I organize a big cocktail party during the National Stationery Show each year called the Paper Party. It’s just a fun way for our stationery community to get together one night while we’re all in town and have a great time! The floral arrangements from Soirée Floral are always amazing, and we were super lucky to have Flower Muse as our floral sponsor this year! If you aren’t already familiar with Flower Muse, they’re an online service that offers flowers directly from the farms that grow them – everything from dahlias to sweet peas. My eyes start flashing little red hearts whenever I browse the selections at Flower Muse, but right now I’m especially smitten with this gorgeous Curcuma flower!
Flower Muse provided the most beautiful peonies, ranunculus, and garden roses in our color palette of white, pink, and coral for Paper Party 2015. I couldn’t stop staring at those gorgeous flowers! Today I’m super excited to have Eleanor Hsu, the co-founder of Flower Muse, here with some tips for creating floral arrangements for a cocktail party!
From Eleanor: Cocktail parties usually consist of smaller tables or various spaces spread out through your home or venue. It may seem daunting to decorate with fresh flowers for a cocktail party but it can be very easy to DIY and doesn’t require a large budget.
Tip 1: Stick to smaller arrangements. The table space at cocktail parties is usually smaller and more limited, so create arrangements that are at the right scale. A beautiful but huge floral centerpiece is going to look out of place and take up too much table real estate on a cocktail table. Keep your arrangements low and tight so you aren’t blocking your guests’ view and your guests also won’t have to worry about errant blooms or leaves falling in their drinks!
Tip 2: A few stems can go a long way. Creating smaller arrangements doesn’t mean that your party will look sparsely decorated. Don’t underestimate how you can transform and brighten up a room by dotting the space with numerous small vases of a few blooms. Choose flowers that can easily make an impact – like a single peony bloom or a few roses.
Tip 3: You don’t need a big budget. Since the arrangements are smaller, that means you can get away with buying fewer stems and you can stretch that budget with more budget friendly flowers (like roses) and complement and fill in gaps with greens (purchased or foraged from your own backyard).
Tip 4: If you don’t have much experience with floral design, keep things simple. Stick to a single color that complements your party (mono-chromatic) or stick with one type of flower (mono-botanical). These tend to be much easier to arrange.
Tip 5: If you have a little more experience, don’t be afraid to mix things up. Use contrasting flower colors or colorful or sparkly vases to create interesting focal points. Group multiple small arrangements together to create the look of something bigger while still maintaining table space.
Tip 6: Go big with one statement piece. For your cocktail bar, hors d’oeuvre station, or check-in table, where there is more room and where everyone will walk by, you can create a larger arrangement to help fill in your space and tie everything together. Don’t be afraid to go taller here, since you don’t need to worry about impeding conversations.
Tip 7: Avoid high allergen and overly fragrant flowers. Flowers like lilies, amaranthus, solidago (aka goldenrods), and gerbera daisies can set off allergies for those who are particularly sensitive to flower pollen. Also fragrant flowers like freesia, tuberose, gardenia, jasmine and some garden roses may smell nice, but could interfere with your guests enjoying their drinks (particularly if it’s a wine party!).
Thanks so much Eleanor!
Floral Design: Soirée Floral
Photos by Charlie-Juliet Photography