Top wedding flower trends
Champion florist Maison Fleur on the return of the Gerbera
Words: Damien Woolnough
Photography: Maison Fleur
12th June 2018
Brisbane florist Bart Hassam from Maison Fleur Floral Design deserves a crown of roses, having been selected to represent Australia at next year’s FTD Cup in Philadelphia. The FTD Cup is the floral Olympics so we decided to ask the Matthew Mitcham of Magnolias about the top trends for grooms and how he became a champion.
What are the top wedding flower trends?
Nature/Garden is what you saw at the recent wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. There’s a heavy use of all things natural and green.
You see lots of foliage and berry with the floral component made up of many varieties of flowers but all small bloomed. It’s a very European garden feel.
Colour/Luxe is where you focus on a defined colour palette using only high-end blooms, with very minimal foliage, in a very bloom-on-bloom design style. It's all about texture and form and reducing the green colour component.
Which flowers are topping the charts?
Popular flowers for this year are Tulips, Orchids, Peonies, Roses and Dahlias. We are seeing them used with interesting plant material such as succulents and carnivorous plants, adding a unique sculptural element.
The only no-no that almost any florist will tell you is to stay away from the very common Gerbera…but even they are finding their way back. There are some interesting varieties being created, some with double and triple petals and some with petals that look shredded.
Stay away from the very common Gerbera
What would be your dream groom + groom wedding to work on?
The dream clients are always the ones with a clear vision of what they want to achieve with their special day. Grooms that are confident enough to let me create beautiful, appropriate and thoughtful work to accentuate the love that they have and the commitment that they're making.
Oh, and ones with a generous budget as well. That always helps!
How can grooms incorporate flowers into their celebration?
They can use flowers as decorations for the ceremony and the reception of course but how and what they use can really differ.
Creating an arbor at the ceremony can really focus the attention on the two men, as well as making a focal point for the space. Florals on tables and bars for the reception are commonplace, but we're seeing a increase in unusual placements of flowers - such as hanging from ceilings or exposed beams - around columns, down staircases and onto floors.
Flowers or a small plant as an individual take-home gift that also decorate the guest tables are a popular choice.
If we take the two personalities of the grooms and find ways to integrate those traits, then we really feel we've achieved our goal.
What got you into floristry?
Growing up, I would see my paternal Grandmother every Saturday and we would spend the day in the garden. She would teach me plant names and we'd pick flowers to put in vases. Eventually I realised I could do this as a profession.
I gained my certificate of commercial floristry after high school and moved overseas to learn more. I studied in short-courses in Europe and then found myself working in Japan on and off for 10 years as a floral design assistant.
She would teach me plant names and we'd pick flowers to put in vases.
Maison Fleur Floral Designs Bart Hassam with business partner Carolyn Williamson.
I returned to Australia and since then have won Australian Florist of the year five times, as well as the Asia Cup of Floral Design. I now travel the world teaching as an International Floral Designer and Demonstrator and use my base as my beautiful floral studio in Brisbane, Maison Fleur Floral Design, with my business partner Carolyn Williamson.
Early next year I will represent Australia at the 2019 Interflora World Cup of Floral Design in Philadelphia in the US.
How did becoming a contestant at the World Awards?
First you must submit a portfolio of designs to the Australian Interflora board. Then up to 10 entrants are selected to attend a selection competition (held at Melbourne Flower Show) and present a number of prepared works in timed sessions.
There are also several surprise items that need to be created in a very Master Chef Surprise Item kind of way. You have no idea what you're using until you open the box.
Why are flowers so important at weddings?
We use flowers at all of the important rituals of life. Births, Deaths and Marriages. They are symbols of life and love, and have meaning in how they're used. Flowers for weddings are so important. They create the atmosphere and mood for the day and convey the personality of these two people joining together.