Ribbons, pearls, even oysters: Floral designer Sheridan Tjhung thinks beyond blooms when creating her unconventional arrangements. Tjhung's passion for flowers goes back to childhood—to even before she could talk. "There's video footage of me being told off by my mum because I kept picking flowers," says the native of Perth, Australia.
She began experimenting with floral design after getting a job at a high-end fashion store. "I had creative output that needed to be channeled, and a full-time job as backup," says Tjhung. "So I decided it was the perfect time to start a little flower business. I went to the market, experimented with blooms, and posted photos online." Her work caught on, and she launched a studio in her hometown in 2014. Today, she has brands like Elle UK, Glossier, and Topshop as clients.
Though her style is ever-evolving, Tjhung is known for conceptual designs, often incorporating non-floral elements. And she encourages brides to embrace the unfamiliar. "Be open to unusual options," she says. "It can really make your bouquet unique to you." Here, she reimagines the classic white wedding, with results that are elegant, edgy, and really quite extraordinary.
The sculptural wired arrangement of fragrant gardenias, slipper orchids, and small pearls, seen above, puts a theatrical twist on the tiara—and is a dramatic choice for your trip down the aisle. "I like the idea that it's 'one-time use'—never as beautiful as in the moment it was connected to," Tjhung says. Her handmade veil is embellished with lace and more pearls.
Sarah Seven "Hamlet" silk-tulle long-sleeve overlay wedding dress with slip lining, $2,700, sarahseven.com.
Tjhung began using ribbon about a year ago as a substitute for draping flower stock that wasn't in season. "Since then, I've found it an affordable—and beautiful—textured alternative," she says. Here, it provides a romantic touch (and a sense of verticality) to a soft, cloudlike bunch of peonies, slipper and oncidium orchids, and white-caladium leaves. Hang an oversize version as a ceremony marker, or display multiple arrangements around a room.
According to Tjhung, bigger is not always better—especially when it comes to your bouquet. "There's so much beauty in the understated, and you don't want anything to overpower your dress," she says. In this delicate design, mini versions of pomegranate, pitcher plant, and phalaenopsis orchid don't get lost among the lilies of the valley, peonies, gardenias, and slipper and oncidium orchids. The small bundle is tied up in a prominent silky ribbon: "I love the drama it brings," Tjhung says.
Fork, plate, knife, spoon: There's something so predictable about place settings—and the middle of the table is the perfect blank space for mixing up that formula. Take this low-profile, free-form centerpiece, which incorporates non-floral elements like oyster mushrooms, oysters, and a string of pearls among the peonies, gardenias, and orchids. The asymmetry "creates a much more organic effect," says Tjhung. "Perhaps in another world, things would grow in such an arrangement." She added a bonsai and moss for a hint of structure and masculinity.