So by now you should have made a good number of flowers ready to make your crochet bouquet. At this stage it can be hard to picture how it will look, but have faith!
I used floristry wire for my stems. I bought a 24 gauge (0.56mm) wire and had inherited a lighter weight wire from my Grandma's craft room. I also bought a thicker 18 gauge wire but didn't really use it for my wedding bouquet. However, I did use it for the leaf stems of the second crochet bouquet but mainly to use it up!
Safety Note: You will need to cut the wire to get the right lengths, which can leave sharp ends, so do take care as you handle the wire. Make sure you use a suitable wire cutter and be careful not to pinch your fingers in the blades. Wire cutting is not a suitable activity for children to do unsupervised.
I decided I wanted to cover the individual wires to give a more natural green contrast, so I used green florist stretch tape. You could use any tape really, it just depends on the effect you want. A friend of mine recently made her bouquet from paper flowers. She didn't cover the individual wires, just wrapped them with ribbon once she'd assembled the bouquet. It's really up to you how you want your flowers to look. You will need to cover the wire where you will be handling the bouquet as wire tends to have a black residue which won't look good wiped down a light coloured wedding dress!
I would recommend waiting until all your wire stems are attached to the flowers before taping, especially if you are using florist tape. Florist tape doesn't seem very sticky, until you start twisting it around the wire. It becomes more sticky as it stretches and is actually quite difficult to get off your fingers! So it's best to attach all your wire stems and then have a taping session.
With your wire stems, initially cut the lengths longer than you need them - I think I cut mine between 25 and 30 cm long. You can tidy the length up at the end once your bouquet is arranged.
If you are using thinner wires as I did, you will need 3 or 4 lengths of wire per stem, depending on how big each flower is. You may need to experiment a little here but it's easy to add wire if your stem is a little wobbly. Attaching the flower can get a little fiddly. I found the securest way was by looping the wire through the underneath centre stitches of the flower at different points and then twisting all the wires together. For my wedding bouquet I used the long lengths of stem wire and attached them directly to the flower. For the second bouquet I used three short wires which I then attached to the longer stems.
I used florist pins (pearl and diamante) and buttons for the centres of some of my flowers. I secured the pins in place with the wires and some tape. It was especially important to tape over the sharp ends of the pin to keep them from piercing through and to stop them slipping out of the wire. Sewing in pearl beads or buttons is a little easier, but I already had the pins by the time I got to assembling so decided to use a mix of both. The following pictures show the button centres.
I only used 'shank' buttons for my bouquets and mainly used wire to attach them to the flowers, but you can also sew them in place. I used a short length of wire, folded it in half, slid the button on and then pushed the wires through from the front to the back of the flower.
I used a similar method for the leaves, attaching some in to the flower heads and creating foliage with the others. For my wedding bouquet I used green ribbons as well as crocheting leaves to create the foliage. I looped the ribbon and stitched it to the underside of the flowers.
Once your foliage and flowers are complete you're ready to arrange your crochet bouquet!