Wedding Ideas

Insider’s Guide to Flowers

Posted on July 06, 2016 by New Jersey Bride

New Jersey Bride Kristen and Sal's Real WeddingCheng Photography; Kristen and Sal at The Grand Marquis


While it may seem like there’s not much to wedding flowers—you choose a color and your florist takes it from there—a lot goes into the design and creation of those gorgeous arrangements that set the stage at so many weddings. Here, Marie Danielle Vil-Young of A Votre Service Events in Somerville helps debunk some common misconceptions about wedding flowers and offers tips for your own designs.

1. Misconception: Don’t order flowers out of season. In reality, most flowers are not grown locally due to weather constraints. “During the warmer months, we do gain access to locally grown flowers, which can be cost-effective. And for a more rustic, organic feel, local flowers work amazing,” Vil-Young says. “But if your design calls for lush, larger, fuller flowers, Dutch products will give better results no matter what time of year.”

2. Misconception: Tall centerpieces will block guests’ views. According to Vil-Young, tall arrangements work beautifully, as long as your florist follows a few guidelines: An arrangement meant to be taller and elevated off the table should be designed to sit atop vases that are 25 to 28 inches in height. Low centerpieces shouldn’t be more than 10 to 12 inches tall. “This way, the flowers will not block visibility across the table,” she says.

3. Misconception: Stick to traditional flowers. “The use of succulents, berries and, we like to say, ‘greenery that has meaning’ can elevate a centerpiece to new heights and add much texture,” Vil-Young says. She recommends fun greens such as jasmine vine, passion vine, plumosa and ferns; flowering branches and flowers like hellebores and clematis; and berries such as blueberry, raspberry and snowberries when in season.

4. Misconception: You can do the flowers yourself. Yes, the farmer’s market has gorgeous options every week, but this is not something you should be arranging the morning of your wedding. It’s time-consuming and not as easy as just sticking flowers into a vase. “There is much time and labor involved in doing floral work, and our best recommendation is to hire an amazing floral designer,” she says.

5. Misconception: Ceremony flowers should do double-duty at the reception. Vil-Young agrees that flowers can be reused at the reception in some capacity, but keep in mind the labor involved in the pick up and transport back to the wedding venue. And sometimes it might not be possible to move them without your guests seeing. “It can be unsightly to break down the flowers as guests are present and
watching,” she advises.

6. Misconception: Never pick just one color for your flowers. Vil-Young finds just the opposite. “A monochromatic floral arrangement can be very beautiful and have great impact depending on the color selected,” she says. “I tend to design and select a range of shades and hues within the same color palette. For example, if my client wants pink, we have her identify the shade of pink she loves. Then we surround that pink with other shades that will highlight the one selected.”