The right mechanics make designing spectacular wedding arches fast and easy.

Floral design and text by Susan McLeary

Photos by Patrick Kolts for Accent Décor

conservatory collection event arch design

Last year, I was asked by Accent Décor to collaborate on a number of solution-focused structures and vessels designed with sustainability in mind. The most exciting is the new “Conservatory Collection” of sturdy and gracefully arcing stands built for designing into water. They are available in two heights—72 inches and 95 inches. With one stand of each size, floral designers can create beautiful broken arches, or with two stands of the same size, one can create more symmetrical arches. I recommend having two of taller stands and one of the shorter stand, to be able to create both. One can design into the vases ahead of time and pop them into the stands on site, or one can design into the vases at the venue. I chose Quercus nigra as the foliage in this design for not only its cascading nature but also its ability to completely conceal the vessels and stands.


Step 1

Form a length of florist netting (chicken wire) into an orb, and place it into the vase. Repeat this process for each vase.

add chicken wire to vases

Step 2

Secure the chicken wire orbs into the vases with waterproof tape, and then fill each vase with properly proportioned flower nutrient solution.

Step 2

Step 3

Arrange stems and branches of foliage into the vases to create the shape and dimension of the design and to conceal the mechanics.

add greenery to vessels

Step 4

Arrange flowers and additional foliage into each vase. Be mindful of stem length, utilizing blooms in lower vases to conceal the bottoms of the vases above them. Also arrange some of the botanicals downward to help camouflage the vases below them.

add flowers

Step 5

Continue to arrange flowers and foliage until the composition feels full and abundant.

DESIGN TIP: You can arrange flowers into all of the vases, or you can omit a few vases, to create negative space.

broken arch finishing touches



Rosa rubiginosa ‘Juliet’ (garden rose)

Chrysanthemum × morifolium ‘Linette’ (disbud decorative mum, cremon mum)

Alstroemeria aurea/A. aurantiaca [flecked petals removed] (Peruvian lily, lily-of-the-Incas)

Cymbidium aloifolium (Aloe-leaf boat orchid, Aloe-leaf Cymbidium)

Ranunculus spp. Butterfly series ‘Artemis’ (butterfly buttercup, butterfly Ranunculus)

Tagetes patula ‘Harlequin’ (French marigold)

Solidago altissima (tall goldenrod, Canada goldenrod, late goldenrod)

Quercus nigra (water oak, possum oak, black oak)


• “Conservatory Collection” Stands and Vases from Accent Décor

• Florist Netting (18 inch) from Syndicate Sales

• OASIS® Waterproof Tape (1/4 inch, Green) from OASIS Floral Products/Smithers-Oasis North America