Flower-Arranging Secrets Straight From A Brooklyn Florist

Making a bouquet seems simple enough: throw a few stems together and wrap a ribbon around 'em, right? Not exactly. Blooms often prove to be an unruly bunch, and taming them takes proper-placement tips and the knowhow to make intentional combinations. Since it's the height of wedding season, we turned to floral-design master Taylor Patterson, owner of Fox Fodder Farm in Brooklyn, for a quick tutorial on bangin' bridal bouquets.
She broke down the basics with step-by-step instructions for two in-season arrangements: one romantic and the other a free-spirited sensibility. Of course, you don't have to be slipping on a wedding band this summer to make them. A vase will do just fine.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Taylor surrounded by blooms in her Williamsburg flower shop. Can we switch lives for a day?
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
The Wildflower Bouquet (L to R)
Grass
Wild sweet pea
Nigella pods
Queen Anne's lace
Mini peonies
Mint
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Begin the arrangement with a base flower or foliage, like this mint.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Next, add the Queen Anne's Lace. This will provide structure and act as a frame for your other blooms.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Begin to add your face flowers (the larger blooms). Clip any stems that might be too long.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Keep a loose hand around the stems, so that they splay out a bit. This will allow you to easily add different flowers as you build the bouquet.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Add tiny pods for a bit of a surprise element. It's important to have some space for the flowers to breathe instead of cramming them together.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
To tie off your bouquet, wrap the base with floral tape, while keeping the relaxed hold. Tying too tightly can change the shape of your bouquet.

Lastly, choose an awesome ribbon and tie a fat bow covering the tape. Let the stems be exposed and allow the tails of the ribbon drop down.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
The Romantic Bouquet (L to R)
Spray rose
Peonies
Euonymus (not used in bouquet)
Clematis
Astilbe
Lace cap hydrangea
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
It's always best to add flowers in odd numbers.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
If you have large blooms, like these peonies, start with just three and build upon that.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
After creating the frame, add accent flowers (like the Astilbe, here) throughout.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Accent flowers provide dimension, interesting texture, and a pop of color in an otherwise neutral palette. Again, keep to the rule of odd numbers and add your blooms one by one.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Finally, to avoid a "ball" kind of look, make sure the blooms stick out at various heights.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
After all that bloom building, Taylor takes a break among her herbs.
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