us, signed the guest book and then had vases filled with flowers and a framed sign with instructions.

        • Could you possibly provide information about the instructions left for guests.

          • At the table with the guest book and programs, I had the flowers, and my instructions were for the guests to take flowers and to line up down the aisle, then to give me the flower as I walk to them. It was so much more fun than a receiving line.

  5. Shelly- This worked for us because we only had 29 guests and there entire ceremony was done with everyone standing. On their own, they formed an aisle of people, one person deep. I told people ahead of time that if they wanted to be certain of handing me a flower, to bring their own, but that otherwise we would provide some (my friends who bought all of the flowers from wholesalers bought a mismatched selection for this purpose.) I have no idea how the doling out part went, and if there were any hurt feelings about being left out, no one’s mentioned it. There was one person who had a flower in each hand, one for me and a small one for the groom.

  6. Rebecca- The boat idea was actually discarded and we got married at an old private club. But! I have to obnoxiously crow just a tiny bit about the clutch to say that mine was a custom order and the fabric was something she found on ebay at my request. I would love to see pictures of you with yours once they’re available, if you see this and if you’re on the ning tribe, I’m levinine there, too.

  7. Oops, looks like the comment I left didn’t go live. I’ll definitely show you a pic with the peacock clutch. Mine was custom made by an Etsy seller 🙂 I love that fabric!

  8. I am Jennifer’s mother. Before she and Mordicai (groom) entered together, a couple of her friends passed out a variety of long stemmed flowers to each guest. There were enough to go around and as Jennifer mentioned, some brought their own to hand her. I have to admit, I was a little skeptical about how it was going to work. It turned out to be a very special part of the celebration and everyone was touched. As part of the wedding ceremony, Mordicai removed a green velvet ribbon from Jennifer’s neck and tied it around the bouquet. Tell any skeptical mothers that it is a great idea and will all work itself out.

  9. Do you think this would work with my flowergirl collecting the flowers before I arrive? I wanted to collect the flowers a la Jennifer, but there will be 70 guests and my Mum freaked out about the idea.

  10. I’ve actually been giving a lot of thought to doing something like this. Asking family members to each bring a flower to the ceremony–their favorite bloom, what was used at their wedding, or just something pretty they found that day–and place it in a vase. Then we’ll scoop them up and tie a ribbon around right before I walk down the aisle.

    At my cousin’s wedding, all the children in the bride’s family walked up to her while she stood at the alter and each handed her a rose. After they were done, my cousin gave his spouse-to-be a huge tropical bloom and then tied up her bouquet himself. Like others have said, it was a really special part of the ceremony.

  11. WE did this kind of thing at our wedding 34 years ago. We included a special note in the invitations of close friends and family asking them to bring a flower to be combined into my bouquet representing the bringing together of each of our friends to become our friends. We had a friend collect the flowers and make the bouquet before I walked down the aisle. It was a beautiful and a one-of-a-kind bouquet,

  12. What a brilliant idea.I think it would be fun to do it that way.It would truly involve the participation of everyone and that would be quite memorable too.

  13. One of my best friends had her identical twin as her “flower girl”. She passed out the flowers to those on the aisle, then the Bride collected them up again. So touching!

  14. We did this, but for a centrepiece. We asked guests to bring a flower from their garden/piece of driftwood/something special to assemble a decoration as we all gathered for morning tea pre-ceremony. One friend brought the chain of horseshoes her late mother had made for her wedding, inc a shoe from a horse I’d once ridden. It’s a testament to waterproof mascara that neither of us ended up with under-eye streaks after she explained the significance…

  15. I did this at my wedding. I loved it. I had my flower girl pass out a flower to each guest (she said something along the lines of “hold on to this flower, and give it to Theresa when she comes in”) and my mom went with her to help.
    Our wedding was in a restaurant, so when i arrived with my fiance, i made my way around to each guest, while he made his way to the front of the room. I collected my mom’s flower last, and she helped me tie all 65 flowers into a bouquet. It was one of my favorite moments of the whole ceremony. Way better than being walked down the aisle and given away.
    Also, with 65 zinnias (they’re in season), my bouquet was amazing (but i did need 2 hands to hold it before it was tied)!

  16. I am thinking about using this idea for my July backyard wedding. We’ll be barefoot and I’ll have a crown of daisies. I really really love this community bouquet idea, but am concerned… We expect to have about 75 guests, and I doubt I can handle a 75-flower-bouquet. We thought about saying one flower per couple or family – but again, what if there are just TOO many? I would feel so bad if I had to leave some of them out, ya know? I am also curious as-to how to do it as I walk down the aisle, if all my guests are seated in rows? Would it be lame to tell them to all pass their flowers down to the aisle end of their row? Or maybe I would walk around and gather them up from people, and THEN have them sit and I walk down the aisle? Hrm…

  17. Brandi,
    your comment came in my email but doesnt seem to be posted here.
    I did this with 60 guests and 60 flowers. the bouquet was manageable. the flowers were altogether my favorite part of my wedding. we supplied the flowers (flower girl passed them out and gave directions) and picked them ourselves the day before the wedding, so I tested it out before hand. I didnt have an aisle (we got married in a restuarant), so it was easier for me to go around to collect, and i collected from my family last, giving them hugs, and my mom helped me tie the flowers all together into a bouquet. otherwise i would have struggled with it for the whole ceremony. this was my favorite moment of the ceremony.

    if you supply your own flowers, you can choose to have some smaller (thinner?) flowers included. as far as i know, no one felt slighted that they got baby’s breath instead of a zinnia to give me. you could also think about including herbs and other lighter things. I personally think my bouquet looks awesome in all the pictures (it is huge, tho).
    if you email me, i can send you a pic.

  18. I love this idea, just thinking about it makes me tear up a little. I’m stuck on the brooch bouquets though….. maybe my fiance and I can come up with an idea to incorporate this into the reception instead of the ceremony, like maybe a center piece for our table kind of similar to what Megan said they did for her wedding.

  19. I’ve been trying to figure out how I can incorporate this idea and tweak it a little–to have my BFFs each walk up the aisle and hand me a flower, thus building my bouquet, as a way to honor and feature them but not have them go through all the chores and errands involved in being brides”maids.” Any advice on how I could turn the flowers into a bouquet after they have handed them to me? i.e., other than walking down the aisle with an empty vase?;) Can you suggest what to tie them with?

    • Alison I know this post is old, but I was searching for ideas on how to do this same thing with my friends at my wedding. Just wondering how it worked out and how you tied the bouquet

  20. I am so glad that other people have done this. I am having a pre-wedding coffee shop party with a bunch of fabulous older ladies who love us both and I was thinking of asking them to bring flowers. Now I’m totally sold!!!

  21. My mom alerted me to this idea. I have 7 nieces, and we can’t afford to have them all as bridesmaids/flower girls, so we are including them by having them, and my god son’s build my bouquet! We are just trying to figure out the best way to finish it off… any ideas or suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

    • maybe you could have the mums (or anyone else) who would generally be up the front tie a ribbon each around the stems?

  22. sorry, but this is a recipe for disaster…unless you don’t really care about what your bouquet looks like!

  23. I really like this idea and I think it’s a genuine and sweet way to include everyone in the moment. Personally, for me, I don’t mind if the flowers are mismatched or untidy – I think the sentiment outweighs anything else.
    It’s also a way to enable someone with less of a budget to add to their existing bouquet.

  24. This is actually an old Czech tradition. A friend of mine married a Czech girl in the Czech republic and they did this as one o of the local traditions. Every attendee brings a flower, and after the wedding, everyone processes to the front of the church and hands their flowers to the bride (you will likely need a bridesmaid or helper to hold some of them). Then they took them to the reception hall and placed them into vases as centerpieces. Great way to save money on flowers/centerpieces! So the bride just doesn’t have a bouquet walking down the aisle, which I think is fine. In reality, you only hold them walking down the aisle, and then hand them to your MOH almost immediately. I found it frankly very awkward holding flowers up there for all that time. Much more comfortable to hold your hands naturally, or even wear a corsage, instead. Everybody, even the Americans who hadn’t seen this before, loved it.

  25. Oddly enough, I had been thinking about doing something like this when I saw it on Pintrest, and seeing this pushed me closer to doing it. We have only 25 guests coming, and only 1 is someone from my side, so my thought was to have 1 flower per family, and have our officiant (a friend) say something silly like, “Anyone who wants to invite Tiffany into the family, please line up and give her a flower as she walks down the aisle.” My second thought was to meet my guy halfway down the aisle (our yard) so I still get the pics of him watching me come down the aisle, and have them give us the flower – like the receiving line idea – as we walk down the rest of the aisle together.
    My other thoughts – should I just buy bunch of flowers that I like and have them pick one as they come in, or have them write a type of flower they like on the RSVP, and place that in their seat?

  26. I’m doing this at my wedding! I’m just picking 12-15 women who have impacted me in some way (because I’ll have 200 guests and aint nobody got time to use everyone!). My mom is going to tie some ribbon or something around the bouquet at the end, but we’re trying to figure out the smoothest way to do this… is there some kind of sleeve I could slip the bouquet into??

    • Iam doing this at my wedding and I am having 200 people too. So I am picking some family and friends to give me flowers I was trying to find a invitation or a note to give them asking to give me the flower What did you do?

  27. I just googled this for photos and found this mentioned on a more traditional wedding site where everyone shot the idea down – Everyone! And i came here and was like This is why I LOVE Offbeat Bride! Because we love new ideas and are daring enough to try them out and learn from each other! I’m doing this in 2 weeks because I saw it here. My groom and I are entering the ceremony together, he is taking a couple steps in front of me, and will take flowers from guests and hand them to me, to represent all the flowers he’s picked for me on wilderness hikes. Then his mom will tie a ribbon around my bouquet and my mom will put his boutonniere on him.
    I got a tip from a friend of mine: Buy Florist tape. You can easily secure the bouquet with it before tying the ribbon to make sure it’s sturdy. Gonna test it in the next couple of days, but i’m really looking forward to trying out some awesome non-trad ideas for my wedding!!

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