When it comes to centerpieces, it’s still—and probably always will be—all about the flowers.
“I can’t think of one occasion where I have been asked to create anything non-floral,” says Larry Walshe, owner of London-based Larry Walshe Floral Design. Dahlias in particular, he says, seem to be experiencing a renaissance. “They have become much more popular in the last 12 months," he says. "With so many shapes, sizes, colors and textures available, they create a wonderful tapestry on any table.”
One way to craft such a tapestry, he says, is by containing sophisticated florals in eclectic and varied sized vases, either clustered onto a central table design or laid out as an alternative to a solid runner of flowers. “The use of different sized and shaped vessels provides visual variation while the flower content ensures an elegant and opulent aesthetic.” [Photo at left of Larry Walshe's work by Kate Nielen Photography]
Robbin Yelverton, co-owner of Detroit-based Blumz, agrees. “Non-matching centerpieces in an assortment of vintage containers tie into the retro-vintage trend that we have been experiencing. It will remain a strong look simply because it is elegant and romantic.”
Fresh from the Garden
“More and more wedding couples want to bring the outside in,” adds Brenda Lee Montiero, owner of Fiore Dorato, which has operations in Singapore and Texas. “The ‘just picked from the garden look’ with its organic, wilder, and more rustic design naturally lends itself to flowers that are freshly picked and highly scented.” Hydrangeas, David Austin roses, Amaris lilies, peonies and ranunculus are among the blooms that she favors for this look. [Photo of Fiore Dorato installation by Finnalogy.]
“Lush, organic and free-form designs are on the upswing, and are breaking the monotony of the compact mounds of previous years,” Yelverton notes. “There has been a renewed interest in natural garden-inspired designs with the use of a variety of novelty foliage, herbs, berries and grasses to add a lushness that has been missing in the all-floral arrangements we have been seeing.”
Adding Sweet Floral to the Dessert Table
Cheryl Fish, president of Los Angeles-based High Rise Designs and vice president of Reseda, Calif.-based Someone’s in the Kitchen, adds succulents, eucalyptus leaves, baby’s breath and Queen Anne’s lace to her garden-themed designs. “These flowers are making a comeback,” she says. “Succulents can resemble leafy roses, and when surrounded by soft hydrangea, dahlias, and greenery, they feel very garden-like and not so formal. Add in a little crystal sparkle or swirling branches and ribbons, and the centerpiece becomes unique.” To decorate the dessert table, Fish fashions miniature cakes and pies made of roses: “They add a bit of whimsy to a dessert station,” she says. [See photo above; photo by Jay Lawrence Goldman Photography]
Taking a step beyond the garden gate, more couples are branching out (pun intended!) into the trees—either real or re-created. “The creation of a woodland wedding has become increasingly popular,” Walshe says. “It has, however, taken on a different guise. Trees are now becoming bigger, more dramatic and whilst in some cases rather ethereal and whimsical, in others, incredibly chic and sophisticated with the use of crystals and mirrors in the designs.”
That said, Walshe has noticed a rise in popularity in the use of plants or all-foliage designs. “Bridal couples are becoming increasingly open to the idea of creating an ‘effect’ as opposed to a floral-heavy display,” he says. Case in point: A recent wedding featured centerpieces created entirely of three different varieties of copper-dipped eucalyptus branches. “The outcome was incredibly textural and wonderfully fragrant,” he says.
Gold Rush in Floral Today
Metallics have always had a place at the table, and according to Yelverton, the metal of the moment is, without question, gold.
“Brides here in the Midwest can’t seem to get enough of gold,” he says. “Gone are the silver, platinum and pewters of the last few years—the warm luster of gold is haute in wedding decor. Whether low gold mercury-glass bowls of florals or dramatic raised centerpieces on gold pedestals, the golden touch is everywhere.” [See photo above; photo courtesy Blumz]
Montiero agrees, adding rose gold to the mix. “Metallic colors add a touch of shimmer to bridal bouquets and floral designs, with rose gold showing up on almost everything,” she says. “One metallic that is on the wane, however, is silver.”
Metallics and neutrals go hand in hand, and for Fish, that means rose gold and gray. “These two neutral colors blend beautifully with many shades and styles,” she says.