What kind of flowers do you want at your wedding? Are you looking for a chic and trendy floral motif, or would you like the décor to be planted with romantic symbolism? Whatever your preference, the added ambiance of a few well-placed blooms or a stylish bouquet can really add to the overall atmosphere of your big day, which is why we've dug deep to bring you the most popular wedding floral trends.
Today's trends are as diverse as a wildflower bouquet, so you're guaranteed to find something that will fit in with your wedding's theme, no matter how traditional or cutting-edge you want it to be.
Fur and Feathers
Yes, we're serious! This flamboyant pairing might seem a little risqué or kitschy, but adding a few feathers or some faux fur to your bouquet can be both beautiful and striking.
Fur and feathers add a little warmth to a bouquet for fall and winter weddings. You can encircle your bouquet with a little ring of white fur for a crisp look or dyed fur to match your dress or flowers. A lining of white or green faux fur creates exotic interest when wrapped around a tall bouquet of orchids and peacock feathers. For a more neutral palette, a fur wrap on a small bouquet of white flowers accented with ostrich feathers adds some style to a winter wedding color scheme.
Scour craft stores, antique markets and textile shops to find trappings for your bouquet. You should be able to locate an ample, affordable assortment of faux furs and feathers, so it'll be easy to mix and match colors and styles until you find the luxe look you crave.
There's nothing wrong with wanting to be the center of attention on your wedding day. To make sure you remain the focus of everyone's gaze, try holding onto a large, vibrant bouquet. You'll want to use colors that really stand out, so choose flowers that aren't used anywhere else in your décor scheme. For example, if you're in a chapel adorned with white and red roses, a bouquet filled with bright blue irises or hydrangeas and striking yellow lilies will ensure that any wandering eyes find their way back to you!
Of course, you won't want to deviate too drastically from your color scheme. Maintain a common element among all the flowers, like long green stems, multiheaded blooms or red accents. You can accessorize your bridesmaids with smaller, less distinctive bouquets that conform to your overall floral décor. That way, your showstopper bouquet will look inspired instead of last-minute.
You don't have to walk down the aisle in your birthday suit to go au naturel. If you're looking for a way to convey a back-to-nature kind of feeling, use local wildflowers for your floral décor and bouquet. Combinations of daisies, poppies, sunflowers, lilies and baby's breath should be easy to acquire and arrange. The great thing about wildflowers is that, as in nature, they can appear in any color or combination, and they're guaranteed to look great no matter how you organize them. Of course, the specific flowers you use will depend on your location and the season, though this trend is best suited for outdoor ceremonies in the spring, summer and fall.
If you feel like breaking from tradition, try holding onto a single large flower, like a sunflower or a daisy, instead of a full bouquet. This makes for a striking, unique statement that will look great in your wedding photos and is one of those little touches you and all your guests will remember for years to come.
However, this trend isn't for every bride. Au naturel floral schemes only work if the venue and dress are scaled back, too. Walk down the aisle with one sunflower in a luxurious, long-trained gown, and it'll look like you blew all your money on the dress and couldn't afford a real bouquet.
No matter what kind of floral décor you decide on, you can always glam up your flowers by attaching some inexpensive jewelry to them. Now, we're not talking about transforming your beautiful wedding bouquet into a tacky, rhinestone-encrusted ornament not normally seen this side of a BeDazzler. But you can add some style to your flowers by sticking a few pearl-tipped pins into an arrangement of like-colored blooms, or by pinning a faux diamond brooch to the bouquet wrap.
You can match the jewels to your color scheme, the color of the flowers or any other element you want to complement. Just try not to go overboard. There's a fine line between gaudy and chic (especially with costume jewelry), so less is usually more.
No Muss, No Fuss
As we mentioned on the previous page, more isn't always better. Sometimes, an easy classic, like flowers in a clear glass vase, works perfectly. While other brides go out of their way to outdo one another with expensive and elaborate floral arrangements, you can choose a beautiful set of blooms and place them in a few simple vessels. This minimalist scheme works well on eight-top tables with rough linen runners. No excessive ornamentation, no pricey, exotic designs -- just gorgeous flowers. Really, isn't that all you need?
Next, we'll show you how mixing fruit and flowers can sweeten your wedding's floral design.
If you like your flowers to be stylish and cheeky at the same time, you might want to go fruity. And by fruity, we mean using actual fruit in your arrangements. Trendy brides have started incorporating colorful produce into their centerpieces because this style captures interest. Many fruits' pigments and shapes naturally complement flowers -- imagine a ripe orange next to a gazania or a lemon beside a few yellow chrysanthemums to get an idea of what we're talking about.
You don't even have to use whole fruits if you don't want to. As long as you've got a few unscented, insect-repelling candles, a hollowed-out watermelon makes a fantastic container for any assortment of flowers, and sliced citrus floating in a clear vase with flowers is attractive, unique and so, so cool for warm-weather weddings.
Asian fusion floral design is a lot like Asian fusion cuisine: It merges Japanese and Chinese cultural trends and traditions into a single offering that, while not representative of either country specifically, incorporates and celebrates different elements of both (kind of like Tex-Mex food and décor). Asian fusion design schemes can be employed by any bride from any background who wants a style that's both trendy and unique.
Cherry blossoms, orchids and bamboo stalks are must-haves for Asian fusion floral arrangements, but how you use or group them is entirely up to you. Glass vases with river stones, orchids and blossoms are always beautiful, as are simple bamboo table markers. To enhance the atmosphere, string paper lanterns across the dance floor, and place ivory-colored chopsticks at each place setting.
As with any trendy design scheme, use discretion. If you get too carried away, your event will look more like an over-the-top Chinese restaurant instead of the elegant celebration you've been dreaming of.
Gone are the days of boring taper candles on reception tables. Today's brides are experimenting with votives by suspending them from tree branches and hanging plants as well as nestling them in large ensemble flower arrangements and centerpieces. Depending on your theme and flower selection, a few well-placed candles can illuminate your stylish design choices and enhance the romantic atmosphere of your wedding (especially if you're having nighttime nuptials).
A word of advice about open flames: Poorly placed candles can send your ceremony up in smoke. You want to be walking down the aisle, not running out the back door, so be careful! If you want the whole venue aglow with votives, use a florist who's successfully executed candle-centric décor schemes. And make sure to have an extra fire extinguisher or two on hand, just in case.
You might be taking his name, but you're not relinquishing any bonds to your family's heritage. So why not pay tribute to the ones who got you this far though your floral décor?
If you're more partial to sentiment than design, try incorporating personal family items into your floral arrangements. You can use anything from pieces of your family's best china to objects you saw every day growing up. Your mother's trusty watering can would make an excellent vase, and a few flowers would look great placed in between your dad's favorite bookends. You can even use a strip of fabric from your mother's wedding dress to wrap your bouquet. Your husband-to-be can contribute his own heirlooms, and you can intermingle the arrangements in a symbolic merging of your two families. Place simple but pretty handwritten note cards next to each piece to explain its significance, and you'll have fantastic conversation starters for all your guests. This isn't the most formal floral design scheme, but it will hold special significance to both you and the people who matter most.
Fewer Flowers, More Trees
Flowers may look great, but they're usually not very environmentally friendly. The stems you order from your local florist are often bought and shipped from other countries, which, aside from granting those beautiful blooms a pretty sizable carbon footprint, often means they're coated in pesticides and other dangerous chemicals. Not surprisingly, many environmentally focused brides have started using locally grown organic blooms in their ceremonies. Others, however, are not using flowers at all.
So, what can you use when you decide to forgo flowers? Everything else! Ivy plants and vines, bamboo, spiral bay and topiary trees, and various hanging and planted ferns can all be used for environmentally chic arrangements -- and everyone knows how trendy it is to be green! Plants with wide leaves, such as magnolia, maple and hosta, work well for bouquets and can be accented with feathers, jewelry, faux fur or virtually any other decorative element we've mentioned. You can also use natural accents such as berry branches in your bouquet -- just be sure to keep them away from your dress.
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- 5 Tips for Choosing the Best Wedding Florist
- 10 Eco-friendly Floral Arrangements
- 10 Popular Wedding Floral Trends
- 10 Unexpected Wedding Expenses
- DIY Wedding Bouquets
- How to Choose the Best Bouquet for Your Personality
- How to Choose the Best Wedding Reception Site for Your Personality
- Working with Wedding Florists
- Wood, Kate. "8 Hot Summer Wedding Trends." MSN. 2010. (May 14, 2010).http://lifestyle.msn.com/relationships/article.aspx?cp-documentid=8319301
- eleGALA. 8 Unique Wedding Decorations Ideas. 2010. (May13, 2010).http://www.elegala.com/go/ideas_advice/for/alternative_decor_ideas/
- eleGALA. "Floral Trends." 2010. (May 13, 2010).http://www.elegala.com/go/ideas_advice/for/floral_trends/