Wedding Flower Roundup: Keep up with what’s fresh on Vail’s floral scene
July 17, 2018
With many inspiring wedding venues set among the Vail area's natural beauty, it's not surprising that several local businesses have cropped up to make art out of a classic — and natural — wedding feature: flowers. A staple of ceremonial bliss, wedding flowers add fragrance and color to décor that can range from traditional to eclectic. And wedding flowers can be incorporated into anything from the customary bride's bouquet to cake toppers, head crowns, scene-setting floral arches, boutonnieres and beyond.
Historically, wedding flowers have had legit purposes, too. Sweetly scented floral bouquets were once thought to help mask a bride's potentially embarrassing body odor. Over time, extra-special powers have been associated with aromatic wedding flowers, which some believed could repel evil spirits. In the Victorian Era, small bouquets called tussie mussies were arranged according to the symbolic meanings of each flower or herb included. Queen Victoria, herself, wore a crown of orange flower blossoms — a symbol of fertility — in her hair when she wed Prince Albert.
The flowers that make their way into modern mountain weddings are as diverse as those who attend them. But if you're on an upcoming wedding invitation list, be on the lookout for these trends that three established Vail-area florists — Vintage Magnolia, A Secret Garden, and Cedar's Flower Shop — highlight for this summer's wedding season.
Bridal flower bouquets continue to be customary in modern weddings, but they've loosened up over time. Gone are the days of highly symbolic, tightly ordered arrangements. And while roses remain a classic, fragrant choice for bridal bouquets, expect to see some more fanciful creations this summer.
"Carefully selected flowers are still the heart of the bridal bouquet," says Jamie Frank, co-owner of A Secret Garden in Vail. "But bouquets with a whimsical style are popular right now — as if the flowers have been plucked straight from a garden and then arranged in a way that's full, lush and organic."
A floral shop and boutique located in Vail Village, A Secret Garden has been in business for 23 years, with new owners Jamie Frank and Karen Apostolo taking over in 2017. Together, these two have decades of combined experience and the creative know-how to bring forth any floral vision from traditional bouquets to the more free-form style that you'll likely spot at weddings this summer.
"We're blessed to be here and know our surroundings so that we can create with a sense of connection to nature," says Apostolo. "Bouquets that include greenery and pops of color echo what you'll see on a mountain hike, so these are popular choices — whether the ceremony is held indoors or out."
Personalized Floral Arches
Vintage Magnolia has made a colorful splash in the Vail wedding scene since opening in Edwards in 2008. Known for its on-trend designs and luxurious floral arrangements, Vintage Magnolia is also the place to go for special gifts and unique home accents. But wedding flowers are what Vintage Magnolia does with standout flair, and its scene-setting floral arches have been creating a buzz.
"Floral arches provide a focal point for the wedding ceremony," explains owner Caitlin Caldwell. "Arches and chuppahs — a canopy-like structure that's part of traditional Jewish ceremony — frame the bride and groom, and they're becoming more and more personalized. People are asking for family heirlooms or story pieces, such as antlers from a recent hunt, to be woven into the scene."
Such personalization is part of a larger wedding trend that extends beyond floral arches and chuppahs. Keep your eyes peeled for other personal touches this summer — in charms dangling from bridal bouquets to swatches of treasured fabrics intertwined among Vintage Magnolia's flower-bursting arches.
Wild and Wonderful Personal Flowers
Personal flowers are those that designate members of the wedding party, family members or friends with floral hair accents, corsages, boutonnieres and the like. Some personal flowers can be made with a magnetic backing so that they're easy to attach for the ceremony and then remove when it's time to cut loose on the dance floor. Flower choices often complement colors in the overall wedding palette, and color choices for mountain weddings can get wild.
"Wildflowers and bold colors are common requests for Vail weddings," says Sarah Young, owner of Cedar's Flower Shop in Edwards, which has been in business for more than 20 years. "Bright yellow sunflowers are popular, along with deep purples and reds. Greenery, berries and thistles add texture and color, too. And eucalyptus of all different kinds has become a go-to choice with a fresh, aromatic scent."
When floral inspiration hits at any time of the year, Cedar's is also the place to stop in Edwards when you're looking to liven up a space with houseplants, dried arrangements, custom wreaths and cut flowers for all occasions.
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