Hey there DIY Brides and Grooms!
Last weekend, we planned a destination wedding on Vieques Island for Holly and Nimit from Michigan. The centerpieces were quick and easy to assemble, so I though they’d make a good DIY tutorial to share with you.
These can be made up to two days in advance, but be warned, the dye in the orchids WILL (not may) bleed into the water in the vases. If you’re good with that, go for it. Otherwise, choose a natural orchid color instead of using the Blue Boms, or wait to make them up the night before and cross your fingers.
These blue-purple-turquoise Dendrobium orchids are crazy popular. They got trendy about five years ago, and brides continue to request them on a regular basis. They’re pretty sturdy, and do well in hot weather environments that kill hydrangeas and peonies.
- 20 stems of Dendrobium orchids (use can use Mokara orchids, but you’ll need more stems because the blooms are smaller)
- Cylinder vase (you choose the size – remember to keep the height in mind if you’re putting them on dinner tables)
- Ginger Leaves, Ti Leaves, or whatever you have in your yard
- Leather Leaf (or other fernlike greenery)
- Floral Oasis
- Floral Glue
You can use any size of vase – varying heights can be pretty, depending on where you’re using them.
Step 1: To begin, soak your oasis for at least 20 minutes, longer is fine too. Set yourself up someplace you can make a mess – if you’re working on a kitchen counter, put down a cutting board.
Step 2: Set the wet brick of oasis on the cutting board, and put the vase upside down on top of it. Carefully push the vase down on the oasis, and it will cut a perfect circle for you. It’s okay if you don’t get a circle because your vase is too big. You’ll be squishing it to make it fit.
Step 3: Before you start to assemble the top part of the arrangement, first you have to create the bottom part. You can’t pull the oasis back out after it’s in there without pretty-much starting over. Put a couple of orchid stems in the bottom of the vase with as much water as you like – the orchids will hold up submerged, but remember, you have to move these around. And that’s difficult if you fill them all the way up.
Step 4: Once the bottom looks like you want it to look, you can insert the oasis into the top part of the vase. It’s going to be a tight squeeze – and you want that. Because once you add flowers to the oasis, it will sink a little from weight. If it’s too loose, it’ll slide all the way down into the vase, and you have to start over (that’s what you’re trying to avoid, but expect to start over at least once. I did).
Step 5: If you want to make your own life difficult, you can wrap the leaves around the oasis BEFORE you shove it into the vase – it gives you a crazy tight fit. It’s just frustrating trying to get the leaves to lie absolutely flat.
If you’re picky, you’ll want to do it the easier way, and wrap the leaves around the outside of the vase, and secure the leaf with floral glue. The glue comes off the vases pretty easily afterwards (if you’re messy, like me).
When wrapping on the outside, wait until the arrangement is finished before adding the leaf wrap as the last touch.
Step 6: Start adding orchids from the center of the block, going outward. Until you’ve filled n most of the circle. Then take a look at it from the side, and go in a circle filling in with your chosen greenery. Leather leaf is pretty cheap and relatively sturdy, but you can use anything you want.
Important: Make sure you get down to the eye level guests will be at, if the arrangements are going on dinner tables. Make sure you’ve completely camoflaged the oasis from that perspective, too, or the entire effect will be shot.
Step 7: Once you get to your wedding venue, you’ll need to do a little bit of touch-up on the arrangements, especially if they’ve had a rough ride. Otherwise, they end up looking like crazy wigs atop glass vases, instead of the sophisticated centerpieces you wanted.
Each centerpiece really only took about 15 minutes to create, once we got through the first one.
Budget Tips: A cheaper option is to use colored rocks or sand or something else in the bottom of the vase. No, candles don’t work – there’s going to be oasis above them. But you could submerge orchid blossoms and use underwater floral LED lights underneath it all if you really want the vases to glow.
Remember, you can make this same arrangement using fake flowers and greenery if you want to, but you’ll need more flowers and greenery to fill it in. And you’ll want to purchase the fake oasis for the top of the vases.
Until next time, happy wedding planning! And happy DIY!