Wedding flower trends evolve season after season. This upcoming year, there are several leading trends coloring brides' choices of floral motifs, bouquets and blooming d?cor:
--Romance. Inspired by the Duchess of Cambridge (aka Kate Middleton), wedding flowers paired with romantic, lace-enhanced wedding dresses carry a soft look of Victorian femininity. In whites, ivories and soft pinks, flower trends follow the Duchess's lead with delicate lily of the valley, or they may increasingly be seen as soft, muted bouquets or centerpieces made of big-bloomed, ruffled peonies. The lace of the gown is now brought onto the handle of the bouquet as an alternative to the satin-wrapped, hand-tied bouquet. And one of the biggest new trends for romantic florals, according to floral designer Georgianne Vinicombe, is feather accenting, such as having large, dreamy feathers inserted into a round bouquet.
--Vintage. Last season's vintage theme carries into the new year with romantic flowers in muted yellows making up bouquets and floral pieces. Tiny touches of red in florals and berries act as accents.
--Rustic. With more weddings taking place in unique, natural spaces such as farms and vineyards, the overall rustic wedding trend extends into wildflowers in hand-tied bouquets and in loosely arranged centerpieces. Brenda Bennett Maille, who writes "Brenda's Wedding Blog," says that elevated centerpieces provide architecture in natural accents, such as tall branches.
--Nautical. This trend is on the rise, bringing more navy blues into floral designs. Picture bouquets accented with shells and starfish.
*Types of Flowers
While roses and peonies lead the way in romantic, vintage and rustic weddings, additional top-trending flowers according to the Association of Bridal Consultants include daisies, lilies, tulips and hydrangeas. These particular flower types spread across the seasons. They are joined by similarly romantic flowers such as ranunculus, gardenias and orchids. For tiny dots of white or color, kalanchoe is a leading bloom, and succulents are taking their place at green-friendly weddings.
*Types of Bouquets
Romantic bouquets are most often hand-tied, meaning they are gathered together by hand, wrapped at the stem with a satin ribbon, and are more loosely constructed and relaxed this year than the more tightly bound designs of seasons past.
Also more relaxed in construction are the more playful bouquets made up of brighter, more vivid shades of hot pink, magenta, fall's deep reds and purples. One overriding trend, according to TheWeddingReport.com, is pairing a bright color such as yellow or persimmon with accents of silver and accessorizing the bouquet with sparkle in the form of crystals, rhinestones and jeweled brooches. This gives the bouquet a more dramatic look, perfect for nighttime. In the day, clear crystals capture the light for sparkle.
For a less dramatic look, the "green bouquet" is a rising trend with a larger use of foliage and branches in a soft-green and ivory color scheme. Pops of yellow, light coral or pink act as the choice accessory hues. "My garden-inspired bouquet in light green colors coordinated with our garden wedding scene for less contrast in-person and in pictures," says Lisa Gavejian, a recent bride. "And I wore light green jewelry that also coordinated with my flowers."
Lisa Anderson of Sweet Pea Flowers says that bouquets in 2012 will feature layering of textures. This is often accomplished by mixing smooth-petaled flowers such as roses with ridged or ruffled-edged flowers like the new, eye-catching varieties of carnations, which now come in stripes and darker-tipped petals. Anderson says that carnations, mums and baby's breath are on the rise. Floral experts say this is partially because of their low market price and partially because of the duchess's "crowning" of the simple garden flower as a top trend in bridal blooms.
*Top Colors for Flowers
At October's Bridal Fashion Week in New York, top wedding bloggers delivered the floral color trends right from the runways. They showed florals in bright, bold, saturated tones such as hot pink, bright orange and Kelly green. The visual impact balanced by deep jewel tones such as purple, navy and the still-popular shade of chocolate brown. Brides are also mixing unexpected brights such as turquoise and purple, says the wedding blog NoteableExpressions.net.
Brides who desire a softer, romantic palette will choose light tangerine, light aqua and gold, paired with interesting neutrals such as chestnut, beige and grey, which provide a deeper alternative to the barely there shades of ivory.
For both bold and romantic, floral experts say they're increasingly blending dark and light tones in bouquets and centerpieces, as brides venture away from the all-one-color floral designs of yesteryear.
Brenda Bennett Maille says that a top trend seen at upscale wedding show The Wedding Salon was the flowerless canopy that stood out simply and elegantly with pristine fabrics and velvet aisle runners. The trend in subtle flowers, including ceremony d?cor of greenery-decorated arches with very few blooms, shows that brides are making a less-is-more statement with d?cor and saving their floral wow factor for their bouquets.
Sharon Naylor has written more than three dozen wedding books.