Transparency - Photo Courtesy — American Institute of Floral DesignersOne of my favorite annual events is the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) Symposium. Held in mid-summer, it is a chance for florists, floral designers, and flower lovers from around the world to gather and share. This year, Orange County, California, was the destination. Just imagine, five days of flower-filled inspiration with 1,000 of your favorite flower loving friends. The AIFD Symposium 2016 was a true floral paradise.

As I attend the workshops and presentations, and study the displays, I look for commonalities and speculate on the coming floral design trends. This year did not disappoint. Turning to my magic crystal ball to forecast the trends for 2017, I’ll be watching for transparency in design, longer cascading bridal bouquets, lush arrangements and dramatic flower walls.

Stacey Carlton, AIFD, and Shawn Foley, CFD, presented an amazing program, Couture Collective. Throughout the presentation, they spotlighted the impact of transparency on design. Personally, I loved the photo opportunity presented by their Plexiglas backdrop. Or, should we call this a “front drop”? Either way, I love their creative touch in the world of floral design.

Transparency-Photo Courtesy — American Institute of Floral Designers

Stacey designed a bridal bouquet in the ever popular handbag style evolved to a contemporary, transparent design with the use of a clear PVC purse form as the base.

Transparency- Photo Courtesy — American Institute of Floral Designers

Using Plexiglas, you can take the transparent look into a contemporary “cascade” style bouquet.

Transparency- - Photo Courtesy — American Institute of Floral Designers

The traditional cascade is back and on-trend with brides today. Looking forward, it is only going to get more popular (and longer!) in 2017. Leopoldo Gomez, a floral artist from Mexico, presented a stunning cascading bridal bouquet. Created using orchids, gloriosa, vines, and berries, it was so long, it trailed across the stage floor. The beauty of this bouquet is its light weight. Yes, even though it is more than 60 inches long, it is amazingly light weight. The magic is the delicate base of decorative wires.

Long-cascade bouquet - Photo Courtesy — American Institute of Floral Designers

Stacey Carlton also presented a fabulous cascading bridal bouquet of orchids. Her innovative design is based upon an armature of tiny safety pins. Yes, many, many, many standard, household safety pins.

cascading bridal bouquet of orchids Photo Courtesy — American Institute of Floral Designers

One of the most popular trends for floral arrangements in 2017 will continue to be lush, luxurious and wild designs. More is better. This style, filled with a combination of flowers from flower farms and materials foraged from the fields reminds me of the textural designs popular in the 1920s. Yes, what is old is new again.

This abundant design created by Amanda Randell from Devon, England, captures the decorative style beautifully. Roses, delphinium, hydrangea, Queen Anne’s Lace, dahlias, yarrow and more. The look is reminiscent of a Flemish painting.

Lush, Luxurious and Wild Floral Design Photo Courtesy — American Institute of Floral Designers

Jacob McCall, AIFD, interpreted the lavish trend with a touch of luxury, glitter and glitz. Lilies, clematis, dahlias and glitter enhanced pumpkins make this Cinderella-inspired display a favorite.

Cinderella-inspired Floral Design Photo Courtesy — American Institute of Floral Designers

No trend forecast would be complete for 2017 without recognizing the ubiquitous flower wall. First popularized in 2015, the flower wall has evolved into many creative interpretations. Pave’ florals, textural tapestries and peek-a-boo segments all were seen at symposium.

Flower Wall by Balushka Photo Courtesy — American Institute of Floral Designers

To start the symposium, Balushka shared an amazing wall of handmade paper flowers combined with fresh floral materials. Originally from the Ukraine, she has become so well known in the field of paper floral artistry she only needs to go by her first name.

Flower Wall by Balushka Photo Courtesy — American Institute of Floral Designers

To end the symposium, Julia Kim, AIFD, shared a contemporary wall combining the trend of transparency and the use of on-trend materials such as tillandsia, bark and wild flowers.

Flower by Julia Kim - Photo Courtesy — American Institute of Floral Designers

We are so fortunate to be living in a creative, evolving world. New materials, innovative concepts and fresh interpretations keep the world of floral design exciting.

Which of these floral trends are you excited about?

Thank you American Institute of Floral Designers for sharing Symposium photos with us.

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