Inspired by the latest iteration of a Kardashian flower wall? Blown away by some extravagant celeb wedding and the seemingly millions of peonies they seemed to have? We feel ya. When it comes to big, important events, flowers are usually a huge part of setting the tone for said event--and when a celebrity throws a party (or a wedding or a baby shower they're not gonna just trust any florist. They go with the best of the best-- true floral artists that can execute their vision and wow all of their guests (and the media for that matter). And because we know you'll want to go stalk said florists' and event designer's Instagram immediately, we've made a handy dandy list of some of the best of the best--the florists to the stars, from Oprah to the Kardashians, to Meghan Markle and Gwyneth Paltrow.
"That's all well and good," you're saying, "but how do I get a stunning reception without the budget of a celeb?!" Well, we're glad you asked. We spoke to a couple of florists and event designers about their tricks of the trade and how you can pull of something beautiful without spending a small fortune.
From Van Wyck & Van Wyck:
"Candles, candles, candles. Anything and everything looks amazing by firelight so buy quadruple the amount you think you’ll need and turn off the overheads. Instant drama. Instant romance. Fresh flowers can quickly eat up your budget since you need a lot to make an impact. Focus instead on trees, grasses and greenery for foliage that makes a mark at a much lesser price tag. Finally, never be afraid to call in a favor. People will want to help out! Know someone whose handwriting you’ve always envied? Make them your calligrapher. Is one of your friends a banker by day and baker by night? Ask them to make your wedding cake. Even for those for whom money is no object, we try to incorporate as many of their friends into their big day as possible! It always makes it all the more meaningful."
From Preston Bailey:
"Make the bride and groom table statement-worthy! After all, most likely all guests will be visiting the head table to say hello, so you can really make a splash with flowers and tone down the rest of the reception if you only have the budget to go big in one area."
From Birch Even Designs
"Our advice would be to focus on creating a consistent statement across the event, and flushing it out as much as possible. Filling a room with greenery, foliage, candles and/or trees can be both inexpensive and dramatic. We'd suggest separating a good portion of your budget to a special moment that will grab guests' attention and serve as a focal point for the design. This might be a hanging installation or lush entrance arrangements. Great event design is great event design regardless of budget. It's not as simple as making a few choices; it will take work and collaboration with the right people."
From Jeff Leatham:
"A great way to maximize your budget is to choose an affordable flower, such as hydrangea or carnations, and use it monochromatically and in abundance. A popular trend right now is to use large quantities of bud vases and candles, which I believe is a great way to cover a lot of service area with single stems. "
Want more? Check out the below awe-inspiring work of seven of the top florists and event designers to the stars.
You probably know Miller's work from his Insta-famous Flower Flashes--beautiful, seemingly haphazard but very much intentional arrangements of flowers bursting out of trashcans around NYC. His celeb client list is extensive, and most recently he taught a floral class at Meghan Markle's baby shower!
With clients that include Oprah, Uma Therman, Regis, and more, Preston Bailey's larger-than-life creations are truly awe-inspiring.
"I believe that as florists, we're working with perfection," Bailey says. "We tend to use flowers more to sculpt, not only to arrange in a traditional sense. I love using flowers to create beautiful objects--for instance for Serena Williams' wedding the centerpieces were arranged to look like vases when you were looking at them overhead!"
Putnam and Putnam
Unless you've been living under an (Instagram free) rock, you've most likely heard of Putnam and Putnam--the NYC based floral-darlings to the chicest celebs, fashion houses, and most recently the florists for Gwenyth Paltrow's wedding. Yes, you read that right. Oh, and if you've seen a crazy-cool floral installation at New York Fashion Week in the past few seasons we can say with 98% certainty it was the Putnams.
Van Wyck & Van Wyck
This family owned event design and production team creates THE most impressive events for corporate, fashion, and of course celeb clients. We're talking huge hanging floral installations that look like you've walked into the most magical garden in the world--every event they create is larger-than-life. Which is why, of course, they have an impressive range of clients that range from Madonna to P. Diddy to Beyoncé.
When asked what makes them stand out as event designers they say: "No two events are ever alike. Each party should be a reflection of the host - not us! As a family business, history and heritage is at the heart of our production process. We’re constantly asking questions – what are your most treasured family traditions, who are your favorite authors and artists, what’s your favorite place to travel - so that we can weave clients’ personalities into each and every design detail. We thrive on making the impossible possible, so if you can dream it we can build it! We’re storytellers as much as event designers so the goal is always to create a custom immersive experience with surprises around every corner. A party should be an adventure and we aim to take guests on a journey they’ll never forget!"
Birch Event Design
Brooklyn based Birch Event Design works with a ton of noteable clients, most recently announcing that they'll be doing flowers for the nuptials of Ashley Ianconetti and Jared Haibon-- the Bachelor Nation couple that got engaged last year on Bachelor in Paradise.
"Our style is on the cusp of an out-of-the-box play on classic elegance and timeless pieces," they say. "Our goal is to take what people would normally expect and make it unexpected. We are known for creating beautiful, timeless and classic moments with unpredictable twists. What sets us apart from a traditional florist is the way we conceptualize events. We never just focus on centerpieces and linen. We focus on the layout, the ambiance and every element in between. Our internal process is fairly detailed. We help our clients discover what story they want to tell, and which elements will support their narrative."
Not only is he the artistic director of the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris and Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, he has worked with a slew of impressive clients such as Oprah, the Dalai Lama, the Kardashians and more, not to mention an designing the weddings of many a celebrity couple, such as Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello, Tina Turner to Erwin Bach, and Marc Mezvinsky and Chelsea Clinton--just to name a few.
"My style is clean, simple and chic. The emergence of so many talented florists constantly challenges me to be innovative with my designs. I love to mix my flowers with different materials, such as mirror, to create something really unique and interesting."