Heather Lipp, J. Morris Flowers
Fresh flowers are making their way in to the beautiful braids and twists that brides are choosing for a more relaxed version of a modern up-do. 2016 has been a year of rapid change in floral design with the same emphasis on natural beauty that we are seeing in every day and special occasion hair styles. The “just gathered” bouquet and the "swept up and tucked” hair flowers are all part of a central theme- women want their wedding ensemble to look natural and timeless.
Jennifer Morris, owner of J. Morris Flowers in Leesburg, Virginia and Theresa (Teri) Trotto, owner of Salon Sogno in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts share a real enthusiasm for the natural, looser looks that are framing both of their industries. And though they have never met, both women use very similar same language to describe the trends that they love. According to Jennifer, “A lot of women are using the word "natural" to describe their wedding flowers. So, we are using bigger, showy blooms and smaller, textured flowers with an equal amount of airy, light greenery. The bridal bouquets are loose -- more one-sided, and rather than cascading down, the shape is horizontal. The preferred blooms look more "home grown" and greenery is sharing center stage. We are also creating important spaces within the arrangement so each flower can be seen."
Teri loves the shift in style in the hair industry. “The up-do’s have gone from tight, sculpted, circle curls - very stiff looking - to a soft, sultry, classy-while-whimsical look. Their taking a lot of twists but stretching it out, they are doing a lot of bigger braiding but they are stretching it out. They are absolutely stunning - it feels like they are coming from an old movie but they are so modern. And, the fresh flowers are perfect. For years, the styles were very elegant and glitzy, tiaras with bling, rhinestones and pearls stuck in to tight buns. Even the types of flowers have changed. When a bride used to put flowers in her hair, we used baby’s breath and tea roses. Now it is gorgeous, colorful blooms and greenery.”
Teri helped her niece plan her wedding in September and fell in love with the newest flower designs. “The bride’s bouquet has changed from the tight, compact ball that I carried to this soft, bigger, whimsical look - trailing, light and airy. It’s a bold statement in the classiest way. And with fresh flowers in the hair - the bride looks so much more put together because she doesn’t have these gorgeous flowers and a commercial head piece (pretty as they might be). The hair now coordinates with the flowers.”
Up-dos with fresh flowers – the technical stuff
Technically, the method for creating these looser up-dos requires a different approach. Teri talks about how designers carefully stretch the braid or the twist creating perfect openings for the wired flowers. “We literally take each piece of the braid, pull it back out and stretch it so it is twice as wide. Now when we do that, we make these spaces in the braid where we can add flowers without worrying about how pins or clips are going to affect the style.”
Jennifer and her team of designers will use “theme flowers” from your wedding design, selecting the stems that work best out of water. “We like to suggest Ranunculus, Spray Roses and Greenery. We reinforce each flower, piercing the the bloom, pulling the wire through and then looping it so that you know the bloom will stay in place while you are celebrating. We wrap the stem with corsage tape leaving two to three inches for your stylist to work with.
As always, planning and coordination make the day
Like all things wedding, it is important to coordinate between the stylist and the floral designer so that the timing is clear to everyone. A lot of brides send someone for the hair flowers earlier in the day, explains Jennifer. "But, if a stylist is going to be on site for your wedding, the flowers can be delivered with your personal flowers."
Teri suggests that you and your stylist plan the timing of the day and practice a couple of times before the wedding. “Practice once, twice or three times. Most brides want a trial run. And, it’s not a bad idea to try a few different looks before you select one. And, this is critical -- coordination is key. If you want everything to run smoothly then take the time to have a conversation with your florist about what they will be providing and when it will arrive.” Terri suggests that you show your stylist sample pictures of the bouquet and theme flowers so that she can see the style you are trying to achieve before she creates your up-do. “Show me the bouquet, I want to see the types of flowers that will be in their signature piece.”
The right stylist will plan to be with you after you are dressed to make sure that the finished style complements your ensemble. Teri explains, “We always think that we have more time than we do, and it goes by so quickly. I am always there when the florist arrives with the flowers, but you need to plan for plenty of stylist time.”
If the timing doesn't work for your stylist, Teri suggests you recruit someone from your wedding party or family to be part of the process. “If it is not possible to have your stylist with you just before your wedding, then recruit a talented member of your wedding party or family to finish the work. Your stylist should demonstrate how and where to put the flowers during the practice session.”
Lastly, Teri also suggests that you consider extensions for a thicker, fuller style. “Extensions are so different now. Many brides are using them for length and thickness. They have come such a long way - they are made from human hair, you can wash them and curl them, and you can keep them forever. We put extensions in my niece’s hair and it helped so much when we went to put the flowers in.”
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