I made my own floral centerpieces for a recent event I hosted for my grandmother. I ordered roses and alstroemerias from Globalrose.com. Honestly, when I ordered the flowers, I had no idea how I was going to put them together. But I did and they came out very nice, if I do say so. But before I begin my tutorial session...I must first put out a very important notice:
It is very tempting to try to do your own flower arrangements for your wedding. It saves hundreds of dollars to make your own centerpieces and bouquets. With that said, I would NEVER recommend that a bride attempt to put together her own flowers together the day before her wedding. There is just too much going on. If you decide to delegate this to a loved one or a friend who is not a professional florist, recognize that they will likely not be present for the pre-wedding fun, or be in pictures before the ceremony, or be ready in time to watch the bride walk down the aisle. So, this is not a job for your mom, or your sister, or your best friend.
Okay, back to the how I did it....
Care for the flowers before you arrange them.
Global Rose had very clear directions on their website on how to care for the flowers they sent me. I followed them closely. When I received my bundle, I carefully cut the stems under water, on an angle, while leaving the flowers in their plastic wrapped bunch.
Keep them fresh.
Next, all the bundles were placed in water. Since I had 200 flowers, I used household cleaning buckets. I added the "flower food" they supplied and kept the flowers in an air-conditioned room. Since I received my flowers on Friday and my event was on Sunday, I changed the water one additional time to maintain their freshness. I also kept the flowers in the plastic wrapper as they directed me to do.
Making your bouquets.
To get started, I used my dining room table to spread out all my flowers. I removed unwanted leaves from the stems and any brown peddles. I knew I had to make 9 centerpieces so I counted out my flowers and divided them up to make sure that each arrangement had an equal amount of flowers.
I started with three bright colored roses for the center of my bouquet. I held those firmly while I added the alstroemeria around them. Then I added four more roses around the bunch equally spread apart. I continued the pattern so that each bouquet had 11 roses and 12 stems of alstroemerias.
Once all the flowers were gathered in a bunch, I made sure that none of the flowers were sticking out too high or too low. I wanted them to have a nice round shape and look full. I made sure there weren't any empty spots that needed to be filled in.
I had a ribbon that was wired to tie the bouquet together. (You can also use a rubber bands if you have them handy.) I included a note around the bouquet as well since each centerpiece was going to be given to an individual guest at the end of the event. After I was satisfied with the arrangement I had made, I trimmed the stems and removed any unneeded leaves. (Remember, you don't want leaves to touch the water in the vase. It adds bacteria to the water and will kill your flowers sooner.) I placed the bouquet in a water filled mason jar....and mission accomplished! I had a centerpiece. Very exciting stuff.
Here are a few additional tips:
*Buy a good pair of flower shears. Home Depot has them for around $10.
*Don't cut the stems until you are happy with the arrangement. You can re-do your bouquet and try different things. Once you cut your stems short, you are limited with your options.
*Follow the directions of the flower seller/distributor. Different flowers need different types of care.
* Get an extra pair of hands to help you wrap the bouquets. That part was tricky. Having floral tape and ribbon will hide your rubber bands.
* Don't be afraid and have fun! It wasn't as scary as I thought it was going to be.
Happy Flower Time!
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