WRITER | JEANINE MATLOW
PHOTOS | ABBEY MOORE PHOTOGRAPHY
Beautiful blooms can elevate any celebration, but this is especially true for wedding flowers, which can make a major décor statement on the big day. For that reason, Darin Lenhardt, creative director of floral and events for fleurdetroit – a design house in Bloomfield Hills featuring a landscape design/installation firm, a retail atelier, a floral studio and an event design team – believes you should have as many flowers at your wedding as your budget allows. “They just bring so much life to a party,” he says.
For instance, Lenhardt created the lovely floral arrangements and more for the first wedding held at the new Shinola Hotel in Detroit for architects Paige and John Fleming, where the flowers set the tone for the affair. “You don’t have to be lavish and over-the-top with giant bowls of roses,” he says.
For a simple architectural vibe, ranunculus in cylinder bud vases can be very cost-effective. When grouped on the table, they resemble a collection that makes the room feel accessorized. In this case, they were paired with tropical leaves in tall arrangements to bring the ceiling down and make the space feel more intimate and romantic.
Special features like a fireplace can also be enhanced for the occasion. Lenhardt recommends choosing an accent table or two for candle and floral displays. “I’d rather make them impactful with a few that are gradual and beautiful,” he says, like the gorgeous foliage garlands he placed around the fireplace for the Fleming wedding.
Personal florals tailor-made for the bride and her bridesmaids are meant to accentuate, not overwhelm. “Bouquets should be like jewelry,” says Lenhardt. The organic hand-tied varieties he did for this particular wedding featured phalaenopsis with plumosa for some softness and a garden-like feel. “It’s all about texture,” he explains.
For a church wedding, a vertical garden arrangement offers something a little more modern and unexpected in front of the altar. “I have the ability to make things come out of the middle of nowhere,” Lenhardt quips.
It’s important to select florals that fit your vibe, not just your color scheme. For instance, hydrangea signal a romantic setting, while delicate blooms like larkspur and delphinium capture the organic feel of European wildlife, and calla lilies lean more modern.
As another personal touch, Lenhardt likes to match the personality of the flowers to the persona of the bride and groom on the big day. In this case, the couple wanted a clean and simple aesthetic for their celebration. “They love the beach and they love to laugh – ranunculus are a bit whimsical. Some go in a different direction and face a different way,” he says.
For those planning to tie the knot in the near future, Lenhardt says the year 2020 is all about color and pattern, which translates to bold and beautiful weddings with florals that feel like a cozy home with fabrics and throws.
Michigan-grown blooms give you more bang for your buck for weddings held from July through September. Still, the selection can be overwhelming, adds Lenhardt who suggests narrowing down the options by color, budget, or season. In the end, he says you can’t go wrong with florals that add the luxury we’re all after for a wedding, regardless of budget.