Celebrity florist Mark Held


Courtesy of Mark's Garden

Celebrity florist Mark Held of Mark's Garden in Los Angeles, CA dishes about designing weddings for celebrity brides like Fergie and Ellen DeGeneres and gives his advice on planning the decor for your wedding. —Kathryn Papanek

What wedding trends are big right now?

We are seeing some of the wedding designs being affected by the economy right now. We're seeing a return to classic elegance and a little bit less of the over-the-top, flamboyant designs that we saw two and three years ago. There is a concentration on beautiful flowers rather than elaborate props.

What's a common mistake you see brides make?

One mistake that brides make is..


There's more!

to not have a budget in mind when they first meet with their florist. You should give your florist an idea of what you want to spend on flowers so that you aren't wasting your time or his or her time. I do get people that come in, and they want the world. Then I'll do the estimate and they'll be like, "Oh, no, we only want New Hampshire."

How can brides get a luxe wedding look for less?

You have to be realistic about your decor, just like everything else in life. What I usually recommend is to concentrate on the areas that show the most and are the most important. For example, you want to concentrate on the focal area of the ceremony. You may want to pull back a little bit on the aisle. It's the ceremony space that guests are seeing and is often the backdrop for so many of your pictures.

You've worked with everyone from Fergie and Josh Duhamel to Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. What is it like designing weddings for celebrities?

I think it's a little different because most celebrities know that the wedding is going to be photographed and will usually be seen by millions of people. They want to put their best foot forward and present themselves beyond just having a romantic ceremony. So if it's someone like Gwen Stefani, she has such a specific sense of style that we have to reflect that in what we do. For Fergie's wedding that we just did in January, I think the design reflected not only what she wanted, but also the way she and Josh live their lives.

Is it important for a bride to have a vision in place before she meets with her florist or wedding planner?

I think it depends on the bride. I have brides that come in who have a pretty good idea of what they want and what they don't want. I had one bride who had been planning her wedding since she had been five years old! There are other brides that may come in and say, "I don't know what I want." So we start that process and it's interesting—people do know what they want. They know what they like and they know what they don't like.

BONUS: Has there been a celebrity wedding that you especially enjoyed designing?

Ellen and Portia's wedding was very interesting because it was a true original. Portia had very specific ideas about what she wanted color wise. I think we did something very original in the design by using very faded pink tones with amnesia roses and faded pink garden roses. It was also something special to be part of that particular wedding because it really made a statement. I think it was the first really major celebrity gay wedding that was out there.

Find the perfect flowers for your wedding with our Flower Finder.

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