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I-Do's & Don'ts of Engagement Party Flowers

Engagement party flowers and arrangements can be beautiful and stylish on any budget—it's all about keeping an open mind and having a plan, according to one of our favorite experts who works for a top floral designer in LA.

Flower Arrangements For Your Engagement Party

Here is what he had to say when we asked him about flowers and arrangements for engagement parties and/or weddings.

party flower ideas

The most important things to remember and consider when planning for engagement party flowers are:

Cost: If you're working with a florist, they have a markup, so if you have a flair for flower arranging, you might be able to do them yourself. Just don’t over-commit yourself and leave it for the last minute! (BloomsByTheBox is a great resource for wholesale flowers that you can order on line. They'll be delivered fresh when you need them and their prices are great!)

Availability: Even in this day of overnight flowers from Holland, South America & Hawaii, every flower isn’t available at all times and even if the flower you want is available it may cost much more at certain times of year. Make sure when thinking of what you want, that your desires are realistic.

Style: For table-top flower arrangements make sure your arrangements aren’t too tall for your guests to see each other across the table—roses are nice to look at, but are lousy conversationalists. A tall, thin vase with flowers high above everyone’s faces are fine though, even dramatic!

Photo Appeal: Whether you're choosing flowers for an intimate dinner, an engagement party or wedding—remember that there will be lots of pictures—pick colors that show off your table, your home or venue, and your guests!

While the happy couple may be the center of attention, the center of the table is important too. There's a lot to consider when planning an engagement party.

Although many of the points he shared with us can be applied to any event—from small dinner parties to weddings—we asked him specifically about engagement party flowers, types of arrangements, and how to come up with ideas.

Here is the guidance he offered:

Engagement Party Flowers: Get Inspired!

Be Practical, Look Elegant. Read magazines, actually, just look at the pictures—for once it's the right thing to do!

party flowers arrangements

Go online, check out lobbies of the world’s best hotels on their websites. When watching a movie or television, pay attention to the centerpiece on the table in the scene—hotels and Hollywood use some of the world's top florists. Get the idea?

Look at the window displays of the most expensive or creative florists in your town, you don't have to buy from them but I'm sure some of their ideas will inspire you.

A few months ago, while at the airport, I passed a Woman's Day magazine that had a pink and lime green floral arrangement on the cover. I was in a hurry, but it made me pause. On closer inspection, I saw that the lime green part was in fact, limes.

engagement party flowers in lime and pink

Limes that had been coated with corn syrup and rolled in sugar crystals, and then stacked on top of each other in a pile on a glass stand. Pink peonies were then interspersed amongst the tower of sparkly limes. Such inspiration!

I had a relative who was getting married in Vermont and knew her flowers at the wedding were going to be peonies.

I also knew they were on a very tight budget so I quickly snapped a picture of the magazine cover with my phone, and texted it to her.

They ended up re-creating the arrangement for her engagement party with lemons and daisies and used the limes and peonies at the wedding. The point is that ideas can come from anywhere so don't limit yourself to bridal magazines and focus only on wedding or engagement party flowers—look everywhere for inspiration.

Engagement Party Flowers & The Venue

Once the venue is determined, pick a color palette and decide what's needed for the engagement party. Flowers should be spread throughout the event. Besides the dining table (or tables), is there a buffet? You have to decorate that, too.

What about the entryway? Make sure your guests are greeted by an arrangement that is complimentary not only to the room, but also compliments your other flowers.

engagement party roses

If you are having anything served on platters or passed on trays, you will need a few extra blooms to add to these. 

Tip: If you're having the party in a private home, don’t forget the powder room, it’s a nice touch to put a small arrangement in there.

If you are doing the flowers yourself, or a friend has offered, this can be a great chance to show off your style. Just make sure you have enough time with all of your other hosting duties—your food should be fabulous and so should your flowers.

There's no point in having flowers if they look like an afterthought—just bunches of flowers picked up at the supermarket and jammed in containers. Reverse this disaster: When planned and thought about just a little, even supermarket flowers carefully placed in metal florist buckets can be quite a chic look.

Engagement Party Flowers: Stylish On Any Budget

Cost: The ugly yet necessary aspect of the beauty of flowers. If you have a small budget—use less expensive flowers, get even more creative and still go for impact. On a clean, white tablecloth, simple bunches of daisies in mason jars are not only cute, but elegant and very inexpensive.

daisies in mason jars

You will definitely accomplish a great look and stay in budget. With a little creative thinking and imagination you can do it on a dime as stylishly as a dollar.

Orchids are known for their elegance and high cost—however, if you can get access to a wholesale nursery or other cost-saving source, you will not only get an impressive look but you end up with blooming plants.

These can even be gifted—guests are often seen leaving parties carrying centerpieces! If you like the plant idea but have a limited budget, small terra cotta pots with blooming cyclamen (comes in many colors) will cost about $5 each.

Here's another simple, stylish, budget-conscious idea: Wheatgrass grows quickly, and can be placed in a variety of containers, from low terra cotta trays, to small galvanized metal buckets—it’s clean, eco-friendly and impactful. Use them on their own, add some daisies or colorful accents, and your guests will marvel at your cleverness. (OK, chic and simple and cheap!)

engagement party flowers wheatgrass

Style is a double-edged subject. You should present flowers that reflect your taste and personality, but you also might need to step outside of your comfort zone and allow something you wouldn’t normally choose—and hopefully, ultimately surprise yourself as well as your guests.

Florists & Engagement Party Flowers

Before you commit to a florist, make sure you have seen pictures of their work at the specific type of event you are having. You have to feel a level of comfort with the designer—these flowers are going to be remembered forever, even photographed (more on that later!).

Once you have chosen your florist, they are responsible for making your dream come true, but you still have to be aware of every aspect—don’t let them use more expensive flowers than you can afford (you don’t want to cut into your champagne budget do you?).

Give the florist deadlines, and confirm the delivery time and address.

Engagement Party Flowers 101

For a centerpiece, the arrangement must be low enough for people to see over, so they can talk. Think of the color of the walls, the table linens, the dishes—and the candles.

For an elegant dinner at an engagement party, flowers can really add an extra special touch. Use very thin, tall vases that don’t block the guests view of each other, and on the top of the vase place an elegant mound of ruby red roses or any other flower within your budget—stunning as you walk pass the tables and the flowers are at eye level.

If your event is around a holiday, like Christmas, July 4th, Easter, or Valentines Day (to name a few)—try your hardest to resist the temptation to go for the obvious and decorate with that theme. Shake it up—imagine how refreshing it will be for your engagement party guests to come to your dinner on December 15th and not see Poinsettias or Holly, but instead vases filed with bright green Bells of Ireland and Calla Lilies.

The easiest and best way to achieve visual impact with your engagement party flowers and arrangements is to go with one type of flower in one color. It's the latest trend in floral design and can be more economical because you end up purchasing the same flower in bulk quantities!

one color engagement party flowers

Engagement Party Flowers: Time To Say Cheese!

Photo appeal is important—everyone has a camera and wants to have memories. Avoid dark leaves against dark tablecloths—you need contrast. If you’re hiring a florist, make sure they know the colors in the room. Go with simple arrangements—one or two types of flowers with very little greenery—these will have great photo appeal. If glass containers are visible, line them with light green leaves, or fill them with lemons or other citrus to add another organic touch to the table and create even more impact.

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His most important tip for us in regard to engagement party flowers and floral arrangements is to have fun, but always remember your responsibilities—your event, your budget, your guests and of course, yourself.

Finally, pay attention to detail, and once you have the confidence that your party is well-planned, then all aspects, like flowers, etc. will hopefully come off without a hitch. And if something happens, it happens—get back to your guests, they are here to celebrate and so should you!