This is the blog I have been putting off writing as I’m nervous to write it. Having a florist (Swaffham and Fakenham Florist) with my sister, the flowers at our wedding after the marriage itself is probably the most important thing to me. With floral’ing up over 80 weddings a year, to get to do mine is just so exciting, and stressful. As I mentioned last week I feel a lot of pressure with our wedding flowers as people often tell me, they can’t wait to see them. If anyone talks to me about our wedding the flowers are the first thing that are mentioned. So my motto with the flowers is GO BIG or GO HOME, I can’t disappoint now can I!
The flowers determined what month of the year we (I) decided to get married, so I could have my favourite flowers. I personally think April and May are the best months for wedding flowers as you still have spring flowers available and it’s the start of the summer flowers. I’m not going to lie the flowers are going to be slightly over the top, this is not to show off (which I worry people will think) but because it’s so exciting for me, my sister and the girls who work for us to have the opportunity to go full out creative, and try new ideas and techniques. I want to use this blog as insight to the flowers I love, without giving too much away about the floral details for our wedding (I will share it all with you after), but also to give you lots of info, tips from a florist’s point of view which hopefully will help when choosing your wedding flowers.
Before thinking about your wedding flowers it is always good to have your venue, your dress and the bridesmaid’s dresses, as this will have an effect on the colours and styles you choose. DO NOT pick one colour, one exact shade and try match everything up, trust me using different shades and colours makes things compliment and looks so much better and more importantly wont stress you out, as it is impossible to colour match on everything. Flowers are a natural product when we have a wrap of the same variety of roses come in all 20 will not all be the exact shade. Another good point is if you try match the flower colours to the bridesmaid’s dresses they will get lost in the photos, so it’s best to bring in other shades and colours too. If you have chosen a bohemian floaty styled dress, you need to choose flowers to go with this style, a formal classic domed hand tied bouquet wouldn’t look right. You need to work out the look you want to go with and try keep to it throughout the wedding, you can still bring in other styles and themes too, but make sure it works. Many brides come into our shop for a consultation and show us so many different styles, such as vintage, classic with some bright and clashy thrown along with some pastel colours too. You may love them all but putting them all together won’t work. The only way I can describe the style I am going for is woodland luxe, I don’t want it to be woodland rustic I want the element of luxury too, which will be brought in with other touches such as the knife and forks and hopefully the wowness of the flowers.
My ultimate favourite flower is the kloon ranunculus which come to end in May / June so there is a slight possibility I won’t be able to have them. This is something to think about when choosing your wedding flowers as some flowers are seasonal, and there is no set date when they will stop being grown, it all depends on weather and demand. With wedding flowers Peonies are the one flower most of our brides come in and want and we have to say sorry you won’t be able to have them, or there is a chance you will not be able to. The peony generally runs from April to July, we have had years when they have stopped in June and some when they go till August, it’s best to chat to your florist about this and understand that you may need to have a backup plan, there are lovely garden roses such as David Austin’s that can give the same look, along with hydrangeas which can give that full blousy look. I also love anemones which end in May so again there is a chance I won’t be able to have them too. The flowers I love and I know I won’t have problems with are delphiniums, hydrangeas, spray roses, garden roses, thistle, and lots of foliage’s. From my invites you can probably take a guess on the colours I will be going for, and with numerous mentions in my blogs about blue being my favourite colour. I will bring a few different colours into the mix, but I have a strict rule that NO PINK is allowed, pink just is not me, and your wedding flowers should represent you! Another NO GO is GYPOSHILA no offence to those having it or had it, but I think over the last three years we have made over 200 gyp bouquets.
Having a marquee was always top of my list from a floral point of view as its blank canvas, so any colour theme and style can work with it. It is always an idea to consider your venue when choosing your floral decorations, as what would suit a festival theme garden wedding probably wouldn’t suit a formal stately house wedding. There is so many options of being creative in a marquee, I just can’t wait for the Marquee to go up and start on our floral plans, we will begin the decorating from Tuesday, as we have so many plans, even all the bridesmaids will be getting floral creative the day before as they have all kindly took the day off to help out. We will make everything on site as it will be a lot easier than transporting it all, and the table centres we have planned are going to be so heavy they need to be made straight on the table. The table centres are something I have always wanted to create, it’s not something we have done before, we have had a local engineer build a prototype stand I designed so we could have a practice. Michelle (my sister who is probably more excited for our wedding flowers than me) and I had a play earlier on in the year and created the table centres, we couldn’t use the exact flowers as they were not in season and we used different colours as I didn’t want to see the exact final creation, I want to wait till we actually make them. I was so happy with what we had created, and we made changes to how we had planned to make it and the flowers and amounts we will be using.
I have decided I will be making my own wedding bouquet, I know they style I would like and the flowers I would like to go in but it will be a play about on the Thursday or Friday before make my final decision. If I am a complete ball of stress at that point I Know my sister is eagerly there to make it for me! Church flowers- a lot of Churches have flower ladies who like to arrange flowers in the church for your wedding at a small charge, my tip would be try take a look at arrangements in the church they have done, some churches create beautiful arrangements and some not so, and they don’t always make things to suit your colour scheme. We have had times where brides have asked us hide or move any other flowers in the church. Most churches are beautiful enough and don’t need loads of decorating, and your only there for a small part of the day, so loads of flowers are not essential, but for me I do want to have more than most. The marriage itself is so special and having photos of that moment mean a lot to me, so I would like flowers to be in every shot, as they mean so much to me to. It is a create opportunity to get some different floral church ideas in our portfolio and the wedding snob in me to wants the first impression to impress, as I think quite a few guests and non guests will be looking out more for the flowers than me in my dress!
Examples of bridal bouquets we have made.
I’m sure many of you are like me and look at Pinterest and have the dream wedding, but budget and practicality you’re not going to be able to have it. Often couples come in with what we call a Pinterest wedding, showing us extravagance high end table centres from celebrities jammed packed full with roses and hydrangeas and hanging orchids (which all three are among the top end flowers) which would be around £500 a table. My favourite celebrity floral dream is Dec from Ant and Dec’s HUGE stunning arch at his church wedding.
Source: Daily Mail
I’m not saying don’t show your florist theses photo’s as it’s good to for us the florist to see the looks you love and then show you more budget friendly options. Budget, the dreaded word throughout wedding planning, the most common questions we are asked is ‘how much do wedding flowers cost? How much should we budget?’ it is a question with so many variables which makes answering the question very hard. The price will depend on the amount of guests you have, a wedding of 60 will need half the amount of table centres to a wedding of 120. A couple with the 60 guests might want large table centres costing £150 a table whereas the couple with a 120 guest might just want simple table centres for £40 and vice versa. Some brides may have one bridesmaid others could have double figures. You might want lots of flowers in the church or at the ceremony or wanted extras in the venue such as hanging hoops or flowers to decorate different areas. Taking that all in to consideration, we have couples who spend £300 and some who spend £10,000 plus I would say our average couple spends £1500-£2000. You have to remember wedding flowers are not the same as walking into a shop and having a gift bouquet put together. Wedding flowers uses different often time consuming techniques, along with the more expensive flowers. A florist has to spend time, with you as a couple in your consultation, time on putting your quote and ideas together, endless emails, time to work out your flower count, ordering your flowers, conditioning your flowers, arranging your flowers (which often results in bringing in more staff) loading your flowers up, delivering them and setting them out at your venue, collecting any hire items and then cleaning them. Flowers in general themselves have gone up so much in price, and we have been told to expect them to go even higher with Brexit, we will be celebrating our 10th year owning the florist in July and the price difference is huge compared to what we use to pay, so this has affected wedding flower costs. Weddings have changed, people care about the look, they have become style savvy, people are spending more on the décor and flowers, our average couple three years ago would have spent £700-1000. I think this is mostly down to social media and blogs, and part of me likes to think because we have worked hard to get a good name for ourselves in the wedding industry. It is often easier for the florist if you let them know your budget for your flowers then they can suggest ways of maximising it, and save you and them time. You don’t want to choose things that will result in your quote coming out at £3000 and you have a budget of £1500. As florist’s we like to suggest ideas of saving money for you, for example, if you have a ceremony table you want flowers on, use this flowers again on your top table. Don’t let your bridesmaid just put their bouquet on the side somewhere to die, as if flowers are not in water you wouldn’t believe they won’t be looking their best by the end of the day, have vases with water in them for your bridesmaids to place them in and use them to decorate areas such as your top table, cake table, present table etc.. If you want large church/ceremony arrangements see if anyone could move them to the venue for you. My advice would be maximise your budget at your venue rather than your church/ceremony as you’re going to spend so much more time there.
How to find the right florist for you, firstly research local florists, ask if your venue recommend any or friends that have got married. Follow them on social media and get a feel for their work, make sure what they put on is actually their work there is too many companies and not just florist that take photos from others and don’t source them, so it looks like they have made it. Book consultations with a few, its best to book an appointment so they right florist has time to spend with you, if you just turn up at the shop, they may already be in an appointment or the person who takes wedding consultation has a day off. You’ll instantly get a feel from how your consultation goes, whether the florist could be your wedding florist. When you get your quote remember the cheapest doesn’t mean the best you’re paying for quality, and trust in the florist they will replicate the look you want, as they won’t be able to make replicas up for you too first without you paying for them. We get booked up 18-12months in advanced for weddings so it’s never too early to start thinking about flowers, even if you find the florist you love and pay the deposit to secure your date you then have plenty of time to choose and finalise your wedding flowers.
Examples of our floral work.
I hope this has been helpful from a florist views, if you have any questions or need some advice do not hesitate to email me firstname.lastname@example.org and if you want some inspiration give our shop a follow on Instagram @swaffhamflorist
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