December 6, 2022
This year, don’t let the tree get all the attention. Think about how many hours are spent with family and friends lingering over holiday meals, and you may find yourself inspired to trim your table a bit more. We turned to large-scale event floral designer Abby Spillett, founder of Oakleaf Designs, for her secrets on how to make holiday meals wow-worthy. Turns out it takes only six simple steps!
1. Remember Abby’s rule: think long and low
Abby recommends creating six different flower arrangements—four small ones in the middle with two larger ones bookending them at either end of the table. Don’t worry about being too matchy-matchy—mix-and-match vases look great as long as they’re all neutral and not too tall, keeping that ‘long and low’ arrangement in mind. (That allows everyone to see each other over the flowers.)
2. Find your blooms
According to Abby, anywhere works, so don’t get caught up in confusion over where to go. Head to the grocery store for flowers and fruit (Trader Joe’s has an amazing selection if you’re near one), or try your local florist, farmer’s market, or even foraging outside for pine, holly, rosemary, or camellias.
3. The prep step: enter chicken wire
Surprise! Chicken wire will be your new best friend. Use this in each of your vases to hold the flowers. The wire helps them stand strong instead of flopping over. Be sure to tape the chicken wire into the vases to secure the flowers in the form you’re going for.
4. Now add your botanicals
Once the vases are ready to go, start by adding the greens in each vase as a base, then add your flowers. Pro tip: To make the arrangements look more natural, make sure every flower is a different height. Once you fill each vase, arrange them down the table.
5. The finishing touch: reindeer moss, of course!
To bring the arrangements and the table together, Abby says to try reindeer moss (usually found at a craft store or online) around the arrangements. Fruit can work too to bring it all together and add more texture. A few strategically placed candles in between the arrangements will set the mood and ta-da, you’re done!
6. Go the extra mile and spring for a few sprigs…
Once you set each place with your favorite china, napkins and silverware, Abby says she loves to tuck a sprig of rosemary into each napkin ring to bring a pretty pop to each plate.