Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Making Flowers For Your Wedding: 10 Steps To Hosting Productive Assembling Party


By Sophia Rodriguez

If you are wanting to make your own flowers for your wedding, you can be so much more productive if you enlist the help of your most important allies such as your bridal party, mothers, cousins, aunts or other special friends. Even though you will be together on the special day, that day is usually fast paced and filled with excitement.

Quality time spent with family and friends before the event or the wedding while assembling the flowers will be remembered as some of your most precious memories.

Enlisting their help will make them feel special and they will glow with pride along with you when the compliments start flowing at the event.

Items that are perfect candidates for Pitch-in Parties

1) Favors 2) Invitations 2) Centerpieces 3) Bouquets 4) Body Flowers such as boutonnieres and corsages 5) Wrapped Flowers 6) Hand-Tied Bouquets 7) Vase Bouquets How to Organize your Gang

Step 1 Select a date early enough before people get booked up. For example, if you want to make your flowers on June 14, pre-book the pitch-in party as early as March. Remind your group every month by email, perhaps with a newsletter about the progress of the event planning, then two weeks before and one week before. If you are planning on making all the flowers in one day, set up your get together as an all-day event so you can get as much accomplished as possible.

Step 2 Send out official invitations by mail a month in advance. Depending on the crowd, you might want to ask guests to bring a dish to share. If it is a wedding pitch-in party, you might want to ask people to bring a picture of themselves with their wedding bouquet so that the get together gives everyone a chance to reminisce about their wedding and inspire your wedding creations.

Step 3 Decide which items you want to make. If making centerpieces, make one sample in advance in order to give your helpers a clear idea of your vision. If making bridal bouquets and corsages, cake flowers or other floral items, have cut out pictures ready and accessible to show to your helpers. Having a concrete example of what you want will be most helpful in ensuring you get what you want.

Step 4 Start purchasing materials and supplies months in advance to take advantage of good deals and also, to make sure that you are not missing anything on the day of your Pitch-in Party. Keep your supplies list with you and check off items as you find them.

Step 5 Free a set of shelves in the garage or in a spare bedroom to stash your supplies. Tape a copy of your master list to the shelf and check off items as you purchase and store them.

Step 6 If you are hosting a pitch-in party to create fresh floral bouquets, buy your fresh flowers and process as per instructions in Chapter 1, about 4-5 days before your pitch in party.

Step 7 Set up stations for each project. In order to give everyone plenty of room to work in, put stations in various rooms on the main floor or spread out in an open basement or garage. Stock each work area with ample materials and supplies (scissors, glue guns).

Step 8 Organize and distribute tasks on paper before the big day. For example, Aunt Giz, and cousins Camie and Lise will make the centerpieces while Lynne, Sophie and Veronika will make the wedding flowers. Have instructions written out to give your helpers a clear idea of their task at hand. The more precautions you take in planning for your pitch-in party, the better results you will have.

Step 9 Before everyone gets there, set up each station with necessary flowers, containers and supplies. Once your helpers arrive, set them up at their station and make sure they understand their task and are comfortable with it. Also, do double check that they have everything at hand.

Step 10 Take breaks for lunch and snacks and to regroup so that everyone knows how things are doing. Play uplifting, fun music in the background. Thank everyone with a little gift to show your appreciation for their help.

For complete instructions and ingredient lists to make centerpieces, bouquets, corsages and more, click here: How To Make Wedding Flowers

Sunday, May 15, 2011

How to Pick Your Own Flowers For Your Wedding


By Sophia Rodriguez

Do you want to pick your own flowers for your wedding? If so, you either want to pick your flowers to save money or to display your talents as a green thumb gardener.

The good news is that you can grow your own flowers or pick them from the garden of a relative or friend who grows beautiful flowers and use these blooms to embellish your wedding day.

Many precautions should be taken if you choose this option and this article will guide you through this adventure. I will not go into the whole growing aspect of the blooms for your wedding.

Depending on where you live and how long your growing season will determine which flowers you will be able to grow. Many books and online sites go into the growing care and maintenance of flowers suitable for weddings such as roses.

As for the picking when the time comes, you will want to plan to pick your flowers the day before the wedding or at most 2 days before the special event. The time of day is a major factor as to when you will want to pick the flowers.

The morning hours, between 9-10 am is ideal, just after the dew has dried but before the sun is too strong. You don't want to pick them after a rain since they will be too wet and won't be at their best. You don't want to pick them close to noon or in the hot afternoon sun. They will be dehydrated and not last their longest.

Make sure the blooms and foliage that you pick are at their best; that they are free of insect holes and look healthy, vibrant and beautiful. Researching your type of flower for lasting quality and specific care would be recommended.

It's a great idea to carry a container of lukewarm water to the garden so that you can place the stems in the water immediately as you cut them.

It would be wise to test the type of flower you plan to use well in advance of the special day to avoid any surprises such as the stems or buds dropping within a few hours of cutting. If you are planning on cutting many flowers, bring more buckets or vases of water to place them in so that your fine picks will not get damaged by overcrowding.

Flowers should be picked in the advanced bud or almost mature stage. If you pick them when they are at their peak, they will be past their prime by the time you showcase them at your event.

To benefit future growth of the plant from which you are cutting from, cut your stem just above the nodes (where the leaf joins the main stem). This will allow the plant to keep producing well. Handle blooms quickly and try to only hold them by their stem so as not to damage them.

If you want to do more than pick fresh flowers...If you want to learn how to make flowers for all kinds of special occasions, check out this book: " Unleash Your Inner Florist" teaches how to make wedding flowers, special event flowers and everyday flowers. Learn from a florist and your bouquets will look super professional. Click Here: Unleash Your Inner Florist http://www.howtoweddingflowers.com

Thursday, May 5, 2011

How to Make Artificial Flower Arrangements


by Sophia Rodriguez

How to make artificial flower arrangements is not much different than how to make fresh floral arrangements although the tools you will need to use are slightly different.

Of course,the fake material you will be working with is in one sense harder to work since it is harder and more difficult to make look good in an arrangement but in another sense it is much more forgiving and long lasting.

For example, you can easily bend stems to make the flower point in a specific direction with artificial flowers and an artificial arrangement will last many years with only a dusting now and then to help it maintain its beauty.

The tools you will require to make artificial arrangements can all be collected and kept in a simple basket or storage container.

First, you will need wire cutters. This is the most important tool you will use over and over again while making silk flower bouquets. They will help you cut down your flower stems to the proper size. If your flower stems are really thick and the wire is hard to cut, you will need side cutters. Dig around in the garage and odds are you will find these 2 essential tools to making floral arrangements.

Other tools you will need to make floral arrangements with artificial flowers are floral tape and wooden picks. You see, if your flowers are small and the stem is too flimsy, you can reinforce it by taping it to a wooden pick. Also, if you cut your stem too short, you can easily fix the problem by taping it to a long floral pick.

Dry or sahara foam is also essential in making artificial arrangements. This is the medium that you will be picking the stems and the wooden picks in. Floral foam allows for exact placement of flowers and helps easily create a balanced arrangement.

For wedding bouquets, there are many types of bouquet holders that you can use to create your bouquets. Make sure to select a holder that is designed for artificial flowers. My favorite is the styrofoam bouquet holder. This white foam inside a bouquet holder is ideal to make artificial wedding bouquets since it does not fall apart like the dry foam might. If you pull in and out your flowers in order to make corrections as to flower placement, styrofoam is much more forgiving than dry foam.

Glue is the final and essential component of working with artificial flowers. A glue gun with glue sticks will do the trick. For every stem you insert into the foam, you can secure the stem with a drop of glue at the connecting point on the foam. This is especially important when making wedding bouquets in which certain flowers will hang upside down.

If you want to learn how to make all types of bouquets with fresh and artificial flowers, read my book: Unleash Your Inner Florist. Follow along every step of the way and learn how to make mixed bouquets,wedding bouquets, centerpieces corsages and more the easy, cheap and right way. You can get the paper copy for only $24.99 or order it as an e-book for $19.99 and be reading it in just a few minutes.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Flowers in Kate's Royal Bouquet


from: http://www.suite101.com/content/the-flowers-in-kate-middletons-royal-wedding-...

Kate Middleton's royal wedding bouquet included traditional flowers with meaning; the flowers were hyacinth, lily-of-the-valley, sweet William and myrtle.

When Kate Middleton married Prince William at Westminster Abbey in London, England on April 29, 2011, she carried a small and understated wedding bouquet of traditional flowers.

In addition to traditional wedding flowers of hyacinth and lily-of-the-valley, Kate Middleton's wedding bouquet included myrtle and sweet William; myrtle has been part of royal wedding bouquets since Queen Victoria's daughter carried it in her wedding bouquet in 1858. In addition, the bride apparently chose to add sweet William to her bouquet in homage to her new husband.

Hyacinth in the Royal Wedding Bouquet Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis) is a member of the Hyacinthaceae plant family. Although hyacinth is native to the south-east Mediterranean region, it was introduced to England and by the eighteenth century, it was among the most popular flowers in the region.

Hyacinths are fragrant flowers and hyacinth cultivars are available in a wide range of colors; they have a long cluster of flowers along the stalk. Hyacinths are bulbous flowering plants and are frost hardy.

Lily-of-the-Valley in Kate Middleton's Wedding Bouquet Lily-of-the-Valley (Convallaria majalis) is a member of the Convallariaceae plant family and is a rhizomatous, perennial spring flower. It has small, white flowers that are shaped like bells and green, lance-shaped leaves. Lily-of-the-Valley is native to the United Kingdom and northern Europe; it is also a fragrant flower and is a very popular flower for bridal bouquets.

Myrtle (Myrtus communis) is a member of the Myrtaceae plant family. Myrtle is a scented shrub or tree with ivory flowers; the flowers have five petals and gold stamens. Myrtle also has evergreen leaves and blue-black berries. It is native to the Mediterranean region. Queen Victoria made myrtle popular with British royal brides when she planted a sprig of myrtle at Osborne House in the Isle of Wight, from a nosegay given to her by Prince Albert's grandmother; Queen Victoria's daughter, Princess Victoria, was the first royal bride to carry a sprig from the plant at her wedding in 1858, a tradition that royal brides have continued to honor.

Sweet William in Kate Middleton's Royal Wedding Bouquet Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) is a member of the Caryophyllaceae plant family; it is a herbaceous biennial or perennial plant. The five-petaled flowers of sweet William are clustered at the top of the stem and are fragrant; although cultivars of sweet William are available in many colors, the wild plant has red flowers with a white base.

Sweet William is native to southern Europe but is also a popular British garden flower.

Traditional Meaning of the Flowers in the Royal Wedding Bouquet According to the official Royal Wedding 2011 website, Kate Middleton chose the flowers for her bridal bouquet in part based on the meaning of each flower in the Victorian language of flowers. The Victorian language of flowers allowed lovers to communicate messages to each other through flowers instead of words; meanings vary, depending on which Victorian language of flowers dictionary you use, but the following flower meanings are given by the official Royal Wedding 2011 website:

Sweet William – gallantry
Lily-of-the-Valley – return of happiness Hyacinth – constancy of love
Myrtle – love.

The Royal Wedding Bouquet of Kate Middleton Kate Middleton's wedding bouquet also contained ivy, another common plant in bridal bouquets; many will remember the wedding day of Kate Middleton and Prince William for years to come and although wedding dress fashions may come and go, the flowers used in royal wedding bouquets are steeped in tradition, history and meaning.