The Flowers

by Anna Jones

Flowers by John Davis Florist at the wedding of Patrick and Emily Grainger. Photo courtesy Kayley Savannah Photography

The Details

You’re engaged! You’re thrilled. You’re in love. You’re ... overwhelmed. Whether you’ve dreamed of the big day your whole life or never thought about it until the moment you said yes, the actual process of planning your wedding is uncharted territory. Let this guide be your road map — and leave the details to us.
While choosing flowers may seem like a daunting task, start by looking at your backyard for inspiration. Incorporating coastal Georgia and South Carolina floral varieties in your wedding will help to give it a sense of place and locality. Using your wedding colors as your base palette, work with a florist to layer in flowers in matching and complementary shades. Maria Kato of Kato Floral Designs in Savannah receives many requests for greenery as wedding florals, and she uses local palms, stalks of Monstera deliciosa and snips of stock white flowers to give the wedding ceremony and reception a taste of the region’s lush landscape. As hearty plants, these arrangements can withstand the swelter of a Lowcountry summer or the whip of a coastal breeze. Savannah’s John Davis of John Davis Florist incorporates local florals into his wedding designs too, using fresh magnolias, camellias, gardenias, large palms or even a fresh boxwood wall to create a unique statement piece for the reception.

For Michele Mikulec, owner of Savannah florist Madame Chrysanthemum, it’s important for a couple to decide on their floral budget before engaging her in the planning process so she can propose flowers that work within that range. “If flowers are important to you, then make sure you budget your wedding around them,” she says. Mikulec has been pleasantly surprised by the increasing requests for trailing bridal bouquets, which offer an architectural yet feminine spray of flowers to carry down the aisle. Kato creates many cascading arrangements as well, draping a full swath of flowers and greenery over a cased opening or ceremony arch for a romantic touch.

When looking for floral inspiration, Davis recommends using Pinterest to find different types of arrangements but warns against being married to a specific flower. “Pinterest photos are great for inspirational ideas,” Davis says, “But some flowers may be impossible to get at a certain time of year.” Davis also rec- ommends that when working within a confined budget, less can be more. “Go for impact in a few areas, then perhaps consider single flowers at each table setting with votive candles. Even one large coastal palm in a single large glass cylinder is chic and does not break the bank.”