Prom season is approaching and now is the time to start thinking about preparing for one of the busiest periods of the year. Making the season as easy and stress-free as possible is where my favorite saying (“work smarter, not harder”) really comes into play. The key here is to prep as much as you can before the annual prom rush so all you have to do during the hours prior to your orders being picked up is add flowers and foliage.

First, you’ll want a good base. It doesn’t matter whether your shop sells more ribbon-based wrist corsages, floral jewelry, or hand-held bouquets. As long as you have several base sets prepared, you can build just about anything on top of them.

I like to have an accessory display set up in the front and center of the shop. That way, I can feature the items I’ve already prepared from which my clients can choose. You’ll want to have a nice variety of colors and materials for your bases so that you’ll have something to complement just about any dress or tuxedo.

Plan a neutral base color on top of which you can add ribbons and flowers that match the client’s attire. My go-to colors are iridescent, silver, black, white and ivory. I always ask my clients about the color of the jewelry they will be wearing so I can match my base ribbons with it. Depending on the variety of colors in the dress or tuxedo, you can also add accent ribbons or gems to pick up those complementary colors.

Pre-attaching gems, pearl sprays and other “bling” will make the final assembly much easier for you as well. Be sure to keep bullion “flowers” or “tangles” pre-made. These can quickly be added to any decorative base to make gluing flowers more secure. I wrap bullion in a figure-8 around two fingers and secure it in the middle. This makes storing easy with less likelihood of tangling. When I’m ready to attach one to a form, I fluff it into a flower. These can also be made in various sizes depending on the size of the floral cluster you wish to attach to it.

Jewelry also makes a great base for these pieces because it can be saved as a keepsake after the event. It’s a good idea to invest in a dress form so you can display various jewelry bases with it. Make large, medium and small matching pieces so your clients have an idea of all their options.

It’s also important to make sure the jewelry pieces are easy to put on and take off. And, you want to make sure the pieces won’t scratch anyone’s skin or get caught in someone’s hair. Prom jewelry should be fun, beautiful and pain-free for everyone!