2013 Trends: Colors with Sharla Flock Designs

Welcome to this month’s installment of 2013 Trends, where we explore all things associated with COLOR!  For this interview, we enlisted floral guru Sharla Flock to share her thoughts on the ‘it’ colors of the moment, define colors as they pertain to her overall aesthetic, and to have some fun creating her very own ‘dream wedding’.  If you’ve had the pleasure of working with Sharla before, you’ll definitely hear her fun-loving, heartfelt, passionate personality shine through in this interview.  We are such fans of Sharla’s work, and are looking forward to partnering with her on several weddings this Summer and beyond!

Q: First, tell us a little bit about Sharla Flock Designs including your scope of services and a description of your overall aesthetic.

A: Sharla Flock Designs is a floral design studio specializing in wedding and event work.  I enjoy playing a part in the overall event design whenever possible. For me, there is no better “high” than walking away from a wedding feeling as though it has been flawlessly executed. Having a creative team working together with a passion for design makes our work so fun and rewarding.  Details, details, details; it’s all about those tasty little details!  I’m drawn to texture, am a freak for color, and love all the subtle differences in tones. Pink is never just pink. Raspberry, bubble gum, blush… Being able to create a floral and color palette for my brides that reflects their aesthetic is what it’s all about. Each wedding is as unique as the individual client!

SharlaFlock-COLOR image

Photo by Sharla Flock

Q: At the beginning of each year, Pantone announces their Color of the Year, which is Emerald this year.  In your experience, does this announcement directly affect the way color trends shift from year to year?

A: In 2012, the Pantone color was Tangerine. I can honestly say until most recently, I have not embraced the color orange and most of my brides have followed suit. I tend to be known for my green, white, brown, blush tones. In my designs, people tend to appreciate neutral palettes that are reflective of nature. However, I am really yearning for more color in 2013 and am excited to see what trends will play out.

I have a wedding in April with a Mad Men underlying theme. Some of the bridesmaids will be in an Emerald tone and I can’t wait to see it!

Photo by Sharla Flock

Photo by Sharla Flock

Q: Are you seeing any innovative color combinations (ie: coral & turquoise) in 2013?

A: Sigh… still not a lot of color yet! I’m getting a lot of requests for Black & White themes again. And of course, all white is still popular. Again, this may speak more to my design aesthetic, which attracts brides who want a more monochromatic color theme. The season is still young and full of possibilities however, and I’m hopeful that color will rain down on this wedding season.

Q: Which colors are you hoping to see more of in 2013?

A: I’m embracing, with a new enthusiasm, the colors of the sunset. There is something about orange, rust, coral, and plum tones that feels so alive and vibrant. They are also a wee bit earthy, which is always something that I gravitate towards.  Autumn is like candy for my eyes. I’m also so happy for the turn of seasons when I see the deep plum tones, rich reds, browns, and rusts around every corner at the flower market. It’s as if you can eat you way through the palette. SO yummy!

Photo by Sharla Flock

Photo by Sharla Flock

Q: Which 2012 trends and colors will we be seeing less of in 2013?

A: Blush needs to go on a vacation and bring mercury glass with her. Don’t get me wrong, I have been THE card-carrying member of the “blush peony, garden rose, dusty miller in mercury glass” club for a few years now, but it’s time to move on to something different and perhaps unexpected.

Q: When building a color palatte with your clients, what are the first steps you take towards making a final decision?

A: I listen to what my clients are naturally drawn to. I ask them about the color in their home, what they like to wear. It’s always a tell-tell sign when they whip out their ipad and the cover is hot pink!  I give my clients permission to go with the color palette they are drawn to, regardless of the season. It’s so important that the palette be reflective of the client.  Having an all blush wedding in October is perfectly acceptable in my book and should be embraced.

Photo by Sharla Flock

Photo by Sharla Flock

Q: If a client comes to you with a desire to incorporate two colors which you feel clash with one another – how do you compromise?

A: I’m always honest with my clients. I wish I could sensor myself at times, but if it feels really jarring, I will always share my concerns. Most times it’s just a matter of adding a transition color to help bridge the gap so the palette feels more cohesive.

Q:  How do you gauge the number of colors to be included in a wedding color palatte?  Is there a certain number of colors at which you would suggest capping?

A:  I try to keep within a color story palette, meaning in a range from light to dark and either warm or cool tones. (this is where my art background rears it’s ugly head – ha!).  I love playing around with possible options, mixing textures and colors that really play off each other. I think it’s best to have less range in color and more range in tones.  There isn’t a magic number to this equation, it’s more about the type, style, and shape of the individual flowers in addition to the colors.

Photo by Sharla Flock

Photo by Sharla Flock

Q:  If you had an opportunity to create your dream wedding featuring your favorite colors and florals – how would it look?

A:  I think it would feel like a vintage Thanksgiving: abundance of food, florals, and gratitude. Deep, rich reds, browns, burgundies, and plum tones in a collection of rustic, vintage footed vessels.  Think trophy vases, goblets, and tarnished silver. (Side note: I had the loveliest bride this year who had a note for each and every guest at his or her place setting. That kind of thoughtfulness is better than any wedding cake, hands down!)  I would see a candlelit evening ceremony followed by a feast of beautiful and delicious food.  Then there would be dancing until we collapse on day beds set out on the lawn of the property and fall asleep under the stars.

Photo by Robert Hatch

Photo by Robert Hatch

In case you missed it, click here to see last month’s Trends feature on Lighting!

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Questions for Stacy: Increasing the Guest Count

Question:

Hi Stacy.  My fiance’s family wants to invite more people than we have allotted in our budget.  What’s your suggestion for keeping the peace and staying on budget?

 Answer:

Compiling a guest list is one of the most challenging tasks that often kicks off the wedding planning process.  At this point, everything is fresh and exciting – but it’s important to establish clear communication from the very beginning.  In other words, if you’re going the traditional route in terms of the bride’s family paying for (the majority) of the fees surrounding the actual wedding day, you need to be clear about your maximum budget.  If your fiance’s family wants to invite more guests, you should ask them to pay the additional fees associated with increasing the head count.  In doing so, they ultimately make the decision as to whether or not the additional guests are added.  We have seen a lot of misinterpretation when it comes to this step: it’s easy for your fiance and his family to feel that you are limiting the number of people they invite, whereas you’re really doing everything in your power to keep the budget in line.  As long as everyone is clear about his or her boundaries and desires surrounding the wedding, you should be in good shape from the get go!

Cheers,
Stacy
cheers

photo by Mel Barlow

Click here to read our last helpful Questions for Stacy blog entry!

Book Review: The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Book Review: The Language of Flowers

By Vanessa Diffenbaugh

When planning your wedding, your choice of florals is bound to be one of the most important decisions you make.  There are so many things to keep in mind: colors, seasonality, femininity versus masculinity, casual versus formal… the list goes on and on.  Another fun and interesting facet you may want to consider is The Language of Flowers that your choice of florals historically conveys.

In Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s novel entitled The Language of Flowers, she tells the story of a troubled young woman named Victoria who has spent her entire childhood in and out of foster care. In happier times, Victoria spent a significant amount of time living with a foster parent named Elizabeth, who spent hours tending to her garden and teaching Victoria all about the language of flowers.  She learns that in the Victorian era, certain flowers held special significance.  Traditionally, men would send flowers to women they were courting in order to convey their feelings and intentions.  Some carried positive connotations and some signified the end of their relationship.

Having never felt unconditionally loved, Victoria seems determined to live a life of solitude after her emancipation at the age of 18.  She continues to navigate the world, eventually reconnecting with a childhood friend whom she learns to trust and finding work with a florist who sees something unique and special in Victoria.  As she continues to explore and study the language of flowers, she finds her way in the world by ‘prescribing’ arrangements for clients for special events and occasions.

The Language of Flowers is a deeply moving and heartfelt book, which takes readers on journey of sadness, hope and eventual happiness.  One of the reasons we enjoyed the book so much is because it encouraged us to look at flowers from an entirely different perspective.  As planners, we found The Language of Flowers to be a thought provoking and fascinating new way of examining floral design for special events.

This captivating book comes complete with ‘Victoria’s Dictionary of Flowers’, which outlines the meaning of a plethora of common and exotic flowers.  Here are some of our favorites:

Dahlia (Dahlia)… dignity

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus)… protection

Freesia (Freesia)… lasting friendship

Honeysuckle (Lonicera)… devotion

Orchid (orchidaceae)… refined beauty

Rose, purple (Rosa)… enchantment

Strawberry (Fragaria)… perfection

Tulip (Tulipia)… declaration of love

More about this book:  Diffenbaugh, Vanessa. The Language of Flowers: A Novel. New York: Ballantine, 2011.

2013 Trends: Lighting

This month we are excited to turn our eye towards 2013 Trends in Lighting, care of Ashley Hugus, Wedding & Social Event Manager at Got Light.  Got Light is one of our favorite and most trusted special event design and production companies, and we knew right away we wanted to reach out to them for their expertise on the matter of lighting.  It’s clear to us from this interview that Got Light has a lot of fun innovative ideas in the pipeline, and we look forward to partnering with them on many spectacular weddings this year!

Photo Credit: Got Light

Photo Credit: Got Light

Q: First, tell us a little bit about Got Light and your scope of services.

A:  Got Light has delighted thousands of brides and grooms, and we work year-round with the top wedding professionals in the Bay Area to create spectacular ceremonies and receptions.  Whether it’s a backyard wedding for 20 or a mega-wedding for 400, our couples receive immaculate personalized care and attention to detail.

Don’t be fooled by the name.  Got Light provides more than just light! Our services include event audio, video, projection art, video mapping, draping, staging, and much more.  The Got Light team consists of passionate designers, producers, cinematographers, engineers, riggers, and everyone in between.   Our dedicated team of creative problem solvers has a sick obsession for details and an unyielding addiction to customer service.
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Q:  Incorporating proper lighting into the overall design of a wedding is essential.  Can you help explain why the need for lighting is so important?
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A:  Lighting completely transforms the entire look and ambiance of your event.  It can be subtle or striking, but will always have a profound impact on the overall look of your venue.  Illuminated decor, such as chandeliers, mason jars, or pathway lights can also create bold statements for your event with light.  Our experts at Got Light layer in color, texture, kinetic movement, and subtle highlights.   We take your event from “lit” to “WOW!”
Q: Can you please define what an uplight, pin spotting and wash are? Can you share some photos/examples with us?
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A:  Sure!  Here they are:
  • Uplight:  Uplights are compact lighting fixtures in varying sizes and wattages (depending on the event space) that are placed on the ground up against the perimeter walls or key architectural features, adding light and color to the walls, ceiling, and providing an ambient indirect glow.  Uplights shine up a wall and naturally fill a  space with light and color.  We consider uplighting to be the primer or “base coat” to lighting, being the first course of action to transform a room with light.  For  exteriors, uplighting is used on key landscape elements and trees, adding drama and illumination to an outdoor setting. Uplighting can be any color of your  choice, preferably a color that ties in with the linens, florals, or overall color palette.
Photo Credit: Got Light

Photo Credit: Got Light

Photo Credit: Got Light

Photo Credit: Got Light

Photo Credit: Got Light

Photo Credit: Got Light

  • Pin Spot:  A pin spot is a sharp, focused light directed at a floral centerpiece, wedding cake, or certain types of decor.  Pin spotting not only helps illuminate the room, but can make dining tables pop with light.  Pin spots can be white light or they can be colored with a light tinted GEL to help bring out the colors of a floral centerpiece.   Pin spots are best for rooms or venues where the pin spot can be mounted or aimed from above the tables.  If that’s not an option, pin spots can be mounted to a tree along the perimeter of the room and aim towards the centerpiece or cake at an angle.  For large centerpieces, often we will recommend two-sided pin spotting for the best look.  We are always happy to advise whether or not pin spotting is appropriate or effective based on your venue and florals.
PinSpotting3

Photo Credit: Got Light

Photo Credit: Got Light

Photo Credit: Got Light

Photo Credit: Got Light

Photo Credit: Got Light

  • Wash:  Washes in lighting are broad projections of illumination, color, and/or pattern.    A wash is sometimes a necessity, not a design element, such as a “band wash”.  Or a wash can be colored or patterned to introduce character and design, such as a “ceiling wash”, “wall wash” or “dance wash”.  In lighting, a wash merely refers to projection(s) of illumination to either establish visibility or to liven up a space with more illumination, style, or color.
Photo Credit: Got Light

Photo Credit: Got Light

Photo Credit: Got Light

Photo Credit: Got Light

Photo Credit: Got Light

Photo Credit: Got Light

Photo Credit: Got Light

Photo Credit: Got Light

Q: Which 2012 trends and colors will we be seeing less of in 2013?
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A:  In 2012, we began seeing a lot of yellow with black/grey color combinations.  The trend of bold color schemes including teals, purples and magentas are definitely on the rise!
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Q:  Any new special lighting features you’re rolling out in 2013 that you’d like to share with us?  Can you share some photos/examples with us?
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A:  Our latest signature style is producing your event with the smallest visible footprint of production nonsense.  This includes custom wooden housing to cover our lighting hardware in a variety of paint and stains.  This replaces a standard uplight color with a beautiful, rustic cover that becomes part of the wedding decor and design.
Got Light's Custom Wood Covers

Got Light’s Custom Wood Covers

We pride ourselves on immaculate attention to detail and are continually designing tricks to hide the wiring.  We want to show off your event, not show off our toys!
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Q: Are you seeing any new color requests in 2013?
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A:  Emerald is the IT color of 2013!  We are seeing a lot of rich aqua hues and complimentary tones, such as green and magenta.  For weddings, ivory and blush or monochromatic schemes never go out of style.  We do a lot of neutral tones, especially for outdoor weddings.  Beautiful venues and a gorgeous landscapes speak for themselves.  Our approach at Got Light is to always enhance the venue, never covering up its natural character.
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Q: Would you be able to share a a before an after photograph of a space to exemplify the impact that lighting has in a space?
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A: Sure!  Take a look…
Photo Credit: Got Light

Photo Credit: Got Light

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Photo Credit: Got Light

Photo Credit: Got Light

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Photo Credit: Got Light

Photo Credit: Got Light

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Q: Keeping in mind that this all depends on the space, guest count, etc – what do you recommend a couple keep in mind for their lighting budget?
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A: In terms of a lighting budget, we at Got Light believe it’s important to always remember two things: timing and power.  We use a lot of heavy equipment.  When we are hanging decor or lighting in a venue, we are generally the first vendor in and the last vendor out.  Other vendors can generally begin their cleanup behind the scenes, but our product stays up and is enjoyed up until the end of the party, so we don’t take anything down until guests have left the event space.  So bear with us, but we do need a bit of time for set up and break down.  This is important to think about when you are booking your venue block and signing your rental contract.The other thing to think about is power!  We work in dozens of historical buildings around San Francisco and the Bay Area, many of which were not designed with lighting for special events in mind!  At Got Light, we are the Bay Area leader in wireless, battery, & LED, paving the way for a greener and more environmentally friendly approach to lighting for the event industry.  The labor and power saving opportunities are endless!   Remember that if you are having your wedding in an outdoor space with a band, photo booth, lighting, and catering – they will all need somewhere to plug their equipment into, as well!
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Thank you for such an extensive and informative interview, Ashley!  We can honestly say we have a newfound appreciation for the way ‘good’ lighting and production can positively affect a special event!

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In case you missed it, check out last month’s Trends feature on Wedding Cuisine!
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