When the now Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tied the knot at Westminster Abbey surrounded by trees, including field maples and horn beams, and with Kate Middleton brandishing a bouquet made of the equally seasonal lily of the valley, bridezillas nationwide were taking note.
“Following the royal wedding, soft and subtle [flower] arrangements will prove popular, with many brides focusing on the meaning of the flowers they choose just as much as how they look,” explains Rayner.
With lily of the valley apparently holding hopeful connotations, such as return of happiness and purity of heart, the British bloom is likely to prove popular.
“For spring 2012 the English country garden will be a key inspiration for British brides, with lily of the valley chosen for its delicate, bell-shaped blooms,” says Rayner. With that in mind, it’s hard not to immediately envisage the aptness of Shaun Leane’s white gold, pearl and diamond Maybell Collection - the perfect pairing for delicate flower arrangements.
Intricate will definitely be key to wedding flowers, agrees Polly Atkinson, lifestyle editor of Condé Nast Brides, who predicts a “move away from big domes”.
“Shades of ivory whites and cream will continue to be popular, classic and unbeatable. Flowers in these shades never distract from the bride and her dress, which should be the focus,” she adds. Shaun Leane’s Maybell Collection
While lily of the valley will certainly feature in floral arrangements for 2012, it is best for a wedding in May, when the English variety is in season. According to the experts, home-grown will be the fleurs de jour for spring/summer 2012 “with quirky mismatches and sentimental finds replacing anything too coiffed and formal,” says Juliet Hutton-Squire, co-founder of trend forecast website Adorn Insight.
“Delicate meadow and garden flowers, for example, will become a strong design influence, with elegant styling replacing anything OTT.”
Formality is also being given more of a wide berth when it comes to bridesmaid ensembles. While in the past bridesmaids were likely to be matching from their satin shoes to their drop pearl earrings, individuality down the aisle is no longer shunned.
“The bride may decide on a colour and theme but the bridesmaid trend is moving away from anything that hints of matchy matchy,” explains Hutton-Squire. “The fabric might be the same, for example, but the dresses might be cut in different styles to suit the individual personalities.
As a result of this shift, accessories are becoming less coordinated and more personalised.” According to Rayner, colours too are becoming more adventurous, with many brides moving away from classic ivory jewellery to softer tones of blush pink, subtle golds and pretty champagnes. “These shades will also translate into bridesmaid dresses,” she says. Think Breil’s latest offering - the Duplicity collection of bracelets, necklaces, earrings and rings made from stainless steel and featuring mother of pearl inserts.
As well as prevalence for what Rayner describes as ‘Cadbury’s purple’ weddings, other alternative colours are also making it onto the canvas. “A vibrant palette of mouth watering hues from jade green and fuchsia to subtle shades of mint and sorbet pink take us into spring/summer 2012,” says Hutton-Squire.
For those embracing the rich hug of purples, amethyst may be the stone of suggestion, demonstrated beautifully in So Jewellery’s Heart Amethyst earrings and pendant. For those seeking something a bit bolder, the Lola Rose grey agate and peacock quartzite or blue sandstone and dumortierite Isidora bracelets will add that blast of colour.