BEHIND THE (FLORAL) SCENESQ+A with Terrain’s flower expert
We recently partnered with Terrain’s design manager, Matt Muscarella to create both large and small-scale florals for our Best Day Ever wedding photo shoot. The result? Incredibly vibrant, eye-catching masterpieces (read: baby’s breath ombre archway!). Of course, we were dying to hear more about it, so we caught up with Matt and got all the details...
Q: Hi Matt! Tell us a little bit about what you and your team do.A: I oversee the teams that do event and in-home design. We work with clientele developing décor concepts for all types of gatherings at our event spaces and offsite venues. We also work in clients’ homes, doing everything from garden design to interior styling to houseplant curation! It’s very fun… something new every day.
Q: We love everything about the florals you dreamed up for our photo shoot.
What inspired the fun color palette?A: The team and I wanted a palette that evoked springtime, but with a little bit of a twist.
We contrasted soft, romantic pastels (blush, pale lavender, and light blue) with bright, saturated pops of magenta, yellow, and orange for an element of unexpected whimsy.
Q: The photo shoot required flowers in many different areas, similar to a wedding. How does one plan for that?A: In order to define the different spaces, we decided to have two different floral styles that could exist separately but be layered together to create dimension and texture. The finely textured baby’s breath almost acted as a neutral (albeit an impactful neutral!), and then the colorful “face” florals (roses, ranunculus, etc.) added a feeling of lushness and richness.
We used the florals to elevate the head tables and bride’s bouquets, and then the baby’s breath was used for a simple elegance on the peripheral dining tables and bridesmaid bouquets. When the two concepts were layered together for the arch, it was truly magical.
Q: Totally magical! Tell us about the arch!A: There was an existing wire structure at the event space that the Creative Director wanted us to completely cover in baby’s breath for a truly transformative experience. We just kept tucking baby’s breath into the structure until it felt like an ethereal, otherworldly setting. Then we created asymmetrical clusters of flowers around the entrance to give a focal point. Subtle color-blocking of the florals added a graphic visual and made the whole arrangement feel fresh and modern.
Q: How long did it take you to build and arrange the florals for this project?A: After a few days of sourcing, transporting, and preparing all the florals (there are lots of logistics involved, especially for the quantities involved in this installation), we spent about 2.5 solid days putting it together at Terrain Gardens—including one 30-hour overnight stretch—and then an additional day for breakdown and donation. It’s very fun and very rewarding, but certainly not for the faint of heart. We were counting stems of baby’s breath in our sleep afterwards!
Q: Wow! That’s dedication. We’re curious: what are the best flowers for a large installation like this?A: There are definitely types of flowers that work better than others for larger-scale and longer-lasting installations. For this scenario, we used as many “face” flowers as possible because they tend to last longer and they also eat up more real estate. The baby’s breath is very easy to use because it lasts for so long, and even if it dries up a bit, it still looks great.
Q: What are your favorite flowers to work with?A: This is like asking a parent to pick a favorite child! I love all flowers and a favorite challenge for myself is to always explore new flowers or use ones that I’ve previously avoided or considered pedestrian. I love breathing new life into flowers that are overused or considered basic/dated.
I really love anything that has movement, which is why branches and grasses are a favorite base material for me; I like to contrast those wilder elements with things that are super feminine or ephemeral, such as fritillaria or butterfly ranunculus.
Q: What advice do you have for brides who are seeking out a florist to create a large installation?A: There is so much that goes into creating these special, large-scale moments and I think it’s important to let your florist do what they do best. The more creative freedom you allow them to have, the better the result! Obviously, budget is a huge part of the equation, but there is so much that can be done through foraging or using cheap materials as a base and then accenting with more special pieces. Always have an open mind to how the final product can look!
Want More Info On