11 Tips to Get Floral Wedding Garlands Right

Which floral mechanics make floral wedding garland design and installation easier? What are the strongest choices for creating garlands with reusable individual designs? Which are the favorite flowers for garland? Garlands of fresh flowers and foliages have long been used to decorate mantels, doorways and railings for weddings and other special events. The current trend of using long rectangular reception tables, such as farm tables, makes table garlands an on-trend decorating option for weddings. The right mechanic choices for garland depend on the decorative purpose of the garland and the available space. These 11 tips can help you structure designs that best fit the setting.

1.    Hanging garlands in a water source

[rev_slider alias="garland1"] When decorating mantels, doorways and railings, plastic mesh connected floral foam garland cylinders make the task easier and keep flowers fresh longer. The floral mesh connections between forms can be clipped apart to accommodate specific garland lengths, as needed. This rope-shaped garland hangs well, is easily cut apart for sizing and allows you to place smaller amounts of flowers in individual sections of foam.

2.    Stop the turning

A quick tip for using mesh garland in a hanging design is to insert a wooden pick or skewer into each end of floral foam to connect one to the other. This helps hold it in place and keep it from turning as it hangs.

3.    Run garland down the table

[rev_slider alias="garland3"] When creating a continuous garland in a water source, an OASIS® Sealed Brick Garland works well. The bottom of each block is wax sealed to hold in water. If placed directly on wood, you may want to still place plastic underneath to protect the table.

4.    Create garland with reusable arrangements

When planning flowers for rehearsals, wedding ceremonies and receptions (or any related events), consider creating designs that can be used together and separately. These designs within a design can be made in the flower shop, delivered intact and then placed in garland form by connecting the individual designs with greenery. These mechanics with water sources are particularly suited to this task. A FLORACAGE® Holder or FLORACAGE® Grande Holder are good options when you want a built-in cage for design support. These also have eyelets for hanging. For longer designs, RAQUETTES® Holders are backed with rigid waterproof plastic and come in 18-, 27- and 36-inch lengths. These can be used as garland centerpieces for a rehearsal dinner and repurposed the next day by placing them on two or three glass pilsner or other tall vases in a row as elevated designs. All these designs can also be reused on a mantel or accent table for subsequent events. Be prepared to make adjustments. Bring extra stems of fresh greenery to cover the space between designs.

5.    Speed up installation

[rev_slider alias="garland5"] When the time allotted for on-site installation is short, fill a series of long and thin brick trays with wet floral foam and a base of greenery ahead of time. Add the fresh flower insertions on design prep day prior to delivery. Multiple arrangements can be designed in advance. They are easily delivered and popped into place as individual sections. These trays come in single, double or triple brick sizes. Measure the length of your table and choose the number and type of foam base sizes to fit your design.

6.    Natural bark log garland

For a more decorative and rustic version of this technique, fill a series of the natural bark logs with flowers and flowing greens and line them up in a row to create a garland effect. The logs come in 8-, 12- and 18-inch lengths, allowing you to tailor to the length of the table. The designs can then be used as decorations in other spaces after the event or given as hostess gifts.

7.     Decorating a narrow table?

4-inch wide raquettes are a good fit for a long continuous span of flowers that need a water source. Choose a combination of sizes that will run the length of the table end-to-end to create the look of a garland. Other possibilities for tight spaces: Table Decos and IGLU Grande Holders. Both allow you to create a garland effect by linking the designs with whatever fresh and decorative materials you like. Both also have a plastic cage for stem support and eyelets.

8.    Which flowers and foliages work best for garlands?

When creating fresh garlands, it can be difficult to choose from the many flower and foliage possibilities. A garland can be made from fresh greenery, herbs, flowers, fruits or any combination. Foliage favorites include spiral, silver dollar, parvi, gunnii and seeded eucalyptus. Other popular choices include magnolia, ivy, olive leaf, ruscus, salal, smilax, sprengeri, tree fern and plumosa. Fresh flowers often seen in garland designs include roses, garden roses, spray roses, peonies, carnations, mini carnations, astilbe, waxflower, gypsophilia, limonium, mums, lisianthus and eryngium to name a few.

9.    Add earthy fragrance with herbs

An herb garland can be made of rosemary, bay, basil, sage, mint or other favorite fragrances. Herbs can also be mixed with other foliage. Fresh herbs add both texture and color. Some people attribute special meaning to specific herbs and design their garland to offer a floral message along with décor.

10.  Pre-made greenery

Some designers prefer to purchase pre-made garlands to save time and labor on hectic wedding prep days. Others find they can make them less expensively by hand.

11. Add interest with candlelight by height 

Candlelight adds visual interest to any table garland. Votive, pillar and tapered candles 12 inches or less above the table highlights the beauty of the table. Candlelight 15 to 18 inches above the table highlights faces, making the setting feel more intimate. Candle tapers 24 to 26 inches tall highlight the atmosphere for a celebratory vibe. When planning a wedding or other special event, consider adding fresh garlands of flowers or foliage to decorate mantles, doorways, railings and guest tables. Once you’ve determined where the garlands will be included in your decorating plan, then decide which floral mechanic is the best foundation for the design. What other decorative spaces do you like to fill with fresh garlands of floral materials?



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John Mathews October 06, 2020
Some faux botanical pre-made garlands come pre-lighted (meaning the lights are already woven into the garland). You can use floral adhesive to glue flowers or fresh greens in place or wire the fresh materials in place with florist wire or bind wire to make it appear from a distance that the entire garland is fresh.

If your garland is not pre-lit, you can wire into the garland strands of lights before hanging them.

If your garlands will be hung for a period of time and you are adding fresh flowers, it’s a good idea to place each floral stem is a water tube, then glue the tubes into the garland.

Sharon McGukin December 18, 2019
Thanks Sharon. Great tips to start the wedding season
ourday2017 December 18, 2019
Very nice article! I think garlands are a great on trend way of adding more florals without crowding a space, and are a wonderful backdrop for photos.
Edith Demshar December 18, 2019
Nice Idea.
Sandeep December 18, 2019
Great ideas but when purchasing premade garlands to be hung around the room, how do you add flowers and lights to them
Bernadette Proulx December 18, 2019

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