Bespoke is back. But must bespoke garden bouquets always be heavy? How is arranging one different? Do you have to use chicken wire? Isn’t there an easier and more time-efficient mechanic?
And what is bespoke garden design anyway?
These were among the questions asked by attendees last week at burton+Burton’s renowned educational event Ballooniversity® in Athens, Georgia. burton+Burton is the world’s largest balloon and coordinating gift supplier.
During my presentation on bouquets, I introduced a couple of bespoke garden style bouquets and shared some quick tips for creating these trend-setting designs with an easy-to-use floral mechanic: wire armature formed into an egg shape.
Bespoke garden style bouquets
These new garden style bouquets are often referred to as bespoke, a British term meaning specially made for a particular person. Popular in the 1940s, bespoke has recently become one of the hottest floral trends.
Bespoke bouquets feature a loosely-gathered appearance that often breaks the classical rules of principles and elements, focusing instead on the composition’s harmonious blend of color and texture.
These showy bouquets were and are often so large, they have been humorously described as a bride ‘carrying her grandmother’s garden’. Weight can be an issue with bespoke bouquets!
Lightweight and easy to use
Weight, perhaps, is why a lightweight mechanic is essential and the old-fashioned handmade chicken wire form has been brought back into fashion.
At Balloniversity, the audience loved the idea of using a wire armature instead of chicken wire. Why? Because a wire armature form is just as lightweight and even easier to use. Questions attendees asked about using the new mechanic included: How do I shape the wire form? Which floral materials do I insert first? How do I tie off the bouquet when it is complete?
As I shared with the audience, a wire armature, can be pressed into the shape of an egg in just moments! It’s fast, easy, lightweight and effective. Here’s how it works.
Creating a fall garden bouquet
For the first fall bouquet, I chose a blend of garden flowers that lend themselves to a late summer or early autumn wedding. Emphasis was placed on including a larger number of varieties and a lesser number of any one flower.
Using a wire armature as the foundation of the bouquet, the flat, square wire armature can be easily pressed into an oval egg-shape.
Incorporating sunflowers, allium, roses, mini gerberas, nigella pods and green trick dianthus, it was easy to create an ‘unarranged’ fall bouquet. A few stems of tropicals—pincushion protea and Oncidium orchids—were added as an unexpected textural touch.
The soft blue-green coloring of eucalyptus is a popular choice for these loosely-gathered bouquets; I chose seeded, feather and spiral varieties. Stems of bupleurum add a pop of bright green to the mix.
The design begins by inserting the foliage stems through the egg to form the framework of the design. The lower extension of the stems creates the bouquet handle. Once the bouquet has been tied off, UGLU can be added over the binding point to help hold in place the finishing touch of decorative ribbon.
Using a pre-mixed bouquet
For those designing a bespoke garden style design in an armature, mesh or chicken wire, choosing a broader mix of flowers might be confusing. As an easy ‘go to’ example, I used a convenient and pre-mixed sleeved bouquet from Sunshine Bouquet Company.
I added a mix of foliages to the extra-large Bohemian Winter bouquet from their current trend collection. I created the garden style bouquet in a wire armature and tied it off with bind wire. You can also use cable ties or waterproof tape to keep the bouquet intact.
Tips for prepping the flowers in advance
- Make the egg-shaped form from a wire armature, floral mesh or floral netting.
- Clean foliage from stems beneath the binding point
- Separate flowers and foliage by variety
- Add larger pieces of greens beneath the ‘egg’ for extra coverage
The trendy new bespoke garden style bouquets are different from traditional hand-tieds. The unarranged style can feel a little uncomfortable for traditional designers. An easy way to explore this style is to use wire armatures as the foundation of the design.
Are you offering bespoke garden bouquets to your brides? What is your favorite foundation mechanic to use?