Archives for category: Flowers of the heart – a bride’s guide to choosing flowers for her wedding / Sharon McGukin’s Book

As DIY brides make plans for their spring weddings, a simple hand-tied is often the bouquet of choice. One design technique to consider is a finished bouquet handle for a polished look.

Strip foliage from the flowers you will use in your bouquet so that you will be holding clean stems. Begin the design by holding the center flower (central axis or spine flower – in this photo, green hydrangea) with your left hand.  Add more flowers, one at a time, around the first flower in a spiral motion – building a rounded circle of flowers. (Here, roses and lilies are used). Visit your local florist to purchase the perfect fresh flowers for your design.

When you have completed the design, use waterproof floral tape or waxed string to tie off the bouquet at the binding point – just beneath the flower blooms. Pull the flower stems together and bind them again, with tape or cord, a little shorter than the width of your ribbon. Cut the stems straight across at a length that is comfortable for holding; at least 1 – 2 inches longer than the width of your hand. If you want the bouquet to continue to drink water, leave a couple of inches of stems uncovered below where the ribbon will be applied. This length of stem can stand in a vase of shallow water  below the ribbon’s edge without getting the ribbon wet.

Cut a width of ribbon long enough to wind around the stems and barely overlap itself. Turn under the a fold of the unfinished edge of ribbon and pin   or glue it in place for a finished look. For extra security with no mess, you can add double-faced tape or UGLU ( to the stems beneath the ribbon to keep it securely in place.

After securing the ribbon, insert into the ribbon/stems pearl-headed or accessorizing pins, glue on gemstones, or pin on a favorite brooch to personalize the handle to reflect the personality of the bride or bridesmaids. The brooch of a deceased loved one may be used in honor of their memory.

Mist the flowers with an anti-transpirant like Floralife’s Finishing Touch to provide nutrients and hydration. This ensures that the flowers will stay fresh longer. (

What questions about DIY Flowers you would like to see answered in this blog.

Need more wedding ideas? My book of wedding photos and tips, Flowers of the heart – a bride’s guide to choosing flowers for your wedding,  is available at, on, & FaceBook – Flowers of the heart page.

Celebrate life with flowers!

Sharon McGukin AIFD, AAF, PFCI

View this document on Scribd

As I waited for in the stacks for my meeting with the director of my local library with my first copy of my new book about weddings, I thought how odd life is. All three of my children are close in age, they were born within four, short years. As teenagers they liked to tease me saying their proof that I was a bad mom was that when they were small, I made them drink apple juice, forced them to take naps, and always signed them up for the summer reading program at the library! All things that seemed like hardships to teens! As adults, however … they are now all very conscious of healthy eating and exercise, go to bed earlier than I do, and not only are they avid readers, but Shea (the kindergarten teacher) is always surfing for someone’s child that she can take to the library to sign up for the summer reading program! Their current, collective memory of those trips for books – is of enjoying visits with Ms. Rudene, the sweet, little librarian they knew from church, moving up to the next creatively painted cardboard stand for more books, and getting prizes at the end of the season. As we read all those books, through year after year of summers, I often told them they might grow up to be an author. I never imagined that I would. I have just written my first book for brides and florists about choosing flowers for their weddings. The first shipment of my new book is scheduled to arrive today …

Beginning to Bloom!


I was a little disappointed. I returned from our annual family vacation expecting to find a proofing copy of my first book ‘Flowers of the heart – a brides guide to choosing flowers for your wedding’ waiting on my doorstep. It hadn’t arrived. It was two years in the making, yet these last weeks seem to have been the longest. Was I able to transfer all that I strived for to paper? Would the book really be as valuable to brides and their florists that I hoped it would be? ‘Are we there yet?’  I opened the door and entered my home through the sunroom door. Immediately my eye caught side of one of my favorite Phalenopsis orchid plants now gleaming brilliantly with four beautiful, fully opened blooms. Gorgeous. In the hectic days prior to our leaving town, I had failed to even to notice that it had budded. Now it had fully bloomed. What a pleasure just to enjoy the surprise of its beauty!   The plant as lucky this year, the book is finished. Last year at this same time its beautiful, white blooms were sacrificed to be used in the bridal bouquet on page 183. My photographer said he wouldn’t like to be a flower in my home because you would  never know when you are about to be cut and placed into an arrangement or used for a photo shoot. Personally, I think of it as a way to capture their beauty forever. One of the lovely things about flowers is how a memory, of their beauty, lingers in your mind long after they are gone.  I have always held the belief that we should ‘bloom, where we are planted’. Regardless of the type of ‘flower’ God planted us to be – we should bloom and add beauty to the world we live in. As with flowers – our lives, our thoughts, our relationships, and our work must begin with the seeds we sow, grow, bud, then finally … and beautifully we bloom!   The orchid bloomed, in its own time. So will the book. So must my patience.   Bloom! Sharon


children cover

Finally… My new book Flowers of the heart – a brides guide to choosing flowers for her wedding will be released July 11, 2009.  Check back soon for details regarding the release!