Although repurposing the bride’s and bridesmaids’ bouquets as head-table decorations saved money, the stands available on the market left much to be desired.
Many florists use simple vases to display bridal bouquets, but O’Brien wasn’t happy with the overall look. “I’m feeling like I’ve got this big blockade in front of me,” she said. The conventional bouquet display would hide the brides from the guests and force the photographers to use downward-facing angles in order to photograph the happy couple. “There had to be a better way to do this,” O’Brien said.
So she invented and patented The Ultimate Bouquet Stand. “This is a photographer’s dream,” she said. The stand displays the bouquet at an angle, allowing the floral arrangement to serve as a centerpiece during the reception while not obstructing views.
The concept began percolating in O’Brien’s brain when she attended a floral design show and saw a bouquet propped up against a glass cube. “That is adorable,” she remembers thinking. She tried using this design for a while and discovered that, while pretty, the cube lacked the proper shape to keep the heavy bridal bouquet from falling over. Whenever the banquet table was jostled, the bouquet would roll off one side of the cube, knocking over glasses and falling into food.
“I knew I needed to make a cradle,” O’Brien said. Affixing wire to the side of a vase, she fashioned a half-circle-shaped cradle to hold the bouquet. She then began looking for something to hold the cradle. The miniature vases she tried first were too small to prevent the bouquets from falling over, so she searched for an object with a wider base. “I looked over, and here was this clean, glass, 3-inch candle holder. It was like, voila!”
After further tweaking, including switching to a crystal candleholder as a base, O’Brien hit upon her winning combination. The invention proved so popular that every bride who used O’Brien’s floral design for her reception in 2011 requested one.
The candlestick holder base makes The Ultimate Bouquet Stand into a keepsake. The stands also make nice bridesmaid gifts or gifts for parents. The highly customizable base can be enhanced by rhinestones or pearls, or even lit from within by a miniature colored bulb. The crystal is also capable of holding engraving. O’Brien is working with her distributor, Fitz Design, on more lines of accessories to accent the stands. “Every bride is unique. Every wedding is designed for that individual woman,” she said. “The only limit to anybody is their imagination.”
Available worldwide through Fitz Design, the Ultimate Bouquet Stand costs $24.99. Visit www.innovativefloral.com. Ribbons & Roses, located at 151 Chestnut St. in Brentwood, is open Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call 925-634-3832 or visit www.ribbonsandroses