The Black and White Wedding

I spend a lot of time browsing through the latest Bride’s magazines looking for the latest trends in weddings.  As a long time florist, I have seen “the latest and greatest” come and go….and then come back around.  Like fashion, floral trends are often repeated every 10-20 years, and this year the black and white wedding is more popular than ever.

During much of the 19th century, black and white was often reserved for those in mourning.  Blue, like today’s white, symbolized purity, and was a popular choice of the day. The popularity of a white wedding dress both abroad and in the states, came on strong towards the latter part of the Victorian era as Queen Victoria dared to wear a white gown.  Black however, remained a strong symbol of mourning, and was never included in a wedding ceremony unless the guest, or possibly the bride, was still in the early stages of grieving.

Today black and white weddings are featured in nearly every bride’s magazine in the world.  While we consider this combination to be chic and classy, it can often be overdone and even drab or tacky.  Keep in mind that when choosing black and white….LESS IS MORE.

Recently I saw pictures of a black and white wedding where the florist chose to use a lot of black ribbon in the both the bouquets and the table pieces.  Unfortunately in my opinion, the ribbon overwhelmed the flowers in which it was supposed to enhance.  Instead of adding a touch of elegance and interest to the white flowers, the black added a certain “memorial service” look.  The ribbon was wide and heavy, and certainly distracted from the beauty of the white and cream flowers.  What a shame.  The lesson here was……MORE was certainly not a good thing.

When choosing black and white for your wedding day……think of black as an accent only.  Usually the groom and groomsmen are wearing black suits or tuxes…..perfect.  The flowers should actually be a mix of white and cream to add depth and contrast so they do not wash out against a white dress.  It’s acceptable to have the girls wear black dresses….but keep the hemlines at the knee or a bit above as to not overwhelm their bodies.  As far as the bouquets?  KEEP THE BLACK RIBBON OUT!!!   Instead accessorize with black crystals, black rhinestone gem pins, and even a black rhinestone buckle on the front of the white ribbon on the handle.  Honestly, that is all the black you need in or around the bouquets.  The look is chic and classy without looking as if your headed to a cemetery.

For the reception….again when using black…LESS IS MORE.  Feathers are very popular this year.  Why not dress up some of your taller arrangements with a few black and white plumes?  For smaller clear vases, use white flowers with black marbles or rocks to add another shape and texture.  White table clothes with a black napkin or even black stemware is enough.  Again please stay away from heavy black ribbon or wide fabrics and I promise you will achieve the class and elegance of a black and white wedding that your guests will remember for years to come, and so will you!

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