There’s more to wedding flowers than just picking out some beautiful buds and choosing a colour scheme, we asked two top London florists for their advice on creating a fairy-tale floral display for your big day
Wedding flowers serve as so much more than simply decoration, they help to tell your story as a couple, and are a great way to set the mood and tone for the day, so it’s important that planning your scheme isn’t an after thought. It’s a good idea to start a conversation with your chosen florist at least six months before the big day, sharing details of your venue and tablescaping plans, as well as your colour palette and what you’ll be wearing, so that they can help you to create a complementary scheme – having plenty of time to work out exactly what you want will ensure that the process is stress free and more importantly fun, too. We asked the experts for their tips on creating the sort of beautiful botanical display that will be remembered, and talked about, for years to come.
Not sure where to begin? “A mood board is a great place to start,” suggests master florist at Blooming Haus Michal Kowalski. Mood boards allow you to gather inspiration, helping you to better picture how things might look and feel; visit New Covent Garden Flower Market and take snaps of any blooms that take your fancy, flick through magazines tearing out anything that catches your eye and pin things you like on social media. But be careful, Anoma Radkevitch, director of Bloomsbury Flowers warns – this stage is about exploring elements and colours to discover what you like, not merely replicating what others have done. “Try not to copy other people, rather find your own authenticity. You have your own personality; try to express that through the flowers,” she advises.
With colours and styles picked out, next consider where you want the flowers and in what quantities. “Consider the venue: what does it need to bring out its best?” Anoma advises. A huge baronial hall, for example, will accommodate something a little more dramatic than an intimate private dining room. “Think about the sort of impact you’re looking to create, this will play a part in the height and size of your arrangements.”
Deciding on the location of your arrangements comes next – typically this might be at the entrance to the ceremony room, along the aisle, in spaces where you plan to take photographs, and on the tables and bar in the reception area. As well as the bridal bouquet you might also want personal arrangements for bridesmaids, groomsmen and the core bridal party. But there are no hard and fast rules – this is your day. “Fresh flowers can be expensive, but it is possible to be budget conscious. Focus on some key areas; flowers don’t need to be everywhere,” Michal suggests. Categorising each element as either a ‘must have’ or a ‘nice to have’ will be helpful in making these decisions.
And what of the flowers themselves? “We find that roses, peonies and dahlia are ever popular; we like to arrange them in an English country garden style with lots of foliage and fillers, not just blooms,” Anoma tells us. “We try to encourage wedding flowers in other colours but white is still very on trend.” Michal agrees that roses, a traditional symbol of love, are a classic for weddings, thanks to their colours and scent, but he has some more unusual suggestions. “I love butterfly ranunculus because it’s very light, textured, and long-lasting, with a porcelain finish. And sweet peas give a sense of fun, with soft undertones and a subtle fragrance.” Both florists agree that choosing something seasonal is a good idea where possible – the flowers will almost certainly look better and cost less.
Once you’re armed with your ideas, it’s time to find a florist who shares your vision and can make it work in your space. It’s probably worth speaking to a few before making any decisions, as everyone has their own style.
TAKE 5: FLORAL FANCIES
Looking for inspiration? The team at Blooming Haus reveal the styles that they think will be huge this wedding season
- HIGH OCTANE COLOUR
This particular trend is towards flowers artfully arranged in colour-blocking ombres. This will play into the trend for long table runners, standout centrepieces and bridal bouquets with a twist, perfect for that summer wedding to remember.
- SUPER-ABUNDANT FRUIT
Increasingly, potted fruiting plants and trees are being used in floral installations and are offering an alternative to cut flowers as the centrepiece for a table design. Fruit not only brings a big bright hit of colour and texture but can also bring an aromatic fragrance to an event.
- GROUNDED INSTALLATIONS
Low set displays that help to anchor the aisle and ensure all eyes are on the couple as they exchange their vows are increasingly in demand. These floral structures are typically made up of low-level floral arrangements to help defi ne a ceremony space.
- FLORAL SET DESIGN
In an Instagram age, hosts are increasingly mindful to ensure they provide their guests with a beautiful floral area where they can be photographed. Creating unique and breath-taking backdrops for photographs is high on the list of wedding and event organisers.
- THE PETITE BOUQUET
Gone are the days of oversized Princess Diana boho-style bouquets, following the fashion trend for petite, expertly designed bags from luxury brands such as Chloe, Bottega Veneta and Jacquemus, we are seeing a move towards downsizing the bridal bouquet.