Expect 2021 to be a year of extremes when it comes to wedding flower trends. The near-worldwide lockdown during COVID in 2020 has driven people into a more digital space and has led them to escape into nature, and the wedding flower trends for 2021 are reflecting that impact. From fashion to food — florals are in, and they are taking center stage at weddings of all styles and sizes.
From sustainably harvested dried flowers in neutral shades and brightly painted florals, and beautifully scented garden blooms, plus immersive statement installations — 2021 will be an exciting year for floral designers.
Designers are looking forward to the diverse options these trends are creating —
“As florists, we are absolutely thrilled that more couples are wanting color! This allows us to be creative and to do something different each weekend. Personally, I have seen many couples use cream as a base and accent the rest of the palette with color…Whether that is with pastel, earthy, or bold tones,” says Kaytee Stice, owner of Roots Floral Design, in her predictions for next year’s trends.
THE OVERVIEW OF WEDDING FLOWER TRENDS IN 2021
Floral design trends for 2021 pull inspiration from the Edwardian era all the way to the 1980s and 90s
Image Courtesy of Florists’ Review
In their American Floral Trends Forecast, the Florists’ Review explains the vibe like this —
“A leisure stroll from the past into the present sparks a revival of floral design sense and sensibilities with stirring new applications previously associated with the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Soft color palettes and subtle and graceful design elements reminiscent of Great Britain’s Edwardian Era (1901-1910) and France’s Beaux-Arts architecture (characterized by order, formality, grandiosity, and elaborate ornamentation) are reinterpreted for today’s modern era, making “Promenade” compositions relevant, new and ageless.”
This trend “conveys messages of new beginnings and timeless decor.” You can expect to see flowing ribbons, lace, and ruffles next to textural flowers for exuberant floral designs that range from garden style to majestic.
The American Floral Trends Forecast has four design styles that they are predicting, including — Promenade, Metropolitan, Exploration, and Terratory. While all four have value, we believe Promenade encompasses the largest section of trending content for 2021.
Photo Courtesy of KADOU
According to the floral engineers at London’s celebrated Blooming Haus, the floral buzzwords for 2021 are light, ethereal, delicate, and sustainable. This trend extends stateside with floating, foam-free installations and eco-friendly plant alternatives being front and center at weddings.
Don’t mistake ethereal and delicate for pale color palettes only. On the contrary, while blushed and earthy neutrals are wildly popular — the other end of the spectrum is also growing in popularity. Expect to see bold pops of color with hand-painted blooms and dried flower elements as well as fully saturated, intense colors that range from natural to electric shades.
Photo by Edges Wedding Photography
We’ve all heard about sustainability by this point. What makes this a buzzword is that it has become fully mainstream — and means more than just donating the flowers after the event. Sustainability and eco-conscious practices include everything from foam-free designs and how the florals are assembled to the location they are grown and the types of plants themselves.
- Joyful Expression
Photo Courtesy of Remi & Gold
Joyful Expression is the official term for what couples — especially those who have postponed their celebrations will be looking for in their color palettes. The World’s Global Styling Network (WGSN) explains the meaning of the buzzword like this —
“Full of colour, detail, and texture designs that spark joy are trending. Consumers are finding optimism in mood-boosting palettes…”
Mood-boosting palettes is another trending term thanks to COVID and the months in lockdown. This term means different things for different people. For some, it’s about cheerful and bright color combinations like this combination of mint blue and shades of peach and orange.
Photo by Meaghan Brianne Photo
Others’ mood-boosting colors are more about the natural beauty of earth tones or the refreshing clean shades of green.
With that in mind, let’s dive into trending color palettes for 2021.
The Color Palettes
Color is key for 2021. It’s a year of extremes with subtle, neutral shades being sought after as well as bright and bold colors on the opposite end of the spectrum.
- Modern Neutrals
Photo Courtesy of Yonder House
Blushed and earthy nudes with creams will be a popular combination in 2021. We’ve seen this trend really take off this year, and it will only get more widespread. This is a romantic and ethereal palette.
In 2020, neutral florals took on a more buttery shade, but in 2021 expect to see more rust and muddy-type colors added to the neutral palette.
- Bold Statement Colors
Photo Courtesy of Olive Owl
Whether they are from nature or human-made shades painted on, bright colors are en vogue, and couples aren’t afraid to stand out. These color combos are meant to make a statement. They express the joy and beauty in life — and blend the hyper-colorful digital world with the natural experience around us.
- Green and White
Photo Courtesy of Sugar Bee Flowers
Simple is beautiful, and that’s one theme you’ll be seeing. However, experts say that you can expect to see whites and greens dominating the scene. There is a sense of freshness and cleansing with this color palette, and it’s just the ticket for some couples coming out of lockdown.
The overall wedding flower vibe for 2021 could be called vintage revisited because we’re seeing many flowers that used to be a staple of the 80s and 90s home turning into haute couture design. From the anthurium to dried floral arrangements, florists are putting a modern twist on these previously “dated” favorites, making them ideal vintage revisited styles.
Now that we’ve covered some of the inspiration behind the trends let’s talk about some of the wedding flower trends you’ll be seeing in 2021.
- Blue Hues
Photo Courtesy of Bloom Babes
We’re seeing a resurgence of blues from delicate pops of blue with neutral blooms or even dramatic blues dominating with accents of white. This trend is on the upward rise not only because it’s the 2020 color of the year — but A.I. Aqua is the WGSN color of the year, so you’ll be seeing shades of blues and greens flooding fashion and home decor too.
The Flowers of 2021
According to the American Floral Trends Forecast, these are the florals that will be a staple in 2021 —
- Garden Roses — David Austin Wedding Roses – Patience and Juliet, Wabara Garden Roses – Senlitsu and Miyabi, Princess Japanese Garden Roses – Princess Maya and Koko Loco
- Ferns — Tree Fern, Sword Fern, Plumosa Fern
- Fruit Branches
- Sweet Peas
There are more flowers included in their list here, but these are the florals that appear in nearly all four forecasted trends.
WEDDING FLOWER TRENDS YOU’LL SEE IN 2021
We’ve covered some of the basics, now let’s take a deep dive into the top wedding flower trends you’ll be seeing in 2021.
Wedding trends for 2021 include a more experiential design for guests and couples alike. Instead of adding flowers as a finishing touch, couples want to transport their nearest and dearest with a sensorial experience. Here are a few of the types of statement flowers you’ll see.
- Floating Florals
Photo and Video Courtesy of FLWR Events
From the ceremony space to the reception, floating florals are one of the primary ways designers achieve the ethereal vibe in 2021.
- Immersive Installations
Photo Courtesy of FLWR Events
Photo Courtesy of Jenya Flowers
Couples are ready to transport their guests — and go big when it comes to their wedding day. Immersive designs elevate florals to an interactive level.
- Photo-Friendly Florals (Like Nests, Nooks, and Arches)
Photo Courtesy of Stone House Creative
Whether it’s a floral nest like the one above, floral-draped entryway, or wall, couples are looking to have their entire event photo-ready, which means Instagram-worthy nooks that can turn into floral photo-booths as well as backdrops for their professional shots.
Bold, Colorful Flower Choices
Whether it’s nature’s paintbrush or the florist’s, couples are opting for the bold and the beautiful when it comes to their wedding day.
These natural beauties make an invigorating impression —
Photo by Rachel Elaine Photography
On the other end of the spectrum, these vibrant man-made shades are full of fun and couples aren’t afraid to stand out in 2021.
Photo by Caitlin Rose Photography
Photo Courtesy of Bushel and Peck Wildflowers
As part of the drive for making more sustainable choices, couples are not just looking in season but also in town for their flowers. As a result, the farm-to-vase, farmer florist movement is only growing more popular.
With nationwide programs like the Farmer Florist Collective, it’s easier than ever for couples and florists alike to access local flowers. In addition to being eco-friendly, the big selling factor is that local farmer florists often have heirloom flowers and feature blooms that are unique to that area.
The Return of the Urn
Photo Courtesy of BLOVED
The traditional floral urn is making a comeback — often as part of a more classic form of the statement flower trend. Couples enjoy the traditional element, but love to see it reinvented — and even less formal.
David Austin Garden Roses
Photo Courtesy of David Austin
Speaking of returns, wedding flower trends for 2021 will see the return of the garden rose. Over the years, many roses were bred more for their stem length so that they were easier to work with within floral design. Unfortunately, during this process, they lost some of their unique scents. David Austin is renowned for its exquisite English roses with their sumptuous petals and rich fragrances.
The American Floral Trends Forecast has listed David Austin’s wedding roses ‘Patience’ and the ‘Juliet’ as two of 2021’s official bloom selections.
But these beauties are a double-trending item because couples are increasingly looking for flowers that can become heirlooms — meaning something that couples can plant in their own garden.
Additionally, watercolor-style floral prints will be the must-have fashion items for spring and summer 2021, so be thinking of blooms that go well with bridesmaid dresses and statement ties in floral print.
Bleached, Dried, and Preserved Flowers
Photo Courtesy of Walden Floral Co.
Palm fronds, tumbleweeds, and grasses — oh my! From the typical to the unusual, dried florals have never been hotter from the decor to the bouquet, and that won’t change anytime soon.
These beauties are winners on all levels. They can be cost-effective. They can be extravagant. They are eco-friendly. They can last forever and be enjoyed for many years to come. They can be romantic or modern. They can be a showstopper or be perfectly happy as the sidekick. They can be neutral or neon. They are a florist’s best friend.
Edible Flowers Making a Splash
Photo Courtesy of This Mess is Ours
Edible flowers will continue making a splash in 2021 — all puns intended — because you’ll be seeing them in extravagant ice cubs, topping exquisite desserts, and more! But, of course, it’s going to be more than just some edible pansies — from herbs to more exotic blooms, the sky is the limit.
Foam-Free Floral Design
Photo by Kim Branagan Photography
Designers can expect their couples to be more informed — and even more passionate about sustainable (one of the 2021 buzzwords) floral design. This is due to the increasingly mainstream desire to live more sustainably with eco-conscious habits.
In fact, more and more floral educators, like the team at Nectar and Bloom in San Diego, are teaching other florists how to go foam-free.
A trend based on the push for foam-free styles is the low centerpiece with a highly stylized design.
Be proactive about offering these elements to your couples and letting them know what that means for their design. This is also a way couples select their florists, so be sure to include this type of information on your website and social media.
Another trend based on the desire for more sustainable florals is plant-based designs. This actually combines the photo-friendly, eco-conscious, and heirloom trends in one. Plus, it has the bonus of having cost-effective potential.
Here are just a few of the places you’ll see a bigger push for potted-plants —
- Aisle Design
There are so many unique combinations and colors when it comes to potted plants. Designers are getting creative when it comes to multi-colored and multi-textured aisle designs.
- Plant Backdrops
Plant backdrops can completely change a bare space into a modern oasis.
- Potted Herb Table-Runners
These herb-based potted plants are one of our favorite ways this trend is being used. Of course, this has been done before, but we love all the modern iterations we see. This combines the desire for an immersive experience for guests as the pleasant aroma from the herbs will add to the ambiance. And on the practical side, these can become favors and even be planted at the couple’s new home as hedges or gardens. It’s purposeful, mindful — and not to mention beautiful!
The Return of Popular ’80s and ’90s Flowers
What’s old is new again in the vintage revisited trend of 2021. There’s a resurgence in popularity of the “outdated” flowers that were a staple in every home in the ’80s and ’90s.
Here are a few of the flowers whose star has risen again in a new era —
- Baby’s Breath
Photo Courtesy of Bramble and Bee
This was a staple of any ’80s bouquet, but this isn’t your mother’s baby’s breath. So designers are giving this bloom a modern makeover by painting it or becoming the focal flower. With its whimsical and delicate structure — baby’s breath is back and better than ever for 2021!
Photo by Mustard Seed Photography
Carnations have long been considered an unfavorable filler by many people, but their romantic texture and sweet colors have florists and couples looking at them in a new light.
These are fast becoming a staple of hanging floral installs or garlands.
This unique-looking flower definitely appeared in the home of one of your older relatives, or maybe an office that you went to during the ’80s or ’90s. While it does stand out, this bloom can come in a wide range of colors, work with tropical displays, modern designs, and even has a place in a soft, romantic bouquet.
Hand-dipped, fully painted, or au natural — this beauty will continue to pop up in wedding designs for all styles of couples in 2021.
Photo Courtesy of Jane Craig Designs
Expect to see ferns of all shapes, sizes, and kinds, from the potted plant aisle runners to the bouquet accent pieces.
Photo Courtesy of Susan McLeary
Wearable blooms are not just for the boho brides anymore. They are always in fashion, but 2021 will see an increase in their popularity. It’s part of the joyful expression buzzword and the return to enjoying nature that we discussed earlier. (For inspiration about more wearable blooms, be sure to check out this gallery from Susan McLeary.)
Florists should take the opportunity to revisit vintage wearable styles from the Edwardian era to the ’90s and look for ways to update them for the modern couple.
One sub-trend we’re seeing is boutonnieres taking over the lapel space. It’s not mainstream yet, but it’s something to keep an eye on.
Photo Courtesy of Roots Floral Design
Texture, Texture, Texture
Photo Courtesy of Yonder House
With the rise of dried florals and the popularity of grasses and other sustainable materials, texture has become king when it comes to floral design. The more creative, the better!
Genuine Floral Design
You read that right. Floral design is a trend for 2021. With the growing popularity of crafting and artisan disciplines, more people are coming to appreciate what it takes to create beautifully designed florals. In addition to that, texture and architectural charm are highly desired in floral design, which means a skilled designer is needed. Florists are being sought after more for the artistry they create than simply duplicating a simple Pinterest-style inspiration piece.
There’s never been a better time to be a wedding florist in terms of creativity and having couples value the expertise you bring to the table.
2021 WEDDING FLORAL DESIGN FORECAST
Based on the projected trends, we have gathered a few forecasts to keep you ahead of the curve in floral designs, with a few quick things to know.
Wabi Sabi Flowers
Because the American Floral Trends Forecast projections for 2021 include some infusions of Japanese garden roses and tactile simplicity are on the rise, we recommend looking to wabi-sabi design for inspiration.
Wabi-Sabi is a traditional Japanese aesthetic with a worldview centered around accepting the transient nature of things and a celebration of imperfection. It’s about taking pleasure in the imperfect, understated elegance and rustic simplicity. In his book, Wabi Sabi Simple, author Richard Powell wrote that it is “a way of life that appreciates and accepts complexity while at the same time values simplicity.”
Floret (Flower Farmer Collective)
Local flowers and sustainability are two things that couples will be looking for from now on. While this trend is still on the rise, consider looking into your own local flower options with the help of the Flower Farmer Collective by Floret.
From inspiration to education, we’ve covered every angle of wedding flower trends for 2021. We’re excited to see how floral designers fill 2021 weddings with unique and beautiful blooms!
THREE WAYS WEDDING PROS CAN STAY AHEAD OF THE TRENDS
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- Continue your dive into wedding trends with our blog — 8 Places You’ll See Statement Wedding Decor Go BIG in 2021.