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lily of the valley bouquet

Lily of the Valley bridal bouquets were in vogue in the 1920's and 1930's.  Popular brides such as Princes Grace Kelley and Princess Kate also carried these delicate flowers in their bridal bouquets.

This beautiful bouquet is created on a bouquet holder and is a simple mix of white roses and lily of the valley.

You will need:

If you elect to use fresh Lily of the Valley, keep in mind that it is rather expensive and wilts quickly.  It is best to get this product from a source that guarantees refrigerated delivery and order extra in case of spoilage.

I always reinforce the Lily of the Valley stem with taped wire before inserting into the wet foam.  Be sure to leave the bottom cut end open (not covering with tape) so the flower can still draw water out of the foam.  This is very important.

Belle holders come in three sizes.  Lily of the Valley has such a slender stem that you could go with a medium size.  Slanted holders are for cascades and straight are for round bouquets.

Always allow your holder to "float soak" in water treated with Crystal Clear (or similar) flower food.  Live flowers need nourishment and water to survive.

Carefully insert fresh Lily of the Valley stems into the wet foam that has been soaked in water treated with fresh flower food.  Inserting outer flowers will create the frame of how large your final bouquet diameter will be.

Continue to move around the bouquet, moving in towards the center.

With most of my bouquet tutorials, I tend to work from the center out, but since most of this bouquet is made of delicate Lily of the Valley, I spread my stems out, filling in the bouquet as I go.

I'm leaving some sections open since I plan to also add white roses to this bouquet.

After inserting all my Lily of the Valley stems, I am ready to add the white roses.  Be sure to remove any damaged guard petals and cut the rose stems to length before inserting into the wet foam.

It is always best to only insert one time into the foam.  Constantly inserting and removing flowers tends to degrade the foam and the flowers will become loose and not stay in place.

I inserted the first rose in the center of the bouquet and then begin adding more in a circular pattern, making sure to leave about the same amount of room between the roses.

Take extra care not to damage any of the Lily of the Valley stems.

This bouquet tends to take shape quickly and fills in well.

Change the position of the bouquet, so you can be sure to spread the roses evenly.  The first rose should be straight out from the center and the additional roses begin to take on an angle outwards until those on the outer perimeter are at a 90 degree angle from the center roses.

You need to be sure that the heavy bouquet is quite secure in the vase so that it does not topple forward as the heavy roses fill into the foam.  Falling out of the vase can damage or break your expensive stems or cause bruising that shows up within a few hours of designing.

Remember how I talked about how expensive (and perishable!) Lily of the Valley is?  This bouquet tutorial was actually created with good quality silks!  Did you realize this from the beginning?

Silks can be realistic enough to convince your guests you are carrying the real thing (without chancing $400 worth of fresh to wilt before you even go down the aisle.)

Fresh white roses add to the illusion.  Using a hint of  Lily of the Valley oil essence gives a sweet scent to your bouquet that mimics the real thing . . . for a fraction of the cost!  This is a bonus for the DIY bride who is trying to keep within a budget - but still getting the beautiful look of these lovely flowers!

Compare this bouquet with the $1000 fresh one that Princess Kate carried.  It was rumored that her hand wired bouquet was over $1000 and that several were made up to ensure that another was available for a quick substitute in case the one she carried began to show any signs of wilting.

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