Using Succulents in Your Wedding Florals

One local florist offers tips on incorporating these carefree desert plants.

Just when you thought you had seen everything, get ready for the latest in swoon-worthy wedding florals: the succulent. These oft-fuzzy, sometimes rubbery, always gorgeous plants and flowers add a unique twist to the traditional.

Consider them the do-it-all greenery.

According to Jeb Taylor, co-owner of Jamaica Plain’s New Leaf Florists, succulents are incredibly versatile and lend themselves to all types of arrangements, whether you have a rustic theme, a more formal setting, or the most casual of celebrations.

“We often use them as decorative accents on the table or even as a botanical accent right on the plate or napkin,” Taylor says. They can be worked into vase arrangements, bouquets, and even as a strong masculine statement for a boutonniere. “We have also created whole dish garden plantings for centerpieces, which gives the entire table a very strong and richly textured botanical feel.”

Throughout their wedding design portfolio, this flower expert most commonly uses rosette-shaped echeverria succulents.

“They can be attached to a pick or peg and positioned in an arrangement to appear to be floating,” Taylor explains.

In addition to such compact succulents as the echeverria, you can also opt for hanging succulents such as donkey tail and upright branching varieties for even more of a creative edge in color and texture. While sage and jade green are the most common, Taylor also blends in succulents that have red tones, yellow hues, and some blue-green to boost the overall dramatic effect.

While succulents are often substantial and have a strong presence in a bouquet or arrangement, what you pair them with can make all the difference. When using these fleshy flowers and plants for wedding arrangements, Taylor often pairs them with other large flowers that have a similar strong look.

“Celosia looks great with succulents,” he explains. “As do peonies, garden roses, protea, calla lilies, and green trick dianthus.”

And no more worrying how your florals will hold up for your hot summer outdoor celebration.

“Succulents are extremely hardy and can be out of water for weeks or even months,” says Taylor. “They hold up perfectly in arrangements. Most are sturdy and easy to work with.”

Now if only those traits applied to other aspects of your wedding planning.


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