by Shelby Ferguson
Once upon a time, when we used to think of usual local flowers in your décor, images of black-eyed susans and statice in vibrant rainbow colors was the first thing to pop to mind, i.e. wildflowers. Today, floral designers across the country and here in Michigan, have found a balance of collecting any wild bloom they can find with making it more purposeful and part of your color story. Beautiful, textural, and local artpieces are created.
From roadside picks to farmer’s market finds and even a few blooms from my very own gardens, I am sharing some of my very favorite ingredients found throughout the seasons and how I love to incorporate them into wedding floral décor.
Whether you’re utilizing cherry blossoms, dogwood, or service berry – May’s bounty is all about right now. These delicate blossoms add so much romance and texture to the overall design of the day and also create stunning floral photo backdrops.
While the dainty little blossoms are sweet all on their own, my favorite part to use of this perennial is the foliage. The veins and color variation in a single leaf makes it the perfect complement piece. However, the stems are short at times depending upon variety and maturity of the plant, so often this greenery is better utilized as in centerpieces, although I love to use them in bouquets whenever possible.
Big and bold, dahlias are a show stopper. The color variety ranges from deep burgundies to brighter pinks, yellow, whites, and many shades in between. They start blooming late in July, with August and September being their prime time to shine. Use them in centerpieces, bouquets, on your cakes or really anywhere you want a bold conversation starter.
Known as fairy’s caps, thimbles, or bumble bee hammocks, these linear blooms are spotted perfection. Early summertime is when they’ll beautify our lives. I sacrificed my plant’s only bloom last week for a bouquet and it was so worth it.
These moody blooms capture my heart every time. They’re one of the very first flowers to come to life after a long winter and are the very voice of refreshment. Also known as the Lenten rose, they’re perfect for bouquets, centerpieces, and boutonnières.
Such a soothing aroma to calm any wedding nerves. I had a plant in my garden that produced blooms from early June until autumn brought its first frost, however most commonly you’ll find fresh sprigs in July and as a dried herb at farmer’s market throughout the fall. I love adding these into boutonnières, bouquets, and using them as place setting garnishments.
The fragrant blooms scream spring. They are worth waiting all winter for with their intoxicating scent, they make the perfect bouquet or centerpiece all on their own or can also be paired lots of other springtime favorites making a great border flower in shades of rich plum, lavender, and white.
Everyone’s favorite, the peony has become wedding royalty. Their ruffley array of petals just cannot be matched. While the spectrum of colors can be great, most commonly you’ll find shades of white, fuchsia, and softer pink locally but on occasion I’ve seen a coral or red charm. Purchase them at roadside stands, the farmer’s market or plant a bush in your own back yard and enjoy the blooms throughout mid-June.
American Pokeweed grows wild and is considered a nuisance by many. It has a long smooth leaf and green berries throughout the summer which become purple in the autumn. However, these are best utilized before the color change because once they turn, the berries fall easily from the stems and will stain anything they land on. They’re the perfect filler green for all your flowering needs.
These little pink blossoms start late June and grow almost everywhere that reaches the sun. So much beauty is added to the side of Michigan’s highways and the color lasts through late July. These hardy little vines are great in centerpieces and bouquets alike.
Shelby is lead wedding planner, artistic director, and floral heart behind The Day's Design. She delights in celebrating romantic, natural and fancy free occasions throughout Northern & West Michigan. When she's away from her design work, you'll find her at home with her hubby and two beautiful baby girls, daydreaming along the shores of Lake Michigan, strolling through local antique stores, picking wildflowers or blogging more about wedding and life adventures at The Day's Dream blog.