Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bridal Bouquet Tutorial

This weekend my husband, Mark and I got to re-live a bit of our wedding day, thanks to my friend Deborah Zoe Photo. Debbie is an amazingly talented photographer who I know thanks in part to the fact that our husbands shared a rich (I chose my adjective carefully here...many other, less "family friendly" words could be inserted here) history of living together in an all-guys house during their college days. We have a sort of bloggy-friendship that I love: it's so encouraging to know other independent business owners who are talented, generous and just plain FUN. Debbie is one of those people.

Long story short, we won a photo shoot with her, a sort of "wedding do-over" that gave me the chance to get back in my dress and Mark a chance to get out of his Carharts (I'm still not sure which one I was more excited about.) Debbie is the consummate professional; I mean seriously, I felt like I was on America's Next Top Model: "Now, dip your chin. Ok, look up. Perfect." So fun! She even laughed politely at my husbands "GQ" face.

For the shoot I made a couple "prop" bouquets. Arranging bridal bouquets is really one of my favorite things to do, I love taking raw materials and putting them together in a way that makes you go: "wow." The bouquets I made for the shoot weren't as filled-out as I might normally make a real bridal bouquet, but for prop purposes they worked. (While the pictures I took won't make you go "wow", the ones Debbie took will.)

What's great about making bouquets is that they are really quite easy to do, and even if you aren't arranging flowers for a wedding you can easily follow the same principles to make a lovely centerpiece for you dining room table.

Here's what I started with:
1) Floral tape (L.O.V.E floral tape, its stretchy, sticky and forgiving)
2) Flowers (I picked up a couple $5 bunches from Walmart..tried to keep the props inexpensive.)
3) Greens (I had a combo of fake greenery (dusty miller leaves, eucalyptus and twigs from a bush outside.)
4) Floral pins
5) Wrapping materials (ribbon, fabric, in this instance I used yarn)
6) Cutting Board, paring knife, large kitchen knife and scissors.

Floral Tape.
 Floral Pins.
 Step 1: Trim and clean the stems. Remove excess leaves from the portion you will be working with. This makes it much easier to work with the bouquet and keeps it from getting too bulky.
 Tulips cleaned and ready to use.
Step 2) Create a small cluster of two to three stems and some greenery.
Secure with floral tape.
 Until you have a small bundle like this:
 Step 3) Add in more stems: both blooms and greenery. Secure these with floral tape.

 Check the bouquet from the top to ensure that you are constructing a "round" bouquet. Fill in where necessary.
 Step 4) Continue to build he bouquet securing all additional stems and greenery with floral tape as you go.
 Check again for symmetry and "roundness" from the top.
Step 5) Trim ends of stems with large kitchen knife. 
 Step 6) Using either fabric or ribbon cover floral tape and secure covering with a floral pin, pressed down into the group of stems (if you press directly across, the sharp end of the pin will come out the other side...ouch!)

 Add decorative elements by layering different colors and textures.

 Step 6 Alternative) If you are using ribbon or yarn that requires wrapping there's a bit of a technique to creating a "clean." Starting from the bottom, extend the ribbon all the way up the handle of the bouquet leaving plenty of "slack."
 Start wrapping from the bottom, covering the floral tape and the "slack" as you go.
 Once you get to the top of the bouquet, tie off the ends and make a small bow or secure the loose ends with a floral pin.

Here's a look at one of the final bouquets:

Can't wait to see Deborah Zoe Photo's version of the bouquets. Keep an eye out on her blog for the photos!


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  1. Ahhh! Can't wait to see the photos! I know they'll be amazing, because you three all are! (Debbie, Mark and you, that is.) Awesome!

  2. So pretty! I really love the techniques you shared for finishing it off too, those details make such a sweet presentation!