Ideas to Add Bling to Wedding Flowers: From Brooches to Crystal Garlands

by Kit Wertz
Bling Peonies

Pho­to by Blue 22 Pho­tog­ra­phy.


Bling It On!

We’ve been asked to add a lit­tle “bling” to many flo­ral designs by our wed­ding clients this past year. Just what is bling, you may ask? Accord­ing to the Mer­ri­am Web­ster Dic­tio­nary, the word “bling-bling” means “flashy jew­el­ry worn espe­cial­ly as an indi­ca­tion of wealth; broad­ly: expen­sive and osten­ta­tious pos­ses­sions.” The term was pop­u­lar­ized by hip-hop artists and rap­pers in the ear­ly 1990s but hit main­stream cul­ture in 1999 when the song “Bling Bling” by rap artist B.G. fea­tur­ing the Cash Mon­ey Mil­lion­aires cracked the Top 40 of the Bill­board Hot 100.

Since then, we’ve tak­en it to mean to add a lit­tle flash to flow­ers. So, here are just a few of many ideas on how to add some “bling” to flow­ers dur­ing the 2014 wed­ding sea­son and beyond.

Bling It with Brooches

Bling Bouquet
Add brooches to your bou­quet for a lux­u­ri­ous look. This can be tricky to add to a bou­quet, we can show you how to do this in our Jan­u­ary 22nd wed­ding work­shop at our flo­ral design studio.
Bling Bouquet
Bling Bouquet

It’s sim­ple to insert Dia­mante pins into a fin­shed bou­quet to add a shiny accent to a beau­ti­ful flower. Gen­ly push the pin so that it just sits on the flower.
Bling bottom stems
For this hand-tied bou­quet, we wrapped up the bot­tom of the stems using white flo­ral tape and then insert­ed the crys­tal wed­ding brooch into the bot­tom of the bou­quet. We secure it with some very long cor­sage pins. Now, the bride has a per­ma­nent memen­to from her bouquet!


Bling stem-wrap
Here was a anoth­er way to incor­po­rate a pearl and crys­tal wed­ding brooch into a bridal bou­quet. Instead of adding a line of pix­ie pins down the length of the stems, we added this love­ly brooch. Again, anoth­er nice way for the bride to always remem­ber her spe­cial day.

Bling It with Garland

Bling Wishing Tree
Add crys­tal gar­lands to a wish­ing tree for a high-end look.

Bling Peonies closeup
Pink Peonies get even bet­ter with a lit­tle crys­tal garland.

Bling Tree
Tall met­al trees are accent­ed with hydrangea, ros­es, seed­ed euca­lyp­tus and chains of crys­tal gar­lands that sus­pend small votives for an ele­gant evening wed­ding reception.

How to Bling Garland into a floral design

An easy way to pop in your crys­tal gar­lands once you’ve set up your tall cen­ter­pieces at your event site is to have your gar­land pre­pared in advance.

Bling String Picked
Take a long strand of crys­tal gar­land and add two flo­ral picks in two places along the strand. This will allow you to pop the pick in the flo­ral foam in your design and let it drape.

Bling It with Rhinestones and Glitter

Bling Card Cage
Adding sparke­ly fern leaves to an arrange­ment catch­es the eye.
Bling Votives
Rhine­stone votives can be pricey so you can make your own using some rhine­stone “tape.”
Bling Cylinder 1
Take a plain cylin­der vase.

Bling Cylinder 2
Add clear dou­ble-sided tape or use uGlu dots.

Bling Cylinder 3
Mea­sure the rhine­stone tape and care­full attach to the top of the vase keep­ing it even as you go around the vase.

Bling It with Wire and Wrap

Bling Wire
Use metal­lic wire and flo­ral tape to add more bling action to cen­ter­pieces, bou­quets and bou­ton­nieres. Come to our wed­ding work­shop on Jan­u­ary 22, 2014 to learn how to add bling to cor­sages, bou­ton­nieres and more!

Holiday Cocktails Featuring Trees, Flowers and Herbs

by Kit Wertz
Douglas Fir Cocktail
Pic­tured above is my ver­sion of a Dou­glas Fir Eau-de-vie cock­tail. Recipe follows.
This month, I want­ed to fea­ture more than just a book review for Amy Stew­art’s book, The Drunk­en Botanist and that’s because I fell in love with the whole idea of this cock­tail. Before I even tried to make it, I imag­ined how refresh­ing it would taste and how I could serve a tray of these at my next hol­i­day par­ty. Here is this recipe and a few more adapt­ed from her book so you can have a refresh­ing and fun hol­i­day par­ty, too.
The Dou­glas Expedition

Shake all ingre­di­ents with ice in a cock­tail shak­er and pour into a cock­tail glass.


Hard Cider Cocktails

Hard ciders made from apples and pears are mak­ing a come­back in Amer­i­ca. At one time, it was the most pop­u­lar drink in this coun­try and was even brewed by our found­ing father Thomas Jef­fer­son. Sales are up over 65 per­cent from last year. Its resur­gence is in part due to its gluten-free prop­er­ties (most beer has gluten) and also the rise in micro­brew­eries has spawned a rise in cider brew­eries. Here is a recipe for a hard cider cock­tail adapt­ed from Amy Stew­art’s book, The Drunk­en Botanist

  • Found­ing Father’s Cider
  • 2 parts New­ton’s Fol­ly Draft Cider
  • 1–2 Sliced Apples
  • Frozen Rasp­ber­ries or Strawberries
  • Gin­ger Beer or Gin­ger Ale

Cider Cocktail Ingredients

Apples in Hard Cider

Add the sliced apples to the hard cider in a pitch­er and place in the fridge for 3–6 hours.
Cider Ginger Cocktail

Remove the apples from the cider. Fill a high­ball glass with frozen berries and ice, fill the glass with 2/3 apple infused cider. Top glass with gin­ger beer or cider.

Make Your Own Cocktail Mixers

Sim­ple syrups abound in many cock­tail recipes, so it’s best to make your own from one cup sug­ar and one cup water. Sim­mer this mix­ture in a saucepan on a stove over low heat until all the sug­ar dis­solves. Remove from heat and let cool. Once it’s cool, it’s ready to add to a cock­tail recipe.

For an added twist, you can infuse fresh flow­ers, herbs, fruit or spices into the sug­ar and water mix while it’s sim­mer­ing. This will give the syrup a lit­tle kick of fla­vor and some slight col­or­ing. I made a sim­ple syrup infused with some tips from The Drunk­en Botanist.

Flower, Herb or Spice Infused Sim­ple Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup herbs, flow­ers, fruit or spices
  • 1 oz vod­ka (for preser­v­a­tive and is optional)

Buy organ­ic herbs and flow­ers or grow your own.

I used sage for my syrup, but you could use rose­mary, laven­der, mint, basil, cal­en­du­la flower, or marigolds.

After the mix­ture has cooled, strain it through a fine mesh strainer.

Pour into a bot­tle and add 1 ounce vod­ka to help keep it fresh.

Syrup will keep well in the fridge for 2–3 weeks but is bet­ter in the freezer.

 Cocktail essentials
My own sage infused sim­ple syrup will be a fun sta­ple in my hol­i­day cock­tails. Also handy to have on hand are nat­ur­al maraschi­no cher­ries (Amy talks about the inter­est­ing his­to­ry of these cher­ries in her book) and lots of Mey­er lemons.

Cocktail Sage Leaves
Here are the sage leaves I pre­pared for the syrup. Before I put them in the pot with the sug­ar and water, I gave them a lit­tle “spank.” In her book, Amy talks about how to “spank your herbs” in order to release the essen­tial oils.

Cocktail Sage with Sugar
Sug­ar and sage are mixed in the saucepan before I added the water and start­ed sim­mer­ing away.

Cocktail Simple Syrup Infused with Sage
When sim­mer­ing the syrup, keep the bub­bles small on the perime­ter of the pan.

Sage Cocktail Recipe

1 1/2 oz vodka

3/4 oz Mey­er lemon juice

3/4 oz sage-infused sim­ple syrup

dry sparkling wine like Prosecco

Sage leaf for garnish

Shake the vod­ka, lemon juice and sim­ple syrup in a cock­tail shak­er over ice and strain into a cock­tail glass. Top with Pros­ec­co and gar­nish with a sage leaf.

Cocktail Flowers

There is a num­ber of fresh flow­ers that go well with cock­tails. Be sure to always buy organ­ic flow­ers that are meant to be eat­en. Or, you can grow your own with­out a risk of pes­ti­cides. If you want to make flower ice cubes, use dis­tilled water to make a clear cube so you can see the blos­som inside the cube!

  • Bor­age — Tra­di­tion­al Pim­m’s Cup garnish
  • Cal­en­du­la — Infused for their bright orange col­or in the petals.
  • Elder­flower — Used for a liqueur like St. Ger­main. Good in Cham­pagne cocktails.
  • Hon­ey­suck­le — Yum­my fragrance…I used to eat the nec­tar right off the bush dur­ing recess in ele­men­tary school.
  • Jas­mine — Very fra­grant flowers.
  • Laven­der — Use Eng­lish laven­der in syrup infusions.
  • Marigold — Sharp spicy flavor.
  • Nas­tur­tium — Pep­pery flowers.
  • Rose — Use hybrid tea rose for infusions.
  • Sichuan But­ton — Yel­low garnish.
  • Vio­la — Good for gar­nish­ing drinks.


Floral Design Color Theory Using College Football Team Colors

by Flower Duet
Dur­ing a lot of our flo­ral design class­es, we are asked how to know what col­or flow­ers go togeth­er. We talk about the col­or wheel and com­ple­men­tary col­ors ver­sus anal­o­gous col­ors. We talk about look­ing at nature for tips and guid­ance. For exam­ple, the pur­ple iris has a yel­low and white accent when it opens which is a per­fect col­or com­bi­na­tion for any flo­ral design.

Then, we talk foot­ball! If you are look­ing for some hints on what type of flower arrange­ment to make for a guy friend (and yes, they do like fresh flow­ers, too), just find out what his favorite sports team is and make a design with those colors.

UCLA and USC just faced off over this past week­end in their long-time rival­ry. Their school col­ors make great flo­ral design combinations.

USCUSC Cardinal and USC Gold Flowers
USC Flowers
USC logo
Kit’s husband is a big fan of USC, despite the tough season they are having this year. Yellow spray roses and Euphorbia are accented by dark red Leucadendron.





UCLAUCLA Deep Sky Blue and Sun Gold 
UCLA Flowers
UCLA logo
Our mom went to UCLA, so we will forever be Bruins fans. Here we have some light blue Delphinium and yellow Billy Balls to show her team colors.





James Madison University — Purple and Gold
JMU Flowers
JMU logo
Kit’s alma mater is James Madison University (the marching band just appeared in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade). Their colors are purple and gold — just like our beloved LA Lakers! The iris is a great flower all by itself to celebrate team spirit.



Ohio University — Hunter Green and White
Ohio Flowers
JMU logo

Casey’s alma mater is Ohio Uni­ver­si­ty (they also have a great march­ing band). Check out the Var­ie­gat­ed Pit­tospo­rum — a per­fect foun­da­tion for a green and white flo­ral design. Just add any type of white flower and you have a gor­geous combination.


Book Review & Gift Idea: The Drunken Botanist


Druken Botanist
One of our favorite authors, Amy Stew­art, has writ­ten a thor­ough his­to­ry of the ori­gins of our favorite dis­tilled drinks from Tequi­la, to Bour­bon to Vod­ka and she includes recipes, too! From “Sake began with a grain of rice. Scotch emerged from bar­ley, tequi­la from agave, rum from sug­ar­cane, bour­bon from corn.” Thirsty yet? In The Drunk­en Botanist, Amy Stew­art explores the dizzy­ing array of herbs, flow­ers, trees, fruits, and fun­gi that humans have, through inge­nu­ity, inspi­ra­tion, and sheer des­per­a­tion, con­trived to trans­form into alco­hol over the centuries.

The Drunk­en Botanist com­bines mixol­o­gy with biol­o­gy, chem­istry, his­to­ry, ety­mol­o­gy to offer more than fifty drink recipes and tips on how to grow some of the ingre­di­ents in your own backyard.

Floral Design Tool & Gift Idea: Hand-Made Aprons

Being cre­ative is messy, so it’s a good idea to wear an apron when work­ing with glue, flow­ers, branch­es and the like. Aprons are also a great gift idea. Our Mom, Chris­tine Cole­man, is the design­er and cre­ator of these beau­ti­ful hand-made aprons. They are reversible and come in many dif­fer­ent prints using vin­tage fab­rics that are not avail­able anywhere.

Apron Kit

Why Wear These Aprons?
Wear­ing an apron while you are cre­at­ing flo­ral designs or set­ting up for an event is a smart idea.

  • These aprons have pock­ets which are per­fect to car­ry tools like cut­ters and zip ties. The pock­ets are also handy for stash­ing stray petals that fall under the arch when you just fin­ished dec­o­rat­ing it for a wed­ding ceremony!
  • These aprons are reversible. You get two aprons in one so that if one side get’s dirty, you can just flip it! Or, if one side goes bet­ter with the theme of your din­ner par­ty or flo­ral event, just wear that side.
  • These aprons keep you clean and make you look offi­cial. When you are wear­ing an apron, be ready for every­one to ask you ques­tions since they’ll think you are in charge (which of course, you will be).

Apron Casey

Where to Purchase

Apron Mom

Our Very Tal­ent­ed Mom! Pic­tured above.

These can be pur­chased online at These aprons are excel­lent choic­es because they are reversible and are made of pre­mi­um 100% cot­ton fab­ric. All of them have been pre-washed which means there is lit­tle shrink­age. All also fea­ture extra long ties for a per­fect fit every time. These won­der­ful aprons are actu­al­ly made by our mom, Chris­tine Cole­man, and we each have sev­er­al that we use for cook­ing and flo­ral design.