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Friday Finds: Secrets to Picking the Perfect Flowers for Every Event

Want to know which flowers are typically used for decoration? Or how to create stunning DIY event flowers for any occasion? These floral design tips will help you do that and so much more! 

Which Flowers are Used for Decoration at Events? 

The flower you choose for your event will greatly depend on what type of event you’re organizing, your target audience, and your venue. But you might notice there are particular blooms that are popular all year round and go well with a variety of settings. These most popular flowers used at events: 

  • Cherry Blossoms. These fragrant pink branches can be kept fresh by cutting them in the early morning (any time before 10am) and by making sure to give each stem plenty of space.  
  • Baby’s Breath. This delicate flower is popular because it can be added to virtually any floral arrangement yet still looks lovely on its own.  
  • Roses. Fish bowls, mason jars, and wide-based vases are all great receptacles for arrangements that include this classic flower. 
  • Orchids. Stylish all year round, orchid arrangements should never be placed in the fridge. Instead, spruce them up by cutting off a little bit more stem. 
  • Bells of Ireland. Given their relative height, Bells of Irelands make a dramatic addition any vase, drawing the eye upwards towards the event venue’s ceiling. 
  • Tulips. While gorgeous, tulips tend to droop so they’ll need to be tightly packed in their vase. 
  • Bouvardia. You’ve probably already seen examples of this in real life but this flower type is often used as filler in bridal bouquets
  • Rajnigandha. This flower is culturally significant to India and is used in particular ceremonies, giving it a rich and interesting backstory.  
  • Delphinium. These flowers pair beautifully with hydrangeas
  • Chrysanthemums. Some flower designers suggest using dried chrysanthemums instead of fresh ones, depending on your event aesthetic. 
  • Dusty Miller. Most often used a greenery filler, the dusty miller blooms during the summer and is an understated addition to the rest of your floral design. 
  • Lilies. In case you give away your arrangements at the end of the event, let guests know that lilies are quite toxic for cats so be sure to keep your furry friends away from them. 
  • Daisies. Daisies are simple enough to compliment your event decor, but bold enough that they can really hold their own and still make your venue look colorful. 
  • Gladioli. If you’re working with this flower, make sure to put their stems in lukewarm water immediately after you receive them to maintain their look and freshness. 
  • Holly. Budget-friendly and festive, holly makes a great addition to any winter event. 

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Next time you plan to order flowers for an event, make sure you consider each of these great options. And, in case you were wondering, here are events you can expect to use or see some of these flowers. 

Top 5 Types of Events Where Flowers are Used 

Contrary to popular belief, flowers aren’t restricted to private events. In fact, there are plenty of corporate event types that can benefit from the addition of these natural and fresh elements. 

1. Wedding Flowers

It should come as no surprise that weddings are the number one event type florists cater to – wedding statistics say that happy couples who got hitched in the past year spent an average of $2,061 on flowers for the big day. If that number sounds high to you, don’t worry. There are plenty of resources that can help find more budget-friendly DIY wedding flower options. Start here: 

Couple tips on design for this event type + link to additional style guide or resource 

2. Private Party Flowers

Birthdays, religious gatherings, and anniversary parties can all use a little floral punch to their decor. Because you’re not limited by branding or marketing/sales goals, this event type gives you the most floral design freedom. While this might get overwhelming once you dive into your virtually limitless options you can always simplify the process by finding a few inspirational images and finding what they have in common. Here are some sources with great examples: 

3. Brand or Product Launch Flowers 

Whether you choose to do an extravagant flower photo wall, a tabletop product display backdrop, or even recreate the look of your product, this event type can only benefit from the addition of flowers to its design scheme. You can even use floral imagery in your marketing (think printed postcards, event registration graphics, etc.), particularly if you’re in the beauty or hospitality where gorgeous blooms or natural products are almost expected. Use any one of the suggestions found in these resources to get started: 

4. Internal Company Meeting Flowers

Who said flowers were only for your customers? Bringing nature into the meeting room is one of the top trends for promoting employee productivity and happiness. You’ll more than likely be focused on table centerpieces which means you’ll have to mindful of using anything too fragrant or likely to incite someone’s allergies. Here is some more information to help you include flowers in this event type: 

5. Ceremony and Gala Flowers 

Ceremonies and galas are the kind of events where everything is a little exaggerated and over the top in the most gorgeous way possible, which is why you definitely need flowers for them. Some ceremonies or galas will even make creative and unique floral displays the primary focal point of their event design. Go big or go home with these upscale floral design ideas: 

Now it’s your turn – here’s how to pick some flowers that compliment your event design. 

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How to Choose the Perfect Flowers for Your Next Event

These basic rules apply to any event type regardless of your goals or your audience. 

  1. Look at what’s in season. It’s usually more affordable and on trend anyways! 
  2. Consider the tone of the event. Dark colored blooms won’t be the life of the party at someone’s birthday. You already know what’s appropriate already, just keep this in mind. 
  3. Remember your budget. We mentioned some vase fillers above that you can use almost all year round. When all else fails, consider doing single stem flowers in tiny, individual vases for a chic look without breaking the bank. 
  4. Buy local. If you have the luxury of easy access to a farm in your area, it might be a good idea to see what options they have. This helps you save money by cutting out the middleman (aka the florist), which is a good idea if you plan to do DIY flower arrangements anyways. 
  5. Be charitable. If you do want to work with a professional florist, just know that some offer donations to related charities if you purchase a particular bloom during that time period. 
  6. Remember your audience. Some flowers hold significant cultural symbolism that you should consider before ordering. You’ll also have to pay attention to things like allergies. Oh, and if your target market is into sustainability in their event designs, the floral industry has made great strides towards better education and products that follow those guidelines.  

Now let’s dive deep into these suggestions for how to actually pull of your flower designs once you’ve selected them. 

Guide: How to Create an Event Planning Checklist

DIY Event Flowers: 21 Floral Design Tips for Events

Some of these little tips and tricks from experts are a little surprising but they’re all definitely good to know! 

  1. Always keep mini vases or bowls on hand so you can put broken or extra stems to good use. 
  2. If you’re livestreaming the event stick to bright colors and shades of gold (it looks best on camera). 
  3. Prep vases prior to your flower delivery to save time. 
  4. If food or beverages are being served, skip the more fragrant flower options, they’ll clash with your guests’ palettes. 
  5. If designing in foam, put your blooms in first and save greenery for last to fill in gaps. 
  6. Consider placing flowers just outside your event venue too in entrance or hallways. 
  7. Don’t overstuff your vases (unless it’s part of your overall event aesthetic). 
  8. Clean your flower arrangement tools with DCD to prevent bacteria from growing. 
  9. Soak any green foam you plan to use in water before you start making the arrangements. It’ll be easier to handle and help keep the flowers looking fresh longer. 
  10. When in doubt, choose the bigger foam size. Just trust us on this one. 
  11. Winter events should stick to neutral white and blush toned floral color options.  
  12. Measure your containers ahead of time and only order flowers that fit that exact height, otherwise you might be stuck cutting them yourself which is way too much work.  
  13. Invest in high quality flower food and add it to your soaked foam. It doubles flower life and improves appearance for full day events. 
  14. Need a budget friendly flower option for small venues? Flowering branches, particularly magnolia and quince, can take up entire tables or sideboards for a dramatic (but cost effective) look. 
  15. Remember to have a back up plan. Fresh flowers might wilt during transport, be a few shades lighter or darker than expected, or may even become unavailable due to growing conditions. Or just use fake flowers so you don’t have to worry about it!
  16. Craft your flower “recipe”. Have helpers sort them into bundles (ex. 5 roses, 3 baby breath, etc.) to streamline the arrangement process. 
  17. Remember to check the event day weather before purchasing your flowers – some blooms won’t survive the heat or cold of the car that takes them from the shop to your venue. 
  18. For arrangements, professional florists recommend sticking to a variety of flower types all in the same color. It’s foolproof and elegant. 
  19. Add flowers in unexpected places (on the floor, hung from the ceiling, taking up entire walls). 
  20. Hosting A-list celebrities? Make sure you put out some pink peonies – they’re the rich and famous’ flower of choice according to HGTV
  21. Consider donating leftovers post event. And if you do, make sure to contact potential recipients ahead of time to see if they do in fact take them and how they’d like to handle the exchange. 

Time to make arrangements of your own! 

No matter how you choose to create your floral design, remember that you’ll first need to make sure your floor plan is absolutely perfect so you know where your flowers will ultimately end up. And for a little extra inspiration, be sure to have a glance at these beautiful budget friendly event centerpieces as well as some ways to incorporate other cool event design elements, like candles

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