Outdoor locations are beautiful, but they often lack that “decorated for a wedding” feeling. If you’re holding your wedding in a park, garden, or a private home or yard, and you’re worried that the space just doesn’t feel special enough, don’t worry. The best wedding decorations are flowers, so why not adorn your ceremony and reception spaces with the most colorful blossoms you can find? The best part about using living flowers is that you don’t have to blow your budget on items that will die the next day. Living flowers are a vibrant alternative to cut floral arrangements. They last longer, they make a striking visual art piece, and they’re eco-friendly, too!
Hanging flowers make a fantastic and relatively easy DIY project if you have a green thumb. You can use any container that matches your theme, from coconut shells to bunches of wine corks. Simply give the flowers a soft surface to wrap their roots around, and decorate the outside with whatever embellishments you like.
Get Permission to Decorate
Before embarking on a major DIY decoration project, it’s wise to get your venue’s blessing. The nice thing about hanging wall flowers is that they’re modular, so they can be hung in any pattern from a variety of surfaces. You don’t have to commit to any size or shape ahead of time. You can hang the wall flowers from nails or tree branches. You can tie them to sections of a fence. You can shut them into window sills. You can hang them on walkway posts or staircase rails.
Let your venue know what areas you’d like to beautify with your hanging flowers, as well as your plan for taking them with you when you go (if the owner doesn’t want to keep them, that is!). It may help to show the venue owner or management a sample photo of the type of hanging flowers you’re envisioning.
Creating the Wall Flowers
First, you’ll need a few sacks. You can find these for free or cheap by calling farms and feed stores, gardening supply stores, restaurants, and any other businesses you can think of that buy ingredients in bulk. If you live in an area that salts the roads when it snows, salt sacks make great flower containers, too. Ask your friends to collect potato sacks and any other sack that comes their way in the months leading up to your wedding.
Believe it or not, collecting the sacks is often the hardest part. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, you can also create your own by using old pillow cases and sheets (or tarps, if you have the ability to sew them together). The thinner the material, however, the smaller the sack has to be in order to hold its own weight. Leave a hole large enough for plants to grow out of, and sew a reinforced handle onto each sack so it can hang easily. Alternatively, you can leave two long strips of fabric at the top so you can tie the sack around a pole or tree trunk.
Once you have a good collection of sacks with handles, it’s time to fill them with soil. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area with good soil, just scoop it up. Look for dark, crumbly soil without too much sand and rocks in it. If you don’t have a handy supply of good soil lying around, you can purchase it in bulk from a nursery (possibly the same one that gave you your sacks!).
Fill the sacks with soil until they’re the size you want for your wall. Keep in mind that smaller sacks are more portable and support themselves more easily, but larger sacks can hold more elaborate arrangements of plants and flowers. If your sack has holes, some soil will sift out, but the majority should hold in place.
Now it’s time for the best part: planting the flowers! Purchase colorful flowers, ferns, and other ornamental plants from local nurseries and hardware stores. Think about fragrances as well as colors and shapes. Plant some flowers that stand up tall and some vines that trail over the side. You can intersperse fragrant herbs for an even more varied arrangement. If you want a hearty bunch of plants that don’t require a lot of attention, use succulent plants for your décor.
Keep Your Hanging Flowers Beautiful
Since you probably want to make your wall flowers ahead of time, you need to keep them looking beautiful until the big day. Keep the soil moist but not so wet it drips. Hang the flowers where they can catch an appropriate amount of sunlight (ask the nursery if you aren’t sure how much sun they require).
The most important part of keeping your flowers beautiful is decorating the sacks with your choice of decorations. Hang colorful material around them to match your wedding colors and cinch each with vibrant beads or rustic rope. Cover the sacks with a collage of wine corks, shells, costume jewelry, or any material you like. You can even arrange so many draping vines over the side of the sack that the container itself is completely covered. Keeping your embellishments simple is fine, since the flowers will speak for themselves!
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.