Floral Design Through the Ages – Royal Weddi...

Floral Design Through the Ages – Royal Wedding Trends

At AIFD this summer, Accent Decor had the honor of sponsoring the presentation of the British Academy of Floral Art by providing resources and containers to help bring their vision to life on stage for those in attendance.

The wonderful ladies chose to walk the AIFD audience through the techniques, inspiration, methodology, and exploration of floral design through history and especially how it was represented in royal weddings.

Elizabethan Era – 16th Century wedding trends in floral design

While Queen Elizabeth I never married, Jo Jarvis, AIFD, found it necessary to start the presentation off in the 16th century as quite a few of the floral practices established then are still used today.

The pomander (or posy) shows up every now and then, especially as something a flower girl would carry, but during the 16th century, it was customary for brides to carry ones made of herbs. During a time of poor hygiene, the perfumed ball of plants would act as a personal air freshener.

Jo also mentioned that an updated take on the pomanders would be to take away the flowers we’re used to seeing today, and replace them with succulents as pictured above. In the end, a bride or bridesmaid would have a memento that keeps growing.

Elizabethan Wedding Details:

  • herbs
  • spheres
  • love knots
  • tussie mussies
  • mystcal plant lore
Jo and her team also drew inspiration from botanicals and other natural elements to create woodland inspired bouquets and arrangements using the spherical influence that was popular in florals in the 16th century.  Pictured below, Francoise Weeks shows off the pinecone details she used to line the bottom of a woodland-inspired bouquet.

Queen Victoria – Victorian wedding trends in floral design

The language of flowers was so important to the Victorians, and myrtle, a symbol of affection and duty, found favor with Queen Victoria. Since Victoria’s reign, a sprig of her myrtle has been tucked into the bride’s bouquet for every royal wedding and has been a popular tradition for British brides since.
Kathryn Delve chose to focus on myrtle as well as other popular Victorian flowers such as roses, Sweet William, Lace Ann, and carnations for her designs representing the time period of Queen Victoria’s reign.
To update floral trends popular during the Victorian era, Kathryn chose to focus on concentric circles, copper, and the ever-growing sub-culture Steampunk trend. She focused on modern flowers with victorian colors and her steampunk bouquet, pictured below, is bio degradable.

Queen Elizabeth II – 1920s Wedding Trends in Floral Design

The 1920s in Great Britain was an age of contrast. It was a time of liberation for women and opulence. It saw the dawn of the Flapper with her dropped waistline and cropped hair. But it also saw a time of recovering from the first world war unaware that another was just around the corner.

Aligned with this age of contrast, the floral world saw the emergence of Constance Spry a “rule breaker” known for giving us the wild, foraged look that’s very popular today.  According to Amanda Randell MDPF, British Master,Constance Spry would build an arrangement using the established rules of line and form and then break the line, often by using a discord color.
(Shop the Princeton Urn)When Queen Elizabeth II married, she had fabric flowers sewn onto her veil, but Amanda thought “why not fresh?” The veil below shows Amanda’s take on adding floral work to a cathedral veil.

1920s Wedding Details
  • trailing ribbons
  • historical techniques
  • cathedral length veils
  • feathers
  • Constance Spry
  • Diamanté

Princess Grace of Monaco – 1950s wedding trends in floral design

Tina Parks, AIFD, focused her part of the presentation on sharing that the 1950s bride started to lean away from carrying flowers directly in her hands, and leaned toward attaching them to an object as Grace Kelly did with Lily of the Valley tied upon her her prayer book.
Tina’s modern interpretation was to see the hands-free bouquet evolve into wearable flowers in the form of headdresses or collars.
1950s Wedding Details
  • Bouquets not held directly in the hand
  • Single specimen flowers
  • Small structure bouquets

Princess Diana – 1980s Wedding Trends in Floral Design

The 1980s saw a focus on romance and over-the-top details in a completely new way. Shower bouquets, made popular by Princess Diana’s own wedding bouquet, were the top choices for brides, and designer Julie Collins, MDPF British Master, took a foraged, wild turn with the classic 80s bouquet shape.

White flowers and yellow roses also reigned supreme and in a stunning reveal, Julie used our Enrich Vase to create the larger than life arrangement pictured above and below. It took seven people to carry the urn and lift it onto the stage, and Julie explained that they inserted a bucket inside the urn to house the arrangement since they simply couldn’t fill the entire container.


Do you have a modern take on historic wedding floral trends?

We want to see! If you have a floral arrangement or styled look inspired by a certain period in history, send your photos to Don’t forget the photographer’s name if you didn’t take it yourself. We’d love to share your work on Facebook and Instagram!

For more photos from the Academy of Floral Art Presentation at AIFD, check out AIFD’s photo gallery on Facebook!


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