The floral decor at an extravagant event is tremendously crucial to heighten the splendor and to elevate the lavish celebrations organised. Blooming, freshly-cut flowers create a naturally augmented scenic view and play a pivotal role in amplifying the gorgeous backdrop. Ciceri Garden company has grown year after year and today it is one of the most renowned realities of the Como area, in the production and sale of plants, flowers and a range of home, gift and garden products. However, it is in the last ten years with the artistic and managerial direction of Riccardo Ciceri that the company has been renewed and increasingly taken up the art of floral decoration. Riccardo’s talent and incredible creativity led him to be one of the best decorators for weddings and special events in the Como area. We had a conversation with the expert himself and learnt all about the phenomenal floral décor that was showcased at the luxurious Planners Xtraordinaire show.
Tell us about yourself and your incredible company. Where did it all start?
It all started in 1957, when my grandfather opened our first flower shop. My parents, then, turned a small shop into a garden center with greenhouses and plant nurseries, and finally I opened the home décor department in 2016. All in all, I would say that I developed my entrepreneurial and creative skills within the family business, after spending a considerable time of my childhood surrounded by various forms of flowers and plants. That’s where I established a passion for floral design and innovation. At the young age of 18, after a successful career as ski pro, I focused on improving and tuning my floral art skills by attending academic courses. Additionally, I entered design competitions from which I earned successful results and also won numerous International floral design awards. Lately, I have been invited to many celebrated television shows and instructed event decor courses to florists all over Italy. My current goal is to continue researching and innovating within the floral design industry.
What flowers were used for the Planners Xtraordinaire show décor?
For the event I used different kind of flowers including but not limited to roses, gypsophila, gerberas, daisies and carnations, all in bright and pastel colors. In addition, for the floral arrangements I used chamomile, chrysanthemums and delphinium to replicate a natural effect. The use of water-filled vases emulated the tranquil waters of Lake Como, while the floral arrangements mirrored Como’s surrounding hills. These elements were on display in the Gala Dinner at Villa Erba. Consequently, I also used other arrangements at the Planners Xtraordinaire show, including hazelnut branches, maple and oak tree greenery, moss plants, wood and rope to tie it all together.
Where were they sourced from? And in total how many flowers were used?
Most of the flowers and materials I use for events and weddings come from the Netherlands through my Dutch supplier Van der Plas – they are able to provide me with high quality cut flowers, delivered seamlessly in any requested amount even at short notice. As for some of the greenery, the moss plants I used at the Planners Xtraordinaire show, I personally gathered directly from the woods from the surrounding areas of Lake Como. Overall, we used a whopping 7,000 florals including freshly cut flowers and greenery for the entire event.
Which florals are in season and can be incorporated in decorating the stunning shores of Lake Como?
Seasonal flowers allow guests to feel connected with the beauty of Lake Como. Hence, I used pampas grass, which gives a scenic effect spanning the vast, iridescent lake, while chrysanthemums exemplify the autumn season in Italy. Roses, hydrangeas and camellias are typical of the surrounding flora. Olive leaves commonly found on the shores of Lake Como result in a whimsical blend of silver and green and enhance the backdrop for all the gorgeous floral arrangements. Thanks to a long-lasting relationship with our supplier Van Der Plas, we are always able to obtain any sort of flowers, regardless of season.
How do the weather conditions affect your choice?
While weather conditions are unlikely to affect my choice in terms of floral décor, I always have a contingency plan, should it become necessary or if advisable. I have learnt over time that industry professionals should be flexible and ready to adapt their execution strategies to the dynamic external variables provided.
How would you describe your experience of working as a floral partner for the luxurious Planners Xtraordinaire Show?
The Planners Xtraordinaire Show has been an amazing event that allowed me to showcase my skills and handiwork, network with like-minded professionals and meet important planners within the industry. I look forward to collaborating with some of them to further refine my skills and seek inspiration.
All photographs courtesy: ManiSol Wedding and @riccardociceri