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tiara | flowers

Forever Floral

Having trouble deciding on your big day flowers? Read these top tips and ideas from a few of our favourite expert florists

Suzy Bowers from Cariad Designs on the most important of all bouquets. Where do we start? Deciding on the design of the bridal gown first is extremely important, as a bouquet should really enhance the dress. If your gown has skirt details or sweeping folds for example, you may not want a shower bouquet that covers it. In the same way, if you’ve decided on a theme, vintage for example, you may want to use a softer flower, or simple bouquet style that complements it.

Bridal Bouquet

More brides are going for a ‘natural garden’ themed bouquet.

What’s popular at the moment? Recently we’ve noticed more of our brides going for the ‘natural garden’ look. By using a variety flowers such as roses, freesias, lisianthus and lavender, and then adding garden foliage such as rosemary and eucalyptus, we can create that ‘just gathered from the garden’ look. There has also been an increase in the traditional shower bouquet, which is always a joy for us to design and make as it allows us to use our full range of floristry skills. Any unique ideas? Each bouquet that we create is tailor made for our brides. It’s always lovely to add something special to the design, such as a brooch given to the bride by her grandmother, or a piece of lace worn by the bride’s mother on her own wedding day, carefully woven into the bouquet.

Mementos can be added to bridal bouquets, such as special lace wrapped around the stems.


Fresh flower accessories are a unique twist on traditional bouquets

Button Holes

Sharon Bainbridge-Clayton from Alison Bentley Flowers on your bridesmaid blooms. Where do we start? It’s important to get the colour and style of the dresses sorted first, and also to decide on what colours and flowers are being used in the bridal bouquet. It’s nice to incorporate the colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses into their flowers, or complement the shade by using similar hues. What’s popular at the moment? We’re seeing a lot of smaller, traditional hand-tied bridesmaids’ bouquets at the moment, though our wired flower designs, which are carried over the wrist almost like a handbag, have been popular too.

Bridesmaid flowers are great for experimenting with design


Any unique ideas? If you want to go for something a bit different, then the bridesmaids’ flowers are a great way to do it. We create a lot of wired, structured designs that are very contemporary and edgy, including floral jewellery pieces like cuffs, necklaces, hairpieces, belts and sashes, made from wirework, greenery, beads and fresh flowers.

Nicola Hopkins and Sarah Gibbs from Budding Designs on the best buttonholes Where do we start? Buttonholes are a huge part of any wedding day as they feature in most of the Traditional rose buttonholes can be kept photographs. We always classic or funked up with bling. recommend that the groom’s buttonhole is totally unique compared with the rest of the wedding party, and it’s also traditional for his buttonhole to match the main flower of the bride’s bouquet. Choosing a flower that will last all day is also important, as some may wilt more quickly than others. What’s popular at the moment? Calla lilies are a popular flower at the moment as they’re available all year round, in a wide range of fantastic colours. Roses are always a favourite too, and we can make them look funky by introducing a hint of bling, or keep them traditional with a folded green leaf. Any unique ideas? We love being creative with buttonholes, and have recently used mini cymbidium orchids to make stunning, funky designs. Freesias or lisianthus can be made small or large to suit individual tastes, though most flowers can be made into something unique, by adding ribbon, diamanté, or unusual foliage and grasses.

tiara | flowers

Kay Lunn, from Deacon’s Florist on getting your ceremony flowers just right. Where do we start? Couples firstly need to consider the size of their chosen venue and any colours or themes already decided on. I would advise, whatever the budget, that you have flowers to create a welcome. We suggest an arrangement as a focal point plus a few strategically placed designs that all say ‘there’s a wedding taking place’.


2011 Trends SINGLE FLOWER One trend I think we’ll be seeing a lot of more of next season is the use of a single flower en masse. This can be a great way to create a dramatic bouquet, using one colour such as cream or deep ivory, with some elegant greenery. With more vintage themed weddings taking place, soft, romantic flowers in pastel shades mixed with herbs will also become very popular. Diane King, Aspirations Florists

What’s popular at the moment? Our business is situated in the heart of the Wye Valley, so country and vintage looks are still very popular with Traditional themes can be kept weddings at the nearby castles, original by using unusual props manor houses and ancient in the arrangement monuments. Contemporary arrangements at hotel weddings have been popular, as well as vintage themes using David Austen roses. These are especially popular at marquee weddings, where we have a blank canvas to work with. Any unique ideas? We like to use glassware for the ceremony that gives a clean, modern look. However, should the chosen theme be more traditional, we like to use floral china, or local hand-crafted ironwork in our arrangements to create a look that’s really unique.


Ceremony flowers can create a stylish welcome

Reception Claire Jones from The Bee Orchid on creating original reception arrangements. Where do we start? It’s important for me to get to know my customers first, so I can then help them stamp their personality all over their day. The more information you can bring to a consultation the better, such as swatches or a small scrapbook or storyboard, but flicking through magazines with you to see what you do and don’t like will help me conjure up ideas too. What’s popular at the moment? I’ve been doing a lot of statement, ‘wow factor’ arrangements for weddings recently. Despite tough economic times, people still want to go all out on their wedding, so we’ve been doing lovely tall arrangements for the tables, plus incorporating birdcages, teapots, and candelabras for themed weddings.

‘Wow factor’ reception arrangements can still be elegant

Any unique ideas? At a recent wedding I filled glasses with fresh cut limes for the tables – the smell of the room was gorgeous. Arrangements of oriental lilies and foliage in my oversized martini glasses look amazing too. A nice touch is to put little LEDs in the bottom of the centrepieces, because you don’t notice them much in the day, then they really glow in the night and give the room a different feel. Where possible, I try to keep the flowers in bunches or small pots within the arrangement, so that they can be given out as gifts at the end of the night.

Something I’m hoping to see more of in 2011 are brave brides choosing strong colours. People have a tendency to ‘match’ their flowers to the rest of the wedding, but doing the opposite can make a huge impact. One of my favourite weddings that we have done this year used a mix of cerise, orange and yellow gerberas, with hints of lime green, while the bridesmaids wore navy blue. The groomsmen had buttonholes in mixed coloured gerberas too, and it all looked so striking. This theme is also great for brides on a budget, as you create such an impact with the colours that fewer flowers are actually needed. Stephanie Eynon, Bettys Florists

FLORIST CONTACTS Alison Bentley Flowers Aspirations Florists The Bee Orchid Bettys Florists Budding Designs Cariad Designs Deacon’s Florist



Any unique ideas? If you want to go for something a bit different, then the bridesmaids’ flowers are a great way to do it. We create a lot o...