Wedding Flower Tips from Celebrity Florist Michael Gaffney

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Wedding Flower Tips from Celebrity Florist Michael Gaffney

When it comes to wedding flowers, every couple has a different approach. Some brides and grooms spend the entire night before their Big Day adjusting table arrangements, while others blow half their budgets on exotic orchids. But no matter what style or size of wedding you're planning, Michael Gaffney who is a celebrity florist, founder of the New York School of Flower Design and author of “Design Star” has been there and done that.

Here are some excerpts adapted from an interview Huffpost Weddings had with the floral guru:

What are the biggest floral trends you're seeing this season?

It's a combination of hand-tied flower bouquets with trailing ivy or orchids hanging down so you get that cascade feeling. It's the hottest look. I also think we're going to go back to very, very simple, clean, beautiful, smallish bouquets. Big is out.

What DIY tips do you have for couples who want to do their own floral arrangements?

Page through a magazine and then maybe ask for a little help from somebody to figure it out. Look through magazines and find a simple but effective design and copy it!

How do you get expensive-looking bouquets on a budget?

If you are doing it yourself, get a look and find out which flowers cost less per stem, but do the same look. Carnations are in -- way in -- in New York. Hot, hot, hot flower. I know people hate them, but they're hot. Nothing wrong with them! If you're doing it with a floral designer, they should be able to recreate an elegant look that from five feet away you can't tell there's a mix of inexpensive and expensive blooms. In fact, oftentimes when you do that, the expensive ones leap out of the bouquets and they show up better. Here's my advice: Simple dress, busier bouquet. Busy dress, simplify the bouquet.

What's the number one thing couples need to remember when choosing flowers and a florist for their wedding?

The most important thing is to find a reliable source and educate yourself on a realistic budget. It could be lower than you think, or higher than you think, but do your homework. Find somebody you feel comfortable with and interview them. When choosing arrangements, use what I call the 'work horses.' Choose the flowers that are going to hold up through the day, through the next day and, why not, through three more days so guests can enjoy their flowers after the reception. [The 'work horse' varieties are] lilies -- Casablanca and stargazer -- roses, of course, they're very long-lasting flowers, orchids, gerber daisies, beautiful assorted fillers, peonies, hydrangeas and callas.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I get it from interior stores, magazines, fashion magazines, movies, beautiful women -- all women, really.

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