By Hannah Ohman, Owner of Rowan & Larch
“I want to choose a design that will be in style without being too trendy.” Does that statement resonate with you?
After a few years’ experience in the wedding industry (and much longer fangirling over weddings and designers), I have been both the victim of trends and an instigator of trends. (I got married in 2013 and you bet I had twine-wrapped boutonnieres and burlap-wrapped bouquets before it was on trend ... so ... victim or instigator?)
I prefer not to be trendy. As a florist I want to create something romantic that you’ll want to hang on your wall for the next 30 years without thinking, “Wow, that was SO early 2020s!” My aim is to help my couples embrace the current trends while remaining within a classic look that doesn’t go out of style. I’ve listed here what I see as the top shifts in bouquets that are in line with a long-term appreciation for your wedding florals.
SHIFT NO. 1 | DOWNSIZING
Almost all of my brides are looking for bouquets that do not overpower their dress. It’s a constant theme. The gown is the cornerstone for the whole design of the wedding, in my opinion. When I began in floristry, the bigger the bouquet, the more in-style. This design flair lent itself to some incredible creations, but now, a well-styled, curated, smaller bouquet is in high demand. Very few of my brides want something that I would call large, much less something twice as wide as they are. This doesn’t mean round, oh no. This means hand-tied, loose, gloriously un-shaped and artistic bouquets. Plus, this means the bridesmaids get something like a nosegay, which is seriously so cute.
SHIFT NO. 2 | FLORAL DRIVEN
I’m seeing a strong gravitation towards bouquets with almost no greenery. Though greenery will never disappear entirely, most of the designs this year continue to lean toward a floral-driven bouquet, reserving budget for higher-end flowers rather than taking from the budget to incorporate green fillers. This trend, combined with the smaller bouquet, is creating some carefully and tastefully rich bouquets that lean heavily on florals and texture.
SHIFT NO. 3 | ELEVATED WILDFLOWERS
The requests have dwindled almost entirely for truly rustic, vertical floral brooms (usually dominated by sunflowers). Now it’s rustic-glam, or as I call it, elevated wildflower bouquets. I see a draw towards the classic Montana, locally grown elements, but with a desire to create something more romantic, elegant and loose. Wild with a touch of modern. Classic with a dash of whimsy. These designs harmonize with the surroundings but don’t overly embrace the down-home Montana feel, and they allow both local and out-of-state couples to get the best of both worlds.
SHIFT NO. 4 | OUTLIER COLOR PALETTES
The traditional, classic, never-gets-old blush and white will be here to stay. Always. But one of the new shifts I have seen is more saturated and outlier color palettes. Toffee roses are in almost every recipe this year. That could be because I love them, but I don’t think so. All white is punctuated with butterscotch, honey, or chocolate. Sounds tasty, right? Of the colors, I see lots of rust, peach, spring green, antique rose, deep plum, fresh blue, and cabernet. These new takes and combinations of age-old colors are jaw-dropping.
SHIFT NO. 5 | UNUSUAL TEXTURES
“Just whatever will do” for most couples isn’t an option. Something unique and bespoke is a necessity, and I love the challenge. Most recipes now include unusual textures like hellebores, pieris, spirea, or clarkia. Dahlias, garden roses and ranunculus dominate the scene for focals.
SHIFT NO. 6 | DRIED ELEMENTS
If 2020 taught us anything, it is the beauty and intimacy (and sometimes necessity) of a small wedding or elopement. This fact has brought a whole new direction for the floral industry. Even with the possibility of having a larger wedding, I continue to see requests for bouquets of which many elements are dried. Backpacking in to elopements requires a very hardy combination of flowers or textures. Finding just the right elements to make the bouquet last for an elopement is just another challenge thrown at us from 2020. Some of my favorite textures that I use fit into this category.
SHIFT NO. 7 | SHORTENED AND CONTRASTING RIBBONS
Draping silk ribbons are pretty classic, and are around to stay in my opinion. Most brides have tended toward trailing ribbons, but the shift is in the length. I'm now seeing shorter ribbons preferred with more variety in contrasting colors. There are good reasons for this. Bridesmaids are never thinking about their ribbons, and those lovelies soak up water like the world is going dry. The shorter, trailing ribbons have the dual benefit of still having some gorgeous wafting even with the slightest breaths of wind, while being less intrusive and less difficult to protect from snagging and dirt. A seriously winning combination.
Trying to find a common ground between classic and on-trend is something I dedicate a lot of time to in my designs. It’s accessible and possible, and all in those details. And oh-so-worth-it when it all comes together. – Hannah Ohman
Hannah Ohman is the owner and operator of Rowan & Larch, a bespoke wedding and event floral company located in Bozeman, Montana.