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Flowers

Petal power

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Follow our advice on choosing your florist to guarantee the best blooms for your big day

FIND YOUR FLORIST Once you’ve got the date set and the venue organised, it’s time to start thinking about your florist. Have a look at magazines and websites to get an idea of the many different options available, and once you’ve narrowed it down to a few you like the look of, give them a call or, even better, pop along to their shop for a chat. “Speaking to two or three florists will give you a variety of ideas since all florists have different approaches and styles,” says Amy McMurray of The Black Orchid (theblackorchidflorist.co.uk). “This will also give you a sense of the likely price range, allowing you to choose something suited to your budget.”
If you’re struggling to decide, trust your instincts. “Finding a florist is a bit like finding your dress,” says Nick Priestly of Mood Flowers (moodflowers.com). “Once you find the perfect match, stop looking. Good florists will be able to create any look you want, so concentrate on finding one that offers excellent service as well as great design.”
When you’ve made your decision, book the florist as soon as possible. Some suppliers will get booked up months, or even years, in advance, especially for weekends and special dates. “Good florists are in demand particularly for Friday and Saturday weddings from April to September, so the ideal time to make first contact with your florist is nine months to a year before your wedding,” explains Nick Priestly.

GET STYLE SAVVY Petals are a key part of any wedding, but with so many varieties of flower out there, to say nothing of different colours, shapes and styles, it can be hard to work out where to start. A good florist will be able to advise you on what might look best in your venue, as well as tailoring it to suit your own personal tastes. “Start talking to your florist as soon as you have booked the venue, when you’re still deciding upon the kind of style and theme you want to create,” says Amy McMurray. “Florists can help with this by giving you ideas and inspiration.”
The theme and colour scheme of your celebration can be enhanced by beautiful arrangements. Vintage-themed weddings continue to grow in popularity, so why not incorporate pearls and lace into your bouquets or venue decorations to tie into this look? For a classic style, you could choose all-white flowers, such as roses or lilies, while funky weddings can accommodate bolder colours like orange and cerise gerberas. The options are endless, so work with your florist and your wedding flowers will act as a gorgeous complement to the rest of your wedding day’s look.

PICKING THE PETALS We all have our favourite flowers, ones that mean something special to us, but that doesn’t mean to say these should be the only option for your wedding – for a start, they might not even be in bloom on your big day. “Seasonality of flowers is key to the planning – if you have your heart set on hydrangeas or peonies, say, make sure you get married in early summer,” recommends Nick Priestly. “It’s also worth bearing in mind that around key dates such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Christmas, the wholesale price of flowers will rise – sometimes dramatically.”
So if you’ve always envisaged having roses and your big day is mid-February, you can expect to pay a hefty price. Discuss this with your florist early in the planning process to see if a solution can be found. “The price of roses can treble around Valentine’s Day,” admits Amy McMurray. “For the best advice on which flowers to use, ask your florist what they would recommend for that time of year. They should be able to keep you well within budget.”


INSPIRATION TIME As well as the bridal bouquet and buttonholes, there’s also the table arrangements to consider. If you’re not sure where to start with these, the first thing to take into account is your venue and the size of your wedding. “Consider whether you would like tall or low table centres. Tall creates drama and impact when guests enter the room but low table centres can generate a real talking point when guests sit down,” suggests Nick Priestly. “If couples have 10 tables or more, we usually recommend a mix of tall and low tables which can create real visual interest in a room.”
You can use your flowers to add a wow factor to your big day too, by displaying them in unusual places and incorporating them throughout your venue for a unique look. Amy McMurray explains, “Typically, most weddings have flowers on the tables at the reception, but there are other ways of decorating the venue too. If there is a staircase, for example, why not have a floral garland? If it’s a traditional marquee, you could decorate the internal poles with flowers. A church wedding can lend itself to an arch of flowers at the entrance – it always looks striking in photographs.” [Image: David Austin Roses are a timeless classic for your bridal bouquet]

TOP TIPS There are lots of points to take into consideration when finding and booking your florist. Above all, though, you want to make sure you’ve chosen the right person for you as a couple. Take your time and do some thorough research, looking at magazines, websites and blogs to gain an idea of who’s out there. Word of mouth is always a good way of discovering new suppliers too, so ask around before making your final decision.
If you like the look of a florist, but you’re not sure if they’ll supply to your area or if they could create the bouquet you’re envisaging, don’t be afraid to ask. “Have a look at their website to get a feel for what they do, but don’t be put off if you want something different – most florists are very flexible and can create anything. So don’t be shy! Let them know the look you want. And remember, it’s always best to go and speak to the florist in person to see what ideas they have,” advises Amy McMurray.
Once you’ve made your decision and chosen your flowers, it’s time to relax and let your florist get to work. “Each of the florists at Mood Flowers only deals with one wedding on any given day so the bride and groom can expect their full attention,” says Nick Priestly. We’re sure you’re be pleased with the results!

(BSW:29)

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