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Winter Woodland Wedding
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Winter Woodland Wedding

​​Stephanie McLellan, Photographs by Stephanie

Dried flowers imprint on us a soft, sweet, natural essence that is fragile but strong in its long lasting quality. They are sincere and they are beautiful. Much the same can be said for love, which makes dried flowers an exceptional choice and metaphor to add to your wedding day. As the winter days begin to dwindle here in Pittsburgh and feelings of excitement around pastels and pops of colors bubble up, it is hard not to be eager for Spring and warmer, brighter days. However, the coolness carries on for now and just as we miss the magentas and okras of seasons to come, we will miss the murk of Winter. Soft, subdued palettes that reflect the coolness of the weather, the muted landscapes and the calmness of long nights. There is such beauty in every season with each their own specialty and evocative powers. Dried flowers have long been the bridge between nature, beauty and the desolate months when weather doesn’t permit fresh blooms. Even so today, although we have access to fresh flowers all year round, they can still be very sensitive to freezing temperatures and extra steps and care must be taken to prevent damage whereas dried flowers are much more resilient against the cold. The muted colors of naturally dried flowers compliment the mood and palette of Winter and are indicative and metaphoric for the beauty of the barren and hibernating world soon to be lush once again. 

We’d like to reflect on one of our 2022 weddings that embraced Winter and celebrated the greys, neutrals and blues. We especially loved how much thought the bride and groom put into the landscape the flowers would exist in. The ceremony took place in the woods and they wanted to be sure the naked trees and dead grasses were made beautiful with complimenting colors and elements. 

The bridal bouquet and other focal arrangements featured big, fuzzy, natural protea that aided in the color palette with browns and black. The icy blue echinops added a pop of color and playful texture. We featured lots of sagey blue eucalyptus to give color and lushness. Silver stoebe was the perfect shade of grey and brightness while also adding movement and texture. The bunny tails and rice grass created movement and added a snowy softness to the harsher woody elements, such as the compacta and plumosum. 

We made a ceremony piece that was mounted on a circle made of branches. We love how this piece really becomes one with the environment, connecting colors and textures while embellishing and creating a focal point amidst the woods to feature the bride and groom. 

Even the bride’s hair with moments of brown and gold fit so well into the overall palette. We made her a comb that continues the theme and makes more beautiful connections with the scenery, flowers and the couple themselves. Although it often doesn’t take up that much space in the planning process of a wedding, the appearance of the couple is a place for consideration. The shade of someone’s hair, the tone of their skin, all things can be (and should be) considered when creating a palette. There are always places to draw connections and create new compliments. When struggling to come up with inspiration, take a good look at what is around you, the environment, the people, the season, there is always something to draw meaning from. 

Material suggestions for a winter wedding

Softness for snow:

Bunny tails, pampas grass, rice grass, snowdrop grass, everlasting, furry plumosus and protea, white straw flowers, ammobium

Hard, wooden elements for the barren trees:

Plumosus, compacta, protea, banksia, okra, twigs and branches

Neutrals and dried grasses for the latent gold-brown grasses:

Wheat, avena oats, natural bloom broom, millet, lepidium

Muted blues for ice and coolness:

Echinops, hydrangea, mountain mint, eucalyptus, lavender

Greys and black for the short days and long nights: 

Bearded black wheat, protea, silver stoebe, lavender, black broom corn

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