Gardening: Flowers draw attention to the bride and groom

  • Mar. 4, 2020 2:02 p.m.

Weddings are special days for the bride and groom, as well as families and friends. Location of the event, budget, and theme dictate the decorations which includes the flowers.

Cost of flowers can range between hundreds and thousands depending on how elaborate and who puts them together. When using a wedding planning or florist service, instructions are given and details are taken care off. Doing it yourself takes more time and planning. Source the flowers ahead of time. Either have a practise run or purchase more flowers than needed to avoid last minute disasters.

Choose flowers that are fresh and if possible, just opening. Flowers are kept in coolers to slow down their maturation. As soon as they are in a warm environment the flowers begin to age and one wants them at their best for the wedding.

There are three ways of making bride and bridesmaid bouquets. One is to choose one of the large flowers such as Hydrangeas, Proteases, or Dahlias. Arrange some greenery around the large flower, then wrap the stems with floral tape to hold the bouquet together. A similar method can be used with smaller flowers. First tape bundles of three or four flower and greenery stems then tape the bundles together as one bouquet.

When wanting to include a number of flowers in the bouquet, purchase a bouquet holders with heads that contain oasis to will hold the floral stems in place. The larger the head that holds the oasis, the large the bouquet that can be created.

Green oasis is for real flowers as it is soaked in water ahead of time, keeping the flowers hydrated. White Styrofoam heads are denser and is used for artificial flowers.

The bouquet enhances the bride on her special day and should be sized accordingly.

Start the bouquet by placing greenery stems in the outside edge of the oasis. The tips of the greenery will dictate the size of the bouquet and most of the flowers will fall within these parameters.

Next place linear flowers, ones with multiple flowers on one stem such as snapdragons in all directions around the outside and upwards once again setting the size of the arrangement. Place a few special flowers in the center area giving the bouquet a focal point. Fill in the remaining area with smaller flowers and greenery. Make sure that none of the oasis or plastic holder are visible. The bouquet can be round or drape downwards.

The last style is a presentation bouquet that is cradled on the arm as opposed to being held in the hand. Start by laying greenery on a flat surface. Flowers are then placed on top of the leaves making a linear arrangement. Once all the flowers are in place, the bouquet is tied together with a string or ribbon. The flowers can sit on the brides arm or be wrapped in paper or material creating a barrier between the flowers and bride.

Ribbons can be added to any of the arrangements and are often used to cover the florist tape.

Boutonnieres are usually simple, a single flower with a piece of greenery and a ribbon. Start by wrapping the stem of the flower with floral tape. Then attach it to a piece of greenery with another piece of floral tape. Cut the stem to the appropriate length. The groom’s boutonniere is typically larger.

Corsages are larger boutonnieres. They usually contain more than one flower of varying size. Once the flowers are wrapped, place them on the greenery with the largest flower on the bottom and smallest on the top. Look to see if the flowers are balanced before securing them with floral tape. Fine ribbons are often added to the arrangement. Wrapping both boutonnieres and corsage stems with ribbon is a nice touch.

Flowers for the flower girls must be sized for the holder. Small children do well with one flower while older ones often hold a few stems. Purchase extra flowers for young children to replace ones that are mangled

Plan to put the flowers the day before the wedding as it is rarely possible to arrange the flowers on the wedding day. The flowers will be still fresh if they are kept hydrated and in a cool location. When using one large flower, place a small bag of water on the end of the stem and snip it off just before the wedding. If using oasis, make sure it is always wet. Presentation flowers can be placed in a vase and the stems dried before the wedding.

Boutonnieres and corsages keep well in plastic bags in the fridge.

The choice of florals at a wedding is up to those planning the event. They add to the overall decor and draw attention to the most important people, the bride and groom.

Linda Tomlinson is a horticulturalist that lives near Rocky Mountain House. She can be reached at

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