Backyard and Outdoor Wedding Flower Planning Tips
How do outdoor weddings differ from indoor? Significantly, if you’re planning and installing the wedding flowers. Unlike indoors, of course, there’s sun, heat, rain and wind! While not every backyard is perfect for a wedding, the option is increasingly popular. Last year on Pinterest, searches for backyard weddings increased 441 percent! Which makes it safe to say you’ll see outdoor weddings—with their floral design challenges—continue to trend in 2019. This week, we share outdoor wedding floral mechanic and design tips from Smithers-Oasis Design Director Frank Feysa AIFD, PFCI. With photos of his arrangements from a 2018 midwestern outdoor ceremony and reception, you’ll get ideas for planning the floral arrangements for the outdoor weddings on your schedule this year.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.
What’s special outdoors?Events planned at home can be especially warm and inviting. Some families choose to celebrate at home for sentimental reasons. The backyard can be a spacious place for guests to gather. To decorate this lakeside gazebo, Frank filled a series of large floral cages 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, outdoor venues and public spaces are being secured for informal weddings. A local setting that accommodates only smaller guest lists can help with budgets. Any savings 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 bouquetsWater-saturated floral-foam bouquet holders were used as the base of the bridesmaids' bouquets to keep them fresh in the outdoor heat. Frank cut the 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 aisleThe 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. Then he filled each bucket with flowers.
More attention to detailsPlanning 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.”
Michelle Perry-White AIFD shares how she and her team beat the heat one extremely hot wedding day – Don’t Wilt! How Fresh Flowers Can Survive Hot Wedding Days