TableforTwoFor me, sitting down to a meal where there are flowers on the table indicates something special is happening. Whenever there is a wedding, birthday party or celebratory event, we expect to see floral centerpieces. It goes along with the importance of the occasion, and I know I look forward to those details when I attend.

It’s not always something elaborate nor does it have to be, but it does have to be there.  Whether it is a bud vase with one lovely bloom, a collection of flowers establishing a theme or color palette, or a stunning elevated design with a lush bouquet, we feel welcome as guests.

Often the flowers are the first thing that draws our attention when entering a room. A small table with a modest arrangement looks stunning and inviting, while a room filled with tables and lush bouquets can be “jaw dropping.” Most of the time we find ourselves somewhere in between. But no matter the size of the event, we enjoy the flowers for their beauty and contribution to the ambiance of the occasion.

As a florist, I am even more focused on centerpieces than the average person. In my home, I often plan the table setting before I plan the menu.  Choosing the flowers and everything that goes with them to create a beautiful table is something that I truly enjoy, but even more than that, I find my guests enjoy it just as much. They feel welcome and know that I am really glad they came.

PartyofSixThe same is true for larger events. When you walk into a room that has been set to look just perfect with flowers and accessories you feel special and subconsciously you’re having a good time before you have really even had a chance to do that. I don’t feel the size of the event or guest list is as important as the details that create it.

Choosing a centerpiece can be a daunting task but keeping a few key thoughts in mind makes it easier. I usually think of color first. If you do the color right, the materials you choose to interpret that color are easier to select and your overall look will be more cohesive. You have to start somewhere and color has always worked for me.

For a small intimate “dinner for two,” red comes to mind as we associate this color with love and romance. What could be better than lush red blooms — such as red gerbera, roses, tulips and mokara orchids — setting the theme? Some loops of lily grass create movement and give a modern flair to the arrangement. Such a bouquet could be used in multiples for a longer table or as the perfect accent for a coffee table, end table, ladies’ room or anywhere a special touch is needed.

CelebrationYellow is always a great choice for centerpieces since it is happy, modern and lovely. For a “party of six” arrangement, picture yellow callas, roses, ranunculus, chrysanthemums, and cream carnations casually grouped in a glass pedestal bowl lined with fresh moss. Dusty miller with its soft gray tones, gives the yellow an upscale personality. A few sprigs of oncidium orchids lend a little height without blocking the guests’ view across the table. This type of centerpiece would be ideal for weddings, birthday celebrations, corporate events or brunches.

When we think of larger events, it can get a little more complicated, partially because there are so many choices. Purple could easily carry the theme “celebration of the year.” Imagine two tight bunches of purple callas with their bunches placed stem-to-stem, evocative of an hourglass shape. Then surround the callas with a collar of cymbidium orchids and purple phalaenopsis orchids and submerge them in a tall clear glass cylinder. The water magnifies the flowers creating a dramatic look. This sophisticated centerpiece would be perfect for an evening wedding, corporate event, or milestone birthday or anniversary party where creating something unique and different is the goal.

For me, a party is not a party without flowers on the table. Your florist has endless ideas to help your celebration — big or small — shine.