I recently had a chance to sit down and talk to one of San Francisco's top floral designers, Laura Little of Floramor Studios, about flowers, weddings, and upcoming trends. Laura has a rich passion for the beauty of nature and a grand respect for fine arts that is reflected in all of her arrangements. Established in 1984, Laura and her team have been working with brides non-stop for the past 22 years and have orchestrated the design concept for over 3000 events. Her designs have been featured in countless books about wedding style, magazines from Town & Country to Elegant Bride, and she has a working relationship with all of the major hotels in San Francisco.
On the day I walked into her beautiful studio with brightly colored lime green walls and a checker-print black and white floor at 9 am, Laura had already been up since 2 am. According to Little, the life of a floral designer is far from glamorous with gigantic arrangements having to be ready before dawn to give the illusion that the flowers came out of nowhere. She took me through the steps that she would normally take a bride through explaining that at the first meeting it's customary to spend about an hour going through photos of past weddings until she has an idea of what the bride generally wants. All of her brides get to see a sample version of their centerpieces months before the wedding to ensure that they get to see their own vision brought to life before the big day. For more on floral wedding trends and to read my interview,
PartySugar: What colors are popular this year?
Laura Little: Lots of color. Very colorful strong palettes are in. Not multi colors but two strong bold contrasting colors.
PS: Do the colors generally change with the season?
LL: San Francisco gets everything and there are virtually no limitations. However in spring, lilacs and peonies in purples and pinks are beautiful.
PS: What trends are emerging in arrangements and centerpieces?
LL: Although it depends, arrangements are more clean and modern - traditional with a twist. Paired down and contemporary with no fluff or frill. Before 9/11 people were going over the top with flowing flowers and wanted centerpieces, aisle arrangements, chair ends, room decor, wall draping, lamp coverings, any and everything visual. Then after 9/11 everyone went minimal focusing the wedding more on the celebration and the family element rather than lavish decor. Now that six years have almost passed, people are starting to spend more money on flowers and incorporate the extras into their weddings.
PS: What flowers are in?
LL: Calla lilies are excellent because they have been hybridized to come in every color, they last forever, and have long stems. Roses are always in.
PS: Do you know what trends are emerging on the east coast?
LL: Style is driven by San Francisco because LA keeps a steady glamorous Hollywood look and the older cities like Chicago and New York are more inclined to be traditional and not do anything new and exciting artistically with a twist.
PS: Is there a huge difference between the east coast bride and the west coast
LL: The east coast bride generally has a sense of urgency, a faster pace, more precise, know what they want and make quick decisions. The west coast bride generally takes their time and approaches the wedding planning with a more laid back demeanor.
PS: Do the majority of brides know what they want or are they looking for
someone to guide them?
LL: It really depends on the bride. I've been working for so long that I can guide and direct them if they don't know what they want and help them to find what they do want.
Laura suggested that the bride get in contact with her florist at least 8-9 months in advance and suggested that she check out bridal shows and floral expos to learn more about trends and her personal preferences as a bride.