I am so excited to finally welcome the talented, Chelsea Fuss, back to Once Wed. Her blog, Frolic, is one of my daily favorites, so I’m delighted she’ll be joining us at the beginning of every month starting in August with the help of photographer, Lisa Warninger, to showcase diy wedding ideas. To see the rest of this gorgeous peony story and tips on how to recreate the table yourself, click the more link below…







Flower Market Centerpiece


Inspired by French flower markets, we filled simple, galvanized tins with fresh peonies and lined them up for a centerpiece full of impact. Anyone (including those with zero floral experience) can put this centerpiece together in minutes, a day or two before your event.


You will need:
15 stems of Peonies
3 6″ galvanized tins (we found some with numbers already attached, or you can stencil them on with a hardware stencil)
Clippers (clean and sharp)
Buckets of water


Step # 1: We chose peonies in three shades, pale pink, coral and pale yellow. We bought them 2 days before and let them open up to full bloom while sitting in deep, lukewarm water. If you have trouble getting your flowers to open up, place them in a 70 degree, bright room. Do not place them in full sun. You may want to include a few budded or partially opened flowers if you are creating these the day before, as they will open up further overnight.
Step # 2: Fill your galvanized buckets over half way,  with cold water. We found tins with numbers that can double as table numbers and exude that French market feel. You could also use a hardware stencil to paint numbers on buckets.
Step # 3: Each bucket will take 5 flowers. Hold one peony stem next to a bucket with the large flower head just above the rim. Do this to gage how long your stem should be. Clip the stem a little above where it meets the bottom of the bucket. Place your flower in the bucket and make sure the flower head rests on the rim of the bucket. If it is too tall, take it out and clip it again.
Step # 4: Fill one side of the bucket with blooms and work your way around the arrangement until the bucket is full.
Step # 5: Line them up down the center of the table (or group them together on a round table. for a 45″ round table, just one will do). We placed the numbered bucket in the center so guests can clearly find their table. We chose napkins to echo the colors of the flowers and bring color to simple white rental linens.


Buckets, Anthropologie or find similar ones at Jamali Garden. Clippers, Smith and Hawken . Peonies, Adelman Peony Farms . Napkins, made from fabric from Bolt. Tablecloth, West Coast Event Productions . Location, The Cleaners at The Ace Hotel.

Photography by Lisa Warninger


Comments (25)

TH | Reply

I love peonies, too bad they don’t have it where my wedding will be. Gorgeous!

TH | Reply

I’m not sure if anyone can help, but I love peonies so much, does anyone know where I can get real-looking silk penoies at affordable price to use at my wedding? Thanks a bunch!

The Perfect Palette | Reply

this is really gorgeous. wow. the colors are great! Perfect for a shower.

jenna | Reply

these look pretty good to me: http://www.save-on-crafts.com/silkpeonies.html

but i would instead order cheap wholesale real flowers – hydrangeas are often much more affordable – i’ve had good luck with this site: http://www.fiftyflowers.com/flowers/WeddingFlowersHydrangea_206.htm

chelsea | Reply

@th writes I would really recommend going with fresh flowers. If you are getting married in the summer, try garden roses (yves piaget is a great one!) or dahlias. They’ll offer the same look as peonies!

Hope that helps!

TH | Reply

Hi Chelsea and Jenna, thank you for answering my question. I’m getting married in Asia and there are no peonies there. But I definitely will look to see if they have garden roses or dahlias. Thank you!

myra :: twigs & honey | Reply

I love this…. so clean, simple, easy… yet totally fabulous.

liz | Reply

where is the bottle of beverage from??

chelsea | Reply

Hi Liz,

It’s actually from Cost Plus! They have a great selection of “pretty” drinks and sodas. :)

cindy | Reply

i’ve been happily married for years and will visit you, again. this is so wonderful as are the ladies who created it. i’d love the bouquets on my dinner table.

mary | Reply

I absolutely love these. Great job, Chelsea!

Rachel | Reply

These are soooo gorgeous! I love them! I’ll be linking.

Karen - The Last Detail | Reply

I’ve tried to do arrangements like this using hydrangeas in a fairly shallow container like this, and the blooms always end up being top heavy. Do you have a suggestion that doesn’t involve using oasis?

chelsea | Reply

Hi Karen,

These arrangements were made by grouping the flowers in one area of the vase and building the arrangement out from there. The flowers sort of just hold each other up. If the vase is too wide then you will have trouble. You can tie the flowers together in a bouquet or use a flower frog.

I would use a wire flower frog or place some twigs in the bottom to use as a natural frog. You can also use a tape grid over the top. Check out Martha for some tips on all of these:


kirstin | Reply

LOVE these! I’ll be linking!

Erin | Reply

I love these arangements they are so elegant and simple! I’m having a park wedding that is covered in oak trees so it’ll be really rustic and these would work perfectly. Any idea where the napkins came from?


Heather | Reply

You can also buy peony garden roses when peonies are out of season. And they look just as good if not better. I think http://aflora.com has silk peonies while my sister ordered peonies from http://wholeblossoms.com for her wedding. They’re delicate flowers so if you do decide to order them fresh, be sure to water them as soon as you get them and keep them cool.

Jennifer Cortes | Reply

I just want to add that I ordered garden roses really inexpensive from http://www.theflowerexchange.com and they where in great conditions.

Peonies Wedding | Reply

Love the photos of the peony flowers. They are really beautiful. Its amazing how pretty a few peonies in the tins can look. I found peonies for my wedding at http://www.bridgewatergardens.com. Their peonies were perfect.

Kim | Reply

The Peonies are beautiful! Had some at my old house, this made me remember what’s missing from my garden now…
Small buckets like the ones here can be found at http://www.greatroomsdecor.com/TinyTin-Bucket-p/hk-tiny-buckets.htm — they are a little taller, but you can hang a table number from the handle.

Pam | Reply

Those are some beautiful peony arrangements!

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