How to Throw a Retro Summer Backyard Party


Summertime is party time!

By Carly Cylinder for

I threw this retro backyard party for friends with my friends at Wink! Weddings and One Love Photography, using seasonal flowers. Since the weather has been unpredictable the past two years around the world (this effected orchids grown in Thailand and roses from South America), I work with what is in season on a local level. More important than the type of flowers, is the look you want to achieve. I always like even my rustic designs a bit stylized, modern, and structured. Use a retro, bright color palette of pinks, oranges, and yellows- you can't go wrong with this combo!

Here are the details on how to get this retro look for your next celebration.

The Decor

- White vases from a discount store and mixed and matched designs.

- Glassware is vintage, so borrow from your family, friends, or go thrift-store shopping. Stick within the same palette, but mix-and-match designs.

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- Mix-and-match chairs and place around a wood table. To spruce it up, use a patterned runner that you can make easily out of fabric from any fabric store.

The Flowers

-We used pink snapdragons that we got locally from a 1-800-Flowers farm. To remove the leaves, use your forefinger and thumb, and starting from the top, slide your hand downwards removing the tiny leaves.

- Ranunculus are in season and come in different varieties. Be sure to ask which will open more as some varieties stay as closed buds. Keep them in a cool place as they will droop fast if they're in the sun too long.

- Fill in spaces with a filler flower like alstromeria (Peruvian Lilies) after you've inserted all of the premium flowers. This is how you get a high-end look.

- Create dimension by angling in long stems, like the snap dragons, have them coming out in a diagonal direction. It is okay to cut the tops of these if they are too long!

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- Since poppies are sometimes expensive, and very fragile, we placed these in last. I had them popping out of the center in an organic, fun way.

- Other flowers to include: freesia, pin-cushion protea, and poppies.

The Small Touches

- Create boutonnieres for your male guests and have them waiting upon their arrival. Simply use one leftover flower, or snip a blossomed bloom off a bush. Wrap with floral tape (stretch the tape on an angle as you go down the stem- it sticks to itself), and use a safety pin or corsage pin to attach to the guest. If you're an advanced floral student, you can wire the stem before taping. Wrap with ribbon and secure using hot glue or super glue.

- Place one flower on each plate to make the table really pop and tie everything together!

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Carly Cylinder is the visionary behind Flour LA, a bicoastal floral design studio specializing in nontraditional events, and sister company Flour LA, Jr! a children's party company where kids play with and arrange flowers. She contributes to numerous lifestyle websites, editorial photo shoots, and speaking engagements.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.