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Floral arch from Fiore Dorato Courtesy Fiore Dorato

Present Imperfect: Natural Elegance Blooms in Today's Wedding Floral

Perfection is out and natural elegance is in for today’s wedding floral landscape

Wedding floral today favors unbound, imperfect arrangements to create an environment that feels magical--not manufactured. 

“We are moving away from perfectly tied arrangements, and moving toward loose and airy collections,” says Timot McGonagle, senior event producer at Chicago-based Kehoe Designs. “And, adding green, natural elements adds to that organic feel.”

In addition to seeking a nature-inspired vibe, brides are stretching the boundaries of floral designers’ creativity by requesting breathtaking and unexpected floral installations.

BRING THE OUTSIDE IN Garden-inspired greens are taking over trend talk, McGonagle says. Integrating live plants into elegant environments lends an organic freshness that sets the right tone for virtually any wedding.

“From live vine garlands to entire plant-scapes, greenery accents add a fresh and calming energy to a wedding space,” McGonagle says. “The ability to revive, refresh and inspire new beginnings makes greenery a perfect element for wedding decor.” He adds that bringing nature indoors creates a feeling of what he dubs “chateau elegance.” Designers can use florals straight from the venue’s outdoor environment, creating a unique cohesion to the event, he notes.

If the venue doesn’t boast a manicured garden or verdant botanical crop to choose from, simple green touches can mimic the look.

“Adding potted trees to a ballroom will completely transform the space and give it an enchanted forest look,” says Brenda Lee Monteiro, creative director at Singapore-based Fiore Dorato.

BYE-BYE, BURLAP And it might finally be time to pack up the Mason jars and burlap. While natural elegance is in, rustic is out, floral experts say. “Today’s bride is going for either over-the-top, mono-chromatic lush or modern, simple elegance,” says Eddie Zaratsian, style director and event designer for Hollywood, Calif.-based Tic-Tock Couture Florals. “Rustic chic is played out.”

Another big trend is “floral architecture,” which uses flowers and plants to create unexpected statement pieces. Floral walls, table runners and ceiling treatments are popular examples of floral architecture. 

“Whether the look is loose and garden-y or compact and modern, every style can be translated into floral architecture,” says Jennifer McGarigle, principal owner and designer at Culver City, Calif.-based Floral Art.

Floral walls composed of earth moss or roses are a fresh alternative for ceremony backdrops. Runners that blanket a table in fresh flowers are a unique take on centerpieces. Or, for the ultimate wow effect, guests need only gaze upward at flowers suspended from the ceiling.

“For a modern look, chandeliers composed of solid white calla lilies, tulips or orchids are spectacularly architectural,” McGarigle says. “A rustic garden wedding may have ceilings composed of textured bittersweet and kiwi vine. For the romantic bride, a ceiling covered in soft blush roses and peonies is dreamy ...

See the full story in the Spring issue of Special Events. Not a subscriber? We can fix that--just click here.

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