Inspired by Color – Flowers for a Summer Wedding

The wedding took place on a southern summer day while the rain and sun played ‘tag you’re it’. Quick bursts of rain followed bright periods of hot sunshine. Rainbows painted the sky.

Old wives’ tales claim that rain on a wedding day means lots of children for the couple.

Photo: Haley Terrell Photography

Florists know it means extra work getting flowers in and out of the weather for on-site installation. A beautiful wedding is worth the effort!

Why was this wedding so special?  It was celebrated in deep, rich, luscious color.

A play on color

“I loved that this bride chose classic white for the traditional wedding ceremony,” says wedding designer Justin Bradford. “She then used super colorful flowers at the reception for a true party atmosphere.”

Photo: Haley Terrell Photography

Rain or shine, this was one of his favorite summer weddings. What inspired such colorful designs?

Mediterranean inspiration

Bride-to-be, Kelsey Ann, showed Justin the ‘Save The Date’ cards she was hand-painting. Her artwork of saturated colors became his inspiration for the wedding flowers.

Justin designs wedding flowers at Bussey’s Florist & Gifts in  Northwest Georgia.

“I loved the juxtaposition of the deep rich burgundy-reds to the Rojo-Púrpura (Spanish red-purple) fuchsia and delicate French pinks.

The result was a moody, Mediterranean vibe. A one-of-a-kind combination of colors and flowers mixed just for this bride.

Cascading bouquet on an armature

Kelsey Ann wanted a garden botanical style cascading bouquet. Due to its size, the hand-tied bouquet was designed on an armature.

Photo: Haley Terrell Photography

An armature is a framework made for the decoration or support of a composition.

Justin added the armature base to give support to the weight of flowers. He made it from 12-guage baling wire purchased at a hardware store.

“You can build anything from baling wire. It’s incredibly strong and dirt cheap,” he says.

UGLU dashes, bind wire, and stem wrap were also used to help construct the sturdy, handmade armature.

You can also create an armature from aluminum, mega, or flat wire. Using the exposed mechanics technique, allowing the wire’s color to show through becomes an element of the design. 

Like a flamenco dancer

The deep reds, corals, fuchsia, and pinks remind us of a flamenco dancer in their rich, sultry swirls of color.

The lush mix of roses, garden roses, peonies, ranunculus, sweet peas, and Gloriosa lilies continued the sunny Spanish garden influence.

Photos: Todd Bussey and Haley Terrell Photography

The hand-tied, bridesmaid’s bouquets were the same muddy mix of colorful flowers. Perfect with their sea glass colored dresses. This Neo-Mint color family is predicted to top the charts in 2020.

Justin binds his bouquets together with ¼-inch waterproof tape. “If I need to remove the tape to alter the design I can,” he explains. He then covers the tape with ribbon.

“I glue all my personal body and bouquet work (including corsages and boutonnieres) with floral adhesive now. You can do it much faster. I don’t wire and tape anymore.”

Flowers for the chapel

The bride chose white ceremony flowers for the Morris Chapel altar in Darlington, Georgia.

Photo: Todd Bussey

Steller urns of Oriental lilies, roses, gladiolas, allium, and phalaenopsis orchids were arranged in designer blocks of floral foam.

“I’ve been using designer blocks for about ten years,” says Justin. “Oh, my gosh, they are the greatest product!”

Designer blocks are one brick of foam that is equal to six standard-size bricks. The foam is stronger because it’s one singular piece of foam. Designer blocks now come in the new Midnight (black) floral foam, as well.

For extra security, Bussey’s uses florist netting over the top of the foam.  

Photo: Todd Bussey

To prevent bruising, Dana Ozment added the delicate phalaenopsis orchids to arrangements on-site.

“All the arrangements were designed in a Lomey. 15-inch at the church and 9-inch or 11-inch Lomeys at the reception,” says Justin.

The flat-bottomed trays are easy to deliver. They sit snuggly atop containers for an event. Afterwards the take-down is easy; simply remove the dish of flowers and leave them for the family.

“The less we have to pick up the better,” says Justin. “The clients can take the flower arrangements or give them as gifts and we have less to strike.”

An 80’s influence

Justin says that Bussey’s brides now request nostalgic 80’s wedding designs, including cascading bouquets and tiers of cakes with flowers.

“If the parents had it in the 80’s our brides want it now as a nod to their parents,” he explains. “This bride’s cake replicates what her parents had.”

Confessions of a carnation-addict

Speaking of the 80’s and a Mediterranean influence, did we see carnations in this mix?

Photo: Haley Terrell Photography

Generally considered the national flower of Spain, the red carnation is a natural for these flamenco style of designs.

“I am chronic carnation-addict,” admits Justin. “I tend to bury them in arrangements as a base of texture and color to showcase my prominent flowers. The carnation is the most misunderstood flower! I think they’re fabulous.”

Mixing it up

Elevated designs are a popular style this season. “I think they should be popular every season!” exclaims Justin, “but, when every design is tall the room feels top-heavy.”

Photo: Todd Bussey

Mixing heights of designs in a room creates a party atmosphere rather than a banquet vibe.

“I love combining low, medium and tall arrangements in a room,” says Justin. “

Which height of candles should you use for these tables? Sharon McGukin offers some suggestions.

Harlow’s add height

According to Justin, at least 60-70% of their client’s vision boards this season have had some type of design on a Harlow stand.

Photo: Todd Bussey

Bussey’s used Harlow Stands from Accent Décor with a foam-filled Lomey on top for the tallest arrangements at the Coosa Country Club reception.

 “Jackie Smith Johns AIFD taught me to use the black Lomey trays because they visually disappear when the designed is placed atop a vase or stand,” says Justin.

While similar, each elevated design was also unique. This adds to the natural garden feel of the event.

Speaking of gardens …

Every wedding has its own element of surprise. For Justin, this one involved garden flowers.

On the day of the wedding an eclectic mix of vases filled with a random assortment of flowers from the grandmother’s garden showed up.  The family asked that the flowers be blended into the reception arrangements for sentimental reasons.

This led to shades of peach and orange flowers being added to the color harmony.

“I liked the extra pop of color in our trendy Mediterranean mix,” says Justin.

In love with color

Bussey’s Florist & Gifts has been in business for 43-years, seeing lots of wedding trends come and go.

Photo: Haley Terrell Photography

Justin is 14-years into his floral career. His degree is actually in culinary arts.

“I just landed in floral design. They’re sort of the same thing - perishable product, making orders on the fly, and playing with texture and color.”

“I love color,” Justin continues. “This season brides are asking for it. They are not afraid to go with saturated color.”

What bold color combinations are your brides asking for this season? Please share color combos and wedding design photos in the blog comments below.

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AnnaKit July 21, 2020

Love the colors of that bouquet!

Deb Di Bella December 18, 2019

Thanks for checking it out, Deb Di Bella! Those beautiful colors would be fab for your clients in Hawaii, wouldn’t they?

Sharon McGukin December 18, 2019

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