We rolled up our sleeves and learnt how you can really make a wedding your own at the London Flower School
Heather Steele Photos:
The doors have just opened on this floristry school in King’s Cross. There’s the smell of fresh paint in the air as our group of 10 gathers with coffee around a single, vast table. In a striking blank-canvas space, Wagner Kreusch (ex-head tutor at McQueens Flower School) and Helen Dyson (an experienced teacher and florist) train pupils in all styles of floristry. I’m here to take part in the pair’s inaugural hand-tied bouquet-making class.
The older I’ve got, the more I’ve learned to appreciate flowers, so I’m excited to be getting the chance to pick, prepare and perfect an arrangement of my own. When it comes to selecting, Helen tells us that it’s all down to personal preference – although the ‘blood and bandages’ palette of red and white is generally a no-no. After choosing an armful of pretty peonies, roses, anemones and carnations (back in vogue, according to Wagner), I’m shown how to condition the branches for maximum lifespan and good looks. Peeling off superfluous leaves and snipping lengthy stems is a soothing process.
Assembling the bouquet isn’t quite as easy. Starting with a rose, we lay alternating stems of flowers and foliage while rotating the bunch to ensure it’s balanced – not so simple once it starts to get weighty. Helen calls my unintentionally firm grip on the stems ‘florist’s claw’. But, as I overlay sprigs of rosemary with my new favourite, the rice flower, a garland begins to take shape.
It’s hard to go too wrong when you’ve got a mass of beautiful blooms to work with. What really challenges us all is wrapping the bouquets in cellophane at the end. Luckily, Wagner’s on hand to assist, as we admire each other’s handiwork. It’s amazing how we’ve all created very different bouquets using the same flowers.
Florist’s claw notwithstanding, I feel confident that I’d be able to recreate something pretty attractive – albeit loose and rustic – for a special occasion of my own. We all get to take our bouquets home, and the envious looks from my fellow commuters seem to suggest my confidence may not be entirely misplaced.
Hand-tied bouquet workshops cost £250pp for a full day, with coffee to start and prosecco to finish. You’ll make two bouquets to take away with you.
The Generator, 16-20 Wharfdale Rd, N1 9RY
020 8181 4154
You can also learn how to make your own cake decorations and invitations for the big day.
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This article was first published in SquareMeal Weddings 2017