Sharon McGukin

Smithers-Oasis North America Design Director Sharon McGukin, AIFD, AAF, PFCI enjoys sharing floral tips and techniques for celebrating life with flowers.

Photos: Skyler VanGorkum with Clear Sky Images

Are your brides asking for a fresh vibe in wedding flower colors? Offer the refreshing look of citrus to brighten summer smiles.

Brides aren’t the only ones smiling again in 2021. Florists are also happy to experience the post-pandemic wedding boom. Small, intimate weddings continue, but grand galas are gaining popularity as well.

True love couldn’t be intimidated by last year’s quarantine. Weddings continued. Micro-weddings were common, but in many areas when it came to flowers - macro-décor was an option too.

What are the new trends in flower fashion? Beth O’Reilly AIFD, TMF of Flower the Moment, in Houston, Texas shares some of her dramatic designs.


Big beautiful cascading bouquets are popular once again. 

Beth’s version of a traditional favorite – the cascade, has an updated flair. Her cascading bridal bouquet was made in an armature fashioned from florist netting (aka chicken wire). This wedding flower collection is a carefully blended mix of citrus-colored summer blooms.

If you prefer to keep your flowers fresh by designing in a water source try a floral foam bouquet holder. Check out this video for more details - Which Bouquet Holder To Use For Cascading Bouquets?

Photos: Skyler VanGorkum with Clear Sky Images

While some brides choose an all-white bouquet, coordinating the bouquet with the rest of the wedding can create a harmonious look. For this type of flower plan, start by choosing flowers for the bride and bridesmaid’s bouquets. Then, carry the style, theme and color harmony into the ceremony setting and reception as well.

Some brides like to mix it up. They may choose and all-white bouquet and colorful bridesmaids bouquets. Another option is to offer an elegant shades of white flowers with green foliages for the ceremony. Then, plan a bright and bold décor for the reception, with colorful flowers for party time at the reception.

The key to success is designing wedding flowers in your bride’s signature style, rather you’re your recognizable shop vibe. Each event should showcase its own personality.


Photos: Skyler VanGorkum with Clear Sky Images

A flower-laden mantlepiece can be the perfect setting for a beautiful ceremony. 

During the pandemic, guest lists were often shortened, while the full budget remained available. Many brides wanted to have spectacular photos, at the very least. They chose to invest in an abundance of flowers to dramatically showcase their day.

The challenge was met by florists using big ideas to fill small settings with exceptional designs. Beth pulled out cans of spray paint to achieve her citrusy look.

She spray-painted palmetto fans a delicate shade of coral and sago palms neutral hues of almond and ivory to accent her chosen citrusy flower tones. Adding unique color, texture, and form to the designs.

Triple Brick Trays were placed across the mantle as the mechanical base of the focal arrangements. It’s an easy-to-use water source. The 4.5-inch width of the 26.5-inch long tray fit perfectly on a narrow mantle. The Midnight Deluxe Maxlife floral foam was taped in place by Midnight ¼” Waterproof Tape.

Which Midnight shapes can be helpful to your wedding and event work?

Here are some options - Midnight Floral Foam Collection for Event Work

On each side of the mantle, Beth positions what she calls “chicken tubes” to hold the two descending lines of flower stems. She cuts a 3-foot length of chicken wire and rolls it length-wise into a long tube shape and zip-ties the edges together.

The “chicken tubes” are supported by a pipe attached to a base placed on the floor. Floracage grandes are interspersed through the wire rolls and zip-tied into place. Flower stems that could not reach that water source were placed in water tubes.

Aisle arrangements, positioned on the floor to mark honored guest seating, were also designed in the triple brick trays filled with foam.


The citrusy, fresh flower vibe highlighted reception décor as well.

Perched upon a metal stand, the elevated table centerpiece was created in an 11-inch Lomey Designer Dish filled with floral foam. All of the smaller satellite arrangements in 6-inch Lomeys.

A black Lomey dish and Midnight (black) floral foam were good choices for this suspended design style. If these mechanics show, the black colors recede making them less visible to guests seated below. The useful utility dishes are also available in clear, 9, and 15-inch sizes.

In advance of design prep, floral foam can be hot-glued into the Lomey dishes. Then, dropped into a bucket of water with flower food to pre-soak. How To Elevate Your Designs

Photos: Skyler VanGorkum with Clear Sky Images


Photos: Skyler VanGorkum with Clear Sky Images

Beth hung dangling rows of citrus fruit circles from the arrangement for accent.

She threaded a long needle with metallic wire. She sliced oranges and limes into thin slices. Using the needle, Beth strung the fruit slices into single slice rows on lengths of wire. She used these citrus circles as unexpected hanging accents.

Beth used the same sewing technique to string vertical lines of carnations in the centerpieces and as draping, dynamic lines from the mantlepiece.

Tablescape décor

Adding the zig-zag of manzanita branches to the tablescape along with round pieces of fruit incorporated visual drama.

Dynamic line. Texture. The addition of floral materials of a neutral hue. The round 3-D shapes of fresh oranges, lemons, and limes were incorporated to add form in the tablescape. Coral candles in brass candleholders added the warmth of candlelight to highlight faces gathered around the intimate table. 

Photos: Skyler VanGorkum with Clear Sky Images

orange place markers

Photos: Skyler VanGorkum with Clear Sky Images

The table holding guest’s place card markers is a great place to showcase an element of fun.

Fresh oranges supporting place card flags beneath an impressive elevated design. Bold orange color. Round pleasing form. A surprising fun element, always catches the eye of the guest.

What pulls this all together?

An eye for detail and the use of repetition of color and form make these whimsical wedding flowers feel like summer fun.

What additional ways can you suggest for expanding this citrusy vibe?