Essential Marketing for Florists

International Floral Distributors Release 2018 Trend Report

It’s one of my favorite times of year!

No, I’m not jazzed for pumpkin spice lattes (home brewed French Roast for me, please) or sweater weather (we have at least two months to go here in Florida), but rather the arrival of the International Floral Distributors’ 2018 Flower Trends Forecast.

Michael Skaff, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, a designer in Savannah, Georgia, spent the past year studying what’s happening around the world in terms of color, fashion, furnishings and current events, curating his findings into four styles. His research is too comprehensive to squeeze into one blog post, so for the sake of brevity, let’s focus on weddings.

Here are four looks to wow all those soon-to-be-engaged prospective clients.


MEDITERRANEAN MAGNIFICENCE

“Finally, colors are getting brighter,” Skaff said. “There’s a lot going on in the world, but financially at least, people are feeling a bit more stable.”

This trend pulls from the cultures of Italy, Greece and Egypt. “You see it a lot in the decorative elements with pillows, pottery, textures–particularly linen and cotton–and tiles,” Skaff said. Colors include oranges, yellows and taupes. “Blue continues to be a big trend,” Skaff said. The iteration here ranges from classic navy to pastel teals (picture the water from “Mamma Mia!”)

For metals, “bronze is taking a backseat to gold, which is warm and inviting,” Skaff said.

The bouquet here is a “loose free-form” with lots of movement, thanks to grasses, Skaff said. Flowers that help complete the look include ranunculus, sunflowers, anemones, and agapanthus. ‘Sahara’ roses help calm down bright colors, as does double lisianthus in light green, he added. For accents, consider lemons, mini kumquats, or rosehips.

 

The wedding gown might be a Grecian goddess dress or something off-the-shoulder. “We’ll also see more low v-necks,” Skaff said. “These brides are showing off their figures.”

Expect to see bridesmaids in various shades of blue, carrying loose bouquets with eucalyptus. “Gone are the tight ball designs!” Skaff

Men might opt for embroidery collars or vests. “Their style is becoming more individualized,” Skaff said. “They’re gravitating to European-style, tailored suits.”

 

INCARNATION OF EARTH’S ELEMENTS

This is about going back to nature,” Skaff said. “It’s inspired by fire, water, metal and air.”

Containers have an organic feel. “They may be imperfectly shaped,” Skaff said. “Or they mix metals or weathered, natural elements.”

For reception decor, envision a modern landscape design, with flowers clustered and arranged by height. “You might incorporate unique sculptures or mix rectangles with circles,” Skaff said.

Flowers here have a contemporary look. Think: allium, liatris, callas, cockscomb celosia, ginger, and magnolia pods. “Brides crave products that give texture and form,” Skaff said.

“The bouquet may be a cascade using unique materials from nature, such as feathers or vines,” Skaff said. “It’s not packed in with product and it’s not freeform. It’s structured and angular.”

The gown is nude-colored and minimalist: sleek, straight lines with a higher neckline. “It’s all about the silhouette,” Skaff said. “No beading.”

Bridesmaids will likely wear taupes, browns, and greens.

Men are showing more personality. They may wear a tie or pocket square with a floral print. “Even the boutonnieres are becoming more modern,” Skaff said. “Men are excited to wear something cool.”

POSITIVELY POSH

“This is a slight carry over from last year’s French Connection, which was all about romance and overabundance,” Skaff said. “This version has a bit more oomph, with bright pinks, teals, purples, and lavender.”

This look incorporates pearlescent accents and containers with rounded edges. “It’s going back to the classics,” Skaff said. “These are things that make us feel comfortable.”

Again, it’s going back to the classics that make us feel comfortable. Here we see lots of containers that have rounded edges.

Flowers here are very multi-petaled: ranunculus, peonies, garden roses, and hydrangea. “Brides are also reaching for heirloom flowers, like lilac, lavender, and freesia,” Skaff said. “They want a touch of fragrance in their bouquets.” The shape is a slight cascade.

Not all the bouquets or centerpieces have to match, but they’ll carry an overall theme.

 

Wedding gowns may include low necklines with a sheer finish. “It’s not quite open,” Skaff said. “Just a little revealing.” Other trends: lace, corsets, and “ruffles, ruffles, ruffles!” Skaff said. “Brides love that soft femininity.”

Grooms’ attire here is more formal. Picture tails–and maybe top hats or canes, if the guy’s really into haberdashery.

FOLK ART REINVENTED 

“There is a huge group out there that loves Etsy and crafting,” Skaff said. “This is a quirky, upbeat, whimsical look. It’s an artistic impression of oneself.”

The colors here are bright greens, pinks, oranges, golden yellow, and plum. Popular accents may include polka dots, stars, butterflies, and origami figures.

Fitting flowers include gerberas, sunflowers, dahlias, dianthus, and dyed flowers.

“The bouquets are incredibly wild. Brides are taking the garden style to new heights and exploding them with color,” Skaff said.

“This is a style florists need to study,” he continued. “It could be beautiful…or circus-y. You need to know how many colors you can combine and how to make a freeform bouquet without completing losing its shape.” 

Brides here may wear capes, capulets, or bell sleeves. “With bridesmaids, it’s anyone’s choice,” Skaff said. “This bride doesn’t put constraints on her attendants. You might see 7 different colors or patterns, though there’s likely a continuing theme. We’re also seeing two-piece dresses.”

 

Guys may wear denim with vests or suspenders or funky socks. “They’re all about feeling comfortable buy individual.”

 

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