Navy is the new black for weddings, popular clothing fashion for both men and women in modern wedding parties. Men our choosing navy and grey suits in place of traditional black tuxedos while navy is a very popular color choice for bridesmaids. Navy and grey suits are a little more casual and suit the groom who is getting married in a more rustic setting. And what woman doesn’t look lovely in navy?
My family has always been a big fan of navy. It has been considered the “uniform” color for the women in my life through many generations. My grandmother returned every colorful piece of clothing she ever purchased. Her closet was awash in navy and I loved the dress she wore to my wedding – navy, of course. As a florist, navy blue creates a bit of a challenge when a bride and groom want to see their ensemble colors in their wedding flowers. It can definitely be done, but we may have to get a little creative.
Bridesmaids in lavender, rose, pink, burgundy, yellow, peach -- you can begin to picture the flowers I would use. Maybe just a hint, maybe a riot of colors; there are many flowers choices for every season in these shades. While blue flower varieties may be more limited, we do have some beautiful, natural options. We can use Cornflower, Anemone, light and dark blue Delphinium, Blue Hydrangea, Thistle, Iris, Privet, Hyacinth and Grape Hyacinth in bridal arrangements. These stems offer a complete range of blue from the deep hued center of Anemone and the warmth of Cornflower, to the whisper of Blue Thistle.
The featured photo for this blog is from Madeleine and Jordan Bullard’s Rust Manor Wedding in September. Madeleine came to us with a really fun approach to her color scheme. She shared some tips recently as she recalled the process of choosing a wedding palette. “I wear a lot of navy myself. I wanted my bridesmaids to be able to find their own dresses in their own time and to be able to wear something they feel comfortable in. And, other than black, navy is one of the few colors you can choose where you know you are going to get the same tone.”
“As for the flowers, I wanted something smooth and autumn and a lot of that was trial and error in terms of the flowers that would look good with navy. I saw a picture on Pinterest of a velvety, navy blue couch with a crimson bouquet sitting on it and I thought, that’s what I want -- rich, jewel-toned colors.
Madeleine chose to use Blue Thistle because of a personal connection to the stem. “The blue component showed up in my bouquet with the thistle… that’s actually my favorite kind of flower. I live in New York, and a lot of florists stock thistle as it’s a really great way to add interesting color and texture. They’ve always been around and I love that they are kind of different looking. Thistle is one of the stand-by flowers in our apartment.”
Madeleine included all of her theme flowers in her bridesmaid’s bouquets. She wanted everyone to feel good about what they were wearing and to carry something that looked really pretty. Her bouquet also included burgundy Dahlia’s, Polo Roses, Ivory Majolica Roses, Spray Roses, Nandina and Jasmine Vine. “My bouquet really felt like me which was really pleasing.”
She concluded her comments by making this suggestion. “You’ve got to be flexible about it (getting blue into the bouquet), there are certain ways of going about it, like a green leaf that almost feels a little blue-ish, and then there are more obvious ways like a navy ribbon. You have to be really open to the different ways of achieving blue, if you don’t want to use something overt like dyed carnations.”
My goal as a wedding floral designer is to engage in the creative process with the bride (and the occasional groom), listening carefully to her goals and ideas. And then, months later, I get to create something one-of-a-kind that allows the bride to say, "this feels like me."
A special thanks to Madeleine and Jordan Bullard and Jessica Smith Photography for sharing their experience.
To read more about ribbons as a way to introduce an extra or more elusive color, click the button below.