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Wedding Trending with Preston Bailey: Designing With Flowers

Posted on June 03 by New Jersey Bride

Event designer Preston Bailey is known for bringing spectacular drama and elegance to wedding venues, thanks in part to his bold use of flowers. In his new book, Designing With Flowers (Rizzoli, 2014), he shows how his floral arrangements set the scene for celebrity clients including Lebron James, Donald Trump and Internet billionaire Sean Parker. Floral design has always been susceptible to trends, and in the coming seasons, Bailey anticipates that romance will rule. That’s great news for brides who don’t want to blow their entire budget on flowers.

Wedding Floral Design
Designing With Flowers by Preston Bailey
“Right now, we are seeing a move toward the romantic flowers—peonies, roses and orchids,” Bailey says. If that sounds exotic and expensive, think again. Bailey says that growers have been working hard to cultivate varieties of these elegant, delicate flowers that are hardier and more readily available than they’ve been in the past. Bailey says that the elegance of peonies and orchids, in particular, means that they provide drama all on their own, without the benefit of costly arrangements or bouquets of filler flowers. “You don’t need large numbers of these flowers,” he says. “One stem of a beautiful orchid can be incredibly dramatic.” Bailey adds that a cut orchid may last for another three months, providing a lingering reminder of wedding-day beauty.
Wedding Floral Design
Designing With Flowers by Preston Bailey
As brides have come to favor the romantic look, Bailey has seen a move toward monochromatic floral design, including a much greater presence of white or cream-colored flowers. “This is a somewhat surprising trend, but it is part of this romantic theme, where everything looks sensual and soft,” he says. “It creates a more harmonic effect when you are using one color, or perhaps two shades of the same color.” While white is ascendant, a similar effect can come from using two pale tones of pink, or blue. The key is to find harmonic shades, rather than contrasting tones, he says.
Wedding Floral Design
Designing With Flowers by Preston Bailey
Bailey notes that when you opt for a very simple color scheme, you and your florist or event planner can create visual drama by focusing on flowers with different textures or shapes. So a few white peonies, with their large, complex blossoms, might be set off by simple white buds or berries. And don’t discount the role of candlelight in setting a romantic tone, Bailey says. “A wedding that features white and candlelight looks absolutely incredible.”

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