Tuesday night I attended an Alice’s Table party at Cyrano’s Cafe. In case you aren’t familiar (because I wasn’t), Alice’s Table was started in 2016 in Boston, but has since spread to over 25 cities nationwide. The company’s goal is to get women together for a creative, relaxing night out centered around do-it-yourself flower arrangements. Participants sign up online (here is a list of upcoming events in St. Louis and here is the list nationwide) and then their local Alice’s Table “hostess” takes care of the rest.
The particular event I went to was complete with wine, appetizers, dessert and a treat bag. Plus, everyone comes home with their own hand made bouquet ( … I couldn’t help thinking that this is such a better idea than those painting parties with the same M.O. Flowers I’ll put on my nightstand, but I don’t need a painting that I made myself hanging over the mantle … Just sayin’).
At Tuesday’s event in Webster Groves, Missouri, Meredith Johns, the St. Louis area’s only Alice’s Table “hostess”, led ten ladies in a step-by-step tutorial to create a fool-proof flower arrangement. Everyone sat down to a work station stocked with clippers, an apron, a watering can and de-leafer. Then Johns gave tips and tricks as she demonstrated the process to creating a bouquet. Yes she was teaching us, but it wasn’t like we were sitting down listening to a college lecture. Most of the time was spent chatting and getting to know the other women, while simultaneously working on arranging our flowers. And even though Johns had given us a “recipe” for our bouquet (pictured below) , after the almost two hour session was done and bouquets assembled, no two were alike.
Not only did I come away with a great centerpiece but I also learned a lot about how to arrange flowers. Here are some of my takeaways:
- We lined our vase with waterproof floral ribbon like THIS one. It made for a clean, unfussy look without all those stems showing thru the glass. Buying it ASAP for my home supply cabinet.
- Next we used clear floral tape to create a grid on the top of our vase. It was so helpful in keeping all the stems in place. Also buying this.
- Always add the greens first. Johns called this “greening up our bases” and said it’s a very important step to ensure arrangements are balanced and look full.
- Rotate the vase as you arrange. Seems obvious but something I never thought to do before … so would always have one A+ side and the other would look all wonky.
- We added flowers in odd numbers, just as you would the pillows on your couch. Variations of 1, 3, 5, etc. are more visually appealing.
- A 5″ vase might seem small, but is all you need to create a compelling arrangement. Better to have a full, smaller vase rather than a large one with just a few stems jostling all around.
If you want to create your own Alice’s Table event you can do that, too! Gather your friends and Johns will bring her expertise and the supplies to your desired location. She can host a party for a birthday, a bachelorette party, a wedding shower, or a mom’s night out for your school PTO … you name the occasion! Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.