When a bride walks down the aisle, her gown may be the headline, but the bouquet serves as the exclamation point. Bridal trends influence more than color stories, bridesmaids’ dress styles and wedding dress silhouettes. Bouquets also ride the wave of style. Keeping current and ahead of popular wedding looks is de rigueur for local floral designers. Infusing a wedding with the couple’s personal touches and stories has found its way into many of the designers' uniquely-created bouquets, and they’ve provided some fresh ideas for readers to consider.
Shop 501 & Company
Where in the wedding rule book does it say that bouquets must only grow out of florists’ imaginations? The owners of Shop 501 & Company-Jane Hall, Suzanne Thiesfeld, Betty Sorensen, Sara Smith and Maria Leary-are used to taking what’s old and making it into something else. Open for four years, the shop’s tagline best describes its vibe: vintage, home, art and garden.
True to form, the team created an inspired bridal bouquet, the base of which is a canopy from a (circa 1900s) hanging light fixture. The element was turned upside down, filled with dirt, planted with succulents and accented with vintage house keys.
Much of the concept was led by Smith. “Sara likes to look at items from a different viewpoint,” Leary explains. “You see a canopy that holds a light to the ceiling. She turns it upside down and sees the base of a bouquet.” Utilizing succulents in vessels, other than vases, is not uncommon at Shop 501. “They’ve been used as hair for dolls with broken heads to create tablescapes, et cetera,” Leary says.
For those who’ve visited the Chaska shop, it’s easy to understand why the owners had plenty of ideas to choose from when designing the bouquet. “We pulled quite a few ideas from the shop,” Leary says. “We have fur hats that we thought about adding pheasant feathers to for a fall-themed wedding. We also have vintage hats that can be turned into a base for a bouquet and we add doilies, buttons, gloves and/or hankies. We talked about using vintage sheet music for paper flowers. It’s really a matter of looking at items with an open mind and be willing to try them using a different perspective.”
Brides and their entourages also visit Shop 501 for inspiration. “We do get a lot of brides and mother-of-the-brides looking for vintage items for their bouquets, and vintage brooches are popular, but they also look for items that speak to them and add uniqueness to their bouquet and reflect their personality,” Leary says.
Victoria Rose Floral
Marta Christianson’s bouquet boasts a crescent design created with peacock feathers and keys, charms and lockets, amping up the enchantment factor in the arrangement’s center. To accent the piece’s teal color story, Christianson brings in hues of blue with thistle and fuchsia highlights in cyclamen.
Christianson was inspired by an image of a peacock. “I was just captured by the way it stood there and shook out and spread open its feathers, and it reminded me of how a bride presents herself before she walks down the aisle,” she says. “That’s how it came to me.”
With more than 30 years in the industry and 12 at the current location, creating distinctive arrangements and bouquets isn’t new for the team at Victoria Rose Floral. “I had a client bring in silk flowers from her great grandmother’s bouquet and part of her dress to incorporate into her bouquet,” Christensen says. “It turned out beautiful.”
Owner Regina Cannon Treml puts forth a bouquet with a nod to farm to table, incorporating not only mostly Minnesota-grown flowers but fruits, vegetables and blooming branches as well. “Our concept is to incorporate a design that can be carried out from the flowers to the invites to the location to the cake—creating a cohesive design that is ‘good enough to eat’,” she says. “We decided to focus on farm to table because it is occurring in so many avenues right now from restaurants to florists, but it’s not being pulled together that often in weddings. If we can help a bride and groom focus on an element of the wedding that they truly hold as a value, then not only will the guests have the time of their lives, but [they’ll] leave with a sense of the couple’s relationship.”
Offering brides uniquely-stylized and personalized bouquets isn’t new for Belladonna Florist.
“We’ve incorporated turkey feathers for a Native American couple; [a] great grandma’s lace for a sentimental touch; printed names on leaves for the bride to carry in her bouquet of lost family members; incorporated hops for groomsmen who love home brew; and made corsages for up to eight ‘mothers’ of the bride, so no one was left out in a blended family,” she says. “None of it is unusual once you know the bride and groom, as it’s all just part of expressing who they are. It makes sense in the context of their day.”
Studio C Floral
For the hand-tied bouquet, owner and designer Christi Poppler gathered manzanita branches, phalaenopsis orchids, hellebores, succulents and maidenhair fern. “The unusual part of this bouquet is that it is foliage heavy and not floral heavy,” Poppler says. “Many of the foliages are foraged [from local woodlands and gardens], which is what we do a lot for our florals to make them stand out.” The softness of the orchids and the sharp lines of the manzanita and succulents are the perfect complement to each other.
“Foliage is often overlooked, but we love the texture that they provide,” Poppler says. “During the summer months, many of our foliages and textures come from foraging—we like to call it midnight gardening— but often we find the perfect amount of quirk at our wholesalers and greenhouses, too.”
In business since 2015, Poppler recalls creating flowers out of a bride’s grandmother’s wedding dress and incorporating them into a bouquet. “It was terrifying to take scissors to a family heirloom but wonderful to be able to make it so meaningful,” she says. Another occasion called for flowers made out of birch bark for a family that was really into their Finnish heritage. “The bride was marrying a Scottish guy, so they wanted birch for her and oak and acorns for him,” Poppler says.
As couples contemplate their future nuptials, they might want to consider what’s on the floral horizon.
“The trend we are seeing the most of is a return to cascade design, not the tight teardrop shapes of the ‘80s and ‘90s, but a loose, wild free cascade more reminiscent of the Renaissance,” says Belladonna Florist's Regina Cannon Treml. “In this design style, nothing is off limits to the creative use—incorporating fruits is a norm or family heirloom pieces, such as a bit of mom’s veil or grandma’s hosta leaves,” she says. “We see the trend more about creating a wedding about the couple than just carrying through colors or themes.”
“A prominent trend we are seeing is loose, garden style bouquets,” says Christi Poppler Studio C Floral. “These aren’t as structured and tight as in years past and tend to have a more organic shape. Nostalgic flowers like carnations, gladiola and lilac are starting to become more popular with brides, and we couldn’t be happier,” she says. “We love getting to know our clients, and telling their story with flowers.”
Victoria Rose Floral’s Marta Christianson is noticing “more free form, big, bold, gardeny, less structure. If you look back in history, you are seeing a similar style of 1910s and 1920s,” she says. “It's a happy time in (a couple’s) life, and it's fun to be a part of it. It is a time where we can bring our artistic side to what we do.”