By: Debra Witt
Photo Credit: Tracey Sanders
British invasion. Credit the unwavering appeal of Princess Kate and Downton Abbey for the influx of stylish details that bring to mind afternoon tea and garden parties. For this look, dining al fresco is a popular choice. Tables are often uncovered or simply adorned with a vintage lace cloth. Lush garlands get turned into runners and loosely styled floral centerpieces hang from above. “I’m helping one couple pull together a Victorian afternoon for their guests,” says Sasha Souza, owner of Sasha Souza Events in California. “Lots of vintage lace will be used throughout the decor. Guests will all receive either a nosegay bouquet or a buttonhole flower when they arrive. Later they’ll enjoy a cozy brunch with homemade scones and jam at each table.”
Modern luxe. At the opposite corner of the inspiration board is a more sophisticated interpretation of romance. Brides who covet sleek style will gravitate toward clean color palettes with bolder accents. Think varying shades of white or ivory with a burst of poppy red, or black-and-white with a punch of emerald green. “Modern needn’t mean minimalistic,” say Aleah and Nick Valley of Seattle’s Valley & Co. Weddings. Square dining tables, clear “ghost” chairs, geometric place settings, monogrammed napkins and sculptured floral arrangements help set a sophisticated tone for the evening.
Eclectic elegance. Falling somewhere between the above interpretations of romance is a resurgence of the grand wedding — make that grand with a capital G. “For many of our 2015 weddings, we’ve been noticing a return to classic elegance,” says Allyson Levine of Bob Gail Special Events in Los Angeles. That means formal tablescapes, butler service, candelabras and other soft lighting, dramatic cakes, lavish fabrics and formal floral arrangements. The eclectic element comes into play when couples choose to take their formal affair outside for a twilight party; opt for a gilded evening with lots of glittering blush-gold touches; replace centerpieces with champagne towers; or surprise guests with a midnight arrival of an ice-cream truck parked curbside.
Photo Credit: Tracey Sanders
Top blooms. English roses, ￼peonies, hydrangeas, dahlias and ranunculus continue to be go-to favorites among brides. “They’re dramatic, they’re romantic and they’re versatile, so they look perfect whether you’re planning a traditional affair or something more relaxed,” says New York City event planner Shawn Rabideau.
Gaga for greenery. “My brides can’t get enough greenery,” says Laesser-Keck. Herbs like rosemary and mint, lemon leaf, magnolia leaf, ivy, smilax and maidenhair fern are being strung together and used in surprising ways — as table runners or chair swags, to frame cocktail menus, to redefine tent ceilings or to give chandeliers a soft edge.
Fresh pickings echoing the farm-to-table trend in dining, brides are building their arrangements around seasonal blooms that are grown locally or at least regionally. it’s not only budget-savvy, but it also lends itself well to the “just picked” effect that’s also trending.
Photo courtesy of Flower Blossom Farm
Free-spirited arrangements rather than building arrangements around one flower or one color, florists select blooms that look like they were plucked from the same wild garden, or that fall within a color palette, placing non-floral items — such as berries, fruit, acorns, even paper cutouts in the arrangement. the finished look is unstructured but magical.
Look up. Centerpieces are no longer confined to the center of the table. in fact, clever brides will be hanging their showcase blooms from above — no more peeking around a tall vase to talk to your table partners! Floral chandeliers are another way to give your space an ethereal feel, whether indoors or out.
Photo Credit: C2 Photography