The floral designs for tables at weddings are constantly evolving. We have reached a point now, indeed, where the traditional top table has all but disappeared to be replaced by a less formal layout of guest tables that allows the bride and groom to be amongst their guests and to mingle easily.

The obligatory gorgeous long, low spray with trails of flowers and foliage tumbling over the front, has given way to more flexibility and we are able to accommodate more varied and interesting ways of decorating the tables for our special day.

Many venues now offer the choice of trestle tables, which are sociable and can be dressed to look absolutely enchanting. Flowers can be arranged in vases or jars of differing heights and size, down the centre of the table, interspersed with taper candles and tea lights. Distinctive types of foliage in different vases with carefully chosen blooms look lovely arranged this way; perhaps sitting on a runner in a contrasting colour or material of interesting texture. This approach of making a design up from many smaller elements, gives a delicate, free flowing impression.

The current fashion for succulents in all their glaucous glory, lends itself beautifully to this sort of concept. A diverse selection of plants displayed in stone, antiqued or galvanised pots can look incredibly effective. After the event the plants can be taken home by guests as a keepsake or arranged en masse in a special container to be given to the bride and groom on their return from honeymoon.

Little objects of interest can be added to the display too; for instance, if the couple have a seaside theme, there could be lengths of old rope, artfully wound, interesting shells and even pretty pebbles in among the candles and flowers. If the wedding is in autumn, small gourds and pumpkins could be added to the display; a winter wedding could feature carved wooden snowflakes and stars. There are so many possibilities for personalising this look.

This kind of composite arrangement, rather than one large one, brings with it the added bonus that if you need to change the configuration of the tables, to make way for the dance floor, for example, you can simply rearrange the jars, pots and candles in different groupings once everything is in its new position.
Finally, in an age where we are trying to become more environmentally friendly; foregoing blocks of florist’s foam in favour of simple vases full of water, or plants that can be kept and reused, seems like a good thing to do.