Thursday, August 27, 2009

Gerbera Bouquets & Boutonnieres

Trendy Gerberas are the 5th most popular cut flower in the world. These cheerful flowers are in the same family as the daisy and the sunflowers Similar looking to the daisy but much larger, gerberas each have their own individual stem which is a thick tube with no foliage on it. These large lovely flowers are perfect for use in wedding bouquets and centerpieces. The mini gerberas are ideal for corsages and boutonnieres. They are available year round and come in many colors; red, orange, yellow, white, pink and purple. These bright beauties might be the perfect choice for your wedding flowers. They are easy to work with and thus lend themselves perfectly to do it yourself wedding flowers. Following are instructions on how to make Gerbera Wedding Bouquets...

What you will need to make a Gerbera Wedding Bouquet
- 3-9 regular gerberas or sunfl owers depending on your taste and budget
*(make sure your gerberas have the plastic straws on them for best presentation)
- Sheer ribbon
- Floral tape
- Wire
- 4-9 stems of tree fern depending on the amount of fl owers chosen
- 1-2 stems of baby’s breath (optional)
- Vase to fit bouquet

How to Make an all Gerbera Bouquet
Step One
First, gather all your ingredients and lay them out close by on a work table.

Step Two
Take your first gerbera and a piece of tree fern and place them so that they are pretty
even but that the tree fern goes past the flower a bit.

Step Three
Add another flower and your first piece of baby’s breath if you wish to use. Tape all pieces firmly together, about 2 to 3 inches close to the top of the flower head. Pull tightly on the tape for better adhesion but be careful not to pull too hard at the neck since it is the most sensitive part of the flower.

Step Four
Add another flower and another piece of tree fern. Tape your new additions together with the first grouping.

Step Five
Keep adding flowers and other ingredients by taping them to the rest of the bouquet. Always tape close to the top of the bouquet and secure firmly.

Step Six
Once you have added all your floral materials, it’s time to finish your bouquet. To do so, trim the bottom of your stems so that they are all even. Add a bow to one or two sides of the bouquet by wrapping the wire around the same area that you taped the flowers together. Cut off any excess wire.

Step Seven
Finally, you will want to “hide your mechanics” in florist lingo, which means, hide the tape that you used to secure your bouquet together. You can simply glue a piece of ribbon all around the area of the florist tape. For this purpose, it is best to use a ribbon that you cannot see through. You can continue down the stem with your ribbon, just make sure you leave at least 3 inches (7.5cm) at the bottom uncovered to allow you to place it in water to stay fresh.

Step 8
Place your bouquet in water after misting it with water or with an anti-transpirant and store in a vase or bucket in the refrigerator or in a cool area until it is time to hold at the special occasion. Remember to bring a towel to wipe the stems of the bouquet in order to avoid unnecessary drippage.

For more instructions on how to make all types of bouquets and celebration flowers get my book Unleash Your Inner Florist: How to Make Wedding & Special Event Flowers

Sunday, August 23, 2009

How to Save Money on Wedding Flowers

I found these great tips on how to save money on wedding flowers on E-How

Step 1
Use flowers that are in season. They're readily available and cost less than flowers that are out of season. And all flowers cost more during the month of February because of Valentine's Day.

Step 2
Get married on a holiday when the church will already be decorated. Christmas and Easter decorations already set up in a church can make a beautiful backdrop for your wedding.

Step 3
Shrink your bridal party and your guest list. Fewer people mean fewer bouquets and decorations.

Step 4
Coordinate with another bride who is getting married around the same time as you. The two of you might be able to split the cost of flowers.

Step 5
Look outdoors for decorations. An outdoor wedding can save you tons of money on flowers, because you can find a setting that is naturally beautiful.

Step 6
Supplement large arrangements with less expensive flowers. Usually, these arrangements are far away, so your guests won't be able to tell anyway.

Step 7
Create your own arrangements. You can use silk flowers or even flowers from your own garden. And you save a lot of money in the process.

Step 8
Fill spaces with greenery instead of flowers. Large potted plants can be rented for significantly less than flowers. Ivy and other greenery is also beautiful as an accent.

Step 9
Think about fruit and other alternative arrangements. A vase full of fruit is just as eye catching, and it's quite a bit cheaper.

For more wedding flower savings ideas go to:

Monday, August 17, 2009

Summer Wedding Update

Another busy summer for weddings! I thought I`d share with you pictures from a recent wedding I did the flowers for in my hometown of Timmins Ontario. The bride Valérie Allaire was nice enough to give me permission to post these.

These are all bouquets that would be perfect as DIY Wedding Flowers since they are simple to make yet lovely and elegant. The bridal bouquets were composed of white and hot pink roses with tikki and variegated pittosporum foliage. They were assembled by starting at the center, taping 3 flowers and 1 foliage together with floral tape, then adding another 3-4 flowers/foliage and taping to the first bunch, working evenly around the center of the bouquet until you have used up all materials and the bouquet looks nice & round. The bride`s bouquet had 12 roses + 1 stem of cymbidium orchid and the bridesmaids had 8 roses + foliage. While many brides tend to want no foliage in their bouquets, greenery really adds texture, depth and makes every bouquet look bigger so you don`t have to use as many flowers and therefore can save money as well.

Her centerpieces stand out because of the brightness of the colors and the beargrass at the bottom of the containers make them really unique. So easy to do too! Just gather 4-6 pieces of either Beargrass or Florida grass, wind them around and place around dish so that they are all evenly distributed throughout holder. Then, place your next largest foliage, in this case I used variegated pittosporum. When you use one foliage in the bouquets, you are best to continue using the same type of foliage in your centerpieces and for your corsages. Same goes for your flowers. Since the bridal bouquets contained roses, I made sure to use roses in the centerpieces as well. Although the centerpieces contained a wider variety of flowers: stargazer lilies, white button mums, Japanese asters, white flat mums; they also contained roses in the same color as the bridal bouquets to have a sense of unity throughout the wedding flowers.

Her cake was stunning topped with freshflowers. In my opinion, no ceramic, plastic or
metal topper can compare with the beauty of fresh flowers; especially when they are well coordinated with the rest of the wedding flowers. This topper was created in an Igloo Holder which is a fresh foam holder designed for this purpose. The bottom of it is flat and the foam is in a half circle to fit perfectly on top of a cake. They come in two sizes but for a typical wedding cake, the small one is used. The flowers on the cake topper are the same varieties as in the centerpieces. I usually start by creating the shape of the holder with medium sized flowers and foliage. I insert stems at the center for the height, and then on each side of the holder to create the boundaries of the holder. After that, it`s all about filling in to complete a perfect half circle shape. Since beargrass was used in the centerpieces, I added them last for added elegance and style. You can try to pick them right into the foam but I find it much easier to attach one or two pieces of the grass to a floral pick, then stick that into the foam. For the extras on the side of the cake, I simply inserted a flower and a piece of foliage into a floral water pick and then covered it up with ribbon by gluing it on.

For more instructions on making your own wedding flowers, my book Unleash Your Inner Florist is a wealth of information. Learn more here:

Thursday, August 6, 2009

How to Choose Fantastic Wedding Flowers

Here is an excellent article i found at

Tips For Choosing Fantastic Wedding Flowers

They had an interview with a famous florist to get his opinion on choosing wedding flowers.
Celebrity florist Mark Held on famous weddings and getting more bloom for your buck
Wedding Flowers:  Tips for Choosing Fantastic Wedding Flowers

What wedding trends are big right now?

We are seeing some of the wedding designs being affected by the economy right now. We're seeing a return to classic elegance and a little bit less of the over-the-top, flamboyant designs that we saw two and three years ago. There is a concentration on beautiful flowers rather than elaborate props.

What's a common mistake you see brides make?

One mistake that brides make is to not have a budget in mind when they first meet with their florist. You should give your florist an idea of what you want to spend on flowers so that you aren't wasting your time or his or her time. I do get people that come in, and they want the world. Then I'll do the estimate and they'll be like, "Oh, no, we only want New Hampshire."

How can brides get a luxe wedding look for less?

You have to be realistic about your decor, just like everything else in life. What I usually recommend is to concentrate on the areas that show the most and are the most important. For example, you want to concentrate on the focal area of the ceremony. You may want to pull back a little bit on the aisle. It's the ceremony space that guests are seeing and is often the backdrop for so many of your pictures.

You've worked with everyone from Fergie and Josh Duhamel to Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. What is it like designing weddings for celebrities?

I think it's a little different because most celebrities know that the wedding is going to be photographed and will usually be seen by millions of people. They want to put their best foot forward and present themselves beyond just having a romantic ceremony. So if it's someone like Gwen Stefani, she has such a specific sense of style that we have to reflect that in what we do. For Fergie's wedding that we just did in January, I think the design reflected not only what she wanted, but also the way she and Josh live their lives.

Is it important for a bride to have a vision in place before she meets with her florist or wedding planner?

I think it depends on the bride. I have brides that come in who have a pretty good idea of what they want and what they don't want. I had one bride who had been planning her wedding since she had been five years old! There are other brides that may come in and say, "I don't know what I want." So we start that process and it's interestingpeople do know what they want. They know what they like and they know what they don't like.

Has there been a celebrity wedding that you especially enjoyed designing?

Ellen and Portia's wedding was very interesting because it was a true original. Portia had very specific ideas about what she wanted color wise. I think we did something very original in the design by using very faded pink tones with amnesia roses and faded pink garden roses. It was also something special to be part of that particular wedding because it really made a statement. I think it was the first really major celebrity gay wedding that was out there.

Find the perfect flowers for your wedding with`s Flower Finder.

— article by Kathryn Papanek from