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  • Writer's pictureEva Kamieniak

The Dos and Don'ts of Floral Decor for Outdoor Weddings

Bride walking down the aisle

As a wedding florist who spent over 15 years designing weddings, I have seen the change that floral decor can bring about in creating an unforgettable atmosphere for outdoor weddings. The open sky, natural landscapes, and subtle whispers of nature provide a unique canvas for floral arrangements but also some unique challenges. Here are the basic dos and don'ts to keep in mind when planning your floral decor for an outdoor wedding.

Do: Consider the Venue’s Natural Beauty

Start by taking into account the natural beauty and existing landscape of your outdoor venue. The best floral designs complement and enhance the venue’s inherent charms, rather than compete with them. If your wedding is in a garden filled with roses, consider incorporating similar or complementary flowers in your arrangements. If it's a beachside ceremony, think about using more tropical flowers and greens. 

Don’t: Forget About the Weather

Outdoor weddings mean your decor is at the mercy of the weather. Choose flowers that can withstand the conditions of your wedding day. Hardy flowers like sunflowers, dahlias, and zinnias are great for hot weather, while cooler climates might be better suited for blooms like lilies and roses. Remember, delicate flowers may not fare well under the hot sun or in windy conditions, so always have a backup plan.

Do: Use Seasonal Flowers

Embracing seasonal flowers is not only cost-effective but also ensures your floral decor looks fresh and vibrant. Seasonal blooms are at their peak beauty and will last longer throughout your wedding day. Consult with your florist about which flowers are in season during your wedding month and how best to incorporate them into your theme.

Don’t: Overlook Local and Sustainable Options

Our philosophy is that as a florist, our job is to work with nature, not against it. We always make every effort to source as many flowers as possible from local growers. Opting for sustainable and eco-friendly floral options is always the best option. Using local flowers reduces transportation costs and supports the local economy, while also ensuring your flowers are as fresh as possible. Additionally, sustainable practices like repurposing ceremony flowers for the reception can minimize waste and environmental impact. Read more about our approach to sustainable floristry here.

Do: Plan for Wind, Rain and Sun

For outdoor weddings, it’s crucial to plan your floral arrangements with the elements in mind. Secure arrangements properly to prevent them from tipping over in the wind, and consider using water picks for delicate blooms to keep them hydrated under the sun. We will share with you our ideas for sturdy structures that can support your floral decor without detracting from the aesthetic.

Don’t: Neglect the Ceremony Backdrop

The ceremony backdrop is a focal point of any wedding, and in an outdoor setting, it offers a chance to make a statement. Whether you opt for a floral arch, a ring of blooms, or a more minimalist approach, ensure it stands out against the natural backdrop without overpowering it. This is where the balance between artistry and restraint becomes key.

Do: Enhance Pathways and Entrances

Welcoming guests with floral-lined pathways or adorned entrances sets the tone for your wedding. It's an opportunity to introduce your wedding theme and color scheme. Use robust and taller flowers for pathways to withstand possible brushes, and consider the flow of traffic to ensure decorations enhance, rather than obstruct, the movement of your guests.

Don’t: Forget About the Reception

While the ceremony might be the highlight, the reception is where guests will spend most of their time. Continue your floral theme into this space with table centerpieces, floral installations, or even a floral photo backdrop. However, keep in mind the comfort of your guests—avoid overly fragrant flowers on dining tables to not overwhelm the senses or interfere with the enjoyment of the meal.

Do: Consider Lighting

Lighting plays a pivotal role in outdoor weddings, especially as the day turns to night. Incorporate lighting elements into your floral arrangements, such as candles in centerpieces or lanterns hanging from floral arches, to create a magical atmosphere once the sun sets.

Don’t: Overdo It!

While it's tempting to go all out with floral decor, remember that sometimes less is more, especially in naturally beautiful settings. Overdecorating can overshadow the natural beauty of your outdoor venue. Focus on key areas and choose statement pieces that draw the eye without overwhelming the space.

Do: Have a Plan B

Always have a contingency plan for unforeseen weather changes. Discuss with your florist and venue about alternatives for relocating floral arrangements quickly or ways to protect them should the weather turn. Being prepared will ensure that no matter what Mother Nature has in store, your floral decor remains stunning.

The floral decor in outdoor weddings is all about a very subtle balancing act of embracing the natural setup and embellishing it with blooms. By following these dos and don'ts, you can ensure that your flower arrangements are not only beautiful but also practical and harmonious with the environment. Remember, successful outdoor wedding florals lie in the planning and adaptability, and love for natural beauty around us. With the right approach, your floral decoration will add to the memorability and enchanting nature of your wedding day.

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