Make The Perfect Flower Arrangement

Whether you are hosting a formal dinner party or having a few friends over for cocktails, setting a bouquet of fresh flowers on the table goes a long way when it comes to dressing up the room. It instantly makes a instant statement, fills the room with their scent, and helps to welcome your guests. But not sure what to look for when shopping for flowers, or are unsure what will work for your get-together?  Keep these 5 tips in mind:

1. Avoid using overly fragrant flowers. They not only mask the smells of your cooking when seated at the dinner table, they can also antagonize allergy sufferers and leave your guests eager to escape the party. (Photo below courtesy of Flickr/atsidoshouse)

If you're dining at the table, keep your centerpiece(s) no more than eight inches high so that guests can see across each other. While your flowers are likely lovely, your guests would much rather make direct eye contact (as opposed to craning their neck and leaning around the flowers) so avoid using a tall arrangement.

3. Think statement color, not size. Big floral displays create grand statements and are best reserved for very large buffet tables. When selecting your arrangement for a standard-sized table, use color to make the statement, rather than the size. If impact is what you are after, scatter smaller displays along the length of a long table or cluster them together on a round table.

4. Know what you want before you shop. White goes with any table décor, however if you are looking for a burst of color, know what flowers are in season and what colors you want in your arrangement before you arrive at the florist.

5. Plan ahead. Never leave your flower selection to the last minute! Visit your flower shop a week in advance and arrange for delivery the day before or morning of the party. Advanced planning will not only ensure they have the flowers you need for your party, but that they are fresh, too. (Unless you're shopping the day of the event, avoid purchasing flowers that are wide open as they might not make it to the party. Instead, purchase flowers that have yet to open a day or two before and place them in a warm place the night before your gathering.) It will also allow you plan your table design around the flowers you have selected.