Wedding flowers 101 | It’s all in the details

I popped down to London yesterday for some meetings and the book launch of Home for Now (more on that next week), and took some time to check out the capital’s bounty of haberdashery shops. I found so much inspiration; I was like a kid in a sweet shop. I limited myself to a collection of ribbons in whites, ivory, nude, dusty pink and gold, and a few lovely linens to use as table cloths and runners.

the cloth shop

I highly recommend The Cloth House on Berwick Street in Soho (there’s two in the same street) – it is stuffed full of gorgeous things like ribbons, trimmings, fabrics, buttons… basically everything you need for personalising your wedding style. You’ll be in heaven if you’re a magpie like me!

the cloth house londonTrimmings are a great way to personalise your wedding flowers and the overall styling of your day. They really finish things off and make everything feel that little bit extra special. We love talking trimmings with our couples and discussing ideas that will compliment and personalise your bouquet style. There’s no limit to what you can use but here are some nice ideas that you might like to consider.

Ribbon
A classic choice that seems to be enjoying a resurgence with multiple lengths streaming loosely for a relaxed and romantic look. Satin, silk, velvet, grosgrain… there’s countless options in every colour imaginable from slim and dainty to wide and bountiful. Pale neutrals are always good but it’s also a nice idea to to match your boy’s suit, so navy or grey ribbon wrapped around your bouquet for example, to tie your newlywed look together.

wedding bouquetRustic ribbon bouquet/ Hessian ribbon

Lace
Chic and beautiful with a vintage feel, lace is lovely finishing touch, particularly if you’re wearing a lace dress. White and ivory are classic choices but cream, nude, peach and dusty pinks are great choices too. Good quality lace isn’t cheap and can be tricky to come by, so I always keep my eye out for offcuts in antique shops, on eBay and Etsy.
lace wedding bouquetPink bouquet / Lace & hessian wrap

Hessian
This is an increasingly popular option for brides after a casual rustic look, particularly for barn weddings. You could go for hessian fabric or jute ribbon, wrapped with garden twine or paired with lace or ribbon for a multi-layered look.

hessian bouquetHessian stems

Trim & twine

I’m a little bit obsessed with twine and have reels of the stuff cluttering up my supply cupboard. But it’s just so damn useful, and pretty too of course. From rustic garden string to candy-striped bakers twine, there’s so much to choose from to add extra sass and style to your bouquet. And it doesn’t stop there – it’s useful for favours, place cards, table plans and hanging decorations around the venue.

twineGarden twine  / Bakers twine

Trimmings

If you love a bit of crafting, you’ll be all over trimmings already and the immense potential they hold for styling up your big day. I adore a bit of bobble trim… it’s pure kitsch but I don’t care!

trGold trim / Bobble trim

 Buttons, brooches and other gems

Once you’ve decided on the wrap material, your bouquet can be styled up further with all manner of lovely things. Vintage brooches, colour buttons, gem stones, beads, pearls… there is SO much to choose from. You can use a family heirloom, go rummaging in charity shops or splash out on something fancy since you’ll only need one or a handful at most.

Ribbet collagePearls and gems

Dress offcuts
If your dress is being altered, keep the offcuts and talk to your florist about using them to bind your bouquet. It’s a nice bit of recycling and really ties your look together.

Advertisements

Wedding flowers 101 | Show some love for succulents

Posted by Melissa

We’re really excited about succulents at the moment, in fact they’ve become one of our favourite ingredients to use in arrangements. Our first use in wedding flowers was Hannah’s own bouquet (up top there in the header) and now we can’t get enough. We particularly love the Echeveria variety (below, left) and as we mentioned in the last Wedding Flowers 101 post about foliage, it too is wonderfully versatile for incorporating into buttonholes, bouquets, table arrangements and much more.

succulent bouquetSource unknown / Source

What we really like about using succulents in bouquets and table arrangements, aside from their interesting shapes and texture, is their sustainability. When you are finished with them, you can simply plant them back into a pot or terranium and they will soon take root. This makes them super appealing to eco conscious brides and those of us who want to keep a lasting memory of our special day. For the same reason, these curious and charming little fellas – also called ‘fat plants’ – are an increasingly popular choice for favours too.

succulent wedding

Source / Source

Unfortunately, we’ve heard from a few of our brides that some florists seem reluctant to use succulents because they can be trickier to work with than cut flowers, as they are often quite heavy and can come with short stems. But we love a challenge here at BLOOM and we’re devising all kinds of creative ways to weave these little wonders into our work this year.

And wedding talk aside, we adore the delicious array of colours and shapes to choose from and they look dreamy in terrariums and little tin cans dotted around the house.

Wedding flowers 101 | Don’t forget foliage

Posted by Hannah

When I worked in a florists shop, people often asked for bouquets to be made without ‘filler foliage’ and this used to really rile me sometimes. In one way, I get it: they wanted the whole budget to go on pretty flowers, but I always felt they were missing out on the wonderful world of foliage. Greenery is not something to be frowned upon, in fact, quite the contrary. It plays a vital supporting role to the flowers, but it also beautiful in its own right and should be embraced not avoided.

In some of our wedding consultations recently, brides have specifically requested greenery among their chosen blooms and it’s lovely to chat about ideas. So today, I’m sharing three of our favourite foliage you might like to consider incorporating into your own wedding flowers.

Dusty Miller

Senecio cineraria – aka Dusty Miller – has a magical quality for me with its delicate grey lacy velvet leaves. It is one of the plants that feels too perfect to be natural. It’s popping up on many brides’ Pinterest boards and we’re excited to use in all kinds of floral designs, from bouquets and button holes, to table arrangements and garlands.
dusty miller bouquetSource / Source

Eucalyptus

Oh Eucalyptus, how I love thee. I am drawn to the lovely scent and greyish tones of this foliage, and its never ending versatility. Some varieties like Baby Blue and Cinerea give a wonderful architectural quality to arrangements , while others like Nicholii and Populus work well for trailing.

Eucalyptus bouquetSource

Viburnum

We’ve fallen hard for Viburnum and look forward to incorporating it into many arrangements this year. From the tiny berries in black, blue, purple and red to the fairy-like delicate flower clusters in pink, cream and pale green – it lends an ethereal feel that we can’t get enough of.

Viburnum bouquetSource / Source unknown

Wedding flowers 101: How to WOW on a budget

Posted by Hannah

Whether flowers are at the top or bottom of your wedding wishlist, you’ll probably have some kind of budget in mind.  They were pretty high upon my list but we certainly didn’t have a fortune to spend due to all the other elements demanding a slice of our wedding fund.

Like many couples, we were keen to trim costs where we could without it looking like we’d cut back at all. This is no easy feat since flowers and quality floral design don’t come cheap, so next up in our Wedding 101 series we share some top tricks to help your stretch your budget with style.

Tulips wedding flowersSource / Source

Go seasonal
Flowers are plentiful, at their best and far cheaper when they are in season so take some time researching seasonal availability or ask for expert advice from your florist. Tulips are nice and cheap in spring for example, allowing you to create a big impact on a more conservative budget.

While most brides don’t arrange their wedding date around flower seasons (it’s not uncommon though!) it’s worth keeping it in the back of your mind if you have your heart set on a particularly variety.

Amaryllis RannunculusSource / Source

Keep it simple
When flowers are in season and more affordable, there’s a lot to be said for keeping it simple with a single variety in a tall, clear class vase. There’s something very pure and Scandi-chic about this approach, and it’s a great choice for modern weddings in a contemporary venue.

romantic bouquetSource / Source

Avoid national holidays
Flower prices spike during occasions such as Valentine’s, Mother’s Day and Christmas, so it makes sense to avoid these times of year if you can. Shoppers often mistakenly think florists slap on a massive mark-up at these times, but we’re just passing on the wholesale prices that have risen due to supply and demand.

If your wedding date is around these times, speak to your florist about more reasonable priced alternatives to expensive premium blooms like roses. And whatever you do, don’t go for red roses at Valentines. It’ll cost you a fortune.

Antique hydrangeasSource / Source

Size matters
I love hydrangeas. They’re not cheap, but there are big, blousy and fill lots of space, which can actually make them more cost effective than using lots of smaller headed flowers as you can use less of them.

But bigger isn’t always better. As I mentioned in the post on choosing vessels, the larger the neck of your vase, the more flowers (and expense) you’ll need to fill it. A cluster of bottles and bud vases with single stems can create more impact on a budget, or even a tall, slim vase with an few choice blooms.

Flowers in tinsSource / Source

Upcycle containers
If your florist doesn’t have the vessels you’d like, it’s easy to spend a small fortune on vases as you’ll need one for each table. A far more economical solution is to repurpose items you might already have, or ask friends and family to collect recycled food jars and tins. It lends a relaxed, rustic vibe to your arrangements and is pretty much free since you’d normally be throwing them away.

Foraged bouquetSourceSource

Forage
Any floral material you can get your hands on for free will help to trim your costs. We’re not suggesting some stealthy flower theft from your neighbours garden in the dead of night, rather ask around friends and family to see what they might have growing at home.

I wanted trailing ivy around our venue for example, so I went foraging in the lane behind my house and asked family to snip some cuttings from their gardens. A good florist should be happy to use cuttings to help you save money, providing they are fresh and good quality.

Branches in bottlesSource / Source

When less is more
I love to display branches in big glass bottles – blossom in spring, rusty leaves in autumn and contorted willow at pretty much any time. Branches have a great architectural quality that looks beautifully chic and simple. It’s an inexpensive option too since you can get away with a just a few branches per table (or even one), and it’s cheaper still if you can forage some from the garden.

Pick a good florist
This last point is key as a good florist will suggest creative ideas to stretch your budget and help you save where possible, such as reusing ceremony arrangements for the reception.

Are you on a tight budget for your wedding day? How are you keeping costs down? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

Hannah Ricci is a trained florist and co-owner of BLOOM fleuriste, and a freelance interior stylist, writer and editor.

Wedding flowers 101: Unique ideas for vessels & vases

Posted by Hannah

Flowers are always going to be a big deal when a florist gets married and I spent weeks – OK, months – mulling over different ideas for our special day. Over a new series of weekly posts, I’m going to share some of my key decisions to help inspire future brides thinking about flowers for your own wedding.

For many brides, your wedding is the first time you’ve really had to think seriously about flowers (that’s why we often ask our mums and grannies for advice, right?) so it can feel quite overwhelming to know where to start. This series will help to demystify wedding flowers and encourage you to develop your own unique style.

First up – top tips for choosing unique vessels for your table arrangements.

Wine glasses with flowers

Photography,  Flowers / Glasses: £70 for 6, Jasmine Way

Supporting role
Flowers may be the stars of the show, but vessels play a vital supporting role in the style of your table arrangements. They can completely lift your display so take time to think about the containers you’d like to use. The options are endless and don’t have to match for each table if you’re going for a more relaxed look.

idea glass cube wedding flowersVase: £3, Ikea / Jill Sander runway flowers, Fall 2012

Watertight
Pretty much anything can be used to hold flowers as long as it is watertight – and even if it isn’t, you could pop a floristry tray or jar inside it, or line the container with cellophane. You could go for traditional glass containers like fish bowls, tall martini glasses or cube vases, or get creative as you like with vintage gems or recycled items. Asking friends and family to loan vases, such as china tea cups or cut glass collections, is a lovely way to personalise your displays.

wedding flowers in jarsPhotography,  Flowers / Jar, £6.95, Dotcomgiftshop

Size matters
Consider whether you want one medium to large size table arrangement for each table, or a selection of smaller ones. Think about the neck size of your vessels too – those with large openings take a lot of flowers (and expense) to fill, while bottles for example, look pretty with single stem.

To avoid your tables looking cluttered, think about any other details such as candles and favours, and allow enough space for them. And finally, consider the height of your arrangements and opt for below face height when sat down so your guests can see each other over dinner, or tall arrangements with a thin stem so your guests can see around them. Nothing is more anti-social than a big display obstructing everyone’s view!

Glass terrainium table centresPhotography, Flowers / Mini glass cloche: from £18, Rowen & Wren

Under inspection
Glass terraniums and cloches are a wonderful way to highlight your table flowers and make them feel extra special. You could use potted plants or succulents, or display flowers in small vessels and pop a glass dome on top. They’re not cheap to buy – but it’s the kind of thing you can definitely use again – or your florist may have some you can hire.

mercury glass bottlePhotography, Flowers / Mercury glass bottle (gold or silver) £9, Wilko

Colour stories
Your containers should compliment not distract from the flowers, so think carefully about the colour you choose. Glass and metal are always a safe bet, and anything green or neutral, like white, black, grey, beige, cream or stone. I also view gold and silver as neutrals, and a great way to add a glamorous touch.

However, if you’re going for a mis-matched, eclectic look – throw the rulebook out the window and go with whatever you fancy. Equally, if you’re going for a single flower colour – different white blooms for example, with lots of foliage – a mix of coloured containers can look really effective (notice how the blue glass below really makes the pink pop).

Blue glass mason jars

Blue glass mason jars, £20, WBC / PhotographyFlowers

BLOOM choice
When we started planning about a year ago, I was all for using jam jars but after working on several weddings with jars, I decided to go for something different. We started collecting vintage tins and glass apothecary bottles to create an informal, eclectic look. As the date was nearing and we didn’t have enough tins, we started recycling old food tins – golden syrup, baked beans, Campbell’s soup (there’s a limited edition run with the cool old pop art style labels) – and gave them an aged look with paint (DIY on this coming soon).

We arranged a random cluster of different vessels on the dinner tables, and dotted them around other parts of the venue. Following from the colour point above – I soon realised I couldn’t afford to be fussy when hunting for vintage tins – so I embraced the relaxed, mis-matched look. I was so pleased with the result. Imperfect beauty at its best.

Shustoke farm barn wedding flowersPhotography / Flowers: BLOOM fleuriste (us!) / Vessels: vintage – available to hire from BLOOM fleuriste

What containers are you planning to use on your big day? Please share your ideas and don’t hesitate to ask any questions. If you’d like to find out about our floral design services, drop us a line here.

Hannah Ricci is a trained florist and co-owner of BLOOM fleuriste, and a freelance interior stylist, writer and editor.