No idea where to begin with choosing your wedding flowers? These pointers for fuss-free florals will help - promise!
The three key factors to begin with...
1. Your budget
Knowing how much you have to spend from the off is key to choosing your wedding flowers - and will also spare you heartache when you realise you might not be able to drench your celebration in those endless peonies you originally imagined.
On the subject of money: don’t be put-off if your florist asks how much you have to spend on your blooms. As Liz Inigo Jones, founder of Blue Sky Flowers, explains: “The whole point of telling your florist your budget is they can then best judge where you should concentrate the focal flowers, where you can reuse displays and what you don’t really need. With this information, they can then pitch their proposal correctly rather than underwhelming you!”
Also: unless the price seems bafflingly high, don’t assume you’re being ripped off – a lot more goes into your wedding flowers than you might think. Says Lindsey Hunter, founder of Get Knotted: “Your florist will provide you with quotes that take into account the time spent on design, conditioning, arranging, on-site styling - and it can all
quickly add up!”
Image: Marianne Chua
2. Your venue
Knowing what kind of space you are working with will allow you to picture how things will look: where the floral chandelier you have your heart set on will hang, say, or where you’ll position the flower arch you want to swap your vows under. If your venue has preferred suppliers, you’ll be working with someone who already knows the space well. Ask to see photos from weddings previously held at the venue and seeif there are any clever uses of ceilings, walls or other decorative areas you can incorporate into your day.
3. The season
Whilst the assortments on display in your local supermarket might lead you to believe otherwise, the flowers that will be affordably available on your wedding day will most likely depend on the season you’re marrying in. Says Lindsey: “Flowers that are out of season will be a lot more expensive, and often lack quality: for example, flower heads could be smaller”. Liz agrees: “In-season flowers look better, feel more natural and will probably be cheaper, too”.
Image: The Cablook Fotolab; flowers by Bianco Weddings
✿ Then... Pick a florist you gel with
Choosing a florist who you like and can communicate with easily will make things a lot simpler - as with your other suppliers, rapport is key! Create a shortlist of maybes and find as many examples of their work as possible, from shots they’re tagged in on social media by happy customers to galleries on their website. Then, arrange an initial face-to-face chat or Skype session to discuss your needs and requirements.
✿ Listen to them!
You’re probably brimming over with ideas for what you want but don’t forget to listen to your florist. They know what they’re doing! “Chances are they’ve worked somewhere similar to your venue before,” advises Liz. “And at the very least, they’ll have seen endless other different ideas at other weddings they’ve worked on”.
Image: Claire Graham Photography
✿ Think local
“Try to buy British - and locally grown - if you can,” recommends Liz. “It’s a bit like organic food: yes, it might cost a bit more but your flowers will be super-fresh and gorgeous, and you’ll feel good for doing it.”
✿ Don't fall in love with an online dream
Whilst the Internet is undeniably an incredible source of inspiration for your wedding (#duh), the sheer volume of ideas that are just a few clicks away can feel a little overwhelming. From that unbelievable flower-covered ceiling ( just how?) you spotted on Instagram to the 353 - not that you’re counting - ideas you have saved on your Pinterest board, it’s far too easy to fallin love with ideas that can be unrealistic or unattainable. Appreciate those stunning images - without necessarily craving them for your own celebration.
✿ FYI, petal perfection doesn't exist
“Flowers are natural,” says Lindsey. “Know in advance that on your wedding day, they might not be perfectly uniform, or even the exact same colours.” However, don’t let this bother you: it’s part of their natural beauty.
✿ And finally...
You probably haven’t thought about what you’d like to do with your precious fleurs after your wedding day. However, it can pay to give it some thought early on – as well as being one extra thing crossed off your wedmin to-do list, it will also give you time to make decisions.
Do you want to preserve your bouquet? Will you offer guests the opportunity to take the tablecentres home? Planning ahead will mean there will be no last-minute on-the-day worries - meaning you can spend more time enjoying your flowers and less time worrying about them.