A classic 1920s bouquet style reimagined for the 2020s.

Floral design, photography, video and text by Stacey Bal Carlton, AIFD, EMC

The Flora Culturist; Chicago, Ill.

Sponsored by Alexandra Farms

In the 1920s, voluminous shower bouquets were the popular choice for brides. Trailing ribbons, flowing plumosa ferns and blossoms knotted onto ribbons created exaggerated lines that spilled out of oversized gatherings of flowers. The typical shower bouquet of the 1920s comprised one or two color compositions and, often, was so large that it would almost conceal the bride. 

I fondly recall the images of my great-grandmother and her shower bouquet. In honor of her and to mark the centennial anniversary of her marriage, I present this fresh update to the shower bouquet—100 years later. I designed a lush and gradational gathering of exquisite garden and spray garden roses from Alexandra Farms, framed by foraged saucer Magnolia. Clean ribbons in coordinating colors spill asymmetrically from the front of the bouquet, creating movement, nostalgia and a unique style that will surely turn heads. 

For this bouquet, I created a handmade armature, for the purpose of creating a clean grid for several streams of ribbon. Alternatively, you can design this bouquet with a natural armature as a base. Choose your color scheme, shape, size and trimmings, and infuse this classic design with your own signature style! 

My inspiration: My great-grandmother’s bridal bouquet.


Step 1

Individually tape 16 18-inch-long pieces of enameled 18-gauge florist wire with light green stem wrap.

Step 2

Bundle all of the individually taped wires, and tape them together, beginning at one end of the bundle, taping a 5-inch section. 

Just above the taped section of bundled wires, bend each of the 16 individual wires at a right (90-degree) angle, spacing them evenly, to create a spoke-like structure.

Step 3

Bend neighboring wires toward each other, and twist them around each other twice, creating the first “ring” of eight imperfect diamond-shape formations.

Repeat this process, creating two more “rings” of increasingly larger free-form diamond-shape formations, until you reach the ends of the wires.

Step 4

Cut and tie various colors, types and lengths of ribbons onto the wire armature.

Step 5

Arrange stems of garden roses and spray garden roses through the wire armature, creating a shape, size and style of your choice. Bind the stems underneath the wire armature with stem wrap (or binding material of your choice).

Next, arrange branches of saucer Magnolia into the bouquet, binding the stems with stem wrap.

Cutting the flower stems to an even length, and wrap the taped binding point with ribbon.

Watch Video Tutorial



• Rosa spp. ‘Amnesia’ (“Deluxe” garden rose)

• Rosa spp. ‘Miyabi Brown’ (“Wabara”garden rose)

• Rosa spp. ‘Princess Kaori’ (“Japanese” garden rose)

• Rosa spp. ‘Westminster Abbey’ (“Deluxe” garden/hybrid tea rose)

• Rosa spp. ‘Aoi Fuga’ (“Wabara” spray garden rose)

• Rosa spp. ‘Loli’ (“Wabara” spray garden rose)

• Rosa spp. ‘Sola’ (“Wabara” spray garden rose)


• Magnolia x soulangiana (saucer Magnolia, tulip Magnolia, Japanese Magnolia, Chinese Magnolia)


• OASIS Florist Wire, 18 gauge (for bouquet armature)

• OASIS Florist Wire, 20 gauge (for wiring roses and spray roses, if necessary)

• Floratape® Stem Wrap (Light Green)

• Assorted ribbons