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Kate Parker, New Hampshire Vendor: Wedding Planner Website: Kate Parker Weddings About Me: Kate Parker is the owner of Kate Parker Weddings, a wedding planning and floral and event design studio located on the Seacoast of NH. KPW specializes in simple and sophisticated weddings throughout New England and New York and also provides lighting services, paper products, custom out of town welcome baskets and music entertainment. Kate loves to work with as many details as possible- ribbon banding, monograms, favor tags etc to make each wedding unique and fabulous! She lives in Somersworth, NH with her husband Ryan, son Zachary, and chihuahua Lola. Although she doesn't have much free time, Kate loves to travel, read a good book, and entertain for close friends.
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flower tutorial 13

There is a lot of labor involved in making a bouquet, especially for the bride. The size and shape have to be perfect, the flowers have to be the highest quality you can find, and the construction is very intricate. Then you have to add the usually complex ribbon wrapping to complete the look. I asked my floral designer to photograph the steps it takes to make a bridal bouquet, and I wanted to share them with you. I hope this provides some insight to how much work is really involved in making beautiful personal flowers!

1. Processing flowers: Flowers are ordered from numerous countries around the world and are delivered to the studio in large boxes. They are packed either in 10 stem bunches or if they’re roses, they will be packed 25 to a sleeve. Each flower will have to be stripped of its leaves and thorns, cut and placed immediately in water to hydrate, and then they will be ready to use. Depending on the type and number of flowers you’re working with, processing can take anywhere from an hour to one or two days.

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2. Selecting the flowers: For a bridal bouquet, you can only use the very best blossoms. I usually like to over order my flowers by about 5% to guarantee we’ll have a great selection to go through when it’s time to pick the bride’s flowers.

3. Creating the shape: Some bouquets are easier than others. If hydrangea is involved, it creates a base for the other flowers to be placed within. If you’re using smaller blossoms- roses, tulips, lilacs, etc, they have to be individually placed to form a small cluster. Once you’ve gotten a base to work off of, you pick alternating types of flowers and place them around the bouquet in the open spaces, trying to keep the bouquet as evenly round as you can. Sometimes it’s easier to wrap the bouquet in floral tape in multiple stages for better handling.

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4. Completing the shape: Once you’ve used all the flowers you need, check the bouquet in a mirror to make sure it’s completely round, or the shape you’re trying to achieve. Sometimes I’ll catch Kate Sauer, our floral designer, asking someone in the office to hold the bouquet to get an even better sense of its shape and size. If there’s a gap somewhere, now is the time to fill it in with an additional flower.

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5. Wrapping the bouquet: We like to use rubber bands first to get a nice tight grip on the stems. Next, we’ll wrap in green floral tape to create the smooth surface the ribbon will cover. Finally, we will wrap the bouquet with ribbon, starting at the top of the stems and working our way to the bottom. We will always glue the end of the ribbon over
and then attach it to the rest of the ribbon with pins. If there’s a special ribbon embellishment- a ballet wrap or a simple overlay- we will attach that now as well.

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6. Spray-down, storage, and presentation: I might be a little over the top when it comes to spraying flowers with water, but it is a policy in my studio to constantly keep our flowers hydrated both from their stems being in fresh water and by spraying the flower blossoms themselves. We keep all of our personal flowers in the cooler in vases of water and present our brides with their bouquets still in water until the last minute to keep them as fresh as possible. We always bring a towel to dry the stems off before everyone walks down the aisle.

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial! :grin:

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22 Responses to “Tutorial: How to Make a Bouquet”

1.
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Tutorial: How to Make a Bouquet » Weddingbee PRO » The Wedding Blog | The Wedding Resource

[...] floral and event design studio located on the Seacoast of NH. … Go here to read the rest:  Tutorial: How to Make a Bouquet » Weddingbee PRO » The Wedding Blog Share and [...]

 
2.
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Annie @ Marry You Me

Thanks so much for sharing! This going to be so helpful to so many brides.

 
3.
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Shannon

Beautiful bouquet. But I most enjoyed the true glimpse in to a floral studio (including the Bud Light on the work bench). :)

 
4.
heather25
Member
heather25 (message)  1,959 posts, Buzzing bee

Great tutorial. Any reason you don’t use floral wire?

 
5.
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Bridget

I’m a floral designer myself and this is a great tutorial! Kudos to you for the details as this is exactly how I learned and still practice.

And Shannon my dear, we florists often work super late hours with a ton of pressure, so an occasional adult beverage comes in handy.

I only use floral wire in stems of flowers that can’t hold up on their own. I’ve found that overuse or use in binding the stems with floral wire can cause more detriment, in that the wire will cut flowers unintentionally & cause quick deterioration. Or after the bouquet has been held and the stems clutched & squeezed, the wire can become loose or misformed, and even poke out & puncture hands. Rubber bands & floral tape are plenty secure and far less of a hazaard.

Great blog, thanks!

 
6.
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Miss Bruschetta (message)  5,565 posts, Bee Keeper

Thanks for the behind-the-scenes look! What was that pink flower-shaped lumpy thing in some of the earlier pictures?

Also, I’m in the midst of trying to figure out what our bouquet handles will be tied with — ribbon, fabric, etc. Do you have any recommendations or tips?

 
7.
Jessie516
Hostess
Jessie516 (message)  5,480 posts, Bee Keeper

Great tutorial, Kate! My sister assembled the bouquets for my wedding, using pretty much the same technique you described. I wish I had known about spraying the flowers to keep the hydrated–they turned out fine, but got a little wilty as the night went on. Great tip! :)

 
8.
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Kristal

Awesome post, thank you so much!!

 
9.
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Darci

I’m ordering my flowers online and plan to do my bouquet myself. This was a great tutorial.
I do have an additional question for you though. I’m ordering ranunculus (do I spy one or two in your bouquet?) and I hear that opening them is a bit tricky. I’ve been googling like crazy trying to find out the best way to process the flower so that it opens to its best and most beautiful. Any tips?

 
10.
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Ms Scrabble

great tutorial! Would it be possible for a list of the flowers used in this bouquet? I’m trying to figure out which is which. thanks!

 
11.
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NC Girl (message)  104 posts, Blushing bee

Excellent info… filing this away for future use.

 
12.
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Kate Parker @ Kate Parker Weddings (message)  75 posts, Worker bee

@heather25: Hi Heather, we use wire when the stems of flowers aren’t long enough or we have so many blossoms needed that their stems would get too thick! Thanks for asking! KP

 
13.
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Kate Parker @ Kate Parker Weddings (message)  75 posts, Worker bee

@Shannon: Hi Shannon, good eyes! I didn’t even notice that myself. Our fantastic floral designer sometimes enjoys an adult beverage after working a long day… I’m not a beer fan but I can appreciate her hard work!

 
14.
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Kate Parker @ Kate Parker Weddings (message)  75 posts, Worker bee

@Miss Bruschetta: That is a rose thorn stripper. We hold the stripper around the stem starting at the top of the rose and with a little pressure you pull down, removing the thorns. Occasionally the pressure will be too much for the rose and the head will pop off but it’s not too often that that happens :) We can use it for most flowers that have stubborn thorns or leaves.

 
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Kate Parker @ Kate Parker Weddings (message)  75 posts, Worker bee

@Miss Bruschetta: On your wrapping question, ribbon is always easier because the ends are finished… fabric can be fun and unique but it can be a challenge to work with. I would suggest ironing the edges over on a strip about 2″ thick so you have a finished side. Start at the top of the bouquet and work your way around as evenly as you can. You can use decorative wire, or even bedazzle ribbon with rhinestones. Adding a personal touch with a family brooch is also a great idea… ask your dress designer to give you the remaining fabric from your hem to use as well.

 
16.
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Kate Parker @ Kate Parker Weddings (message)  75 posts, Worker bee

@Darci: Hi Darci, when is your wedding? Ranunculous is very difficult to find right now, if at all…. getting it to open isn’t the biggest issue really, just use fresh water and a nice wide open cut on the bottom. Make sure you strip all the leaves that might touch the water as that will make the water get dirty really quickly. Local ranunculous or hybrid ranunculous have the largest heads, the stuff from Holland tends to be a bit smaller.

 
17.
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Kate Parker @ Kate Parker Weddings (message)  75 posts, Worker bee

@Ms Scrabble: Sure thing: White and green parrot tulips, white lilac, ivory garden roses, and white peonies are in the finished bouquet. We actually used two bouquets for this tutorial. The other bouquet consisted of white peonies, light blue delphinium, green viburnum, white ranunculous, white lilac, ivory garden roses, and green lady’s mantle.

 
18.
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Michele

Have you ever made bouquets to last through 1.5 hours of portraits in hot Texas sun w/temps over 100? And expect the bouquet to look great for the wedding afterward?

 
19.
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Darci

Hi Kate. Thanks for answering my question! I think it’s really cool that you’re doing this.
My wedding is in October. I’m ordering my flowers from an online wholesaler who has a pretty good reputation (at least from reviews I’ve read - fiftyflowers.com). I already called to check and they said that the color ranunculous I’m wanting will be available on my date. I hope they aren’t wrong! If they aren’t available, are there any other flowers you would suggest?

 
20.
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Kate Parker @ Kate Parker Weddings (message)  75 posts, Worker bee

@Michele: Hi Michele. My best advice would be to stay away from Hydrangea… I would stick to flowers that will not wilt in the sun and heat as easily- roses and orchids would be my first choices. They come in a lot of different shades and sizes so you can be really creative with them. I would ask your florist to deliver them in water and then to put them back in water after your photos before the ceremony.. even see if they can leave cutters to re-cut the stems for a fresh drink of water… might make a big difference! Good luck.

 
21.
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Kate Parker @ Kate Parker Weddings (message)  75 posts, Worker bee

@Darci: Hi Darci, Ranunculous will be available in the fall again so you shouldn’t have a hard time. There are some incredible local hybrid ranunculous coming from CA around that time that are almost the size of peonies! Dahlias are a great fall flower, and depending on the size, can somewhat resemble the fullness of a ranunculous. They are also very symmetrical in composition like a ranunculous.

 
22.
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mel

Beautiful bouquet! I’m putting together a bouquet of ranunculus for my friend’s wedding. This is my first attempt at a DIY bouquet. I might insert some peonies to help hold the ranunculus together. Another commenter had mentioned that wires could be detrimental to the flowers after a lot of handling. If you’re working with a lot of ranunculus, would you wire the flowers? Any advice would be helpful - thanks!

 

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Kate Parker @ Kate Parker Weddings Kate Parker, New Hampshire Vendor: Wedding Planner Website: Kate Parker Weddings About Me: Kate Parker is the owner of Kate Parker Weddings, a wedding planning and floral and event design studio located on the Seacoast of NH. KPW specializes in simple and sophisticated weddings throughout New England and New York and also provides lighting services, paper products, custom out of town welcome baskets and music entertainment. Kate loves to work with as many details as possible- ribbon banding, monograms, favor tags etc to make each wedding unique and fabulous! She lives in Somersworth, NH with her husband Ryan, son Zachary, and chihuahua Lola. Although she doesn't have much free time, Kate loves to travel, read a good book, and entertain for close friends.
 
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