#1 Will your flowers be available on your wedding day?
Check which flowers are in season when you are getting married. Often brides have an idea of what they would like, but are unaware of the seasonality of specific flowers. Check this with your florist ASAP. Chances are you'll be fine but if your flowers are very season-specific, you need to know in advance. If you've always dreamt of having peonies but are planning to say 'I do' in December, you may need to change your key bloom - or your wedding date!
#2 How will your flowers cope with being out of water?
Steer clear of fragile flowers (no matter how pretty they are!) as they may look fabulous when you walk down the aisle but by the time the speeches come round, they will be wilting. All flowers need water, but some cope without it better and for longer than others, so it’s just something to be aware of.
Hydrangeas are absolutely beautiful and often a popular bouquet flower but the risk of them dropping in the sun is high and they do love their water. Maybe leave them for the table arrangements and stick with lovely roses or peonies for your bouquet. There are so many hundreds of different varieties, there is sure to be a rose to suit everyone and they will serve you well throughout the day. Wild flowers are an option - just check with your florist which will stand the test of time on the big day.
#3 All flowers have meanings, so if you’re into symbolism, choose wisely!
The language of flowers, or floriography, is a whole system of symbols, whereby each flower stands for a different emotion or message. It first came about in the Victorian times but the remnants of it are still around today. Everyone knows the red rose stands for romantic love and the yellow one for friendship, but the floral alphabet extends far deeper than that!
For example, the humble daisy signifies loyal love, the cornflower refinement, and the Dahila dignity and elegance. You don’t have to know all of them but having an idea in mind of what your bouquet means and choosing some flowers for their special meaning will give your bouquet even more of a personal touch. Rumor has it Kate Middleton’s bouquet was riddled with secret, flowery significance!
#4 Shape, colour and size = the holy trinity!
When talking to your florist, make sure you're clear about the shape, size and colours of your bouquet. Colour-wise, if you see any roses on the day that you like, take photos and flag them up with your florist. There are hundreds of shades of different pink, purple, orange, blue, green and even white flowery tones and it is important to make sure you get the one you want.
If you have any ribbon or a swatch from your dress of even a bridesmaid’s dress that you can leave with the florist that is always a great help when matching up colours. The shape and size of your bouquet is often down to personal choice but take along a picture of your dress and ask your florist if they think the style of bouquet you like will suit you look.
If you are petite, I would advise against an over-sized bouquet and vice-versa if you are taller. Likewise, if you have a knee length dress, a teardrop bouquet may not be right for you, whereas it would be perfect for a longer, fish-tail style dress.
5. A little tip for the big day itself!
When the hairdressers have left, you’ve been fastened into your gown and you are standing waiting for the car to arrive, just take a second to pause before you pick up your wedding bouquet. This is perhaps a job for your bridesmaids or mum, but we always advise that if the bouquet has been sitting in a small jug of water while you are getting ready, to make sure it is taken out of the water and the stems patted down with kitchen roll to absorb any drops of water before you hold it.
The last thing you want when you are ready to walk down the aisle is for water from the stems to drip and create a wet patch on your dress!