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Backyard, Outdoor & Micro Wedding Flower Planning Tips

How do outdoor weddings differ from indoor?

Due to Covid-19 restrictions for public gatherings, florists are finding themselves planning and installing more outdoor wedding flowers. Unlike designing for indoor events, there’s direct sun, rain, and heat to consider with backyard or garden weddings.

With guest lists limited to the closest of family and friends, micro weddings are trending. While not every backyard is perfect for a wedding, the option is increasingly popular. It’s safe to say that due to Covid guidelines you’ll see outdoor weddings—with their floral design challenges, continue to trend into 2021.

Which floral design techniques are best used to make the process easier and more economical?

Smithers-Oasis Design Director Frank Feysa AIFD, PFCI shares some ideas for outdoor wedding floral mechanics, design tips, and photos that he used designing a lakeside wedding. 

Why choose outdoors?

Events planned at home or in a favorite outdoor space can be especially warm and inviting. Some families chose to celebrate at home in the backyard or a vacation spot for sentimental reasons. The airy outdoors can be a spacious place for guests to gather..

To decorate a lakeside gazebo, Frank filled a series of large floracages with fresh white and blush roses, white and green hydrangea and salal zip-tied to the existing structure. He added white lisianthus and dahlias to the fresh flower mix to fill two garden urns in front. Having a backyard ceremony, rather than paying a facility fee elsewhere, helps the budget. In addition to backyards, natural settings, gardens, and public outdoor venues are being secured for informal micro weddings.  

A local setting that only accommodates a smaller guest list can help the wedding budget. The savings can enable a couple to enjoy more flowers in strategic places like atop this barrel at the altar.

Frank used a corso zip-tied in place to add flowers to the corners of the wooden arbor entrance.

use a water source with bouquets

Water-saturated floral-foam bouquet holders were used as the base of the bridesmaids' bouquets. The water-filled holders are comfortable to carry and help flowers stay fresh in the outdoor heat.

To give the bouquets a natural hand-tied look, Frank cut excess flower stems into individual pieces the same length as the bouquet handle. He then covered the bouquet holder's straight handles with adhesive. Either UGLU or double-sided tape can be used. He encircled the handle by pressing the stems into the applied adhesive and covering it. Leaving the ends of the stems exposed, he wrapped and covered the tape in concentric circles of brown rustic wire.

He attached a rustic wire to a green hydrangea to create a flower girl kissing ball pomander, then used floral adhesive to glue fresh flowers and foliage in the center of the hydrangea. Frank chose one of the longer-lasting hydrangeas, dipped its fresh-cut stem end into Quick Dip and misted it with Crowning Glory to ensure it would maintain its fresh appearance. 

The wedding aisle

The wedding aisle was marked by guest’s chairs adorned with flower arrangements. Frank took 6.5” galvanized buckets and punched holes in each side of each bucket. He attached a heavy wire as the handle: Mega wire can be used. He then filled each bucket with flowers.

More attention to details

Planning an outdoor event requires more attention to logistics and flower care details than indoors, with uncertainties like temperature, direct sun, wind, and rain. “It was so hot,” says Frank, “that we didn’t place the flowers onsite until about an hour before the ceremony.”

As it really can rain on your parade, create a backup plan with the couple. Planning to serve food indoors helps avoid possible last-minute chaos and battles with uninvited insects. 

Floracages for placement flexibility

Inside the barn, the same casual theme was continued in the reception area. “We used lots of floracages to make the designs,” says Frank. “We weren’t sure exactly where we were going to place the arrangements so using the forms (with their plastic bases) gave us a lot of flexibility.”

Frank used a series of flower-filled RAQUETTES® running down the head table. Raquettes come in 18, 27 and 36-inch lengths, which can be mixed to adjust the centerpiece to the table length.

To create the evening’s starlight effect, “we strung a lot of fairy lights and used a bucket-load of batteries,” says Frank.  

The bride and groom’s chairs were decorated with flowers for their place of honor at the reception table.

Frank enjoyed filling a collection of wood crates and tin pots with fresh flowers and grasses. He used these arrangements to mix and match with lanterns, wooden table markers and votives for the round guest tables.

Consider flowers in their season and climate

Flowers in their natural season and climate are often better prepared for the conditions of the location than those naturally from another season, locale or climate.

For example, delicate spring flowers grown from bulbs are less prepared for surviving intense heat than perennial wildflowers blooming in deep summer. Using readily available seasonal flowers can also be less expensive than imported flowers.  

Plan for outdoor wedding requests

To catch the eye of wedding couples in your area, visit each local site. Video a walk-through explaining how flowers can be used to highlight the area. Post it on your social media pages and website. Encourage each venue you visit to repost it on their site as well.

Create menus of wedding designs that accommodate each site so you’ll be ready to propose new ideas when a potential client arrives for consultation. 

How can you plan, design and implement fabulous floral designs for backyard, garden and outdoor micro weddings?