Spring Fritillaria stems and Ranunculus make an impact in a small bud vase. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz
This month we welcome spring flowers, blooming branches and more into our world of floral design. Happy Spring! and Enjoy!
DIY Wedding & Event Flowers: Ten Tips for a Successful Event
If you want to create your own wedding flowers, there is a number of planning steps to take. Here is Flower Duet’s list of tips to help insure a successful experience when creating your own wedding blooms. Bouquet by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.
Tip 1: Rent Space to Work
Rental Space at the Southern California Flower Market. Photo credit: socalflowermarket.com
The Southern California Flower Market in the Los Angeles Flower District rents space inside its vast warehouse building. Their space is over 1,500 sq. ft. and includes refrigeration, a sink with running water, conference room and great access to the flower market. They will rent on a daily basis, weekly or whatever time length you need to accomplish your job. The work space is air conditioned, includes a close restroom, offers stem cutters in the space and has shelving for centerpieces as well. Reserve the space early by calling 213–627-2482.
Tip 2: Practice Arranging
Practice the floral design you want to make for your own wedding or special event a few times and see how the flowers last.
Once you’ve decided what you want to create for your centerpieces or bouquets, make sure to have a few practice sessions with the exact flowers and foliage you want to use before the big day. This will help you gauge how many flowers you’ll need to purchase and how well the arrangements do out of water or over the course of a few days. This will also help you know how many days before the big celebration you can make the arrangements. Generally 2–3 days before the big day for centerpieces are fine and the day before is a good idea for bouquets as long as all the stems are in a vase of water.
Tip 3: Order Flowers Ahead
There are many ways to order flowers from wholesale flower vendors and farmers ahead of your event to insure you get the flowers you want. Allow one month to two weeks before the event to place your order.
Many vendors at the Los Angeles Flower District will take orders from the public! So, it’s worth finding out what vendors you can order from in your local area ahead of the big day. If your heart is set on baby blue hydrangeas and you need 100 stems, it’s worth it to order ahead! Generally, plan on ordering 1 month to two weeks ahead of time depending on the type of flowers you are seeking.
Tip 4: Enlist Volunteers
Enlist a group of volunteers to help you with the making and transporting of flowers for your event. Perhaps your mom’s local garden club can lend a hand? They have years of experience and expertise to offer!
Making a lot of centerpieces or bouquets takes time but can go faster if you have a large group of ready and willing friends and family to help you make your own flowers. Make sure to include these people in your practice arranging sessions so they are ready to arrange quickly and confidently for your big day.
Tip 5: Take a Flower Arranging Class or Two
Take a couple of flower arranging classes to get a feel for flowers and design.
We teach a lot of DIY brides or DIY Mothers of Brides and Grooms and even a few DIY Grooms! About half of them decide to forge ahead and do all of their flowers for their wedding day and the other half end up asking for a bit of help with the big day…whether it’s for ordering flowers, creating tricky corsages or the perfect bridal bouquet. Taking a class or private lesson will give you confidence, teach you about how to select the best flowers for your event and how to get them to the chapel safely! Check out our full list of flower arranging classes for 2016.
Tip 6: Take a Tour of the Flower Mart
Take a flower mart tour with Flower Duet or at your own local mart to learn how to choose the freshest flowers for your event!
Flower Duet also offers tours of the Los Angeles Floral District. This will help you learn which vendors take orders from the public, where to rent space if you need it, how to choose fresh flowers and where to buy all the extras you’ll need from vases to transport boxes to floral tape.
Tip 7: Practice Transporting Flowers
Transporting vases can be tricky. Practice makes perfect! Flower Duet Flowers and Photo.
Making flowers is the easy part…but getting the finished arrangements to the event can be challenging. For large scale taller arrangements, you’ll have to ask someone to arrange it on-site for you as these are difficult to transport. For large centerpieces, you’ll need to enlist friends with large SUVs and have some low cardboard boxes and vase transport boxes to help secure the flowers for transport. We cover how to transport flowers safely in each class we teach.
Tip 8: Use Locally Sourced Flowers
Erin Benzakein from Floret Farms — a flower farmer and florist in Mount Vernon, Washington is a premiere vendor who supplies locally grown flowers for weddings. Photo: floretflowers.com
Flowers that are grown close to your event are a great option to save some money and insure a fresh product. To find a local supplier near you, use the Flower Farmers directory on the SlowFlowers.com website started by Debra Prinzing.
Tip 9: Use Large Blooms & Lots of Foliage
Here is an example of how one large-headed flower (the white Hydrangea on the right) takes up the same amount of space as several blooms on the left (pink roses and an Echeveria floret). Use large-headed flowers to save time and money in DIY floral designs.
One way to save time and money is to use large headed blooms and lots of greenery. It may seem like a large headed bloom costs more than a few roses, but when you break it down by stem, it can be more economical to use something like a big hydrangea blossom vs. ten roses to cover the same amount of space in a bouquet.
Tip 10: Hire a Pro to Help
Hiring a pro as a consultant for your own DIY flowers helps ensure success. Casey on site at the Palos Verdes Golf Club. Photo by Kit Wertz.
I’ve touched on a few ideas in hiring a professional florist or designer to help you in your quest to create your own wedding flowers. Many florists teach flower classes now and offer to be hired as consultants to help you figure out your design or even to make some of the more advanced flower items such as a boutonniere (like I did for my own wedding back in 1997 before I became a professional florist). With a professional’s helpful input and touch, you’ll know that it’s still your vision, but with a little extra assurance that your floral dreams will come true. Contact Us for more information!
Easter Flower Ideas: Keep it Simple
Picking flowers for your Easter centerpiece doesn’t have to be complicated. There are many lovely spring bulb flowers that look great on their own in a simple vase. Here are a few options to use for your Egg Hunt celebrations and note that many spring flowers are highly scented such as Hyacinth, Lilac and Freesia. You many want to reserve those flowers for accent vases away from the dining centerpiece so the aromas of your Easter brunch can be enjoyed thoroughly.
Mini Calla Lilies are a great option to use as a single type of bloom for any spring celebration. Offered in a variety of pastel colors, these blooms look great cut short or kept long.
Mini White Calla Lilies
Spring Ranunculus are showing up all over the flower mart now and these even look like little eggs before they fully open. use them in one color or a variety of colors for your designs.
Pink Ranunculus Blooms
Tulips are available year-round from your wholesaler, but they are readily available now.
Light Pink Tulips
Hyacinth makes a great single vase style of design. A little goes a long way, so just one stem in a bud vase is enough to make an impact.
White and Purple Hyacinth
St. Patrick’s Day Flowers: Green Roses
When searching for green flowers to use in your St. Patrick’s Day designs, we like to use three different types of green roses. It’s only been recently that you can find a truly green rose without too much yellow. Here are the ones we like to use consistently.
Limbo — A standard green rose. Photo: Sierra Flower Finder
Wimbledon Green Rose Photo: Sierra Flower Finder
Super Green Rose Photo: Sierra Flower Finder
Flowering Branches: How to Process
White and purple lilac branches.
Believe it or not, it’s not only the season for flowering branches like Forsythia and Cherry Blossoms, but we are also seeing white and purple lilac at the Flower Mart.
Ever wonder how to get branches of winter dormant flowering trees or shrubs to bloom indoors? If you have a tree that blooms in the spring like a cherry tree, almond tree, dogwood, pussy willow or perhaps a forsythia shrub, you can force the blooms to flower indoors in a vase of water.
A few tall branches look quite dramatic in a tall vase against a wall in a foyer or on a table against a plain wall. Look for the tree or bush that has some buds that are getting large on the branch but have not “cracked open” yet. Cut the branch and bring it inside and place the entire length into a tub of warm water and leave it to sit overnight. This will help the buds to “crack” open. (If the branch already has some flowers opening, just place in the vase.)
In the morning, give the bottom of the branch a clean cut and place in the vase where it will stay. In the old days, florists would be advised to “smash” the ends of woody stems. We don’t recommend that. To allow the best chance for water uptake in the stem, use very clean and sharp pruning shears. Splice the bottom of the stem up about 2 inches in a cross format to allow more surface area for the water to enter the stem.
Try not to move the vase once the flowers start to open on the branch as the blooms will be delicate and can fall off easily if moved.
Cherry Blossom Blooms
Book Recommendation: Paper Blossoms — A Book of Beautiful Bouquets
By Kit Wertz
My five-year-old twins love to look at pop-up books together and when we saw this one the other day, we fell in love.
Flower delivery! Featuring five amazing pop-up bouquets, Paper Blossoms brings floral cheer to any room. Display any of the bouquets: a garland of roses, a tropical arrangement, a lotus water garden, a springtime bouquet, or a vase of lilies as a beautiful centerpiece or room accent. A triumph of pop-up artistry and a sure conversation-starter, these bouquets burst forth with color, joy, and lasting beauty. This book, Paper Blossoms, A Book of Beautiful Bouquets for the Table, is perfect for flower lovers of any age. I saw it at a Palos Verdes Library District PopUp Library station at the South Coast Botanic Garden this week. It caught my eye and I am sure it will catch yours. This would be a lovely gift for Easter in lieu of candy.
Paper Blossoms come in lovely Notecards, too!
There is a companion book called Paper Blossoms, Butterflies & Birds: A Book of Beautiful Bouquets for the Table by the same author that would be a wonderful follow up for a birthday or next Easter! The creator of the bestselling Paper Blossoms delivers more extraordinary flowers for the table. From a butterfly garden to a hummingbird’s arbor, a branch of orchids to a vase of tulips, these four new breathtaking pop-up centerpieces brighten any table and fill any room with color and lasting beauty.
And…for the adults in your life, there are even Paper Blossoms Notecards! Love these, too!
Next month.…Flower Duet Appearances in New Mexico, San Francisco & Wedding & Event Venue Tours Recap
We are still putting together our recap story from Casey’s trip to New Mexico to appear with her sons on the television show Creative Living with Sheryl Borden. Look for a story and lots of great photos in next month’s newsletter.
Also, Kit’s off to San Francisco later this month to appear as a guest speaker for two sessions at the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show. So if you live in the area, check it out on March 19th and 20th, 2016.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been working with some of our favorite venues to highlight their offerings and we’ll share the floral designs we created for those exciting events.
More to come next month from Kit & Casey of Flower Duet. Stay tuned…