1. Flower Hydration
Flowers will need to be hydrated immediately on arrival. You should allow 30-60 minutes to follow the steps below. You will need: clean shears, water, 5 gallon buckets, scissors, garbage bags or basin (for stem offcuts).
- Fill 5 gallon buckets with 4-5 inches of clean, room temperature water.
- Remove all packaging from flowers except cardboard packaging around roses (their heads will begin to drop if the cardboard packaging is removed too early).
- Remove foliage from the bottom 4"-5" of the stem. Using shears, cut the stems at a 45 degree angle about 1/2" - 1" from the base. Immediately place the flowers in the buckets of water, ensuring buckets are not overcrowded. Flower heads should rest just over the rim of the bucket.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat! All flowers and foliage will need to be trimmed and stored in buckets of water.
- Tips and Tricks: If the flowers are too short to reach the rim of the bucket, add more water until the water level rises enough to allow the stem sit in water and the flower head rest on the rim of the bucket.
- Store buckets in a cool room. Leave to hydrate for 12-24 hours, removing the cardboard packaging around the roses after 6-8 hours and spreading them out so they have space to bloom.
2. Flower Preparation
Foliage and guard petals (exterior petals on roses) will need to be removed from flowers before you can start arranging. You should allow 60-90 minutes to complete the steps below. You will need: clean shears, flower stripper, garbage bags or basin (for stem offcuts).
- Start with one bunch of flowers. Holding one stem at a time near the flower head, pull the flower stripper along the length of the stem to remove foliage and thorns. Continue stripping the remaining stems until the bunch has been completed.
- If working with roses, remove any guard (outer discolored) petals. It is normal to remove 3-6 petals per stem.
- Using shears, cut the stems at a 45 degree angle about 1/2" from the base and immediately place flowers in the 5 gallon buckets of water, ensuring buckets are not overcrowded. Flower heads should rest just over the rim of the bucket.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat! All flower stems will need to be prepared. Any discolored leaves should be removed from foliage.
- Tips and Tricks: Set aside the best flowers for the bridal bouquet at this stage.
3. Table Centrepieces
It's best to start with the Table Centrepieces as they are the easiest to complete. The first Table Centrepiece will take approximately 20-30 minutes and any remaining Centrepieces will take approximately 10-15 minutes - becoming quicker as you become familiar with the arrangements. You will need: clean shears, vases, water, waterproof floral tape, flowers, garbage bags or basin (for stem offcuts).
- Fill vase with clean, room temperature water until it is 2/3rds full.
- Using the waterproof floral tape, line the mouth of the vase vertically and horizontally, creating a grid. Floral tape pieces should be spaced approximately 1 1/2" apart.
- Start by creating a base of foliage in the vase. Line the perimeter of the vase to establish the width of the arrangement. Aim for approx. 1 1/2-2 times the width of the vase.
- Next set the height of the arrangement by adding foliage to the centre of the vase. The arrangement should be approx. 1 1/2 times the height of the vase.
- Selecting one of the filler flowers, trim the stem at an angle and place in the centre of the grid. The bottom of the stem should sit in the water. Continue to add accent flowers, filler flowers and foliage to the arrangement.
- Tips and Tricks: Cut stems in small sections at a time. You can always cut a stem again if it's too long, but once a stem has been cut short, it cannot be made longer.
- Store finished table centrepieces in a cool area and replenish water if needed.
4. Bridal and Bridesmaid Bouquets
The Bridesmaid Bouquets are next in line to be completed. The first Bouquet will take approximately 20-30 minutes and any remaining Bouquets will take approximately 15 minutes - becoming quicker as you become familiar with the arrangements. The Bridal Bouquet can be arranged once the Bridesmaid Bouquets are complete. It will take about 30 mins to complete. For both types of bouquet, you will need: clean shears, rubber bands, long zip ties (10" min), 1 1/2" ribbon, flowers, garbage bags or basin (for stem offcuts).
- Start by creating a base of foliage. Arrange 2 stems of foliage in an 'X' position, to establish the width of the arrangement.
- Next add foliage in the centre of the arrangement to establish the height of the bouquet.
- Continue to add greenery until 3/4 of the foliage in the recipe has been incorporated. Tie a rubber band around the base of the stems to hold the foliage in place.
- Next add accent flowers around the foliage. The blooms should be in a mix of positions - some tilted, some facing straight up.
- Tips and Tricks: If you want roses to appear larger, you can reflex them. Starting with one of the outer petals, gently bend it in the opposite direction to which it naturally curves. Do this for the 4-6 outer petals. Use your fingers to loosen the petals at the very centre.
- Continue to add filler flowers and the remaining foliage to the bouquet, one stem at a time.
- Once the bouquet is finished, loosely fasten a zip tie around the stems. Adjust any stray stems if necessary, then tighten the zip tie to secure the bouquet, taking care not to damage the stems.
- Cut the stems so they are 4"-6"long underneath the blooms. Store the bouquets in water. Wrap the stems in 1 1/2" ribbon just before ceremony.
- Tips and Tricks: Bridal and Bridesmaid Bouquets can be used as Table Centrepieces after the wedding ceremony. Just remove the ribbon and put them in a vase with water.
The first Boutonniere will take about 15 minutes to make. Any remaining Boutonnieres will take about 10 minutes. You will need: clean shears, twine or 1/2" ribbon, floral tape, flowers, garbage bags or basin (for stem offcuts).
- Place blooms over a base of foliage and hold stems tightly together.
- Remove any foliage from the stems beneath the flowers.
- Wrap stems with floral tape, pulling the tape tightly as you go. This releases glue and allows the tape to stick to the stems.
- Cut the stems so they are 3"-4" long underneath the blooms. Then wrap the Boutonniere tightly in ribbon or twine.
- Store the Boutonnieres in the fridge overnight, away from fruit and vegetables. The Boutonnieres should sit in the warmest part of the fridge - this is usually at the front of the top shelf.