hand-tied bouquet

Nine simple steps for creating this wedding standard.

Hand-tied bouquets are among the most basic of wedding designs, but in order to have uniform shape and hold up well for brides and their maids, they must be created using the right techniques.

The design method demonstrated here, in nine simple steps, is one of the easiest to master and relies on a base of sturdy flowers to support the subsequent floral additions.

Hydrangeas, carnations, stocks, Freesias, spray roses, salal leaves and ribbon from favorite suppliers; Oasis® Waterproof Tape from Oasis® Floral Products.

Download a printable version of the step-by-step instructions for a hand-tied bouquet to share with your employees.

Strip all foliage and thorns from the lower two-thirds to three-fourths of all stems of flowers before beginning. Cluster three stems of Hydrangeas, holding them 2 to 3 inches below the blossoms.

Arrange three carnations in between the Hydrangea blossoms so the bases of the carnations are nestled among the Hydrangeas. Form a loose grip around the flowers, using your thumb and index finger.

Evenly distribute the remaining four carnations around the edge of the bouquet, with stems positioned at 45-degree angles. These angles will help to provide the desired domed bouquet form.

Arrange three stocks between the carnations in the center of the bouquet. To avoid snapping the stems during insertion, keep a loose grip around the bouquet. On the underside of the bouquet, locate where the stock stems begin to emerge, and pull the stocks in to the depth desired.

Evenly distribute the remaining stocks between the carnations at the edge of the bouquet. Position the stems at 45-degree angles.

Add Freesias throughout the bouquet by threading their stems into the bouquet and positioning the flowers around the bouquet's edge. Tuck spray roses among the other flowers, as needed, to complete the rounded dome and accent the bouquet.

Add a collar of salal leaves to the underside of the bouquet by positioning each leaf base where the bouquet is gripped in the hand (the binding point) and overlapping the leaf edges.

Bind the bouquet with waterproof tape (or wax string, raffia or a zip tie), wrapping the tape, string or raffia three or four times above the grip of the hand.

Trim the stem ends to about 4 or 5 inches. For a freestanding bouquet, cut the center stems 1/2 inch shorter than the outer stems. Cover the tape binding with ribbon or other decorative material, as desired.

This design was excerpted from the book Flower Arranging: Step-by-Step Instructions for Everyday Designs, by Teresa P. Lanker. Softcover. 160 pages. $29.95.

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