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 drapey 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 spark­ly 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 adpat­ed from her book so you can have a refresh­ing and fun hol­i­day par­ty, too.
The Dou­glas Expedition

1 oz dry gin

1 oz Dou­glas Fir Eau-de-vie

1/2 oz elder­flower cordial

Juice of 1 lemon wedge

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 high­ball glass with frozen berries and ice, fill 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 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 frangrance…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 classs­es, we are asked how to know what col­or flow­ers go togeth­er. We talk about the col­or wheel and com­ple­men­tary col­ors ver­sus analagous 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 arrang­ment 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

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 beu­ti­ful 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 revers­bible. 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!

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.