When is it flower love at first sight? When a bride holds her bridal bouquet for the first time and feels like a princess.
Floral art becomes wedding magic.
What’s the secret to creating artistic designs your brides can fall in love with?
The magic is in the mechanics.
We asked Canadian designer Lea Romanowski CAFA AIFD to offer some tips on bouquet mechanics.
Lea’s Calgary studio Designing on the Edge specializes in corporate, wedding or special events.
She offers design techniques for creating three of her favorites – cascade, composite and contemporary bouquet.
Modern cascading bouquet
A cascading bouquet features descending lines of floral materials reminiscent of falling water. Florists often refer to this design style as a cascade.
Lea created this modern cascading bouquet in a round European Bouquet Holder. She used Mega wire to establish the structural line of the design.
“I love to build things,” says Lea. “I consider myself a floral engineer.”
Which hard-goods did she use to engineer her design?
- Round European Bouquet Holder
- Silver Mega wire
- UGLU™ strips
- Floral adhesive
- Lamination film (cut into long strips)
- Faux aspidistra leaf strips
- Faux Ice Crystal Spray
Quick Tip: If you only have the square European bouquet holder on hand, trim the corners to create a rounded surface.
If you haven’t used a European Bouquet Holder, watch this video for details.
While various flower combinations can be used to create this style of design, Lea chose:
- Button Chrysanthemums
- Phalaenopsis Orchids
- Umbrella fern – Sticherus flabellatus
To create the basic line of the design she took these initial steps:
- Heat seal the laminating together in a long line.
- Cut and shape, then spray with faux ice crystals.
- Wrap film around Mega wire spiral and glue into place.
Quick tip: Lea bent a piece of silver aluminum wire into a hairpin – an upside-down U shape. She inserted it over the stem of the central calla and into the foam to secure the flower in place.
“I am fortunate enough to be paid as an artist,” she explains. “A floral warrior. We speak for others – telling a story on their behalf using our floral art.”
A composite is a bouquet with a focal area made up of the individual parts of a flower. A Glamellia made of gladiolus petals or a rose composite are popular examples.
Multiple petals from one variety of flower are used to make a composite. The bouquet takes the form of a single flower.
- Cymbidium orchids
- Israeli ruscus
- Green Trick Dianthus
- Variegated aspidistra
To create a composite backing:
- Trim an 8 to 10-inch disk of cardboard or plastic into a circular shape.
- Cut a small 1-inch circle in its center.
- Halfway between the center and outside edge, make three double slits.
- Apply a heavy coat of floral adhesive, one section at a time; add petals.
Creating the bouquet backing:
- Remove petals from 11 cymbidium orchids.
- Keep one whole cymbidium for the center.
- Wire the central cymbidium through the throat and stem.
- Tape to finish leaving 10 to 12-inch length. Set aside.
Add fresh flowers:
- Glue ruscus petals to the outside top edge.
- Repeat the circle of the cymbidium petals (going inward).
- Add a circle of dianthus.
- Keep gluing circles of each type of material until 1/2-inch from center.
- Insert the wire of the whole orchid into the center hole and secure wires to the disk.
- Cut wire handle to desired length, approximately 9 – 10-inches.
Finishing the design:
- Add Aspidistra leaves one at a time to the underside of the finished bouquet.
- Secure with waterproof tape.
- Finish with decorative ribbon secured by UGLU strips.
- Cut stems to desired lengths.
Lea creates contemporary bouquets for the brides who love a unique look. These avant-garde styles are often chosen for weddings held in museums, botanical gardens, or historical sites.
Careful attention to detail is focused on the color, texture and form of these one-of-a kind creations.
“When people ask ‘Why?’ of my work, I ask ‘Why not?’ It’s not always pretty, but it’s always thought provoking.”
Like many designers, Lea often begins by sketching her idea.
- King Protea
- Pomponi Gerbera Daisies
- Long lengths of Norfolk Pine
- Israeli ruscus – sprayed rose gold
- Remove handle of the Round European Bouquet Holder.
- Trim the underside of the foam cage to make its base flat.
- Cut a 1-inch hole in the center.
- Feed the copper pipe through the center of the holder and shape.
- Apply hot glue to the top and bottom liberally to secure.
- Soak in water that has flower food added.
- Once it’s fully water-saturated – set aside to dry.
Lea begins by finishing the underside of the design first.
- Remove branches from a Norfolk Pine.
- Pull off all the smaller lengths of foliage.
- Organize in groups of small/medium/large/extra-large pieces.
- Moving from outside to inner circle, cover base with a layer of floral adhesive.
Differentiate your business
One way to differentiate your wedding business is by offering uniquely beautiful wedding bouquets that brides will love.
What style of bouquets do you enjoy creating for your brides?
Offer your suggestions in the comment section below.