As we ring in 2016, more and more couples are choosing to make this the year they say “I do.” According to some sources, at least one third of engagements occur between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day—the so-called “engagement season.” Which is followed promptly by “planning season” for many of us wedding professionals.
This month and next, we’ll all be busy working with couples to plan their special days. Based on these consultations (and the corresponding Pinterest boards) I start to notice some common threads and similar themes each season. Many of the ideas are a continuation of what we’ve seen in the past year, but some new, exciting concepts are starting to emerge as well.
Here’s a brief summary of what I predict will be some of the 2016 trends, including some of the colors, design styles and floral varieties that will be gracing the aisles this wedding season.
Seasonal blooms, with a foraged, wild, woodland aesthetic: Locally-grown, seasonal flowers continue to top the wish list of style-savvy and eco-conscious couples. This year we’ll be seeing a continued interest in farm-to-table fetes where hyper-local fare fills wedding guests’ plates and table centerpieces. I predict this trend will manifest in many creative and innovative ways—reflecting the region, season and growing zone of the country. Wild, woodland-inspired bouquets with lush ferns, greens and foraged branches, in particular, have become increasingly requested.
Loose, organic, and “wide” bridal bouquet shapes: The tight ball-shaped “roundy moundy” bouquets are passé and a trend of the past. There, it’s official! Today’s brides want bouquets with bulk—but rather than tightly bunched balls, the bouquets shapes take a “freshly gathered from the garden” look that stretches out horizontally. These forms offer visually interesting lines defined by arching branches, and unusual vines and foliage that cascade to one or both sides.
Out with the rustic look and in with elevated, chic, glam: For many years, I wasn’t sure I would be able to say it, but I think 2016 is finally the year we’ll see the end of “Mason jar” rustic weddings. Brides seeking a more vintage vibe or elevated farm-fresh look for their florals are able to achieve it with more interesting vases—including mercury glass and antique mismatched vessels—paired with richer textiles and accessories that feature less burlap and more bling.
Old-fashioned flowers becoming “new” fashion favorites: The thought of incorporating common carnations or mums into a bridal bouquet make most style-conscious brides shutter. These over-used blooms had the same effect on floral designers until they “discovered” some of the new varieties with unusual shapes and forms in beautifully, subtle hues. These “new” varieties are actually “old” heirloom varieties that small-scale flower farms are trying to rescue and reintroduce to designers and brides alike. Chrysanthemums in pastel palettes such as the delicate ‘Seaton’s J’Dore’ and ‘Apricot Courtier’ are showing up on inspiration boards and in bridal bouquets; as are frilly scented heirloom carnations, long-stemmed English sweet peas and ruffly double zindarella zinnias.
King’s tables with flower-filled compotes and satellites: One centerpiece per table is out; multiple floral designs per table are in—way in, especially given the increased popularity of extra-long King’s tables. The trend away from round tables means re-configuring not only the shape of the centerpieces, but also the spacing and quantity on the long tables. To provide visual interest, I’m seeing larger, longer centerpieces—typically elegant, slightly raised compotes like the terra-cotta treasures from Campo de’ Fiori — interspersed with “satellite” florals—short vases with a few flowers or even single stems.
Blush is back, but so is berry: Last year, I would have said that blush was on its way out, but after Pantone announced Rose Quartz as its color of the year, I expect this color trend to have a second, albeit limited resurgence. How that will manifest in florals, however, I think will trend in a couple different ways. Rather than a simple pastel pink palette, I envision the bouquets incorporating more soft peachy pinks hues, which add additional complexity and depth—especially when paired with soft sunset orange, coral, warm sherbet hues and even rust colors. In another direction, I see the blush paired with deeper, moodier colors including berry toned blooms, darker foliage and earthy merlot-browns that play off of last year’s color, Marsala.
Foliage focused backdrops: We can all agree that flower walls are absolutely stunning, but let’s be realistic: the labor and product involved make them accessible only to celebrities and the uber rich. An equally beautiful and definitely more approachable alternative involves the creative use of vines, branches, and leaves to create beautiful backdrops for ceremony sites. I keep seeing the same photos being re-pinned, which suggests that couples are eager for an alternative to the traditional arch or arbor adorned with flowers.
A few trends that we saw last year, that will continue into 2016:
Wearable floral accessories: We’ll see lots of delicate floral headpieces and subtle vines woven into wedding day hair styles this year and less of the extra large floral crowns from years past. Flower wearables will definitely continue to turn heads and I predict we will also see more creative use of flowers and succulents in accessories—specifically necklaces, rings, and floral bangle bracelets in lieu of traditional wrist corsages, like those pictured above created by floral artist Susan McLeary of Passionflower.
Long, layered ribbon accents: We’ll continue to find lots of long, fluttery ribbons flowing from bridal bouquets, especially multiple layers in complementary colors. Look for ultra-luxurious natural plant-dyed silks from Shellie Pomeroy of Silk and Willow to be used alongside other subtle finishing touches on handheld bouquets.
Foodie-inspired designs: Herbs, fruits and other edibles will continue to play a supporting role in seasonal floral designs fueled by an interest in infusing unique fragrances and textures into bouquets. Look for fruiting vines like thorn-less blackberry, actual fruit such as pears and pomegranates, plus other nontraditional yet edible floral elements (kale and baby carrots anyone?) to make their way into haute design and food-ie focused wedding florals.
What wedding floral trends are you seeing in your area? I’d love to get your thoughts in the comments below.
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