Hand-tied bouquets were popularized by Martha Stewart – thank you Martha! Prior to the doyenne or all things domestic, hand-tied bouquets were used for casual affairs like garden weddings in the afternoon. Now you might never see a bouquet made with a bouquet holder – though you can indeed make beautiful bouquets with these holders that otherwise would not be possible with the hand-tie technique.
In many European countries – Belgium, England, Holland, France – most of what you buy from a florist is presented as a hand-tie bouquet, secured in plastic cello wrapped in a way to have the bottom of the stems resting in a reservoir of water made out of the plastic wrapping. It’s here in America where we want our flowers to come in a vase!
The hand-tie technique can come in handy! Not only are most, if not all, bridal bouquets made in a hand-tie, reception centerpieces can come out quite nicely as a hand-tie as well. In the hand-tie, each flower is introduced individually one-by-one and incorporated into the building bouquet held and rotated around in one hand. Once all the flowers are added, the stems are kept together by a rubber band or a twist of wire. The stems are then cut to the proper length and if it’s a centerpiece, the flowers placed in a container of water.