Two of the biggest 2019 wedding flower trends are ornamental grasses and dried blooms. Traditionalists, who love basic greens and lush florals, may find this startling, but dried grasses and flowers are actually amazingly versatile. They can take on bohemian, minimalistic, classic and even glamorous aesthetics, which means they can go from beach to barn to ballroom with equal ease.

Floral designer Sara Hummer of Hemlock and Hellebore, Lancaster, foresaw these trends and welcomes them.

“Natural elements, including grasses, vines and even branches and feathers, have been creeping into floral designs for weddings for quite a while,” she says. “It’s just that more brides now embrace the look, and I have to say that it’s a perfect idea for Lancaster County. For what could be more appropriate than florals that embrace the beauty of our fields and wild areas?”

It’s not just the texture that grasses and dried flowers add to bouquets that is so appealing. It’s also their colors that lend themselves to those trendy monochromatic looks, Hummer says.

 “One of the brides I’m working with right now has asked me for ‘that moody look,’ ” she says. “By ‘moody’ she means the neutral, subdued hues of dried grasses and flowers. It’ll be pretty. I will create the florals from local sources, including our own little farm. Foraging in fields and wild areas is something I love, and I think it’s terrific that trends are now shifting toward sustainable wedding decor.”

Pampas grass reigns

Pampas, the mightiest of all grasses, is currently waving its feathery plumes all over Instagram and Pinterest, inspiring brides to rethink wedding bouquets and decors. It all started as something of a niche for boho celebrations, but then it popped up at a couple of  Hollywood celeb weddings, went viral and is now showing up at all sorts of events.

Floral designers agree that pampas grass can be romantic, beautiful and exceedingly stylish. Its plumes almost mimic ostrich feathers and work well in bouquets. It’s also impressive forming backdrops for ceremonies and lining aisles.

The problem is that the grass is mostly a Southern and Western species, says Tara Folker of Splints and Daisies, Lancaster. It’s hard to find locally. So when she had to make a trip to South Carolina back in January, she hunted down some stalks there, cut them down and brought them home for the decor a bride wanted for her upcoming wedding at Cork Factory Hotel.

Hummer says that some pampas grasses, such as Gold Band, can be found regionally, and she especially likes types of phragmates, a darker, fluffy grass that she often sees in marshy areas and along highways. She also uses other foraged meadow and ornamental grasses in her work.


Dried flowers

You couldn’t be more wrong if you think of dried flowers as something drab that would look right at home at Miss Havisham’s wedding. Today’s versions boast plenty of pretty factor.

As flowers dry, they trade in their original color for a palette that’s unlike anything you’ll ever come across in fresh florals. They’ll add a romantic, vintage-inspired vibe whether used alone or interspersed with fresh flowers. Some florists even dye or paint them to create colored blooms difficult to find in.nature. Navy blue and cobalt are examples of shades produced this way.

Dried florals that offer a variety of textures and complement fresh greenery and blooms include baby’s breath, hydrangea, lavender, roses, larkspur, water lily, zinnia and yarrow. They can be counted on to give a traditional bouquet or centerpiece an edgier look.

Dried flowers and grasses offer quite a few advantages over fresh versions. For example, they are perfect for arrangements that don’t allow for keeping the blooms in water. Hanging installations and boutonnieres come to mind. The ability to prepare bouquets and floral decorations in advance is another advantage.

“Dried flowers will keep at their most perfect for three to four months,” Hummer says. “This means you can cross flowers off your list well in advance. Let’s face it, anything which can be prepared beforehand means less hassle and worry closer to the big day.”

Worried about matching colors? Then check out the famous Pantone Color Institute’s curated wedding colors. Their “golden hour” palette is perfect for nature-loving couples who are interested in going with the dried grasses/flower trend. Pantone says it’s named for the time of day just before sunset when everything is glowing and magical.

 This palette consists of neutrals with spicy reddish-brown and orangey accents. The earthy textures mixed with pops of colors provide a natural, romantic aura, Pantone says.

Are you a sentimental soul? Then ask your florist to incorporate dried flowers with special meaning to you. Roses could work well, whether they’re the first bouquet your husband-to-be gave you or from your grandma’s garden.