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.