Summer weddings in Southern California held outside are guaranteed sunshine and typically hot. With temperatures averaging 95F+ in the Los Angeles area (Palm Springs and Joshua Tree you can expect triple digits) it’s imperative we figure out a way to keep the flowers looking fresh and gorgeous and the Smith and Lily team hydrated and rested.

We recently flowered the wedding for our gorgeous clients Joelle and Chris at the stunning Saddlerock Ranch venue in Malibu, California. The venue has the most incredible views of the Santa Monica Mountains and The San Fernando Valley – truly stunning.

Hydration is the key.

The wedding was a Saturday, this was our plan of action:

Thursday: We picked up our pre-ordered flowers from Mayesh LA along with more local flowers from Gather Flora LA and some of our favorite vendors at The Los Angeles Flower Market. Once back in the studio the flowers were processed (leaves removed, stems cleaned) cut and placed in fresh cool water.

The flowers then had a rest overnight and a long drink of water whilst taking in the cool air in the studio.

Friday: We designed all the centerpieces and flower meadows. We use chicken wire for a sustainable design and the meadow trays we used Agra wool soaked in water The flower stems are then placed in the Agra wool to keep the flowers hydrated. We don’t use floral foam. It’s a plastic and toxic.

The bridal bouquet and personals were designed and kept in water in vases ready for transportation on the Saturday.

We also prepped the flowers we were going to use on the arch. Gave them a fresh cut and fresh water and they had another rest over night.

Water: The secret to beautiful summer weddings in Southern California

Saturday: The bridal bouquet, bridesmaid bouquets and boutonnieres were delivered. It’s important for the bouquets to be placed in the vases when they aren’t being held or photographed – keep them hydrated!

The Smith and Lily team arrived at Saddlerock Ranch layered in sunscreen with hats, vats of cold water and plenty of snacks. We set to work on the arch. I chose Smilax for the arch because it does well out of water and in heat (it comes in from Texas). We wrapped the arch and sprayed with water. The flowers we used in the arch were cosmos, hydrangea and babies breath. We placed each individual flower in its own water tube before placing in the smilax. When we went back to strike on the Sunday the arch still looked ok – the cosmos not so much but the smilax, hydrangea and babies breath held up well.

All of the centerpieces were topped up with fresh water and placed on the tables at the very last minute – they were still going strong at the end of the evening.

Throughout the day, we took breaks and I’d hired an extra person to make it easier for us working in the heat. I’m not going to lie 🙂 we were pretty exhausted by the end of the day and I didn’t dare take my hat off – what a sight!!

I was so happy with how everything turned out – it looked gorgeous – and I’m so thankful to Danielle, Karin and Jonah for doing such an amazing job.

wedding arch with wedding couple at Saddlerock Ranch, Malibu, California
Wedding Arch with Wedding couple at Saddlerock Ranch, Malibu, California

Cheers, Clare

Clare has built up a loyal client base throughout the Los Angeles area delivering daily flower bouquets, subscriptions for private homes and businesses, and designs to wow at your wedding or next event. Inspired by her English countryside roots, Clare has recently turned her hand to growing flowers to include in your flower designs along with locally sourced flower, and those from further afield.

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