Leather leaf fern is normally inexpensive and a staple greenery in every flower shop. One full grower's bunch usually has between 20 and 25 stems bound by a rubber band.
I'm a little shocked by some of the wholesale sites claims that leather leaf retails for for $15.00 a bunch. I've bought wholesale from our local growers much cheaper than that. In fact, their quoted "wholesale" price is much closer to retail price in our area.
On top of it, they insist you buy a full case (10 bunches). Since I've done this entire bouquet with 5 stems, one single bunch can green up to 5 bouquets. Having to buy ten bunches of leather leaf means you'd have enough greenery to do 50 wedding bouquets!
This doesn't include that I'm using more than one type of greenery for variety and texure. So add in that you have to buy 10 bunches of each of THOSE greens and you can see how your flower budget could soon spiral out of control.
I believe the DIY bride should have the choice of buying single bunches and being able to mix and match her variety choices. Buy 10 bunches and you will get even a bigger discount. I don't claim to sell wholesale and I do have to pass on the shipping charges that FedEx charges us.
I urge you to comparison shop and look past the hype of "free shipping". Sometimes the excess amounts you have to purchase can cost you more in the long run. Be sure to use the Free Wedding Calculator to determine exactly what you need and give yourself the advantage of choosing the mix of flowers and greenery that you want.
Individual leather leaf stems have lots of fronds coming off the main stem. You can cut this off into smaller sections for insertion into your wedding bouquet holder.
I usually cut the leaf with a flower knife, since a clean cut is easier to insert into your wet foam.
Since this is going to be a cascade, I insert an entire leather leaf stem into the bottom of the bouquet. Remember - the greenery is going to frame out the eventual width and length of your bouquet, so judge how big you want the final design to be.
With the shorter cut fronds of leather, begin inserting leaves around the perimeter of the bouquet.
Continue around. You may want a slightly longer piece at the top of the holder to give a more elongated oval look to the finished bouquet.
Once my outside frame of greens is complete, I begin filling in the center.
Begin tilting the additional fronds slightly inward as you fill in the bouquet holder. Once you reach the center, the green tips should be stuck straight in, pointing out at a 90 degree angle from the outer perimeter greens.