Christine’s Delightful Bouquet

Christine picked pale yellow and red for her colors, beautiful fall colors.  She wanted her flowers to be red roses and yellow calla lilies.  I gave her the option of choosing real flowers and we would have a florist make them or if she was okay with silk flowers I would do the flowers.  We checked out the flowers at Modern Display and found some wonderful stems of berries, red and sparkley yellow.  Then we went to Michaels and Christine found some beautiful roses and just the right color of calla lilies.  The roses were so pretty, she decided to do silk.  (Or maybe she just wanted to please her new mother-in-law.) I was glad she would let me do her flowers.  
Here is a close up of the flowers, berries and the beautiful ribbon we found to go with them.
While we were in the floral supply section at Michaels I saw some lights to put in bouquets. I showed Christine and we both thought it would be great to try to put lights in the bouquet.  I say try, because I wasn’t sure I could to it. So I bought the package.  When I got it home, I opened it up and saw that it was basically a very small box, just big enough to hold two batteries.  There was no front on the box to cover the batteries, just batteries, 8 wires with lights on the end and a little lever to turn it on and off.
I nested the  contraption into one of the calla lily stems and started the first round of floral tape to attach it.  There is a lot of floral tape in this bouquet.
Next I attached a rose to each of the eight little lights. It looks like a bomb in the making.
The picture below shows the battery nestled inside the bouquet. Christine turned it on by sliding the little lever over the top of the batteries to make the connection.  When I was making it, I was afraid it wasn’t going to work because I added so many flowers, stems and wires with so much tape it misshaped the flimsy little box the batteries were in.  The lights would come on, but not stay on.  Luckily, when I got finished it worked.
My next problem was figuring out how to make a nosegay bouquet with artificial flowers.  I made one for Karena with real flowers and just cut of the bottoms of the stems, but when you cut into a artificial stem it’s ugly.  You usually have a wire sticking out.  The rose stems  were about two feet long and the calla lilies were even longer. They both had nice finishes on the bottom which I wanted to use.  I had to cut the flowers apart and figure out how to put them back together.  Here you see the blossoms and the stems off to the side. 
 I always wire and wrap every flower, ribbon, and leaf I use.  That way I have more control over the position of each flower. After I wired the roses I added the berries. I was carefully to choose stems of berries where the top berries looked natural, not loped off. 
I attached some of the roses to the stem bottoms and started adding them all around the stem that had the batteries nested in it. There were wires from the lights everywhere. I gathered the wires around the stems and wrapped them with more floral tape, then added more stems. I’m kind of surprised I didn’t accidentally cut the wires.
It took a long time to get the flowers into the shape I wanted and even then it ended up a little rounder than I had planned I think we both wanted a little more natural shape, but I’m not sure how you would do that and make it look nice around the edges.  Christine wanted something dramatic and elegant and the choice of colors and the contrast of colors really were elegant. It called for a big bouquet and round worked out the best.
Two things I wanted… I wanted the bouquet to have a nice finished look and to be well put together… sturdy.   I took great care to have the bottom of the stems and the underneath portion of the bouquet look good. Here you can see I added small loops of ribbon all around the underneath.  No ugly floral tape here!  I wrapped the place where I joined the flowers and stems and hidden light wires with a green satin ribbon and tied it with the beautiful red ribbon.
To make sure the flowers didn’t fall off, I bought a contraption, like a giant staple, that I used to secure the flowers before I wired them.  It worked well. The wedding was a joyous occasion and the bouquet had to do its part.
Here’s Christine and Madeleine admiring the bouquet.  The lights are on, but you really can’t see them in this picture.  What you are seeing are the sparkly yellow berries. 
What a pair of beautiful young ladies.
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