Your Bouquet, Your Way
From vintage and glam to Shabby-chic and personalized, you decide
By Heidi Blanke | Photos by Jordana Snyder Photography
Roses, hydrangeas, orchids, oh, my! This year’s floral trends are blooming in a direction you’re sure to love.
Gather your ideas
Whether you envision every last petal or don’t know where to start, a talented florist can make your wedding flower dreams come true. Communication is key; so make sure you are comfortable discussing ideas with your florist. Pinterest is a terrific starting place for inspiration on many aspects of a wedding, including flowers. As a result, says Nina McCutchen of Floral Visions by Nina, many couples are opting for a homegrown or shabby-chic look. “Burlap is here to stay, especially with the barn venues,” she says.
Florist Alesa De Jager sees the vintage trend remaining popular as well. “Floral trends follow fashion trends, and it looks like 2014 will be vintage—yet vintage in different eras,” she says. Love The Great Gatsby? Try glamorous vintage. Never miss a Downton Abbey episode? Romantic vintage might be more to your liking. Want “an eclectic mix of modern and vintage elements?” asks De Jager. Go for a Bohemian theme, she advises.
Gather your colors
Given the bursts of color available in nature, it’s not surprising that color plays an important role in floral selection. “Florists will be focusing on particular color palettes, and not so much on certain flower types,” says De Jager.
Gone are the days of matchy-match when it comes to wedding party flowers. Enhancing with a contrasting color is what’s new, such as a bride carrying white flowers while her attendants carry more colorful flowers. Sometimes it’s the reverse, says Bob Mock, of Family Tree Floral and Greenhouse, “where the bride has the color and the bridesmaids are in white or a neutral color.”
McCutchen sees a lot of softer, vintage colors staying popular. But just because soft colors are making their way into wedding floral arrangements, doesn’t mean couples can’t include their favorite color, no matter what the shade. What’s popular? “I’m seeing purple everywhere,” says McCutcheon, along with loads of green, and “some pop of orange.” Mock says “turquoise was hot for the spring.” He also sees “lots of greens, shades of pink, and more of the earth tones in with the whites.”
Gather your flowers
Once your flowers and colors are chosen, you need to decide on style. De Jager is seeing a “just-picked, timeless, and natural” look trending for the bouquet. In addition, couples are seeing the advantage of “local and sustainably grown flowers,” if not from the immediate area, then from North America. “In the spring, it’s tulips, ranunculus, peonies, hyacinth. In summer, it’s dahlias, zinnias, and wildflowers. In fall, it’s berries, dahlias, chrysanthemums, and lots of textural elements,” she says.
Mock cites garden roses as a desirable flower. “One of the newest roses,” he says, “is called Amnesia. It’s a beauty, with its antique, pale-lavender look, and it goes with so many colors.” McCutchen says hydrangeas have been fashionable for the last three years and continue to be a popular choice, adding that small button poms are perfect for that extra sprinkle of color. On the tables, McCutchen is seeing individually placed flowers, such as a single stem at each setting. In addition, water-filled cylinders with “submerged orchids are still going strong,” she says. “Many brides are using bridal bouquets on the head table for décor. Candles are really still in, and we’re seeing twigs and simple looks with centerpieces,” says Mock. Flowers also add the finishing touch to wedding cakes, either mounded on top or set between the layers via a pedestal.
Floral stem prices vary with the seasons, which is something to keep in mind when planning your budget. For example, in-season peonies may be as low as $3 per stem or, out-of-season, as high as $27. A large, expensive flower, like a hydrangea, may still be affordable because larger blooms will replace three to four smaller flowers, like roses. De Jager cautions that “most inexpensive flowers are grown outside of the United States.” The companies that grow them, she says, “have a history of providing poor conditions for workers, along with poor use of environmental resources.” Explore your local florists, browse, their website, and ask to find out if they grow their own blooms or purchase responsibly farmed blooms.
Gather your personal touch
It’s not hard to put your personal stamp on your wedding floral choices these days. Whether the vintage or the glam look is your thing, or you want to honor family history, there are many ways to do so. All three florists are noticing bling as a trend. “Bling is here to stay for a while. Every bride seems to love that little bit of bling added to her bouquet,” notes McCutchen. Brides often bring in a special memento or piece of jewelry, such as a small family heirloom, to add to the bouquet.
Even the stems can be personally designed, by wrapping them with ribbon or twine. More brides are opting to show some stem, then decorate the bouquet handle with “fun stuff, as in pearling, rhinestones, or brooches,” Mock says. The personal touch extends to wrist corsages, as well. “We are using more of the keepsake styles,” he says. Today’s wrist corsage becomes a wearable bracelet, minus the fresh flowers—providing a lovely memento to the wearer.
Gather your day
When all is said and done, no matter how and where you decorate your day with floral, the choice is yours. Color schemes and flower selections are vast, but with the help of a knowledgeable florist, your flowers can be as modern, vintage, bold, or soft as you like, and still be a perfect fit so your special day will blossom with fragrance, beauty, and meaning.
- Peonies (out-of-season)
- Calla lilies (out-of-season)
- Hydrangeas (out-of-season)
- Cymbidium orchids
- Waratah protea
- David Austin roses
- Lily of the Valley
- Grape hyacinth
Most Economical Blooms
- Just about any in-season flower
- Daisy mums
- Asiatic lilies
- Spray roses
- South American roses
- Filler flowers—such as solidago, Monte Casino aster, baby’s breath, statice