Ask the wedding expert: Merry Floral on figuring out a floral style

Airren & Jonah Judice's wedding in May of 2018. Photo by Carolynn Seibert.
Mary Johnston. Photo courtesy Merry Floral.

Wedding day flowers go far beyond the bridal bouquet. From lush arbors to fountains overflowing with roses, florals are a key component in creating an ethereal, romantic scene in any venue. And while the blooms have been a wedding staple for years, it’s only within the last few that styles have diverged and become more unique and, in many cases, over the top.

For Mary Johnston of Merry Floral, each couple presents an opportunity to try something new. Tailoring the floral design to the bride and groom’s personality, Johnston approaches each client with an open mind and fresh creativity.

“One of the first things I do is get a really good gauge for their wedding style as a whole,” she explains. “I think it’s very helpful to come up with a handful of descriptive words that you’d like for your wedding. A few words that we most often hear are whimsical, organic, simplistic, romantic, wildflower-esque and moody. Of course everyone could associate these words with different meanings and styles, but I always find this to be helpful.”

In modern-day wedding planning, the best ally of both vendors and couples is Pinterest. Johnston says that creating joint boards with her clients allows them to come up with ideas together and stay on the same page. Inspiration images are also key in deciding where to splurge and where to save.

By deciding which areas are most important, couples can narrow down where to place things like large floral installations so they serve the best purpose in the space and in a couple’s photos.

“When choosing the location of an installation, it’s helpful to consider the photos your photographer will take on your big day,” Johnston explains. “Do you want the structure behind you when you say “I do,” or do you want to have a large floral backdrop for your guests to pose in front of at your reception’s photo booth? If you and your florist can’t land on the right place for a large floral installation, I’d really encourage you to look at some photos of installations made from only greenery. Fresh greenery adds so much life to a venue!”

For Johnston, non-blooming elements are just as important as the flowers themselves. Not only can incorporating more greenery save a little money, but it also creates much-needed texture and interest in both arrangements and installations.

“One of my favorite parts of working on weddings is carefully selecting all of the flowers and greenery varieties that we’ll use to bring the floral vision to life,” she says. “But I’ve got to say, ultimately, my favorite part is seeing the couple on their wedding day and just sharing in the joy that their big day is finally here.”


To learn more about Johnston, check out her work in this wedding from last year’s inRegister Weddings issue, or visit her website here.

And if you’re eager to pick up some floral skills yourself, Johnston is hosting a centerpiece workshop this Friday, May 24, at White Star Market. Click here for more information and to sign up.

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