If I had a dime for every time I heard “We’re on a budget” from wedding clients, I’d have enough money to ensure that no one would ever have to be on a budget for any wedding ever till the end of time. And I totally get it. I’m planning my own wedding for this fall and guess what: We’re on a budget. One of my solves for this situation is going garland. Don’t get me wrong – it will still be a handsome chunk of change, but greens are far cheaper than actual blooms and they look so damn pretty winding down long tables and they smell amazing. That, plus they’re nuptial multitaskers (just like your super involved mother).
We tricked this eucalyptus and bay leaf garland out with some of my favorite statement blooms (peonies and clematis!) for a high-impact and romantic look and used it as 1. a backdrop 2. a table runner and 3. bride and groom chair decoration.
Here’s how to get the look.
What you’ll need:
Greenery: for this garland we used silver dollar eucalyptus and bay leaf but you can play around with any greens really — olive branches and other varieties of eucalyptus like seeded eucalyptus work well too.
Hearty blooms like peonies, roses, carnations, or chrysanthemums.
Floral water tubes (optional)
*You can get all these supplies online at a floral supply store, I’ve also found that Michael’s and Jo-Ann Fabric are good resources.
Many cities have floral districts where you can have a garland made for you. Each city has different rules for buying — you may need a license or be a registered florist to buy wholesale. In those cases you can try your hand at making the garland yourself. Here’s a link to a super helpful tutorial by Sammy Go of Bud Botanical Banditry. We got ours from Persaud at 28th Street Wholesale Flowers.
Once you have your garland you can take the flowers you’ve bought and lay them in.
For the table runner you can simply clip the blooms you’ve chosen (we used peonies and clematis). Leave about 3-4 inches of stem and simply drop them into the garland. The flowers should be fine for the duration of the average reception without water but be sure to use heartier blooms like peonies or roses. If you want to be extra sure they don’t wilt you can buy floral water tubes and place the flowers in those before dropping them into the garland. Arranging in clusters of two to three will heighten the visual impact.
For the hanging garland you’ll need to cut the flowers, also leaving about 3-4 inches of stem. You can generally use the length of the stem to work it into the preexisting infrastructure of the garland or you can also invest in some floral wire, push it through the base of the bloom and twist it together to create a longer “stem” that you can then wrap and twist into the garland for a more secure installation.
Now that you’ve added the flowers to the garland you can use it as a backdrop, table runner (it’s nice to add taper candles and even citrus to the runner) or as a decoration on the back of the couple’s chairs. To secure the garland to the back of the chairs, wrap floral wire around each end of the garland leaving enough length to make a loop to hang over the corner of each chair.