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. “Never a firm favorite among brides, 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.”

NO MATCHES! 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.”

Scent, adds Walshe, is another essential element to the romance of flowers. “The inclusion of scent within a design has definitely become much more popular,” he says. “I love to walk into a space--especially a historic venue--and discover a soft, ambient fragrance. Freesias, stock, garden roses or even fresh herbs are a wonderful way to achieve this.” 

OUTSIDE COMES INSIDE “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.

“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.”

SUCCULENTS JOIN IN 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.

Speaking of whimsy, Fish has found a clever way to incorporate the must-have hashtag into her centerpiece designs--by way of clusters of soft florals on cocktail tables accented with an Instagram informational card. “It’s definitely the ‘in’ thing at weddings,” she says. “Thank goodness for smartphones!” 

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