9 expert ideas for incorporating greenery into your wedding decor

Putnam and Putnam

Floral design is one of (if not the) key to a wedding’s look. From the reception tray to the design of the ceremony, including all the arrangements that complete the decor, your floral designer is responsible for bringing color, an intimate atmosphere and a natural and striking element to your indoor or outdoor venue.

With the pandemic driving the rise of all-outdoor events or celebrations with seamless indoor/outdoor event flows, it’s now more important than ever to utilize natural elements in the most organic way possible. . This is where greenery comes in, whether through big moments like installations or micro-moments like tablescapes and cutlery. The greenery is also great for the couple who isn’t keen on lots of bold blooms and wants a natural feel without the extra bands of color. Ahead, the biggest names in design and flowers take a look at how best to use greenery when designing your ceremony, reception, tablescape, and more.

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dare to be different

“As someone who typically likes to use an abundance of flowers in my designs, I think working with greenery is an opportunity to think outside the box,” says Kiana Underwood of Tulipina. “Any time I downplay or simplify my approach, it forces me to be both bold and intentional in how I structure a design.”

Foliage isn’t always green, and it doesn’t always have the same shape, scale, or texture, so use the parameters that an all-greenery design sets to get creative, suggests the designer. “Think about the main elements: shape, texture, and color, then use the working palette to create something eye-catching and dramatic, yet still beautifully colorful,” says Underwood. “Greenery can be as artistic and dramatic a statement as any floral design.”


hide and reveal

“I love using greens to create visual volume; to help distract from something you don’t want guests to see,” says David Beahm of David Beahm Experiences. “Greenery can also be an eye-catcher, used solidly as a feature wall or, my favorite, to help add whimsy.”

Clusters of ivy or loads of tropical foliage can be used to create depth and dimension on a hall ceiling; greenery will work to hide any rigging you don’t want guests’ eyes to be on. Or build a wall around the band or your food stations to hide the magic behind the scenes. For fun but not always aesthetic moments, like a photo booth at an after-party, use greenery to cover, accent, and conceal gear.

“Greenery [of all kinds] can make arrangements dance, shimmer and help move the eye through space,” says Beahm. “Since mother nature has given us so many greens to choose from, it’s our duty to find many ways to use them.


Embrace “filler” foliage

“In the world of floral design, greenery has a bad reputation,” says David Stark. “It has long been pigeonholed as ‘filler’ or a method used to cut the cost of floral bouquets. If we take a closer look, the world of foliage is as lavish as the world of flowers.”

Stark suggests tapping into the palette that foliage naturally provides and using a variety of leaves and vines to create texture and dimension in a tablescape. “Green is a color! So why not use it in your wedding decoration? ” he asks. “Use climbing tendrils of vines and intertwining foliage textures in a tiered still life of scrolling candles across rectangular dining tables. Delicate and bold at the same time, it’s the variation in textures that makes this magical and unexpected. We love the paradox of being incredibly tailored and a bit wild at the same time.”


Adorn “Often Overlooked Areas”

“It’s easy to incorporate greenery into your design as something that can transform every surface it touches,” says Kristen Griffith Vanderyacht of Wild Bloom Floral and The great flower fight. “Use greenery that lasts long out of water – like Camellia and Southern Smilax – to adorn often overlooked areas of your space, like the bar or the perimeter of the dance floor, to create an aesthetic that looks overgrown but neat.”

For a bigger wow factor, “create a canopy of greenery that floats above the ceremony for an undeniable celebration of nature. If your vibe is more coastal and less metropolitan, try draping a boat in cool eucalyptus and Fill it with local drinks for an interactive drink station.


Avoid flowers altogether

“Rather than following the traditional path for your ceremony decor and focusing on fluffy flowers, try using only greenery in various textures and shapes to create that drama and romance,” Matthew Robbins and Luis Otoya of Matthew Robbins Design and RobbinsOtoya. “Mix textures and tones to create dimension and depth.”

They add, “Grouping potted plants in single containers frames a ceremony or entrance. Display a collection of unique potted greens, such as ferns and begonias, as a centerpiece, surrounded by taper candles and votives. Tropical leaves also look stunning on their own when combined with clean, modern vases.”


Texture and movement are essential

For Gabriela Salazar of La Musa de las Flores, foliage and greenery are more than just a way to cover vessels or create structural form. “It’s really the main element to create form in an arrangement, to create movement and texture,” she says. “I love non-traditional leaves and I love greenery that has fruit or veg in it. It’s fun, more unexpected, and it adds so much freshness to arrangements.”


Bring in the outside

“When it comes to greenery, it’s best to incorporate natural elements indoors as if it were an outdoor landscape,” says Chris Hessney of Hessney & Co. is when you are in a ballroom and the plants and flowers are arranged in a set mood; trees and vines mixed with lemons will make guests feel like they are dining in a citrus field in Italy , while a vine-swarming table with chandeliers and foliage cascading overhead will make it look like an indoor version of an old English greenhouse.”


Consider green your color palette

“Greenery can be an entire color palette on its own,” says Michael Putnam of floral design house Putnam & Putnam. “Skip the traditional green and ivory in favor of a monochromatic, experimenting with all the shades and tones color has to offer. The wide variety of textures in just one color can really transform a space and enhance a design. Even without flowers at all, playing with color in this way will look and feel the same as a well thought out floral design without the flowers.”


Using Greens in a Still Life

“Create a still life for an escort table or centerpiece, combining an array of green foliage and using bottles of different heights and sizes,” recommends David Stark. “From bright pea green to light chartreuse, from deep, velvety jade to radiant emerald, the blend of many shades adds mystery, depth and dimension.”

Stark adds, “Grand arrangements using larger-scale leaves add height and drama to a room. From raised canopies of green over dining tables to grand arrangements on pedestals or tables, mix textures and shapes to create stunning monochromes. With designs like these, it wouldn’t even occur to you that flowers are missing!”

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