What kind of flower should I choose as my wedding centerpiece? Should I choose something other than flowers as my centerpiece? These are all questions that many brides-to-be find themselves asking. In this podcast, Maureen Woodman helps these brides-to-be find a clearer answer to these pressing questions.
John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher. I’m here today with Maureen Woodman, wedding planner and coordinator for on and offsite catered events at the Essex Room in Essex, Massachusetts. Today we’re talking about floral versus non-floral wedding centerpieces. Welcome, Maureen.
Maureen Woodman: Hey John, thanks for having me.
Trends in floral centerpieces
John: Sure. Maureen, what are some trends in floral centerpieces for weddings?
Maureen: Again, flowers are pretty classic going with the season. You’re always going to see roses when it comes to a bride. You’re definitely going to see the peonies in the spring. You’re going to start to see the sunflowers as August and September come.
Then, of course, one of my absolute favorites are the fall dahlias. Dahlias are just the most gorgeous flowers for a wedding. They come in all different colors. They really start to come out around the second week of September and will carry us through October. I think you’re still seeing seasonal flowers with the season. Again, another little trick is to try not to buy a flower that’s out of season. That’s not here because it’s going to be more expensive, more costly for you.
John: Because you have to ship it in from somewhere?
Maureen: Correct. We always want to match your flower to the season if you’re going with all flowers.
John: Do you see any trends in colors coming up now?
Maureen Right now we’re still deep into the blush, the pinks, the creams, but as I see things going forward right now the white with the greenery is definitely going to come back with that just classic gardenia with the green, the white cottage rose with the green. Again, the dahlia comes in white. The peony comes in white, tulips in the spring– just really clean– orchid is always a classic flower in the white.
Wedding centerpiece options other than flowers
John: Okay. Say you’re not as into flowers or maybe you just want to have something that’s a little more unique or that’s says something about you as a couple or something like that. What are some alternatives to flowers for centerpieces?
Maureen: The number one alternative to flowers are candles. You’ll see all different kinds of candles. We’ll see the floating candle where there’s a cylinder with water with the little floating candles. Very pretty, so inexpensive and once the lights go down absolutely, the water reflects the light, beautiful. The other thing that we see a lot would be the little fairy lights now. The little LED battery operated tiny, tiny, tiny fairy lights that are just somehow spread either around a piece of bark or log.
John: They look like little mini Christmas lights.
John: Like a little strings of lights.
Maureen: Yes, and they’re so frail. They’re beautiful. You really don’t pick up the wire. The wire is almost as thin as florist wire if you can imagine what that looks like as opposed to Christmas lights that are on like a thick green rubbery thing. They don’t look like that at all. They’re very, very pretty at night. It’s one of my more favorite LED lights. I’m not really a fan of LED lights, I don’t like the color that they throw, but on a miniature LED it’s very pretty, very fairy looking.
Another thing, of course, would be large cylinder candles, a thicker candle, that has some kind of hurricane or glass protective over it, or you would call them pillar candles or pedestal candles. Again, a beautiful look, always remember you have to have glass as high as the flame. That’s in your venues because that’s part of the fire code. You always have to cover, so you can’t really have open candle.
Again, they’re very popular now the LED candles, the battery operated candles. They are getting better than they were three, four, five years ago.
John: They look nicer. They used to look really cheesy.
Maureen: Absolutely, they did. They always have like this– they reminded me like Halloween bad wax– they had a greenish white tone- I don’t know, I didn’t like them. Then you see things. You might see books. A lot of people are using old books. We saw that years ago couple of times. We see it a lot now. People just pile up books in certain colors, old leather-bound books and on top of that are– or there might be books that they’ve read or stories that they like or there’s something or they might have been law students or good readers or anything like that.
I’ve seen a lot of lanterns. I’ve seen a lot of nautical stuff like lighthouses, shells, fishnet very, very trending, so much less expensive. You go to the Christmas tree store buy a bunch of stuff, put it together. At the Essex Room, as long as you do one centerpiece for us, we’ll copy it for the 10 tables because we have this full group of event planners and one of the things they love to do the most is put up the decorations. It’s really what event planners, I think, like to do the best. Myself particularly not my wheelhouse, but the girls that work for us they love putting up the event.
John: One of the weddings that I went to for some friends, they had, each table centerpiece was different and it was something to do with something that they did together when they were dating or something like that. Maybe you’d have– here’s the lighthouse table and there’s a little lighthouse because they went and visited the lighthouse one summer. Then this one has a little tent on it because they went camping. Then maybe there’s a little card that explains what the meaning is behind that centerpiece. Do you see that thing as well where each table is different?
Maureen: Yes, a lot of that started a while ago where instead of numbering your tables you would name them destinations where you went. If you went to Naples or you went to Colorado or you went to Lake Tahoe, instead of having table numbers one through ten they would have 20 places that they visited.
Then, they would take the centerpiece and coordinate the actual table name and then again it would tell a story like while we travelled here we did this. We went hiking there. That’s kind of nice. That puts a little stamp on the event so that you know what the bride and groom have done especially if you’re only friends with one of the other family members.
How do I make my centerpiece choice?
John: All right. Which one do you prefer? Do you prefer a floral centerpiece or a non-floral centerpiece?
Maureen: I love flowers. I’m a sucker for flowers. I love them. The more flowers the better. I like tall flowers. I love the tulip vase. The classic, classic whether it’s in the sterling or it’s in the clear glass. There’s nothing better than the smell of pretty flowers. They’re super feminine. They can change a venue dramatically.
When you’re on an outside venue, you don’t need as much floral because usually when you choose an outside venue it’s so beautiful landscape that the flowers disappear with the background. But when you’re in a function hall venue type, the flowers can really make a difference and soften it.
John: All right that’s really great information, Maureen, thanks again for speaking with me today.
Maureen: Thank you, John, thanks for having me.
John: For more information you can visit the Essex Room website at essexroom.com or call 978-768-7335.