Let’s talk flowers!
Across the years I have seen some of the most amazing floral arrangements and bouquets … flowers really do play such an important part in setting the tone and theme of your day.
Firstly, let me tell you that florists are true artists and masters of their trade! You can save Pinterest pictures, create mood boards and have consultations but the reality is that your flowers are often the thing which you can’t truly visualise until it comes together on the day. And so for that reason – choosing the right person is so incredibly important – it has to be someone whose style you love and upon speaking to them you just know they ‘get what you want’.
Whilst every florist will have adaptability to create your vision – it’s true to say that they all have their own unique styles and strengths. Therefore – much like choosing your photographer – spend some time looking through their portfolios … trawl their instagram feeds and trust your gut instinct. You will soon find that you fall in love with a specific persons arrangements … you can relate to the style of their work and the past couples who have chosen them.
With huge thanks to my three fantastic collaborators who have all inputted their expert knowledge into this article – Sarah at Leafy Couture, Natasha at Natasha Jane Events and Nicola at Dittany Entwined …
It’s hard to avoid the first key factor which will be a consideration in your flower planning … budget.
Pinterest boards can be a wonderful tool … but they can also present their own challenges around what is realistic and affordable for your day.
Natasha says “‘I always suggest it important to have an idea of where you would like your floral and styling budget to be – this allows me to work with what you want to spend and set realistic expectations from the beginning. It also means we can look at ways to maximise your budget for example using more foliage, moving items from the ceremony to the wedding breakfast where appropriate. I would also always look to spend your budget where you will spend most of your time which would be your wedding breakfast – have gorgeous tables and installations and maybe keep it more simple in church”
Your budget will directly influence the size and style of what could be created … it’s better to be honest … a wonderful florist can guide you in the best way to utilise your budget. Talk to them about what your ‘must have flowers’ are and then they can work around those to suggest complementary blooms to help bring things back within budget. Remember they are the experts – they know what works and what is achievable. Prioritise what you must have vs. what would be a nice addition to the decor … bouquets and button holes will likely be your first priority before moving onto centre pieces and any additional decorations.
Consider going all out on your bridal bouquet and then pair back the bridesmaid bouquets with more cost effective foliage. There are clever ways you can maximise the WOW factor … whilst sticking to a budget … consider one amazing installation / centre piece which draws the eye when you enter the room and then pair back all the other table displays.
Depending on the time of year you are getting married – considering the seasonality of flowers will play a huge guidance into what you choose. Flowers in season will be better quality and more affordable – it stands to reason that shipping in flowers out of season will lead to a higher cost.
Here is a quick guide as to the seasonality of some key wedding favourites:
Spring – Ranunculus, Tulips, Mascari, Lilacs
Summer – Peonies (May to July), Freesias, Roses, Hydrangeas, Astilbe, Sweet Peas
Autumn – Dahlia, Delphinum, Autumal Foliage & Berries
Winter – Pussy willow, Winter Berries, Holly & Ivy, Anemones & Ranunculus
Varieties of Roses, Gypsophila, Hydrangeas and heathers are available all year round (but again talk to your florist as the prices will vary at different points of the year)
Talk to your florist about the overall theme / vision for your day … a brilliant florist will be able to make suggestion as to which flowers, foliage & scents will compliment your ideas. Compact hand tied Peonies & Roses will offer a classic vibe, whilst going for a more natural looser bouquet with trailing foliage & movement lends itself better so a more rustic feel. Seasons will also likely play a huge role in the theming of your flowers … from fresh spring blooms to deep rich autumnal berries. Your colour scheme may also dictate your flower choice … muted neutral tones & green foliage through to bright pops of colour.
A recent trend which I am seeing more of is towards dried and sustainable flowers … Nicola from Dittany Entwined offers her words of advice …
Nicola says … “I love using dried flowers and always have done, there is just something gorgeous about them – I love the texture they give. Giving something another chance always feels nice to me too, like it’s getting a second life. I dry fresh flowers and foliage where I can and also buy it already dried when needed.
My favourite new dried item I have tried lately are 5-6ft dried palms. They are just amazing. I love the wow factor they give and how versatile they are in terms of keeping a design simple but they also work really well in more complex layered designs. You can see a few examples on my insta feed.
The new modern boho trend is just a perfect theme for a mixture of fresh and dried products. To me floristry is a form of art and expression. I love getting creative with different mediums. For example spray painting Foliage and drying them at different rates to get different textures. Most dried flowers will last a couple of years if kept in good conditions, so there would be elements you can keep after the big day if you would like”
So let’s focus on bouquets … because that in itself can feel like a whirlwind of options and choices! There are all sorts of things to consider such as size, shape, colours, seasonality, foliage, scent as well as specific flower choices.
Sarah advises “Your bridal bouquet will be the most photographed arrangement you will ever have so make it a good one! Your florist will work out what style of flowers will work with your day. If you want it more formal and timeless elegance then roses, peonies and hydrangea in whites and greens may work as opposed to a party vibe that might be lots of colours and textures. This is a really exciting part of the process for the florist as they build a vision of your day.
Focus on the flowers that you love or have sentimental value. Scent is a huge bonus as that smell will forever remind you of your wedding day. Sweet peas, stocks, roses, lavender, lily of the valley and peonies all smell delicious and are perfect for this.
When choosing a bouquet shape we take in consideration the dress you are wearing, the shape and also the texture. If you have a really detailed dress you might want to keep to more simple textures in your blooms. Statement bouquets of gorgeous blooms are really fabulous to create but make sure you don’t cover up your dress or your self too much, they can also be heavy if they have loads of foliage so you don’t want to get sore arms!
We always make sure that there is a vase of water waiting for the brides bouquet so it can be kept fresh all day and become part of your decor”
Broadly speaking the most popular bouquets would fall into three main style categories … and then within that you have multiples of options for flower type & colour …
Hand tied posy … more of a formal tightly packed bouquet which is simple and minimal.
Rustic … a very relaxed bouquet with lots of movement and an organic structure.
Oversized … more and more bride’s are going for huge bouquets but remember to consider your dress, if you’ve got a lot of detail you wouldn’t want to cover this up with a huge bouquet – they tend to lend themselves to more simpler style dresses.
So before we move onto the next topic I think it’s an opportune moment to insert a gratuitous Wedding Bouquet slideshow! When I looked through my images there were just too many amazing arrangements to choose just a few to insert – so have a flick through & enjoy! …
Your style of Venue and size of room will probably play a factor in what centre pieces you choose … a large barn with high ceilings will usually command the need for something taller and more dramatic.
But remember you always have the option to mix and match tables between high and low centrepieces to still create the wow factor but help bring the cost down. The introduction of candles – is also a great way to add interest and atmosphere to a table. And think outside the box … you’re not restricted to traditional centre arrangements … vases & bottles with individual stems can look just as effective.
Look up … floral arrangements are not limited to table centres … create a statement feature piece suspended from the ceiling to draw the eye allowing for more simple arrangements on the tables themselves …
Florist top tip – Natasha suggests … “Think about the layout of the room and where your tables will be placed so that if you decided to do one WOW centrepiece – ask yourself will the room look balanced? A lot of couple do a mixture of tall and shorter centrepieces not only does this help them keep to their budget but also allows the theme of the florals to run throughout the wedding without compromise. Ask your florist for extra vases with water to put bridal bouquets in after the photographs and use these either to decorate a gift table or cake table. If you have a big bridal party you could have a gorgeous ceiling installation in your room and use the bridesmaids bouquets on the guest tables with candles and fresh petals….its all about maximising your budget to its full potential which is why choosing a florist who knows your venue is important as they will be able to make suggestions like this”
So once you have sorted your main priorities like bouquets, buttonholes and centre pieces … the final thing to consider would be those extra ‘wow’ pieces.
Dependent upon your Church or Venue there are various options to really create a stand out feature … and don’t forget big key feature pieces are often moveable so speak to your florist about the possibility of creating multi use pieces. Flower arches & pillars, large urns … fireplace and stair installations, suspended installations, flower walls are all really creative ideas to consider. Then there are additional places to think about where flowers can add a finishing touch … floral crowns, hair accessories, cake toppers and table plans.
Here are a few examples of gorgeous ideas I have seen along the way …
Mantle piece, fireplace & stair installations …
Flower Urns …
Cake table additions …
Arches & free standing structures …
Suspended installations …
Church & ceremony additions …
Table plan decorations …
Flower crowns …
I really hope you have enjoyed reading this post & it has given you some ideas and tips to take along to your floral consultations,
Much love, Hayley xxx