Category Archives: Education

All About the Centerpiece

Flora Nova Design Seattle Garden SoDo Park Wedding

You might remember our recent blog post series “All About the Bouquet”. Well, today let’s talk a bit about centerpieces! It’s a big subject so we hope to bring a little clarity on the matter. There are so many styles and so many different terms to describe those styles, and of course there is the cost factor. We will try to cover it all in this and in an upcoming blog post, so we hope this is helpful for clients and industry colleagues alike.

Generally we use a few different terms to describe centerpiece styles. Let’s first address terminology we use for those various style centerpieces: what does it all even mean?

Compote Style Centerpiece:

The centerpieces shown in the pictures below are compote style centerpieces. The compote vessel has a build that features a footed base with a stem that leads up to a bowl. The centerpieces designed in a compote tend to be more organic in nature, with a more airy style, with lots of texture and trailing elements. However you see in some of the examples below that a compote can have a more tailored and clean look too.

Composite Style Centerpiece:

Below are some examples of composite style centerpieces. This centerpiece usually consists of a mix of several smaller low arrangements, potted plants, greenery garlands, hurricanes, taper candles and other elements, such as books or lanterns. Those elements are grouped together in the table center to create a table scape or composite centerpiece. We love using the composite centerpiece on long tables, but they can look lovely on round tables too.

Elevated Centerpiece:

Then we have our favorite, the tall or elevated centerpieces. This type of centerpiece is typically the most dramatic way of decorating your table: it is usually propped onto a tall stand or glass vase, well above eye level. Our most common design of elevated centerpieces is the rounded, classic ballroom style: large mounds of floral, often mixed with greenery or featuring lots of trailing orchids. And as you can imagine, this centerpiece style can be tailored and classic in style, or can have a natural organic look: the possibilities are endless.

We have many brides who are worried about the idea that guests across the table wouldn’t be able to see each other, but we do take that into account when we are designing them and by using vases and stands tall enough, they never obstruct the view across the table.

It should be noted that the elevated centerpiece uses quite a bit more floral and greenery than a “low” centerpiece and is therefore your more expensive option. But wow, it sure is a showy, beautiful decor element!

Floral Table Runners:

Another option is having flowers or greenery garlands directly on the table with no vase visible – we call this a floral or greenery table runner. With long tables being so popular right now, this is a very trendy centerpiece style this year. Whether you choose simple greenery with loose blooms tucked in or luxurious orchids, this is a centerpiece style to impress.

Elevated versus Low Centerpieces::

Now let’s discuss how and when to use low, or elevated, or composite style centerpieces. You might prefer a clean look for your reception ballroom and therefore prefer just one centerpiece style for all of the tables. We however recommend having at least two different styles of centerpieces at your event for a few different reasons. The mix of tall and low centerpieces add so much more definition and drama when you walk in an event space, especially if your event is in a large ballroom with a tall ceiling. Most of our clients prefer a mix of elevated and low centerpieces as shown in the pictures below.

What if you have just long tables as part of your reception? Well, you mix it all together and create a lovely table scape. The pictures below are a great example of mixing all these styles on one long table. See how much visual space is taken up with floral? Stunning and way more interesting than either style on it’s own might have been.

OK, we covered our most common centerpiece styles. Of course there are a few other designs, but these are our staples and the pieces we love most and use often. And as you can see from the pictures all of these basic ideas can be adapted to suit your style: from gardeny and loose with lots of greens and textures to modern clean pavé design.

In our next blog post we will touch on cost factors and the reasons why some centerpieces are priced out higher than others. Stay tuned.

All About the Bouquet (Part II)

Flora Nova Design Seattle - Bridal Bouquet

Last week we explored some of the words we designers use to describe a wedding bouquet’s style: rounded, free-form, airy, trailing, and so on.  This week we’re going to take a look at one of the other factors that go into making your perfect bouquet: the flowers themselves!Flora Nova Design Seattle - Bridal Bouquet

Bridal bouquets come in all shapes and sizes. Some are composed of many types of flowers mixed together; others are made up of a grouping of only one type of flowers.  Some bouquets showcase flowers grown in a hothouse or halfway around the world; others are a vibrant display of seasonal flowers locally sourced.  In this romantic bridal bouquet, roses are the main attraction; sweet-smelling garden roses, fluffy spray roses, and creamy hybrid tea roses rub elbows with blush ranunculus and black and white anemones to create a classic rounded bouquet.


When it comes to choosing your flowers, roses are a classic choice and available year-round, as are mini calla lilies, and hydrangea. In these rounded bouquets below, you can see that roses and hydrangea are often used in bridal bouquets designed here at Flora Nova, and then partnered with seasonal touches to reflect the individual style and personality of each bride.

Flora Nova Design Seattle - Bridal Bouquet


We designers have a lot of fun playing around with our flowers — mixing seasons and textures and colors together to come up with a bouquet that is unique and eye-catching. For those brides not into the classic rounded bouquet of hydrangea and roses, greenery is often used to create a more free-form organic bouquet. In this bouquet, it is the maidenhair fern that captures the spotlight, and roses only play a supporting role.



Flora Nova Design Seattle - Bridal Bouquet


As you can see, much like in our last post about style, these bouquets started simple but can get much more complex. Seasonal flowers like sweet peas, clematis vine, viburnum, dahlias, and peonies can pack a big visual punch. Phaleanopsis orchids can add a touch of glamour both when mixed into a bouquet or allowed to cascade freely down the front. In the center bouquet above, quince branches are even incorporated to create a truly unique, one-of-a-kind bouquet.


Well, so far in this series we’ve explored different ways you might express yourself in the overall style and shape of your bridal bouquet, and, this week, in the individual floral and textural elements that go into creating your perfect bouquet.  Next time we’ll take a look at bouquet pricing.  You’ve fallen in love with your perfect bouquet, now how will it fit into your wedding budget?