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Meet the ExpertWedding flowers can be graphic and architectural without sacrificing a romantic look, says Oscar Mora, who founded Oscar Mora Floral Art and Design in New York City in 2003. Known for his use of exotic flora, a nod to his native Venezuela, Mora says the key to striking a balance between soft and strong is restraint. "I never combine too many elements or colors," he explains, adding that his minimalist approach is what makes these ideas suited for DIY-minded brides.
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Roses may be the ultimate symbol of love, but for Mora "they're beautiful, yet a little expected," he says. To make them feel fresh, he uses them as a starting point for bouquets and then mixes in unusual flowers to add color and texture. Here, white roses are interspersed among ladyslipper orchids with intricately patterned petals, Dianthus 'Green Trick' with its mossy tufts, and yellow ranunculus. Dendrobium orchids and more 'Green Trick' compose the coordinating boutonnieres.
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A Warm Welcome
Get guests into the tropical spirit by inviting them to pin dendrobium orchid blossoms onto their suits or dresses. Present the delicate petals on trays -- along with a dish of stick pins on a large anthurium leaf -- at the entrance to your cocktail hour or reception. Mora marked the display with two tall vases lined with calathea leaves and filled with cattleya orchids and sago palm leaves. To achieve the spiky, curled effect, he employed a simple florist's trick: "Bend the palm fronds to fan them out, then attach them to their stems with a paper clip," he says. A smaller vessel of English garden roses, ranunculus, and a rich green anthurium leaf finishes the look. "Clear glass containers are ideal for showing off the natural beauty of these flowers," says Mora. "They also happen to be inexpensive and widely available."
All vases in this story are from Jamali Garden (jamaligarden.com).
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A Sun-Kissed Centerpiece
You don't have to live near the equator to achieve this shining tablescape. "Many tropical blooms are available year-round," says Mora, emphasizing that all you need is one dominant plant, like these curled sago palm leaves, to define your space. In individual glass containers, roses, ranunculus, orchids, and a single spike of Asplenium 'Crispy Wave,' with its stiff, rippling edges, are placed among the fronds. Bringing it all together are elegantly wrapped favor boxes, each topped with a dendrobium orchid.
If you like what you see, add it to your registry: Diane von Furstenberg Home "Pebblestone" dinner plates and salad plates, and "Night" flatware (all dvf.com).