Mixed Colonial Bridal Bouquet

John Henry - Flowers to Wear 

 Flower Recipe FW3-31

Round bridal bouquets are simple and a great favorite with today's bride.  For this bouquet, you'll need the following:

You can create this bouquet by either tying a true hand tied or using the mock hand tied look.  The mock hand tie has the advantage of a continual water source and are easier to create that a true hand tied if you do not have experience as a designer.


Do you need more detail instructions?  Check out my extensive tutorial on how to make a colonial bridal bouquet.  You can cover the underneath of the holder with real leaves by applying floral adhesive.

Start by using broad leaves such as the salal pictured.  You can use other greenery such a Dusty Miller, Israeli Ruscus or Pittosporum.

Apply the floral adhesive to the back of the holder and apply the leaves, overlapping them.  Professional flower glue dries slower than hot melt (which can damage fresh flowers and leaves).  It holds well in damp conditions and doesn't pop apart when chilled like hot and cold melt glue does.

After the bottom is covered, tape a few more leaves with their stems pressed tightly against the handle and tape securely with floral tape.  You could finish the handle with a ribbon or wire wrap if you wish.

If you wish to create a hand tied look, I always make sure the stems are clean and completely de-thorned, leaving a few leaves at the top.

Wrap the handle in floral clay to make it sticky and then press the cleaned stems tightly against the handle.  The clay will hold it into place.

Push the stems up tightly underneath the foam head of the bouquet holder and press hard against the clay.

Use either BindIt tape or regular floral tape to wind tightly around the cut stems.

Cut off all the stems to the same length with bunch cutters or heavy pruners.

You can finish the handle with ribbon, lace, colored wire or other elements.

Wire your several leaves (both salal and pittosporum) by using a stitch piercing with a single wire.

Bend the wire down on both sides, parallel to the short stem of the leaf.

Tape the wires with florist tape, creating a new, longer stem.  After you have made several of these, insert them around the perimeter of the bouquet holder, creating a collar of leaves.

Leaf collars can be made out of different varieties, including the leather leaf and galax leaves shown below.  The collar will extend beyond the heads of the flowers and intended to show as part of the design.

Once the handle and collar is done, fill in the bouquet with the fresh flowers in your choice of colors.  I usually insert all of one variety first.  The biggest and most prominent flowers are called focal flowers.  In this case, it is the standard roses.  

Then follow with the secondary flowers like the stock.  You can cut stock into shorter pieces.  Stock comes in a nice variety and shades of color, including white, cream, lavender, pinks and purples.  You can also lightly tint different safely using spray flower tint designed especially for fresh flowers.  It has a lovely spicy scent that you'll love in your bridal bouquet.

Miniature spray carnations come in a large range of colors as well.  Using both the buds and opened heads gives you a variety of size and texture.  

Cut the laterals cleanly with a sharp floral knife and insert into the wet foam.

Finish by tucking filler flower into your bouquet, cutting it into pieces like the wax flower shown below.  Baby's Breath works well, too.  Don't overpower your design with too much filler - just tuck into the open spots here and there to cover up the mechanics of the design.

Look your final bouquet over to be sure that no foam shows and the flowers are evenly distributed.

I generally use Floralock on all my bouquet designs to make sure that the stems are locked into place.  Do not use Floralock until you are sure your design is completely done.

Follow directions on can.  Shake thoroughly to aerate the adhesive.  Insert the red nozzle deep inbetween the flower heads and squirt short bursts.  Don't overdo or you'll have glue dripping down the handle of the bouquet.

I use a flower sealant like Finishing Touch on every flower design I do.  It seals the petals and slows down evaporation that leads to petal transparency.

This is especially important for DIY bouquets.  Professional flower coolers put humidity INTO the air.  Air conditioning and home refrigerators pull humidity OUT of the air, drying out the flowers sooner than at a flower shop.  You want to do everything you can to keep those flowers moisturized and sated with water.

Replenish the wet foam, never allowing the holder to go dry.  You'll be surprised just how much moisture a live flower will drink each day.  Replenishing the water is necessary to extend the life of your wedding flowers.

Need more extensive step by step guidance than what is shown above?  Check out my free tutorials below that go into much more detailed explanations, including the use of products used by professional florists to extend the life of their wedding bouquets and other designs.


Free Flower Tutorials