Four Maxi Wedding Flower Styles
Adapted for Micro Weddings

How can you give maximum flower style to your micro weddings in 2020 and 2021?

We know that fresh flower designs provide the refresh-your-spirit calming and healing qualities we all need due to Covid-19 restrictions. We also know we need to refresh our design styles to meet today’s micro weddings. 

Photo: Mark Garber Photography

meeting the challenge 

In challenging times – ‘bigger is better’ for some couples, but ‘less is more’ for others. Here are some tips for upscaling or downsizing designs to fit your client’s budget.

Every wedding florist knows the quiet moment before guests arrive when you view finished work with satisfaction. Your flowers bring beauty, fragrance and life to a space with an intangible feeling that’s hard to describe.

To create that feel-good experience for your clientele, floral mechanics can help you accomplish these four floral styles faster, easier, and at different price-points. Some looks are timeless, others on-trend. Each can inspire pleasing floral fashion-forward designs for your weddings and events. 

Photo: Sharon McGukin

4. flower trends

Garlands of flowers and foliages are often used to decorate mantels, doorways, railings, arches, arbors or railing.
The micro wedding trend of smaller guest’s lists and longer reception tables makes fresh flower garlands a popular table-decorating option.
Try using these tips:

• Keep hanging cylinder garlands from turning by inserting a wooden pick or skewer into each end and connect one to another.
• Develop budget-conscious flower plans by creating designs that group together for one event then work individually for another to save money.
• Make a continuous table garland with OASIS® Sealed Brick Garland. Later clip the mesh between foams to create individual arrangements for the next event.
• Design multiple arrangements in advance. Deliver and pop into place as a continuous flower garland, mantle or altar piece.
• Short installation time? Fill a series of brick trays with wet floral foam, flowers and foliage. Line them up garland-style for a tablescape.
• Arrangements in 4-inch wide raquettes are a good fit for long and narrow tables. Choose the combination of raquette sizes that fit end-to-end the length of the table.
• Brick tray and raquette garland arrangements can be repurposed as elevated designs by placing them individually atop a line of two or three tall glass vases.
• Purchased pre-made garlands can save time and labor on hectic prep days, but some designers think they make them less expensively by hand.
• Use floral adhesive to glue fresh flowers and greens into a faux garland making it appear fresh. Place flowers in water tubes for a longer-lasting garland. 

Photo: Sharon McGukin

Photo: Alan B. Thompson AIFD

3. floral chandeliers

A shorter guest list leaves some brides with extra funds for impressive wedding flowers - like suspended floral chandeliers.

Alan B. Thompson AIFD of McNamara Florist in Carmel, Indiana, designed this spectacular fresh flower chandelier from floral foam tiles. The beauty of this floral mechanic is that it can be cut into smaller strips. You can create a smaller, but still impressive version for a tent chandelier at an outdoor or backyard wedding.

Alan followed these steps:
• Cut seven floral foam tiles in half, creating 14 separate 12- by 18-inch tile panels. Cut six inches off one tile to fit a 6.5-foot-diameter truss.
• Drill two holes on each side of the tile to secure tiles to the top and bottom of truss. Connect two narrow 11-inch cable ties to get the length needed to secure them.
• Make designs in advance, giving tiles time to drain before installation.
• Back the design with foliages and insert flowers cut about three inches long, to hold well in the foam without glue.
• Double a piece of disposable wedding carpet; pin it to the design back to hide mechanics.
• Attach foam tiles to the aluminum truss with cable ties. 

“The initial investment in mechanics may have been a little higher using the floral foam tiles,” Alan explains, “but in the long run less labor and getting in and out of the event quickly was a big savings. In today’s fast-paced market, you have to think a little differently than old-school.” 

Photo: Alan B. Thompson AIFD

2. elevated arrangements

Photo: Tipton & Hurst

“It’s all about the drama,” suggests Chris Norwood AIFD, PFCI and vice president of Tipton & Hurst in Little Rock, Arkansas. “I’d rather sell one great design as the focal point of a room than make 10 smaller ones to spread around.”

“When you place arrangements low on the tables and then fill the room with people, you can’t even see them,” Chris explains. “We want all of our party work up high to be seen, so we use elevated features that showcase our flowers.”
The advantage here for micro weddings is that these mobile arrangements can be used for the rehearsal dinner, then again the next day at the wedding. 

Photo: Tipton & Hurst

Chris offers these helpful hints:
• Designs made in Lomey dishes are easier to design and transport for installation. Add draping and cascading flowers once the design is in place.
• A 6-inch Lomey tray sits well atop a 4- or 5-inch vase opening. Wider rim diameter? Use a 9-inch dish or larger.
• Save last-minute design time by creating light-weight foundations from branches and good quality silks; insert fresh flowers on-site.
• To create the illusion that the flowers were actually arranged in the vase, tuck wisps of vines, stems or branches into the vase water.
• Create elongated table designs in brick trays filled with wet floral foam elevated on a long, suspended wood plank. Cover the board underside with fresh ti leaves, preprinted leaf ribbon, or a plexiglass mirror that reflects the arrangements below.
• To keep elevated designs from becoming top-heavy (especially outdoors), use wet floral foam for bottom tier arrangements.
• Use florist wire, bind wire, floral tape or cable ties to secure the top designs in place. 

Photo: Tipton & Hurst

Chris recommends that you evaluate the design space and look for what you can re-purpose to support a design in that space. “It’s a lot like playing with tinker toys!” he says. 

1. wedding arches

Photo: Alisha Crossley Photography

Mandy Majerik AIFD, PFCI, of HotHouse Design Studio in Birmingham, Alabama, offers sage advice for constructing freestanding, suspended or wall-mounted circular designs or traditional arches and arbors. They can be adapted to any style of décor or color harmony.

Here’s a few highlights:
• Choose sturdy circular arches, orbs, rings, or other foundations for your designs.
• Use a structure strong enough to hold different weights of product especially when adding wet foam.
• Adjust for the budget: more flowers for upscale budgets, fewer flowers/more foliage for a lesser budget.
• Allow some of the wire form show to accommodate a tight budget.
• Cover the foundation frame with greenery and then attach IGLUs, floral cages, garland or sealed brick garland depending on the volume of flowers desired.
• Add a layer of florist netting or chicken wire if a tighter weave is needed.
• To lessen design weight and meet tight installation times, use permanent materials in suspended installations. Add fresh flowers on-site. 

Photo: Y NOT iMages

Mandy reminds florists to be sure to have the proper business license and insurance requirements to do larger installations. “You want to protect both yourself and your business!” she advises. If you aren’t sure how to hang your structure, Mandy recommends that you seek advice from your fellow lighting or draping vendors. They’re trained in how to properly support installations, especially when hanging or rigging items over people’s heads in public spaces.

What ideas can you share for using floral mechanics to deliver maximum flower style for micro weddings?