12 Ways to Upgrade Holiday Flowers—Inspired by Weddings!
While traditional holiday flowers include poinsettia, ivy, and mistletoe, there are so many more ways to infuse the festivity of the season into your floral décor. In fact, some of the best inspiration comes from winter weddings, when florists must choose from in-season flowers and get creative to capture the holiday spirit without feeling stale. Take a cue from these gorgeous holiday flower ideas for your own home. Here, a few design experts share how they think about using fresh ideas this season.
"Choose a monochromatic color palette and go all out! For us, Christmas is red, and here we chose to use multiple varieties of flowers including garden roses, peonies, orchids, ranunculus, tulips, glorious lilies, and hydrangeas. We popped this palette by adding gold leaf-rubbed lady apples. Accentuate your floral centerpieces with masses of candles and gorgeous china and you have the perfect holiday tabletop."
- Heath Alan Ray, Creative Director & Partner, Jackson Durham Events
Play with Neutrals
"Forgo the traditional red and green palette. Instead use a mix of natural elements for your holiday table. Birchwood, wooden tree stumps, pinecones, and evergreens are easy to find and layer for a woodsy winter look."
- Tami Winn, Owner, Tami Winn Events
Incorporate Branches & Foliage
"If you're looking for something other than traditional holiday florals, there's many beautiful berried branches and greenery to choose from. Consider broadleaf evergreens which grow well in the Carolina Piedmont, none more iconic than the Southern Magnolia—bunches make wonderful holiday decorations. Another favorite is the Gold-dust Plant (Aucuba Japonica) which has cheerful splashes of gold and green. With a myriad of leaf shapes and colors, graceful bamboo-like foliage, plus the added bonus of bright berries, the various hollies are standouts for holiday florals."
- Julian Bland, Fearrington Gardener, Fearrington Village
Pay Attention to Your Vessels
"Think about selecting vessels first. Use containers that complement the china selection on the table. When picking and designing your florals, the foliage becomes a vital aspect especially this time of year. Look for branches with a graceful shape and blend these with a focal flower, in this case it was the beautiful blowsy peony. You don't need too many different varieties of flowers together, just the right balance of foliage and blooms."
- Kathleen Deery, Creative Principal/Owner, Kathleen Deery Design
Opt for the Untraditional
"Go with untraditional greens and flowers to create a festive yet unique tabletop design with the rich jewel tones of the season."
- Anne Kilcullen, Creative Director, Blade Floral & Event Designs
Make Your Entire Design Cohesive
"Your florals should be one element in your overall holiday design this season. This time of year is as good as any to go a little over the top and think about pairing your centerpieces with decadent table settings and serving ware. If you opt for a large single centerpiece, think about adding smaller elements throughout the design like ornaments or low votives."
- David Beahm, Founder & President, David Beahm Experiences
Add a Little Metallic
"The dried hydrangea is wonderful in holiday centerpieces, wreaths, and even as ornaments on your holiday tree. You can dust the hydrangea with gold paint and spray it with hairspray to prevent it from shattering."
- Holly Heider Chapple, Owner & President, Holly Heider Chapple Flowers
Don't Overthink Your Design
"Achieve your goal of festive and dramatic through simplicity and straight forward design. Monochromatic tones and monofloral accents allow for taper candles to set the tone for the tabletop. Chic white anemones nestled among a garland of festive ornaments once again show that there's no need to overthink and complicate your holiday design! Lesson learned—you can never have too many candles and pick a flower you love and go with it!"
- Reed McIlvaine, Owner, Renny & Reed
Think Beyond the Tabletop
"Hang mini boxwood wreaths from the backs of the dining chairs, which is a great alternative to a floral centerpiece if you're short on space."
- Jenna Lam, Founder & Creative Director, Jenna Lam Events
"Mix in candles from elegant tapered varieties to votives to really make your florals glow this season and create a feeling of warmth in any room."
- Ara Farnam-Levinson, Owner & Creative Director, Rock Paper Scissors Events
Accent with Fruit & Berries
"Use accents of fruit, such as pomegranates and berries, for a bountiful, festive flair."
- Bree Franzen, Owner, Rockrose Floral Design
Embrace Winter Whites
"For a winter whites tablescape, use clear glass cylinders and fill each with one type of flower—tulips, roses, hydrangea, lisianthus and stock for a streamlined but sophisticated look."
- Sherene Hulugalle, Owner, Wisteria Lane Flowers