Coming Up Roses
By Timothy R. Schulte - CTW Features | posted on February 24, 2012 at 7:00am
With so many colors and varieties, roses are a true classic that always shine – especially for weddings. Preston Bailey, author of ‘Preston Bailey Flowers,’ opens up about the little black dress of wedding flowers
Some things are perennially en vogue. Like roses.
The iconic floral may have a reputation for red, but it’s the versatility in its vast spectrum of varieties that led floral couturier, Preston Bailey, to dub the rose “the little black dress of floral design.” Like the classic closet piece, roses just always work.
“They have become this really standard thing that you see – but not just boring red roses,” says Bailey, author of the new book “Preston Bailey Flowers” (Rizzoli, 2011). But ubiquity doesn’t mean they can’t serve as wedding florals. In fact, it’s an invitation to. It just means taking the rose and using it in an unexpected way, Bailey says.
Bouquets, Bouts and Centerpieces
In a world of hydrangeas and gerbera daisies, a bouquet of white or cream roses might seem unexpected enough, but Bailey also likes the idea of incorporating a little bit of bling to add another dimension.
“Just add a little crystal to them, so whenever the bride is walking down the aisle she has a little extra sparkle,” Bailey says.
For boutonnieres, the rose blossom should stay in proportion to the lapel on the groom’s jacket. For a slimmer lapel, that means peeling the petals to get it to the right size, or just not allowing the bloom to open as fully.
With centerpieces, Bailey likes to go high and low on tables – “it gives the room a lot of movement.” He even suggests creating different designs for different tables, that way guests get to see different arrangements.
Dashes of Drama
The escort card table is a great place to add a dramatic statement with flowers. One method Bailey has found effective is to tie a rose so that it can be worn as a corsage and placing it next to the card. When women take their card, they also get a keepsake they can wear.
A similar touch, if the event has valet parking, is to have the valet attendant simply hand women a rose at the end of the evening.
“It’s just a nice, special touch,” Bailey says.
The standard of what roses represent is romance, says Bailey, but the color of the rose is what really exudes a mood.
The vibrants – hot pink and fuchsia roses – are all about celebration. “It just says party, it says passion, all the great things,” Bailey says.
Lavender and purple roses imbue an air of softness; cream and white roses, elegance. Apricot or peach roses strike a balance: not passionate, not understated.
Bailey’s one rule on color: monochromatism.
“I tend to like them in bunches of the same color,” he says. “I’m not big on mixing.”
Take it Slow
Preston Bailey’s secret for fantasic-looking roses? Let them open slowly. “Get them at least seven days before [the event],” he says. “The idea is that they want to be as fully open as possible on the day they’re being used.” When tending to them, be very careful in removing leaves from the stem, Bailey warns. Like a straw, if you puncture the stem, it won’t get any oxygen, which will prevent it from opening properly. Beyond that, give them a daily dose of clean, tepid water, and they should be ready to go.