It’s no secret that 2020 is a year of change for the wedding industry. Virtual celebrations, postponed ceremonies, and small-scale events are just a few outcomes of this unprecedented time. So, when it comes to acknowledging and predicting wedding flower trends, it’s impossible to ignore the way the world has transformed around us.
“It’s almost like a reset, culturally,” says Katie Watkins, founder and lead floral designer at Blooms and Twine Floral Design. “I want people to know their wedding will be beautiful, no matter who can come.”
Below are some of our favorite 2020 wedding flower trends, as predicted by Watkins and other top floral designers from across the country.
“From ceiling treatments and focal table arrangements to floral-covered canopies, couples are looking to use flowers to make a powerful statement on their wedding day,” says Uche Ojunta, owner and creative director at Designs by Oochay Floral and Event Design.
As weddings shrink in size or move online, Watkins says that she’s seen more and more couples opting for large statement pieces, as well. Things like bridesmaid bouquets and traditional table arrangements have given way to floral arches, backdrops, and hanging floral installations, she says, all of which create a surreal effect that carries across in a video chat.
While the last several years have been enveloped by soft, muted tones, 2020 is a celebration of color, with blushes and whites being replaced with mustards, oranges, emerald greens, and neon tones. This means more bold, bright palettes with dusty sunset hues and saturated complementary colors, says Lorinda Constant, owner and creative director at Sweet Talk Floral.
“With COVID-19, I believe this trend is even more present,” she says. “I’ve had a few weddings switch to backyard elopements, and the brides have said they want to make sure the flowers stand out since everything will be on a much smaller scale.”
Prior to COVID-19, fresh flowers took center stage at many weddings. Tables, wall hangings, trellises, and walkways would all be adorned with an abundance of blooms. But, due to the sudden rise in elopements and microweddings, the shift toward minimalist florals and décor wedding decor is as natural a transition as any.
Many couples are abandoning bridal parties, Watkins says, so their florals are limited to a bridal bouquet, boutonniere, and single statement piece. Although these limited floral arrangements are becoming a new wedding trend, couples still seek the same fresh flowers to complete their overall wedding design.
Once upon a time, it was churches—now it’s mountaintops. With elopements growing in popularity, more and more couples are able to incorporate their beloved, furry friends in their celebrations. For this reason, Watkins says, there’s been a higher demand for floral dog collars, leashes, and other accessories.
“Elopement has changed so much in the past 10 to 15 years,” Watkins says.
“Dried has become especially big with the newfound love of pampas grass,” says Constant. “I’m always looking for shape and texture, so I especially love fan palms, bunny tails, and bleached ferns.”
Ojunta says that this desire for unique colors and textures is growing in popularity as more couples embrace the retro appeal and creative flexibility for their flower arrangements.
“There is also a demand for dyed flowers in unconventional colors, [such as] cobalt blue and magenta, as well as bleached and metallic painted greenery,” she says. Adding these bright wedding flowers is a way for the couple to add a touch of their style and personality to their big day.
Another result of the rise in elopements and small ceremonies is the desire for unique, customized ceremony spaces, Watkins says. This could mean anything from draped, floral altars to a garland with rocks and found items for a romantic, beach celebration. What’s most important is to express a certain level of intimacy, Watkins says.
“Having a space that’s marked just for you means a lot to the couples I work with,” she says.
It’s not always about the flowers themselves, but what you pair with them. According to Constant, materials such as metal and glass are making room for the return of natural elements, such as wood and ceramic. Putting together these simpler, modern flower arrangements adds to the overall wedding design and creates a sense of ambiance.
“Wood and rattan lanterns and furniture—along with terra cotta pots and vases—have become increasingly popular,” she says. This shift toward the use of organic elements dramatically transforms any aesthetic and makes a statement when it comes to floral design.
With the supply and demand shifts caused by COVID-19, florists are looking to source fresh flowers as local as possible (if they weren’t already). Many floral designers and event designers have been embracing the move toward sustainability for years, but 2020 may encourage the entire industry to start to shift in that direction.
“Being able to support your local flower farmer is so important,” says Watkins. “Hopefully this brings a wider acceptance of the local, sustainable flower movement.”