Flower walls, chandeliers of flowers, floral arrangements bigger than a person, and installations of flowers. I’m seeing it all in the contemporary world of weddings and other events. This big stuff is not only an art form; it’s a feat in engineering. A “simple little wall of flowers” is really a mechanics specialty. Professional florists train, practice and study to create these grandiose structures.

1-TexturalWall-JosefReiter-BotanicaFloralDesignThis textural wall of hydrangeas, succulents and tillandsia created by Josef Reiter of Botanica Floral Design is an excellent example. The water source is hidden and there is no dripping on the floor. That is the work of a professional.

Notice how Josef expands his presentation with two simple ferns. It creates a much larger look with little additional cost.

The whole look is pretty for a wedding, and days later it is still pretty and can easily be adapted to a smaller floral art piece in the home. After the grand event, just pull the succulents, moss and tillandsia and have your floral artist mount them in an appropriate frame. With minimal effort (a little misting and dusting), the floral art can last for months as a reminder of your special day.

2-Flower Board Beth O Reily and Joe GuggiaBeth O’Reilly, AIFD, and Joe Guggia, AIFD, interpreted the flower wall in a textural, organic style. The detail with succulents, protea and hanging amaranthus is amazing. This makes you just want to reach out and “pet” the wall.

Again, with the material choices, the wall is going to be lovely for several days.  Wise brides can plan the rehearsal dinner, wedding and a day-after brunch and enjoy the backdrop three ways.

Remember, these walls are heavy and cannot easily be moved. If you plan to reuse the structure, you must discuss this with your professional florist ahead of time.

For a trendy, transparent wall, an artistic framework of orchids is a stunning backdrop. Kenneth Snauwaert, AIFD, created this over-the-top design using long lasting phalaenopsis orchids. It is truly difficult to understand the magnitude of this design without a size perception. To help you understand, each stem of orchid is more than 15-inches long.

3-OrchidWall-KennethSnauwaertTo add just a “little something more,” an 8-foot column topped with even more decadent orchids elicits gasps of “oooh” and “aaah.” Now you see the display in full-scale perspective.

4-Orchid-Installation-KennethSnauwaertFor those “large scale” fanatics on a budget, you can combine fresh flowers, paper flowers, faux flowers and even a bit of fabric. Have you seen anything as fabulous as this backdrop created by Katie McCormick, AIFD, Susan Overton Ayala, AIFD, Philip Rice, AIFD, and Cindy Pham, AIFD? Huge tissue paper orbs nestle with luxurious hydrangeas for a stunning presentation.


“Budget,” now that is a word you wouldn’t normally associate with something this dramatic. (And, “budget” means different things to each of us.) Also notice how the floral artists expand the footprint of the dramatic floral wall by adding ivory carpet to the display? This is another relatively inexpensive way to add to the visual drama.  Trust your professional florist to know how to give you a fabulous visual with a little magical interpretation.

Of course, sometimes cutting corners and saving a penny or two is not the focus.  You just want jaw-dropping, drop-dead, gorgeous flowers. Betty Walton, AIFD, Ron Barrett, Jim Sapser, Julia Greer and Homer McClure know how to do it. Start at the top with a stunning chandelier. Then, drop to the tabletop with each and every place setting adorned with floral materials. In the center of the table are flowers at varied heights to fill the available space — all the available space. There is no room for family-style service in this table set. No, you cannot see the person on the other side of the table. That does not matter — the focus is on the flowers.


And, as Emily Post might say, “Focus on the people to your right and left.” Emily never tells you to shout across the table. (And, do keep your elbows off the table, you might disturb the flowers.)

For a bit of fun, you can even try to DIY. It’s not the same as working with a professional florist and you certainly do not want to attempt it with fresh flowers. Start with yards of draping and pin on a variety of faux blooms and you can create your own large-scale floral installation. It’s not as dramatic but it sure is worth a giggle. Here is one we did for our Easter family gathering.