Some flew from as far as the Midwest and even Canada to attend “Weddings at the Villa: A Floral Showcase” and to participate in “Wedding Design Class,” an intimate two-day instruction by world-renowned German floral artist Gregor Lersch. Presented and hosted by Pat Hermes, CFD, director and principal instructor of Houston School of Flowers, and media sponsor Florists’ Review, each demonstration and class was jam-packed with content on the driving forces of American wedding floral trends as they relate to international counterparts and as seen through the master’s eye.
For those new to the wedding floral business, they soon learned that Lersch is a globally recognized fifth-generation horticulturalist and Master Florist, author, teacher, artist and innovator who is fluent in six languages. He’s authored more than 30 floral design books and has shared his knowledge and instruction in more than 32 countries and counting.
Attendees at all events, which took place Oct. 20-26, additionally benefited from book-signing opportunities featuring two newer Lersch works, Floral Craftsmanship Plus Wool and Floral Diminutives: different/authentic.
Separate intensive classes vastly expanded upon the topic of “What’s Next” in U.S. wedding floral design, along with concentrated hands-on instruction and demonstrations. Lersch provided insights and innovations to his “Signature Bouquet Styles” for brides and attendants that also touched on personal wedding party designs and reception centerpieces. Participants in both classes learned numerous armature techniques and tips, along with how to construct a parallel shield bouquet, an asymmetrical horizonal bouquet and a low floating asymmetrical centerpiece – all with the modern bride in mind.
A key takeaway is that the U.S. is a leading bridal trend country right now, due, in part, to the country’s ongoing innovation in floristry specific to color and stronger flower availability, e.g., Scabiosas and Dahlias. Another reason relates to how many cultures are now present in the U.S., bringing and blending diverse elements of bridal traditions, symbolism, color and flower preferences for all to incorporate.
An evening event kicked off with a thoughtful introduction by J. Keith White, AIFD, another renowned floral educator and the creative director of Florists’ Review’s “American Floral Trends Forecast,” who welcomed Lersch to the stage as “the master” of all master designers and industry trailblazer who “offers mentorship through education wherever he goes.”
Lersch began his presentation saying, “I want to look forward to the flowers of tomorrow and the youth of tomorrow.” He then deftly began demonstrating a natural hand-tie bridal bouquet encircled by Smilax rotundifolia (greenbrier) while educating the audience on wedding floral design influences now and going forward.During Lersch’s roughly two-hour presentation, the audience remained mesmerized by the on-stage completion of 19 exquisite compositions ranging from cutting-edge bridal bouquets to wearable designs. He joked with the crowd about Houston’s humidity, saying, “Your climate is not the best for flowers to last forever!” And he engaged various members of the audience to share what their favorite bridal design was from the presentation. Like any powerful orator, he skillfully wove wedding trend information throughout his narrative that seemed more like a page-turner book reading instead of a factual design lecture.
Gregor Lersch hands Carol Elder a completed bridal bouquet during a class demonstration.
Model Ilisa Collins wears an exquisite monochromatic floral necklace.
Gregor Lersch and J. Keith White, AIFD, assist a student in armature construction stem insertions.
Gregor Lersch demonstrates additional bridal design innovations
Model Ilisa Collins presents the evening’s first bridal design to audience members.