It’s bluebonnet season in Texas! That time of the year when Hill Country roads are clogged with cars full of amateur photographer parents and their pint-sized Texans, jostling for position in fields of sky blue. While our love of our state flower shows no sign of ever slowing down, when it comes to the floral displays at galas and fêtes across the state, we can be a fickle bunch. So, Texas Meetings + Events magazine spoke with the experts to get the scoop on this year’s floral trends.

(Interviews have been edited for flow and clarity.)

OUR EXPERT: Marcela Bogado, founder and creative director of Malleret Designs
WHERE YOU CAN FIND HER: Austin 

Trends she's seeing in flowers, plants, colors, and accessories: 
“Malleret Designs has the opportunity to work with many local startups in the Austin area, as well as big, established corporations. They are open to being creative in design so that they can have an impact on their local and international guests. Austin has great resources to offer them.

  • Corporate sustainability is very important and clients will bring this into their events gradually over the next few years.
  • We are also seeing a big trend in incorporating small potting plants as part of the tablescapes, as well as big statements for entrances, backdrops and stage décor. 
  • We continue to see the use of succulents and cacti. Since there is such a large variety of types, designers can be very creative with different textures, colors and decorative containers.
  • For colors, it’s the big vibrant vibe—a bright splash of bold colors for florals and containers. 

    Non-floral custom art installation décor is something that we are seeing more every year. We love doing these as well, as we are a creative studio.

  • For vases and pots, the trend is for hand-painted ceramic natural terra cotta clay planters and pots with neutral colors: jute baskets, glass vases—there are no restrictions on what you design. These can also be linked to helping a cause, such as women’s small businesses in other countries. It then has a purpose and a sense of inclusion.”

On what not to do for floral decor: 
“We highly recommend our clients let us handle all installations. If there are any budget restrictions, we suggest they focus on one statement piece rather than many small ones.”

On what planners should know about floral design: 
“Corporate events are time sensitive. From the time they order, get approval and then respond to us, sometimes it can be challenging to quickly deliver the end product while meeting expectations and budgets. To do so, we encounter fees that clients may not always understand. So, we let our clients know that we also have timing constraints when ordering from our vendors and wholesalers.”

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OUR EXPERT: David Garcia, Statue of Design 
WHERE YOU CAN FIND HIM: San Antonio 

On design trends for corporate events: 

“Corporate floral design trends are very much reliant on their theme or design concepts. It’s difficult to pigeonhole them, as every corpo- rate theme is different. For instance, we did a recent corporate gala that was heavy on white floral, vast amounts of greens and illuminated LED lights. That same week we did a tropical- themed event that had pink and coral tropical florals and foliage.

“My best answer to trends for corporate is that they want to incorporate large statement focal arrangements or flower/greenery walls for photo-ops. It makes sense given that we are in the age of selfies. We have designed dozens of backdrops this past year, which included fresh floral walls, solid greenery walls, step and repeats and entryway statement florals. ‘Bigger the better’ is so Texas. The most recent floral wall we designed was massive: 12 feet tall and 20 feet wide, with shelf displays of cham- pagne glasses for clients.”

On what trend he wishes was past tense: 

“Pampas grass and dried florals. This trend began over two years ago and is still at its peak. While it is great for texture and volume in design work, it is temperamental and messy. It’s something to consider when using as cen- terpieces, as it can shed all over the table and guests’ clothing.”

On what not to do when working with a floral designer: 

“I always find it best for clients to not come in with a set expectation of varieties to use. It’s helpful to have design inspiration and themes to present to your florist. Our knowledge on the seasonal variety florals allow us to suggest what is available during the time frame for client events.”

On what every planner should keep in mind: 

“Most florists are not just limited to floral. A good designer will have a creative ability to think outside the box and find a way to incor- porate mixed media and other design elements to enhance floral décor.

“As a florist, we are very aware of the design trends and themes that are constantly requested. If a client is wanting something ‘different’ and not something that has been done before, it would be suggested and help- ful to include the florist as part of the plan- ning meeting. A good florist has knowledge of design and theme concepts that are not so usual.”

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OUR EXPERT: Jordan Flowers (and yes, that's really her name), owner and designer of Jordan Flowers & Events 
WHERE YOU CAN FIND HER: Austin 

What's in and what's out: 

“The classic fresh-cut-flower-vase-centerpiece arrangement is increasingly becoming a thing of the past. There is a growing trend of resourcefulness amongst my clients. They would prefer to buy simple, reusable and easy-to-care-for live plants or dish gardens as centerpieces and stage props. Most of the plants are created to reflect the style of the business or corporation: green, clean, natural, airy sustainable and modern. Even the pots and containers that are used are more natural and earth-toned.”

On what trend she wishes was past tense: 

“While live plants are the newest natural ele- ment trending at events, somehow painting tropical leaves and flowers has managed to creep into becoming a new event trend, as well. It’s taking the natural beauty out of the picture to create neon or paint-splattered pops of color.”

On how not to save money: 

“Costs can easily add up when throwing an event, but whatever you do, do not hire a friend or family member to save money or help quick-start their business. If you want your event to run smoothly, as a business should, I highly advise using a professional local planner or coordinator and prevent any future feuds.”

What every planner should keep in mind: 

“As a planner it is important to know when the florist has access to the venue and its rules. In regard to floral décor, I wish/hope planners would donate the arrangements to nursing homes or give them to others who could reuse and enjoy them after events and help us make happiness bloom.”

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OUR EXPERT: Sherronda Scoggins, owner and designer of KC Events
WHERE YOU CAN FIND HER: Houston

On trends in flowers...

“More dried and preserved flowers are being used in designs paired with geometric shapes. More pampas grass and preserved foliage with color is being used.”

...and accessories: 

“More corporate clients are leaning toward more luxury-style vases that are metal and have geometric shapes when going with bold color. When they are going for that more earthy look, they tend to do more wooden- boxed or concrete vessels that have more texture and depth.”

On what colors are hot this year: 

“Different hues with really bold color, as well as very neutral and earthy tones, are being used.”

On what trend she wishes was past tense: 

“If there is one trend that I wish would go away it’s the all mixed green arrangements. Let's face it: Florists like greens but we love flowers.”

On what not to do when choosing flowers: 

“When choosing flowers, one should never choose them based on what they believe will be the cheapest. They should always con- sider the theme of the event and the company's overall look for the event. While taking those things into consideration, also focus on the target audience of the company.”

What every event planner should know about floral decor: 

“Floral décor is about design, aesthetics, floral choices and labor. Every flower has a different price point. The overall look and design may differ based on the type and amount of flow- ers, if the vessels are purchased or rented, and the type and style of the décor. Every city has a florist that can produce the results from an image a planner may find, but cost will vary on the region and the florist.

“When you let a designer design based on your budget, rather  than  locking  them  into a picture you found on the internet, you get  a better bang for your buck. They can create based on your vision and help you choose flowers and designs that can bring your vision to life. Let your designer have some creative control within guidelines and let them educate you on flowers and the design process so you can better educate your clients.

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Flower Forecast

The International Floral Distributors each year teams up with Produce Marketing Association and a designer to create the “Flower Trends Forecast.” For 2020, the organization enlisted Helen Miller, AIFD, CAFA, CF, and Derek Woodruff, AIFD, CFD, CF, PFCI, AAF. Miller owns Flowers & Such in Adrian, Michigan. Her work has been showcased in publi- cations such as Floral Management, Florists Review, and The Knot. Woodruff is a two-time winner of the American Institute of Floral Designer’s Bobbi Cup and the Michigan Floral Association’s Designer of the Year. He operates Floral Underground in Traverse City, Michigan. Here are some of the trends they see for this year.

Top Trending Flowers for 2020

  1. Peonies
  2. Garden roses
  3. Ranunculus
  4. Dahlias
  5. Butterfly ranunculus
  6. Spray roses
  7. Chrysanthemum disbuds
  8. Tender vines
  9. Hydrangea
  10. Tillandsia

They also picked “Black Tie + Barefoot” as the most prevalent flower trend for weddings and events. According to the report, this décor style features “moody colored flowers and soft feminine textures. The trend has a romantic feel and hints of a sophisticated Bohemian style. The look is created using muted and muddy color flowers combined with lacy and airy foliages, unexpectedly paired with dried flowers and tender vines. The color palette will be grayed tones of pink, lavender, blue and green, with a heather-ish pink being the most prevalent. Roses, peonies, dahlias and a host of flowing vines will be most popu- lar for creating ‘Black Tie + Barefoot’ décor.”

Due to COVID-19, non-essential travel was, or has been, banned for months. Long anticipated trips and in-person gatherings were canceled and people have adjusted to the new normal: staying at home and meeting over Zoom. However, states have been slowly lifting restrictions, and non-essential travel will soon be happening across the country again. However, some may not be as comfortable with the thought of traveling as they were before the pandemic.  

 

San Antonio wholesale grocer Edward Franz Melcher opened Hotel Havana in 1914 as a guest house for his customers. Melcher infused the building with a tropical allure through the use of Mediterranean Revival architecture. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is located on the River Walk. In 2010, it came under the ownership of the hospitality organization Bunkhouse.

 

Daily life has been significantly altered by COVID-19, no matter the industry. Many are working from home, while children stay inside for online schooling. Meetings and events have been hit especially hard, since the essence of the industry is face-to-face interactions. While we continue to self-isolate, plenty of organizations have been offering webinars with insights on how to handle the pandemic—watching webinars is a great way to use that extra time you might have used for your commute to learn something useful.