Fall Bridal Bouquet

In this video clip Leanne revisits the classic hand-tied bridal bouquet, updated with a loose, casual contemporary look that is so popular with todays brides. Leanne carefully demonstrates the step-by-step techniques as she creates a gorgeous, highly textural bouquet with dramatic fall flowers from Florabundance.com and finished with an elegant collar of ruched ribbon. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Flower School.com video library. I'm Leanne Kesler, director of the Floral Design Institute, and today I'm here to share with you a fabulous textural bridal bouquet. Thanks to florabundance.com, the studio is filled with beautiful flowers. Spray roses, this lisianthus in a chocolate brown color, so fabulous. Scabiosa pods. Parvifolia eucalyptus, so drapey and nice, perfect for a bridal bouquet. Then one of my favorites, the blushing bride protea. Some sage. Aren't they gorgeous ranunculus? Scabiosa in this beautiful wine color. Rice flower, hellebores. How could you make anything other than fabulous with these flowers? 

To prepare the flowers, I hydrated them ahead of time. Best is 24 hours, even better 48 hours, because you want them to be fully hydrated and lush. Then taking each stem and looking at any foliage that's on the side, removing it, deciding if you want laterals or if you want to take them apart. That one can go either way. Other times I think, ooh I want to break it apart, other times I leave them. So you just kind of think through. Even the roses, remove the extra leaves, double check for thorns, make sure those are gone. Having everything ready before you begin, each stem prepared so that it's ready and clean. Now like this one, removing the lower, lower. I think I'd even take off these two, because I want everything that's going to be below the hand, the bare stems, to be bare. No foliage down there. So just go through double checking everything, that you've cleaned it, and then set it back in water. That way you can just pull it from the water and begin designing. 

The beginning of the bouquet, one of the nice full lush spray roses, maybe a bit of the hellebore, and that green and pink together, so fabulous. Just clustering it together in my hand and then thinking what else would I like. Maybe a little rice flower. Then at the beginning everything's just straight up and down. But now, we want to start with a spiral, so bringing the head in one direction, stem the other, and then turning. And add materials into your hands, constantly turning and spiraling. Maybe a scabiosa. And it's okay to add a few things in at one time, twisting it so the head goes where you want and then turning. Adding more. But the key to making this bouquet fabulous is that each item angles to the side, stem extended and then turned. That's what will give you a nice, full, round bouquet with lots of texture and beauty. 

As I continue, one of the fun parts of this bouquet, the scabiosa pods are the same flower as the scabiosa bloom, just at different stages. So grouping those, just to add fun texture and a little giggle for a florist who knows that. The customer probably doesn't know, but I do. Then tucking in a few more, maybe bringing the lisianthus in. Again, angling it across, pulling it up a little bit so the blooms will show, grouping it. Such great color. Bring it around. More of the hellebore. Another lisianthus. And turning it. The protea, nestling it in so it gets nice texture in there. And then turning again. A little bit of rice flower. And you can see, I'm just randomly placing things and then turning and bringing in more materials, focusing on the round form and fabulous texture. 

As I finish, think about all the fabulous blooms. Maybe a few more scabiosa, feeding it in, maybe a couple of them. Finding the perfect little spot, then turning, bringing in a ranunculus. That soft pink is so feminine, graceful. Then turning. If you want it a little taller, just tug it up slightly. Then I can feed in the next stems. And as I work at this point, since I'm so close to done, I start just thinking where else would I really want a spot of color, and then turn it and if it's clear over here, just keep turning and then go back. Say, gee I wish I had that pink there. Tuck it in and then turn again, looking for holes, looking for spots that maybe need a little tug upward, and get it completely filled to your delight. 

The last step is to add a collar of foliage, some of the beautiful sage. And it too comes in at that same angle. And then turn. And a last touch with the eucalyptus to get that soft draping. It gives it that looser, more contemporary casual look that's so popular right now. And then once everything's in your hand, going back with just a bit of raffia, holding it snug and then lash it around two to three times and tie it in a knot. 

As I finish, I'll cut the stems down. About two hand lengths, shorter is kind of on trend at the moment, but again it's a personal preference. Cutting them all down. Stems, stems everywhere, then I just set it in a vase to hold while I finish working with it. There we go. I chose a number 40 ribbon, and the ribbon has wire in it, which is just wonderful in that I can take and pull that, giving it a ruched effect to get some nice texture. Then when I'm done just take those two ends, twist them so it gives it a nice polished end, cut that wire out. You don't really want that. Then taking the not squished end, start wrapping there and just wrap round and round, and then starts the ruching, so it gives it a great texture. And at the end, just tuck it back under itself and pull taut and it'll hold securely. There we go. I'm going to pick it up and let you see. And it just gives that great collar of ribbon that's wonderful to hang on to. 

The classic round bridal bouquet, updated with fabulous textures and draping foliages. Thanks to florabundance.com for having so many grand things to choose from. And when you purchase from them online, you can sort the flowers by variety or color or season. When I did this I was sorting by color to get the palette that I wanted to work with, and you can see how well that worked. 

For more creative inspiration, check out the website, Flower School.com. The website contains hundreds of floral design how-to videos, floral design classes, online floral classes and DIY Flowers. 

If you've got questions, you can reach us through there or by telephone, (503) 223-8089. Of course, I'd love to see what you create. Make a design, take a photo, and send it to my personal email, or better yet post it on social media and tag Floral Design Institute so we all can see. Now it's your turn. Have fun, and do something you love.

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