Bouquet Holder vs. Hand-tied: Which Technique Should You Be Using

Posted by Kayla Neary on March 26 2019


With the many stylistic decisions designers face when creating bouquets comes an equally important choice: the mechanics of how they're held together. Every designer has their own preference, but some methods work better depending on the application. Knowing when to hand-tie the flowers or use a holder, for example, can not only change the look and feel of a bouquet, but your design techniques as well.

When should you use a bouquet holder, versus tying by hand? That's up to you... but instead of flipping a coin, consider the merits of each method.

Bouquet Holders

Beauty is in the eye of the bouquet holder. That’s how the saying goes, right? Bouquet holders are a great way to dazzle and impress, all within a sturdy, pre-formed framework. These high-quality tools are available in different shapes and sizes, accommodating your creativity while eliminating the need to figure out how to keep it all together. In addition to custom shapes and sizes, industry leaders like Syndicate Sales and Smithers-Oasis manufacture attractive, functional holders - often with decorative handles. Using these eliminates the need to hide a plain handle with ribbon or wire.

bouquet holders

If you’re a perfectionist, you'll enjoy working with holders; they allow for more control than a hand-tied arrangement. You can place the stems exactly where they need to be in the foam, all while helping your client avoid hand-cramping! If your customer is looking for a round or Biedermeier -bouquet, consider working with a rounded cage holder for a more compact, stable design. Need to create a cascading bouquet? Using a slanted holder will help construct that waterfall shape while eliminating some of the weight. When designing for outdoor events, be sure to opt for holders over hand-tied. Their embedded floral foam allows for an all-day water supply, enabling the flowers to beat the heat.


The hand-tied technique offers unlimited design possibilities. From modern brides to the bohemian, classic bouquets wrapped with a simple piece of ribbon or fabric.

handtied bouquets

Hand-tied flowers allow for more variability and innovation. Don't like how that placement turned out? Change it on the fly without ruining foam. But unlike those with holders, hand-tied bouquets can get very thirsty (very quickly). PRO-TIP: Be sure your customer has a vase nearby that can be used for hydration throughout the day.

The Beautiful Impostor

Many of today's brides are obsessing over the hand-tied look. When you're a big proponent of bouquet holders, but your customer wants a Pinterest-perfect, hand-tied arrangement, how do find a happy medium? Try creating hand-tied looks with a bouquet holder! This requires a little extra glue and some fancy ribbon-work, but the end result is well worth it.


You’ll want to start by using the holder, per normal. But keep those cut stems handy! Once your flowers are in place, use the extra stems to cover up the bottom of the holder. Make sure the stems are free of any thorns or leaves, then simply glue  or tape the stems onto the holder base. After everything is dried, wrap it up with ribbon or decorative wire to really create the illusion of a hand-tied look. This final step will also help cover up any messy mechanics. If you’d rather not go through this process of gluing and tying, then the Smithers-Oasis hand-tied holder is your perfect match!

Make sure to always evaluate the following before starting your design:

  1. What type of bouquet is your client looking for?
  2. What is the overall theme and personality of the event?
  3. With which method are you most comfortable, and does it align with your customer's preferences?

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Posted by Kayla Neary

Kayla Neary is the Marketing Coordinator for Kennicott Brothers. She holds a Bachelors degree in Communications from The University of Alabama and has previous experience as a retail florist.

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