The Year Of The Micro Wedding: 2021’s Trending Flowers & Colour Schemes

We spoke with Kate Symington, the floral designer at Gloam, to get her expert opinion on the colour combos and floral fancies to have on your radar for 2021 and beyond.

After a year-long hiatus, wedding season is back with a bang and soon-to-be married couples will finally be able to have their confetti moment. Alexa, play Etta James.

Despite roadmap delays and England’s big (freedom) day getting a postponement of its own, weddings will go ahead this summer, albeit on a more intimate scale and with less dancing. Probably a good thing for those of us who think we’re Patrick Swayze after a couple of sherbets. Nobody needs to see that.

So, what does the birth of the micro-wedding mean for this year’s floral trends and colour schemes? We spoke with Kate Symington, the floral designer at Gloam, to get her expert opinion on the colour combos and floral fancies to have on your radar for 2021 and beyond.

From seasonality and sustainability to elaborate cottagecore tablescapes, there’s a whole new dawn of wedding day trends to ensure your special day is larger than life in spirit, no matter how small the guest-list is.

Get saving these ideas to a secret Pinterest board immediately.

Image credit: Claire Fleck @clairefleck

How have the current wedding regulations influenced what people want for their wedding flowers and colour palettes?

The Covid wedding rollercoaster has been challenging for many couples, and we have found many people have definitely had a change of outlook. They have opened themselves up to exploring seasonality and have relished playing with colour and texture. Couples have wanted more personal floral elements so that everyone feels part of the occasion. There has been a genuine wish for floral designs to emphasize the joy of finally getting married.

In the age of the micro-wedding, it’s all about the detail. How can you use colour to really marry (excuse the pun) all your elements together to complement the style of your wedding?

When most couples think of colour – they focus on details like flowers and wedding attire. But the colour palettes that form part of a Gloam style brief really do ‘marry’ the whole celebration together. Elements that we always consider include stationery, draping, table linens, signage, candles, statement furniture, and bespoke installations. Colour becomes a journey and a vital element of the story of your day. From the moment you send out your save the dates to that moment when guests arrive at your venue – colour can be the thread that connects it all.

Image credit: Claire Juliet Paton @clairejulietpaton

What are the need-to-know colour schemes this year and what’s the best way to incorporate them into wedding decor and flowers?

We’ve seen several elements at work with colour palettes for 2021.
Bright, Vibrant, and Joyful – couples are turning their back on safe. They want to make a statement – they really want to mark the occasion as, for many, it’s been a long road full of delays and cancellations. We have been making colourful signage, bright bouquets, and tiny colourful table details. It brings a wonderful kitsch feel to the fore.

Image credit: Claire Fleck @clairefleck

Neutrals – this is a soft, relaxed palette made up of beige, ivory, smokey coppery pinks, terracottas and nudes. Ideal for those couples looking for a more chilled and relaxed feeling. These earthly tones add warmth and depth and pair well with a boho feel. These tones can be added with the use of dried elements, vintage rattan and textured fabrics. Details like ceramic bowls, woven placemats and copper detail can accentuate this vibe.

Seasonal Meadow – this isn’t really technically a colourway but a framing of your style. Couples commit to their seasonal, buying locally and sustainably. For example, in summer, you will have buttery yellows, vibrant lilacs, zesty greens and fizzy pinks. The look will be floaty and full of texture. This look can be paired with playful signage, low-level floral installations and gathered wild bouquets.

Image Credit: Lianne Mackay @lmackayphotography

Any advice for anyone who doesn’t have an affinity with any colour schemes and flowers – where do you start?

When it comes to flowers and colour schemes – the best place to start is to follow the season. Speak to your florist about what’s going to be available. This might open you up to something you’d never even thought of. Each season has something wonderful to offer and you’ll be getting these elements at their best.

Other things to consider include your venue – some have quite a distinct decor while others can be more of a blank canvas. You might also want to think about the mood you are trying to set – festival vibe vs. romantic or party vs boho. This can help you define your colour palette. And a biggy – what colours do you actually love!

What have been the most popular flower requests for 2021, so far?

Peonies are always a firm favourite, but the season is so fleeting. And Ranunculus are so dreamy. We can’t wait to hit dahlia season! We try to advise our couples that the way to get the best out of our local supplies is to give them a colour spectrum to work with and let them select the finest blooms of the season. The results can be magical.

Image credit: Claire Fleck @clairefleck

Has there been a rise in single stem floral arrangements or are big fairy-tale bouquets still enjoying their long-standing reign?

I think what we’ve seen when it comes to the design of bouquets is a sense of freedom. Couples are totally thinking about what they want and what makes them happy rather than being on-trend. We’ve made more single stem bouquets this year but also greenery only, wild and small, wild and large, dried mixed with fresh and dried only arrangement. We love that our couples feel so expressive.

Have you seen a shift in demand for wild nature-inspired arrangements over curated bouquets?

Our in-house style is wilder, gathered and a little unruly. We find that most of our couples are already very open to less curated arrangements. This trend also reflects the fact that wedding planning has been a little wild over the last year and a half. With all the rules and compliance that’s been involved in actually getting married, couples have definitely wanted to express themselves more and have achieved this by getting more creative with the details they could control.

Image credit: Claire Fleck @clairefleck

Have any weddings trends taken you by surprise?

We were initially surprised by the wish to increase the level of investment when it came to smaller weddings – we had expected people to reduce, reduce, reduce! But they wanted things to feel even more unique, and with the smaller numbers, they could re-look at certain elements they had discounted when dealing with a 100+ guest list. We had one couple create personal florals for all the guests who could not attend the ceremony – they were then delivered to those who were unable to be there.

What are your best tips for anyone having a monochromatic wedding?

Why pick one colour when you can have all the shades! We would definitely recommend picking ‘shades of blue’, for example. Don’t close down the design from the get-go – one rigid colour will make selecting items for your day so much more complicated and could leave things feeling flat. By using different tones, you can incorporate subtle contrasts and visual interest.

For anyone who’s not necessarily into traditional bouquets and flower arrangements, what other decorations can they incorporate to create a focal point at their wedding?

We are seeing couples really tuning into their venues when it comes to floral decor. Rather than thinking we need an arch or some urns – they are looking at their venue’s features and really trying to shine a light on those things that made them fall in love with the space.
For example, a venue could boast a beautiful staircase or some rustic window ledges. Beautiful doorways might be the perfect spot for a romantic entranceway. Couples may want their guests to appreciate a great ceiling – making hanging installations a great asset. There are some powerful fireplaces in many venues just waiting to be adorned.

Due to limited dancing and restrictions, guests are spending even more time seated at the table. What’s your advice for nailing that tablescape magic?

If you want to make your tables sing, surprise your guests, make it personal and add texture and delightful hints of colour. With guest numbers, lower than normal, couples have invested in statement glassware or decorative plates. Adding little gestures like a floral detail to each individual plate always raises a smile. And adding a tiny handmade element that guests can take as a keepsake always adds a bit of magic.

Image credit: Emma Lawson @EmmaLawsonPhoto

The aisle meadow has proved pretty popular this year, it’s like cottagecore on heat! What are some things to consider if you’re going for this floral style?

Many of our couples are opting for floor-level arrangements rather than the classic arch or hanging installations.
Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re thinking of opting for an aisle meadow: Firstly, consider the space – you will want to ensure that you still have enough space to walk down the aisle comfortably – you don’t want you or your guests getting tangled in them. You may need to direct your guest into their seats in a slightly different way – have someone on hand to help do this.

Think about how to maximise your investment because a full aisle meadow is a statement piece and will be a central part of your floristry budget. Depending on the meadow’s construction, your florist might be able to reposition elements of it after your ceremony so they can be enjoyed throughout the day – but this will need to be agreed upon in advance.

Image credit: Claire Fleck @clairefleck

Have you seen a shift of focus on sustainability and using local seasonal blooms this year, at all?

There is a clear shift towards sustainability and seasonality. Many of our couples list this at the top of their must-haves. Venues like Guardswell Farm are also helping to drive this trend with their in-house sustainability policies.

What’s the best way to dress a micro-wedding in terms of decor and flowers – any strict dos and don’ts to adhere to?

When it comes to a micro wedding, the number one requirement is that the couple gets exactly what they want. This simple requirement can often get diluted when dealing with an extensive guest list. In terms of dos – focus on the detail and the personal touches. Focus on things you couldn’t do with lots of guests, invest in the things you really love.

One of our recent couples had armchairs and sofas for guests to sit on during the ceremony, making it feel so welcoming and informal. Do away with seating plans. Instead, you might want to create bespoke menus for each guest. Be flexible. There’s no focus on a schedule – take time with your guests – enjoy the surroundings. You don’t need a rigid order of events.

Image credit: Claire Fleck @clairefleck