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6 Incredible Ways to Elevate Your Wedding Flowers

  • Photos by Kate Mathis
  • Flowers by Naomi deMañana

When it comes to wedding flowers, there is something to be said for going overboard. The effect of a lavish bouquet, a wall of blossoms, or a carpet of blooms in rich jewel tones is one of refined opulence—think ornate floral tapestries and Dutch still-life paintings. Any would make an
 exquisite backdrop for your most beautiful day.

Red Carpet

Walking over a blanket of blooms is a luxurious way to get to the altar. For the above display, use fully open, "on their last legs" roses—perfect for plucking from their stems and tossing on the ground, to gorgeous effect. The roses mingle with ranunculus, delphiniums, and anemones—but any sturdy blooms will do. Loose petals fill in bare spots.


The Details (pictured above): Marchesa "Danamod" slingback shoes, $825, Ines di Santo "Inspired" gown, $6,990,

Garden Gate

This fantastical doorway arch looks as if it's sprung up on its own, perhaps after someone dropped a few magic seeds. The feature is equally lovely around a doorway or as a romantic ceremony marker. The base is anchored in floral foam (hidden by dark-green foliage); two hanging cages with foam support the structure higher up. The arch gets its shape from spirea, a flowering shrub with a natural cascading quality, and is made more lush with peonies, pansy orchids (Miltoniopsis), Easter lilies, and Japanese ranunculus. 

Carry On

This armful of blooms truly captures the exuberance of the day. The wild, stunning bouquet is set off by a luxurious fabric "sash," inspired by a Japanese obimade by sewing a large strip of metallic brocade into a tube and ironing it flat. The flowers include spirea, ranunculus, Japanese ranunculus, roses, begonia leaves, fritillaria, and the broad, speckled blooms of antherium.

The Details: Ines di Santo "Ciana" dress, $8,180, Printed floral metallic jacquard (similar to shown), from $105/yd.,

Still Life in Bloom

Sumptuous arrangements don't have to feel old-fashioned—in fact, they can be quite fashion-forward. Here, large, painterly centerpieces—composed of antherium, trumpet-shaped Easter lilies, peonies, ranunculus, fritillaria, roses, blue delphinium stalks, clematis, nigella, wild sweet pea, and spirea—are juxtaposed with geometric-patterned tableware. "To me, this look is timeless and always sophisticated," says deMañana, "like the paintings of the Dutch masters."

The Details: Vista Alegre "Nery" china, from $125, West Elm "Gold" flatware, $39 for a 5-piece setting,

Wall Art

Flowers can have the biggest impact when not bundled at all. Individual stems, attached to a wall in a loose, linear pattern, become a graphic ceremony marker or reception-photo backdrop (left). The stems of these blooms—including dark-pink Epidendrum orchids and broad, starlike water lilies, plus alliums, antherium, and ranunculus—are secured with hot glue (tape or, in a fabric wall, straight pins would also work). If water tubes are needed, they can be hidden behind the blooms below. 


To the right, the simplest cake takes a spectacular turn: Four individual bouquets in an array of rich hues—orange ranunculus, purple clematis, blue delphinium, dark-pink gladiola, and the tiny pink bells of boronia heather—are arranged on white tiers. Each bundle is in a mini bouquet holder that is secured in the cake itself, keeping the flowers fresh and the dessert safe to eat.


The Details (for left): Jenny Yoo "Brianna" gown, $4,100, and "Ophelia" capelet, $595,