Lauren Fraser talks all things wedding flowers, bringing you ideas for every spend, season and style.
IMAGE | Tandem Photo
A – Ask for advice
Chances are you’re not a budding florist yet, although by the end of wedding planning, you just might be. That’s why it’s so important to seek advice for your wedding flowers.
From the structure of flowers to season and scent, expert florists can help ensure every box is ticked.
B – Blousy blooms
The delicate ruffles of pink peonies and garden roses’ sweet fragrances have long made them favourites with brides. They have enough drama to be used exclusively in a bouquet, but, if you’d like to mix things up, make sure you choose flowers and foliage in a variety of sizes.
Tiny, fluffy mounds of gypsophila and architectural eucalyptus sprigs do the trick.
C – Chandeliers
For 360-degree wedding flowers, chandeliers or suspended floral hoops are the answer. Greenery and blooms can be entwined around it, or flowers on longer stems can be tied upside down. Both create romantic, whimsical effects and work brilliantly in venues with high ceilings, like barns and marquees.
D – Do it yourself
DIY wedding flowers can sound like a scary step and tackling a cascading bouquet as a novice certainly would be. A small, hand-tied arrangement or jam jar posies, on the other hand, are much more achievable.
Book onto a workshop and buy flowers by the bucket load from a local grower.
Done correctly, this can be a brilliant money-saving tip.
IMAGE | Duke Wedding Photography
E – Edible flowers
Why limit yourself to holding flowers, when you can eat and decorate with them too?
From edible flowers spiralling around your cake, to frozen flowers in ice cube form or a vibrant prosecco garnish, there are lots of ways to work with blooms on your big day.
F – Floral frames
You only need one newly engaged visit to Pinterest to fall head over heels for floral ceremony backdrops.
Whether it’s a garland of roses draped around a gazebo or a boho, asymmetrical display on a wooden arch, they certainly add the wow-factor.
Unfortunately, they pack a big punch for your budget too. For the same style in miniature, invest in a floral frame to hang up and use as a photobooth. A sea of swaying posies dotted along the aisle works well too.
G – Greenery
Greenery might not be Pantone Colour of the Year anymore, but it’s not going anywhere when it comes to weddings.
There’s a twist on this foliage trend for every couple, from tropical palms at destination weddings to eucalyptus in a country house setting, ivy for a rustic bash and ferns at a woodland celebration.
H – Height
Whether you choose sleek martini glass arrangements or opt for a romantic candelabra design, your wedding flowers can help to give your overall reception theme height and drama.
I – Instant impact
Choose a timeless venue and wedding flowers will be all the decor you need. A few centrepieces will soon have your reception venue ready for the party.
J – Jasmine
Memory and scent go hand in hand, so choose a few fragranced options for your wedding flowers. Jasmine has a delicious scent and flowers in a pretty palette of colours, perfect for a summer wedding. Don’t forget there are winter-flowering varieties of jasmine too.
K – Keep your cool
While this will be valuable advice for you while planning, right now we’re focusing on your flowers. Most florists will deliver your bouquets to you on the morning of your wedding. You’ll probably have a hundred other things to think about and do, so brief a bridesmaid to place them in water somewhere cool and dark. This will keep your blooms looking their beautiful best for your walk down the aisle.
L – Love local
If you want peonies any other time than June, they’re probably going to be flown in. Likewise, many other flowers are imported to give couples a wider choice of flowers for as long as possible. But, if you invest in wedding flowers grown locally, not only will they be just as beautiful, they will be a better choice for the environment too.
M – Meet your supplier
Many florists will offer a consultation as part of your wedding flowers package. This is a great time to get to know them, talk through design ideas and work out what is and isn’t possible based on the season and amount you want to spend.
It’s also the perfect opportunity to look at examples of their other work. There’s no point in booking a florist who specialises in compact rose bouquets if you’re imaging a hand-tied arrangement of wildflowers.
N – Now and forever
Did you know that your wedding flowers could last well beyond your big day? We’re not just talking about the week or so afterwards while they still look fresh, either. Plan in advance and have your bouquet sent off to a flower preserver as soon as possible after the wedding. They can then work their magic drying your blooms to treasure for years to come.
IMAGE | Suzanne Black Photography
O – Overspending
We’re heading back to Pinterest for this one. It’s so easy to be carried away by the incredible wedding flowers you see all over Pinterest, but keep one thing in mind. Many of the examples either come from high-budget weddings or from styled shoots, without the realities of a real wedding budget or schedule to worry about.
Talk to your florist about costs as soon as possible to keep things in perspective – you don’t want to set your heart on a floor-to-ceiling peony wall only to find out it’s way beyond budget.
P – Perfect petals
This is where the expert advice of a florist really comes in handy again. Bridal bouquets need to stand up to a fair amount of wear and tear on your wedding day – just think of how many hugs they’ll encounter, not to mention repeatedly being put down and picked up again. That’s why it pays to choose wedding flowers with petals that don’t bruise too easily to keep your bouquet looking its best all day.
Q – Quirky wedding flowers
Want to add a punch of personality to your wedding flowers? You could display them in unusual vases, swapping urns for wellington boots and vases for whisky bottles. You could even turn your wedding flowers into an altogether different feature – think buckets of blooms labelled with each of your tables or tiny potted plants for wedding favours.
R – Ribbon
This might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about wedding flowers, but the devil’s in the detail. Hand-dyed silk ribbons can be credited with adding an instant touch of whimsy, while twine adds a rustic feel. Let’s not forget the pins either – simple pearl studs are a timeless choice.
S – Seasons change
Before you set your heart on any wedding flowers, you need to set a date. Unless you use artificial blooms (and there are some good silk flower alternatives out there), the season in which you say “I do” will define the choices available to you.
A spring bouquet may blossom with peonies, summer may show off sweetpeas and autumn be dazzling with dahlias. Winter can be more challenging, but anemones, roses and berries create a sumptuous, romantic style.
IMAGE | The Gibsons
T – Tears of happiness
Teardrop bouquets have that classical charm that appeals to many brides. And despite their well-defined form, they’re surprisingly flexible, looking equally good filled with trailing orchids and lilies as they do with roses and ivy.
Just keep in mind that the bigger the bouquet, the heavier it will be – something that takes many brides by surprise on the big day.
U – Unique
If you want to make your wedding flower stand out, look for unexpected sculptural choices like succulents or teasels.
V – Vintage vases
From single stem roses displayed in antique perfume bottles, to a cluster of carnations lining a teacup, there are so many ways to fill your flea market finds.
W – Flower walls
If you’ve got the spending power available, then a flower wall guarantees to give your wedding the wow-factor. They make pretty top table backdrops, but why not get your guests involved too and use it as a photobooth?
IMAGE | Wonderful and Strange
X – Extra special
Wedding flowers need to do more than look pretty. They need to reflect you as a couple, your relationship and your love too. There are so many ways to make this happen – you could include both of your favourite blooms or perhaps borrow from royal tradition and carry a sprig of myrtle. Your flower choice can be a sentimental way to remember someone who couldn’t be with you on the day, too.
Y – Your day, your way
As with all things weddings, sometimes the pressure from people around you – well meant, though it is – can all get too much. Try to avoid talking to too many people about your wedding flowers so you can keep your thoughts clear and not a mismatched jumble of ideas. At the end of the day, go with your gut and don’t worry about what other people would choose.
Z – Zing!
If there’s one thing wedding flowers can do, it’s to bring colour into your day. We’ve seen everything from a pared-back palette of white and green to a riot of rainbow colours. The key is to choose flowers that complement your overall wedding theme.