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How to make a bridal bouquet with fresh flowers - Unwrap the roses first, as they are the most delicate - On a clean cutting board with your knife, make a clean cut through the stem between the little bumps along the stem.
Lynne posted Message 1355 in the CraftPals Weddings BB
Dated : May 19, 1999 at 08:45:23
Subject: Replying to your email here....(very long)
as it may be helpful to someone else interested in working with fresh flowers, Ok?
You didn't mention where you'll be getting your flowers, but if you're purchasing them from a local retailer, ask when they receive their flowers, and pick them up that day (many of them will special order flowers for you). Make sure you have a very cool place to keep them (basement..we used to call spaces under stairs "fruit cellars" ;-) or, if you have an extra refrigerator that's large enough, remove all food and turn the dial off. Keep the door open, and warm the fridge to just "cool". Keep the door closed if you're doing this a couple of days before: make sure it's not fridge cold...just barely cool. Also, before you bring the flowers home, prepare your large vases. Wash them out thoroughly with a mild bleach solution and scrub out any residue of anything! Dry thoroughly, then keep overturned on clean towels until ready too use. Do the same with the knives you'll be using for cutting the stems.
OK: bring your flowers home (a few helpers here would be nice!). Unwrap the roses first, as they are the most delicate. On a clean cutting board with your knife, make a clean cut through the stem between the little bumps along the stem. It's best to cut JUST before the bump to allow water to be taken up through the stem. That is, leave as much stem below a bump as possible. Length here doesn't matter, but keep them all about the same. Have cool water prepared in the vases: NOW: here's an important step: in each vase (I'm talking normal, dozen roses type of size), tear open at least 5-6 little packets of Flora preservative (a grocery florist usually sells these for 10-15cents each...buy 20-30!). Yes...5-6! Too little is not enough, too much won't hurt them! Place each rose in the vase as you cut them. Yes, if you're comfortable cutting under water, do so, but it's not absolutely necessary.
Think in terms of a starburst. Fill in the next "layer" of roses by inserting them in-between but back of the first ones. Again, an odd number. Continue until you use up your roses you want and step back. Have someone else hold it and look for empty spots etc. For your cascade, choose the longest straight stems with a nice plump rose buds and insert them in the bottom of the oasis. 2-3 at staggered lengths, but don't go beyond your ivy length. Now fill in with your daisies! Use them in the groups they develop, increasing the length of them if you have to using wired pics. Don't let them over-power your roses, and keep your shape in mind. If you have a long stem or two with small groups on them, you can use them in the length of the cascade. Step back, check your arrangement, do any exchanging or fluffing you need, and you're done! OH: I should have mentioned this before: remove some of the outer petals of the roses if there's any sign of discolouration or wilting. They'll look Much fresher!
For the hand-tied ones, start with your central flowers, which I assume will be roses, then continue to add flowers in a circular pattern, mixing roses with daisies, and soft ferns until you're happy with the size. Make a last row of ferns or ivy to protect the more delicate stems from being cut by tying. Use about a 1" piece of ribbon and securely tie the stems together about 2/3 of the way up from the bottom. Start cutting the stems to stagger the lengths and reduce bulk, but not so short that they can't be put into shallow water (with lots of Flora in it). When ready to use, start satin ribbon on the bottom of the bouquet and wrap up the stem, overlapping quite a bit. When you've reached the top, tie with another piece of narrow ribbon. Take another length of your wider ribbon and tie on a nice bow to cover the ribbon tie and have ribbons hanging down. Cut ribbon streamers into "v"-shapes. Add a final ribbon to your bouquet at the top of the handle, and you're done!
For boutonnieres, choose nice buds, add some fern, and wrap with floral tape, stretching to release the wax and secure it to itself. Add a very narrow bow to your groom's. For coursages, the best way to describe it would be to say, make two large boutonnieres of the flowers, put the ends together with the flowers facing out at opposite ends, tie together with more floral tape, then tie with nice wide and narrow ribbons in complimentary colours.
WHEW! The only things to keep in mind is to always use sterile equipment, tons of Flora preservative (only!), have supplies ready before you bring the flowers home, and keep them all in a cool place. Occasionally spritz the flowers with a gentle cool mist (once they've been put away, at night, again in the morning).
Good luck!!!..........Lynne......(exhausted from just describing it all!!! ;-))))