The Flower Potluck: A New Twist On The Bridal Shower

Step aside, traditional bridal shower, there’s a new concept in town.

We’ve got a flower-filled way to carry out this most important of bride’s rituals, and we think your besties are going to love it. Inspired by a Kinfolk magazine campaign from a few years back, our flower potluck shower is a great way to bring some creativity, artistry, collaboration and meaning to celebrating your engagement and impending marriage. The best part is, everyone gets a say in the planning. Like any good potluck, each guest brings something for the table, but in this case, we’re talking flowers. They could contribute bunches of peonies, a stack of curly willow, a dozen roses. Every item goes into the “pot,” and every guest uses what’s in the pot to create their design. At the end of the potluck, everyone has a beautiful centerpiece or bouquet to take home. Dreamy, right? Here’s how to plan one:

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.

Commence Flowering!

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.