Tips & Trends
In this section we have brought together advice, tips and current wedding trends to inspire and help you.
Pricing for Weddings & Events
When choosing flowers for your event or wedding, many people often don’t realise that different flowers and styles may vary hugely in price, so it’s almost impossible to give an ‘average’ price or quote.
We like to do things a little differently-
Instead of you contacting us for a quote, we love it if you contact us with a budget and a general idea of what you’d like.
We then work out what we can do for you within that budget, to give you the very best value for your money, plus we might be able to suggest some other cost cutting ideas.
This way of working ensures that you receive a totally unique and personalised flower quote based on what you can afford and want to spend.
We’ll then work with you to tweak and finalise your order until you are 100% happy.
Contact Nikki on 01273 301813 for a consultation- no pressure and no obligation.
Mad about roses
Roses remain one of the most popular choices for weddings- they originated in China but are now grown in most parts of the world. There are 100s of different varieties and they come in most colours (except true black and blue/purple). Some are scented like a lot of the garden varieties, particularly the David Austin ‘Patience’ ( buttermilk in colour) and ‘Keira’ (vintage pink) but also roses such as ‘Jacaranda’, ‘Sterling Silver,’ ‘Extase,’ ‘Ritz,’ ‘Norma Jean’ and the very popular ‘Margaret Merrill’ spray roses.
Some of my favourite ‘vintage style’ roses are:-
- ‘Cezanne’ – which is a bi-coloured cream and pink rose.
- ‘Amnesia’ – a very popular antique, lilac toned rose
- ‘Carousel’ – large headed cream, green and deep pink edged rose.
- ‘Peppermint’ – palest pink and light green in colour
- ‘Vendela’ – champagne coloured rose (cream with a peachy pink blush)
- ‘Old Dutch’ – antique lilac coloured green under petals
- ‘Metalina’ – subtly coloured cream/silver with flecks of pink
- ‘Little Silver’ – vintage lilac/lavender spray roses
- ‘Miranda’ – rose pink.
- ‘Juliet’ – peach- stunning!
- Hypnose’ – lavender coloured
- ‘Patience’ – buttermilk.
- ‘Quick Sand’ – creamy beige.
- ‘Memory Lane’ – dusky pink with lavender hues.
To obtain the vintage look, mix some of these roses with other English country blooms such as big blousy peonies (they come in lovely shades of pink, buttery cream and apricot), scented garden stocks, phlox, wax flowers or astrantia. Team them with herbs such as rosemary, sage, mint or alchemilla mollis foliage. Ask your florist for unstructured designs with a “just picked” from the garden look.
The best red roses are:
- ‘Grand Prix’ – deep, rich ruby red with a large flower head and petal count
- ‘Red Naomi!’ – large flower head and lightly fragrant.
- ‘Passion’ – medium sized flower head – bright red
- ‘Freedom’ – pure and clear bright red rose- long lasting
- ‘Black Baccara’ – darkest red, with velvety petals
- ‘Black Magic’ – dark garnet red, strong stems.
The best Ivory/white roses are:
- ‘Avalanche’ – stunning large headed ivory rose with green tinged under petals
- ‘Akito’ – small headed off white roses ( no rose is pure white)
- ‘F White’ and ‘Bianca’ – are medium sized ivory/white roses
- ‘Maroussia’ – medium/large flower heads ivory with a creamy centre.
- ‘Norma Jean’ – large headed, strong stemmed and scented ivory rose
How do I go about finding a wedding florist?
- Search the internet, you’ll find lots in your area- lookout for websites you like to get a glimpse for their work/style before you make an appointment.
- Wedding fairs are a good place to meet different florists and view their work
- Look through local wedding magazines for adverts you like the look of, then phone and organize a consultation (normally free) and view their portfolio.
- Ask your married friends.
help! I need inspiration; I’m getting married at the end of October next year and have no idea what flowers to choose. We are having a church ceremony and our reception is in a marquee.
Well, autumn is a wonderful time of the year and is as good a place as any to draw inspiration from, there is an abundance of seed heads, grasses, berries, fruits as well as flowers to choose from. Rich earthy colour scheme of deep reds, rusts, with brown berries (hypericum) and a hint of gold would work well.
I’d like my bridesmaids to have flowers in their hair, I have two adult bridesmaids and a 6 year old flower girl, can you give me some ideas?
For the adults you could choose a flower from their bouquet, ask your florist to wire them onto a comb or individually. If they are wearing their hair up, a single bloom or comb will look really elegant tucked into the side of their hair. If they have long hair and are wearing it down then lots of smaller single flowers like rosebuds, small orchids or even daisies look informal and fun.
For your flower girl, head circlets are popular at the moment and are particularly suitable for young children, they are light and comfortable to wear.
I’m getting married in December and would really like to have lily of the valley and scented garden roses in my bouquet, is this possible?
Yes, lily of the valley like stephanotis are grown under glass all year round in Holland and the scented garden roses are grown in Kenya, there are two main growers we use, ‘David Austin’ and the ‘Real flower Company’-Some of the roses available are:-
- ‘Blue moon’ which is lilac in colour and is lightly scented.
- ‘Margaret Merrill’ is an ivory spray rose with a pink blush, it has a strong scent.
- ‘Miranda’ has large blooms of rose pink coloured flowers and a fruity fragrance.
There are many others.
The scented roses mix perfectly with other cottage garden foliages and herbs, like Lavender, rosemary, fennel, mint and jasmine- rosemary and jasmine are available in December.
Garden roses may be more expensive than other roses as is lily of the valley (natural season is May).
Wedding bouquet style and shape
The shape and style of your bridal bouquet will generally be determined by your wedding dress, your body shape and your personal style.
There are 4 basic shaped bouquets:-
The trailing ‘shower’ bouquet – these tend to be the most expensive (because of the time, skill and amount of flowers needed.) They best suit a formal wedding and full/large skirted dress. They can be heavy to carry. Make sure your florist shows you how to hold this bouquet – important with all wedding bouquets, but especially with this type.
The ‘teardrop’ bouquet is a neat and compact version of the shower bouquet and is a ‘teardrop’ shape (wide at the top, tapering to a point.) These will suit both an elaborate grand wedding dress as well as a more structured contemporary gown.
The ‘over-arm’ or ‘freestyle’ bouquet tends to suit tall slender brides and modern sleek gowns. They work best with orchids, (phalaenopsis, vandas or cymbidiums) and callas lilies. They are simple, stylish and understated. If you have a detailed dress you may wish not to carry your bouquet in front on you – so this type would be a good option for you as it is held to the side of your body in the crook of your arm.
The ‘hand tied’ bouquet (a circular, domed posy) suits most dress styles and body types. It is the most popular choice for brides, it photographs well (from all angles) and is easy to carry.
Some points to remember:-
- Bouquets are made specifically for you; they can be made in different sizes.
- Any colours can be used in your bouquet, (though not all flowers are suitable for all bouquet styles) generally the colour of the bridesmaid dress is incorporated in your bouquet.
- Consider the time of year when you are getting married and where possible stick to seasonal flowers.
- Decide if fragrant flowers are important to you.
- Remember that there are no hard and fast rules and a good florist will be able to guide you and suggest ways of using your favourite flowers/colours and interpret your ideas.
- Don’t worry about white flowers on white dresses disappearing. The foliage will help your bouquet to be more visible against your dress without stealing the show. White flowers are always a classic and very stylish choice and will never look dated.
- Decide if you want your flowers to look formal, informal, romantic or contemporary.
Please see ‘the meaning of flowers’ also in this section.
Meaning of flowers
Alstromeria – devotion
Aster – symbol of love
Bluebell – forgive and forget
Broom – humility
Campanula – gratitude
Carnation – fascination
Chrysanthemums – love (yellow- distain)
Daffodil – chivalry
Forget-me-nots – enduring love (the key to my heart)
Freesia – friendship
Gerbera – innocence
Gardenia – ecstasy
Gentiana – loveliness
Hyacinth – playfulness
Ivy – fidelity
Jasmine – grace
Lavender – devotion
Lily – pure & modest
Lily-of-the-valley – beauty
Orchid – elegance
Pansy – loving thoughts
Ranunculas – radiant
Rosemary – remembrance
Red rose – eternal love
Pink rose – beauty & grace
Yellow rose – friendship
White rose – innocence
Sage – virtue
Snowdrop – hope
Tulip – beautiful eyes
Zantedeschia (calla lily) – magnificent beauty
Trends and ideas for 2010
A wedding is a once in a lifetime event, celebrating your commitment and love for each other, your chance to shine and show your style – Your one day in the limelight.
Like all major events a wedding takes planning, so hopefully you’ve done the saving and decided upon a budget. You then need to prioritise,
If flowers are important to you, then a rough guide of what you need to spend is between 10 and 15% of your total budget.
Approximately a year before your wedding date you will need to start looking for a florist. A good place to begin is the internet, using one of the search engines to find florists in your particular area. Have a look at their work; remember style varies greatly, as does experience and knowledge.
Do some research before booking a consultation, and make sure the photos you see on their websites are work they have actually done and not just stock photos. Ask how many weddings they did the year before – Normally this is a good indication of experience.
It is always good to get a couple of quotes and speak to a few different florists – When you find one whose work you like and you trust, then you will need to pay a booking fee to secure their services for your date.
If you are on a very restricted budget let your florist know, they should do their best to make suggestions. You could consider doing some of your wedding flowers yourself, but keep it simple. Maybe hire some tall elegant vases and add a few top quality calla lilies or a couple of stems of tall oriental lilies with some grasses and a light scattering of fresh rose petals for your reception tables.
Remember that like all fresh produce, flowers are graded, supermarket flowers are fine for your kitchen table but not for your wedding flowers! Go to a good florist and order best quality flowers- you really do get what you pay for.
Nikki will be holding another ‘Wedding Day Workshop’ early next year; contact us to book a place if you’d like to come along and learn how to plan and create some of your own wedding flowers. We will also give ideas and advice on decorating your ceremony and reception venues. Workshops are for absolute beginners, and classes are small and informal
Flowers available in spring
Lily of the Valley- late May
Prunus (flowering cherry blossom)
Flowers available in winter
Flowers available in summer
Peony (May and June)
Flowers available in autumn
Colours:- green and deep pink
Various colours. Available all year. Long lasting.
Purple & white, popular in vases and tall arrangements.
Various colours. Lovely in fish bowls
Various colours, the black being very popular. Expensive
Red, green, orange & pink. Looks like coral, very tactile.
White & pink in colour
Various colours, expensive in Summer. Long lasting.
Available in pinks, white & Green.
Thistles, available in blues.
Various colours, available all Year. Scented.
Various colours, some dyed.
White & pink. All year
Various colours, best for large arrangements.
Various colours. All year. scented
Various colours. All year
Moth orchid. White, pinks & green. Expensive .
Various colours. All year. Some scented
Huge range of colours available, they are very popular and an economical choice.
Trends & Tips ‘08
Large gold fish bowls of gloriosa, orchids or gerberas with grasses or willow – very minimal chic and perfect for popular modern venues. From £15
Lots of candles- they can be colour coordinated to your wedding, or scented, and are an inexpensive way to add a magical feel and bring a festive air to any event. From £1.29
Rose petals, fresh or preserved – everywhere:
- down aisles
- scattered around vases
- as a runner along a top table
- for flower girls in lovely silk bags
- in cones for guests
- strings of rose petals threaded on coloured ribbon tied to chair backs or cascading form mantelpieces.
Mocha coloured bridesmaids dresses, a very versatile and easy to wear colour, fits in well with a vintage look ,(£80 from www.bhs.co.uk ); Stunning with deep red (Grand Prix) roses.
Giant martini glass vases of seasonal scented flowers- beautiful for summer weddings and garden parties. From £65
Top tables covered in an over lay of shimmering ivory organza with ivy or jasmine garlands, a very fairytale/ romantic look. From £35
Three foot tall table candelabra decked with vintage roses, like ‘Old Dutch’ and ‘Metallina’ with hydrangeas and lots of trailing jasmine and ivy foliage, gives a very vintage look- £60. Use the same flowers in your bouquets, maybe adding pearls to complete the look.
Where possible try and stay with seasonal flowers- better for the environment, more economical for you. And in the future you will always be reminded of the season and your wedding day when you come across your chosen blooms.
Invite your dog! you can get a full floral collar made for him or just a few flowers on organza ribbon. From £10.
Ask your florist to use light reflecting mirrors under your table flowers, this gives a more dramatic effect.
Add accent colours to your reception tables by tying coloured organza or silk ribbon around your napkins or the tiers of your cake. A 10 metre reel of ribbon will do about 15 to 20 napkins.
Decorate the top of your wedding cake with hand made chocolates.
Use preserved or fresh rose petals as a top table runner.
Mirrored vases- very contemporary, available from us to buy or hire.
When booking a venue ask about ‘mid week packages’ you may get a better deal.
If flowers are included in your hotel package consider upgrading them – speak to the florist, don’t just give your colours to the coordinator.
If you have an allergy or are getting married abroad look into using preserved flowers instead of fresh, they look and feel just like the real thing and last indefinitely. Preserved bouquets from us are from £60.00, button holes from £4.50. contact us for more details.