Though I have always haboured a fascination with floristry, and fancy it as one of those dreamy careers (early starts and hours on one’s feet aside), I have never been too impacted by floral trends. But since touching on the wedding industry for the past few months, I am suddenly aware that the floristry scene is subject to shifts in style as much as the interiors, fashion and lifestyle sectors.
Looking back at photos of my own bouquet from my wedding 8 years ago, my all-rose sphere looks so rigid and formal in comparison to bouquets I now admire on the most fashionable blogs. And the bouquets I have been privileged enough to draw since launching my Wedding Bouquet Illustration Service seem so much chicer and personal, that I question my own judgement from back in 2009. But that’s just fashion I suppose, like those baker boy hats that seemed so stylish to me in the early noughties and now make me cringe when I see them on a spritely 20-year-old Topshop devotee today.
FLORAL TRENDS: FOLIAGE
“I’m seeing people getting more interested in textures, different foliages and seed heads” – Lib Adams, Bettie Rose
“The fashion for a loose, large, ‘just picked’ from a meadow look continues”, reports Shilpa Reddy, the florist who did a 180 on her career as a doctor to become one of London’s most exciting floral designers. And I can verify from personal experience that my most fashion-forward clients to date have bouquets that were so asymmetric that they could be considered fabulously incoherent in their presentation. Sprawling, wild, bursting with life and personality.
Brighton-based florist Lib Adams of Bettie Rose agrees that foliage is the most significant shift in requests she is receiving from 2018 brides. Perhaps it comes from 2017’s lust for Greenery and the way so many of us welcomed green in all its forms into our homes. Perhaps it’s an economical factor (most foliage is after all far more affordable that antique roses or peonies). “I’m seeing people getting more interested in textures, different foliages and seed heads”, says Lib. “This lends itself nicely to the apricots, caramel, dusky pinks and nudes colour palette which I’m seeing is becoming popular. ‘Quicksand’ ‘cafe latte’ ‘caramel antique’ and ‘golden mustard’ are popular roses and they all have a slightly muted tone, but without being a traditional pastel shade.” As an botanical artist, that strikes me as a nature-influenced palette which sits beautifully with a full spectrum of green tones.
FLORAL TRENDS: THE STATEMENT DISPLAY
“Brides are downgrading their table flowers in favour of a statement piece that will feature prominently in their photos” – Shilpa Reddy
It is not just the individual species and colour palettes of floral arrangements that are subject to trends. Shilpa Reddy also identifies that “brides are downgrading their table flowers in favour of a statement piece that will feature prominently in their photos”. Is this due to budget, or is it the influence of social media? We’ve probably all experienced that photos of groups around a dinner table are often disappointing. Those at the front look big or distorted. Those at the back may be hidden behind flowers and other decorative items. But a grand floral statement offers the perfect photographic background for Instaworthy updates on the wedding day. “I’ve had requests already for flower tunnels, walkways and canopies,” adds Shilpa.
I love this update. It’s a move away from the heavy focus on a formal dinner service, which – although I adored at my own wedding – seems like a trapping of weddings from the past. Couples now want to socialise with their guests, not be removed from them. Isn’t it funny how flowers are connected to this?
Are you a 2018 bride thinking about flowers for your Big Day? I would love to hear what you have in mind and if you’ll be observing these two key floral trends.