Two thousand and fourteen is well underway, and we just couldn’t resist the opportunity to pick Meredith Waga’s brain on the latest floral trends waltzing down the aisle. Owner and creative mastermind behind Belle Fleur, Meredith gives us the lowdown on florals this Spring. Who’s carrying bouquets these days and what silhouettes are all the rage? Is Radiant Orchid as radiant as it’s been dubbed to be? What palettes are contemporary brides finding most pleasing and picture perfect for florals on their big day?
Meredith’s incredible sense of style and savvy fashion roots combine to bring rich florals and delightfully delicate gradients of color and texture our way. This lady not only knows how to read the times and the trends- she knows how to set them. A whole year ahead of the Radiant Orchid craze, she delves a little into what she sees on the horizon for the coming seasons and dishes on the latest ways to incorporate blooms into your big day.
Armed with an incredible passion for beauty and an extensive knowledge of both the wedding world and the beautiful realm and language of florals, Meredith and her Belle Fleur team make dreams a reality, one wedding at a time. Read on for some great insight into Meredith’s design aesthetic, and a great big dose of floral fashion.
TBC: We’re so excited that spring is finally in the air! Meredith, what is your number one floral selection for springtime brides?
BF: It’s been a long, cold winter in Manhattan, so we are all quite enthusiastic about the return of spring. As much as I favor those luscious Peonies and ruffled Sweetpeas, I am really loving long-stemmed blue and purple Delphinium. There is a broad spectrum of this authentic English garden blossom ranging from a soft lilac and cornflower blue to rich jewel tones of sapphire and amethyst. By combining the hues, a stunning ombre effect can be achieved. Those graduated tones are as pretty as a blue sky on a perfect spring afternoon.
TBC: What color palette is trending this Spring for luxe florals?
BF: Are we well-known for that perfectly feminine palette of blush tones, or is it simply a coincidence that a plethora of our brides this season are gravitating towards the same series of soft, ethereal pastels? Anyone who knows the romantic Belle Fleur design aesthetic can readily see how these demure tones fit right in. We have a total of nine weddings to design over the next 12 weeks of spring, and 70% of them require angelic pastel hues.
TBC: What is your favorite linen pairing for a floral look that is fresh and airy this season?
BF: I happen to love the juxtaposition of delicate blooms with a structured linen, or a contemporary floral concept paired with a very feminine textile. The look is slightly unexpected, yet not in the least bit daring. Perhaps because of my fashion background, I tend to focus on linens as strongly as I focus on florals. I think we are a bit spoiled as our Belle Fleur is based out of the fashion capital of the world, and we can get truly stellar fabrics that will make a world of difference in the table setting.
TBC: How do you feel about this season’s cascading bouquet trend?
BF: A bride’s bouquet is a statement piece and must coordinate with her wedding dress. The design of the dress should determine the silhouette and scale of the floral bouquet. I personally love the cascading style; it’s a trend that we are really enjoying at Belle Fleur. Those tendrils and loose trails of Jasmine and Passion Vine add graceful fluidity to any cascading bouquet.
TBC: What aspect of a couple’s nuptials is most overlooked when it comes to florals?
BF: I believe that most brides think through the details of florals for their wedding party. However, I have often felt that florals for the mothers of the bride and groom are overlooked. Just think, moms are always in the wedding party and participate in walking down the aisle with great pride. Mothers are most often instrumental in big picture ideas and decisions, yet they are rarely honored with flowers.
I happen to love it when mothers carry their own personalized bouquets. Perhaps it’s a floral that may awaken fond memories of her own wedding day, or a thoughtful way for bride and groom to pay tribute to a mother by selecting a bloom that has symbolic and poetic meaning. For example, Cymbidium Orchids represent refined beauty and strength.Mother’s Day is coming up, so clearly I have Mom on the mind.
TBC: We’ve noticed that using real flowers for the sole cake decoration is coming back into vogue. Thoughts?
BF: I’m on the fence about using real flowers on a wedding cake. For a photoshoot, yes, but for an actual wedding, well, we have to remember that many florals are treated with a small amount of preservatives to stay fresh and the stems of certain flowers secrete fluids that could be toxic. This is enough reason for me to shy away from fresh floral decoration. There are simply too many incredibly talented wedding cake designers that can replicate any and all blooms with a sugary wand. Take a look at Ron Ben-Israel & Sylvia Weinstock’s extraordinary cakes- those hand-made, sweetened flours are the perfect and tastiest reasons to go faux.
TBC: What’s blooming this season that is both stunning and unique?
BF: The question should be: what’s not blooming?! This season is absolutely the most ideal time to get married from a floral point of view. The selection of flowers is plentiful. I’m working on a bouquet this weekend using precious and pristine white Muscari. The texture and quality is intricately delicate. They are rare and so breathtakingly unique and pretty.
TBC: Floral crowns. We adore them. What should brides keep in mind if they go this route for bridesmaids, flower girls or themselves?
Floral crowns are so au courant! We love the look and think that our indie-bride rocks the style. We always insist on making two head wreaths so that those fragile florets stay fresh for both the pre-ceremony photo ops and also the walk down the aisle. I would love to do a whole story on the many varieties and styles of floral crowns…the possibilities are endless!
TBC: We’re partial to savvy succulent arrangements. Do you find that succulents stand alone beautifully or are they more effective as a textural addition to a larger arrangement?
BF: Succulents are incredibly cool – they are definitely a bit on the casual side so it works brilliantly with a rustic or garden approach to design. I tend to incorporate desert roses with oversized Garden Roses and Dinner-Plate Dahlias. Once again, it’s about finding the synergistic balance of structured shapes with softer, frothier blooms. As far as using them on their own, I do think that miniature Succulents make the most charming boutonnieres.
TBC: Have you woven any of this year’s Pantone Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid, into any of your most recent arrangements?
BF: This past winter we had a bevy of brides that embraced that stunning violet shade of Radiant Orchid. There are so many beautiful flowers in that color palette. I am especially partial to Vanda Orchids from Thailand. They are literally an exact match…Pantone would be impressed.
I feel that Belle Fleur was ahead of this trend curve, as we launched our Rose Collection of scented candles a year prior to the craze of Radiant Orchid. The packaging is right in line with the color violet – a purple glass for the candle and rich sexy aromas that wax poetic (pardon the pun). Thank goodness for this trend explosion, as this particular line of four sublime scents are selling so beautifully!
TBC: We’re still seeing ombré everywhere! What does this mean for florals?
BF: The ombré style is still pretty relevant and plays an important role in the blending of colors and florals. It’s a pretty magical look when you start at one end of a scale with the fairest and lightest of tones and finish with a culmination of decadent richness at the other end. I never tire of this gradient fashion expression.
TBC: What floral trends do you see on the horizon that haven’t quite broken into the wonderful world of weddings yet? (We want to be ahead of the curve!)
BF: Color combinations that are far more eclectic will come into play in the very near future. Brides have been pushing the envelope when it comes to personalization and the play of color is getting more and more interesting.
It’s no longer considered avante garde for a bride to wear a wedding dress, or to accessorize, with a little shock of color.
We recently designed a wedding that focused on a color palette of crimson, jet black and grey flannel. From Pussy Willow, Lamb’s Ear and Dusty Miller to rich Red Charm Peonies, wine Helleborus and aubergine Calla Lilies, we relished the exploration of this unique palette. In florals, all the traditional rules are being broken and taking a few steps to the left of the aisle is actually becoming the norm.