Wedding Garland

Crate Stacks, Milk churns, Plinths and Garlands

When to Use Crate Stacks, Milk churns, Plinths and Garlands in your Wedding Flower Designs

So, can these ‘Statement’ pieces ever play the starring role in the floral drama on your wedding day or are they forever assigned to the role of ‘Best support’… An after thought if the flower budget permits?

Well it’s worth remembering, every ‘Supporting Actor’ has at least one scene where they steal the show and for Crate stacks, Milk churns, Plinths & Garlands this is invariably the Church or Ceremony Room.  Big spaces demand Big floral designs that won’t ‘disappear’ into the background. A single overflowing crate stack or a flower heavy urn on a plinth demands attention and placed at the head of the aisle  by the ceremony they defy your guests not to notice them.

Do they Represent Value for Money in the Flower Budget?

If you are working on a large  budget then a fully decorated Church can look spectacular. They are amazing pieces of architecture that offer endless possibilities for arrangements. Window designs, Pew ends, Garlands on pillars and a crate stack or plinth or two up at the front.  It will look amazing if the budget permits…the stuff of fairy tale weddings.

If not, then what one part of the design can stand alone and impress by itself. The window designs have a tendency to ‘disappear’ to the edges of the space, away from majority of guests and away from the focal point of the service. Step forward the ‘statement’ piece, stood proud up the front in everyone’s line of vision, shouting ‘Look at me, I’m pretty spectacular, don’t you think’.  In terms of cost they are often less than the 8 to 10  small window ledge designs required in an average sized church.  To get these designs really noticed you need to create flowers to fill the whole ledge and then they would cost way more than the statement piece.

So, already the ‘Statement’ design is looking good value for money as it can take on the mantle of ‘Church Flowers’ pretty much alone. A few pew ends never go amiss and are only a small part of the flower budget if kept simple.

And here’s the great thing…Get the florist’s team to slip them back to the Breakfast venue while your guests enjoy the drinks reception and suddenly the two plinths are a grand entrance design to the Banqueting Hall. Or a rustic Crate Stack becomes a focal point next to the Table Plan in an old stone barn. So double the ‘wow’ from one design.

Yes, the table centres are always going to be the ‘Prima Donna’ lead roles in the world of wedding flowers but the ‘statement’ pieces will win all the awards for ‘Best Support Role’.

So let’s look at Crate Stacks, Milk Churns, Plinths and Garlands individually and see where they work best using examples of our own designs in action.

Crate Stacks & Milk Churns

With Rustic wedding flower themes right ‘on trend’ at the moment let’s start with these. The Wilde Bunch have used crate stacks for  a long time now as they’ve always fitted our basic style premise of ‘Bringing the outdoors indoor’. They are ideally suited to Stone Barns and outdoor ceremony’s and they never look out of place in a village Church.

Cratestacks and milk churn, Rustic wedding flowers
One of our most ‘pinned’ images (left) and Crate Stack and milk churn together at South Barn, Cambridge,

On the left is an ‘old classic’ cratestack from a few years back but see how it blends in perfectly with the walls of an old stone barn. This is one of our most ‘pinned’ images on Pinterest over the years.  On the right is a recent design from South Barn in Cambridge to show how the design compliments the old Oak beams of a traditional barn. Rustic through and through.

If you are planning an outdoor Wedding Ceremony in the summer with a Rustic Theme then the images below show the Crate stacks & Milk Churns in their natural element. Perfect for Tipi’s and garden Marquees.

Crate stack and millk churn wedding flowers
A Rustic outdoor Ceremony on the edge of Dartmoor

It doesn’t get  more ‘Rustic’ than this. And fear not, if the weather turns nasty the whole design can be moved indoors bringing  elements of the ‘garden’ inside and under cover.

Wedding Flowers : Summer & winter Milk churn designs
Maunsel House summer Milk Churn (left) and Kingscotte Barn, The Cotswolds in winter (right)

The images above show how milk churns work equally as well indoors as they do outside. And remember, that outdoor churn can be back in the breakfast room within minutes of the ceremony ending, adding additional floral drama to the next stage of events.

To end this section on Crate stacks  and milk churns here’s a more detailed image of a crate stack at Craig-y-nos Chapel in the Brecon Beacons showing how the design can dominate the front of a Church.

Crate stack, wedding flowers
Crate stack detail Graig-y-Nos Chapel, The Brecon Beacons, Wales.

Plinths & Urns

These are the statement pieces for the more ‘Traditional’ wedding Themes. Most at home in grand old houses they also make a dramatic floral impact placed by the wedding ceremony in churches.

The example below shows a classic use of Plinths. Clevedon Hall is a lovely venue but imagine that registrars table stood by itself in the huge space at the front of the room. It would be sat in something of an empty void.

Garland & Plinth at Clevedon Ha

By placing a plinth either side and then balancing the table centrepiece with a garland on the central pillar the flowers frame the whole ceremony. (You can see we are wedding florists and not photographers…we’ve made the right plinth look like it’s falling over and why did we leave that door open in the photo!!)

Wedding flowers : Plinths & Urns
Wedding Ceremony Plinths : Showered with pearls (left) and a ‘classic’ Church design {right)

The images above show two different uses of the ‘traditional’ Plinth and Urn. On the left is one of many used at Kerry Katona’s wedding. The design is bold and ‘fun’ with cascading showers of pearls that ‘came to life’  and sparkled in the evening under the dance floor lights.

On the right is the classic Church plinth. We’ve included this as it shows perfectly how a plinth and large flower design can dominate the vast space at the front of a church. There’s no-way that’s disappearing into the background and going unnoticed.

And finally…well… if you’ve booked a castle or stately home, or you’re lucky enough to call this the family pile, then what better way to welcome your guests than a couple of ‘guards of honour’. (And unlike Clevedon Hall the door being open kind of works in this photo…even rubbish photographers like us get lucky occasionally)

Plinths & Urns, Classic Wedding flower designs at Lulworth Castle
Two welcoming plinths at the entrance to Lulworth Castle


Garlands come in all shapes and sizes and have always been a popular accessory in wedding flowers. They are regularly used to frame and decorate locations that offer ideal photo opportunities such as Church Gates or garden arches. The Lynch Gate at Orchardleigh below shows how the addition of a Garland ‘softens’ the structure of the arch and adds a touch of colour and romanticism  to the ‘Just Married’ shots in the Wedding Album.

Wedding Flowers ; Garland on church gate
Lynch Gate Garland at the Church by Orchardliegh

The large photo right at the top of this article shows the band stand at Maunsel House in Somerset. This is a plain ‘duck egg’ blue wooden structure used for outdoor ceremonies. The addition of the ‘natural’ Passion flower Garland breaks the hard lines and softens the whole ceremony setting.

Wedding Garland
Garland at Aldwick Court Farm. Simple Ferns and Gypsophila on the cross-beam rafters

Garland’s can equally be used as ‘statement’ pieces just to make your guests go ‘wow’.  The heart-shaped Garland below was shot at Lulworth Castle. This renovated ‘ruin’ of a castle has ceilings that must be 80 feet high and part rendered, part crumbling original walls. No room for small designs here. At nearly 6 foot this hand constructed Garland was designed to get noticed and create floral drama. It’s a personal favourite design of ours and a good place to end this article on ‘Statement’ designs.

Wedding Flowers, Heart shaped floral Garland
‘Love’ at Lulworth Castle by The Wilde Bunch

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