5 european influences on modern-day floral design

It seems only fitting that after last week’s look at bridal design throughout the decades that this week another fabulous art form gets the historical treatment: floral design.

Floral design is often the wow factor at a wedding and one major trend for weddings now, next year, and hopefully into the future is the old world look. Luckily I’ve just finished reading through the Wedding and Event Institute chapter on the European influence in floral design and they gave a pretty amazing break down that I’ll share with you here.

1. Renaissance

Renaissance Floral Design | http://burnettsboards.com/2013/11/5-european-influences-floral-design/Burnett’s Boards // Anastasiya Belik Photography // Marina Shentyapina

After Europe emerged from the Dark Ages there was an amazing burst of creative energy in the Renaissance. Floral motifs were everywhere!

Today, the tell-tale signs of the Renaissance influence can be seen when fruits and vegetables are grouped in with flowers and foliage for a still-life effect. To go even more Renaissance use the vessels that were popular at the time: classically shaped urns and vases, tall and highly decorated compotes, or woven baskets.

2. Baroque

Baroque Style Floral Design | http://burnettsboards.com/2013/11/5-european-influences-floral-design/Grey Likes Weddings // Landon Jacob Photography // Fern Studio

The baroque period saw floral arrangements becoming increasingly ornamental. The look is blustery with big branches shooting out with warm colored leaves mixed with large flowers and it was all placed in huge metal, porcelain, or glass containers. This style of centerpiece is definitely having a major resurgence in popularity right now and I love it!

3. Rococo

Rococo Style Floral Design | http://burnettsboards.com/2013/11/5-european-influences-floral-design/Style Me Pretty // Amanda K Photography // Flowerwild 

After the big and blustery Baroque period things took a more feminine turn. Floral design during the Rococo period was influenced heavily by aesthetics in France whose goal was the conveyance of prettiness and charm.

Floral arrangements were tighter, denser, and unlike the Renaissance and Baroque periods, height was emphasized over width. Roses and hydrangea were popular at the time, especially in delicate pinks!

4. Georgian

Georgian Style Floral Design | http://burnettsboards.com/2013/11/5-european-influences-floral-design/Burnett’s Boards // Kristen Weaver Photography // Ashby Floral Boutique

Floral design during the Georgian period remained very similar to the Rococo style except that Wedgwood urns and tureens were in vogue and the range of flowers used in design expanded to include more vibrant color palettes.

5. Victorian

Victorian Floral Design | http://burnettsboards.com/2013/11/5-european-influences-floral-design/100 Layer Cake // Sara & Rocky Garza // Petal Pushers

The Victorian period saw a miniaturization of things. Tiny flowers like posies, nosegay, or forget-me-nots (or artificial flowers, which became popular at this time) and little trinkets like feathers, shells, or figurines were often placed under glass bell jars and used for centerpieces at dinner parties and decor around the home.

In the absence of bell jars and a popular way to translate the Victorian floral design style today is to group together single stems in bud vases along with little bunches of flowers in a central position on the table.


Mahalo to The Wedding and Event Institute for all of this wonderful information. I’ve really been enjoying my online courses. If you’ve ever thought about becoming a stylist or entering the wedding industry – check them out! Be sure to read other posts I’ve written about my coursework here.

About Sara Burnett

Editor of Burnett's Boards, which she founded to showcase global creativity in the wedding industry. Sara currently lives out of a suitcase while island hopping the Caribbean and beyond. Learn More // Follow on Instagram.


  1. I am definitely interested in this course…heard about a few times already. Thanks for Sharing Sara. That Rococo flower photo is all sorts of gorgeous!

  2. Very interesting and informative read! I’m all about the Renaissance and Rococo styles, but I’d love to see more modern takes on Victorian-era floral design.

  3. So gorgeous! Love the Gorgian one. I think that is my favorite.

  4. I never thought about this until now, but you’re right, flower design has evolved in similar patterns to art & architecture. It’s so fun to think about how to use these blooms to set exactly the right time period and tone. I love that rich Baroque one!

  5. Informative and pretty post! Have to say I love the blustery Baroque style the best!

  6. OOh this course sounds like a great idea.. Love this post!

  7. Gorgeous florals! Baroque and Renaissance are my faves!

  8. Love this inspiration concept! I had the most amazing time in Art History while studying abroad – definitely made me reminisce!

  9. I love this! Flower arrangements evolve just like style. I think my favorite is the Renaissance.

  10. Absolutely in love with baroque inspired florals!!

  11. Great share Sara, you always come up with such interesting, insightful posts! Really love this breakdown of floral design influences and it’s sparking some ideas so thank you!

  12. I’m in love wit that first photo!

  13. My fav is the Victorian period adding feathers and trinkets !

  14. Wow, these are stunning! I think the Rococo has to be my favorite. It is so interesting to see how styles have developed through time.

  15. I absolutely relish the Renaissance Floral Design with the infusion of fruits and vegetables… simply beautiful!

  16. Loved this post – so informative and inspiring. I’m all about the Rococo (but that may be the pretty pink colour palette swaying me).

  17. I’m a fan of the Baroque influence!