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Perfect Pairings: How to Create Large Event Centerpieces with Pillows and Tall Vases 

For decades, professional floral designers have continued to wow event attendees with elaborate, over-scaled, floral arrangements that seem daunting to create. Well now, thanks to advancements in modern floral design mechanics, everyone can create these event stunners, and faster than you might think! Read on for instructions and pro tips on how to create show-stopping arrangements for your next wedding or event.

Large Event Centerpieces

Step 1: Choosing the Perfect Pairings

The first step in creating these large floral arrangements is to be sure to have the right supplies. When choosing a glass vase, consider its height, opening dimensions, and shape. An example of an ideal vessel for a tall centerpiece is this 24” tall glass vase with an opening at the top that perfectly accommodates a 6” Pillow mechanic to rest on top. A height of 24” or taller is recommended to elevate large arrangements high enough above the seated guests' sightlines. The shape of this vase is a cylinder, which is a classic and timeless design. Cylinders are also easy to find and simple for designing.

Tall Wedding Centerpieces with Holly Chapple Pillow

Step 2: Flower Recipes

Flower and foliage selections are the next step in creating beautiful, large-scale designs. Arrangements such as these require a variety of ingredients to make them full and over-the-top. Multiple types of foliage work best to achieve fullness, drape, sheen, and structural support. Foliage used in this design ranges from 3-5 stems each of Nagi, Italian Ruscus, Plumosis Fern, and Smokebush. Featured flowers include about 5-7 stems each of Roses and Carnations in cream and bush varieties, along with white Hydrangea. As a finishing touch, Curly Willow was used to create dramatic height.

Pro-tip: When selecting flowers and foliage for large designs, choose ingredients that complement each other with varying sizes and different shapes and textures.

How to Create Large Event Centerpieces with Pillows and Tall Vases

Step 3: Composing Designs

Once a vessel has been selected, and the flowers and foliage have been gathered, it’s time to start designing. When creating a number of large arrangements it is best to use one to three “work vases” to create the designs and leave the rest of the tall vases clean and safe in their boxes until arrival at the event destination. Because of the convenience of the modern Pillow mechanics, arrangements can be created in a work vase, then transferred to buckets for hydration and transportation.

To begin, set your Pillow mechanic on top of the work vase. There is no need to tape or secure the mechanic as the arrangement will be removed once completed. Start with adding stems of the mixed greenery to compose the shape of the design and also to begin covering the design mechanic. Remember to clean the stems before they go into the Pillow to keep the inside of the mechanic free of foliage and debris. This will also make it easier to insert the larger floral stems later. Once the arrangement is full with mixed foliage, add the Hydrangea, which are large, dimensional flowers and will use up a bit of space. The final flowers to add to the design are the Roses and Carnations. Everything should be evenly spaced within the arrangement for a balanced look. Once all of the ingredients are in the vase, the Curly Willow can be added for height. Now, simply remove the arrangement from the vase, place in a storage bucket, and begin again. Easy!

Pro-tip: Leave the upper foliage on flower stems such as Hydrangea and Roses to add to the fullness of the arrangement.

Final Step: Set-up

Transporting these giant arrangements to an event can actually be easy! By keeping the designs together in small buckets, and the vases clean and secure in their boxes, everything arrives safely to the venue and set-up is a snap. Simply fill the tall vases until there is only about an inch of space left at the top and then place on the tables. Be careful, these vases will be heavy. Always carry a cylinder or any tall vase full of water with one hand holding the rim or top of the vase and the other underneath the vase. Once all of the vases are in place, simply drop in your completed arrangements. For added effect, flameless candles in glass can be hung from the arrangements to create interest and a beautiful evening glow. These hanging terrariums work as perfect candle holders and come with twine so they can be easily hung in an arrangement with ornament hooks.


Now that you know how to create these large-scale, floral masterpieces, you can put your skills to the test. Wow your guests at the next event with perfect pairings of event glass, proper mechanics, and beautiful floral and foliage designs. For easy access to everything needed for this project, shop the links below!




    Photo credit: Michele DeVries with Once West Photos



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