Flowers: Flower Girls and Bridesmaids

Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter/Spring 1996

Flower girls or bridesmaids can look like Greek goddesses in headpieces made with stephanotis and bay laurel. At left, Martha adjusts a wreath for 8-year-old Lara Pasternak. To make the wreath, you'll need eight bay-laurel leaves, eight stephanotis blossoms, 16 12-inch lengths of 20-gauge floral wire, and a roll of green floral tape.

Using the wire like a needle, pierce the base of each leaf, bring wire halfway up leaf, pierce again, and double wire back. Remove stems from blossoms; thread wire through bases and double it back (below).

Wrap stems with floral tape. Tape a stephanotis stem to a laurel stem at an angle, with the blossom about an inch below the leaf. Add a leaf at the opposite angle, wrapping stems together with tape. Add another flower and leaf in the same way. Repeat with remaining leaves and flowers. Fit the two lengths around wearer's head, with leaves in front; tape ends together in back. The same technique can be used to create a garland for the bridal table (below). The large florets at the points of the swag were made by gathering 10 wired stephanotis blossoms, then surrounding them with bay leaves.

Monica Mendez and Lara Pasternak enjoy being flower girls.

A bouquet for throwing (below) can be more casual-looking than the bouquet the bride holds at the altar. Martha Stewart made this oval bouquet with 'Leonidas' roses, another new Dutch variety. Each rose was wired and wrapped with floral tape. The flowers were then massed together to create an oval, leaving 10-inch lengths of wire to be twisted together to form a handle. Three yards of brown-and-white gingham ribbon were used to cover the handle, then tied into a flowing bow with long tails. Martha added one contrasting yellow flower to the bouquet, a signature touch she uses often.

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