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hand tied bouquet 

A hand tied bouquet is the look we are going for.  It's important you cover all the mechanics that show it is designed on a bouquet holder. 

You can see the floral glue is rather stretchy and takes a bit to adhere completely.  Check all the leaves to be sure they are glued down.  If not - apply a little more adhesive to the underside of the leaf.

You can see that covering the back of the bouquet holder results in an attractive nature finish that conceals the holder completely.

Once those leaves are attached firmly, I use another leaf to wrap around the top of the handle stem.

I then use florist tape to secure that leaf, winding a bit of the tape directly over the leaf so the handle is completely covered.  I will later place stems over this handle to create a mock "hand tied" look.

I fell in love with the European bouquet holder the first time I used it.  Oasis manufactures many great bouquet holders, including the popular Belle holder.  

You can see below, however, how large this round holder is compared with the largest Belle.  It is capable of holding many more stems of flowers that other holders.

It was originally designed to mimic the "pave look" that is so popular in many European countries.  Those usually show clustered flowers, cut extremely short and creating the look of a dish garden.

The advantage is that you can also create a more traditional rounded look that is popular in the United States.  The bigger holder makes it easy for the DIY bride to easily create a gorgeous look - yet is more balanced and the handle is not nearly as large as the enormous amount of stems used in a traditional hand tied.

It's fun to be creative and create your own special designs that hold up well in the new MaxLife foam that is part of every bouquet holder that is sold by Oasis.  It extends the life of the flowers in every design.

This holder can also be used in the tall, narrow vases to create a large spray of flowers on top of reception centerpieces.  (Skip the step of covering the handle with florist tape.)

The holder is much lighter to hold that a hand tie, since the weight of a great deal of the stems is eliminated.

This holder does not, however, have a self wicking handle like the Super-Wet Bouquet holder and the Elegant Holders.  You will need to re-add water to the holder again if the bouquet is made several days in advance of the wedding.

Remember - those flowers are a live product and will suck up a great deal of water out of the foam.  Keeping the foam saturated is necessary for the flowers to stay fresh up until the wedding day.

Here is a copy of the rose wedding bouquet that the bride fell in love with from the internet.  Look closely at the handle and you'll see how a true hand tied can turn rather into a unwieldy club to have to hold.  I skipped the gardenias, since this was a hot summer wedding and the bride planned to have photos taken outdoors.  It is a rather touchy flower that doesn't hold up well in the heat.

Note how I circled and counted the flowers needed and made notes at the bottom of the page.  This is the first step to creating a look that you see in a photograph. 

Obviously I plan to create that same look, except I'm going to use the bouquet holder in order to keep the flowers hydrated, the bouquet stem diameter smaller and easier to hold.

I choose bulk white roses that open to the look of a garden rose since I wanted a similar look to the bouquet above.  Note that the outer petals of wedding roses are commonly called "guard petals" by professional florists. 

These petals sometimes have bruising or discoloration when arriving from the wholesaler.  They are deliberately left in place and are only removed when the florist is ready to begin designing.

Peal away any guard petal that shows bruising or spots until you reveal petals with good color and no discoloration.

If you wish to sprinkle petals on your wedding aisle, mist the discarded petals with Finishing Touch, allow to dry, and place in a plastic bag with a paper towels inside the bag.  Keep refrigerated until needed.

Always handle the petals gently, avoiding creasing if possible.

See how I now have a lovely, softly opened rose to use in my bouquet design.

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