Once you've decided on the color scheme for your wedding, chosen the bridesmaids' dresses, and determined the guest list, you'll be ready to focus on the flowers for your party.
Because you'll be so very busy as the wedding day arrives, we strongly recommend that you engage the services of a professional floral designer to plan, prepare, install, and remove your reception flower arrangements. If you bring in pictures and tell the floral designer exactly what you want, the flowers will look beautiful will probably hold up better, since they'll be treated professionally.
If you're doing the flowers yourself or with the help of a friend, you'll have to prepare a "recipe of ingredients" for each floral decoration. Select the containers you'll use. Choose 2 or 3 varieties of greenery. List the flowers you've chosen. Determine how many of each type you'll need. You might want to prepare a sample arrangement ahead of time. Then prepare your list of items to order and purchase.
Decide how many tables you'll have, how many guests will sit at each, and what kind of flowers you like. If you're not realy a rose person, don't think that you have to have roses. Look through flower books and magazines and make a list of flowers that appeal to you. Select colors that will compliment your color scheme. When you've made all the choices, start a list of things to buy.
A sample "recipe" for each arrangement might call for
- a brick of floral oasis
- three stems of magnolia leaves
- five long stems of English ivy
- five stems of Pitto Sporum
- five stems of Seeded Eucalyptus
- 12 medium stemmed red roses
- 7 stems of medium star-gazer lilies
Big is Good
- For a large reception room, choose a floral arrangement that is large or tall, fills the space, and will make a bold statement.
Save the Bouquets
- Place an empty vase with water at each bridesmaid's reception tablesetting. If their bouquets are hand-tied with free-hanging stems, they can use the vase to place the bouquet during the reception. If the bouquets are wrapped, keep the vases dry. Their table will look like they have extra arrangements.
Fruits of Your Labor
- For strong color, interesting texture, and a wonderful fragrance, use fruit to create an impressive centerpiece. Think of grapes for a wedding held at a winery, citrus fruits or apples tucked into flowers, or gilded or silver pears piled high for a winter celebration.
- For a delicate, airy centerpiece for your reception tables, place an orchid plant in a footed urn or glass container in the center of the table. Cover the soil with green moss or river rocks.. When the party is over, offer a plant to a special guest at each table. The orchid plants will last a long time if properly cared for.
Think of Your Guests
- Use a collection of small vases arranged in the center of a table. Offer them as a keepsake to each guest at the end of the festivities.
- Wire together stems of flowers and greenery to create a swag to frame the dance floor, the doorways, or windows. With beautiful flowers to look at, your guests will not even see the ugly carpet.
Dress the Chair
- To make the bride and groom feel special, decorate the backs of their reception chairs with flowers, ribbons, or swags. Keep the flowers on the outside of the chair back, and be sure that you select blooms that will not stain the clothing. You might even make these of silk or dried flowers that last. They can be brought out later for an anniversary or other special occasion.
The Wedding Cake and Knives
- Many couples choose to have their wedding cake decorated with real flowers. Be sure they're not toxic! Remember to have a floral nosegay made for the handles of the cake knife and server.
- Decorate the bride's and groom's toasting flutes with a small nosegay of flowers and ribbons.
Strike Up the Band
- Place large pots or urns with potted plants around the dance floor. Decorate an arch with flowers to define the dance area.
- Place a small arrangement, orchid plant, or planted basket in the restrooms near the reception area. Don't forget the men!
Depending on the location of your wedding reception, the degree of formality or casualness, and the time of day, you'll have lots of options for decorating the space. Spend some time planning, and you'l have a beautiful day, wonderful photos, and happy memories of this "once in a lifetime" event. Enjoy!
Read on for Wedding Details to make your special day memorable.