How Do You Create the Ideal Floral Design for Your Wedding?

Written by | Art & Design

An Autumnal Arrangement

For thoughts on wedding blooms we consulted Barbara Mele of Gatherings Floral Design and the FlowerSchool of New York:

METROSOURCE: What do you wish people knew before coming to you?

MELE: Pinterest is great for inspiration but it’s the equivalent of going shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue or Tiffany’s. … It gives people amazing ideas but when it comes to meeting with your vendors, and you find out how much things cost, it’s difficult to be realistic.

What do you like for fall weddings?

Chrysanthemums are prominently available. They have a bad rap in the States because the mums are associated with moms and football games. … The same goes with carnations — all of these flowers are in season in the fall but have a bad rap as being cheap. They’re actually really robust, and because they’re in season, they’re perfect and affordable. You can mix them with roses and orchids and other flowers in fall/autumn tones (of orange and burgundy) and work with this beautiful color palette for the season. Something a lot of people don’t realize about the fall palette is that you can work in a bit of purple and it makes it really royal and luxurious. Fall is also harvest season, so don’t be afraid to work in vegetables, artichokes, eggplant, grapes — incorporate some fruit and vegetables to make something creative and fun.

What are some out-of-the-box ideas couples should consider?

Don’t be afraid to go big. Use big chandeliers, statement arrangements instead of low, tight compact designs. In particular for gay couples, it’s less about the flowers and more about everything else. Use different, funky vases. Go with different candles and sources of light so the flowers can be the accent for those elements.

What’s next in floral trends?

There’s a big push from inside the industry to help lead clients away from the DIY look because that was popular about ten years ago. Things like mason jars, baby’s breath, wildflowers, etc. It was cute but it’s time for people to get back to a more upscale look. The trend for the past five, ten years has been blush flowers or white flowers … and I would like to see couples embrace richer palettes like burgundy, eggplant, amethyst.

How are gay weddings different?

Gay couples are more about the details. Straight couples might be like, “Oh, let’s have a donut stand!” and gay couples are like: “We’re going to make our own donuts at the wedding! [laughs] And we’re going to have all kinds of crazy flavors, too!” Gay couples are actually less flower oriented, and it’s more about the hard goods and accessories. I have yet to have a gay couple come to me and ask for tons and tons of flowers; it’s always more about interesting terrariums, display boxes, candelabras, pearls, fabrics.

What floral traditions should we retain?

I do think the grooms should have boutonnieres in order to separate them from the rest of the party: they need to be identified as the stars of the show. There are lots of ways boutonnieres can be arranged; you can incorporate themes from the decor. You don’t have to have a single rose or calla lily, we can use succulents, gems, ribbons.

Last modified: August 15, 2018