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Love the look of weddings past? Creamy bouquets punctuated by dark greenery were de rigueur in the 1950s. To capture that glamour, carry a clutch of calla lilies, gladiolus, sweet peas, and stephanotis vine.
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This stunning arrangement of clematis and jasmine vines, blush-pink peonies, and light green viburnum is ideal for round tables. The trick: Choose tall, slim vessels that won’t prohibit chitchat, build lots of volume at the top, and let a few vines spill out to keep it loose, not stuffy.
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Sweet and Low
Even a novice can assemble this modern centerpiece (think of it as a floral runner). Just place a few stems of substantial flowers such as peonies, ranunculus, and iceberg roses in vessels of various sizes, then scatter them down the center of a rectangular table.
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A dense wreath of hearty blooms like hydrangeas, garden roses, and silver millinery leaves won’t fall apart as you scoot your chair in and out.
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Petite posies can be just as impressive as larger-than-life bouquets. It’s all about mixing lots of color (like the cream, beige, and pink tones here) with lots of texture (sweet peas, roses, hellebores, and dusty miller) for a can’t-take-your-eyes-off-it effect.
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Rather than wrapping your bouquet with a matching ribbon, opt for one that offsets it instead. Here, the sharp lines and contrasting shades of honeysuckle, cattleya orchids, and calla lilies are softened by barely-there apricot satin.
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Twist on Tradition
If you love the look of roses (they’re the most romantic flower, after all) but want something a little less expected, throw an unconventional blossom into the mix. Consider delicate lace-cap hydrangeas, which bloom in spring.
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For the bride inspired by all things retro, a jubilant jumble of eclectic vases holding tree peonies, ranunculus, garden roses, button chrysanthemums, and sweet peas is both old-school and cool. Collect the vessels by scouring eBay, antiques stores, and flea markets, and then use them in your home later on.
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Single white anemones or canary-colored ranunculus perk up any suit but look especially dapper against gray or navy.
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A chic, monochromatic bouquet provides impact. To match your big-day mood, make it a golden one filled with peonies, Graham Thomas roses, honeysuckle, ranunculus, and poppies.
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Go for the Bold
A carnation boutonniere may provoke memories of senior prom, but on their own, sans baby’s breath, the underrated blooms work well with formal tuxes and casual shirt-and-tie getups alike.
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Top your tables with clear vessels of dahlias, zinnias, nerines, scabiosa, and maidenhair ferns, and let guests grab a vase to take home.
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To keep centerpiece costs down, employ one wild, overflowing arrangement per table. The berry-toned clematis, peonies, hosta leaves, fuchsia, variegated honeysuckle, and begonias shown here require little more than votive candles and beige linens to wow.
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Using real flowers in lieu of sugar ones will keep your budget on track, too, since your baker won’t need to spend hours making them. The only consideration? Be sure to choose nontoxic petals, like the lively dahlias here. Camellias, carnations, roses, violets, and pansies are other pretty options.
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Shot in the Dark
The most surprising element in this vivid nosegay may be the inky feathers tucked in here and there. But it’s the combination of hot pink peonies, purple anemones, dusty miller, and metallic and velvet leaves that warrants a double take.