Personalized Posies

When it comes to floral arrangements, at Emerald City Designs the couples get extra special care
Founder and owner David C. McKnight posing in his Farmington Hills studio. / Photography by E. E. Berger

If there’s one motto David C. McKnight has taken to heart in his decades of event planning, it’s that life’s big moments — from starting kindergarten to marrying the love of your life — deserve celebration. His Emerald City Designs is a leading special events company that provides a range of services, from stationary for the invitations to spectacular floral arrangements. He’s spent 30 years building his business, but the joy of celebrating never gets old. “I love attending events still to this day,” McKnight says. “When I get invited to a wedding, whether or not we’re producing it, I get so excited.”

Emerald City Designs’ employs around 60 people, many of whom have been with the company for decades. The team’s massive Farmington Hills studio has a showroom with dozens of beautifully set tables, a large back room for floral arranging, and a 16,000-square-foot warehouse for storing all the other event essentials. All the flowers, equipment, and rentals, along with the bustling staff, give the studio the feeling of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory — or perhaps the Land of Oz is a better comparison.

There, custom design plans for floral arrangements are created to accommodate an engaged couple’s (or any clients’) requests. Once a contract is signed, the couple meets with the design team to further develop the concept and prepare it for a finalization appointment called table preview. “This is something that sets us apart from other florists; we invite our clients into our showroom prior to their event date to see their tablescapes and fresh floral designs in person,” McKnight says. “This gives them the opportunity to modify any details if desired, so they are absolutely perfect on the wedding day.” McKnight’s team also delivers and sets up the floral and rental items they create.

The special events company offers a variety of price points to accommodate different budgets and floral designs. Lately, ivory roses paired with baby’s breath is a common request for weddings, but McKnight says he’s also seeing flowers with an explosion of texture and color.

“Our favorite aspect of designing weddings is that every couple is different,” he says, “We can design around their personalities and tie in special touches that are unique to each couple. We feel so fortunate to have incredible clients that put their trust in us to bring their visions to life.”

Learn more about Emerald City Designs at

Written by Megan Anderluh and Juliana Lumaj with photography by E. E. Berger