Dream Thanksgiving Flower Arrangement Tips from Juli Vaughn

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Seasonality is the key to a successful flower arrangement — as Juli Vaughn of Juli Vaughn Designs knows.  But this is no easy task in the fall, particularly when you’re designing flowers for a dinner party and have size, shape and scent to keep in mind. Although it took a little extra planning (and plenty of foraging), Vaughn flowers make this Thanksgiving table setting look professional, chic and stylish.

Read on to learn just how she did it!

PS: Don’t forget to check out our Thanksgiving table decorating tips and 2 delicious Thanksgiving stuffing and chutney recipes from the same stunning shoot.

Flowers: Juli Vaughn
Styling + Concept: Ashley Pepitone + Camp Makery
Photography: Haley Sheffield
Recipes + Food: Simply Catering

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Q: What are your tips for choosing fall flowers for a Thanksgiving table?
A: I bought a few flowers from the market just because everyone loves flowers, but I actually prefer herbs and foraged foliage for a Thanksgiving arrangement. To me, it’s more authentic to that first Thanksgiving to use the beauty you find in your yard more than just purchasing grocery store flowers. I combed my yard (and maybe the neighbor’s — shh!) for vines, berries, maple and oak branches, pinecones and even flowers that had lost their petals but still had a fun shape.


Q: Any suggestions for flower arrangements on a small table?
A: Instead of one large arrangement, make a series of mini arrangements — maybe 3 to 5. You can have them placed in the center of the table when everyone arrives and then tuck them in between the dishes when the food is placed. That way, you don’t have to move them to a side table — best of both worlds: food AND flowers.

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Q: How should scent come into play when creating an arrangement for a dinner table?
A: Don’t use heavily scented flowers like roses or lilies. The floral scent will mess with your delicious stuffing and turkey aromas. Instead stick with herbs like rosemary and sage while you mix in unscented blooms. These will contribute to the overall smell of Thanksgiving rather than fighting it.

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Q: Love the flowers on the chandelier! How did you attach them?
A: Thanks! I started by making a simple garland with a roll of wire. Then I attached it to the chandelier with wire by twisting it just like a twist tie at the top, middle and bottom. After it’s attached, you can tuck flowers into it without worrying about them getting messed up while you’re attaching it.

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Q: What are your top centerpiece tips?
A: Whenever I make a centerpiece for a large dining table, I focus on 3 things. First, make it low. The last thing you want is for someone to not be able to see the person across from them and stare at flowers instead of faces. Second, keep it skinny. It’s ok if the flowers are organic-looking and not all squished together, but no one wants to accidentally stick their fork in a leaf because it was infringing on their plate. Third, make it beautiful. A beautiful arrangement can become a break from or a topic of conversation. Either one is welcome and contributes rather than hinders an evening of family and loved ones.

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