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DIANA DEVITO Do-It-Yourself Wedding Flowers THE GUIDE TO

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  • D I A N A D E V I T O

    Do-It-YourselfWedding FlowersTHE GUIDE TO

  • 2014

    ContentsIntroduction ................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

    Get Ready to DIY Your Wedding Flowers ..................................................................................................................... 2

    DIY Wedding Flowers Rules to Live By ....................................................................................................................... 7

    DIY Wedding Flowers: Color Basics ............................................................................................................................... 11

    Selecting DIY Flowers: Color & Texture ........................................................................................................................ 16

    Floral Arrangement Basics: Form & Shape .................................................................................................................. 23

    Floral Arrangement Basics: Flower Prep ...................................................................................................................... 25

    The Top 10 Wedding Flowers .............................................................................................................................................. 27

    A Do-It-Yourself Bridal Bouquet Tutorial ...................................................................................................................... 41

    All About Flower Petals .......................................................................................................................................................... 45

    Youre Ready to DIY Your Wedding Flowers! ............................................................................................................. 48

    Additional Resources ............................................................................................................................................................... 49

    For More InformationHave questions? Call 855-BUY-BLOOMS or visit us at, where youll find

    how-to videos, step-by-step flower arrangement tutorials, flower availability information, our own

    flower-pairing tools, live chat assistance and the industrys finest customer service!

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    PAGE 1

    Flowers are as common in a wedding as the white dress. Lets face it: A wedding would not be

    complete without a bridal bouquet, boutonnire, or centerpiece. The beauty in their

    colors, shapes, and textures, along with their fragrance, make flowers the perfect

    accompaniment to every style of wedding.

    Whoever came up with the slogan Say it with Flowers was no

    dummy - and possibly a bride - because wedding flowers will set the

    tone and look for your big day. Whether you consider yourself a

    flower know-it-all, an admirer, or completely clueless, you can pull

    off a fabulous floral design for your wedding!

    Excuse the pun, but altar your thinking! Contrary to popu-

    lar belief, creating your own bridal bouquets and arrangements

    is NOT an impossible feat. For all of you brides on budgets out

    there, incorporating DIY projects in your wedding are essential if

    you want to save some major cash. So dont be afraid to unleash

    your inner DIY Bride!

    You dont need to be excessively artistic to make beautiful ar-

    rangements for your wedding. Doing your own wedding flowers is

    probably one of the easiest ways you can both be creative and save

    money for your big day. Where there is a will, theres a way!

    Get Over Your Flower Phobia!

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    Get Ready to DIY Your Wedding Flowers!Here are some helpful hints to make your DIY wedding flower experience a little easier!

    1. There is a difference between wholesale flowers and retail flowers.

    First of all, just because you are buying wholesale flowers for your wedding DOES NOT mean that youre

    not getting quality flowers. We buy flowers from the finest growers throughout the world including Central

    America, South America, Europe, and the United States, which is also where the top-notch florists get their

    flowers. The only difference: They are not arranged and when you buy our flowers youre getting them for a

    fraction of the price that you would pay at a retail florist. Our growers must meet our high standards for qual-

    ity and consistency and are regarded as the finest in the industry.

    I bet you have seen a floral arrangement at an event. And Im sure that most of you have either given or

    received flowers for either Valentines Day or Mothers Day. Well, these gorgeous arrangements are the fin-

    ished product. A florist put in a lot of elbow grease for these flowers to look this way. These flowers are fully

    bloomed and have gone through all of the necessary flower prep to look their freshest and finest. This is not

    how your wholesale flowers will arrive, so here are some things you should know about wholesale flowers.

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    Most wholesale flowers are cut and shipped BEFORE they have fully bloomed. When you receive your

    flowers their blooms may be tight. Lilies are excellent examples of flowers that need time to fully bloom. The

    reason why wholesale flowers are cut and shipped before their peak is because we want to guarantee that

    the flowers you order are fresh and in full bloom for your wedding or event. Additionally, we want to ensure

    that your flowers stay fresh for the longest duration so you are able to enjoy them days or even weeks after

    they are used. (Helpful Hint: Warm to hot water will help the flowers bloom faster).

    Wholesale flowers need some TLC! Your flowers will arrive to you how a florist would receive flowers be-

    fore they prim and prep them. Remember, like a florist, you are receiving these flowers after they had made a

    long trip without water, so they will be very thirsty. Roses will still have thorns on them, so be careful!

    When placing an order, we suggest that you select a requested ship date of 3 days before your wedding,

    meaning you receive the flowers 2 days before. This way, you can hydrate the flowers the day you receive

    them while allowing them to open for a day. Arrange the flowers the day before the wedding, keep them

    hydrated in water or floral foam.

    Wholesale flowers are almost always packaged by the grower in bunches. The bunch might be wrapped in

    a cellophane sleeve, or tied together. The number of stems might be exact, as bunches of Roses we provide

    consist of exactly 25 stems. Each variety tends to have a standard stem count per bunch, but there could be

    variations by grower.

    2. Realize that doing your own flowers isnt cheap, its just cheaper.

    According to The Wedding Report, the average cost of a wedding in 2010 was $23,867. A fraction of that

    total goes to flowers. Just a bridal bouquet can cost up to $300! Yes, by deciding to do your own bridal bou-

    quet you could save up to $250, but remember that you are still going to spend a good chunk of cash on your

    wedding flowers.

    A common misconception when buying wholesale flowers is that brides believe they will only be paying a

    couple hundred dollars on a generous amount of wedding flowers. In some cases, this is may be true; how-

    ever, remember that just because you are buying flowers at a fraction of retail prices does not mean that

    you arent going to spend money. Yes, wholesale flowers are sold in bulk at lower prices, but think about how

    many flowers you are going to need in total (for both your ceremony and reception) and then make sure to

    budget accordingly! Be realistic when determining how much you want to spend on flowers.

    3. Make a plan.

    You wouldnt just have a wedding without some planning, right? Well, the same goes for your wedding flow-

    ers. It is essential that you make yourself a Wedding Flower Game Plan where you plan the days (or time-

    line) that you will be doing your research, asking questions, determining your flower budget, choosing your

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    flowers, gathering your flower decorating team, deciding what flowers you want in your bouquets vs. what

    flowers you want in your centerpieces, ordering your sample flowers, making your trial arrangements, prac-

    ticing, ordering your flowers and making your wedding arrangements. If remember only one thing from this

    guide, remember this: Do your wedding flowers the day before your wedding. You cannot, I repeat, CANNOT,

    do you flowers on your wedding day if you want your sanity intact.

    Also, keep in mind that from choosing your wedding flowers to having them walk down the aisle with you is

    a process and will take some time. You arent going to research what flowers youre interested in, order your

    sample flowers, and do a trial run all in the same day! When you choose the DIY Wedding Flower route you

    are doing all of the work that a florist would, so a timeline is extremely important!

    4. Youre going to get by with a little help from your friends.

    Excuse The Beatles reference, but there is no way that you can do this without a team. Dont be afraid to

    ask your family and bridesmaids to help you, as Im sure that they will be more than willing to do so. During

    your planning stage make sure to take the time to figure out whom your ideal flower decorating team

    would consist of.

    5. Practice, Practice, Practice!

    Practice indeed does make perfect. I highly suggest that you create trial arrangements to see your floral

    vision before your big day.

    Creating trial arrangements provides both you and those helping you

    with the practice you will need to make your final wedding bouquets,

    boutonnires, and centerpieces. The more you practice, the

    more you will feel comfortable handling the flowers, which

    will be reflected in the arrangements.

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    6. Flowers arent all that youll need.

    Remember that you are receiving your wedding flowers as a florist would receive them, so stems will need

    to be cut and Roses will need to be dethorned. Also, if youre making centerpieces and boutonnires floral

    foam, floral tape, and floral wire may be needed. So, youre not only going to need flowers, but also floral

    supplies and containers.

    If its your first time going the DIY flower route I highly suggest purchasing our Blooms DIY Starter Kit

    that includes floral scissors, a paring knife, a thorn stripper, flower food, and much more. Its the perfect

    companion to your wholesale flowers.

    7. Dont worry about refrigeration; hydration is much more important.

    One of the most common questions I get from many brides-to-be about their wedding flowers is whether

    or not they need to be refrigerated, and the answer is absolutely not. Keeping your flowers hydrated and in

    fresh water is much more important. Changing the water will actually prolong the flowers freshness. Lastly,

    make sure to keep store your flowers in a cool, dry place.

    Keep in mind that your home refrigerator is much different than an industry floral cooler. Your refrigerator

    is much more humid and may actually kill the flowers. Any ripening fruits, vegetables, or stored foods can give

    off chemicals that will greatly decrease the vase life of flowers. If you plan on using a spare refrigerator (the

    extra one if your garage/ basement) make sure it has no food in it!

    8. Make sure you have proper transportation.

    On your wedding day, dont forget that the flowers need to travel from wherever they are being primed and

    prepped to both your ceremony and reception venues. Im not saying rent out an extra van for your flowers,

    but make sure you plan accordingly to get your flowers from A to B as smoothly as possible. Check out our

    DIY Flower 101 lessons to learn how to transport arrangements safely!

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    9. Buy extras!

    Never buy exact quantities! Although you may be using the same type of flower, all of these flowers should

    not be treated as equals. Each stem and bloom will all react differently to weather and shipping conditions.

    Do you know why flowers from a retail florist always look so fresh? Its because they order more flowers than

    they need. This way they have the opportunity to pick and choose blooms that are up to par.

    On a smaller scale, this is what you should do when ordering your wedding flowers. Keep in mind that you

    are dealing with delicate fresh-cut flowers. So, although it is a rarity, breakage or browning petals MAY hap-

    pen. Also, your flowers are traveling without water (with the exception of Hydrangea and Orchids) so they

    are in a much different state from when they left us to when they arrive at your doorstep.

    In most cases, the wholesale flower industry will help you out in this department because rarely can you

    buy 46 Roses, 22 Hydrangea, and 15 stems of Hypericum. As previously stated, all wholesale flowers are

    packaged in bunches. Therefore, they are then sold in the quantities of those bunches. The Rose bunches we

    provide consist of exactly 25 stems, so you cant buy 18 Roses. We also provide greenery and fillers mostly in

    bunches of 10 stems, so if you need 12 stems of Gypsophilia (Babys Breath), youll have to order 2 bunches

    (20 stems).

    10. Dont sweat exact colors.

    Flowers are part of nature, so you will not, I repeat, WILL NOT be able to match the color of your brides-

    maids dresses to the shade of a peach Cottage Rose.

    Each batch of flowers that are grown on the wholesale market are grown at different times, during differ-

    ent weather conditions, and in changing environments. So, each batch of flowers (although they may be the

    same variety) may not be the same EXACT color as the last.

    11. Do not underestimate yourself!

    Remember, I think I can, I think I can! Even if you think you dont have a flower arranging bone in your

    body, there is a big chance that you are going to surprise yourself and your wedding guests too!

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    Are you a traditionalist or trendsetter? Are you drawn to classic arrangements wedding flowers like roses

    and hydrangeas? Or do exotic arrangements of Birds of Paradise and Calla Lilies catch your eye?

    Rule #1: Go with your instincts and forget about trends.

    Most people dont have favorite flowers. In fact, until they start to plan a wedding, most brides have never

    had to think about what flowers say about their style or what they might be communicating through their

    choices for decorative flowers. Your wedding flowers will enhance the theme of your wedding and although

    current wedding trends dictate that almost anything goes, you want to make sure that you choose flowers

    that compliment both your personal style and wedding theme.

    Rule #2: Ask questions.

    The same rule is applied in both the classroom and wedding planning, there is no such thing as a stupid

    question. If youre not an expert or even someone who can name more than three types of flowers, you are

    not alone. Blooms By The Box offers floral advice from wedding consultants and were just a call away at

    (908) 791-0487. Dont be afraid to ask questions!

    Rule #3: Do some research.

    The Internet gives you free reign to search about virtually any type of wedding flower. Remember to use

    both flower experts and search engines to find out the facts about certain flowers. is an excellent place to start!

    Rule #4: Your wedding should be Here Comes the Bride, not There Goes the Cash!

    Make sure that you have set a budget. One of the worst things you can do is blindly choose flowers without

    knowing their cost and the quantities that you will need. Youve chosen Do-it-Yourself to save money, right?

    Rule #5: Prioritize what you really want.

    Keep in mind that flowers that are in season at the time will not only be less expensive, but also more

    readily available. It is essential to prioritize what flowers you have to have in your wedding, as opposed to

    the flowers that you could do without. This will not only help you when choosing your flowers, but it will also

    tremendously help your budget!

    DIY Wedding Flowers Rules to Live By

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    Rule #6: Dont set your expectations too high.

    This rule goes hand in hand with Rule #5. In some cases, what you

    really want may not be available. For instance, many brides have their

    hearts set on Peonies. And most of these brides unfortunately have

    wedding dates in July, August, and September. Well, I hate to be the

    bearer of bad news, but it is nearly impossible to find a Peony (from

    both retailers and wholesalers) during the late summer wedding

    season. So, many brides are left heartbroken and disappointed.

    Lucky for Peony die-hards, there are flowers out there that are

    similar and would be a perfect substitute for the Peony. However,

    my point is, dont put all your eggs in one basket. I realize that

    when setting your wedding date you didnt think, We have to

    have the wedding in February so I can have Tulips! So, if you

    cant get the flowers that you had your heart set on, Im sure

    you can find a good stand-in! Youll find out more about this

    in The Top 10 Wedding Flowers section of the guide, dont

    worry. Remember that Although important to your big day,

    flowers will not make or break your wedding.

    Rule #7: Decide on how many types of flowers you want to use in your wedding.

    I always advise brides to use pick flowers as many flower variet-

    ies that will match their taste and arranging comfort level.

    If you are simple and classic pick one flower type, this will keep arranging

    simple but still make an impact. An all peony or garden rose bouquet is beautiful

    and easy to make. This is a very popular option.

    If you are more sophisticated we suggest 3-5 flower types. A perfect balance is

    2 focal flowers (large flowers like peonies, hydrangeas, roses, daisies, lilies etc.) , a

    secondary flower (a small accent flower like freesia, asters, spray roses, carnations,

    ranunculus, etc.), a filler flower, and a greenery. This will create well rounded beautiful

    arrangements with ease!

    Or go for that rustic look and grab a bunch of smaller flowers, fillers, and greens!

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    Rule #8: Flower color and shape are equally important as the flower variety.

    Even if you have a color scheme chosen for your wedding, sometimes its tough to narrow down how you

    want to accent that theme. Think about whether you want the flowers to draw attention and be a focal point,

    or if you want them to blend with the overall style and not take attention away from other dcor elements.

    When thinking about shape, divide your floral arrangements into two categories: centerpieces and bou-

    quets. For centerpieces, consider the height. A low floral centerpiece or a tall one will allow guests to see one

    another across the table. Decide on what kind of container or vase you want to hold your flowers. Remember,

    the taller the vase, the larger the stem needs to be.

    For bouquets popular shapes include round, cascade and hand-tied. Round bouquets and nosegays are

    common and more formal. Cascading bouquets are romantic and dramatic, while hand-tied bouquets have a

    natural, simple look. Also, make sure to determine whether you want to monofloral (otherwise known as the

    single-flower) vs. assorted (mixed flower) bouquets.

    Rule #9: Dont forget about greenery and fillers.

    Using greenery and fillers is the major difference between an amateur and

    a professional. In most cases, flower novices dont know how to incorporate

    greenery into their arrangements, while professional florists

    revel in using fillers and greenery in bouquets and


    If the flowers are the stars of the movie,

    the greenery and fillers are the best sup-

    porting actors and actresses. Greenery and

    fillers act as compliments to your

    flowers. You can choose to use just

    greenery, just fillers, or a combination

    of both. Ultimately, they will enhance

    your flowers natural beauty, while also

    adding texture to your arrangements. Keep

    in mind that there should not be equal amounts

    of greenery/fillers and flowers. Like I said before,

    the flowers are the main focal point.

    Lastly, keep in mind that you also have the option

    of not using any greenery and/or fillers. Although they

    add depth to floral arrangements, greenery and fillers

    are not always needed. Sometimes letting the flowers

    speak for themselves is enough.

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    Rule #10: Dont be too detail-oriented!

    This one is for all of you perfectionists out there and goes hand-in-

    hand with hint #10 from DIY Wedding Flowers 101. Flowers are

    part of nature, so no flower is the same, nor are they created

    equally. There is no such thing as a perfect flower, there is

    no such thing as the perfect table centerpiece, and there

    is definitely no such thing as the perfect bridal bou-

    quet. Dont stress too much about the little details,

    focus on the big picture your wedding day! Im

    sure when you look back, you wont remember if

    one of the lilies in your bouquet didnt open.

    Rule #11: Try to order your flowers a minimum of two weeks in advance.

    After you have chosen what flowers you

    want to use, try to order your flowers a mini-

    mum of two weeks in advance. By doing this,

    you are giving us ample time to guarantee that

    we will have your flowers in stock in the quanti-

    ties that you desire. Keep in mind, with Blooms

    By The Box, you can submit your order up to 2-3

    months in advance! I always advise brides to submit

    their orders earlier rather than later, because you can

    always update them until your desired ship date.

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    One of the first things that brides-to-be do early in the wedding planning process is choose the color pal-

    ette for their big day! Whether you choose bright, vibrant hues, or subtle tones, color is a significant aspect

    of any wedding. And lets face it, color and flowers go hand-in-hand, as your floral arrangements will only

    enhance youre the colors used throughout your wedding. So, when choosing your color palette, keep in mind

    that there are a lot of different ways to combine colors that you might have never considered that can really

    set your wedding flowers apart!

    But first, heres a quick primer on color. Color has three components:

    1. Hue what most of us think of when we say color.

    2. Value from light to dark of a given color.

    3. Saturation the intensity vibrant or soft/muted of a given color.

    When you were in grade school Im sure you learned about color: Primary and secondary colors, red and

    blue mixed together makes purple, yellow and green makes blue, and so on. More importantly, Im sure all of

    you have seen a color wheel, correct? Now I know what youre thinking, There is no way that the color wheel

    will help me plan my wedding. But au contraire, using this elementary art tool will lead you in the right

    direction in choosing the right color combinations.

    Thats why Blooms By The Box created The Flower Color Wheel! Because, lets be honest here, how many

    times before your wedding day did you arrange or even think of arranging flowers yourself? Maybe once?

    DIY Wedding Flowers: Color Basics

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    And because its probably been a long time since youve used a conventional color wheel, here are some

    color combinations (and floral combinations) on The Flower Color Wheel.

    Complementary Color Flower Combinations

    For vibrant, intense results, combine complementary colors in your bouquets and arrangements. These

    colors appear across from each other on the color wheel: Yellow-Purple, Blue-Orange, and Red-Green. When

    you put complementary colors side-by-side they tend to enhance the intensity of each other.

    Analogous Color Flower Combinations

    You can create soothing, harmonious, romantic fresh flower combinations using Analogous colors. These

    hues are families of colors that are next to each other on the color wheel, like Blues (blue, blue-violet, blue-

    green), or Yellows (yellow-green, yellow, yellow-orange).

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    Triadic Color Flower Combinations

    You can also create unusual, exciting combinations using triadic colors, basing your flower choices on three

    colors that are equidistant from one another on the color wheel. Think yellow/red/blue, or purple/green/or-

    ange, or blue-green/yellow-orange/red-violet.

    You probably never thought something you learned in elementary school could contribute to your wedding

    dcor! Keep in mind that these are merely suggestions for combinations to enhance the colors and flowers

    you choose for your wedding. If your heart is set on an all white theme then go for it!

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    Flower Color Value and Saturation

    Okay, now that weve got you over the first hurdle, there are two other important factors you have to

    consider when it comes to your color palette: Value and Saturation. As I touched upon before, value means

    how light or dark a color is and saturation is the intensity of a color. By using different values and saturation,

    you can combine different colors to really swing the mood of your wedding flowers from quiet, romantic and

    dreamy to dazzling, vibrant and energetic.

    Lets use an example that will work for using wholesale flowers. Start with a true, rich pink:

    Basic Pink

    Different values of this pink range from a dark, burgundy Black Magic Rose (lowest value) up to a light

    spring Tulip (highest value).

    Color Values, Dark (left) to Light (right)

    Many flowers are available in different values of the same color. Here we have four different hues (yel-

    low, orange, red, purple) of Carnation, each in two different values. You might think of the darker values for a

    bright, exuberant effect, or the lighter values when creating a more pastel arrangement.

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    Now lets talk saturation. Returning to our base pink color, different levels of saturation range from the

    intense base color on the left, to a very subdued, dustier color on the right.

    Color Saturation, from High (vibrant) to Low (Muted)

    These variations happen in nature too heres a Gerbera Daisy and a pink Mini Calla Lily.

    High Saturation: Gerbera Daisy Low-Saturation: Calla Lilly

    So, what does all this mean when youre choosing flowers for an arrangement? First, its very subjective.

    You like what you like. One persons vibrant is another persons harsh. Its all about mood and balance.

    Make sure to keep varying value(mixing lights and darks, even in different colors) in mind. This detail will

    give your flower arrangements and bouquets depth and visual interest. Too much of the same value may

    leave your flower arrangement looking flat, with no particular focal point to move the eye around.

    Also, be sure to be aware of varying color, value, and saturation combinations. Highly saturated color, when

    mixed with less saturated blooms, also creates contrast. More subdued flowers will quiet the overall effect of

    the flower arrangement.

    Its all about finding the right balance that suits the design and ambiance of your wedding. Remember, flow-

    ers are supposed to enhance the mood of the day. So, if youre going for a soft and romantic atmosphere, look

    for more muted, less saturated flowers. You can still go darker to up the drama, or lighter to soften it more.

    And if a more energetic and vital tone is your style, bright, saturated blooms will lead the way.

    Dont be afraid to mix all the elements for a unique look. But remember to keep the balance of value and

    saturation in mind as you choose. If something looks off in your flower arrangement, even if youre happy

    with the basic color combination, see if swapping out something more or less muted (but in the same hue),

    does the trick. You could even try more or less contrast with changing out a lighter pink for a darker one.

    Lastly, experiment, experiment, experiment! Dont be afraid to try something new!

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    Flower Varieties by Color

    Once youve picked your colors, youll need to look for the flower varieties that will complement it. The fol-

    lowing pages show some of your options. Keep in mind, these are all focal flowers in arrangements, and you

    will likely add fillers to your wedding arrangements as well.

    WHITE: (Top) Calla Lily, Gardenia, Hydrangea (Bottom) Peony, Tulip, and Orchid

    Selecting DIY Flowers: Color & Texture

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    YELLOW Flowers: Goldstrike Rose, Alstromeria, Carnation

    PEACH Flowers: Gerbera Daisy, Rose Versilla, Lily

    ORANGE Flowers: Lily, Rose Miracle, Gerbera Daisy

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    RED Flowers: Freesia, Freedom Rose, Gladiolus

    DARK PINK Flowers: Stock, StarGazer Lily, Purple Cezzane Rose

    LIGHT PINK Flowers: Carnations, Orchids, and Peony

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    LAVENDER Flowers: Cool Water Rose, Lavender Calla Lily, and Double Stock

    PURPLE Flowers: Iris, Tulips, Lisianthus

    BRIGHT BLUE Flowers: Rose Vendela Blue, Delphinium, and Iris

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    LIGHT BLUE Flowers: Hydrangea and Delphinium

    LIGHT GREEN Flowers: Carnations, Green Tea Rose, Dendrobium Orchids

    BRIGHT GREEN Flowers: Hydrangea, Bells of Ireland, Anastasia Spider Mum

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    Spray-Tinted Flowers

    Keep in mind there are always answers to you color challenges. Some brides have teals or specific shades

    of purples and blues that are hard to find naturally. If you have a tough color scheme, all white is not your only

    option thanks to floral sprays!

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    What is Flower Texture?

    Another element that may help you have the professional look you desire is floral texture. Using texture

    and understanding what flowers will be most cohesive together is a big help! This is also something you may

    have learned as a child, maybe we should have 2nd graders do all the arranging! Just kidding, but here is some

    catch up on what texture is all about.

    Texture is the physical structure and surface quality of a material. The flowers can appear rough or smooth,

    straight or curvy, shiny or matte, coarse or fine, fluffy or hard, pointy or round. Smooth and shiny material

    make your eye travel over the flowers faster as it sees all there is to see, when there is a course and curvy

    appearance the eye is caught longer on the flowers because there is more to take in. The important thing to

    keep in mind is control. No matter which of the many textures your flowers are, keep this in mind when put-

    ting together flowers.

    Tips for Choosing Flowers For Your Wedding Arrangements using Texture

    1. Not Too Much, But Not Too Little.

    Remember, too many textures can make an arrangement look

    too cluttered but not enough texture can make it mundane.

    This means that if you are going to use all the same flower in

    the same color without any filler your arrangement may look

    too simple, add some filler, additional color, or another flower

    to spruce up simple textures. Try to eliminate cluttered tex-

    tures by sticking to 3-6 textures per arrangement.

    2. Similar Textures Can Work Together.

    You can introduce various types of structures into the

    arrangement, or you can even put the same textures into an

    arrangement depending on the style you are looking for.

    If you stick with similar textures make sure the colors varying

    and catch the eyes attention.

    AT RIGHT, ABOVE: This arrangement uses flowers that a have a

    fluffy, full texture. The colors and flower variety pair well together

    due to their similarity in texture while the colors provide contrast

    that attracts the eye.

    AT RIGHT, BELOW: This arrangement uses hard, spiky, soft, small,

    and large varieties of flowers that create a texture that is pleasing to

    the eye by arranging them in a symmetrical pattern.

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    Picking floral shape and form is all about preference and the size of the wedding venue. In order to make

    all you can out of your wedding flowers you need to choose what floral shape will best fill the space you have.

    If you have a larger venue, choose bigger arrangements to make a wow statement that fill in spaces, avoiding

    vacancy and keeping the eyes busy and interested in all the textures in the room. With smaller venues, use

    smaller arrangements with tight and neat shapes to bring earthy touches of warmth without making a clut-

    tered look. is a great source for teaching yourself how to create floral form. Al-

    though this may look confusing it is not too bad, once you see the floral foam you will see that it will guide you

    in the right direction!

    Horizontal Floral Arrangements

    Horizontal arrangements are low with a width

    2 times their height and have a multitude of uses.

    They are commonly used for sweetheart tables or

    entrance statements! Many couples use similar

    arrangements to adorn archways or terraces for

    their wedding ceremony. Whatever the use this

    type of arrangement makes a bold statement and

    holds the eyes attention.

    Vertical Floral Arrangements

    Tall vertical arrangements are tall with a small width, famous for making

    any table a key atmosphere setter. The more tall the more grand, as they

    say! Tall arrangements create a prestigious feeling. Having large arrange-

    ments is not for every couple, but you can still get the prestigious feeling

    by making tall floor arrangements for the ceremony and bring them to the

    reception. Filling space with tall arrangements is a great way to be budget

    savvy and elegant!

    Floral Arrangement Basics: Form & Shape

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    Triangular Floral Arrangements

    Triangular arrangements are easy to make and common.

    Using taller flowers and cutting others down means you only need

    one type of flower, and not as many. I would say that is pretty

    budget worthy!

    Circular and Oval Arrangements:

    The dome like circular form is by far the most popular wedding

    arrangement shape. It has completely even distribution of flowers

    around all sides. It is inexpensive, easy to make, and a traditionally

    beautiful. It is the easiest because you do not need to concentrate

    on any angles, you can create the shape you want effortlessly.

    Your Very Own Shapes: Things to Keep in mind

    If the shapes above do not trigger your wedding interest, no

    worries; you can create pretty much anything you like. Here are

    some things to keep in mind in general without making a specific


    Proportion: The amount of flowers and height should corre-

    late with the size of the vase - use your judgment.

    Balance: Whether you make a symmetrical or asymmetrical

    arrangement remember the bottom should be big enough to support the top of the arrangement, you do not

    want the eye to concentrate on just one side of the arrangement (make it all interesting) and dont over do it!

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    The most important thing to do when first getting your flowers is to put them in water! During transit from

    our growers, your flowers have been without water in a state of suspended animation for many hours. DO

    NOT PANIC if they appear wilted or limp. You are receiving them in the same way that a florist would. To

    bring your flowers to peak health and beauty, they must be re-hydrated immediately!

    1. Prepare clean vases or containers and clean, sharp, utensils such as clippers, shears or knives.

    Never use ordinary household scissors. Using scissors will crush the stems and prevent proper hydration.

    2. Prepare lukewarm water (100 to 110 F) mixed with the enclosed floral preservative.

    If your tap water is very soft or very hard, use spring water.

    3. Re-cut all flower stems to enable absorption of water.

    If possible, cut under water. Cut at least one inch from the bottom of the stem at a 45-degree angle. Re-

    move all foliage that will be under the vase or container water line to delay bacteria growth.

    4. Immediately place the flowers into the prepared water.

    Do not overcrowd! Store them at room temperature and away from sunlight to let them drink and recover.

    This process may take up to 12 hours. If any stems still appear wilted, re-cut following the above directions.

    5. To slow the re-hydrating & blooming process for a day or two, use cool water and store flowers in a cool place.

    Do not store your flowers in a standard home refrigerator.

    6. If you are using floral foam material, thoroughly saturate it in water and floral preservative.

    Place your vase or arrangement away from heat, drafts, and direct sunlight. Do not let your arrangement

    dry out!

    Floral Arrangement Basics: Flower Prep

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    7. Change the water every two to three days or when it becomes cloudy.

    It is best to clean the vase and re-cut the stems.

    8. Some flowers require special attention! Please read the following if you have ordered any flowers with special needs.

    Tulips, Hyacinths, Iris, Daffodils: Place them in cool water. Do not use floral preservatives with Tulips.

    Be careful not to damage the tip of an Iris. Daffodils will prevent other flowers from absorbing water prop-

    erly. Condition them alone for at least six hours and do not re-cut their stems before adding more flowers, or

    enjoy them by themselves!

    Roses: If after following the directions a rose still appears wilted, there is likely air trapped in the stem.

    Submerge it in water and re-cut. Leave it submerged for up to 60 minutes. Our growers often leave the outer

    unsightly petals on our roses to protect the inner part of the flower. Remove these petals to bring the roses

    to peak appearance. As the flowers age, you may continue to remove the outer petals to extend their life.

    Gerber Daisies: It is critical that Gerber Daisy stems be cut with a clean, sharp utensil on

    an angle, several [at least 6] inches from the bottom of the stem. If this process is

    not followed, they will not re-hydrate!

    Lilies: To enhance the life of your lilies, carefully remove the pollen

    stamens when the petals open. The pollen will stain fabrics!

    Bells of Ireland: These flowers may appear limp upon ar-

    rival, but with the proper hydration will recover beautifully.

    The re-hydration process may take up to 24 hours.

    Dendrobium Orchids: If they appear wilted upon

    arrival, submerge the entire spray in cool tap water for

    10-15 minutes.

    Hydrangea: Cut Hydrangea stems between the stem

    nodes at an angle with floral shears. Cut an additional 1

    slice up through the bottom of each stem. (The bottom

    inch of each stem will then be cut in half). Immediately

    place in a vase of warm water.

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    1. Roses

    Its no surprise that Roses are the most popular wedding flower, as they are the universal symbol for love

    and romance. The reason for their popularity may be the Roses wide variety in terms of color, size, fragrance,

    and other attributes. Among the most popular are the Sweet Unique Rose, the Rose Eskimo and the Black

    Magic Rose.

    Pink lovers, you will find your match with the Sweet Unique Rose. This two-toned light to medium pink

    Rose is certainly a bride favorite. Equally as breathtaking, the Rose Eskimo is a classic pure white Rose that

    opens into a star shape, which is ideal for bouquets and boutonnires. And dont worry, unlike your dress, the

    petals of the Rose Eskimo are blemish-resistant! Finally, the Black Magic Rose looks like rich velvet in both

    centerpieces and bouquets, ideal for brides that are looking for a more dramatic look.

    When it comes to color Roses normally fall into two categories, two-toned and one-toned. As the name

    suggests, two-toned roses consist of two colors. For instance, a Rose Circus is a two-toned Rose that has yel-

    low and red petals. Other two-toned roses are the lemon-lime Rose Limbo and the Esperance Rose that have

    a brushed pink and green look. On the contrary, one-toned roses are solid colors. Roses like the red Freedom

    Rose, peach Rose Versilla, and lavender Cool Water Roses are all one-toned color roses.

    In general, Roses grow in are a large group of flowering shrubs. Their leaves are typically medium to dark

    green, glossy, and ovate, with finely toothed edges. The petal sizes of Roses vary in size from 1/2 inch to 6

    inches, 5 petals to more than 30, and in nearly every color.

    Typically, Roses are available all year round because they are grown in Central

    America and then shipped to the United States. However, during the hot-

    ter months they can be grown locally.

    Keep in mind that all Roses are not created equal. The

    flower industry uses a measurement to gauge the size

    and value of a Rose that at first glance may not appear

    to matter to you. All Roses in the wholesale flower

    market are rated by the length of the stem after be-

    ing cut from the Rose plant.

    The Top 10 Wedding Flowers

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    However, it is more important to remember that when it comes to Roses that the longer the stem, the

    larger the flower head! For instance, a 60-centimeter Rose may have a flower head two times the size of a

    40-centimeter Rose. Therefore, the length of the stem might be a signification factor if you are creating large

    arrangements, or if you are just making corsages and boutonnires. So when youre choosing your Roses,

    remember that the stem length determines the size of the Rose head.

    Although Roses of different colors and varieties make superb bouquets and centerpieces, using different

    flowers in your arrangements will create depth and a romantic texture. Creativity is at its peak, as brides are

    no longer just settling for just roses or just gerbera daisies in their bouquets. Some complimentary flowers to

    Roses would be Hydrangea, Orchids, Calla Lilies, Peonies, Lisianthus, Lilies, and Carnations.

    And dont forget Rule #7: Dont forget about greenery and/or fillers! When it comes to Roses use greens

    like Leather Leaf, Lemon Leaf, Lemon Papoose, Hypericum, or Ming Fern. You want the roses to speak for

    themselves and all of the greenery listed previously will allow the Roses to be the main focal point of your ar-

    rangements, while adding the some texture.

    If you choose to use a combination of both greenery and fillers, some fillers that you may want to consider

    with roses are Gypsophillia (also known as babys breath), Wax Flower, Limonium, and Queen Annes Lace.

    Any small bloom would accent Roses perfectly.

    If Roses arent your forte, any high petaled flower would be a fine substitute. Cottage Roses are very full

    petaled flowers that do not look like a conventional Rose that would enhance a garden or whimsical theme.

    Lisianthus and Peonies would also be fine substitutes for roses.

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    2. Hydrangeas

    The hydrangea is giving the Rose a run for her money in popularity and is arguably the best selling wedding

    flower. Their full, rich blooms have an abundant amount of petals that make fabulous bouquets and center-


    Each Hydrangea stem has one bloom and they come in a variety of sizes. Mini Hydrangea have an aver-

    age bloom size of 3.5 to 5.5 inches, while standard Hydrangea have an average bloom size of 4 to 6 inches.

    Antique Dutch Hydrangea have an average bloom size of 3 to 6 inches (Keep in mind that Antique Dutch

    Hydrangeas feature larger petals than a standard Hydrangea). And finally, Large Hydrangea have an average

    bloom size of 7 to 9 inches.

    Like Roses, Hydrangea petals can be both two-toned (or multi-colored) and one-toned. Both the green/pink

    Antique Hydrangea and blue Hydrangea that Blooms By The Box offers have a mixture of two colors in the

    petals. The Antique Hydrangea has green and brushed pink petals, while the blue Hydrangea has a combina-

    tion of light blue and white in their petals. Oppositely, our white Hydrangea and mini green Hydrangea have

    solid one-toned blooms. The white Hydrangea is a pure white throughout, while the mini green hydrangea

    are almost a very light and bright lime color.

    Generally speaking, Hydrangea are available all year round because they are grown in hot houses. They

    grow on robust bushes and have very woody stems. They also enjoy cool temperatures from 35 to 50F.

    When receiving wholesale hydrangeas remember the first hint from Wedding Flow-

    ers 101: There is a difference between wholesale and retail flowers. Hy-

    drangea have the notorious reputation of being slightly stubborn when

    being shipped. As their name suggests, they have an insatiable need

    to be hydrated at all times. Most flowers sold and transported

    through the wholesale market survive just fine without water.

    They merely need to be kept cool. However, Hydrangea cannot

    tolerate being dry and must be shipped with water.

    Once removed from cooling, Hydrangea must be re-hydrated

    with a fresh stem cut and in some cases additional steps must be

    taken to get the flower taking water again. Hydrangea only have two

    states, they are either full fluffy balls of soft petals or completely limp, col-

    lapsed and useless for display. Some professionals perform flower CPR

    on wilted hydrangea by cutting the stem up the center, or smashing

    the end.

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    An easier way to revive a tired hydrangea is to cut the stem on an angle under running hot water, dip the

    exposed stem into boiling hot water, and then soak the stem in lukewarm to warm water. The heat acts as a

    catalyst in the hydration process.

    Lastly, Hydrangea are full-bodied, luscious blooms that are stunning by themselves or mixed with other

    types of flowers. They are probably the only wedding flower that can serve a dual purpose as both a main

    flower and a filler. Complimentary flowers to the hydrangea would be Roses, Peonies, Lisianthus, Cottage

    Roses, Carnations, or Mini Calla Lilies. Hydrangea are very well suited for bouquets!

    Although hydrangea look beautiful alone, adding greenery would add depth to your bouquets or center-

    pieces. Greenery like Hypericum is a perfect compliment to Hydrangea, as the small berries would be sub-

    merged in fluffy petals. And if hydrangeas just arent your style, you may like Stock, or even multiple Peonies

    or Carnations bunched together to create that full-petaled look.

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    3. Peonies

    The Peony is arguably the most sought after wedding flower. Their full petaled blooms are ideal for bridal

    bouquets. Generally speaking, the flower head of a peony is roughly 2.5 to 4 inches in diameter and their

    average stem length is about 20 inches. They come in dozens of shades of pink, red, and white.

    Peonies often speak for themselves and do not need many accessory flowers to accompany them. Howev-

    er, if you decide to create arrangements of more than just peonies I would suggest you use Roses, Lisianthus,

    Cottage Roses, Carnations, or Football Mums.

    Hypericum, Lemon Leaf, Lemon Papoose, Bupleurum, Huck, Pittosporum, and Sprengeri would all be suit-

    able greenery to pair Peonies with. While fillers like Gypsophilia, Calcinia Heather, Statice, Wax Flower, and

    Queen Annes Lace would the large feathery blooms and adding contrast to your bouquets or centerpieces.

    The heads of Peony flowers are extremely large, so the should be paired with greenery and fillers that will

    enhance their fluffy blooms rather than overwhelm them.

    And now for probably the most important thing to know about Peonies, so pay attention!

    Peonies grow in Asia, Europe, and both the East and West coasts of the United States. Unlike flowers in the

    wholesale market like Hydrangea that are commercially grown in hot houses and bloom

    year-round, Peonies are all field grown in many areas of the world, but each

    field yields one crop of cut flowers for a couple of weeks only once per


    Wholesale flower buyers locate and buy Peonies in the United

    States starting in California in mid May. They then move to

    the Florida fields and work their way all the way up the East

    coast right into Canada. So, literally each week Peonies in

    the wholesale market are from a different grower and a

    different state. All this happens for the short season be-

    ginning in mid-May and running through most of mid July.

    And on top of the sourcing issues, weather plays a huge

    role through out the Peony season. If it is too hot in one

    area the crop will come in too fast and bloom too quickly,

    too cold or rainy in another area and the crop may not be

    of top quality. Once the last field is harvested somewhere in

    Canada, there are simply NO peonies to be had.

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    Simply put, during late July, August, September, and October a fresh cut Peony is not to be found. Start-

    ing in November and running through the winter there is another source of Peonies from Europe, which are

    smaller and much more expensive than domestic harvests, but do provide an option for Peony die-hards. So,

    if you are determined to have fresh cut Peonies for your wedding or party, you will need to plan accordingly!

    Although the Peony has a very distinct look, a fabulous substitute is the Cottage Rose. Cottage Roses

    arent your typical Rose and do not open in a star or spiral shape. Instead they open into round, clusters of

    petals that very much resemble those of the Peony. Another Peony stand-in is the Lisianthus flower, but

    youre better off going with the Cottage Rose for that Peony-esque look.

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    4. Calla Lilies

    These trumpet shaped lilies have burst into the wedding scene and brides cant seem to get enough of

    them. The Calla Lilys waxy white blooms and spearheaded leaves are perfect for a more exotic themed or

    summer wedding. The average stem length of a normal Calla Lily is about 30 inches, so they are perfect for

    tall centerpiece arrangements!

    The Calla Lilys bloom size is about 3.5 inches to 8 inches from stem to top and the stem width is about 1

    inch. Although the classic color of white is probably the most popular choice, Calla Lilies also come in yellow,

    orange, pink, and burgundy.

    And if a normal sized Calla Lily is too large for your liking, Calla Lilies are also available in a mini size. Keep in

    mind that they are significantly smaller than their larger variety with blooms of about 1/8 to 1/4 in diameter

    and a stem length of about 12 to15 inches. Mini Calla Lilies are perfect for bouquets and boutonnires.

    The Calla Lily originates from the southern parts of Africa. This area has a tropical climate in which the Cal-

    la Lily really finds itself at home with a steady temperature, rainy seasons and dry seasons. As there is no real

    winter with cold winds and snow to worry about, there are Calla Lilies that bloom all year around as long as

    they have a sufficient supply of water. Typically, Calla Lilies are available all year round because of their ability

    to be grown in hot and tropical climates. Thus, they can be grown in places like Florida and Central America.

    Calla Lilies are both sophisticated and exotic and often look their most beautiful without greenery. Howev-

    er, if you choose to use greenery in either your bouquets or centerpieces I would suggest Lily Grass or Bear

    Grass. The long, thin greens would compliment the streamlined stem of

    the Calla lily, while adding texture and depth.

    Unlike Peonies, Calla Lilies are not flowers that are

    easily substituted. They have a very distinct look that

    cannot be duplicated by any other type of Lily. If

    you want to add the same sophistication as a Cal-

    la Lily to a floral arrangement I would suggest

    Gladiolus. Their long stems resemble those of a

    Calla Lily and the Gladiolus multiple florets are

    comparable mini Calla Lily flowers.

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    5. Gerbera Daisies

    A summer wedding favorite, the Gerbera Daisy is bright, vibrant, and cheerful! These daisies are distin-

    guished by large flowering heads that closely resemble those of sunflowers. With its bold and striking ap-

    pearance, the Gerbera Daisy has become the most highly prized Daisy variety.

    Unlike other Daisies, the centers of Gerbera Daisies are usually green, dark brown, yellow or black. Their

    average bloom size is about 3 to 5 inches (8 to 10 centimeters) in diameter and their stem length is a mini-

    mum of 20 inches. Similar to Calla Lilies, Gerbera Daisies also come in a mini variety where the flower heads

    are about 2 inches (5 centimeters) in diameter, ideal for boutonnires.

    Gerber Daisies come in an extensive variety of colors including vivid white, bright or light pink, deep or pale

    yellow, red, and orange. The wide assortment of color options makes these Daisies a natural choice for brides

    looking for flowers that will match their wedding colors.

    Although Gerber Daisies are native and grow wild in Africa, Asia, and South America, they are often grown

    indoors in cooler climates so that they are available all year round. They thrive in lots of sunlight, but be care-

    ful because too much heat will prevent blooming.

    One thing to keep in mind when using Gerbera Daisies in centerpieces and bouquets is that their stems are

    EXTREMELY delicate. Floral wire will help support Gerberas when used in bouquets, while Gerbera sleeves

    are commonly used to strengthen Gerbera stems in centerpieces and taller arrangements.

    What are Gerbera sleeves you may ask? They are basically plastic tubular sleeves that come in green

    or clear and resemble drinking straws. They keep Gerbera Daisies stems standing straight while they are

    stored, and prevent the drooping that their heavy heads can cause.

    The lively Gerbera Daisy is well suited with Pompon Daisies,

    Monte Casino Asters, Sunflowers, Pompon Viking Mums,

    Cremon Mums, Pompon Button Mums, Roses, Lilies,

    and mini Calla Lilies. And remember that Gerbera

    stems are leafless, so Lemon Leaf and Lemon

    Papoose would pair nicely in either a bouquet or

    table arrangement.

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    6. Orchids

    One of the most beautiful and exotic flowers in the wedding industry is the Orchid. If you are trying to

    make a statement at your wedding, then these are the flowers for you! Their long stems full of gorgeous

    blooms are fit for tall table centerpieces, while they also serve as perfect accents in bouquets and even on


    The two most popular types of Orchids in the wedding flower market are Cymbidium and Dendrobium


    Cymbidium Orchids are available year round and have an average of 6 to 10 blooms per stem. The average

    bloom size of a Cymbidium Orchid is 2 to 4 inches in diameter and the average stem length is 20 inches. They

    come in beautiful shades of green, pink, or white.

    Of all the Orchids, Cymbidiums are best suited for the outdoors. So, they are perfect for an outdoor wed-

    ding! Theyre prized for their sprays of large flowers, used as cut flowers or for corsages.

    Native to Southeast Asia, Dendrobium Orchids have an average of 8 to 10 blooms per stem. Keep in mind

    that the average number of bloom per stem varies with stem length, which can range from 16 to 24 inches.

    Additionally, the average bloom size of a Dendrobium orchid is 1 to 2 inches in diameter. The blooms of Den-

    drobium Orchids are all the colors of the rainbow; pinks, lavenders, reds, yellows, and oranges are a few col-

    ors that the Orchid boasts. Like Cymbidium Orchids, Dendrobium Orchids are also available all year round.

    So the main difference between Cymbidium Orchids and Dendrobium Orchids is the size of the blooms on

    their stems. Generally speaking, Cymbidiums have larger blooms than Dendrobi-

    ums. Dendrobiums tend to have a couple more blooms per stem than the

    larger Cymbidiums. Both species are beautiful in their own way and

    are one of the most popular flowers used in weddings.

    Orchids are one of the most delicate flowers sold on the

    wholesale flower market, so they are shipped with water

    and extra packaging. Although orchids are fragile, they do

    ship well in hot weather because they thrive in tropical

    environments, so they are ideal for summer weddings.

    Generally, a temperature range of 75 to 85 F will make

    most Orchids happy.

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    Both Cymbidium and Dendrobium Orchids are very dramatic, so I would limit the use of greenery and fill-

    ers in arrangements. The latest trend in centerpieces is flowers being submerged in water and Orchids are by

    far the most popular flower featured in these underwater arrangements. And if you insist on using green-

    ery, greens like Bear Grass, Lily Grass, and Israeli Ruscus would compliment the Orchids striking blooms.

    Orchids pair very well with Roses, especially in bouquets. They also compliment Lilies effortlessly. Remem-

    ber that Orchids are very exotic flowers, so you have to be careful when pairing them with other flowers. An

    Orchid and a Gerbera daisy may clash, while Orchids and Calla Lilies are well suited for one another.

    A good substitute for orchids is the Stephanotis flower. Their waxy, tubular, white flowers resemble those

    of an orchid and are also a wedding favorite. However, a special wiring technique is needed for design work,

    so they are well suited for bridal bouquets, boutonnires, and corsages. Freesias would also be a good re-

    placement if you cant get Orchids.

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    7. Tulips

    Commonly known as a popular spring flower, Tulips have become a classic choice for wedding bouquets.

    Used since ancient times to symbolize love and affection, these colorful blooms may add a fresh touch of

    elegance and class to your ceremony and reception.

    A standard Tulip has an average bloom size of about 1 inch and an average stem length of 10 to 12 inches.

    They come in a variety of colors such as white, pink, red, yellow, and orange. Keep in mind that Tulips are

    phototropic, which means that the blooms will follow the light, so make sure arrangements are evenly lit to

    prevent shifting. Also remember that Tulips are the only flower that continues to grow once in water. They

    can grow up to 2 inches, so make sure to plan accordingly if using Tulips in centerpieces.

    Tulips are of the best quality when they are in season, mainly from January to May. If your heart is set on

    Tulips for a summer wedding, I would suggest using another flower, as tulips are very sensitive to hot tem-


    Tulips pair exceptionally well with other flowers for centerpieces and wedding bouquets. Any high petaled

    flower like a Peony or Cottage Rose would be appropriate. Tulips and daffodils make for great spring recep-

    tion table centerpieces, while tulips and calla lilies would make for a gorgeous cascade bouquet. Also, tulips

    and roses make for a wonderful round bouquet! Monofloral bouquets or center-

    pieces of all tulips would be another option.

    The Tulip blossoms are beautiful in their simplicity, so I would be

    weary to pair tulips with greenery and fillers. However, Lemon

    Leaf and Hypericum would pair well with the spring bloom,

    while Limonium, Babys Breath, and wax flower serve as

    complimentary filler.

    And if you are looking for a tulip substitute, Lisianthus

    is your best bet.

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    8. Lilies

    Lilies are emerging as not only one of the most popular wedding flowers, but also one of the most dramatic.

    Their large blooms will undoubtedly ad that wow factor to any wedding. Although there are many types of

    Lilies, the most popular are Oriental and Asiatic Lilies.

    The most flamboyant personalities in the species of Lilies are to be found among the Orientals, with their

    huge flowers, intense fragrance, and rich colors. Oriental Lilies are extremely fragrant, boasting trumpet-

    shaped flowers that grow to a 6-inch diameter. Stems grow to about 3 feet long, carrying 3 to 5 blooms and

    dark green foliage. Oriental Lilies are known for their enormous, star-shaped blooms in vibrant shades of

    pink, red, pure white, peach, and pink-and-white. Lastly, the flowers may be bowl-shaped or flat-faced, some-

    times with curved petals.

    Unlike Oriental Lilies, Asiatic Lilies have little to no fragrance. This Lily will grow a decent amount of broad

    evergreen leaves and tight clusters of colorful flowers measuring 3.5 centimeters across. The average stem

    length of an Asiatic Lily is 3 to 4 feet with 3 to 5 blooms per stem. A popular Asiatic is the Brisbane, a beauti-

    ful pink Lily with blooms that face upward from the center (one of the Asiatic Lilys best features). The vibrant

    Brunello Asiatic Lily is another favorite that adds excitement to any arrangement. Their six petaled blooms

    are bright orange and about 4 inches in length. Similar to Orientals, Asiatics come in shades of pink, red,

    orange, white, and peach.

    Much like Roses, Lilies are available all year round because they are grown in Central America and are

    shipped to the United States and in hotter months can be grown locally.

    Both Oriental and Asiatic Lilies do have foliage, so adding greenery may over-

    whelm the blooms. Lilies are perfect for tall arrangements and would

    be well suited with Calla Lilies, Roses, and Gladiolous. They also

    look stunning by themselves.

    Lilies pair nicely with Roses, Calla Lilies (both large

    and mini), Freesia, Orchids, Lisianthus, and Stephano-

    tis. Liles (especially the Orientals) have large blooms,

    so choosing smaller flowers like Freesias or Mini

    Calla Lilies would be perfect compliments to such

    bold blossoms.

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    9. Gardenias

    Gardenias are not only known for their beauty, but also their captivating fragrance. These gorgeous white

    flowers have been a wedding staple for decades. However, they are also known for being very fragile and

    have no stems, so much like Stephanotis, they must be wired or glued.

    A flower of Oriental origins, the Gardenia is now grown in colder climates in greenhouses and available all

    year round. They have 1 bloom per stem and each bloom is about 3 to 4 inches in diameter. Gardenias have a

    high petal count and look beautifully floating in centerpieces or sprinkled in bouquets. However, keep in mind

    that Gardenias are a very short lived cut flower with a lifespan of a day or two once removed from refrigera-


    Gardenias pair beautifully with most flowers. A bouquet with Gardenias, Roses, Hydrangea, and Peonies

    is both classic and elegant. And as previously stated, Gardenias floating in water make for fabulous center-


    Lemon Leaf, Lemon Papoose, Hypericum, and Leather Leaf would all be perfect compliments to Gardenias.

    Since they lack stems, greenery is a must.

    Although beautiful, Gardenias are quite pricey, so if youre on a

    budget Stephanotis and white Lisianthus would be excellent

    substitutes for Gardenias.

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    10. Carnations

    Although Carnations may not be the first flower you think of when choosing your wedding flowers, they

    are a popular filler flower. Their ruffled blooms make the perfect compliment to bouquets in particular and

    when bunched together they have the same look as a Peony or Cottage Rose.

    As may of you may know, Carnations feature only one bloom per stem. They have an average bloom size

    of about 2 inches in diameter when fully bloomed. Carnations stem length ranges from about 20 inches to a

    maximum of roughly 26 inches. They are available in every shade of the rainbow, but are most popular in pink,

    red, white, and orange. Like Roses, Carnations are also available all year round.

    Carnations are also grown in a mini variety. Mini Carnations are multi-bloom sprays of festive color, per-

    fect for arrangements and bouquets. Their sweet fragrance and long-lasting ruffled blossoms, 1 inches to

    1 inches in diameter, make them one of the most popular of todays fresh flowers (and a great value for the


    One of the Carnations best features is their vase-life, which is about 2 to 3 weeks! So if you use Carnations

    in your centerpieces, theyll last weeks after your wedding (and possibly your

    honey moon, too!).

    As I said before, Carnations are superb filler flowers and they

    compliment everything from Roses to Gerbera Daisies. Person-

    ally, I feel that Carnations are well suited with Roses, Hydran-

    gea, Lisianthus, Peonies, Football Mums, and Cottage Roses.

    Greenery like Leather Leaf, Hypericum, and Lemon Leaf

    would also add texture to the fluffy blooms.

    And if Carnations dont suit your fancy, any high pet-

    aled flower like a Peony or Lisianthus would be a good

    understudy for the Carnation.

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    A Do-It-Yourself Bridal Bouquet TutorialNow that youre a flower expert you are ready to pick the flowers you want to use to create your bouquet!

    Choose flowers that fit your color scheme and desired bouquet shapes. Now follow this simple D-I-Y Bridal

    Bouquet demonstration for step-by-step instructions:

    1. Purchase the wholesale cut flowers you need to create your bouquet.

    Upon flower delivery, cut the stems, put them in water, and place the flowers in a cool place out of direct

    sunlight. Remember, you can make a second stem cut if needed! Then when your flowers are at their best,

    most beautiful blooming stage the fun begins! Its time to create your own masterpiece!

    For this bouquet, we used pink lisianthus, white spray roses, green pompon button mums, painted lady wax

    flower, purple statice, and green hypericum.

    2. Set up your workspace, keeping in mind that you are going to make a mess.

    Kitchens are ideal because clean up is easy, and if you have a lot of counter space, even better! An outdoor

    space would also work. Keep all flowers in big buckets too!

    3. Gather your tools.

    Youll need floral sheers, floral tape, bouquet pins, and the wrap of your choice (we used white ribbon).

    4. Trim and prep your flowers.

    Remove all foliage from the stems, de-thorn roses, and trim all stems to about the same length (10-14

    inches). You can always trim more later in the process.

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    5. Choose 2-4 flowers to start the base of your bouquet.

    These flowers will serve as the anchor, as you will

    build around them. Bunch the stems together and

    wrap with floral tape. Make sure that there is 1 to 1

    inches of exposed stem visible from where you be-

    gin to wrap the stems and anywhere between 4 to 5

    inches of exposed stem from the bottom.

    6. Start building your bouquet by adding flowers around your anchored flowers.

    Now, theres not really a lot of rules here, because

    you can position the flowers, fillers, and greenery by

    your personal preference. Mix textures and colors to

    create an interesting composition. Also, keep the size

    of your bouquet in mind. Put your photographer hat

    on! You dont want your flowers to overwhelm your

    look on your wedding day. After all, you are the focal

    point and your flowers should enhance everything

    about your ensemble.

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    7. Continuously wrap your bouquet with floral tape (the same 1 to 1 inch rule from the top and 4 to 5 inch rule from the bottom applies) as you add flowers.

    By doing this, you will not only be adding support, but also be creating consistent, yet attractive composi-

    tion in your design.

    8. Edit as you go.

    Keep an open mind and do what appeals to your aesthetic! Throw the rulebook out the window. There is no

    right or wrong place to put a flower, filler, or greenery. Also, dont forget about the stem length as you make

    your masterpiece, if you think the stems are too long, trim them a bit.

    9. When youre satisfied with your bouquet, wrap your bouquet with floral tape.

    Starting about 1 to 1 inches from the flower head (like youve done before), begin to wrap the stems with

    floral tape, leaving anywhere between 0-4 inches of stem exposed. Do whatever youre comfortable with.

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    10. Accent with a bouquet wrap of your choice (we used white ribbon).

    Use the floral tape as your guide and pin the ribbon horizontally so it is parallel with the floral tape. Then

    wrap until all of the floral tape is covered and pin to secure the ribbon. And voila!

    11. Have fun - make an event out of DIY!

    Have a flower arranging party to get your wedding party and loved ones involved. This is a great way to

    celebrate your wedding!

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    Rose petals have always been a beautiful accent for wedding decor. Today, its not just roses: Hydrangea

    clusters and peony petals also available, Whether sprinkled down the aisle by adorable flower girls, or used

    as romantic accents on a cake, flower petals add a special detail to weddings big or small. Traditionally, fresh

    petals are used, but Ive found an even better alternative, freeze-dried petals! Yes, freeze-dried, and no, they

    are NOT fresh petals that are frozen. Heres why I think they beat out the competition

    Freeze-dried petals last longer than fresh petals.

    Freeze dried petals have a reputation for lasting up to 1 year; however, we do not suggest you order them

    this far in advance. For optimum quality, we suggest that you order two to four weeks before your event and

    store them in a room temperature, dry place.

    Freeze-dried petals are great for outdoor and indoor use.

    Fresh petals are beautiful, but they are known to wilt and look tired after being removed from the head/

    stem especially if they are used outdoors. Freeze-dried petals will not shrivel or be affected by the outdoors

    because they have been through the freeze-drying process. They will not wilt!

    Freeze-dried petals are hard to make...but easy to buy.

    The process of freeze-drying petals takes a great deal of time and effort. After the flowers are cut, they are

    allowed to open until at their peak. Then we pull the petals off one by one, separating the imperfect petals

    from the premium ones. Finally, the petals are loaded into a freeze drier to be cooled and dried.

    Heres a little tid bit about the process The petals spend about 2 weeks in a freeze drier. They are then

    frozen to about -20 degrees Fahrenheit and a vacuum pump draws all the air out of the drier. The petals then

    go through a process called sublimation, which causes the petals to pass directly from a solid (ice) to a gas

    (water vapor). Since the petals are able to bypass the liquid stage of water, they remain in the shape they are

    frozen without shriveling or decomposing. Lastly, the temperature of the drier is gradually increased to about

    room temperature over two weeks, ensuring all of the moisture in the petals was removed.

    All About Flower Petals

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    Freeze-dried petals can be purchased in advance.

    Unlike fresh petals, freeze-dried petals do not need to be delivered the day of your event to be in good con-

    dition. For the best quality, we suggest that you order two to four weeks before your event and store them in

    a dry place at room temperature.

    Freeze-dried petals are consistent.

    If you use fresh petals you never know how they are going to react, whether your wedding is indoors or

    out. When fresh petals are exposed to a lot of heat, too much light, not enough moisture, and so on they

    start to wilt and their shape and color change. With freeze-dried petals you dont have to worry about any of

    that because they are in a state where all those factors will not affect them.

    The only element that freeze dried petals do not handle well with is water. Although some claim you can

    submerge or float freeze dried petals, frankly, they just do not do well in water. While they do float, they will

    also reabsorb water. When this happens, they will discolor and lose their shape. You will eventually be left

    with soggy, shapeless petals.

    The question is whether they will hold up long enough. If you wait until the last minute to put them in water

    and they remain undisturbed, the petals can look good for hours. But if you let them sit in water for a long

    time, they obviously will turn soggy much quicker. The best thing to do if you want to use them in water is to

    test run a sample first to see if you get your desired effect.

    Freeze-dried petals FAQ:

    How many petals come in a cup?

    Number of petals per cup will vary depending on the variety. The average number of petals per cup is 35 50.

    How many cups should I get?

    For an Aisle, Path, Tabletop or Bed: 1 cup per square foot for light

    coverage, 2 cups per square foot for moderate coverage, 3 cups

    per square foot for heavy coverage.

    Flower Girl Baskets: 4-6 cups per girl

    Wedding Toss: 1/2 cup per guest if using cones or sachets, or 1 cup

    per guest if using a basket for guests to help themselves

    Reception Tables: 5-6 cups per 60 round table for light scattering

    around just the center of the table use 3 cups or so.

    Memorial or Funeral Service: 1/2 - 2 cups per person attending that

    wishes to honor the spirit of a loved one or friend.

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    When should I order my freeze-dried petals?

    We suggest you order them for delivery 2 to 4 weeks prior to use.

    Do I have to put them in the freezer or refrigerator?

    No, they are NOT fresh petals that are frozen. The freeze in the freeze-dried petals only refers to the pro-

    cess used to dry the petals. Once they are dry, they should only be stored at room temperature. DO NOT put

    freeze-dried petals in a refrigerator or freezer. Just make sure to store the rose petals out of high heat and


    Are the petals so dry that they will break/crumble?

    Not at all. Just because they are freeze-dried does not mean that they will crumble. Some petals may be

    drier than other because of size, but most petals will be pliable. The freeze-drying process ensures that the

    petals still retain some of their softness.

    Can I soften the freeze-dried petals so they are like fresh again?

    While they will not become as soft as a fresh petal, they can reabsorb some moisture and become slightly

    softer and more pliable. The easiest way to soften the petals is to place them in a bathroom while taking a

    shower. The steam helps to bring back the original texture of fresh petals and will sometimes brightening the


    To some degree, the longer the freeze-dried petals are exposed to the moisture, the softer they will get.

    However, keep in mind that too much moisture can damage the petals. Remember that they have gone

    through a complicated process just to get them dry. For most uses, such as table decoration and/or aisles,

    softening is not necessary.

    Will the color change?

    After a significant amount of time, colors will fade and white will turn creamy, especially when exposed to

    light and humidity.

    Do they retain fragrance?

    Yes, but over time their fragrance may fade. Keep in mind that some flowers have more scent than others and

    most do not retain much scent after they are freeze dried.

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    I hope by now you have a better idea of the wholesale flower market and how easy it is to do your own

    wedding flowers! With the right preparation and hydration!, I have no doubt that you will create gorgeous

    arrangements that even florists will be jealous of. On a closing note, remember that doing DIY projects for

    your wedding are not just about saving money, but also about the personal touches you make while Doing-it-


    All of us at Blooms By The Box wish you the best of luck with your wedding flowers and everything in

    between. If you need anything, our wedding consultants are just a phone call away at 855-BUY-BLOOMS!

    Youre Ready to DIY Your Wedding Flowers!

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