Flowers may be an important part of most festive events, but it’s rare that they are the main event. That’s all starting to change though, given the dreamy flower potluck concept we’ve had our eye on for awhile now. Just a few years ago, Kinfolk magazine put together a flower potluck campaign, asking communities across the world to join in the flower-designing fun. Lots of them responded, and the next thing you knew, potlucks were happening in North Carolina and Portugal, bringing friends and family together to work with flowers side-by-side.
Like any good potluck, this one only works if everyone contributes something to the table. In this case, that could be two bunches of peonies, strands of silver dollar eucalyptus, a clutch of sunflowers. Whatever each person brings goes into the “pot,” and everyone draws from that pot to create their design. Not surprisingly, the wedding industry has taken note of this concept, which lends itself perfectly to bridal showers, bride’s luncheons and bachelorette parties. Follow our step-by-step guide below to learn how to host your own.
First, The Invite
Chances are, your guests may have never heard of a flower potluck before–this is your chance to enlighten them in style! Lay out the basics: They’ll need to bring a floral or natural element of some kind. Depending upon the size of your gathering, have them bring 1-2 bunches of flowers or a “bucketful.” You can restrict it to one type of flower, or request that they get the flowers from a specific entity: a local farm or florist or from their own backyard. You can also invite them to contribute branches, vines, fruits or greenery in place of a flower (every good bouquet needs these items!). Ask everyone to bring a container and a pair of scissors.
Location, Location, Location
Where to host your flower potluck is an important consideration, given the fact that you’ll need plenty of space to work. We’ve seen gatherings that take place in the great outdoors, a fitting choice for a nature-based activity, and ones that unfurl inside. You’ll need an extended table or tables that offer everyone lots of room to move and additional space for supplies.
Gather Your Ingredients
Since this is a potluck, your guests will be bringing flowers and other natural elements, but you should have some on hand, too. It’s smart to collect some buckets to hold the cut flowers until you’re ready to use them, as well as a few containers of varying sizes (open pedestal bowls can accommodate a variety of shapes and sizes). Gather up shears and scissors, twine, foam, paper wrap and aprons. It’s helpful to have flower descriptions and meanings available as well. We’re partial to having descriptions and meanings printed on the table runner where your guests will be working.
As your guests arrive, make it easy for them to drop off their contributions to the potluck. Bins of water near the entry can be easily transported to the work station. Most potlucks are guided by a florist who goes over a few different floral styles and the basic principles of floral design at the outset. Then, everybody digs in and works at their own pace, producing arrangements that may use the same flowers but reflect a range of visions. Its an upbeat, collaborative effort with beautiful results.
Don’t Forget The Extras!
Your flower potluck can segue right into brunch or dinner, whether you go farm-to-table outside or keep it indoors. This is the kind of event that benefits from other fun, festive touches (think donut or mimosa bars, a sundae-making station and a photo booth). We love the idea of serving a signature drink that utilizes florals like a lavender lemonade. The eventual designs can be used to decorate your potluck’s dining tables, or you can donate them to local institutions, or you can let each guest take theirs home, proof of a time well spent.