SHARLA FLOCK DESIGNS, SAN FRANCISCO
PALETTE PLEASER: “For just about every wedding lately, the color palette has been pretty consistent,” founder Sharla Flock says. Brides want “soft, muted blush tones, gray, soft green and subtle punches of color” — perfect for coordinating with bridesmaids' dresses, which are, for almost all of her summer weddings, charcoal gray.
BELOVED BLOOM: “Peonies, peonies, peonies,” Flock says. “My brides this year cannot get enough of them.” While the designer agrees that these much-prized flowers are “fabulous,” she adds that they have a very short season and are not always available. In a pinch — and at a much nicer price — “I adore a lush garden rose, and can usually work those in” in lieu of the luxury blooms, she says.
LOCAL COLOR: “My clients are also very concerned with local, green, eco-friendly options,” the designer explains, noting that her own garden currently is abundant with scented geranium and dusty miller — two of her favorite plants. “I use them for most of my floral work. You don't get much more local and green than that!” She adds that succulents are proving a popular accent as well, which delights her as a designer and as a gardener. “You can easily just cut the end off [a succulent], plop it back in the ground, and, ‘voila!’ — you have a new plant.”
INVITING OCCASION, ORANGE COUNTY, CALIF.
PALETTE PLEASER: “Bright color palettes are back,” declares owner Larrissa Rehder. Also: “Navy is the new black, and gray is the new brown.” With these trends in mind, Rehder says she's seeing color palettes expand beyond the usual two or three colors to four, “with the fourth usually being something unexpected” — a bold metallic, perhaps.
GARDEN PARTY: Rehder says her late-20s, educated, well-traveled brides have attended plenty of weddings and “want to create a completely different experience, away from Manzanita trees dripping with crystals.” So what do her oh-so-sophisticated clients crave? “Loose, more organic-shaped centerpieces and personal flowers,” incorporating “very textural, unusual accents like globe thistle, cotton, wheat, berries and tillandsia [air plants],” the designer says — “what we call ‘urban garden.’”
VESSEL VIBE: Along with something borrowed and something blue, brides are turning toward something pretty and something edgy, Rehder notes. “They are drawn to the juxtaposition of very feminine flowers in industrial or unusual containers, even something like cinder blocks, or an industrial light fixture turned over and filled with flowers.”
HOLLIDAY FLOWERS, MEMPHIS, TENN.
SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW: “We are seeing a strong trend toward a vintage feel for today's brides,” notes vice president of special events Brent Long. He says he gets daily requests for “an Old World, almost Victorian feel,” adding, “even if the brides themselves don't see those influences in what they are asking for, we realize this is the direction that their design is heading.”
NOW, THAT'S RICH: Long and his team are producing arrangements with a “heavier, more lavish look with golds, creams, pearl-whites and crystal.” Also big for centerpieces are “hanging flowers” and “heavier, more ornate pedestals in shades of gold,” which are “being lit by candlelight and crystal chandlers, breaking the years-long pattern of acrylic and LED.” As for bridal bouquets, Long is loving the current trend toward accents of “heirloom pieces, cut-glass decorations and lace ribbons.”
ARTFUL ARRANGING: Among Long's fashion-forward wedding clients, “Sculpture is being reintroduced into floral design, in a sophisticated direction.” He notes, “Floral design is turning its eye away from ‘bigger is better’ and ‘mass means everything,’ and is now paying tribute to color and texture much more carefully and artfully than ever before.”
FLORISAN WEDDING AND EVENT DESIGN, NEW YORK
BIRD IN THE HAND: The “peacock feather” look is big, says owner Lynn Jawitz. “Since last summer, our peacock-theme requests have really increased.” For a recent wedding client, she and her crew incorporated peacock feathers into elegant palm planters. Blooms included purple and fuchsia stock, green dendrobiums, green roses and Bells of Ireland.
PRETTY AND PRACTICAL: Jawitz says, “Round rose or mixed bouquets and ‘low’ arrangements in cubes or cylinders are still a strong trend,” as brides continue to look for economical, practical centerpieces that can be taken home easily and enjoyed after the event. Also: “Submerged flowers, primarily orchids, topped by floating candles in cylinders, either individually or in groups, are still a strong trend.”
TOP TIP: To stretch the budget and give today's brides the lush, full look they desire, Jawitz recommends mixing roses with carnations: “Be sure to have the carnations ‘fluffed’ out by hand to realize the flower's true fullness potential.” In fact, so popular are these humble blooms, “Roses are actually being bred now to look more like carnations!” she says.