Inspiration for bringing Greenery into your wedding!
I’m seeing all sorts of exciting things happen in my garden folks which can only mean one thing…we made it! Spring is FINALLY here! My daffodils have blossomed, the shrubs and bushes are leafing out, and I spent a very sunny, therapeutic afternoon last week planting peas, carrots, and spinach in my vegetable garden. I’ve also sowed my cut flower seeds I got from Floret Flower…I’m trying out sweet peas, stock, and zinnia this year, and while I’m keeping expectations of my success real low because I’m still a newbie in the gardening world, it’s still thrilling to see the little shoots pop up. And all of this has me motivated to share a project with you that I have been sitting on for months. I could have shared it ages ago under the guise of, “Oh here’s something to keep you warm this winter.” But, I just couldn’t. Trust me when I say that this needed to wait for sunshine and daffodils and maybe even a little spritz of lemon. It needed spring.
With Pantone announcing ‘Greenery’ as the color of the year for 2017, I was so excited when Wed Utah contacted me about helping design a shoot for their online magazine (see the feature here!) that would help encourage brides to pull greenery inspiration into their weddings. The best part of this shoot was that Wed Utah allowed us to have pretty much full creative control over the direction of the shoot and I had such a blast teaming up with some favorite artists I’ve worked with in the past, as well as new talent that I’ve been dying to work with to design this shoot (you can follow our design board on Pinterest here), and the overall effect was stunning. This shoot was also featured on Wedding Colors and you can see that here. Below, you’ll find gorgeous greenery wedding inspiration, along with loads of tips, tricks, and options on how to find, DIY, or personalize it to your wedding. Get ready for ‘Greenery’!
The invitation suite is the first impression your friends and family will see of your wedding style. It’s the glimpse into the color palette and a sneak peek into the feel of the direction the event will take. It’s your chance to say how formal vs. informal, chic vs. rustic, or modern vs. vintage, etc. your wedding will be. Melissa from Lavender and Pine created this stunning modern greenery invitation suite.
I love the variety of elements such as hand-lettered modern calligraphy, the foliage invitation suite and envelope liner, and that crisp modern font that makes the calligraphy really pop and show the many different options a bride could have when designing an invitation suite. This botanical wedding invitation suite is the perfect foundation for a bride looking to incorporate more greenery into her wedding and would be so easy to adjust and customize to make it vintage, romantic, formal, etc. so that it fits your wedding.
And the little detail that makes this whole suite over the top perfect?! The daffodil and greenery stamp :) One thing that I wish I had done was take my invitation suite with me to one of my photo shoots and have the photographer style and shoot a sequence of images for me really quick. It’s one of those items that gets mailed and tossed in the trash so it would be nice to have a memory of it!
And if your groom is there, we can call it formals, but remember when we talked about the ‘G-word’ here and how we don’t use it? Shhh! Don’t even think it. Just call it formals. But for this shoot we went with the classic bridal shoot. Mary’s Bridal in Salt Lake City, UT dressed our model Sara in a stunning minimalist silhouette.
These clean lines and smooth textures really make the intricate beadwork on the back of the dress become such a striking focal point, as well as her luxurious deep-brunette hair and sparkling emerald green eyes. This dress truly highlights the bride and accentuates all of her beautiful, natural features instead of detracting.
It also helps continue the crisp, modern look and feel set by the invitation suite from the very beginning. And you’ll see that the very talented Julie with Blushing Blonde modeled this same look and feel in Sara’s hair and make-up.
I love the neutral, clean palette Julie works with on Sara's make-up. It’s very fresh and puts the emphasis on her more naturally dramatic features rather than painting over them or weighing her down with visual heaviness. Instead, Julie has created an airy, ethereal quality that seems to make Sara glow from within.
Julie continued this fresh, clean look by sweeping Sara’s hair into a low, medium-soft side bun. I’m going with medium soft here, because Julie has kept some lovely volume and texture in Sara’s hair without it feeling stiff and uptight, but it isn’t so soft and loose that we’ve crossed the line into bohemian. Instead of loose braids and tendrils, Julie opted for finger curl accents.
But we also wanted this shoot to be about options, so Julie also styled a half-up bun and finger curl accent with loose flowing waves for brides setting a loose, tousled, garden feel.
Personally, I felt like using the two options together was the best way to go, with the bride wearing the more traditional updo, and then having bridesmaids or flower girls be incorporated into the look with the half-up bun and finger curls, but not going all matchy-matchy (totally a word). But then, I may be biased because this sweet flower girl is my little girl, but more on her look later. And for the record, in my family, a half-up/half down hairdo is called “Princess Half-up Half-down”. Oh yes. That’s the official name for it :)
Obviously, when Pantone said, “Greenery” every florist immediately thought of the literal greens, the green ferns and foliage we use as the foundation and backdrops of so many of our designs. Greens have become widely popular over the last 2-3 years as bouquets have moved away from neatly rounded, flower-filled bouquets, to lush sweeping bouquets that still have flowers, but are overflowing with greens. In the past, brides have leaned towards the grey-greens like seeded eucalyptus, dusty miller, agonis, or gunni eucalyptus like in the bouquets here and here, but one of our goals for this shoot was to show brides the options they have to push past what the current trends were and use true, deeper greens to move into a new mode of styling greenery in wedding bouquets like you’ll see in this lush, all-greenery wedding bouquet.
If you clicked on the link above to look at examples of past bouquets, you’ll see the greenery trends from years past were heavy, draping designs with a very garden-romance feel to them. And while I love their texture, movement, and drama, I wanted to create a new look and feel for greens. I kept the lush full-foliage look, but opted instead to lighten it up with more tropical ferns and foliage.
You’ll see that while the bouquet still has the same sweeping movement, these deeper ferns like ming fern, flat fern, honey bracelet, Italian ruscus, and myrtle seem to float rather than hang. Ferns and greens are super versatile and while I opted for the attention of an asymmetrical cascading arrangement, this same selection could easily be used in a rounded or upright bouquet. Keep in mind that ferns have a ton of texture to them, which looks great in these images because Sara is dressed in such a smooth silhouette, but things could get a little busy if you paired a really textured dress with this mammoth bouquet.
The changeability of greenery also lends itself to tons of options for the wedding party and the décor. I loved styling our bride and our flower girl in her darling crocheted lace dress with gorgeous cascading greenery wreaths. These wreaths would be such a delightful change from the traditional posy for flower girls and bridesmaids. I love the idea of everyone using them for the pictures and then hanging them up as a repeating theme for a backdrop for the buffet or on shepherd’s crooks lining the getaway scene, because let’s be honest, bridesmaids don’t carry around their flowers all night. They get set on tables. So using them again as decor is the perfect way to get the most bang for your buck!
Don't worry. I haven't forgotten those handsome grooms and their mates. I love these mix n’ match foliage groom’s boutonnieres. They’re organic and modern and would look great with any color of suit or tux your groom wears.
Our tablescape was a team effort with Ashley from Hawkeye Photography and I heading up the styling and pulling in some great vendors to put the finishing touches to the table. Ashley brought our table to life with a vision of greenery and marigold and pops of metallic gold.
Diamond Rental Events provided crisp white linens and a marigold table runner, gold chargers, gold-rimmed plates, and gold silverware. The golden place settings lend an elegance and sophistication to all the organic greenery.
We loved accenting each gold place setting with linen napkins, traditional wine glasses, avocado green blown-glass goblets, and custom laser-cut place cards by Jenn and Jules Designs. They were so sweet to use the names from each team member in their place cards, so we all got to go home with a little memento from our shoot. Thanks guys – we love them!
Another great option for a botanical place setting is this lovely spring botanical inspired menu, also by Melissa with Lavender and Pine…and now we’re all starving. You’re welcome.
Ashley and I finished off the look with a 2D emerald leaf garland – again a change up from the spilling, rounded garlands full of seeded eucalyptus we’ve seen in years past – and an emerald leaf chair tie-back, and we’re loving the vibrant effect.
When it comes to wedding décor, really, the sky and your imagination (and possibly the skill of your florist :) are the limits, but we decided to work mainly with ferns and greenery to show brides many of the different options for incorporating greens into their wedding décor.
I created these greenery backdrops as inspiration for a greenery wedding ceremony backdrop or a greenery floral installation. This concept could be used in doorways, archways, along empty wall space, hanging in windows, etc. Again, you’re only limited by your imagination. And an added bonus is that a lot of the greenery is significantly less expensive than traditional wedding flowers like roses or peonies.
I also incorporated artificial greenery into our ceremony backdrop. I found these fabulous moss mats and lush ferns at my local JoAnn’s. They were the perfect backdrop for our bride, and I can see these ferns gracing corners and pedestals at a wedding venue and giving it a very fresh greenhouse look. I absolutely adore this whole set up and would love to see it expanded into a full wedding look.
Our final element in this shoot was a wedding cake that matched the design and feel of a greenery wedding. When I designed this cake, I wanted to make a more organic, spring flavor profile my number one priority, and I don’t know what it is about springtime, but it has me dreaming of fresh fruit and nuts eaten picnic style out in the sunshine. One thing led to another and this is what happened...
Our bottom tier is a combination of nutty pistachios and sweet white chocolate, all nestled into a butter cake. This butter cake has chunks of pistachio and white chocolate chips baked right into it and is filled with white chocolate buttercream and more chunks of pistachio. It’s a fantastic savory-sweet combo, and while I’m not normally a fan of white chocolate, I found out that I love it with pistachios and a buttery pound-cake style wedding cake. I’ve found I can usually discover at least one way I like foods I haven’t previously like. Mushrooms have got to be chopped finely into ground turkey, white chocolate apparently needs a pistachio cake…I still can’t figure out how to eat olives or eggplant in a way that is palatable.
Anyway, the next tier is a creamy lemon cake. We’ve got vanilla cake double-stuffed with cream cheese frosting and fresh lemon curd. It’s like taking a bite of fresh sunshine.
And for our final baby top tier, I’ve created an almond raspberry cake that is absolutely divine. I went with almond, which is a flavor I don’t normally like, but I proved myself wrong and found it impossible to NOT fall in love with this vanilla cake filled with almond cream cheese frosting, raspberry filling, and studded with chopped almonds.
These are all wrapped up in a classic white buttercream, and I decided to do a little throwback to white-on-white piping with this cake and love the effect. It’s clean, simple, and fits the design of our shoot, but to keep it modern I did a green and marigold watercolor effect on the second tier with piped abstract flowers.
The cake was topped off with fresh ferns and greenery to complete the look. And while stacked cakes have been popular for many years now, I asymmetrically separated my cake layers for added height and dimension.
There are so many beautiful piping and watercolor options out there, that this is really just a foundation or springboard and ready to customize to any look or style a bride wants to achieve!
For my final display or wedding backdrop option, I created a DIY hanging-ribbon backdrop incorporating those same green and marigold colors in pastel tones. This is a super-simple DIY wedding decoration that adds color and movement to anywhere you hang it.
This entire shoot was captured by the lovely Ashley from Hawkeye Photography and I hope that these images have you enjoying the awakening that is springtime! Get out there and dance in the rain, go on sunny bike rides, watch your trees leaf out, and have a great time planning your wedding. Let this shoot provide you with lots of inspiration for incorporating greenery into your wedding! And below, you’ll find a complete list of vendors, so that you can get these same amazing artists to do your wedding as well.
Spring Fern and Foliage Vendor List
Photos: Hawkeye Photography
Flowers and Cake: The Pear Blossom
HMUA: Blushing Blonde
Invitation Suite: Lavender and Pine
Bride's Dress: Mary’s Bridal SLC
Custom Name Cards: Jenn and Jules Design
Rentals: Diamond Rental
Location: Elizabeth Cooper Design Studio
Meet the Designer
Emily first fell in love with flowers while studying floral design at Brigham Young University-Idaho in 2002. She did her first wedding that same summer and has been designing weddings ever since. With over 12 years of experience in the floral and wedding industries, Emily loves creating flowers that bring beautiful colors, textures, and most importantly, memories to every event.