We all know that when it comes to wedding flowers, roses are always ‘in’ and carnations are always ‘out’. But what about artichokes? And cabbage? Yes, they are both tasty if roasted and dipped in a nice garlic aioli, but they can also look gorgeous in flower arrangements. Allie Webber of Bowman and Clark, an event planning and floral design shop in Atlanta, is an expert on using untraditional buds. I talked to her about some of the unexpected flowers, succulents, and berries she incorporates into wedding bouquets and boutonnieres to make them elegant and unique.
Allie and her husband and business partner, Bill, love using a wide variety of florals in their designs. They use such a variety that they now document each one so they won’t forget what they’ve used! Instagram #bowman_buds started as a reference for Bowman and Clark, but has turned into a place where anyone can search and find florals with their names. Allie and Bill enjoy teaching people about flowers and the myriad of options there are for weddings arrangements. They want to keep adding to their list and hope that someday other florists will use the hashtag for their own flower photos, creating the ultimate floral archive.
Here are some of Allie’s favorite buds of the moment. Maybe they can inspire you to add some funky florals to your wedding!
Yes, these are a food! They are also super fun to use in an arrangement. Artichokes have such a lovely color and their unique texture adds depth to modern, greenery heavy arrangements. Deep purple artichokes look stunning next to succulents and purple cabbage in a bouquet. The pairing of light green artichokes and contrasting buds like raspberries or blackberries are a fresh alternative to rustic boutonnieres.
How can you not love these?! King protea come in a wide variety of colors and sizes. Like artichokes, they bring a unique texture to arrangements. In a bouquet, light pink king protea look gorgeous next to blush colored roses and bright green hypericum berries. They are also so darn cool that they make a statement all on their own!
Andromeda (or pieris):
We love these sweet little guys. They are dainty and light, yet they bring so much life to any arrangement. In coordinating spring bouquets and boutonnieres, light green andromeda look stunning with brightly colored pink and purple ranunculus.
Flowering Air Plants:
Allie used flowering air plants in a bouquet recently. They were for a southwest inspired photoshoot full of bright pops of color and lots of greenery. In a spring bouquet, we love flowering air plants with light pink king protea, pink baby roses and mint green succulents. In a boutonniere, flowering plants look best wrapped in simple ribbon. The great part about these plants is that afterward you can keep them and they last forever with just a little misting of water once in a while. You don’t even have to plant them!
Wild blackberries are the epitome of summer. They bring an organic touch to any arrangement. We love adding these freshly picked, garden inspired stems to a boho bouquet filled with Queen Ann’s lace, ferns, and peach roses. For a boutonniere, try using ripe luscious blackberries with sprigs of wheat and a contrasting yellow rose.
Scabiosas are one of Allie's all time favorite flowers. They are sweet and delicate with a little attitude. They come in a range of beautiful colors. Deep red scabiosas look elegant in a bouquet with calla lilies and king protea of the same color. Light green scabiosas make a great accompaniment to succulents in a spin on a traditional boutonniere.