So the other weekend when I assisted Meg of The Little Branch with a very cool wedding, it was one of three in a row for her that weekend. So while she delivered and set up this lovely Malibu beach wedding:
I stayed behind and made 15 of these puppies from a prototype design that Meg created for me to replicate, for the next days Malibu Mountains ranch wedding:
I took some process shots, and wanted to share them here, followed by the finished product at the wedding!
The wood boxes had been prepped in advance, lined with plastic and filled with soaked foam. Since the succulents were the biggest things in the designs and also very focal, it’s a good idea to start out by placing them. Meg’s advice was to avoid making them identical to each other or overly symmetrical (i.e. avoid always putting the biggest succulent smack in the middle, or the two succulents evenly spaced, both facing straight up)
A word about how we used the succulents – you see stems going straight into foam here, which was only possible some of the time. Because these centerpieces are so low and some of the succulents had longer stems (some have NONE!), there were times when we could put them straight in without wiring, but in any higher design, bouquet, or with shorter stemmed succulents, they must be wired. See a great tutorial here! (note: it is painstaking if you’re doing a bunch!)
The dahlias went in next because they also cover a lot of ground, and Meg used a lot of them in her design, so they really fleshed out the structure, and I could then go in and fill in the holes with accent flowers. The stems usually went in at an angle because of the way the flowers face naturally – if I’d inserted them straight in, I would have gotten flowers facing some awfully wonky ways in these designs. This is the beauty of floral foam – you can place a stem and face a flower anywhere you want it!
Here I’ve started to fill in between dahlias and succulents with those lovely deep fuchsia carnations and the alstromeria. It’s starting to take shape now:
Starting to add the colorful accents – the three billy balls go in at an angle vs sticking straight up, and scattered randomly vs in a pattern. We also used three each of the billy balls and scabiosa pods. Because they’re so focal, it’s always better to have an odd number than an even – too much symmetry in any floral design starts looking robotic. With the dahlias or other flowers that recede more you’d never really notice if there were three vs four, but with these, the odd numbering was advisable for sure.
And same with the scabiosa pods:
And finally the seeded eucalyptus and the yarrow:
As they were completed, the little guys started to multiply:
And multiply, until there were 16 of them!
And here they are in their finished form, on the wedding tables, looking jaunty:
We also made some really cute similar but all slightly different accent table pieces for cocktail hour. Here they are in the studio:
And here they are at the wedding:
Whew, I’m exhausted just posting about it (it was a marathon 12+ hour day that gave me a real taste of what it’s like to be a working floral designer – and I loved it!) I was alone in a studio for hours on end making centerpieces, and it flew by. I didn’t realize how tired I was and how long it had taken until it was over, which is a great sign of being “in the zone” as they say.
I loved the colors and textures of this wedding and think Meg did a brilliant job bringing the brides vision to life.
I can’t wait to post the ceremony and personal flowers next week – the bride’s bouquet that Meg made was to die for!