Eco-conscious couples are driving the popularity of the ‘freshly foraged’ look for wedding décor featuring locally grown, seasonal flowers. How can you achieve this organic ‘just picked’ from the garden, meadow or woodland aesthetic for your nature loving brides and grooms? We sought the advice of Portland-based floral designer Franςoise Weeks, who is known for meticulously creating lush and natural bouquets. Franςoise shares her 'secrets' Belgian by birth, Franςoise’s early floral training took place in a European flower shop. The exquisite woodland wedding bouquets she now designs continue to express a European flair. “After about a year of exploring detailed woodland designs in centerpieces and log arrangements, I wanted to emulate that natural look for bridal bouquets,” shares Franςoise. What makes her delicate designs so appealing? 1. Old-fashioned materials, high-fashion style An avid gardener of more than 30 years, Franςoise considers her love of the garden as a secret of her success. Her diligent use of timeless favorites and heirloom varieties gives a nostalgic look to the designs. She selects small and delicate buds and blooms collected from outdoors to create her designs. Much of this tender garden material isn’t typically used in larger flower shop designs. This helps to differentiate her naturalist style. 2. Complex, but never too busy The essence of her earthy vibe lies in its precision. Franςoise creates designs that appear complex yet seem delicate. Layer upon layer of fragile ferns, fragrant herbs, waxy succulents, colorful foliages, delicate berries and vines are instinctively mixed with tiny florets and bits of buds or blooms to form the vegetative pattern of these rich designs. This intricate mix of miniature flower forms, tactile foliages and carefully placed color creates a rich tapestry of natural material that captures the eye. Trend-savvy brides are in love with ‘mini’ this season. Here mini—as in small blossoms—creates maximum appeal in this spirited style. 3. Unexpected form Franςoise was delighted when she discovered the round and square OASIS European Bouquet Holders she now uses as the foundation of her natural bouquets. “The eight-inch thin surface of foam on the European bouquet holders makes them perfect for the delicate material in woodland designs,” she explains.“These holders are super versatile and can be used for cascading bouquets and many other styles. They can even be cut in any desired shape.” She uses these bouquet holders as the mechanic for the popular hands-on classes she teaches. OASIS European Bouquet Holders can also be used atop vases to create arrangements. This works especially well when the mouth of the vase is too narrow to hold enough floral foam for a design. The handle can be inserted into the narrow mouth of the vase for stability. This offers a firm foundation with a thin surface of foam for designing. 4. Attention to detail Bold use of unexpected materials is a hallmark of this design style. In addition to the arrangement itself, small mosses, foliage or other natural materials are often used to cover the design mechanics. “It is helpful to first cover the underside and the handle of the bouquet holder by gluing on beautiful foliage, feathers of any other materials.” Franςoise adds she prefers to use OASIS Floral Adhesive for this delicate gluing process. Have an appreciation for this style of design? Experiment with diverse garden materials. Incorporate a variety of ‘mini’ materials into your design for a ‘big’ look. What secrets can you share with us for creating gorgeous natural wedding bouquets with European or other styles?