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Your Event Career

The Quick Guide to Floral Design for Event Planners

When you think of floral design, the idea of decorating a venue with fresh blooms and color is the first thing that comes to mind. As it should – florals are a major element of event décor, and planners are highly involved in creating the design concept.

So what do you need to know about floral design to enhance your client’s event?

We’ve put together a quick guide to floral design to provide you with a working knowledge of the basics. Get ready to learn!

What is floral design?

While it’s impossible to narrow down the definition of floral design into one neat and tidy explanation, we’ll do our best to describe it within the realm of event and wedding planning. As an event decorator, you’ll plan floral arrangements with help from a florist – they will take on the complicated task of ordering and preparing flowers for event decoration. Your role will be to understand floral design in such a way that you can create the look your client desires, and work closely with an expert to do so properly.

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While floral design involves flowers, of course, it also extends to accessories such as jewels, balloons, and other accents. It also involves creating centerpieces, bouquets and garlands, and your client will likely have other event ideas that involve fresh blooms. After all, they lend a fresh, beautiful feeling to any event. Plus a burst of color!

A brief history…

It’s hard to imagine a wedding without flowers! This is because florals have been used as part of marriage ceremonies for centuries. Knowing which flowers have been popular over the past hundred years is important in your event planning career – you’ll be able to understand the evolution of trends, and can make the best suggestions to your clients regarding florals for their event.

To provide you with a quick look back, calla lilies, roses, and seasonal flowers were all the rage in the 1940s, and brides chose white, pale pink and other soft shades for their matrimonial bouquets. The 1950s saw the rise of pastel colors, which are very noticeable in photos from the time period! Peonies and roses were the top choices for events and weddings alike, and brides opted for lush, full bouquets adorned with ribbons.

Moving into the 1960s and 1970s, these decades were all about cheerful blooms such as daisies, sunflowers, and dahlias. Saturated hues of orange, yellow, and purple were extremely popular with brides.

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Moving closer to the 2000s, roses and carnations were popular in the 1980s and through the 1990s as well, with the rise of celebrity culture. The 2000s are highly unique, however, as many different types of flowers popular, and weddings can be adorned with any of these options – as well as tropical flowers!


It’s no surprise that clients will spend a bundle on floral arrangements for their event. Consider that the Society of American Florists reports the US floral industry is worth over $25 billion dollars! Specifically, a huge portion of a wedding’s budget is spent on flowers (bouquets, centerpieces, boutonnieres, and decorative blooms are just some ways they’re used!).

Here’s a list of the most expensive flowers that are commonly requested by clients:

Knowing how to help your clients pare down their budget is a highly valuable skill for event planners to have. You can do this easily by suggesting clients use seasonal flowers for their event – think lilacs, daffodils and tulips in the spring and poinsettias and holly in the winter, for example. If both you and your client are crafty, you can even work on some DIY projects to create centerpieces, flowery arches, and more!

Just because choices are slightly more limited with seasonal flowers doesn’t mean you can’t be totally creative with floral design! In order to make the best decisions, you’ll need to be familiar with the flowers available in each season. Be sure to brush up on your knowledge of seasonal blooms to offer the best advice to your clients!


Once you’ve selected your blooms and have a clear idea of what your client is looking for, it’s time to start arranging! Generally, you will hire a florist in order to work their magic (after all, they’re the expert!). But when you’re communicating what needs to be done to a florist, you need to have a basic understanding of their job.

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Once a florist cuts the flower stems and rinses them, they may place the flowers in water with lemon juice. Lemon juice lowers the pH of the water, which helps the flowers drink faster, and can prevent premature browning and wilting. Before beginning to arrange the flowers, they need to apply wire and waterproof tape. When it comes to this process, florists know that only the strongest survive – that is, they need to select flowers that are full, rich and firm so they will stand up to being arranged in a careful way (and will continue to look gorgeous throughout the event).

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the accessories that can be used for floral arrangements, such as candles, bird cages, ribbons, and jewels. If your clients select cheaper flowers, such as daisies, you can enhance these blooms with accessories to take them from simple to gorgeous. It all comes down to how knowledgeable you are about the type of flowers being used, and how florists can work their magic!

Discover the do’s and don’ts of centerpieces, and make sure your event has a beautiful finishing touch!


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