Let's Talk Wedding Flowers - After the Ceremony - The Reception! Fifth in a Series of Posts

 
A fairy tale setting created with elevated designs of rich colors in gold candelabras. A garland, mercury glass votives, floating candle and petite vases with flowers bring the interest to the tabletop. At The Mansion on Turner Hill. Photo by Carly Michelle Photography.

A fairy tale setting created with elevated designs of rich colors in gold candelabras. A garland, mercury glass votives, floating candle and petite vases with flowers bring the interest to the tabletop. At The Mansion on Turner Hill. Photo by Carly Michelle Photography.

Centerpieces are composed of two part - flowers/foliage and hard goods/containers. The same flowers placed low on the table in a container that is not visible or in wooden box or in a mercury glass compote (a dish/bowl that has been elevated) have three distinct feelings to them. Flowers and hard goods work together to achieve your vision.

There are low and elevated centerpieces. Elevated centerpieces are great to add drama and impact when your guests walk into the room - especially if it is large.  I’m careful to use containers that are clear or slender enough that they don’t block the view across the table.  I can design flowers atop a tall glass vase or I can rent candelabras we select together and flowers are place on top as well as cascading down them. Calla lilies, orchids, amaranthus and ruscus are my favorites for the cascade. A combination of elevated and low centerpieces is always a hit. As elevated centerpieces have more cost involved, I frequently suggest using the less expensive trio of floating candles as a third centerpiece option to average costs out. (FYI - Certain cities/towns have restrictions on open flames).

The low centerpiece in a gold compote from the same wedding shown above. Extra-special blooms and detail is used here as they are easily appreciated by the guests. The Mansion on Turner Hill. Photo by Carly Michelle Photography

The low centerpiece in a gold compote from the same wedding shown above. Extra-special blooms and detail is used here as they are easily appreciated by the guests. The Mansion on Turner Hill. Photo by Carly Michelle Photography

Let the vibe of the venue direct you. You’ve chosen it for a reason. Is it rustic or a natural setting? A rustic venue begs for seasonal flowers such as tulips in the spring and sunflowers in the fall. To me, rustic means lots of texture. Garden roses, soft greenery including ferns and grasses, daisies, carnations (the growers have bred some incredibly unique and unusual colors!), chrysanthemums, love-in-the mist, waxflower, seed pods, phlox, zinnias, astilbe, pussy willow and other seasonal branches are all excellent choices. Birch containers, twig stands and wrought iron are great places to start your design plan. Or perhaps lanterns and galvanized tin containers. A rustic venue doesn’t mean it can’t be elegant. I’ve frequently used mercury glass compotes in conjunction with wooden boxes (sometimes trimmed in lace) to achieve a ‘Rustic Elegance’ look.

Jewel tones and luxurious textures describe this fall design. The Barn at Gibbet Hill.

Jewel tones and luxurious textures describe this fall design. The Barn at Gibbet Hill.

Popular at many venues are the appearance of farm tables. These give the opportunity for extending the flowers down the table. A garland or greenery with candles and lanterns are another option.

Trio of glass bowls connected with twigs are brimming with premium blooms in this design perfect for a farm table. The Country Club, Brookline, MA

Trio of glass bowls connected with twigs are brimming with premium blooms in this design perfect for a farm table. The Country Club, Brookline, MA

A lemon leaf garland with gold lanterns on a pale green runner defined the head table. Sprigs of dried raffia greeted each guest. Brewster Academy, Lake Winnipesaukee, Wolfeboro, NH

A lemon leaf garland with gold lanterns on a pale green runner defined the head table. Sprigs of dried raffia greeted each guest. Brewster Academy, Lake Winnipesaukee, Wolfeboro, NH

Are you celebrating in a garden? (or a tent in a garden?) If your ceremony is also here, this is the perfect time to use columns to elevate large designs dripping with flowers. I can guide your selection to the appropriate style. For example – if your wedding colors are all pastels, I have the perfect lacy wrought iron columns to harmonize with the mood of the flowers. Wrought iron or stone urns (or those that look like iron or stone without the weight) would be beautiful. For the tables, stone containers mixed with mercury glass (okay – I admit I have a bias towards the look mercury glass can add to a table!) would be very ‘Garden Chic’. Wooden boxes and clear glass would also be appropriate. My favorite flowers for this look are garden roses, hybrid tea roses, spray roses, hydrangeas, lilies, seeded eucalyptus, love-in-the mist, carnations, lisianthus, alstromeria, stock, astilbe with assorted greenery including plumosa, pittosporum, and fern. Greenery can be hung around the tent to bring the outside in.

Flowers in lanterns, compotes and wooden boxes are ready to be placed in this garden wedding. Mercury glass balls unite the box design with the compotes.

Flowers in lanterns, compotes and wooden boxes are ready to be placed in this garden wedding. Mercury glass balls unite the box design with the compotes.

Hydrangeas, hosta flowers and leaves, lilies, love-in-the-mist, tree fern and eryngium are right at home in a stone container.

Hydrangeas, hosta flowers and leaves, lilies, love-in-the-mist, tree fern and eryngium are right at home in a stone container.

So, what about ballrooms and country clubs? Each one has an individual personality that I take into consideration when developing a design plan.  Sparkling clean glass with fresh greenery and flowers will always be a great choice as is mercury glass (what a surprise!). There are excellent ceramic containers ranging in style from the traditional to a more ‘City Chic’ look. A combination of elevated and low centerpieces is always a hit. As elevated centerpieces have more cost involved, I suggest using a trio of floating candles as a third centerpiece option to help average it out. (Certain cities/towns have restrictions on open flames). If your venue has an old-world charm to it, combinations of previously mentioned flowers would work well.  If it is modern or urban, I like to add tropical flowers to give it a contemporary edge.  Tropicals mixed with temperate flowers provide lots of interesting looks.

A mix of crisp, clean elevated and low designs are the perfect mix at this golf course setting. The International, Bolton, MA

A mix of crisp, clean elevated and low designs are the perfect mix at this golf course setting. The International, Bolton, MA

Trio of floating candles with floral accent. They can be used with or without the mirror. Greens could also be added at the base. Brae Burn Country Club

Trio of floating candles with floral accent. They can be used with or without the mirror. Greens could also be added at the base. Brae Burn Country Club

There are so many less traditional options for venues. Breweries, wineries, the seaside, art museums, science museums, historic houses, libraries, mountaintops, rooftops(!), and even Fenway Park to name a few.  Each have a unique vibe and I would love the opportunity to put my experience and interpretative skills to work to make it extraordinary for you!

 

 

 

Let's Talk Wedding Flowers - After the Ceremony - Cocktail Hour! Fourth Post in a Series

 

The ceremony is over and you are officially hitched! Congratulations! Let the Celebration begin!

Trio of roses and greenery in wrought iron urn - the perfect cocktail table accent that won’t blow away! Courageous Sailing Center, Pier 4, Charlestown, MA

Trio of roses and greenery in wrought iron urn - the perfect cocktail table accent that won’t blow away! Courageous Sailing Center, Pier 4, Charlestown, MA

The first stop is the cocktail hour.  One of the reasons many couples are having first looks or delaying the start of the cocktail hour is so they can join in with their friends and families.

Decorations for the hi/lo tops can be as simple or elaborate as you like. It’s an area that can be a bit playful and more relaxed. For the athletic couple, dig out some of those old softball/baseball cards, put them on a stick and tuck them in a bud vase with some greenery, in a small design or even in an apple or artichoke.

Are you into craft beers? Collect bottles and add a few stems - hops bloom in late summer and would be a fun touch. Consider these options – glass vase with a single large flower and perhaps a rustic or gold wire accent, trio of glass vases with flowers, wrought iron urn with roses or greenery, flower floating in glass, small, short clutch of flowers leaning in cube, small lanterns and objects special to the couple such as a stack of books.

Use your cocktail hour to show your personality and give your guests a hint of what’s to come.

Petite clutch of flowers in embellished glass adorns cocktail table at the Omni Parker House.

Petite clutch of flowers in embellished glass adorns cocktail table at the Omni Parker House.

Wrought iron urns with artichokes, seeded eucalyptus, roses and other flowers are lined up for the cocktail hour. The Country Club, Brookline, MA

Wrought iron urns with artichokes, seeded eucalyptus, roses and other flowers are lined up for the cocktail hour. The Country Club, Brookline, MA

Garden rose ‘Tess’ and cymbidium orchids are among the exquisite blooms enhanced with gold accents. The Mansion at Turner Hill. Photo by Carly Michelle Photography

Garden rose ‘Tess’ and cymbidium orchids are among the exquisite blooms enhanced with gold accents. The Mansion at Turner Hill. Photo by Carly Michelle Photography

A beautiful rose, plumosa fern and twigs wrapped with decorative wire. Shaker Hills County Club

A beautiful rose, plumosa fern and twigs wrapped with decorative wire. Shaker Hills County Club

Together these create a centerpiece; separately, they can be used on cocktail tables perhaps with a few scattered flowers.

Together these create a centerpiece; separately, they can be used on cocktail tables perhaps with a few scattered flowers.

Another variation using the wrought iron urn. These are available for rental. The Crane Estate, Ipswich, MA

Another variation using the wrought iron urn. These are available for rental. The Crane Estate, Ipswich, MA

Floating orchid with grass accent in glass cube. The Exchange Hall, Acton, MA

Floating orchid with grass accent in glass cube. The Exchange Hall, Acton, MA