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!


Questions for Stacy: Wedding Day Shot List

Hi Stacy.  My wedding day is fast approaching!  The photographer I’ve hired has asked me for a ‘shot list’: a list of photographs I definitely want to see captured before and during the ceremony and reception.  Do you have a list of recommended shots I can pass along to my photographer?

When composing this list, it’s important for you to focus on posed photographs only ( for example, a photo featuring you and all your bridesmaids.  See below. ) so that you and your photographer are on the same page.  Having said that, the photographers that we most commonly work with are truly creative artists whom we’ve entrusted to tell the story of your wedding day.  We feel that providing them with a highly structured and agressive shot list might interrupt the creative process so that they’re unable to capture the special candid moments that take place throughout the day.  Therefore, we suggest you create a short list of your ‘must-have’ posed shots, and that you have a conversation with your photographer to describe how you’re hoping your wedding day story will be depicted.  Then relax, enjoy the day, and allow the photographers to do the job they’ve been hired to do!
Photo Credit: Kate Webber

Photo Credit: Kate Webber

Click here to read more entries from our helpful Questions for Stacy series!

2013 Trends: Wedding Gowns

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We’re very excited to be launching a monthly ‘2013 Trends’ feature, where we will be showcasing some of the most fabulous, innovative and inspiring trends we encounter over the course of the year.  We had the opportunity to visit two premiere bridal salons in San Francisco this week, Marina Morrison and the brand new Vera Wang Bridal, and wanted to share some of our favorite gowns, accessories, fabrics and textures.  The 2013 collections are featuring more structured ‘floating’ pieces, mixed mediums, layered laces, dazzling beading, and of course, peplum accents.  What will you be wearing in 2013?

Seasonality & Fall Menu Changes

Photo Courtesy of Courtney Campbell

This fall, San Francisco residents have been experiencing one of the best Indian Summers of all time.  We truly cherish eachand every sunny day and make the most of our precious sunny days.  As our Indian Summer comes to an end, we are anticipating some exciting changes to menus as chefs transition from Summer to Fall produce.

Here’s a list of produce we can look forward to seeing at Farmers Markets and on updated Fall menus in the Northern California area:

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Artichokes
  • Winter squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Beets
  • Carrots


  • Chard
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Celery root
  • Grapes
  • Fennel
  • Cauliflower


  • Cabbage
  • Dates
  • Figs
  • Pomegranates
  • Leeks
  • Mustard greens
  • Brussels sprouts

brussels sprouts

  • Parsnips
  • Radishes
  • Persimmons
  • Pomegranates
  • Spinach
  • Turnips
  • Kale


One of the biggest shifts we see as planners in terms of Fall menu composition is a transition from light fare to hearty dishes.  First course offerings highlight soups in lieu of summer salads.  Vegetables are roasted rather than being served raw.  The truth of the matter is that the weather really does affect the way we eat: when it’s hot outside we tend to eat cold foods in smaller portions.

fall bounty

When it’s cold outside, we find ourselves craving foods which are going to warm us up and stick to our bones.  Therefore, caterers might suggest featuring a mashed potato bar instead of a sushi station at your wedding.

Summertime welcome cocktails such as lavender lemonade or minted ice-tea are switched out for apple cider or hot chocolate; a hot toddy takes the place of a mint julep. These are good things to keep in mind when you’re dreaming up the menu for your wedding or special event.  Bon Appetit!

Gilt City San Francisco

We’re so excited to share this amazing offer with all of you newly engaged couples! Stacy McCain Event Planning has teamed up with Hotel Vitale and Gilt City to bring one lucky couple a luxurious wedding weekend. Imagine a rooftop ceremony over looking The Ferry Building and exclusive buyout of Americano Restaurant. We’ve wrapped-up all the must-haves when planning an urban wedding into one service. Pop over to Gilt City to learn more.

image credits: ashley garmon / bay area wedding venues

not just for bouquets

We recently talked about some of the lovely wedding trends for 2012, but one other trend that we’re loving is florals. We’re not talking about bouquets or centerpieces, though we adore a stunning arrangement. We’re talking about floral details used throughout the wedding, and we don’t mean those old-fashioned, tacky florals, but modern, elegant, and even whimsical, but still tasteful and lovely.

We’re loving the modern floral details we’re seeing on stunning wedding gowns.

We think the flower details on these cakes make them look even more delicious. We’ve been seeing a lot of pretty natural flowers placed on cakes, but also love what some bakers are doing with fondant and other materials (trust us, these are NOT the tacky grocery store-bought sugary roses you might be thinking of).

If you want to keep the florals minimal, surprise everyone with an amazing floral detail on your shoes.

Another subtle but gorgeous touch is to include florals in small details like your ring bearer pillow.

You can always include some florals in your invitations, especially for a spring wedding. (Check back soon for our series on invitations, save the dates, and more.)

Or go big, with these whimsical yet ever-so-elegant details.

Or how amazing are these floral spheres? They can be hung either from your ceremony chairs or floated in a pool for a pop of unexpected color.

However you do it, one thing’s for sure. Flowers aren’t just for bouquets anymore. And your only option isn’t those generic, sugary roses.

Laura + Lee = San Francisco’s Royal Wedding

For those of you who are still obsessing over the royal wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William or those that indulged in last night’s Gossip Girl where Blaire Waldorf and Prince Louis of Monaco said “I Do” in their own version of the royal wedding, you’re not going to want to miss this post. We’ve got our own royal wedding right here in San Francisco, or at least our story of Laura and Lee tie the knot.









From the Bride…The first thing I asked Lee after he proposed was, “Do you want to just run away to Vegas?” He said, “Absolutely not.” So then I, the girl who never pictured her wedding, never cut out pictures from magazines, didn’t have my nuptial power point presentation all ready, had to plan a wedding. Well, I’m a firm believer in go big or go home.

I had remembered going to eat at The Slanted Door one night and I’d heard a party going on up on the 2nd floor. I had made a comment like, “that would be a cool place for a wedding.” Remembering that, I called up the Ferry Building after getting engaged and was connected to Paula le Duc catering who runs the space. Perfecto! In one swoop I had the top caterer in the city and, what I think is, one of the best venues. From there, the rest fell into place. Paula le Duc recommended Stacy McCain (wedding planner;) who recommended Atelier Joya (flowers,) Cakeworks (cake,) and Innovative Entertainment (where I got the band from.) EVERY one of those vendors proved to be top notch, super helpful, and on top of their game. And, luckily, one of my good friends is Ashley Garmon who is a phenomenal photographer. So, that decision was easy.

I have crazy taste in some things but for a wedding I feel like you can never go wrong with classic, clean, and simple. The best decision I made was to purchase my bridesmaids matching shoes and let them wear whatever black dress they wanted to. They all looked like themselves and all looked beautiful. The flowers were all white with the exception of the anenomies that have  a black center. We took the time to make sure the Ferry Building was lit up beautifully inside and had tons of candles on the tables. I think the lighting and flowers were in perfect balance. Not too overdone on either. And the place card display ended up to be a big focal point. We covered a table between the room we had cocktails in and the large open room and did a beautiful display with orchids, candles, mirrors, and black rocks. People loved it. They took more pictures of that than they did other guests.

A few other details. . .well, we tried to “San Francisco” it up for all those traveling. So, the church we chose was Grace Cathedral. Talk about a venue that needs NOTHING else. The church speaks volumes for itself. The bridal party rode on trolleys. Both the wedding reception venue and the rehearsal dinner venue had bridge views. All of the guests stayed on the Embarcadero. And, amazing enough, we had perfectly clear, sunny, blue days the whole time. Food was also EXTREMELY important to us. Luckily, we had PLD and the use mainly all fresh and organic ingredients from the farmers market at the Ferry Building. Everyone agreed it was the best wedding food ever (it tasted EXACTLY how it did at the tasting.

The other big thing that was important to me was music. We had Ever play the cocktails after the ceremony, dinner, and the cake cutting (wonderful.) And for our party band we had Big City Revue. They were ridiculous! They rocked it out. My request was a “classic wedding band that can belt out all the tunes everyone wants to dance to.” That’s JUST what I got. They were so fun. And they dealt very well with my whole family who has a penchant of getting on stage and singing.

Now to integrate Vegas. . .we had a last dance. We danced to Elvis’ song “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You.” The band announced it was our last dance. So, everyone made their way onto the dance floor. As the song was ending we had an Elvis Impersonator (Rick Torres) come out and ham up the Elvis thing. We handed out Elvis glasses to everyone and Elvis directed the guests to the door and told them to go out there and wave goodbye (and then to meet us at the Vitale bar after!) Then, Elvis whisked us away in his pink Caddy. It was classic. Everyone was so surprised. Hysterical.

There are so many details and things I’m sure I’m forgetting. But, to me, it was perfect. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Wedding Photography: Ashley Garmon Photographers / Wedding Coordinator: Stacy McCain Event Planning / Church: Grace Cathedral / Ferry Building & Caterer: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering / Flowers: Atelier Joya / Cake: Cakework / Cream Puffs: Pacific Puffs / Ceremony Music: Gabriel’s Trio / Cocktail Music: Ever Music Group / Band: Big City Revue / Lighting & Sound: Got Light / Make-up: Nellie Muganda / Linens & Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Transportation: Bauer’s Transportation / Getaway Car: Elvis & Pink Caddy