Simple and Dramatic Arrangements

Wedding season is upon us, which means florists and designers are especially busy right now with bridal clients. Brides sometimes ask for simple, safe and elegant. But that doesn’t mean your design can’t still be exciting.

Most clients don’t want to look like they’re trying too hard, and, so, they tend to shy away from anything outside the norm. They tell me, “Preston, I don’t want anyone to think I spent a fortune on flowers.” My reply? “Why not? It’s your money.” Or, they might say, “My friend used way too many flowers; I thought it was in bad taste.”  I usually reply, “Obviously, your friend loves flowers.” My favorite from clients though is, “If you use any flowers that aren’t white, it won’t be elegant.” I don’t even have words to answer that one!

Here are a few suggestions for creating exciting dramatic elements in your designs, even when a client has requested safe simplicity:

1. If you’re doing centerpieces for a large number of tables, suggest to your client that you create at least three different table arrangement designs (using the same flowers). Guests love to discuss whose table has the “best” flowers.

2. Votive candles are another great way to keep things simple and still make an event pop. Place at least ten to twenty of them on every table. I guarantee the result will be equal parts romantic and dramatic. Plus, votive candles don’t cost very much.

Simple Yet Dramatic Votive Candle Centerpiece

3. For an especially striking look, consider creating arrangments of various heights — some tall, some short.

4. Opt to use only flowers in one color family; your designs will automatically be more stunning than those that use flowers in contrasting colors.

5. If you use too many different types of flowers, your design will look restless. Instead, use no more than 2 or 3 different flowers.

6. In every floral arrangement you have two elements. First, there is the container.  Second, there are the flowers. Make sure your choice of container is unique. Consider creating your own floral containers for a truly one-of-a-kind look.

Simple Yet Dramatic Floral Container

7. It’s all in the details. Even flowers in a simple and understated arrangement should tell the story of perfection: You want fully open flowers with perfect petals. To achieve this, time your flowers so they’re open on the day of event.

This may surprise some of you, but I’m all for understated elegance. However, there is a very fine line between simplicity and boredom: always be careful not to cross it!

Now, a few questions for you:

  1. What does elegant mean to you?
  2. How do you stretch a dollar without sacrificing exciting design?
  3. Can you create an elegant arrangement without using white flowers?
  4. Which of the following containers do you think is the most elegant: Glass, Basket, Terra-Cotta or Porcelain?