Everything’s coming up roses in the Broadway tune made famous by Ethel Merman in the musical Gypsy, but many brides are seeing it differently on their wedding day. “The emergence of South American growers, particularly from Colombia and Ecuador, has brought many new colors and varieties to our market,” observes Nancy Gardiner, designer at Fairfield-based Hansen’s Flower Shop, which is owned by Bruce Minoff, who also owns Bruce’s Flowers & Greenhouses in Norwalk, Westport Florist in Westport and Irene’s Flower Shop in Monroe.
Purple and white orchids, such as Dendrobium and Cymbidium, and a variety of Proteas, like the small, delicate, pale pink/silver Blushing Bride with a feathery-like texture, are added to rose and peony bouquets. “We’re seeing new rose varieties, and carnations, which seemed ordinary even five years ago, are exploding with amazing textures and deep purples and greens which are exciting to work with,” says Nancy, noting that brides still favor white, creams, and blush tones but lime green tones, similar to a Granny Smith apple, are trending.
Today, brides are adventurous in their flower choices, with bouquets looking far from ordinary. “Fragrant herbs, for example, or pods such as papaver and scabiosa, succulents, fiddleheads, silver brunia, vines, and cascading foliage choices are trendier ways to set a bride’s bouquet apart from the strictly traditional,” notes Nancy.
Flowers add color, ambience and elegance to a wedding, with the bridal bouquet the most significant. “The bouquet is a quintessential bridal accessory that acts as the final touch to the bride’s overall look,” says Danielle Farrer, owner of Flowers by Danielle LLC in Trumbull.
Bridal bouquets are often the last, intimate pause before the ceremony when a bride can gaze upon beauty and reflect on what will be, according to Frances Reed, an independent floral designer based in Darien. “The bouquet is hers alone, a chance to use a favorite color, include a memory of a garden, or a nod to someone she dearly loves,” she says. “Trends away, bridal magazines aside, let the conversation begin with her dream.”
After perusing Pinterest for inspiration for her wedding last November, bride Marissa Ostroff of Ellington, Conn., knew she wanted a dazzling bouquet that would make a statement. “I wanted my bouquet to stand out and play off the elegant theme of my wedding,” says Marissa, who collaborated with Danielle to create a full, round bouquet with white and ivory hydrangea, roses, and garden roses accented with numerous silver and crystal brooches and a charm in front holding a picture of Marissa’s grandparents. “I was close to them, and having them in the picture was like having them with me for my wedding day. It was really special,” she recalls.
The wedding theme often influences bouquet design. “Most brides like to have at least one of their bouquet elements matching the bridesmaids’ gowns or overall look to their event. Whether it’s the flowers themselves or the ribbon or lace that wraps around the stems, brides typically like to have a unifying factor within their palette,” says Danielle. “If a bride is having a rustic outdoor wedding, the bouquet usually would include lots of greenery and wildflowers.”
Tina Ahlberg, designer at Hansen’s Flower Shop in Fairfield, notes that the trend for 2017 is rustic and full of foliage. “The bouquets are getting looser and more free-form. Peonies, dahlias, and garden roses are the choice for a lot of brides.” observes Tina, who often personalizes a bouquet with a family heirloom, such as a piece of jewelry or lace from the mother of the bride’s or grandmother’s wedding gown.
Nicole Palazzo, marketing manager for City Line Florist in Trumbull, agrees that foliage bouquets are popular. “They are a very cool and very trendy alternative to fresh flowers. Also, we’re still seeing succulents and airplants in bouquets. A lot of brides like that the succulents can be re-planted and they have a keepsake from their wedding,” Nicole says, adding that brides are stepping out of the box and using unusual flowers.
For bride Carla Psarofagis’s October wedding, City Line Florist created a traditional but chic all-white round bouquet. “It set the tone and mood for the whole wedding design and theme that day with its elegance,” recalls Carla, of Danbury, whose bouquet included garden roses with a hint of blush, white hydrangeas, white calla lilies, and white spray roses. Carla added pictures of her grandparents, who have passed away, in a memory locket tucked into the bouquet.
Most brides are adding an embellishment or personal memento. “Necklaces, pendants, brooches and pins, rosary beads, etc., are common items. Brides also incorporate pieces of fabric from their gown into the stem wrapping of their bouquets,” Danielle notes. A photograph of family members who have passed, placed in a miniature frame or locket and tied to the bouquet, is widely used. “I’ve had brides wrap the handles of their bouquet in fabric from their mother’s wedding dress,” Nicole Palazzo concludes, noting that other items, such as ribbon and rhinestones, are a fun way to add a bride’s personality to the bouquet.