A peddler of petals, true bloom artist and event wrangler extraordinaire, Brenda Abbott opened her Bastrop-based flower and event business, Brenda Abbott Floral Design, in 2006. But the seed for her passion was planted years ago when she was a young girl spending time in the garden with her mother and pouring over a botany book that belonged to her college-age brother. Here, Brenda (BA) shares her thoughts on trends to embrace, a trend that should end, what seasonal means today and her recommendations for bouquets, boutonnieres and big-day arrangements.
BA on the art of floral design:
Our work runs the gamut. We come alongside DIY brides to provide her with what we call “a wedding in a box,” which means we do the hard things and then give her everything she needs to be able achieve a good look and stay within budget. We also work with the bride who wants us to do everything.
BA on the most popular flower:
The peony, and it has been for several years. Probably in part because of Pinterest and because of the flower’s multipetal look. There’s a window of time when peonies aren’t available – October is hit or miss. But their window of availability over the years has broadened thanks to the global market, and they’re considered precious here in Texas.
BA on her favorite flower:
For nostalgic reasons, the zinnia is my favorite flower because that’s what my mom grew. Growing up in Central Texas, the lowly zinnia thrived. We would plant them every year. They would reseed – they’re resilient that way. They’re vibrant and multipetaled and interesting, and they’re as pretty as a dahlia. Zinnias just scream sunshine, and their range of color is amazing.
BA on bouquets, boutonnieres and blissful arrangements:
Bouquets: Size always matters. The bride’s bouquet should not be bigger than her waist – it should complement her. Guests should notice the bride, her fashion and then the flowers that complement it. Also, a bride’s bouquet needs interesting textures and a great fragrance – because that scent will forever be the memory-trigger for that day. There’s also color and movement. It’s nice to incorporate some airiness and wispiness so that when the bride walks down the aisle, you can see the flowers sway.
Boutonnieres: Nothing big and honking on a gentleman. Think sleek, masculine and interesting texture.
Arrangements: Gasp-worthiness is the No. 1 priority. Fragrance is the next. Stock and lilies – not too many, just a touch – will help fill the room with a nice fragrance and create a nice memory for the day. Texture matters, too. And lastly, there’s great lighting, which can make an arrangement go from nice to wow.
BA on the truth about seasonality:
A lot of brides read articles that tell them they can save money by using flowers that are in season. But thanks to the global market, there really isn’t a season on flowers any more – you can get nearly anything any time.
What does save you the most money is choosing blooms that hold up and take up a lot of space. For example, many brides love ranunculus, which are beautiful, but they’re tiny – and half that come in aren’t usable, which means we have to order twice as many as we think we’ll need. And then there are hydrangeas. I haven’t met a bride who doesn’t like a hydrangea. It’s a big flower and takes up a lot of space. It’s also beautiful, and it doesn’t take a lot of labor.
BA on trends:
The trend that should end: It seems the trend of burlap and lace is a trend has overstayed its welcome.
Colors: We’ve been seeing a lot of blush and softer hues. The second thing we are seeing is the peach to coral, with a little navy blue coming in. It’ll be interesting to see what way it’ll go this year. The color trends don’t always translate for us, but maybe that’s a Central Texas thing.
Gold: One of the biggest trends this year – and it’s been building for a while, since the Great Gatsby movie – is gold. Gold is the big thing. For a while the trend went back to silver and silver mercury glass, but now it’s all about gold and gold mercury glass – to the point that our wholesale providers are doing double backorders on gold goods.
Glamour & Crystal: I’m excited to see glamour and crystal making a comeback because the combination is a really elegant way to dress up a grown-up party. I always tell brides: look at what you’re wearing. You can do casual elegance, but you still need to do it right on the elegance.
Sleeves: Sleeves on bridal gowns! I think it started with Twilight and the bridal gown in that movie. It’s just grown from there. It used to be all strapless and the rare dress with sleeves. Now it’s almost flipped, about 75 percent of what we’re seeing has sleeves or straps or something.