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It is early in the flower season but hydrangea is now properly available in the flower markets and I am delighted. Hydrangea is without a doubt, one of my top-five favourite flowers. I love its smell – it has a lovely clean aroma which I find so refreshing and soothing. My bride this week choose green hydrangea accompanied by cream freesia and they complimented the bridesmaids dresses perfectly. If I had a painters pallet the colours could not have been better selected. I get a real buzz when that happens.
The bride choose cream freesia and avelanche roses dressed in a green collar for her own bouquet. The little flower girl had a wand of one perfectly formed rose and a collar of freesia. The green and cream theme was continued on into the church. The pews were dressed in stock and satin ribbons; the alter had two super stock arrangements standing sentinel and the back alter had a stock and hydrangea front facing arrangement. There was no unity arrangement for this wedding, instead of lighting candles the couple have a water ceremony.
Enjoy the photos.
Glycerine roses are the ideal fresh flower alternative. You will have seen glycerine roses featured on this site previously when I made a glamelia or ‘carmen’ rose from the petals of a glycerine (stabilized) rose – by the way, this is still as perfect as the day I made it!
I have been busy in the last 5 days making two sets of candelabra flower displays from stabilized/glycerine roses and greenery. It was a mammoth task, each rose had to be wired and covered in wax tape (I was dealing with roses in the hundreds here!!!!!!!) before the piece was assembled. The customer wanted a set containing red roses and a set containing pink and champagne coloured roses. The brief was to keep the posy so as to avoid contact with the candles.
I find it very difficult to photograph red roses – I have tried to do it with and without a flash to try and show the beauty of the rose. The colour is so vibrant and striking (the Polish hotel staff who came along to have a look could only come up with one adjective – ‘sexy’, which I was fairly pleased with). The candelabra in the pictures are displayed on high pod tables. I think when they are on dining tables en-masse they will look fantastic.
Pink was the winning colour when selecting flowers for Laura and Stephen’s March wedding. Teal satin was being worn by the two bridesmaids and the options on the brides list were sun-flowers, white roses and perphaps red roses – there was no mention of pink at all! When I saw the the bridesmaids dresses I felt that pink would be a fantastic option. When the bride and groom saw some pictures of hot pink flowers they were bowled over instantly.
The bride wanted her bouquet to be different from the bridesmaids so opted for a mixed flower posy bouquet – I choose gorgeous pink bouvardia, sweet avelanche rose, avelanche rose, ammi, aqua and sweet duet roses for depth of colour and finished it off in a collar of leather leaf – I dressed the handle in the usual double faced satin ribbon. The choice for bridesmaids was mixed roses – hot pink and white. I like to include a few white roses as it enhances the pinks.
The flower-girls had a small posy similar to the bridemaids with the handle left about 2″ longer for ease of holding. The smallest flower girl had a wand which she loved – I loved it too. It was just one fabulous sweet avelanche rose with a collar of opened bouvardia.
I always have great fun making flower arrangements for flower girls – it’s like my play time. It gives me the opportunity to uses fun accessories such as mini-bows and sparkly paper and be as creative as my imagination allows.
For the very young flower girl the wand is always a hit. I leave the stems long and covered completely with double-faced satin ribbon. In the ‘head’ of the wand I have incorporate shredded sparkly paper – there are lots of colours to choose from which provides great interest for the very young. I have also incorporated 3/5 small 8-loop bows among the flowers – I have found that wired organza (1/2cm wide) makes a very dainty bow. Alternatively, I collar of satin ribbon is soo cute.
Older flower girls want to be treated just the same at the bridesmaids, in which case I make a smaller version of the bridesmaids, but leave the stems a little longer (approximately 2″ longer ).
Another popular choice for flower girls from about 6 upwards is the pomander. I don’t recommend pomanders for younger children as some care is needed when handling them and they prove tiresome after a short while. To date I have only made them with gypsophilia but they can be made with germini, chrysanthemum blooms, hydrangea blooms, the unfairly under-rated carnation etc etc.
Not every bride wants to be surrounded by fresh flowers at every turn on her wedding day. It is possible to create a nice mixture of fresh flowers and quirky alternatives that can be arranged by your florist. For the bride who wants to be that little bit different while pleasantly surprising her guests here are a few fun alternatives.
My favourite, the Strawberry Tree, is a novel way for guests to start wedding celebrations – accompanied with a glass of champagne. Properly arranged, it looks lavish and sophisticated. A definite WOW start to proceedings.
A sweet alternative to the Strawberry Tree is the Ferrero Roche Tree, or also popular, the Marshmallow Tree.
My last word on fresh flower alternatives at a wedding is reserved for the Unity Ceremony part of the marriage celebration. There have been occasions where a bride and groom marrying in a Church have been asked to keep the altar free of flowers, typically the traditional long-low candle arrangement. This is easily solved by using crystal candle-sticks. If you down-size the diameter of the centre candle you can arrange a few tiny blooms around the base which would not be going against the wishes of the celebrant. Also, if you are having a civil ceremony, very often you will find that the ceremony takes place in front of a small table and there isn’t that much space available for flowers. It is also a lovely fresh-take on a lovely tradition.
Many venues include a floral guest table centre-piece as part of their wedding day package. Normally I find that it is a lily placed in a tall slim vase – done right these can be beautiful. By ‘done right’ I mean having at least one open bloom on your lily stem, soft foliage to give both height and drape. The overall effect should be soft and detailed and not too two-dimensional. If filling a lily vase for a centre piece I use 2 lillies (one of which is in full bloom), 6 stems of steel-grass, a decorative leaf such as aspidistra and ivy.
Emerging as a trend is wedding venues providing a budget for brides to supply their own flowers, and this is where the fun starts. There are so many styles to choose from. Very popular is a large fish bowl filled with fresh flowers placed on a mirror disc and surrounded by tea-lights – this is very effective for a winter/autumn wedding. Spring weddings can go for a selection of vases filled with a single variety of flowers. There is also a great opportunity to personalise your wedding tables with personal touches such as photos of the bridal party at a young age, loved ones who cant be with your on the day.
I have put together a slide-show a few of my favourites from last year. I made all of the examples except where I have credited Magda – Petals and Posies who designed and built them.
Purple is a classic and sophisticated colour for a bridal party. All shades of purple are rich and luxurious and look wonderful in photos.
One of my favorite purple flowers to use in bridal work is eustoma (lysianthus). These delicate rose-like blooms are available in a dark purple shade and compliment white beautifully. They are also available in a hybrid variety where white blooms are edged in purple. Eustoma are also a lovely flower to use in gents button-holes. The great thing about choosing eustoma is that it is available all year round and it will definitely add a touch of class to your wedding theme.
Another year-round favourite is freesia. Freesia is not only a beautiful flower but it has a fantastic fragrance and is available in dark purple and a lavender shade (as well as many other colours).
Summer brides can choose a purple variety from the hydrangea group of flowers. The last purple flower I want to mention here is purple anemone. Anemone is available to spring brides only unfortunately – the colour is simply fantastic – they are a ‘single’ bloom with dark purple colour and a satin sheen to them.
Brides who are thinking about incorporating purple into their wedding theme have a huge selection of flowers to choose from, only are few of the most popular are mentioned above.
Blue for Bridesmaids was a recurrent and very successful bridal party colour scheme in 2011 and I loved it. Blue has always been a favourite colour of mine and when it comes to matching flowers to it, it is so versatile. Soft pink is fabulous with blue, as is white.
If you are a spring bride and want blue flowers incorporated into your bridal theme you will have a wonderful choice at your finger tips, ranging from hyacinths, to nigella (love in a mist), delphinium and muscari. Early summer brides have the wonderful blue hydrangea , sweetpea and eryngium to choose from.
Dyed-blue fresh roses are available but I am reluctant to use them for that very reason – they are dyed! I dont take chances around wedding gowns. If your heart is positively set on blue roses you could either use blue stablized roses or the best quality silk you can find. I have seen both and they are fantastic (I have personally used silk flowers incorporated along side fresh flowers – see if you can spot it from the gallery below).
You either love the ‘shower’ bouquet or you don’t. When I meet a bride for a consultation one of the first things I do is out-line the basic options open to her for her own flowers – posy, over-arm, tear-drop, crescent, semi-crescent, extension, pomander, glamelia or shower, and I always get an immediate reaction to the shower and it will be an absolute yes or no – there is no middle ground.
I love making shower bouquets – the introduction of the osasis holder has made life so much easier and enjoyable. When I did my training I was told to wire every bloom. I found this made the bouquet very heavy, not to mention a considerable drain on time.
A bridal shower bouquet is at its best when carried by a bride wearing a full a-line skirt and train. They compliment each other perfectly and can be made as voluminous or as dainty as the bride wants. I like to use at least three flower varieties (my favorites are roses, freesia, dendrobium orchids and eustoma) and two foliage types – I generally only use two colours in a shower as I feel that any more just makes it a jumble.
Thankfully the ‘shower’ has come a long way from the 1980’s of just open lilies, red roses, ivy and leather-leaf fern and is something any trend-setting bride would be proud to carry on her wedding day.