At a wedding decoration there is often some particular color that we have to follow, and while in details we must use our taste and skill, in the general plan we must follow the wishes of our patrons, if they command. At a home wedding there is usually an opportunity for the florist to show his skill in arranging a fine bank of palms as a background to the happy pair. This should be high and broad and tight and graceful, not thick and dense. If the chandeliers and mirrors are ornamented with greenery, asparagus should always be used and no attempt be made to follow the outlines of the chandelier, but thrown on very loosely. Instead of clearing off all the costly and beautiful ornaments from the mantelpiece, as we used to, and putting on a slab of flowers, it is now decorated with two or three vases of the finest, long-stemmed flowers, such as roses, carnations or chrysanthemums. All flowers are wanted on long stems, and all can be so supplied with one important exception, i. e., orchids; and orchids will be asked for in increased quantities, depend upon it, and if you can't supply them your customers will go to some one Who can.
Orchids are so desirable when cut, and it being impossible to cut any stem with some of them, cattleyas particularly, that wherever there is an arrangement of them they are used in baskets or some low arrangement, and nothing accompanies them better than maidenhair ferns.
Instead of banks of palms, except when occasion demands such, the plant decorations are made by standing singly in every available spot a perfect specimen of palm or dracaena or croton, or that splendid plant, a specimen Boston fern. No such thing as a flower pot, however clean, should be exposed. The florist should have on hand handsome jars in which the single specimens should stand. And in the groups, if the pots are not hidden by the smaller plants, then small plants of the Boston fern, or better still, Asparagus Sprengeri, must finish the bottom edge of the bank.
In regard to the vases of flowers. You are often asked to furnish vases, and you should always be able to supply them.
None will differ with me when I assert that nothing embellishes a flower like its own foliage. Roses should have nothing more, nor lily of the valley, tulips or any of the bulbous stuff, or chrysanthemums. If your chrysanthemum foliage is not good cut some that is. Anything else would be ridiculous. But carnations are weak in foliage and sprays of Asparagus Sprengeri go well with them.