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Floral Design Education

Tricks of the trade

 

Dreaming of a life filled with dahlias?

If you’ve ever wanted a job where you can stop and smell the roses, this collection of short guides & worksheets is for you.

 

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Flowers 101

Cut Flower Care Basics

Cut Flower Care FAQ

Includes answers to Q’s about:

  • peonies, roses, poppies, & hydrangeas

  • anemones, hellebores, tulips, daffodils & lilies

  • flower food & hydration

  • Quick Dip & Crowning Glory

  • floral refrigerators, floral knives, & more

 
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How to learn Floral Design

How to Teach Yourself

Where to Take a Class

Learn on the Job

Tips for Practicing Your New Skills

Floral Design FAQ

Includes answers to Q’s about:

  • floral foam, chicken wire, & flower frogs

  • designing with fruit and succulents

  • water picks & other great tools

  • wrapping bouquets for delivery

  • plus, videos that demo basic technique

 
 

Wedding Flowers

A Tiny Guide to Working on Your First Wedding

Wedding Flowers FAQ

Includes answers to Q’s about:

  • when to purchase flowers for a wedding

  • arbors, arches, chuppahs, & mandaps

  • bouquets, bouts, & more

 

Tools, Supplies, & Additional resources

Educational Resources

Floral Design Tools & Supplies

 

Flowers 101

Cut flower Care Basics

 

 

Great floral design starts with gorgeous flowers.

Here’s how to keep your petals looking pretty:

— Beautiful blooms. Select the freshest flowers you can find. Stems should be sturdy, not mushy or squashed.


— Keep it clean.
Clean tools, clean vase, clean water.


— Prep work.
Prepare your flowers for design work by removing leaves and thorns, giving stems a fresh cut, and placing them in clean, cold water. Florists refer to this set of steps as “conditioning” or “processing” flowers.


— Lose the green.
Remove the leaves and thorns from each stem with your hands, clippers, thorn strippers, or floral knife.


— Bacteria = bad news.
Leaves that sit in water can rot, create bacteria, and shorten the vase life of your flowers. Be sure to take off the leaves that might fall under the water line in your vase.


— Stick to the stems.
Avoid bruising or breaking delicate petals by holding the stem of each flower while you work.


— Remove brown or bruised petals. Broken petals and chewed leaves are your calls—if you think they’re beautiful, keep them!


— Slice, not smash.
Keep your clippers, floral knife, or scissors sharpened. A clean cut is key.


— Scalpel, please.
Cut off the bottom inch of each stem. Make the cut on a 45-degree angle. An angled cut increases the surface area at the base of the stem and helps the flower drink more water.


— Hydrate. As soon as you’ve cut the stem, place each flower in fresh water.


— Fresh is best.
For the longest vase life, change the water in your vase daily. Keep your flowers away from heat and sunlight, and enjoy!

 

Flowers 101

Cut flower Care FAQ

 

 

My peonies won’t open. What should I do?

Try placing the stems in warm water, and leave your bucket in a warm place.

If you’re in a hurry, swish the heads in a bucket of water. You'll see air bubbles form in the water, and the bloom should slowly open.


My roses won’t open. What do I do?

  • Remove the guard petals. See those little brown or green petals on the outside of your rose? The ones that look wilted? Peeling these petals off will help the bloom open.

  • Blow on the petals. (Yes, really.)

  • Use your fingers to separate the petals.

  • Use Quick Dip. (See FAQ Part II for more on this.)

  • If you want to create a "picked from the garden" look, pull the center petals out of roses. 

  • You can also "reflex" roses. Starting with the outermost layer, pull back 3-5 layers of petals. Don't pull the petals off, just back. It'll feel like you're turning each petal inside out. (Try reflexing tulips as well!)


My flowers are stuck together! What now?

Flowers that have clusters of tiny blooms, like chamomile or feverfew, tend to get tangled.

To separate them, flip the flowers upside down and gently shake, tease, and pull the blooms apart.


How do I condition hydrangeas?

  • Cut the bottom of the stem on an angle. Then, slicing straight into the stem, make another small cut up the length of the stem. The extra cut helps the hydrangea drink more water. You’ll also want to do this with other branches like lilac, cherry, etc.

  • Hydrangeas are unusual in that their petals can drink water. If they’re looking sad, spray the heads with water or dunk them in a sink or bucket of water for an extra dose of hydration.

  • Before designing with hydrangeas, recut each stem and dip the bottom 1/2 inch into alum powder. (This isn’t a must, but it’ll help them last longer.)


How do I condition poppies?

Remember: burn or boil.

Cut the stem on an angle. Then: sear the end with a flame or dip it in boiling water.

(A barbecue lighter or an electric kettle can make this a quick and easy task.)


How do I process hellebores?

That electric kettle is going to come in handy again! Cut stems on an angle, dip the ends in boiling water for 30 seconds, then place them in cold water.


How do I process lilies?

Cut on an angle and place in water. Remove the anthers using a tissue. Use pipe cleaners to clean off any pollen that's left behind on the petals.


How should I process daffodils?

Daffodil stems release a sap that’s harmful to other flowers. Before arranging with them, cut the stems on an angle and place in clean water. Leave the daffodils to hydrate for at least six hours before arranging them with other flowers.

Here's the key: every time you cut them, daffodils release sap. You'll need to cut the stems to the height you want them to be in your vase before letting them hydrate for six hours.


…I think my cut flowers moved overnight. Am I imagining things?

Nope! If you think they moved, they probably did. Here are a few fun examples of this:

  • Tulips are phototropic. They grow and bend towards the light.

  • Some flowers, like tulips and anemones, continue to grow after they’ve been cut. Keep this in mind when designing with them!

  • Anemone blooms close at night and/or in the dark. Keep this in mind when using them in a dark, candlelit wedding venue.

  • Snapdragons bend towards the sky. Thanks to negative gravitropism, their stems are pulled in the opposite direction of gravity. Other gravitropic flowers include bells of Ireland and tulips.


Do I need to use flower food?

No. Clean water and a fresh cut are enough to keep flowers happy. Replace the water in your buckets/vases and recut stems daily.

That said, flower food can help flowers last longer, which is always a good thing when it comes to weddings, events, and single order deliveries.

Try both options, and see which works best for you!


What is Quick Dip?

Quick Dip is a chemical solution that helps flowers hydrate and open quickly. Florists often use it with roses.

To use it, pour a small amount in a shallow vase or bucket. Give stems a fresh cut, then give the ends a brief dip in the liquid. (See what they did there?)

After you’ve dipped, place the flowers in a bucket filled with clean water.


Should I spray my flowers with water?

Nope. Use Crowning Glory or another type of floral sealant instead.

(One exception: hydrangeas. Spraying them with water keeps them happy in warm weather.)


What’s Crowning Glory?

Crowning Glory is a sealant that helps flowers retain moisture. Florists spray it on finished design work. It’s especially helpful for keeping bouquets and boutonnières fresh.

Spray it. Spray liberally. Spray it on everything.


Do I need a floral refrigerator in my studio?

In an ideal world, yes. Storing flowers at the right temperature extends the vase life of your flowers.

Refrigeration systems can be expensive, though. Alternative options include:

using a CoolBot controller to create a makeshift cooler

searching Craigslist or restaurant supply stores for used fridges

skipping the fridge and using a powerful air conditioner to keep your workspace cool

(Make sure that the A/C isn’t blowing directly at the flowers so that delicate petals don’t get damaged.)


Do I need to cut my flowers with a knife?

Nope. Many floral designers prefer to use clippers or scissors.

That said, using a floral knife creates a clean, sharp cut and reduces the risk of smushing stems. This is especially helpful for soft-stemmed flowers like tulips.

Even if you prefer clippers, a floral knife is a useful tool to keep around. Use it to remove thorns, dense foliage, and rough edges from stems.


Anything else I should know?

Keep your knives, clippers, and buckets clean!

 

How to learn floral design

Study up, buttercup

 

 

Many florists are self-taught. Get started with our guides to cut flower care, floral design FAQ, and wedding floral design.
Then:


Learn from a book! Here are a few great ones:

Fresh From the Field Wedding Flowers
Erin Benzakein & Lynn Byczynski

The Flower Workshop
Ariella Chezar

The Flower Recipe Book
Alethea Harampolis & Jill Rizzo


Watch YouTube videos, like these:

Wrist Corsages
Flower Moxie

Garden Style Bridal Bouquets
Mayesh/Christy Husley

Simple Hand-tied Bouquets
Mark Welford/Stephen Wicks


Learn the names of flowers. If you don’t have a flower market near you, searching Sierra Flower Finder is a great way to get started. (Our Pinterest boards can help too!)


Research how cut flowers behave in different conditions. Which ones hold up out of water? What flowers continue to grow after they’ve been cut? Start by learning about these crowd pleasers: roses, tulips, daffodils, ranunculus, peonies, and dahlias.


Read a floral design blog. We love:

Botanical Brouhaha

Flirty Fleurs

Flowerona


Learn about the cut flower industry. Become an informed consumer, and learn how flowers are grown and sourced around the world. Start by reading these:

The Secrets Behind Your Flowers

Slow Flowers

Flower Confidential
Amy Stewart


— Practice, practice, practice! Make sure to check out our suggestions for practicing your new skills later in this guide.

 

How to learn floral design

Take A Class

 

 

If you want to see live demonstrations, ask questions, and get feedback on your work, you can:

Take a short class with a local florist in your neighborhood. Many flower shops offer 1-2 hr classes, which typically range from $75-300. Check out:

Local Color Flowers

The Farmer’s Daughter Flowers

Native Poppy


Take a 1:1 private lesson with a local florist.


Attend a full-time, comprehensive program at a floral design school or your local botanical garden. Courses are 2-12 weeks long and range from $2000-15,000. Check out:

Tallulah Rose Flower School

New York Botanical Garden

Longwood Gardens

Attend a floral design workshop. Floral designers around the world offer 1-4 day workshops, which range from $500-4000. Consider:

Love ‘n Fresh Flowers

Ponderosa & Thyme

Bows & Arrows Flowers


If taking a class in-person isn’t right for you, consider taking an online course with:

PASSIONFLOWERSUE

If I Made

Team Flower

 

How to learn floral design

Learn On The Job

 

 

Want to get paid while you learn? You can:

Apply for an internship at a local flower shop. While some florists prefer to hire experienced employees, many are happy to train newcomers.

Likewise, studio or home-based wedding florists hire interns or new freelancers. Assisting designers with wedding work is a great way to see if becoming a florist is a good fit for you.

Search for open positions on Craigslist, indeed.com, the Flirty Fleurs job board, or the New Covent Garden Market job board (UK).

 

How to learn floral design

Practice Makes Perfect

 

 

Once you’ve learned the basics, you’ll need to practice your new skills. To get started:

— Find out if there are local farmers in your area that you can buy flowers from. Search here:

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers

Floret Farmer-Florist Collective

Slow Flowers


Visit a wholesale flower market near you and/or your local farmers market. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, find out what flowers cost, and buy your favorites!

(Note: some wholesale markets require purchasers to have a federal tax ID and/or resale certificate.)


— Buy the tools you’ll need. (See our resource guide for where to buy, etc.) A few items you might want:

A pair of clippers & a floral knife

Floral tape

Vases!


Schedule your practice sessions. Put them on the calendar, and plan out what flowers you’d like to buy. Use the flowers you purchase to make as many practice arrangements as you can.


Set a goal for each time you practice. What skills are you trying to master? Here’s a short list to begin with:

— Hand-tied bouquets

— Garden-style bouquets

— Wearables (boutonnières, corsages, etc.)

— Vase arrangements


— To save money and get the most of your flower purchase, start with taller arrangements and bouquets. Then recut the stems and practice making smaller items.


Experiment with different styles of floral design! There’s always something new you can learn.


— Don’t forget to photograph your beautiful work!

 

How to learn floral design

Floral Design FAQ

 

 

What is floral foam?

Floral foam is an absorbent, plastic foam. It’s used to keep flowers hydrated while in a specific position, whether upright in a vase, draping from a bouquet, or hanging from a chuppah.


How do I use floral foam?

Cut a piece of foam into the shape you need. Fill a bucket with water, and place the floral foam on top of the water. Don’t push the foam underwater—instead, allow the foam to absorb the water.

Once the foam is soaked, it’s ready for use. Cut stems on an angle and insert into the foam.


Is floral foam dangerous to use? Is it bad for the environment?

Many florists have stopped using floral foam, with good reason.

Floral foam isn't biodegradable, isn't reusable, and isn't an environmentally-friendly choice.

It’s known to irritate skin and lungs and contains (very small) amounts of known carcinogens.

And here's the key thing: there’s rarely (if ever) a need to use it. There are so many other options!


What can I use instead of floral foam?

— stem grids
— spiral technique
— tape grids, using clear or waterproof floral tape
— twine (for tying hand-tied bouquets)
water picks or tubes
chicken wire (coated in PVC)
glass or ceramic flower frogs
kenzans or pin holders
hairpin holders
pin cups
floral cages
Eco Fresh Bouquet wraps


How do I attach chicken wire to a vase?

Cut a piece of chicken wire, then fold it to fit into your vase. The "ball" of chicken wire should fill the vase and have at least two layers for stems to pass through.

Secure it with floral putty or with a tape grid made with waterproof floral tape.


How do I attach a pin holder (flower frog) to a vase?

Line the bottom edge of the frog with floral clay or putty. Place the frog in a clean, dry vase. To secure it, twist and push—twist the frog while pushing it down into the vessel.


How do I use a water pick?

Fill the pick or tube with water and put the rubber cap on. Cut your flower on an angle, then insert into the small hole in the cap.


How can I put fruit into an arrangement?

Treat fruit (or veggies!) that are on stems or branches like flowers. Cut the stems on an angle and place in your vase.

For large pieces of fruit, insert a bamboo skewer into the fruit. Secure the skewer with floral glue. Once the glue is dry, put the skewer into your arrangement.


How do I put a succulent into a bouquet or arrangement?

Create a "stem" for the succulent using a bamboo skewer.

Insert the bamboo skewer into the base of the succulent. Secure using wire, floral glue, or waterproof tape. (Or a combination of the three!)


What should I use to wrap a bouquet?

To keep your stems hydrated, use a hydration wrap like Eco Fresh Bouquet or Arrive Alive. (Or use water picks on flowers that are particularly prone to wilting.)

Use A-ROO sleeves, cellophane, tissue paper, kraft paper, burlap, or another fabric to create a decorative wrap.

For wedding bouquets, head to Wedding Flowers FAQ.


Any other tools or tricks I should know about?

Yes! Here are a few favorites:

o Use Goo Gone to get floral glue off your hands. (It's also great for removing stickers from vases and candle holders.)

o Zip ties are your friends. Use mini ones for making corsages, mid-sized ones for binding bouquets, and large ones for installation work.

o These videos will also help! For more information on tools, books, videos, schools, workshops, and programs we love, check out our list of resources.

o Never stop learning! Florists are always coming up with creative new techniques. There’s always something new to learn.

 

How to buy wholesale flowers

Sourcing Basics

 

 

Depending on where you live, you might be able to:

  • order flowers from a wholesaler

  • order flowers from a local flower farmer

  • order from a farmer who’ll ship flowers to you

  • shop in person at flower or farmers markets


You’ll need to:

  • …research! Find out what your options are for ordering flowers in your area.

  • …do even more research! Ask your local wholesaler what information/certification/etc. they’ll need from you. (Or find out if they’re willing to sell to the general public.)

  • …introduce yourself! Start developing relationships with wholesalers and farmers. (Don’t be shy!)


Here’s what you need to know:

  • Wholesale flowers are typically sold in bunches of 10 stems. (…but are sometimes sold in 5, 12, or 25 stem bunches.)

  • Wholesalers also sell large quantities of the same flower by the bundle or box. (…which usually contain multiple 10 stem bunches.)

  • Most flower farmers sell traditional 10 stem bunches, while some sell flowers by the stem or by the bucket.

  • A bunch (or box/bundle/bucket) of wholesale flowers will usually contain a single type of flower in a given color.


Visit a flower market:

New York City Flower Market

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market

Sonoma Flower Mart

Southern California Flower Market

Columbia Road (UK)

New Covent Garden (UK)

Find a wholesaler:

DVFlora

FleuraMetz

Florabundance

FlowerFarm

Flowervision (UK)

Fresh Cut Market

Garden Roses Direct

Mayesh Wholesale Florist

Wholesale Florist + Florist Supplier Association

Contact your local flower farmer:

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers

Floret Farmer-Florist Collective

Slow Flowers


 

How to buy wholesale flowers

Shop Local (Flowers)

 

 

The vast majority of flowers sold in the United States are flown in from other countries. Flowers are beautiful, but the cut flower industry has an ugly side: the shipping emissions, packaging waste, and toxic preservatives involved in flying flowers around the world, as well as the worker exploitation and heavy use of carcinogenic pesticides that occur on industrial flower farms.

Whenever possible, we urge you to source your flowers from local farmers. Aim to work with people whose names and stories you know and whose work you believe in supporting.

Choosing to source from local farms means that:

  • your flowers will arrive in water, instead of packed in boxes without water for hours/days

  • toxic preservatives, excess packaging, or jet fuel aren't needed for delivery

  • you’ll support your neighbors, your local economy, and your local agricultural community

  • you’ll have access to unusual, delicate flowers that wouldn't survive long-distance shipping

  • you’ll get to to work with beautiful, long-lasting flowers that are as fresh as flowers get!

 

How to buy wholesale flowers

How To Source Locally Grown Flowers

 

 

Start by searching for local flower farmers in your area:

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers

Floret Farmer-Florist Collective

Slow Flowers

Don’t be shy! Reach out to local growers, find out if they sell wholesale flowers to florists, and ask to be on their availability lists.

Different farmers sell their flowers…well, differently! Find out:

  • How do you order flowers from them? Some flower farmers prefer to communicate via email, while others prefer phone calls. Some have online storefronts that allow you to order through their websites.

  • How do they sell flowers? Some farmers sell traditional 10 stem bunches, while others sell flowers by the stem or by the bucket. Make sure you know what you’re ordering!

  • What day of the week do they send out their availability list?

  • Is there a minimum order?

  • Will they deliver the flowers to you? Ship them? Will you need to pick the flowers up at their farm or a local farmers market?

  • Will you need to bring buckets to put the flowers in?

  • How does payment work?

Be easy to work with. Aim to be patient, prompt, and polite. (And always pay your invoice on time!)

For a list of our favorite local farmers in NY/NJ/CT/PA/MD, check out our resources page.

 

How to buy wholesale flowers

Shopping the NYC flower market

 

 

Here’s what you need to know:

  • New York City’s flower “market” is located in Manhattan on 28th Street, between 6th & 7th Aves.

  • The market is open Monday-Saturday. Most vendors open their storefronts at 4am, and most close between 11am-12pm. (Earlier on Saturdays.)

  • Peak hours are 7am-9am. If you want to avoid crowds or lines, aim to go outside of these hours.

  • Keep in mind: the later in the day you go, the fewer flowers you’ll find. If you’re looking for something specific, go as early as you can! (6am is a great time to go!)

  • …be brave! Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The flowers aren’t labeled (with names or prices!), so you’ll have to ask questions about anything you’re interested in buying.

  • If you have the time, check out what’s available at multiple vendors before making your purchase. Pay attention to the differences in quality and pricing at each wholesaler.

  • As you pick your flowers, place your selections on the racks in the back of the shop.

  • You’ll need to fill out a resale certificate to set up an account at each wholesaler.

  • That said, many wholesalers will accept cash purchases from the public/non-florists.

  • Need cash? There’s an ATM  in the Duane Reade on the corner of 28th Street and 7th Ave.

  • Take a photo of your flowers before they’re packaged! Reference it as you consider what flowers you’d like to buy at the next shop.


Here’s where to go if you’re looking for…

Locally Grown Flowers

Dutch Flower Line
150 West 28th Street

JRose
117 West 28th Street

J & P Flowers
135 West 28th Street

…psst…the best places to find locally grown flowers in New York City are the Union Square Greenmarket and the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket.

California Grown Roses

Dutch Flower Line
150 West 28th Street

Branches & Foliage

US Evergreens
805 6th Ave

Major
41 West 28th Street

Imported Flowers

Caribbean Cuts
120 West 28th Street

Dutch Flower Line
150 West 28th Street

FleuraMetz
141 West 28th Street

G. Page
120 West 28th Street

Harvest
111 West 28th Street

JRose
117 West 28th Street

Tropical Flowers

Caribbean Cuts
120 West 28th Street

Vases & Floral Design Supplies

Jamali Garden
149 West 28th Street

B + G Florist Supply Co.
103 West 28th Street

 

Wedding flowers

Working on your first wedding

 

 

Hooray! You’ve booked your first wedding!

Here’s what you need to do before the big day:

1. Get organized.

The more you can prepare in advance, the better.

You could:

  • make a list of all the inventory you'll need

  • purchase supplies

  • pack candles, candleholders, and lighters

  • prepare vases

    • remove stickers with Goo Gone

    • wash them with soap and water

    • attach tape, frogs, or chicken wire


2. Create a wedding day toolkit.

Pack a bag, box, or crate with the tools and supplies that you’ll need to bring with you to the wedding venue. (Clippers, scissors, wire, tape, extra ribbon, an extra vase or two, drop cloths, garbage bags, paper towels, etc.)

Make a checklist of items to pack last minute on the wedding day. Keep the list in your kit.


3. Set up your workspace.

Aim for efficiency. Making extra, unnecessary movements can cause fatigue and muscle strain.

  • Stock supplies in a place that's easy to reach.

  • Use high work tables. (Or put your vase on an upside-down bucket to create extra height.)

  • Stand on a padded mat to support your back.

  • Keep a large trash can next to or underneath your work table. (Consider attaching casters to the bottom of the can so you can move it without lifting.)

  • Use a mirror to help you look at bouquets from different angles as you make them.

  • Use lazy susans to help you look at centerpieces from different angles as you make them.


4. Hire help!

Hire florists who are more experienced than you are. Learn from them.

Hire people who are less experienced than you are. Teach them what you know.

Create sample arrangements for newbies to reference as they make their first centerpieces. (Or teach them the basics of arranging and let them get creative!)

They can also:

  • process flowers

  • make small items, like boutonnières or corsages

  • green arrangements

    • “greening”: using foliage—greens!—to create the base, shape, or structure of an arrangement


5. Communicate. Clearly.

  • Create an emergency plan.

  • Create a schedule for each work day. Share it with the people you're working with.

  • Set clear work expectations. Should everyone expect to wash buckets or sweep the floor? What should your team members wear to the wedding venue?

  • Write a list of what needs to happen at the wedding venue. How much time do you have for load-in and set-up? Decide who will complete each task.


6. Batch tasks.

Batching—doing the same task repeatedly, instead of switching back and forth between different tasks—will help you become a more efficient and productive florist.

  • Before you start processing flowers, fill multiple buckets with water. This way, they're waiting and ready for use.

  • For a given bunch of flowers (say 10-25 stems), strip the leaves off all of the stems first, then cut and place them in water as a group.


7. Pull flowers.

As you condition, set aside flowers for specific items, like bouquets. (Florists refer to this as “pulling” flowers.)

Put these flowers in dedicated vases or buckets. Each bouquet should have it's own bucket or vase.


8. Keep batching. You could:

  • attach tape or chicken wire to all of your vases before you begin arranging

  • fill all of the vases with water (& flower food, if you're using it)

  • green all of the arrangements before you start adding flowers

  • make all the boutonnières, then ribbon all the boutonnières; make all of the bouquets, then ribbon all of the bouquets


9. Aim for pretty, not perfection.

Yes, you want your work to be beautiful. Yes, you want your clients to be happy. But: you have a lot to do and not that much time to do it.

  • Don't obsess over every tiny leaf. Flowers are always beautiful!

  • The flowers will move and shift as you're driving to the venue. You can always tweak arrangements when you get there.


10. Take photos of your work.

Don’t rely on wedding photographers to photograph your flowers. Set aside time to shoot your work before you go to the wedding venue.


11. Pack up flowers for delivery.

  • Leave plenty of time to pack.

  • Some florists use empty flower boxes to transport centerpieces, while others prefer using shallow plastic storage boxes. Stabilize the vases by surrounding them with old newspaper or bubble wrap.

  • Check that you've made and packed everything you needed to! Double check. ...triple check.

  • Don't forget to add those “last minute” items to your kit. (Reference your checklist.)

  • Spray flowers with Crowning Glory.

  • Bring a bucket (or several buckets) of extra flowers with you to the venue.


12. Load in and set up.

  • Delegate! Don't do everything yourself.

  • Keep an eye on the time.

  • Deliver the personal flowers first.

  • Get started on installation work (arbors, chuppahs, etc.) ASAP. Work over a drop cloth for easy cleanup.

  • Unpack candles and decor. Place them on the tables.

  • Unpack centerpieces. If necessary, refill the vases with water. (Use a small watering can). Remove or replace any damaged flowers or leaves.

  • Place the arrangements on the tables. Make last minute adjustments as needed.

  • Light candles (if needed).

  • Take photos!

  • Clean up.

  • Confirm that you've fulfilled your contract. Make sure that you haven't forgotten any small tasks, like placing cake flowers or filling flower girl baskets with petals.


13. Go the extra mile:

— Educate:

  • Show your clients how to hold their bouquets. (Front vs. back, tipped forward vs. upright, in front of stomach vs. at chest height, etc.)

  • Remind them to keep the bouquets in water and out of the sun for as long as possible.

  • Provide them with paper towels that they can use to dry the stems.


— Help:

  • Offer to help your clients' family members pin on bouts and corsages.


— Surprise:

  • Leave a card in the gift box! Wish your clients a lifetime of love and happiness—and thank them for working with you.


14. Clean up your workspace.

Get cleanup over with, especially while you have help. Wash vases, buckets, clippers, and knives. Sweep the floor. Put away supplies. Decide what to do with leftover flowers. (Take some home to enjoy!)


15. Celebrate! You did it!

 

Wedding flowers

Wedding Flowers FAQ

 

 

How far in advance should I purchase flowers for a wedding?

3-4 days before the wedding if you have a cooler or a fridge; 2 days before if you don't.


What should I use to bind a wedding bouquet?

You can use:

— twine

— rubber bands

stem wrap

waterproof floral tape

zip ties

Hand-tied bouquets are traditionally tied with twine, but most florists use stem wrap to bind a wedding bouquet.

When deciding what to use, consider the shape of your bouquet. Waterproof floral tape is the best option if you're making a rounded, classic shape. Zip ties are ideal if you're building a loose, garden-style bouquet.


Any tips for finishing a bouquet?

o Invest in sharp, high-quality ribbon shears!

o You don't need to use that much ribbon. Your ribboned "handle" can be the length of 1-2 fists.

o Secure the ribbon with boutonnière or corsage pins. Push the pin through the fabric and into the stems at an angle. (Up towards the blooms is easiest, but down into the stems can work too.) Make sure the pins won't poke your bride's hands!

o Remove leaves or petals that are stuck between the stems.

o Give stems a fresh cut, this time straight across through the stems. (Not on an angle.) Place in a vase with clean water, and spray with Crowning Glory.

o Some florists prefer to finish bouquets at wedding venues, to keep the ribbon from getting wet. (Especially when working with hand dyed fabric that could bleed.)


Any tips for binding boutonnières?

o You don't need to wrap the entire length of a boutonnière with tape. Use just enough stem wrap that your bout will stay together. (But do make sure you cover all the tape with ribbon!)

o Trim the ends with a clean, angled cut. Stick two boutonnière or corsage pins into the boutonnière, so it’s ready for use.

o If you don’t have a cooler or floral fridge to keep them fresh, store boutonnières upright in small jars or votive holders. Pour a little water into the bottom of the jar, give stems a clean cut, and leave the bouts to hydrate.


Can I put XYZ (type of flower) in a bouquet or boutonnière?

o When in doubt, experiment! Cut a short piece of the flower you’re considering, spray it with Crowning Glory, and leave it out of water for several hours. How does it look? If it's still fresh, use it. If it's dying, stick to using it in centerpieces.

o Flowering branches, in general, don't hold up well in bouquets. (But test them; see what happens with the type you're considering.)

o Be careful with berries or anything else that could get crushed and leave a stain on a white dress.


What’s the best way to put together an arch, chuppah, arbor, or mandap?

For a birch structure, go with one from Northern Boughs. Skip the assorted screws and bolts. Instead, secure the poles together with zip ties. Make sure the vertical poles are firmly attached to the metal feet, and that the structure is stable.

Attach fabric (if using) and/or hide the zip ties by covering them with twine, foliage, and flowers.

For a metal structure, check out these options.

How do I make a corsage?

There are many different ways to make a corsage.

Here are a few:

o Use floral glue to secure a flat leaf to the central plastic piece of a Lomey wristlet. (Make sure the leaf is large enough to cover it.) Then glue flowers to the leaf to create your design. Once the glue has dried, replace the band with ribbon for a more contemporary look.

o Alternatively: make two mini boutonnières, zip tie them to the central plastic piece, then secure additional flowers with glue. This video provides a great tutorial for this method.

o Use a metal bracelet blank to create a wrist cuff. Glue the flowers to the blank with floral glue or a glue gun.

o Use these to turn a boutonnière into a magnetized lapel corsage.

o Glue leaves and flowers to a magnetized design disk.


Want to learn more about floral design? Join us for a workshop!



 
 
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