By Lindsay Dreyer
Nov 02, 2016 @ 1:15 pm

Fact: You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to put together your own flower bouquet. Anyone—yes, even you!—can bundle up the perfect bouquet for any purpose, whether it’s a dinner party, intimate wedding, or even just a decorative display for your mantel. And the best part? Many of the flowers and plants can be picked right from your backyard or purchased at a local deli or market.

Design expert Ron Wendt of Ron Wendt Design recently stopped by the InStyle offices to show us just how simple it really is. In the video above, Wendt took me through a number of fall-appropriate arrangements, showing me step-by-step how they come to life. Here were some of my biggest takeaways:

Don’t be afraid of using too many colors—as long as all the colors are complementary. For example, in one of the stunning bouquets we created, Wendt used deep burgundy dahlias, pink garden roses, purple astrantias, green clematis vines, plum anemones, and other accoutrements of various colors. It may seem overwhelming, but together, these colors complemented each other perfectly.

It’s all about lines. When you set the base of your arrangement, think about creating a visual line that flows through the bouquet. For example, Wendt started with leucothoe, which he based on either end of the base to create visual interest from all angles.

Remember the rule of thirds. To give your arrangement that disorganized-yet-organized look, as if you were just casually out in woods foraging for flowers, use three of each flower and place them at different levels. If you're creating a bigger bouquet that calls for more than three, stick to odd numbers. It will feel more random that way.

I helped make this so I'm basically a florist now. Thanks, @ronwendtdesign!

A photo posted by Lindsay Dreyer (@lindsaynyc) on

There’s no right or wrong way to do it. “Don’t be afraid of flowers,” Wendt told me. “You just want to make sure that from every angle you’ve created something interesting for your guests.” As long as you've done that, your work is complete. 

Keep your flowers from heat or the fireplace. True story—one time someone sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers and I accidentally placed them on a radiator. Within hours they were completely dead and I felt horrible. So if there’s one thing you take away from Wendt’s expert advice, it’s to keep your flowers in a cool place so you can enjoy them for 4-5 days after your event. 

See? Arranging your own flowers is a piece of cake! Mmm, speaking of cake...