I had the pleasure (and challenge) of designing florals for a wedding at the beginning of January using only locally grown ingredients. This one was personal for me. My big brother married his love and I got to play multiple parts (the floral designer, an attendant, and mom of the flower girl).
This bridal bouquet is full of color and texture, and it is something that the bride can keep forever. The purple, gold, and white flowers along with the seedpods were all saved from summer harvests, dried, and set aside with this design in mind.
My sister-in-law-to-be gave me a general color palette and said, "Have at it!" So I got to experiment and try a few new things. Not many brides love the idea of dried flowers for their wedding, but I want to tell (and show) you why they are a beautiful and sustainable option for wintertime.
My sister (who happens to be a photographer), took some photos of the process, so I get to share a little from behind the scenes.
This design uses a huge variety of dried flowers and foliage, including: frosted explosion grass, cress, flax, willow branches, statice, amaranth, larkspur, yarrow, nigella, hydrangea, cilantro, and oregano flowers.
Using dried flowers in the wintertime requires a little extra planning. I saved most of these flowers from my summer garden and sourced a few bundles from my friend who had saved them from her garden across town.
Left: the completed arbor with me standing under it. Right: the dried flower attendant bouquets with purple and gold flowers made wonderful keepsake gifts.
I attempted to bring a feeling of life and growth to an otherwise cold and sleepy season by creating an arbor design that appears to be growing up and over the arbor. I used chicken wire and floral wire to secure it to the arbor. When I deconstructed it, I was able to save all the wire so it was a completely zero-waste design.
Simple cylindrical vases with a mix of dried flowers and a few stems of fresh blooms grown in my indoor winter bulb garden are an economical way to decorate tables.
The table centerpieces were simple, sparse, and airy arrangements of the same dried flowers and willow branches from the arbor and bouquets with a few stems of fresh amaryllis and paper whites that were forced in my studio. This small touch of fresh flowers and the sparse feel of these centerpieces match the season they were made for. These centerpieces reflect what types of flowers I have at the beginning of January and the quantity that is available in the wintertime.
I'm grateful for the creative license given to me by my brother and sister-in-law to flower up their wedding using local flowers for their January wedding.
Photos: Mary Madeline Photography