Our team at A Savvy Event works frequently with Minted on wedding invitations and paper products, so when we were invited to their Summer Floral Design class at their location in San Francisco, we knew we had to be there!
The Minted pop-up is just off union square in downtown San Francisco, and is as adorable as their products. This was my first experience in a Minted store and I was glad I got to the class early so I had time to look around. The storefront is full of not-so-hidden gems around every corner, from pillows, to custom prints, to cards for every occasion.
It was hard to pull myself away from the goodies adorning the many shelves, but the back of the store held buckets of brightly hued flowers and greenery, just waiting to be arranged.
Each member of the class was given a spot at the work station table, which included a small, copper toned vase, a square of green chicken wire, and a pair of floral shears. The class started with an introduction from our floral design expert, Heather, on what to expect and what we would be learning about!
Before we delved into the actual how-to's of arranging flowers, Heather explained the need to pick a cohesive color palette. She drew her inspiration for the class palette from the season- bringing in bright pinks, oranges, and yellows to represent summer. She also showed us how to properly cut flowers when trimming down the stems. Cut the stems on a 45 degree angle so that the stem has a larger surface area, allowing the flower to absorb more water, and subsequently stay fresh longer.
The first thing Heather taught us was how to create a floral anchor using the chicken wire we were provided! Chicken wire is a great alternative to florist tape because it can be used multiple times and is better for the environment, especially if you are designing arrangements frequently. Essentially you want to roll the wire into a cylindrical shape, then fold the ends in to create an oblong sphere, which you insert into your vase. The idea is to create a structure within the vase to help your flowers stay in place as you build your arrangement. This will be especially helpful with heavier, statement flowers, and allow you to create depth in your design.
Step two was inserting your greenery. Heather expressed her love of working in 3's when designing, so we started with 3 stems of greenery inserted evenly around the vase- one slightly off-center in the back (around 11 o'clock) and then corresponding stems on each side of the vase.
After building our base of greenery, we began inserting flowers! Despite the fact that we were working with a cohesive color palette, Heather taught us that it is best to blend the colors slowly across the arrangement for a more natural look. This means working with the softer yellows on one side, transitioning into the oranges and peaches, and eventually adding the brightest pops of pink on the other side.
She also stressed the importance of creating multiple depths within the flowers by cutting your stems to different lengths and placing flowers strategically so that no two flowers were exactly even. Let me just say this- it is much easier said than done to create something original, beautiful, and complex out of flowers- and there is a lot of tweaking and changing things around that go into this process. Designing flowers, Heather said, is much like any other form of design in that the first placement of a bloom might not end up as the final placement. Don't be afraid to rearrange and play with things until they feel right!
The last items to be added should be texture and accent pieces, like the ethereal broom grass, and sassy orange clover blooms we used here.
Needless to say all of the ladies in attendance had great fun designing, and re-designing each of our arrangements. There were other floral designers hoping to learn new tricks, a bride-to-be and her maid of honor who were designing the flowers for the bride's upcoming wedding, and gal-pals just looking for a fun night out with a friend. The room was alive with conversation, compliments and curious questions through the whole class as we all became friends over our mishaps or successes in the design process.
Needless to say we all walked away with a beautiful set of flowers to brighten our homes, and a few new friendships. We think it would be a great activity for bridesmaids, or a girls night in. Just head to the flower shop and pick out your stems, and you could easily create a class in your own home!