This DIY Cascading Bouquet Is Every Retro Bride's Dream

See how floral designer Ron Wendt uses a classic hand-wired technique to create this 1940s-inspired bouquet of gardenias.

Photography by: Courtey of Ron Wendt


  • 33 gardenia blossoms (they'll come with artificial leaf backing)
  • Cotton balls
  • A glass of water
  • #24 gauge floral wire
  • Dark green floral tape
  • Scissors
  • 1 bunch of fresh gardenia foliage
  • 1 bunch of variegated Algerian Ivy
  • #20 gauge floral wire
  • White satin ribbon
Wedding Flowers and Bouquet Ideas
Photography by: Courtey of Ron Wendt


1. Wrap the bottom of the gardenia stem with a bit of wet cotton. Puncture the stem beneath the artificial leaf backing on the fresh gardenias with a piece of #24 gauge floral wire, push halfway through and bend to hold cotton in place, then wrap the stem and wire with floral tape. 

Photography by: Courtey of Ron Wendt

2. Wire and tape all the gardenias with the wet cotton.


Tip: If you dip your hands in water and keep them slightly wet while you're working with the gardenias, the flowers are less likely to bruise.

Photography by: Courtey of Ron Wendt

3. After all the gardenias are wired carefully, fold back the artificial leaves and cut them off with scissors, leaving the plastic base to supports the petals (leaving the artificial leaves attached while you're wiring and taping them helps protect the flower).

Photography by: Courtey of Ron Wendt

4. Snip the leaves of the gardenia and ivy foliage and attach a piece of #24 florist wire with the floral tape to create a wire "stem," continuing until you have enough foliage for at least one stem per gardenia. Then, take 2 lengths of the #20 gauge florist wire and tape them together. This is the cascading portion of the bouquet and will act as a spine to which you will begin attaching the foliage and gardenias. 

Photography by: Courtey of Ron Wendt

5. Begin attaching the foliage and gardenias with the floral tape, alternating as you go. Be sure to back the gardenias with foliage as you go to support and protect them.

Photography by: Courtey of Ron Wendt

6. Continue adding, bending the flowers and foliage to achieve the design you want.  

Photography by: Courtey of Ron Wendt

7. This is one of the benefits of everything being hand-wired. Stop when you have about a 7-inch length of a wire stem remaining. You want to securely tape everything together so you have a neat length of stem.

Photography by: Courtey of Ron Wendt

8. To make the body of the bouquet, gather the gardenias and foliage stems together, forming a nosegay. Securely wrap with floral tape as you go so that you have one central "stem."

Photography by: Courtey of Ron Wendt

9. Gently bend the stem of the cascade portion of your bouquet and place it next to the nosegay portion of the bouquet. Secure them together with floral tape. Gently bend and adjust the flowers and foliage so it becomes one bouquet.

Photography by: Courtey of Ron Wendt

10. You will now have one central stem you can finish by wrapping with white satin ribbon.

Photography by: Courtey of Ron Wendt

11. All of your fine, detailed work will be worth the gorgeous, timeless, and not to mention beautifully fragrant bouquet you've created. 


Note: You can make this bouquet the day before if you have a floral cooler (not a refrigerator). The wet cotton at the stem will help the flowers last. As an added precaution to keep your bouquet looking perfectly fresh, wet a paper towel, then wring it out and very gently place it over the entire bouquet in a box and cover with cellophane.


How to Prolong the Beauty of Fresh Flowers
About the Author

Ron Wendt

Ron Wendt began his bespoke wedding and event service 20 years ago after moving to New York City to begin his business. During that time, he began planning parties at Tiffany & Co. in New York, leading to a roster of bold-name clients like Bulgari, Cartier, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and The American School of Ballet. He is known for his wildly creative designs and has planned...


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