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A bride and groom smile at each other before a brick wall. The bride is holding a large bouquet of white hydrangeas.
Hydrangeas were the centerpiece of Justine Aronson’s bouquet.

Fresh Picks – Flowers can set the tone of an event

Take a peek at what brides this season have loved.

If there were a time-setting record for putting together wedding flowers, it may very well be held by Fleur Detroit in Bloomfield Hills.

Not far from the Oakland County courthouse, where marriage vows are regularly exchanged without long-range planning, creative director Darin Lenhardt has designed and formed individualized bridal bouquets and boutonnieres in close to 10 minutes using what’s in ample supply.

Whew!

He’s glad to share in any happy events, but his usual planning process — three to six months — allows him time to order what is decided when families consult with floral specialists; then he can look to trends and personalize them.

Natural and woodsy was the theme for Lindsay and Josh Fisher’s flowers, including the chuppah, which dripped with greenery accented with white orchids.

“One of the most popular color combinations for dress currently is white, black and gold, and fashion dictates coordinating colors for the flowers,” Lenhardt says. “We see lots of berries and foliage with that goal. There are smaller bouquets of monofloral designs showing anemones and ranunculus.

“Everyone wants a unique wedding, and flowers give weddings signature. How they are arranged is significant, and they give the feeling of the wedding and the day.”

With chuppahs so important to Jewish ceremonies, Lenhardt likes to enhance them with vines — passion vines and ivy — to symbolize the intertwining of families. For table décor, he prefers flowers without fragrance because aromas can affect the tastes of food.

Setup for a formal wedding can take as long as six-to-eight hours.

Lindsay Kwaselow and Josh Fisher, married in September, enjoy outdoor activities so they wanted their floral impact to be natural and woodsy. Bouquets for the bridal party appeared as if they were freshly picked and complemented centerpieces that stood tall and seemed to be growing on the spot.

“I have a habit of going against the grain,” says Lindsay Fisher of Royal Oak, who pressed her bouquet of eucalyptus and pink protea and keeps it on display in a favorite vase. “My vision was to stray as far away from typical as possible while layering in my own personal style.

“Nature grounds me. I love being surrounded by lush green life, and my wedding was no exception. I wanted to create something that people have never seen before at a wedding.

Josh Fisher’s groomsmen wore boutonnieres of seeded eucalyptus, lavender and blue thistle.

“Eucalyptus and lavender are my favorite fragrances, and the protea flower in its many forms is an ancient symbol of courage and transformation. Olive branches symbolize peace, new beginnings. I was very fortunate to work with a florist who understood my vision, listened to what I wanted and executed flawlessly.”

Fisher, who grows many indoor plants, worked closely with Breath of Spring Florist in Bloomfield Hills. Inserted among the greenery that adorned the outdoor ceremony and indoor reception were white orchids for accents.

Justine Aronson, another September bride, grew up in Michigan and moved to California in pursuit of a classical singing career. She clocked considerable travel to exact the details of her Chicago wedding to Richard Valitutto after searching Pinterest for basic ideas, hiring a wedding planner and choosing a florist.

“I like hydrangeas, and I carried them in my bouquet with the centerpieces being different versions of the bouquet,” says Aronson, who chose a pastel palette in the bridesmaids’ dresses and flowers. “There were lots of white and cream colors with foliage. I knew the concept

A bride and groom smile at each other before a brick wall. The bride is holding a large bouquet of white hydrangeas.

Hydrangeas were the centerpiece of Justine Aronson’s bouquet.

I wanted, and the florist helped bring that to fruition.”

Aronson had greenery on the chuppah for a natural look as the bridesmaids wore different dresses and carried an anemone variety that showed a subtle blue center with white petals. Flowers in general had different textures just as the dresses had different colors and textures.

David McKnight, founder and owner of Emerald City Designs in Farmington Hills, advises that the use of textured flowers puts wedding planners in style this year. He also finds that peonies and dahlias are very popular. Delicate blooms — sweet pea, scabiosa, lisianthus, astilbe — also are popular.

Roses, hydrangea, spray roses and greenery accents were among the 4,200 blossoms adorning a chuppah, created by David C. McKnight of Emerald City Designs in Farmington Hills, at the Fox Theatre.

For couples wanting a deeper meaning in their floral choices, they can often look to symbols. Some symbols are associated with hues, and roses make for a prime example.

“While a red rose symbolizes passion, a white rose means purity,” McKnight explains. “A pink rose signifies joy and admiration. Hydrangeas represent understanding while lilies reflect on purity. Ranunculi speak for radiance.”

The chuppah, according to McKnight, can have floral designs that bring about a soft and romantic effect or become more dramatic with lush blooms and blossoms. The most distinctive chuppah Emerald City Designs created was for a wedding at the Fox Theatre, where guests viewed 4,200 blossoms, including hydrangeas and roses, with greenery for a one-of-a-kind effect.

“Clients should be conscious of what is in season and what will hold up in the season of a wedding,” McKnight says. “For example, hydrangeas in bridal bouquets during the summer months may not hold up as well as roses.”

There are so many floral options, McKnight adds, so clients should not feel limited.

Suzanne Chessler

Suzanne Chessler’s writing-editing career has spanned many years, and her articles have been featured in secular and religious publications across the state and around the country. There was a period of time when she maintained three regular columns in three different publications – one appearing weekly to spotlight metro volunteers, another appearing weekly to profile stage enthusiasts in community theater and a third appearing bimonthly to showcase upcoming arts programs. Besides doing general reporting, she has had continuing assignments involving health, monetary subjects and crime. Her award-winning work builds on majors in English-speech and journalism earned at Wayne State University, where instructors also were writers-editors on Detroit’s daily newspapers.

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