Wedding floral bouquets are an important part of many wedding traditions. Many brides like to carry a beautiful bouquet down the aisle that is filled with sentimental flowers; they are chosen to suit the bride's gown and the color scheme of the event. Hand crafting a wedding bouquet can make this beautiful accessory even more sentimental and special.
Mix 2 tbls. sugar and 2 tbls white vinegar in a small pot with 1 quart boiling water. Stir with a spoon until all of the sugar melts. Pour the mixture into a 5 gallon bucket. Add 3 quarts of cool water and 1/2 tsp. of chlorine. The vinegar and chlorine both kill bacteria and the sugar feeds the flowers. This is a preservative mixture.
Cut your flower stems on an angle and place them in the bucket. Use a sharp floral knife and floral trimmers. By cutting the stems on an angle there is more area for the stem to draw in the preservative. Remove all lower leaves, thorns and any foliage you will not use in your arrangement. Allow the flowers to sit in the preservative for several hours.
Start arranging your bouquet by selecting your primary flower, a leaf and a filler. Gather these in one hand gripping them firmly. Arrange the leaf to highlight the primary flower and use the filler to add fullness. Add your next primary flower. Turn your bouquet as you add flowers to be sure they are the height you prefer and that they are evenly positioned. For single flower bouquets align the flower heads to be at the same length.
Twist floral wire around the top of the stems. Be careful to wrap firmly, but not so tight that you will damage the stems. Wind the wire down the tightly gathered stems in a spiral with the wire 1/2 inch apart.
Cut your stems with floral trimmers two to three inches longer than your grip area. Before you cut hold the flowers as you anticipate they will be held at the event. Use a mirror to check. If you use two hands when holding them the stems will be longer than with one hand. Finish your wire by wrapping it along the bottom of the stems at least twice around the grip with the end of the wire pressed in and among the stems.
Wrap your wire-wrapped stems with floral tape starting at the top of the stem area. Be sure to completely cover the wire. Wrap the tape so that it overlaps itself. Stretch the tape as you wrap the stems so that there are no gaps or open spots. Finish the tape by wrapping it twice around the bottom of the stems.
Cut six inches of ribbon. Apply hot glue to the bottom of the stems and three inches up each side. Press the center of the ribbon into the bottom and the ends of the ribbon into the side glue.
Apply hot glue around the base of the stems and over the two glued side ribbon pieces. Fit ribbon flush with the end of the stems when wrapped around the base. Your objective is to make a nice finished end. Wind the ribbon up the grip by overlapping the ribbon and pulling it securely. When you reach the top of the bouquet, apply a bead of hot glue around the stems and press the ribbon into the glue. Trim away excess ribbon with scissors.