Adding greenery to your wedding urn is what will set your shape and size of the arrangement. Remember that greenery is the framework of the floral, while the flowers are the focal point. Keep in mind that the heads of the flowers will usually extend a slight point beyond the greens.
I'm beginning by using myrtle. This tall slender branch is actually from a shrub. It has small, perfectly formed leaves with tall slender laterals that create a perfect foil for most flowers.
I like myrtle because it has a pleasing fragrance when freshly cut and doesn't tend to shatter and drop leaves like some other greenery.
I first determine how tall I want my arrangement to be. Keep in mind that you will have to transport the final design, so you may have to add the tallest stems at the venue.
Arrangements that look big on your home table may look much smaller in the front of a large church. Church flowers need to be large and showy, utilizing inexpensive flowers and greenery for the most impact.
The woody branch of myrtle is tough. I recommend using professional pruning snips. Florists commonly refer to these as "bunch cutters". They are invaluable if you are processing a lot of flowers and doing designs that incorporate woody stemmed greenery or flowers.
Please - do not cut flowers or greenery with common household shears or scissors. The blades are not designed for this type of work and can crush stems, making it difficult for the stems to draw water up to the flower head.
Scissors can easily slip and cause severe cuts to fingers and hands. (I'm not kidding - you have to exert a lot of pressure to cut flowers and greenery.)
Professional florist tools have serrated edges that grip the stems firmly while cutting easily thru the wood. They are wonderful for use all around the house long after your event is over!
Exercise extreme care when using ANY professional tools with sharp edges.
Once the stem is cut to the proper height, insert it at least two inches into the florist foam brick. Don't insert it to the bottom of the container - you're going to have a lot of stems going into this brick before you're done and you want to allow room for all of them!
Begin angling your stems outward, creating a three dimensional fan pattern that will define the size and shape of your bouquet.
Note that I begin to alternate the placement, tilting the additional stems outward and forward. This will give a more even, dimensional look to your design that will not look flat - instead please from all sides.
So far the stems all insert in and upward, creating my basic fan shape.
See from this view how the stems go upward and outward, creating the perception of depth.
See how the foam above the rim of the container allows you to insert greenery from the sides and actually tilt downward, creating a nice rounded effect.
If you cut your foam off level with the rim of the urn, you would not be able to do this.
I have begun cutting shorter lengths of myrtle, filling in the center of the design. I now start tilting the stems toward the front of the container, again giving a pleasing 3 dimensional look to the design.
It's not necessary to fill in every blank space with the mrytle. I'm going to be adding other types of greenery, so at this point I'm simply concentrating on defining the height and depth of my initial design.
Cut off shorter pieces to fill in the back and center of the design.
Now my basic shape is done within minutes and I'm ready to begin adding in another variety of wedding greens. The amount of each type of greenery needed is going to depend on how long and how thick you insert your own stems.
Here you see about 20 stems of myrtle for a fairly good sized altar spray.