Building “architecture” into a bridal bouquet can help elevate a simple cascading bouquet into something truly spectacular and modern. In this design, Erik Witcraft, AIFD, CFD, incorporates several creative techniques— including swirling callas, dangling orchids, a grid structure fabricated with carnation stems, and figure-8-rolled Aspidistra leaves— to fashion an unconventional bouquet with tons of personality and character.

Step 1

Wrap a round cardboard flange from a bolt of ribbon with narrow strips of Aspidistra-leaf-print ribbon. Attach the ends of the ribbon strips to the cardboard flange with adhesive dashes placed around the center hole.

Step 2

Cut multiple carnation stems to the same length, layer them on a flat surface at varying angles to create a roundish grid structure, and bind the stems together in multiple places with bullion wire to create a secure, solid structure.

Step 3

Spray-paint the underside of a bouquet holder black. Wrap the handle with floral binding tape. Arrange stems of umbrella fern into the ports on the underside of the bouquet holder, to create a flat horizontal collar around the base of the holder.

Step 4

Place the handle of the bouquet holder through the center of the carnation-stem grid so that the grid is positioned underneath the collar of umbrella fern. Next, add the ribbon-wrapped cardboard flange underneath the carnation-stem grid, creating a three-layer collar (fern, carnation stems, ribbon-wrapped disk). Create a bundle of several smooth, straight Alstroemeria stems; bind the stem bundle with a couple of rubber bands; and insert the bouquet holder handle into the center of the stem bundle. Push the handle all the way into the stem bundle so that the top of the stem bundle is pressed firmly against the underside of the ribbon-wrapped disk, keeping it and the carnation-stem grid in place. Tightly wrap the stem bundle with floral binding tape, snipping the rubber bands as you wrap, to maintain a smooth stem bundle.

Step 5

Place the collared bouquet holder into a vase, to stabilize it, before designing the bouquet.
Insert the stems of four miniature callas horizontally and equidistantly spaced into the side of the bouquet holder, just above the umbrella- fern collar. Carefully stroke the calla stems with your thumb and forefinger so that they will curve, without bending, to create semicircular lines.

Step 6

Secure the blooms in the desired positions by binding them to the carnation-stem grid with bullion wire.

Step 7

Arrange the stems of four or five “figure-8”-rolled Aspidistra leaves into the bouquet holder, creating a row of leaf loops through the center of the bouquet.

Step 8

Arrange pincushions into the bouquet holder, creating one side of the bouquet. NOTE: Because the pincushions are heavy flowers, add a drop of liquid floral adhesive to the stem ends before inserting them into the bouquet holder and or spray their insertion points with stem adhesive. Either or both of these steps with secure the stems firmly into the bouquet holder.
Next, arrange ‘Brighton’ roses to establish the opposite side of the bouquet. Arrange two stems of Phalaenopsis orchids on one side of the design to arch over the other flowers.

Step 9

Remove the individual blooms from an additional stem of Phalaenopsis orchids, and glue them atop the Aspidistra-lea floops in the center of the bouquet with liquid floral adhesive.

Step 10

Arrange a stem of Cymbidium orchids into the bouquet, opposite the Phalaenopsis orchids. Arrange stems of Japanese privet into the bouquet holder to fill all gaps.
Next, add individual Cymbidium blooms on bullion wire to cascade downward from the bouquet. Pierce through the throats of the Cymbidium blooms with a piece of heavy-gauge wire, using it as the “needle” to thread bullion wire through the centers of the blooms. Suspend the Cymbidium blooms from the carnation-stem armature to create movement and drama.

Step 11

Wrap the section of the stem handle that is bound with floral binding tape with satin ribbon and bullion wire.