A bride channeling Marilyn Monroe and a chic, intimate venue
Such Great Heights: These Hanging Florals Have Major Wow-factor
Roses are red / Violets are blue / Hang them up high / With a drill and wood glue. From enchanting floral chandeliers to whimsical garlands strung from the rafters, it’s no secret that garden accents are falling from the skies—or at least from the ceilings. While our opening verse oversimplifies the process, there’s no question that hanging floral installations are wedding’s hottest trend—and local florists and designers have been meeting the challenge to make these on-trend requests come to life.
Jackie Reisenauer, owner and creative director of Munster Rose, is no stranger to the demanding installation process. “We’re talking about suspending something that weighs hundreds of pounds over the heads of our brides and grooms—think about that for a minute,” she says. “We spend time working with professional riggers and licensed contractors to figure out all the logistics; it’s a lot of hard work, but totally worth it.”
Emma and Alexia Kelsey of Kindred Blooms have been helping their florist mother with weddings from an early age. That experience has been put to good use, as the sisters hung eight installations for a Minneapolis couple last summer. “We got very familiar with the catwalks of Aria,” they say. “Hanging from 40 feet above ground is no joke.”
Averil Bach, lead designer at Sadie’s Couture Floral, is also well acquainted with the trend. “We’ve hung bicycle wheels from Nicollet Island Pavilion, long drapery at Machine Shop and thousands of stems of blooms and greenery upside down, creating a romantic rooftop for a special private residence,” Bach says. “Often we think some would be surprised if they really knew [how long it takes].”
Hanging installations from the rafters is no small feat—just ask Munster Rose, who created these glamorous greenery-laden chandeliers for a wedding at Aria
Social media can be a big help in creative brainstorming for designers aiming to bring fresh ideas to their Midwest couples.
“We use Pinterest, Instagram—the usual places—but then we sit down with our sketchbooks and figure out ways to build on that inspiration to make the pieces unique for our brides and not just copycat someone else’s big day,” says Reisenauer.
“It’s always nice to be able to offer something to a client that is unconventional,” say the Kelseys. While the sisters draw inspiration from seasonal plants and local florals and greenery, they make it a point to keep a finger on the pulse of décor styles nationwide.
Couple that inspiration with Mother Nature, and you can create a floral installation that’s yours alone. Ashley Fox, of Ashley Fox Designs, uses elements of nature as her muse. “Whether it’s a tall pine forest, clean oceanside, windswept grassy hill or soft spring meadow—all of these are inspiring with their textures.”
Whether a modern warehouse, rustic barn or romantic garden, hanging floral centerpieces (like these from Kindred Blooms) add a wow-factor to your décor / Photo courtesy of Kindred Blooms, photo by Jennifer Togal Photography
Ideas in Bloom
Once you have your inspiration, take location into account—it’s crucial. Fox studies the architecture and natural light sources of a venue before diving in. She says she aims to make something that hasn’t been done before in a space, creating a mood and feeling that’s specific to the venue and her couples’ tastes—“something that will take your breath away.”
Good vendors will always do their best to meet your aesthetic vision, but before you book a florist, make sure you’re in love with their style. That will make the creation process much easier, and you’ll be happier with the result.
“We are always trying to make the client feel heard and appreciated,” say the Kelseys. “Most of our couples are drawn to us because of our style, so we are not normally forced to fit them into our mold”—no uncomfortable square peg meeting round hole.
The most successful installations happen when the client trusts a florist’s instincts, says Fox, allowing for stunning, one-of-a-kind results. “It’s one of the most satisfying and exciting parts of the job when the client is thrilled about the work and the pieces we produce.”
Sadie’s Couture Floral went whimsical with this installation, featuring an array of bicycle wheels and pretty petals at Nicollet Island Pavilion / Photos courtesy of Sadie’s Couture Floral
By now inspiration may be bubbling and the letters DIY may be dancing before your eyes. At least if you’re anything like Emily Hanson, senior stylist at a&bé bridal shop in Minneapolis. Hanson is preparing some personalized pieces to help outfit her sister’s backyard wedding.
“Working in the industry means I’m surrounded by inspiration all day,” says Hanson. Her ambitious list of projects includes a greenery-draped arch for the ceremony, a small pergola over the patio dance floor for lighting and a wall piece to hang guests’ seating placements on. Hanson is a big believer in multifunctional pieces—all her creations will be put to use after the wedding in their Forest Lake cabin.
Taking on big wedding décor projects isn’t for everyone, though. When deciding whether to pull out the power tools or hire a professional, Bach advises brides to think realistically about how much time and sweat it will take. The pros are experts for a reason—they know the methods, how best to execute a creative vision and how to assess the complications that may arise.
Installations are an investment, and because of their size and complex construction, safety comes first. “It’s a risky job for the average Joe,” says Reisenauer—it’s usually a lot more than just “whipping something together in their shed. Almost everything [we do] is custom-made or sourced from one of our contractors for safety reasons.”
Fox encourages couples to make the most of their budgets by creating a multifunctional installation that will wow (and be seen) all night, from all areas of the room. “Whether over the head table, at the entryway or a naturally climbing arch above a doorway that’s used all evening, choose something that can be admired and creates a lasting memory,” she says.
Whatever your vision, a striking installation can make a huge impact on the humblest to the grandest of venues and take your big day to the next level.