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  • More Wedding Q and A

    A Word With Jim
    By Jim Morley, AIFD Fellow

    Times are changing again and the big wedding is back, not so much in the number of attendants, but in the number of guests. I attribute this trend a great deal to the fact couples are marrying later in life.

    Recently, I had the pleasure of seeing a sophisticated bride and groom at a posh hotel just before their wedding. The bride wore a sheath of white satin; the groom, a full dress kilt. She carried a rather large, round bouquet of 'Casa Blanca' lilies with no foliage. His boutonniere appeared to be white heather.

    Three bridesmaids, in black sheaths trimmed in white, each carried a clutch of white callas, no foliage. The guest count was about 150. Not a lot of attendants, but a good number of guests. This practice, along with the personal touch of the groom's kilt and the simple, elegant, yet fairly high-priced flowers seems to be the trend — elegant, personalized weddings.

    Now, let's move on to some questions.

    Q. How do you open tight callas?

    A. With a gentle hand, insert cotton around the stamen, pushing it down to open the flowers. Be sure to cut under water and place in warm water with flower food. Order early enough to give the flowers time to open before use.

    Q. How do you keep callas from falling out of a bouquet holder?

    A. After placing the stem in the foam, cross pin it with corsage pins or wood picks. When you're finished designing the bouquet, use an adhesive — such as Floralock™ — to secure the bouquet in the holder. Make sure you properly follow the instructions on the can about drying, and also wear safety goggles.

    Q. How do I keep gardenias from browning when using in bouquets?

    A. This call came in as I was writing. The caller was doing nearly everything I could think of — spraying the gardenias with Crowning Glory and letting it dry before returning to the refrigerator, covering the flower with tissue, then placing the entire bouquet in an airtight bag back in the refrigerator.

    A couple other things you can try. Try floating the gardenias face down in water in the refrigerator for at least six hours before use. You might also try spraying Design Master® Foliage Sealer on the back of the flower. Let it dry, then use it in the bouquet.

    Q. How can I use phalaenopsis orchids once they turn transparent?

    A. Transparency is a sign of old age. But if you must use them, try spraying the back of the flower with any flat white floral paint. For a touch of color, spray with a soft color paint. Let it dry. This step should cover the transparent petals.

    Q. We have been asked to place flowers on the rented limousine, and I don't know where to begin.

    A. Pre-plan. First, get permission from the car's owner and assure them that utmost care will be taken to prevent damage. Decide where the florals will go; then plan your design.

    Start with a foam rubber base. A casket saddle or similar tray can hold the flowers. Remember, it must hold up on a moving car. Use electrical wire to attach your container. This kind of wire has no "give" and is coated. Consider using chicken wire over the foam to keep it from breaking up as the car rolls along. Make sure no wire touches the car's paint.

    Q. We are having a hard time selling body flowers. Any ideas?

    A. One way to sell more is to show that your corsages are easy to wear. Show ways to secure corsages that will not harm dresses, such as the new magnets. Techniques such as gluing produce lighter corsages. Many wristlets are much nicer looking than they used to be. And there is always the hand clutch, which is very comfortable for mothers to carry.

    Q. How much do I charge for wedding rental items?

    A. As a rule of thumb, if an item is new and purchased for that particular wedding, get the cost of the item at wholesale. For subsequent rentals, try 10 percent to 20 percent of the retail cost.

     

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