Can you pick a beautiful bouquet within half a mile of your house?
If you are a regular reader you will know that I adore flowers. If you aren’t a regular reader then my goodness you have been missing out.
After a few emails with Tracey Cambpell of Campbells Flowers, I told her about my interest in sourcing local flowers where possible. Just as we now try and do with our food. I have touched on this topic here. Tracey said:
A couple of weeks ago, I answered a ‘call to arms’ from one of the wedding magazines to send in photos of an all white bridal bouquet and the editor would choose her five favourites for publication. As luck would have it, my car broke down the day I was heading to the market for white flowers, so I thought laterally and decided to showcase my ‘just picked’ design style. I used materials which were either from my garden or picked within a half-mile radius of where I live. I took inspiration from hedgerows, grass verges and cadged flowers from my neighbours.
The bouquet wasn’t chosen, sadly, but I do think that perhaps the glossies are missing a bit of a trick here. Not everyone wants ‘corporate’ looking flowers and certainly I’m finding that I have a very loyal and fast-growing following of Brides who are looking for pretty, delicate, seasonal flowers which evoke a sense of the English countryside and reflect their more relaxed styling.
I have an absolute passion for seasonal flowers and, as a keen gardener, love the idea of growing your own or gathering flowers for your wedding. With brides generally setting the date, booking their venue and organising the styling of their day around a year in advance – this really can be quite achievable.
A word of caution though, as we’ve seen this year, the British weather is notoriously fickle so I’d advise always having a back-up plan. I had a Bride, who is herself a wedding supplier, get in touch for some help a couple of weeks ago – she had been growing sweet peas for her wedding and they were still in bud with under a week to go and no prospect of the sunshine they needed. We managed to find her some and, happily they were English, but it really helped that she’s a very chilled lady and wasn’t too stressed at the immediate prospect of no flowers!
If you are going to grow your own flowers in your garden and put them together yourself for your wedding, there are a few things you need to think carefully about first. Achieving a ‘just picked’ look does require a little bit of understanding, creativity and oddly enough, artifice!
Tip: Decide exactly which flowers you want in your bouquet well in advance. A good bouquet contains flowers of different colours, tones, shapes, forms, sizes and textures. Think opposites next to each other ie fluffy next to smooth, pointy next to round, pale next to bright, tiny next to intermediate or big flowers. Most of my bouquets have at least 5 different types of flower in them, this helps achieve a good visual balance and that soft, delicate style you’re looking for.
Tip: Think about the count-down to your wedding and where you’re going to be on the days leading up to it. Making your own bouquet requires quite a lot of planning and commitment. You will need to cut your flowers two to three days before your wedding and they will need to sit in water to drink properly for at least 24 hours before you work with them. I usually make up my Bridal designs the afternoon before the wedding – but some things like wrist corsages or buttonholes can benefit from being made at the last minute. Bear in mind that freshly manicured nails and floristry don’t mix. I made my own bouquet when I got married a couple of years ago, but once I’d had my nails done the afternoon before my wedding, didn’t go near a flower again!
Tip: Consider getting a bit of help in advance, most florists offer workshops and one-to-one training classes these days. If you’re really confident, that’s great but you might want to think about having an experienced florist show you how beforehand. I offer some tutorials on my YouTube channel but always recommend a practice run – most people wouldn’t consider making their own wedding cake a couple of days before their big day, especially if they hadn’t ever baked before!
Enjoy all that your garden can give you but be sure you know which flowers you can safely pick from hedgerows and grass verges – we have quite a number of endangered flowers in this country which are protected and it’s essential that their habitat is retained. If you’d like any advice with putting together your own wedding designs, don’t hesitate to get in touch, I’d be more than happy to help.
The answer to the first question, is yes you can. So off we go? Trug in hand. This approach to wedding flowers is perfect for the DIY bride but as Tracey said, a workshop or two would help.
Main Image Credit – Have a look at this meadow!