Spin the color wheel! Dos and Don’ts of Wedding Colors

To be bold or subdued; bright or muted; classic or trendy… should the colors complement the venue or your complexions?  Does my mother have to wear a matching dress?  Invitations, bridesmaid dresses, table linens, vests and neckties and of course the flowers are just a sample of items affected by the color scheme a couple chooses for their wedding.  Since color can set the tone, it is best to choose wisely.  Through my years as a designer, I’ve seen some fun combinations.  Some color schemes have been more successful than others.  Over time, I’ve developed some dos and don’ts that I have shared with countless couples.  Although I contend that there are no rules when planning a wedding, I’m always willing to share my opinion on choosing a winning color combination. 

Don’t Go for Complements:

Most brides and grooms are familiar with the idea of complementary colors.  The three primary colors of red, blue and yellow are placed opposite their corresponding complementary color on the color wheel.  Blue is paired with orange, yellow with purple and red with green.  You will notice that the primary color is paired with the secondary color that is made by mixed the other two primaries.  This creates a bold and loud contrast between the colors.  These color combinations are often used for things like gas-station logos, or sports team uniforms.  The contrast between the colors catches the eye and forces the viewer to take notice.  When trying to use these colors together in floral design, it’s very difficult to fight off thoughts of the Mets or the Lakers.  Red and green together also bring their own unique challenge of constantly conjuring thoughts of Christmas for many of us.  For these reasons, I suggest trying to avoid using complementary colors as the basis for wedding décor. 

Do Go for A Bold Statement:

While complementary colors may be too bold a choice for most, it is a great idea to choose at least one bold color to inform the design.  Purple, fuchsia and orange seem to be the go-to colors these days for couples looking for a pop of color.  Vibrant and rich tones such as these can provide a warmth and personality to the occasion without detracting from the proceedings.  When choosing a bold pop, I suggest limiting the palette to just one bright tone.  This brings me to my next tip.

Do Go Green:

Green is your friend.  I frequently suggest adding lime green to the floral arrangements we make for weddings.  If a bride or groom favors a brilliant tone such as purple or orange, adding a touch of green into the mix tends to heighten and embolden the arrangements.  Green is a neutral color and is found in abundance in nature.  Green “goes” with everything!  (Although it’s good to keep in mind the challenges when pairing red and green, Jingle Bells…)  It’s soothing and calming qualities pair beautifully with the lush colors found in the floral world. 

Don’t Count out the Classic:

A white wedding seems to have become a less popular choice these days.  Perhaps with all the fantastic color options found both in fabrics and flowers, couples would rather have more fun with the color palette.  This is understandable, however white has been the traditional wedding color because it’s clean, pure, and simple and it allows for the couple to be the stars of the day.  There are also so many flowers available in white; it’s easy to make arrangements interesting by using different textures, shapes and scales.  This is another instance when lime green can be helpful.  It’s also a good idea to choose one color to add into the mix of white.  One of my favorite weddings used all white flowers with accents of huge and lush coral colored peonies.  Simple and chic, this color scheme still resonates with me all these years later.  It was unique and yet remains a classic and elegant choice.

Don’t Tempt the Humor Gods:

If you’ve never seen your color combination used at a wedding, there might be a reason.  Sometimes when a couple chooses to be unique, it can backfire.  I’ve had to explain to a bride and groom why yellow and brown is not a great choice for a color scheme.  Without going into the specifics of why, (think about it people, yellow and brown… really?) certain color combinations elicit subconscious responses or connotations.  It’s the same reason why yellow and black can be difficult to use together; taxi cabs and bumble bees!  Yellow and red always makes me think of Ronald McDonald and ketchup and mustard.  These are not thoughts I want to have at your wedding! 

Don’t Over Indulge:

No matter what colors are finally chosen, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that everything has to be covered in these tones.  You don’t have to dye your Maltese puppy to match the bridesmaid’s dresses.  It will be just fine.  Choose key locations and items for the colors to be used.  You don’t want your guests to feel like they just stepped into a Pepto-Bismol bottle if your color happens to be pink.  Touches here and there will suffice.  Also, everything doesn’t have to be the exact same shade or hue.  I have learned to beware of the bride who carries the Pantone chip!  Relax! 

Do Listen to Our Advice but…:

We have seen it all… or close to it anyway.  Your vendors have been involved with hundreds of events and weddings.  Most of the time, our advice is free and is often given weather you ask or not.  We will tell you if your colors won’t work or if they should be rethought.  Although we can offer some sage wisdom, remember that it’s your day and your decision should be the final word.  You write the check so ultimately you must be happy with the colors you chose.  Maybe you are both huge Lakers fans.  So go for it!  Don’t let us get in your way. 

This scribe is brought to you by Tom Sebenius.  Tom is a longtime Starbright employee, team leader and Creative Director.  More brides have written online reviews about Tom’s work after their wedding than anyone in the industry that I know.  We are proud to have Tom on the Starbright team.  He is anal, demands a lot from me (I am his boss) and I put up with as much as a restauranteur puts up with from his Chef.  Truth be told, I know that at  the end of the day, Tom’s work is what built our brand and what has helped maintained our Gold Standard in customer service.  Tom will always do what is right for our client and knows that preserving our reputation is the most important function of all.

Starbright Floral Design is located in  the Heart of New York City’s Historic Flower District in a second floor loft space.  We offer all the services that a traditional florist would except that our home  is not a store  front that you would walk on by.  Our focus has always been on providing the highest quality flowers (we import directly from really exotic places), amazing customer service and really cool designs.  When you have a free moment please visit our website at www.starflor.com where you will be able to gain a clearer perspective on our organization and the work that we do.  You may also call us at 800.520.8999 – we would love to hear from you! 

Warm regards,

The Official Florist

Starbright Floral Design – www.starflor.com

Located at 150 West 28th Street, Studio 201, New York City

(between 6th and 7th Avenues)



Happy New Year!

It’s that time of year again.  Time for introspection and goal setting for self-improvement.  Time for our New Year’s resolutions destined to fail.  All of us at Starbright are here to help.  Here are a list of the Top 9 New Year’s resolutions and our guidance in successfully accomplishing them.  Think of it as public service announcement…

1. Lose Weight and Get in Better Physical Shape

Everyone knows the benefit of physical activity to one’s health.  A suggestion to help accomplish this very important, perhaps lifesaving, goal.  When ordering your flowers and/or gift baskets think about coming by in person rather than telephonically or via internet.  Centrally located in the flower district we are walking distance to Times Square.  For an added benefit try using the stairs as we are located on the second floor.

2. Find My Soul Mate

Romance is alive and well as more and more people are looking for that special someone, their soul mate who lights their fire, the ONE whom they love unequivocally and who shares their worldview.   This one is easy.  What’s better received by a romantic interest than a beautiful bouquet of flowers by Starbright (with an added benefit-zero calories)?

3. Find a Better Job

A new year provides a sense of getting a free do-over, so you can try again and get it right. Many people resolve to find better jobs or to take a new approach to the jobs they’ve already got.   What better way to help a friend take the leap of faith than with delivery of flowers and/or gift baskets with an encouraging message attached.  Disregard this resolution if your friend is a concierge at one of the many hotels who choose Starbright for their needs.

4. Stick to a Budget

Many people find it very difficult to stick to a budget. It does take hard work and a lot of self-discipline, at least in the beginning.   Again we are here to help with a helpful suggestion.  Come the New Year send yourself a regularly scheduled weekly arrangement with a motivational reminder on the message card such as “STICK TO YOUR BUDGET BUT DON’T FORGET TO STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES”.

5. Get Organized

Resolve this year to plan your days, reduce interruptions, and clean off your desk.   The benefits of getting more organized include being able to save time, as you no longer look for the same things over and over again or need to replace things you can’t find at all.  Starbright is here to motivate.   Just think how beautiful any of our wide array of floral arrangements would look on your freshly organized desk or clutter free home.

6. Enjoy More Quality Time with Family & Friends

Resolve to spend more quality time with family and friends this year.   This one is easy as well.  Starbright offers quick and courteous delivery with the purchase of any of our products allowing you to spend quality time with loved ones.

7.  Go Green

More and more people are resolving to “Go Green”.  Starbright is all over it.  As one of the largest retailers in NYC we have a large collection of green flowers.  Including Hydrangea, Jade Roses, Bells of Ireland, Spider Mums and Cymbidium Orchids.  However, our designers would urge you to accent these green flowers with others such as red/yellow/pink Roses, Tulips, Lilies, Carnations etc.

8.  Passion

Resolve to become more passionate.  No doubt an amiable goal in life is to attack every day with love and youthful enthusiasm.  What leisurely pursuit can be more rewarding than creating a thing of beauty such as a bouquet of flowersStarbright is open to the public seven days a week.  Come tour our facility and pick out the flowers that light that passionate fire within you.  Along the way our designers will happily give you suggestions and/or assistance as you need it.  Come choose from a multitude of roses, lilies, orchids, tulips, peonies.  Anything your passionate heart desires we have it.

9.  Decrease Stress

Resolve to lower your stress and the stress of the people around you.  It is impractical to send people you love fish tanks filled with fish.  According to a recent MSNBC article flowers are the new fish tank.  Fish have been shown to lower stress levels in people who don’t fear being confined in small places.  Getting lost in the beauty of colorful floral arrangement has been shown to lower the stress level in all.  Send more flowers to those you love and encourage them to send you flowers.  Your health depends upon it!  Starbright Floral Design (800) 520-8999 (the 911 for stress relief).

Just jump on Facebook and give us some of your New Year’s Resolutions and our team of floral designers (humanitarians) will endeavor to suggest ways on how Starbright can help.


Starbright Floral Design is the “Official Florist of Romance” and  we deliver flowers, love, passion and hope everywhere in Manhattan and worldwide.  Now we deliver on New Year’s resolutions too!


Give us a call, visit our website or pop on in!  We would love to meet you….


Passionately yours,


The Official Florist


Starbright Floral Design


Located in the heart of New York City’s Historic Flower District

150 West 28th Street, Studio 201.

T. 800.520. 8999

Web: www. starflor.com

E-commerce portal: www.starbrightnyc.com



Roses – Creativity, Style and Love

A Sphere of Black Magic Roses
A lavander phaleonopsis orchid plant
A clutch bouquet of miniature calla lillies

Tom S. is our Creative Director and the Arbiter of Style for Starbright.  Tom sees into the future and keeps our design styles ahead of the curve.  For Valentine’s Day 2010 he has some thoughts to share and has written the article below… Enjoy!

As Valentine’s Day quickly approaches, I stop to ponder Gertrude Stein’s famous quote, “A rose is a rose is a rose.”  During this time of year, our store is inundated with requests for red rose arrangements.  It is not atypical to have over 15,000 long stem red roses in our fridge during the week of Valentine’s Day.  While roses are gorgeous and will always remain a popular declaration of one’s love and devotion, I have to agree with Stein.  A rose really IS a rose.

Luckily, we are prepared with other creative and unique options that should appeal to most couples.  Why limit yourself to a vase of red roses?  During the Valentine season, the price of roses can be shocking.  Our wholesale cost goes up, supplies of the best roses become scarce and customers can see that reflected in the price of a dozen roses.  Instead of roses, consider sending a lush, hand tied nosegay of eggplant colored calla lilies.  With their sculptural shape that has been eroticized by artists such as Georgia O’Keefe and Robert Mapplethorpe, calla lilies should evoke a passionate response from any recipient.

Orchids are another option that will both delight and inspire.  The exotic shapes, textures and colors of the orchid speak to the tropical fantasies of many lovers.  During the winter months, wouldn’t it be wonderful to remind your loved one of your past trip to the islands?  Perhaps the flowers will help to promote a future trip.  One benefit of orchids that can not be overstated is their longevity.  While long stem roses typically last an average of five days, fresh cut orchids will remain lovely for up to two weeks.  An orchid plant can last months, and they are deceptively easy to care for.  For a masculine approach to the orchid, a floating cymbidium stem artfully arranged inside a glass cylinder is a very modern choice. This option is long lasting and costs about $25 less than a dozen roses.

If your other half is more traditional and may be disappointed if they don’t receive roses, let us become creative to come up with a special mixed arrangement.  Rather than the typical tall vase, try a tight and compact cube arrangement.  Not only will the flowers be easier to bring home, they will last longer!  Low and lush arrangements are a modern trend and appeal to most discerning costumers.  Hydrangea, tulips, and roses make a romantic mix certain to please even the most persnickety lover. Because the roses are being added to other flowers, the cost will be significantly less then a solo vase of roses.  While cost is often not the deciding factor when choosing a gift for someone special, in these times it is very nice to have some economical options.

As a floral designer, my opinion of roses may be negatively influenced by the scars and calluses I’ve acquired from years of Valentine’s Day thorns.  However, I have the unique opportunity to see the wide of variety of flowers available to customers during this romantic holiday.  While roses are certainly the star of the show, there are many flowers that are waiting in the wings for their moment to shine.  No matter what, when the flowers are sent with love, they transcend and aspire to more than Stein’s observation.  “A rose is a rose is a rose…” unless it comes from you!

About Starbright Floral Design: We are located in New York City in the heart of the historic flower district.  We are in a loft on the second floor of our building on 28th Street, right by Seventh Avenue.  We deliver to all of New York City ourselves (and beyond).  This holiday season we have some amazing Valentine’s styles for you to choose from.  Give us a call (800.520.8999), stop by (150 West 28th Street, Suite 201) or visit our website (www.starflor.com)

%d bloggers like this: